Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Julia and Josh Join Us

A sea fan fanning in the current.

Julia, josh, and Bill at Nippers

Sargent Major Fish surround us off the Fowl Cay reef.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Well we are again anchored in Marsh Harbor after seeing Julia & Joshua off this morning. We picked them up here in Marsh Harbor last Thursday. We have enjoyed a good visit with them.

Before Julia & Joshua’s arrival, Bill & I went south for a few days; not as far as we planned, but still a little bit south. We anchored off Tahiti Beach and enjoyed a nice beach walk. This is a white sand beach bordered by tall palm trees. It is a very pretty place. I used my underwater viewer (glass bottomed bucket) to look at the fish and shells in the shallows. We decided to head for Pete's Pub in Little Harbor the next morning, but the wind was dead on our nose, and it would have been a motoring trip, so we turned around after a couple of miles and headed for Tavern Cay. We anchored and went snorkeling at low tide. This reef was mostly rock with small fish, a few conch, and sea biscuits everywhere. Several days before, we had gone to Mermaid’s Reef off Marsh Harbor where we saw loads of small tropical fish. I am always amazed at the bright colors of all the fish.

We came back to Marsh Harbor the next day as the weather forecast was for thunderstorms for the next several days. We got our anchor down just as the first of the storms came roaring through. Once again we were able to fill our water tanks, spare jugs and our “apr├Ęs swim” garden sprayer with rain water. We like doing that because it is free! God does look after us! I did our laundry and grocery shopped in preparation for Julia & Joshua’s visit.

The day after Julia and Josh arrived; all four of us went over to Fowl Cay, a national park with a great reef. We anchored behind Fowl Cay, and took the dinghy around the island and out to the reef. The Friends of the Environment have kindly placed several mooring balls there for small boats. The fish were there in great abundance. Unfortunately, we couldn’t use Robert Bank’s spear gun since we were in a park. The spot behind the cay where we anchored the big boat was a little bouncy and not a place to spend the night, so after our swim we sailed up to Baker’s Bay. We took the dinghy over to Spoil Cay or as I like to call it, Shell Island. Julia and I both found a conch shell & several other good shells.

In the morning we took a looonnnggg dinghy ride out to the reef on the ocean side of the cay. The outward dinghy trip took us an hour! Once again the Friends have put out mooring balls for small boats. This reef had fish & beautiful coral of all types. I like the purple sea fans. They just sway in thecurrent and don’t have to do anything else – a nice life. In addition to all the colorful fish, we saw a large grouper, a nurse shark, and a barracuda. the return trip was as long as the trip out and wetter.

We came back to Marsh Harbor for the night because the forecast was for rough weather over night. In the harbor it didn’t amount to much and we were comfortable for the night. Sunday found us sailing to Man of War Cay; a very pleasant sail. We picked up a mooring in the eastern harbor and settled in for the evening. I needed a haircut; so believe it or not, I let Bill cut my hair! Julia supervised. I have shorter hair now than I have had in 10 years! Julia, Joshua, and I took the dinghy in to town, walked over to the Atlantic side of the cay, and walked on the beach. Joshua was going to snorkel, but it was a little rough. When we got back to the boat, he did snorkel around Irish Eyes and the nearby docks and tried the spear. He didn’t quite have the hang of it… the spear bounced off the fish.

Our next stop was to Guana Cay where we once again picked up a mooring. We all walked over to Nipper’s (www.nippersbar.com), a beach bar and restaurant with a gorgeous view of the ocean and a great pink sand beach. We walked down the beach to the High Rocks, and then took a short cut back to town. We had pre-dinner entertainment by a young boy on the boat moored next to us. He was the designated dinghy driver of the throttle wide open or off school, no sense of moderation. His older sister told him if he splashed her again on the way to supper she wouldslap him. I laughed until I cried.

Unfortunately, it was time to return to Marsh Harbor so Julia & Joshua could go home. The wind was predicted to be 15-20 in the morning, then 20-25 in the afternoon and 25-30 overnight. We had a great 6 kt sail back with just a partially unrolled genoa and nothing else. The wind did pick up, and last night was rock & roll, creak & groan, slap & splash all night long.

Bill and I plan to begin the trip south to the Exumas as soon as the weather improves. The wind is still about 20-25, and the weather people say the Atlantic seas are to be 18-24 feet from gales off the Carolina coasts. I can’t even imagine!

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