Altair's Cruz Nuz

cruising, vb, kroozing, working on your boat in exotic locations around the Caribbean....Dudley and Becca

25 October 2012 | Coconut Grove Sailing Club
25 September 2012 | Coconut Grove Sailing Club
28 July 2011 | Coconut Grove Sailing Club!
27 July 2011 | Key Biscayne, Florida
27 July 2011 | Stiltsville and Miami just across the Bay.
27 July 2011 | Gulf Stream...
27 July 2011 | Gulf Stream, Here we come!
26 July 2011 | Sweet and Very Special Bahamas...Goodbye...for now!
26 July 2011 | Honeymoon Harbor
26 July 2011 | Gun Cay's floral gifts!
26 July 2011 | The surf at Honeymoon Harbor!
26 July 2011 | Our last island wonderland...before the Concrete Jungle....
26 July 2011 | Gun Cay...Practicing walking on land...
26 July 2011 | Honeymoon Harbor...very cool!
26 July 2011 | Honeymoon Harbor
26 July 2011 | Honeymoon Harbor...We like it!
25 July 2011 | A very Busy Honeymoon Harbor!
25 July 2011 | Honeymoon Harbor, Lee side of Gun Cay
25 July 2011 | Bimini, Our Beloved Bahamas!
24 July 2011 | Bimini, Big Game Club Marina!

Best Experience So Far, Leatherback Turtle Crawl!!!

13 July 2009 | Levera Beach, North Coast of Grenada
Becca
It didn't take long before a huge family of cruisers started bonding! How easy it is when this common ground plays in our favor! Pepe and Big Bear, Lucie and Richard, Pat and Richard, Isabelle and Eric, Margarit, Bernard and Louic and many more, all agreed to take advantage of this time of year when the Leatherback Turtles migrate here to Grenada and to Trinidad to lay their eggs!

Fourteeen of us got together and organized the famous "Cutty" to take us at l0p to Levera National Park at the northeastern most corner of Grenada. Cutty organized and picked up a guide named Dora, near to our destination some two hours away up and over mountains, across valleys all in the dark of course so we had no idea where were were. We stopped just shy of the beach where Dora explained a little about the leatherback turtle species and shared one recorded marathon swim of l6,000 miles in one season. They gain sexual maturity somewhere between 15 and 30 years and their life expectancy is between 80 and 100 years old. On arrival we walked down the very dark beach until we met wardens Kester and Becks. Kester had worked for the last four years protecting his charges. Becks was on a one month stint awaiting the start of her law Degree course at Edinburgh University...How very cool to have this opportunity to study these levethians. Becks said the most she has seen in one night sharing nature's finest act was 27 ladies. Now the average is four this late in the season.

It wasn't long before we spotted our first lady and we had to wait a while for her to get settled in before we were allowed to approach her. We were only allowed to use red light torches so as not to put off any other 'moms' that might journey up the beach, nor do they want to interfere with any babies en route to the sea should we be lucky enough to see any hatchlings that would choose tonight for their epic struggle for life.

Our lady was called WC#5573 as her tag stated. Becks and Kester on midwife duty recorded her statistics, measuring 1.83m in shell length and l.l8m wide. Dora claimed she was not a big leatherback by any means. They saw our lady was digging too close to another nest so they began gently filling in as she was methodically digging her spot. This digging and filling finally inched our lady far enough away from the existing nest for her to begin laying her eggs. Once she began dropping her eggs, which were the size of tennis balls and very 'leathery', funny that, eh, Becks caught them and dropped them in the bucket. Our lady was now in a trance-like state and we were allowed to stroke her and touch her flippers if we choose. WE CHOSE! Very, very cool. Being so close to the mammoth gentle giants from the deep was truly the most remarkable and sensational event of this journey. We will never ever forget this special night.

While we watched our lady use her powerful flippers to fill the hole and neatly pat it down we watched other 'moms' approach. We all were crowding so close to the 'action' that we didn't mind the rain of sand she was 'splashing' in every direction. Sadly it was time to leave. We had to make our way gently back down the beach, not knowing where the nests were and we watched as Becks and Kester repostitioned her eggs in a new spot not far from the place she'd chosen initially. Kester and Becks had their work cut out because two more moms began their path up the beach as we were leaving and they had to begin their documentation and research on these two new arrivals. Just then someone spotted a wee tot climbing to the surface from it's nest, which obviously paved the way for it's siblings. Who knew we'd see both the laying of and hatching of baby leatherbacks in this one evening.. WOW. Kester was now rushing between us, the ladies and the babies, where we were allowed to guide these youngins to the sea with our red lamps. I was successful in turning a wee one in the right direction a couple of times until a wave finally reached him or her and off in the dark night for who knows what fate would lie ahead. Statistics are not good.

We got back to Altair at 0130, too excited to sleep. I immediately got on-line to research these amazing creatures.

WHAT AN AMAZING, SPECTACULAR AND REMARKABLE EXPERIENCE!

Love to All our Family! Dudley and Bec
Comments
Vessel Name: Altair
Vessel Make/Model: Tartan 34'
Hailing Port: Coconut Grove Sailing Club
Crew: Dudley Clark and Becky Butler
About: Dudley has owned this Tartan sloop and has been cruising on her since 1986. Becky joined the good sloop back in 2000 when we first started cruising together and he has been 'training' me ever since! I couldn't be happier! I've been sailing all my life, but cruising is a whole different fish!
Extra: This is the most extended cruise we've braved on this wonderful, old boat of ours which is planned to be about 2 years! We left Miami in late February of 2008 and want to get below the hurricane belt by the end of July! Ok, so it's July, 2011...we're close, but not home yet!
Altair's Photos - Main
Shots from the windward mark aboard Kuhala!
No Photos
Created 13 May 2011
Spectacular Flora and Villa!
35 Photos
Created 13 May 2011
38 Photos
Created 9 January 2011
Flora, fauna and friends!
32 Photos
Created 3 January 2011
Can come home without visiting this Clan!
13 Photos
Created 4 May 2010
Kayaking in West Palm Beach!
12 Photos
Created 4 May 2010
They are so proud of the independence and their Flag! Hopefully the USA will be too!
6 Photos
Created 10 February 2010
Gorgeous, first class location in the middle the south coast of Shangrila, Grenada!
8 Photos
Created 10 February 2010
An international celebration and gathering to educate!
25 Photos
Created 10 February 2010
Our 10th Anniversary and Blue Moon New Year's Eve Party!
20 Photos
Created 10 February 2010
Nellie and Phil hosting a thoroughly English feast with a British Christmas pudding to boot!
5 Photos
Created 10 February 2010
Fish Friday tour with Cutty on the northwest coast of Grenada!
14 Photos
Created 9 February 2010
Grenada's Spectacular Waterfalls and hiking
32 Photos
Created 9 February 2010
Lots of work to be done...6 days of non stop big stuff!
9 Photos
Created 9 February 2010
What a great night of Jazz with good friends, Olga, Don, Neal, Donna and Barry!
20 Photos
Created 9 February 2010
National Colors Day, Don, Olga, Inga and Hal, Steve, Angel and Steve the chef!
11 Photos
Created 9 February 2010
Grenada's Independence...Spectacular Day!
25 Photos
Created 9 February 2010
Amazing Hike with Cliffon as Guide, Karine, Pierre, Marilyn and Me!
29 Photos
Created 18 January 2010
We love Calle Ocho! We are back in Miami! Buenos Noches!
8 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 18 January 2010
Dudley's best friend with his beautiful, brilliant new love, Loni!
1 Photo
Created 18 January 2010
Our Private Sailing Club and some of our long lost buddies!
11 Photos
Created 18 January 2010
Love the New Green Canopy!
7 Photos
Created 18 January 2010
West Palm Beach Clan
4 Photos
Created 18 January 2010
Heading to Windward Coast and Grenville's Carnival!
18 Photos
Created 24 September 2009
Gearing up for Carnival, Grenadian Stlye!
23 Photos
Created 15 September 2009
Nice Party, Great Man, Cool location!
10 Photos
Created 13 September 2009
WOW!!!
9 Photos
Created 13 September 2009
First Peek @ The Lagoon, The Carenage and the Locals
33 Photos
Created 13 September 2009
Very nice for a marina! Wow.
19 Photos
Created 13 September 2009
What a great Festival of the Arts.
28 Photos
Created 5 July 2009
Our new past time...hiking to new heights!
13 Photos
Created 5 July 2009
Whit/Sun/Tide Regatta
15 Photos
Created 4 July 2009
"The beginning of the Grenedines for us...we want more".
18 Photos
Created 29 June 2009
"On the Road Again", Day 2. Martinique
20 Photos
Created 29 June 2009
"On the road Again!" Expolored Martinique by car with Lynn and Lew on Sea Wings
29 Photos
Created 29 June 2009
Catching up with Old Friends
11 Photos
Created 28 June 2009
Domineeka, Part 2
18 Photos
Created 10 April 2009
Dominica, West Indies
30 Photos
Created 10 April 2009
A ONE NIGHT STAND...
10 Photos
Created 30 March 2009
Virgin Islands over to the Leewards at last...
11 Photos
Created 29 March 2009
Je Suis alle enTerre d'en Bas par Ferry!
36 Photos
Created 29 March 2009
Christmas Cove, St. James Isl., St. Thomas and St. John...
5 Photos
Created 28 March 2009
We loved them...sailing, diving and parties were GREAT.
52 Photos
Created 27 March 2009
Two weeks of waiting for wind to die down! Too much fun!
10 Photos
Created 27 March 2009
Super! Parfait! St. Barts! Very FRENCH!!!!
24 Photos
Created 26 March 2009
Spectacular Vistas!
33 Photos
Created 26 March 2009
This is an historically packed delight!
20 Photos
Created 26 March 2009
NY Eve Party with Jane and Andy on the lawn at Nelson's Dockyard!!!!
11 Photos
Created 25 March 2009
Maltese Falcon Fundraiser
7 Photos
Created 25 March 2009
We're in fairyland...how quaint!
17 Photos
Created 24 March 2009
Our pheromones are connected somehow!!!!
12 Photos
Created 11 March 2009
EAG hike to top of Boggy Peak, with nature lovers, botanists, board members
12 Photos
Created 4 March 2009

S/V ALTAIR

Who: Dudley Clark and Becky Butler
Port: Coconut Grove Sailing Club