Sailing With Celilo

01 May 2015 | Kralendijk, Bonaire
10 January 2015 | Kralendijk, Bonaire
15 December 2014 | Kralendijk, Bonaire
07 December 2014 | Tyrell Bay, Carriacou
06 November 2014 | Chaguaramas, Trinidad
06 November 2014 | Chaguaramas, Trinidad
03 May 2014 | Falmouth Harbor, Antigua
02 April 2014 | Hermitage Beach, Antigua
27 March 2014 | Falmouth Harbor, Antigua
15 March 2014 | Jolly Harbor, Antigua
07 March 2014 | Deshaies, Guadeloupe
23 February 2014 | Portsmouth, Dominica
23 February 2014 | St. Pierre, Martinique
01 February 2014 | Rodney Bay, St. Lucia
25 December 2013 | Port Elizabeth, Admiralty Bay, Bequia
09 December 2013 | Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou
02 November 2013 | Chaguaramas, Trinidad
02 August 2013 | Portland, Oregon
28 June 2013 | Chaguaramas, Trinidad
18 June 2013 | Clarke's Court Bay, Grenada

Back In Warderick Wells

09 February 2013 | Exuma Land and Sea Park
Warderick Wells Again

We are back at Warderick Wells and are planning on staying here through the next blow which has pretty much come on this morning. So far it is only in the upper teens but heading for the mid to upper 20s over the next 24 hours. Not moving gives us an opportunity to relax a little more, as well as to get boat chores done - R polishes stainless, M checks off minor repairs, etc. We might go down to Staniel Thursday for a Valentines dinner at the YC...

We have had some really stunning days with light winds and bright sunshine. A couple of days ago we set out in the dink for Malabar Cays. The park snorkeling guide notes some coral heads south and east from the Cays. We drove out to the rocks and through them looking for reefy looking spots. Didn't see much at first but persisted, moving closer to shore and then we started spotting some likely looking dark places. In we went and found first one and then many really nice little heads. A great number of them were chock full of lobsters! Big ones! We saw more "bugs" there than we have seen in any one area. There were plenty of reef fish too, notably some nice big Queen Angel fish and some small Nassau Groupers.

From Malabar Cays we continued down toward the south end of Warderick Wells Cay. The water was low - just past low tide and as we approached the southern corner at the south end we found the water flooding through a narrow gap like a river. We were able to go through safely. This put us into the Hog Cay mooring field. We had seen this small body of water from land before and it was beautiful, but from the water it was stunning. The colors of the water reveal the depth, ranging from the deepest blue to the light tan color of the sand bars and everything in between. We went there, in part, to see the stromatolites that are there. Stromatolites are living organisms going back to when life was new on earth; fossils date back to 3.5 billion years. Stromatolites were thought to be extinct but were found again in the '80s here in the Bahamas and elsewhere. Those here are thought to be a couple thousand years old. As cool as they are, stromatolites are not especially dramatic to view. They look kind of like pancake rocks or big mattresses. We had thought we might swim among them but the current was too strong so we used our lookie bucket instead.

Leaving the Hog Cay mooring, we rode the current around the south end of Warderick and along the west side of Warderick Wells Cay. The current vanished and the wind dropped to nearly nothing. We stopped on one of the many beaches, soaking up a major dose of vitamin D. On the way north we noticed a cat coming in and when we reached the Emerald Rock mooring field we saw it was our friends on Makana so went over to greet them. We saw them last at Vero Beach and it was good to see them again here in the Bahamas.

Then we stopped at Celilo for a late lunch (about 1400). We hadn't had enough swim time yet so it was back into the dinghy for a run north to Long Rock. Mike went in the water about half way up the cay to recon and swam south while Roberta spotted him from the dinghy. We found this reef as described in the park snorkeling guide. Once grand but now diminished due to the growth of algae. There are still corals and there are fish but both are scattered without the concentration we have seen in more healthy areas. So Roberta didn't jump in. Moving off the reef and over a grassy sand area, Mike noticed "tracks" in the sandy bottom. Looking again and then diving down, he found a huge conch field. These were old conch with thick heavy shells. The outsides of the shells were rounded off from tumbling around in the sand for years but the inside where the animal lives was pink and smooth. Protection from the park makes all the difference.

What a day!

While up at Long Rock and over at Betty's Reef earlier, Mike had his eye on a reefy area north of the Wide Opening. We would need a pretty calm day to make the run of several miles up to this place. Yesterday, the winds were light and the sun bright so we loaded up and headed north to see how things looked. It was a bit bouncier than we might have thought but all in all not bad so we crossed Wide Opening and started checking it out, looking around again using the lookie bucket. We found scattered soft corals and fish but not a concentrated rocky reef. After a while Mike went into the water and began a swim of about an hour and half while Roberta again spotted him in the dinghy. Once in the water M found several coral heads. In between there were many soft corals and scattered fish, notably many silver and blue trigger fish and lots of large parrot fish. At one point there was a huge Nassau grouper. Perhaps most interesting was the complex underwater topography. There were many darker coral covered ridges and lighter sandy canyons. The water depths varied from tummy tickling shallows to perhaps 40 or 50 feet. The current directed Mike's swimming course through the first half of the swim, the ebb carrying him toward Exuma Sound. Mike boarded the dinghy and we both consulted the copy of the chart we had made and brought along in a zip-lock baggy. It looked like there should be a coral reef to the south and east of where we were so we motored over there and Mike went back into the water. This was much like the earlier part of the swim except there were more hard coral areas and it was more consistently shallow. M swam around until he spotted a couple of sharks. His attitude about sharks is: avoid them until he learns more about identification and behavior. Looking at the book, these might have been blacktip sharks. One was bigger than he was! He motioned for R to pick him up in the dinghy NOW!

After finishing up north we came back down and picked up the dinghy buoy at the Warderick fuel dock. Rick from Makana and his guests joined us for a nice swim full of fish and a pass by a huge spotted eagle ray which glided west to east over the sandy, deep bottom. Too cool!

Love, R&M
Comments
Vessel Name: Celilo
Vessel Make/Model: Tayana Vancouver 42
Hailing Port: Portland, OR
Crew: Mike and Roberta Hilbruner
About: WHOOHOO!!!! We are back in the Caribbean - SEASON III begins!
Celilo's Photos - Main
The King and Queen of Holland came to Bonaire to join in the celebration of Dia di Rincon, a fun day of local music, dancing, and food.
No Photos
Created 9 May 2015
We love Bonaire! We are diving almost every day and having a blast.
59 Photos
Created 26 January 2015
Recommissioning the boat, Taste of Trini Tour and a visit to the Starlift pan yard.
20 Photos
Created 8 November 2014
How we spent our summer vacation!
1 Photo | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 8 November 2014
After race week, we needed a break, so we headed up to Barbuda, then stopped at St Barth's on the way to deliver David and Elaine to their flight on Sint Maarten. We arrived in time to see the Carnival Grand Parade!
61 Photos
Created 3 May 2014
Roberta's brother and his wife joined us for this amazing week of fun - volunteering, rum parties, awesome sailing, gorgeous old boats, and friends from all over the East Caribbean.
73 Photos
Created 3 May 2014
We were in Antigua for a month that began with replacing the house bank of batteries and other boat chores, and included tours of St. John and Nelson's Dockyard, three days of diving, a trip up to Barbuda and back down to Falmouth and over to Nonsuch Bay before the Antigua Classics Race Week.
76 Photos
Created 3 May 2014
We enjoyed getting back to a French island and had fun walking through Bourg des Saintes, over to a pretty beach and up to a fort. On Guadaloupe, we snorkeled the Jacques Cousteau Marine Park and visited the gorgeous botanical gardens in Deshaies.
59 Photos
Created 10 March 2014
We also toured northern Dominica with guide Martin and learned how to make "coco tea."
38 Photos
Created 10 March 2014
We loved Dominica! Went on a couple of tours, a couple of hikes, saw a parade of sorts, and enjoyed visiting with several friends also moored here.
98 Photos
Created 10 March 2014
We enjoyed touring a rum factory and botanical garden with French friends, hiking the beaches with Cutter Loose, snorkeling in Grand Anse, and a couple of days in St Pierre.
115 Photos
Created 10 March 2014
We sailed to Rodney Bay to pick up our friend Gerry, met new friends, went to a street dance, watched the football playoffs, and had a cruiser's potluck on the Unicorn - used in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
15 Photos
Created 10 March 2014
Christmas and New Year's eve in Bequia, hikes with good friends, a ferry ride to a tour of St Vincent.
78 Photos
Created 9 March 2014
We stopped (briefly we thought!) in Carriacou, and stayed for over a month. This lovely, friendly little island is a Caribbean dream. And, we learned to scuba dive!
67 Photos
Created 20 December 2013
When we returned to Trinidad, in between recommissioning the boat, we had a Halloween party, experienced the Hindu festival of Divali, went to the Asa Wright Protected Area, and boated through the mangroves in the Carenage Swamp to see the scarlet ibis fly in to their evening roost.
78 Photos
Created 19 December 2013
When we returned to Oregon we had fun with friends and family, visiting Michael's cousin in Bend, hiking and renewing our acquaintance with old rock climbing haunts.
66 Photos
Created 19 December 2013
On our way south from Canada, we stopped in Potlatch on Hood Canal to stay with Roberta's childhood friend at her family's cabin and also to visit one of "our midshipmen" who is now a US Naval Officer.
18 Photos
Created 19 December 2013
We traveled to Vancouver Island to see friends in Campbell River and on Hornby Island.
49 Photos
Created 19 December 2013
Where we had fun visiting our all-time favorite B&B, Forest Service friends, and were joined by Celilo "crew" Gerry Day and Tom Wordell to see the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival.
33 Photos
Created 10 December 2013
It seems we cannot stay away from the beach - whether in the Caribbean or Oregon. In Oregon we visited the coast, had a nostalgia day and hiking on Mt Hood, had fun with friends and family, went to Bend, and toured in the Columbia Gorge - all much loved old haunts.
64 Photos
Created 9 December 2013
On a beautiful overnight sail we set out for Trinidad - sailed almost the whole way - and enjoyed life in a marina before hauling the boat and putting her up for hurricane season - a LOT of work!
34 Photos
Created 1 August 2013
78 Photos
Created 31 July 2013
After moving so much, so fast, we stopped at Bequia for more than a week and enjoyed resting, snorkeling, walking, the charming town and its friendly people - and met more new friends. Then moved on for a night at Union Island before heading to Grenada.
66 Photos
Created 15 July 2013
We stayed briefly in Rodney Bay to check in to the country, hiked up through Fort Royal in Pigeon Island National Park, and stage for getting farther south.
34 Photos
Created 15 July 2013
Another of the fabulous French islands - we saw a performance about the island's history, a parade, toured a rum distillery, and cut off Michael's curls!
46 Photos
Created 15 July 2013
We had a great time on this island. Charming town, met up again with new friends from Alaska, toured the island and hiked up a creek.
41 Photos
Created 15 July 2013
We enjoyed the French side of St Martin and a couple of tiny nearby islands and then set sail overnight for Guadaloupe.
32 Photos
Created 2 July 2013
This was a dream passage in a channel referred to as the "Oh-My-Godda" because it is usually so nasty.
8 Photos
Created 2 July 2013
We continued the BVI Bar Tour at Norman's Cay and on Virgin Gorda.
18 Photos
Created 2 July 2013
Here we left the US for the British Virgin Islands and began "Michael's BVI Famous Bars Tour"
25 Photos
Created 2 July 2013
St John was our favorite of all the Virgin Islands. Most of the island is a national park. There are ruins to explore and the snorkeling was very good. The town at Cruz Bay was pretty, and we met some college friends Roberta hadn't seen for 35+ years!
76 Photos
Created 13 June 2013
We spent 5 days in the harbor at Charlotte Amalie waiting for calmer weather to head east again. We walked all over town, drove the island, and enjoyed the opening ceremonies of Carnival.
57 Photos
Created 10 June 2013
We all loved this little island - what a gem! It is a protected area.
25 Photos
Created 10 June 2013
We enjoyed our stay at Culebra in the Spanish Virgin Islands – part of Puerto Rico and the USA. We rented a golf cart and drove most of the island roads.
34 Photos
Created 10 June 2013
We spent a wonderful day in El Yunque, The Caribbean National Forest, with Jerry and Bianca Bauer – Jerry is an old friend and former colleague of Roberta’s and still works for the US Forest Service at the Institute of Tropical Forestry in Puerto Rico.
33 Photos
Created 28 May 2013
When we returned to Puerto Rico, we rented a car and toured the country a little, driving up and along the Cordillera and down to Ponce and along the southern coast. At the end of our stay in Palmas our friend Gerry Day joined us for 4 weeks cruising in the Virgin Islands.
23 Photos
Created 28 May 2013
We had a fun break from the boat for a week in Maryland to take care of some business and visit dear friends.
7 Photos
Created 28 May 2013
We walked nearly every street in Old San Juan, we were so entranced by this beautiful, elegant old lady.
39 Photos
Created 27 May 2013
We spent our first afternoon in San Juan exploring the old fort El Morro at the entrance to San Juan harbor. The next morning we walked all through the old city.
28 Photos
Created 25 May 2013
We sailed around the south side of Puerto Rico to enjoy the many pretty little anchorages and protected bays of the south coast.
37 Photos
Created 13 May 2013
We sailed and motorsailed the 605 miles from Georgetown to Puerto Rico non-stop in 103 hours, saw whales enroute, caught 2 mahi, were checked out by the Coast Guard, checked in at Mayaguez and then moved immediately from that roly anchorage to Boqueron.
15 Photos
Created 13 May 2013
We found ourselves in Warderick again, then visited Normans Island. Rather than go back to Warderick to hide from a storm, we crossed Exuma Sound to Eleuthera. From there we went to Cat Island and only stayed 2 nights because we wanted to hit the opening of the Cruiser’s regatta in Georgetown – so back across the Sound again!
1 Photo | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 13 May 2013
We crossed Exuma Sound from Rock Sound at Eleuthera, caught a mahi on the way over, and entered the Exumas through Conch Cay Cut to anchor at Big Majors Spot near Staniel Cay.
13 Photos
Created 3 February 2013
We left Fort Pierce Dec 28 and headed for Mantanilla Shoal, the Little Bahama Banks and the Abacos. Checked in at Spanish Cay and moved on to spend New Year's at Green Turtle, where we enjoyed a great Junkanoo and a day later joined friends Mark and Julie on svRachel.
31 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 3 February 2013
This isn't about sailing, but Michael pulled the cameras out a lot on our trip to Oregon so there are a lot of sub-albums. Enjoy the natural beauty of our home state!
6 Photos | 5 Sub-Albums
Created 12 December 2012
We were in Maine on the way to Nova Scotia and again on our way back. We had two great visits, seeing friends and traveling at various times with Rachel, Osprey and Chere.
47 Photos
Created 12 December 2012
We had a wonderful time in NS. So good that we have a ton of pics in several albums...
11 Photos | 8 Sub-Albums
Created 27 November 2012
On our way to Maine from the Cape Cod Canal we encounterd a pair of humpbacks - they deserve their own gallery!
18 Photos
Created 27 September 2012
Leaving the Chesapeake and heading North this gallery covers from the Bay to Cape Cod.
42 Photos
Created 25 September 2012
Leaving the Abacos, we jumped to Beaufort, NC and then went up the Intracoastal Waterway to the Chesapeake. Some shots while we were in the Bay too!
41 Photos
Created 21 September 2012
Heading N from Eleuthera we arrived at the Abacos and saw a good sampling of what the area has to offer.
27 Photos
Created 21 September 2012
After leaving the Exumas we crossed to Eleuthera and had a great 3 weeks
41 Photos
Created 21 September 2012
OK George Town is in the Exumas too but this is the rest of the Exumas as we saw them
47 Photos
Created 20 September 2012
We were in George Town for a couple of weeks and enjoyed it!
22 Photos
Created 20 September 2012
We left Florida and headed to Lucaya where we cleared in and stayed a few days. Then the Berry's and on to Nssau
8 Photos
Created 20 September 2012
On the way south down the Intracoastal Waterway
29 Photos
Created 20 September 2012

Celilo and Crew

Who: Mike and Roberta Hilbruner
Port: Portland, OR