Signing Trees and foot bones
26 April 2009 | Green Turtle Cay to Allans Pensacola Cay, Sea of Abaco
TODAY...We have fresh breezes this morning from the ESE 17knots which will settle in to E20-30K/ Atlantic seas 9-11ft/sunny, breezy and clear/High temp 80F
Sunday, April 26, 2009
After morning coffee and downloading the weather, we raised the main, lifted anchor and left Settlement Harbor with the wind and seas off our starboard and starboard quarter. It was a beautiful sailing day with the waves running with us all the way to Allans Pensacola Cay. Total Miles sailed today 24.1.
Allans-Pensacola Cay is an interesting place. I've seen where hurricanes will take an island and divide it into two separate ones. But in this case Allans and Pensacola were once two cays that were joined by a hurricane to form one. We arrived at low tide and anchored in 6 ft of sand and grass over marl. The guides say that the holding here is not the best so we backed down on the anchor at 2000 rpms and the anchor took a pretty good set.
We dinghied over to one of the beaches and looked for shells. I found two different species of conch - white and brown. Both were interesting, and I'd have really liked their shells, but they were only fist size so after admiring them for a while, I let them go. After I let them go, I forgot that I never took their pictures (bummer). There were tidal flats that were amazingly large and when flooded at high tide have maybe a foot to 3 feet of water covering them. While walking along another beach we came across a shack of sorts built out of materials that had been washed ashore - replete with an old mattress and homemade table and broken chairs. There were skeletal remains of something lying in the mud flats. At first inspection I though they were near complete human foot bones but on further inspection it didn't seem quite right - no toe bones to speak of. Somehow, I think that with all the people wandering the beach, if they were human, someone would have said something. Wayne said maybe they were pigs feet, from a pig roast, but I've seen pigs feet, these were not pigs feet.
Blue Max (Dennis and Brian) also from Michigan came into the anchorage and Dennis was on a mission to see if his signature was still on the signing tree from three years ago. He was searching for the trail that leads to the Atlantic side while I was picking up shells. We ran into him later on another beach (near the skeletal feet) where he'd found the trail. Someone had marked the path entrance with conch shells. He'd found his sign, it was still there, but the paint was starting to come off and he couldn't read it very well.
We followed the trail across Allans-Pensacola from the Sea of Abaco side over to the Atlantic. There were several "Signing" trees there on the beach where cruisers had left signed mementos of their visit there. Some looked interesting. We found a fishing float with Signatures from Sapphire, Solitaire and Madcap hanging in one of the trees. Some of the driftwood signs were nice, but for the most part, it looked like a bunch of trash that got caught in the tree branches including a weapons cartridge container sitting against a tree and a message in a jar from 3 years ago (we read it and put it back).
We walked out to a point looking for the deserted missile tracking station that's supposed to be here but never found it. It's supposed to be at the isthmus at the head of the harbor, which is the site of the best beach on the island. We did find a concrete obelisk where people had scratched their names and dates into it, back in an area overgrown with trees and scrub. I guess one out of two things found isn't bad.
Back at the boat, I made pizza for dinner. A beautiful sunset brought out conch horns from several boats. With a little prodding, I brought out mine and got the attention of the red boat next to us. Wayne said I sounded better than the others (flattery will get him everywhere in this case) so I blew it again and started coughing my head off. He laughed and said he'd always think of me coughing after a good blow. Funny, funny... We then read some; listened to some music and I think it's time for me to retire now. Tomorrow we head for Great Sale Cay.