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The First Mate's Journal
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Great Lakes to The Bahamas
Who: Wayne & Pat
Port: Jackson
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Vegetarian Dinosaurs
03/06/2009, Leaf Cay aka Iguana Island

Friday, March 06, 2009

Well, the battery monitor seems to be working still - a good thing. I started that John Grisham book last night that Wayne finished the night before - Street Lawyer. What a good book - it hooked me and I was up reading until 10:30. Then I finished it this morning. I love it when a book hooks you and keeps you in suspense until the end!

We went over to Allen Cay - me without my camera because I thought we'd only be swimming. What a spectacular view from the top. Wayne washed the grill out in the sand and I snorkeled around abit. I found an old car wreck in the water, and saw coral, quite a few fish that I was familiar with from my salt water tanks at home and school, and some juvenile conch about as big as my fist. Then we went back over to Leaf Cay (Iguana Island). I had some old cherry tomatoes, celery tips and romaine scraps that the iguanas snapped up like it was gold. This surprised me because there were two tour boats and various tourists feeding them most of the day. I think that the tour boats bring grapes with them for the tourists to feed, at least that's what it looks like from our boat.
Snorkeling over there I saw bigger fish - yellow fin, red fin and some fatter silver fish. Found one conch that was just under size to take - the start of a lip but not prominent, so I let him go.

We then took a saltwater bath and fresh water rinse back at the boat. It's so stunningly beautiful here but desolate/isolated except for the cruisers and tourists that frequent these uninhabited islands. The white sand seems whiter against the aqua colored water and blue skies. The grey/brown rock masses of coral/marl islands streaked with green lend more color to the blue pallet. I find myself lonely at times for my family and friends. I miss the sharing of lives and thoughts with people.

Happy Birthday Greg!
NE winds 15-25 knots, waves in the sound 4-6 ft, here about 2 or less but rolly; temp in the upper 60s/low 70s
03/05/2009, Allens Cay/Leaf Cay Anchorage N24*44.931(24) W76*50.266(41)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Happy Birthday Greg!!! I know you're not getting this wish on your birthday but it's being written on your birthday. We found a terrific little beach here with a single palm tree on it that you could build sand castles with Zack & Sophie on. It's just screaming your name! I think Wayne would buy this island if he could... We got the pictures of the fireplace - it turned out great - nice job guys!

The weather today is a repeat of yesterday. I have the snorkel gear out and the water is so pretty and inviting, but the winds are strong and cold. They've shifted from NE to E now and all of the boats that were originally here when we got here are now gone. We're the old folks now to a crop of new ones. From the radio chatter it sounds like most have gone to Highborne Cay where it's a little bit more protected. Unfortunately the depths don't really allow us access to the best-sheltered spots. This is pretty here. I made blueberry pancakes for breakfast (I really used the last of the blueberries now) then I tried my hand at a 15-minute sketch of the lone palm island and noticed that I haven't drawn anything since 8/18/08 - when we were in Ohio! I can't get the water the right shades - I just don't have the variety of colored pencils needed for the job. Note to self: bring the big box of colored pencils next year.

I went over the charts looking at the various islands and Wayne checked out our batteries and battery monitor. It seems to be perpetually stuck on 13.81 in any position. Once he unplugged them and plugged them back in again though it seems to be monitoring them again. This wind generator is phenomenal. I'm really glad we went with it as opposed to the solar panels for this trip. It's going like gang busters and we haven't had to turn the engine on at all. I'm listening to it whirring uptop as I write this - it sounds like it wants to take off in flight!

I made a tuna salad for dinner tonight. Think I'll take in some more of this stunning view of the water and islands before dinner. The water is an unbelievable aqua color. So clear and pretty it really looks unreal. You can see clear to the bottom in 12 ft of water, even with the waves and ripples. I feel so fortunate to be here and see this pretty white sand and clear aquamarine water that the iguanas call home. It's really strange to view the beauty and know that the ground won't support crops to eck out much of a living here. Lovely but harsh. I almost forgot to mention that in our excursion yesterday we found prickly pear cactus near the ruins.

Iguanas and shore leave
NE winds 15-20 knots, waves in the sound 4-6 ft, here about 2 or less but rolly; temp in the low 70s
03/04/2009, Allens Cay/Leaf Cay Anchorage N24*44.924 W76*50.241

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Kind of a rolly night - I din't sleep to well wondering about our position in the anchorage being close to shore after watching another boat come in and trying to anchor not far from us and running aground almost next to us. We'd made a giant loop and when we reversed direction (tide) we both knew it. I could hear the waves on the beach from the port side instead of the starboard side, like when I went to bed, and this had me wide-awake wondering if our anchor would break loose and reset. Fun...

I got up and looked around and the chart plotter showed us making a weird shape - like a U. I went back to bed and tried to describe it to Wayne and couldn't. I figured if he wanted to know, he could look because it didn't make sense to me. He got up and by then it was doing loops around the anchor set. Intrigued by it, he stayed up top awhile watching it so I gave him a blanket and went back to bed. Zzzzz...

After coffee and Bacon & egg sandwiches a bananaquit visited the boat but by the time I brought some sugar up, he was gone. We went exploring SW Allan's Cay (Lone Palm Beach) and Leaf Cay (Iguana Beach). There are several islands here all uninhabited (except by Rock Iguanas and Curly Tailed Lizards). The iguanas are too funny. Whenever people land on the beach they come running for handouts. The tour boats come here and the tourists feed them grapes on a stick so they don't get bit. While visitors are told not to feed the iguanas, it seems everyone does it and the iguanas expect it! The boat next to us held out her flip-flop this morning and 8 iguanas came charging in - YIKES!

We gave Swee'pea shore leave here to play with the iguanas while we explored more inland and tried to get to the ruins we saw from the boat. It looks like someone had a nice little one room reinforced concrete hut on the top of the hill but the roof gave out. It's totally written all over from boaters that come and leave their name on the ruins. They've ruined the ruins. I took a lot of pictures of iguanas, and then we went over to SW Allan's Cay (it has one lone palm on it) the view is fantastic. There was a couple throwing rocks up at the tree it trying to knock down a coconut with no success. He was Irish and she Canadian (Vancouver). We have a Canadian boat, a German boat, a New Zealand Boat, French boat, us and a boat from Alaska here in the anchorage. Pretty cool. In fact so cool, I never made it snorkeling today. I really want to find a conch and try my hand at it but the wind is cold.

After exploring we came back and took a nap. The winds are really howling and there's white caps on the horizon. Power and sailboats are starting to come in again (it's 5pm). Sundowners and cheese, crackers and fruit time. Wayne is polishing off a John Grisham book we picked up at a book swap and I'm debating on whether to try my hand as sketching an iguana or Lone Palm Island. My knee is swollen and bothering me so I think I'll play a couple computer games and call it a day after making dinner (Hot turkey sandwiches and cranberry sauce).

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