08 March 2010 | Black Point Settlement
Beth /nice and warm at 8:30am
We came across the shallow bit from Staniel Cay at close to high tide on Saturday and saw no less than 9 feet all the way. This was in contrast to the trip in last Monday when we were barrelling along at 6 knots and the shoal kept rising and rising until I'm sure there was no more than an inch under Madcap's keel. As I watched the depth sounder and our track on the chartplotter, and grabbed the paper chart to see what was the matter, I realized we hadn't checked the tide and even though there was nothing on the chart to indicate we couldn't get through, it was sure heart pounding, gut clenching, dry mouth time! Our exit from Staniel Cay was far more conducive to healthy bodily function.
After getting settled, using our Bruce anchor for the first time in a couple of weeks, we dinghied over to see Phyllis and Tom on Cocoon Too. They used to live on a previous boat in a couple of familiar places in BC - False Creek in Vancouver and near the Second Narrows Bridge in North Vancouver. Because we lived in North Van for a number of years, we had fun resurrecting memories of shared places. (What WAS the name of that grill under the Second Narrows Bridge? We ate there lots and so did they but the name has gone!) Cocoon Too is a beautiful Krogan motor yacht, and we sailors enjoyed having a look at it.
Next stop was Solitaire for sundowners with nancy and Jim and a sample of the way cruisers find kindred spirits and maintain caring connections across years of time and miles of water.
Sunday saw the wind still blowing at a pretty good clip. We dinghied over to say hello to Marilyn and Bruce (Reflection) last seen at Georgetown two years ago, and then struggled through the cut at Fowl Cay to go down between the Majors and say farewell to Judi and Alain (Ramha) who are headed north. Alas, they had already gone so we called them later on the VHF to express our goodbyes.
The current was really strong all the way through, with quite a chop on the water so we were glad to get back home and into dry clothes for a while. That didn't stop us from going off in the dinghies with Nancy and Jim though, to have a look for conch and lobsters out beyond the rocky cays off Fowl Cay. It was hard swimming in the waves, and the few conch I saw were too deep for me to dive to, but Nancy is more of a pro and got several (and she shared.) At least I got some needed exercise. (The Jims kept the dinghies in close proximity for when we needed to climb aboard again.) It occurred to me as I was kicking my way along against the current with real waves, what a long way I've come in my comfort level in the water. A few years ago, I would never have done that. So maybe diving 10 feet is something I still might be able to learn to do.
Although the water was cool for here (about 24C), it felt really nice to get some exercise, come back, sponge off the salt, shampoo my hair and feel clean again.
Karin and Ed (Passages) had arrived in the afternoon and kindly invited the four of us over for pizza. It is always interesting to introduce new friends and old friends, and we appreciated their gracious hospitality. That pizza was delicious too. It is pretty high on our list of comfort foods and it hit the spot on a cool evening.
Boats started leaving the anchorage early on Monday morning, and we joined the trail around 1030 after coffee, eggs and the last of Brenda's hearty whole wheat bread. We were glad we waited because we sailed most of the way! We hadn't had the engine on for more than the half hour to move from the mooring to Big Majors, so we ran it for about an hour simply to charge the batteries and then turned it off and let the wind take us.
Those connections revealed themselves again when we saw Pat and Wayne (Kolibrie) waving enthusiastically as we dropped the anchor near them. Marilyn and Bruce (Reflection) were ashore when we got to Lorraine's Cafe and the six of us shared a table at lunch. Marilyn echoed my thoughts about the way we connect, as we remembered our shared hitchiking travel in Long Island, and beach walking in Georgetown two years ago.
Lorraine's little Joshua, at seven months, is an absolute darling and seeing him just added to the fun of being back here. I got to hold his snuggly little body for a few minutes but he wanted to go back to familiar arms.
The laundry had run out of water so all we accomplished there was getting Jim a haircut. Ida wasn't busy so she plunked him in a chair in the corner, misted his head and proceeded to snip away till he had a good looking coif.
We had contemplated doing some entertaining in the evening, but in the end Jim and I curled up with books and a light supper and then sat out under the multitude of stars for awhile before bed. Tuesday will be laundry day ... and who knows what else?