26 March 2010 | Water Cay, Jumentos
Beth / beautiful weather - sunny, hot.
Here we are in a brand new place and ready for brand new adventures. Within minutes of arriving, we felt thrilled because it just feels different here.
One of these times though, we will pass through the Comer Channel at something more than low water because it is nerve wracking to see 6 inches under our keel for miles. Stephen Pavlidis' book says the channel carries 7 ft at MLW (mean low water) although some have seen 5 ft. We are here to tell you it carried about 6ft, 6 inches on March 25/10 (with a couple bits of 6'2"). We didn't bounce or have to plow through anything, and if we had gotten stuck, we'd just have waited for the tide to rise. It's an afternoon high tide right now, and we didn't want to make it a two day trip so off we went in the morning. Although we motor sailed until we got to the Comer West waypoint, once we pointed south to Driers, it was sail only. A dolphin came along to check us out, and swam back and forth under the bow for a bit, but he was not the playful fellow of a couple of days ago, and he had no stunts to display. I did get pics this time though!
We pulled into the anchorage at the north end of Water Cay around 1630 - with time to check the anchor, pay a short visit to the beach and break out a bottle of champagne in honour of reaching these islands that we have wanted to visit since our 2007/08 trip. There were 2 fishing boats here when we came in and another 3 arrived in the early evening. These guys work hard; they were still cleaning fish at 10pm and were off in their little skiffs again by 8 am on Friday. The "mother ships" - not very large ones - stayed here in the bay. We wondered if maybe someone would come by with fish for sale but although there were friendly waves, no one ventured over. We ate a variation of what we have come to call "Richard's Dinner": sausage, onions, peppers, potatoes and carrots all panfried together. (Thanks Carole!)
After a restful night, we decided to set off to explore further down Water Cay. We stopped at a couple of beaches, found some pretty little sunrise tellins, and had a lovely swim. That's the good news. The bad news is that the reason we pulled into the second little beach was because our dinghy motor started making a really loud racket. Oops. Not a good sound. It had a knock in it the last few days and Jim went through some troubleshooting exercises but on this outing, it suddenly got worse.
So, in true Bissell form, we went swimming while we thought about what to do! Jim had a tube of lubricant and the operation manual in the dinghy so we popped the motor off, propped it up on a rock and with me reading the instructions and finding the right holes (his reading glasses were not part of the beach gear) Jim squirted lubricant in, screwed the screws back in and put the motor back on the dinghy. With great expectations, we started off but not only was the noise still there, but we had no forward propulsion. Fortunately we did have a good strong man and a set of oars.
Also fortunately we hadn't gone terribly far and 40 minutes later we were back on the boat. Some of the fishermen were back in the bay so we rowed over to see if any of them had ideas of someone or somewhere we could contact for mechanical help, and also to get dinner.
They suggested we ask the fellow on another boat when they returned, and sold us some grouper and a couple of crawfish tails. (Interestingly, the terms "Crawfish" and "lobster" seem to get used interchangeably. These guys call them crawfish.)
Dorothy and Glen (Dot's Way) came into the harbour and we enjoyed getting to know them at happy hour on Madcap before Jim and I dined on crawfish, rice and salad under the stars.