Madcap Sailing

06 April 2016 | Riverside Marina, Ft. Pierce, Florida
23 March 2016 | Riverside Marina, Ft. Pierce, Florida
20 March 2016 | Vero Beach, Florida
16 March 2016 | Vero Beach, Florida
12 March 2016 | Key West, Florida, USA
07 March 2016
06 March 2016 | Key West, Florida, USA
06 March 2016 | Key West, Florida
05 March 2016 | Key West, Florida
04 March 2016 | Marquesas Keys, Florida, USA
03 March 2016 | Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida, USA
28 February 2016 | Puerto Isla Mujeres Marina, Mexico
27 February 2016 | Puerto Isla Mujeres Marina, Mexico
13 February 2016 | Teotihuacán, near Mexico City
12 February 2016 | Mexico City
11 February 2016 | Mexico City
07 February 2016 | Isla Mujeres, Mexico
05 February 2016 | Puerto Isla Mujeres Marina, Mexico

Birds and Beasts

28 March 2010 | Nurse Cay
Beth / sun and cloud, 85 in the shade
At both Water Cay and Flamingo Cays, we have been ooohing and aaahing at the Magnificent Frigate Birds. Magnificent is capitalized because it is part of the name - as well as being a perfect adjective. I love the exuberance of the name - Magnificent Frigate Bird - it sounds so much better than plain old Frigate Bird, which might then be mistaken (at least auditorily) for friggit bird - and that just wouldn't do at all!

They are unusual and ... well..."magnificent", and we haven't seen them before arriving here. Mostly black, up to 40" in length and with a wing span of 90", they are easily identifiable. Their wings are angular and, while their tails don't stream out like those of the white Tropic Birds, they are long enough to be distinctive. These birds soar overhead looking for fish, swooping down near the fishing boats and to snatch fish from the water. My Sibley's Guide mentions that they are also known to steal fish from other seabirds in aerial chases too, but we haven't seen that.

At Nurse Cay, we spotted American Oystercatchers standing on the rocks in the evening. These are also distinctive, and although we've seen them in Georgia and the Carolinas (and I'm sure I've seen Oystercatchers in Vancouver, BC) we didn't know they can be found here too. This pair was watching the water intently, their long, bright red beaks and pinkish coloured legs making them stand right out against the rocks.

Some of these islands are inhabited by wild goats, chickens, and possibly a horse or two, and we've seen the goats at a distance when anchored in Buenavista and Raccoon Cays. One fellow was mostly white with a chocolate brown head and neck. It was as if someone combined two different goats in one body! We know the guys from Little Farmer's Cay come down sometimes to hunt goats, and it seems like they aren't hard to find. We haven't discovered how they came to be here - descended from shipwrecked goats? Put here deliberately? As Jim wittily declared, the only thing we do know is that they didn't walk from island to island over the ice in winter!

We left Flamingo Cay on Sunday morning, bound for Buenavista, and had a fabulous rollicking sail down. We started with the main up and the yankee out, but as the wind built to 20 kn and the waves south of Man Of War were 6-8 feet, we pulled in the yankee and put out the stay sail. We were still doing 6.5 knots and were a little more stable than the heeled over 7 and 8 knots we were doing under the yankee. It was one of those beam winds that makes for good sailing for both northbound and southbound boats and we exchanged greetings with Pearl - also going hull speed as they headed north.

As we drew nearer to Nurse Cay, Jim and I decided that the lure of being the only boat in an anchorage was irresistible so we pulled in there, nice and close to the beach. Ashore on the little beach, we found some old foundations with remnants of shells among the mortar, a great many old dead conchs and lots of lizard tracks, but no shells or beans or trails through the underbrush. The swimming was good though, and we returned to Madcap well exercised.

After a candle lit cockpit lobster dinner (seasoned with peppers, garlic, lemon and butter and served with quinoa and salad) we turned out the solar light and enjoyed the moon and stars for a bit, but there was a lot of surge so it wasn't quite the still, starlit night we had envisioned!
Vessel Name: Madcap
Vessel Make/Model: Bayfield 36
Hailing Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Crew: James D Bissell (Jim) and Elizabeth Lusby (Beth)
About: Beth and Jim have spent the last several winters sailing southern waters on s/v Madcap. They love Halifax in the summer, but plan to spend the winters exploring warmer places - currently the Guatemala, Belize, Honduras area.
The Madcap crew left Ottawa in 2007 to go sailing in the Bahamas. After a highly successful year, they returned to Canada, settled in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and in the fall of 2009 they left to do it again! Journey #3 (2010/11) took them back to the Bahamas and then on to Cuba for several weeks [...]
Madcap's Photos - Mad Cap Sailing (Main)
11 Photos
Created 6 April 2016
13 Photos
Created 6 April 2016
5 Photos
Created 6 April 2016
6 Photos
Created 9 March 2016
11 Photos
Created 9 March 2016
23 Photos
Created 25 February 2016
18 Photos
Created 21 February 2016
31 Photos
Created 20 February 2016
4 Photos
Created 20 February 2016
20 Photos
Created 19 February 2016
7 Photos
Created 9 February 2016
51 Photos
Created 24 November 2015
12 Photos
Created 28 October 2015
16 Photos
Created 9 October 2015
24 Photos
Created 3 December 2013
our Oct/Nov 2013 trip to New Zealand
36 Photos
Created 22 November 2013
9 Photos
Created 20 January 2013
Guatemala pics starting Nov 22, 2012
43 Photos
Created 6 December 2012
54 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 8 November 2012
trip to Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park (via Las Vegas)
23 Photos
Created 4 November 2012
20 Photos
Created 1 November 2012
18 Photos
Created 12 February 2012
43 Photos
Created 29 January 2012
62 Photos
Created 19 May 2011
21 Photos
Created 19 May 2011
76 Photos
Created 19 May 2011
8 Photos
Created 19 May 2011