Finding the Hidden Shoal
14 March 2010 | Little Farmer's Cay
Beth / 80F / NW 7-12
Another fine day! Aiden returned our dinghy with the motor all fixed and stayed for a soda and a visit. This is the first time we've met him, although we've heard others speak very highly of him. Although his primary occupation is fisherman, Aiden is the local government representative on the council that manages the area from Highborne in the North to Bock Cay in the South. There is one rep from here, one from Staniel Cay and three from Black Point, each elected for a three year term. He likes it and says it has opened his eyes to the complexities of getting things accomplished and the importance of working together for the common good of all three communities. We really enjoyed talking with him, and he was very curious about the way we do things in Canada, a fellow Commonwealth country.
As soon as Jim returned Aiden to the dock, we hopped into Solitaire's dinghy and along with Kolibrie headed off south past Hattie Cay to Little Galliot, and then west to where the shoal should be. For the longest time, we wondered if it was imaginary. Then we started to see a line of white and for the next longest time, we wondered if it was in Florida as we grew sloooooowly closer to it until we could see a great long, high, S shaped curve of sandbar. We never knew this existed because we never travel this way (The charts with their magenta lines do not cover a route out here, and we can see why!) We got there about 2 and left around 4 and there was still sand showing.
With the dinghies beached and plastic bags clutched in our hands, we spread out to explore, dig, and collect. (On second thought, it was only the women who carried bags - does that mean we were greedier, more optimistic or, simply more prepared than the men?) We each found some lovely shells - angular tritons, sunrise tellins, milk conchs, sand dollars and small king helmets among them. It was like finding Brigadoon - that mysterious village in musical theatre - except this appears every day, and even though it is a significant shoal from which we could still see Little Farmer's, none of us knew where it was and it can't be seen from the Cay. We heard that David Copperfield, who owns Musha Cay threw a grand party here once, and it is sometimes used for weddings. (I hope the longeveity of the marriage is greater than the place of the ceremony!)
It was altogether a glorious afternoon of sun, sand, water and fresh air, to say nothing of new specimens for our collections.
Happy hour was on board Kolibrie - such fun for us to be on a sister ship - and we enjoyed more delicious appetizers and, along with our dark'n'stormies, a taste of a very smooth Mojito rum (with lime and mint) from Pat and Wayne's cupboard, as we celebrated sundown of another fine day.