Leaving Long Island
03 June 2007 | Charlie and Joyce Beede's in Salt Pond
Well, today is a sad day for us, we are preparing to sail back to North Carolina tomorrow morning. All day, we visited friends, saying goodbye, taking photos and getting email addresses. Yesterday, we saw our property for the last time in awhile, we put up our sign that said "Lagniappe", which means "something extra" in the creole language and is a word that appears in many Louisiana cookbooks. So, we liked it as a name for our property and someday the house we will build there. We planted bougainvilla, monkey fiddle, poinciana, and christmas palms yesterday too. This has been a great last couple of weeks, we watched the regatta from our friends houses. At Kris and Jeannie's, we dranks Jeannie's Killer Daquiris and watched the locally made sailboats race around the sound. At Charlie and Joyce's, we ate all the Bar-B-Cued ribs and chicken we possibly could and drank beer and ran around the races in Charlie's boat with our friends, Jay and Kim. Kim, Joyce and I even took the boat out by ourselves for a girl's ride and decided we should all buy a boat together that is just for us girls. It was a blast. We all went to the regatta site where there was a rake n scrape band playing, great food, and all kinds of people milling around. The regatta races lasted for three fun days. A couple of days after regatta, Kris took his daughter Amber (visiting from California), myself, Brian, Mark and Jill (our friends who are also cruisers) to finish my, Mark's and Jill's PADI certification. We all passed with flying colors and a couple of days later Kris and Jeannie invited us out on their dive boat to dive the Pinnacles, a really cool dive site about 15 miles from here. Our friends Charlie and Jill went and Amber and Jeannie fixed lunch for everybody to eat on the boat. It was kind of rough that day and we had a pretty wild ride on the way out, but underwater was tranquil and beautiful. We did two tank dives, each around 40 minutes in 65 ft max depth. There were these massive coral heads 50 feet high with tunnels and crevices and caves you could swim through. The colors and shapes of the different corals, sponges, and sea creatures looked like something out of a Dr. Suess book. It was amazing. The fish didn't seem very afraid at all, they pretty much went about their business as if we weren't even there. It feels so incredible to breathe underwater and feel weightless while you're taking your time observing everything. All around us the water was so blue and so clear, it felt like such a friendly place, so peaceful. And to stare at the massive walls of coral decorated with green, red, blue, purple, pink, orange and yellow living sculptures... it was like being inside a surreal underwater museum of art. I absolutely loved every minute of it, in fact, I didn't want it to end. We all had a great time, Kris was wonderful to captain the boat through rain, waves and spraying surf to get us out there and Jeannie was a great hostess with the food and drinks she brought along and a great dive buddy too. Jill, from the sailboat Wings of the Morning was really good at Scuba considering she was only just recently certified like me. Amber, Kris's daughter, is 28 and lives in Monterey, CA. She was a lot of fun to hang out with, a really interesting and very cool gal. And of course, our good friend Charlie was as entertaining as always. Anyway, we had a fab time thanks to Reeldivers and their great boat and local knowledge. So, we're leaving in the morning and we plan to island hop all the way home. A few stops in the Exumas, a couple of spots in Andros, the Berry islands, and finally Bimini before jumping off to catch a ride in the northward current of the Gulf Stream to North Florida, where we will make a stop before heading all the way back up to North Carolina. It's been an exceptionally unique and amazing trip. We have met so many wonderful people and seen so many fantastic places and things. I think Brian and I have both experienced some pretty big changes in ourselves since we began our trip in January. It's been a really special part of our life's journey and we can feel that. We've been inspired by the beauty of being a part of the ocean, the underwater world, that freediving to greater depths and Scuba diving has opened up to us, and we plan to continue to be a part of that world. We have had the chance to observe firsthand the sharp contrast in ocean life and reef life in the Eastern Caribbean and in different areas of the Bahamas and we see the cause for concern as life in the oceans is obviously suffering at the hands of man. We will do all we can to preserve this amazing other world and the life that keeps it in balance by educating ourselves and others about it. Sooooo, if you stay tuned, you'll probably hear a lot more about that. Goodbye for now Long Island, we will be back.