Ahhh, back on the East Coast06/07/2009, Florida
|From The trip North|
Just a quick note here. After a wonderful time in Miami visiting my sister Ann and all of our old stomping grounds for a week, we felt we had to get moving North toward work for the summer. Problem is, there is unsettled weather here producing severe thunderstorms each day. Morning dawns fine, afternoon and into the night is downright dangerous- if you're on a boat that is. We've tried the past 2 days to start our offshore passage North and have turned around after getting the crap scared out of us and putting ourselves and our boat at risk in the midst of it. We've had hail, wind gusts to 61 kts, North wind in the Gulf Stream, tons of rain and frightening lightening bolts all around us. Last night was a late night after heading 25 miles offshore well into the gulf stream, only to turn West again when we realized we might have a terrible time if the storms got worse over night in that kind of current and wave pattern. We pulled in to Lake Worth inlet late last night. NOAA says, "don't be a statistic" and I keep thinking we're going to end up one if these stupid storms keep catching up with us.
Today we did an intracoastal waterway day and it was actually quite nice until the afternoon when we got another hum-dinger of a thunderstorm. Except this time we were in a narrow channel with shoals on each side. We got in to Vero Beach and cut things short after only a 10 hour day instead of the 12 hour day we'd planned.
So, its been out with the foul weather gear, pants, a polar fleece for me, Jon is asking me for hot broth as he steers in the rain and a cold north wind blows after the storms die off. Yes, THIS is the East coast I remember! But who's complaining? We're in Florida! The best is yet to come! Uhh!
Otherwise, we're enjoying the good food here in the US and the beautiful scenery. It is beautiful here. It'll get even better once we get back to family and friends.
Back where life began05/30/2009, Miami, Florida
After days of dragging 2 lines to try and catch a fish, we finally heard the wonderful sound of fish on! Jon reeled in a beautiful female mahi-mahi and I have a picture but forgot to put it on the flash drive. It was a little over 4 feet and the freezer is full of fish now. We put the lines back in and caught another one but it broke the line when we were trying to gaff it. Then we got another hit but this one was small and got off but that was just as well since we wouldn't have kept it anyway. So things are looking up in the fishing department and we're hot to catch more before we leave these Southern waters.
It feels good to be back in Miami and we picked up a mooring on Key Biscayne where we stayed on the way down here in 2007. We called my sister Ann right away and spent the day together yesterday. Unfortunately, Bruce is sick with a bug so wasn't up to joining us. It was a piece of cake checking back in to the US although we did have to report in person to the office at the Port of Miami. Then we got lunch at Bayside and sat outside looking over the water and just got caught up. We went to Krook & Krook to buy more lures in preparation for more fish and we even took a drive over to our old house where we grew up, checked out the houses of old friends, the cherry bushes and tamarind trees where we used to eat the fruits as we rode our bikes around the block (they are still there and the fruits of both were ripe and good to eat!) and checked out our old elementary school which is looking as good as ever. It was such a fun day. We plan to hang out here for several more days and then beat feet North to Boston.
Well that's the latest.
Until Next Time05/24/2009, Grand Cayman
|From Cayman Islands|
I haven't been feeling too motivated to write anything on the blog, I guess since I was trying to just savor these last dives. I've just loved it here. The West side has the largest city of Georgetown with good stores, lots of cruise ships on certain days and lots of activity. The diving was ho-hum. There are free moorings here and it's free to check in and out of the Caymans. Everyone has been so nice and the island is full of flowers, pretty landscaping and mockingbirds. The mockingbird is on the penny here so they must be really common. I love the non- 3rd world feel. We both agree that this has been a good transition for us. The Caymans are expensive but we've barely spent any money here except on groceries and the prices weren't that bad for great food. They give you fuel duty free when you check out. We bought a book that describes all the dive sites and maps them out. This place is great!
The North side of the island has a large sound protected by a barrier reef and it's just beautiful. The wall is right on the other side of the barrier reef and there are free dive moorings encircling this whole island- not to mention Little Cayman and Cayman Brac which are 75 miles East of here. We don't have time to go to those this time. The the diving is world class in all 3 islands. We did what we could anyway and can't wait to come back here. There is no spearfishing here and I don't even think you can take conch or lobster but I'm not sure. It would be out of season right now anyway. Needless to say, because of these rules, there are conch all over the place, huge lobster roaming around all day and loads of fish. I read that the people of the Caymans decided that they were going to make their island more tourist based instead of sustenance living like many of the others in the Caribbean, so consequently, the reefs are in great shape and they are full of life.
Swimming with the stingrays is a thing here. It all started years ago when fishermen used to clean their catch and the rays would eat the scraps, then they became tame. Now, years later, there are 2 spots inside the barrier reef on the North side with gorgeous water where there are I don't even know how many stingrays that hang out there. Several boats per day come out to these spots, all of the people get in the water and the rays start swimming all around them. The boat guides feed them squid bait and that makes them swim all over you; it is a riot to watch and to feel them is even better. They are so soft and gentle and their eyes have always intrigued me. I got to "hold" one when one of the guys offered it to me. I'll certainly never get to do any of this anywhere else! Of course we were there on our own boat, anchored just yards away for a couple of days so we could enjoy them longer and that made it so nice.
The scuba dives we did were among the best ever. Of course the camera leaked in it's underwater case again on one of the deeper dives so for the rest of them, we didn't dare bring the camera. On one dive there were 2 huge turtles swimming together, very curious as usual as to what we were doing. They were within a few feet of us- I loved it! There is loads more to do here and North Sound is a magnificent place to dive and snorkel.
Anyway, that's pretty much the update on what we've been doing. With any luck, we'll get some puffs of wind in between motoring and the next entry will be from someplace in Florida. I don't think we're going to be able to stop at Dry Tortugas this time. It's just too late in the season now.