Exploring Raccoon Cay
18 February 2012 | Raccoon Cay, Ragged Islands
Bud and I did the fish, hike thing today with some variation after spending the morning on chores. We ran the generator and charged the batteries, while we were doing that we charged the computer, the i-Pad, the hand held VHF radio and Fuzzy's clippers. Bud made another attempt at trimming Fuzzy and when he was done I vacuumed the boat.
After lunch we took off to explore and left Fuzzy on the boat sleeping off his traumatic morning. Other boaters had told us about a trail that started on a beach around the end of the island. I found the trail on the second beach we stopped at, so Bud let me off there with plans to meet back there at 4 PM. I was a bit nervous about hiking alone because the first thing I saw was two of the wild goats that live on this island. I stood still and they did not seem aggressive and they walked off. I didn't get close enough to get a picture.
I took off down the trail and in just a little while it cut through to another beautiful beach. A couple we'd met on Long Island was far down the beach, beachcombing. They'd come by dinghy. I eventually caught up with them, it was Cathy and Tom from Perseverance 2, and I startled Cathy as she hadn't heard or seen me coming. We chatted for a while. They told me about a secluded cove for snorkeling on this part of the island, but said they'd retreated when two sharks came out. They weren't sure if there was a trail from the beach we were on to another beach. The folks on Breeze Hunter (Kathy and Darius) had said there was, so when Tom and Cathy left in their dinghy I continued down the beach. I saw a float (a small buoy used to mark fish traps) hanging in a tree. That is often how trails are marked, so I headed for it. Sure enough, there was a bleach bottle, a flip-flop and other plastic debris that is always readily available on the beach, hanging from branches marking a trail. I followed it out to a big salt flat with a small salt pond on one side of it. I'll post a photo of that for today (and I'll put other pictures I took in the gallery) when I get Internet again. I wasn't sure if the trail would continue, but I started to walk along the edge of the salt flat. I soon came to half a hand line holder hanging on a dead bush. I took that as a good sign and kept going. Soon I saw a blue plastic milk crate off to the side. As I got closer I saw an orange plastic trick or treat pumpkin hanging in a tree, I'd found the trail off that side of the salt flat. (I took a picture of these weird trail markers that I'll post.) Just as I entered that new trail I heard a crash in the brush. I stood there a minute or two but didn't see anything or hear anything else. I think it must have been another goat. Anyway, nothing bad was lurking and I emerged on another beautiful beach.
Bud was out fishing off the rocks that formed the point on the near end of the beach. I waved but kept walking. I walked to the end of that beach around a rocky point to another little beach and out on the rocks at the end of that beach until I could see the Atlantic side of the island. Then I turned and walked back. When I got to the end of the beach where Bud was fishing I saw him catching a fish. I also saw a shark in the shallow water near shore. He was about four feet long. Bud came in to shore to get me in the dinghy, I called to him not to let the fish he'd caught hang in the water as there was a shark near, but he'd already released it.
I got in the dinghy and we went back out and Bud fished a bit more. While I was with him he caught three more fish. The only one big enough to keep we thought was another Margate, so until we tried the one he'd caught last night (we're having it supper) he didn't want to keep it. He tossed the line out once and saw a shark, so he pulled the bait in because he didn't want to catch it, it was about 4 feet long and too big to eat. Suddenly there was a second shark and then a third and they were actually circling the dinghy. I made sure my butt wasn't hanging over the edge! Bud told me to try to get a picture and as soon as I got the camera out they swam away. We even put some conch guts in the water, but they didn't come back. Bud fished a little longer until he'd used all his bait and caught his hook in a reef. We ended up having to cut the line.
Soon after we got back to the boat one of the three other boats anchored here said they were having a garbage burning party on the beach. Bring your burnable garbage and drinks and come ashore. We fixed Fuzzy's dinner and took him and his dinner with us. We had a nice visit and Fuzzy got to spend some time on the beach, and he ate some of his food, anyway. It was a nice end to a nice day.