Off on an adventure
04 June 2012 | Musket Cove Marina
Sunny and warm.
Yesterday was our big adventure to see other islands. We decided to take a tour to see Mana Island(already saw it), Treasure Island Resort, Beach Comber Resort, and Castaway Resort. It was tough getting started as my dark glasses broke as we stood at the check in desk at Musket Cove. I opted to go back to Zephyr and get another pair as the sun is quite intense out here and there was still 45 minutes before we were set to take off. I zoomed back to Zephyr(easy to do if there is only one person in Puff). Once back at the boat, Dragon(our 8hp Mercury outboard )up and dies and won't restart. I pulled and pulled and pulled all with no success. I finally managed to get a tow back to the dock at Musket so I wouldn't be too late. I figured it might start when we got back or we would simply row back. Not a big deal.
We(10 of us) took off in a very powerful powerboat that zoomed out of the islands doing about 25 knots(I had my GPS on me). That's about 4 times our speed on a good day. We zipped out the channel we came in on and headed out to Treasure Island Resort. We'd heard it was quite friendly toward cruisers so we want to see what it was like before we took Zephyr there. OMG, these people have no idea what is going on when you get away from the normal tourist that shows up there. No one had a clue as to what we could do and what we could't do. We told them we thought to stay 3 to 4 days. They said they would have to check with the manager to see what was allowed. Ends up that there is a charge of $10.00 for a mooring buoy per night and that doesn't allow to use any of the facilities other than their restaurants and bars(spend money). Anything else would be additional. OH, and you can only stay ONE NIGHT! Say what? One night? It's not worth our time to go there for just one night.
Our next stop was Beach Combers Resort, about a quarter mile away from Treasure Island. We stopped just off shore of the island to do a bit of snorkeling on one of the reefs. While we thought it was horrible(dead coral and not to many fish) the rest of the people on board thought it was great. Since all of them were staying at either Musket Cove or the Plantation Resort, we clued them in on better places to snorkel in the area. Beach Comber is more geared to "back packers"and a bit younger crowd. What a difference a quarter mile can make. We had the chance to meet the General Manager Nevia and she filled us in. The mooring buoys are free(stay as long as you like) but there is a $5.00 "landing" fee when you come ashore. Your welcome to use everything on the island. Much cheaper food is available at the local restaurant(about the same prices or lower than the cafe at Vuda Point). Beautiful clean beaches with crews ever present to make sure they stay that way. There are bar Happy Hours between 12 and 1pm and again between 1700 and 1800. Liquor flows freely on this island.
Next stop, Mana Island for lunch. As I wrote earlier, we had already been to Mana back in January so we knew our way around(where to eat). We talked to the other folks in the boat and all ended up at the more laid back restaurant rather than the more upscale(more $ also) Japanese resort that cover the other half of the island.
Once done with lunch, we all piled back in the boat and took off for Castaway Resort. A very upscale resort on an island northwest of Musket Cove. Again, we were welcome to tie up to any of their mooring buoys. They were more concerned as to wether we were going to eat lunch and dinner there(where they can make lots of money off us). Again, they couldn't have been nicer giving us one of their cards so we can let them know if and when we intend to arrive.
It was then back in the boat and a swift ride back to Plantation(let off one person) and over to Musket Cove for the rest of us. I tried to get Dragon started but she just refused so out came the oars and off we went under human power. I needed the exercise anyway. Rowing an inflatable dingy isn't the easiest thing to row but we made good time and finally got a lift from Dave(same guy that helped me in earlier in the day)for the last couple of hundred yards to Zephyr. Once back on board, Dave took off for the marina. We off loaded our gear and I gave Dragon a couple more pulls of her cord and she roared to life. Of course she would once we were back on board. Should I have expected anything else. I untied Puff and I zipped around the anchorage with not a sign of a problem. I even stopped Dragon and she fired right back up. While she appears to be fine, I plan on changing out her fuel for newer gasoline and draining her carburetor and fuel lines. Pulling the spark plugs for a quick check. A general maintenance check if you will. I'd given her a cursory look over when we were in the marina and even following the rule of run the engine till all the gasoline is gone so there is no chance of any buildup or old gas being left in the engine. I'd done that at Vuda and poor Dragon has run poorly ever since. Maybe changing out the old gas for new will make a difference. I'll let you know.