05 September 2007 | Tobago Cays
This was Atsuko and Razmig's last day with us and we had saved the best. Everyone was up early so we weighed anchor and headed out to the Tobago Cays. We were anchored in front of Jamesby, the southernmost of the four main islands, by 9:30. The Tobago Cays are simply idyllic. When you think of inviting water and beautiful deserted islands, this is what you see.
It can get crowded here but the park was blissfully empty. Our early arrival had something to do with it but it was also part of our payback for skipping around the storms during hurricane season.
Everyone enjoyed snorkeling and exploring Jamesby. Somehow I ended up scrubbing the waterline for a bit. When I climbed back aboard I was rewarded by fresh pizza. Hideko had made pizza dough from scratch and whipped up some fantastic za.
In the afternoon we moved over to Baradel (a whopping quarter mile away). There's a turtle sanctuary marked by a buoyed line around the south side of the island. There are turtles galore here. Everyone had a great snorkel with the turtles and it was hard to keep track of how many we all saw. Many of the local folks in the Caribbean eat sea turtles and they are typically a bit shy when it comes to humans in the water. They are protected in the park however and seem to know it, more or less ignoring the large mammals with bright colored fins careening about.
The sun was getting low in the sky and I had never sailed out the south exit of the reefs surrounding the Cays. We piled everyone back aboard and made our way slowly out through the reef. Hideko was on the bow but with the sun only 20 degrees or so above the horizon it was just about impossible to read the water. Our charts had proven very accurate in this area and I had some bearings to work with from the cruising guide so it wasn't too hairy.
We anchored off of Palm Island to give Atsuko and Razmig one last amazing beach to play on. No one ended up going ashore but Hideko and Razmig went for a snorkel. They were generally nonplused (I don't think they went all the way around to the north where the amazing reef is). Right as they were about to return they sighted a huge Spotted Eagle Ray making the effort worth while.
We cooked up our now famous (to us anyway) Steak Frites, complete with Béarnaise sauce, and enjoyed our last night together in the Grenadines.