The Old Man and the Sea
Last night we spent the night in Chatham Bay and had a rather good time making friends at Vanessa's, one of the bars on the beach (and when I say bar I mean shack that dispenses alcohol and has picnic tables to sit at). After a lively conversation with a German couple about how "courteous" the french sailors are, we were getting ready to leave when a family stopped us and asked if my dad's shirt was refering to the bars of Kingston Jamaca or Kingston Ontario. It turns out the family was from Toronto and two of the kids go to Queens College in Kingston. We discussed important topics such as eating lunch at Stoney's and the sad decline of White Mountain Ice Cream. And making a small world even smaller I had actually met one of their best friends only a week earlier in Chicago. Later on we joined with some of the locals and our German friends for a party on the beach where I drummed and sang Bob Marley tunes with one of the Rastafarians.
The entire time I have been here Dad has been very good about letting me sleep in. Today however he woke me up at 6:30am so we could start our sail to Bequia early. We would have had to return to Bequia today anyway because I am flying home tomorrow, but we wanted to get here by noon so that we could see the turtle sanctuary. We ended up making recod time, sailing at 7.5 knots at one point, and made it from Chatham Bay, Union Island to Admrialty Bay, Bequia in 4 hours.
The Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary is on the windward side of the island so we had to take a taxi to get there. On a side note, taxis here are nothing like what I'm used to in Chicago. They are all Nissan pickup trucks that have benches built into the bed of the truck with a canves canopy overhead. Oh, and they all have names painted up them like Passion, Mr. Wonderful, Pick u Up, ect. When you take a ride in a taxi here it is not simply just a ride, the drivers also like to play tour guide pointing out interesting sites and giving you the history of the Island.
The Old Hegg Turtle Sancuary was started by "Brother" King in 1995 to save the sea turtles in the area from going extinct. Infant tutles are brought into the sancuary soon after they hatch (they are actually caght by putting a tire around the nest) and are kept there for about 4 or 5 years until they are strong enough to survive in the wild. Without the help of the sancuary only 1 in 3000 baby sea turtles survive. It is basically a Neonatal ICU for turtles. Just like I take care of human babies to small to survive on their own Brother King does the same thing for the sea turtles. And just like premature babies have a lot of spunk and personality so do the sea turtles and they very much enjoy being tickled. They can actually feel the top of their shells and when you stroke the shell it tickles them. We shot a video of this hopefully it will be posted soon.
It was a great last day in the Caribbean for me and I think the Old Man enjoyed riding around on land for once.
02/13/2010, 12 32.0'n:61 23.4'w
After plane delays and an unexpected overnight stay in Bridgetown, Barbados, Alexa finally arrived.
We will be leaving this morning for Tobago Cays and the surrounding islands for week a snorkeling and relaxation and daddy time.
Internet as usual will be spotty if at all.
Thise wishing to contact me can do so at the Sailmail address.
While I await my daughter Alexa's arrival, which is a story in it's self, I have a few days to relax, clean up the boat a little and work at my new hobby.
Here is a snippet of a conversation I had with Beckie this morning.
(Ron, you gonna love this)
remember last night while we were talking
I said I had a fish on the line?
a small blue one
must have been 6-7 inches
well I forgot about it after we logged off
I read for a while and fell asleep
well, all of a sudden
I woke up with a start
to hear the reel going
now remember there was already a fish on the line
not just a morsel of bait
I scrambled out of bed
struggled to find my glasses
and then it was over
I climbed up into the cockpit
and the pole was still there
cause it was tied to the boat
but there was no line left in the reel
did it break
the pole was hanging off the boat
I wonder if a boat took it
I tied it pretty good
or a fish
at 3 in the morning?
the line was hanging off the side
had to be a fish... a big fish
to eat the fish that was already on the line
too bad you missed it
thats what I am thinking
that would have been cool
now, how to write that in the blog
just like you did
with the errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
i could hardly fall asleep after that
my heart was pounding so
I am not that bad yet
I don't know
but it was exciting
you get pretty excited
about fish these days
i think I''ll just copy this whole conversation and put it in the blog
end of conversation
So, somewhere around here is a fish of undetermined size, dragging around a brand new sinker, two new hooks and about 500 feet of 80 lb test line.........
Note to self: tie the line better around the reel if your not gonna be there to attend to it in the middle of the night!