Conch and Iguanas
21 February 2011 | Allan's Cay, Bahamas
24 44.80, 076 50.30
Bright sunny morning. I took the autopilot chain out of the vinegar and played with it, but it was still quite stiff, so I put it in some cooking oil and deep fried it. Charlie made scrambled eggs with green peppers and onions for breakfast. Charlie, Dennis and Diana went out in the dinghy to the creek between the Pond and the south anchorage looking for conch. They found two there, but one of them had a hermit crab in it rather than the conch. They went back over to the "deserted" island and found two more. While they were gone, I made some homemade/boat soup out of cans of veggies. We ate lunch, then we weighed anchor and put out the jib and started our sail to Allan's Cay, about 10 nautical miles north. We sailed the whole way, with the wind behind the beam, making about 5 kts. On the way I mixed up pizza dough to rise. I also played with the autopilot chain again. It was a bit looser, but I deep fried it again since that did seem to help loosen it up some. We dropped the anchor at Allan's about 3:30. We all went ashore to visit the iguanas and to clean the conch. We fed the iguanas some left over grapes we had. I forgot my shoes, so I waited on shore while the others climbed to the top of the hill to look at the ruins of an old cottage. Then Charlie showed Dennis how to crack the conch to get it out of the shell. Dennis did extremely well his first try. Then I showed him how to clean the conch, which again he caught on quite quickly. Charlie did hit his thumb cracking the last conch, which wasn't much fun. When we got back to the boat, Dennis crawled down into the lazarette and put the autopilot chain back on the sprocket. It is still stiff in spots, but we are going to give it another try tomorrow. They had Diana at the wheel turning it to help them get the chain on. While they were busy doing that, I made the pizza. Dennis took his last of three tests to be certified by the American Sailing Association to bareboat charter. As experienced a sailor as he is, he breezed right through them. Weather was wonderful today. Sunny, warm and a perfect breeze for our sail. This evening is breezy and a bit cool. Dark, with a blanket of stars since the moon has not risen yet.
Dennis - The history in the islands is always visible. We visited more ruins today. Many years ago some adventurous individuals tried to live out their dreams. We can only wonder at the hardship and bliss these people must have experienced. It seems that nature prevailed and now the walls are only standing and the dreams are all gone, Its been so interesting because Charlie and Phyllis have a story about every island.