13 March 2019
Bev and I had sailed a lot over the last three days so we decided to relax and linger over our Mondy morning coffee. Once everyone had finished breakfast we headed to shore for a nice walk along the beach and crossed over to the ocean side in search of treasure. As always there was the usual junk washed up on shore, from plastic bottles, to fishing nets and shoes. There must be a lot of people going around barefoot because we certainly find a lot of footwear on the beaches. However, the big find of the day was what appeared to be part of an aircraft nose cone, we searched for a name or registration number but couldn't find anything. It would be interesting to know where it came from.
We've been troubled with poor VHF radio reception for a while so I had ordered a new antenna and coax cable for the mast. I had it delivered to a marina in Florida and friends on Sea Jules kindly brought it over to us. Since the winds were calm we decided it was a good time to change the antenna. Menno volunteered to help Bev hoist me up the mast, that is right, me up the 60' mast in the bosun's chair to do the work. As always a 15 minute job turned into almost an hour as they sent me up an array of tools and lubricants so I could get the job done. I have to admit, as long as I didn't look straight down it wasn't that bad, and what a view! Bev and I hadn't been out for a good dinner for awhile so we decided to treat ourselves to a night out a Pete's Pub. We enjoyed a fantastic meal while I regaled the gang with stories of my first visit there with Steve Martin all those many years ago.
Tuesday morning dawned bright and sunny with light winds as the Abacos Express decided to move north towards Marsh Harbour. Once again strong north to northeast winds were forecasted for late Tuesday night through until Thursday so we needed to find some shelter. There is a great reef with Elkhorn Coral at Sandy Cay, which just happened to be on our route. The tidal current can very strong so we timed our arrival for slack tide to give us the best snorkeling conditions. We tied the dinghies to one of the many small moorings and set off to explore the reef. After an hour or so it was time to head back to the boats before the current got too strong. Menno had told us that if we were lucky we might see a spotted Eagle Ray or two because they like the strong currents around the reef.
Well let me tell you, good things come in threes and Mother Nature did it again. First was the whale in New Jersey, second was the ray that almost landed in our dinghy last week but Tuesday was the topper. Lana and I were in the front of our group as we approached the dinghies in 20' of water when we looked off to our left and saw not one but NINE spotted eagle rays swimming towards us. They had at least 4 foot wing spans and the whole squadron gracefully glided underneath our group and continued on their way. Robert had a GoPro camera and shot some video but unfortunately it's not very clear. We finished our day off with leisurely sail to Tavern Cay where we tucked in close to shore for some shelter for the night. Yet another great day was topped off with a delicious dinner aboard Dagny while we reminisced about our adventures.
Today's pictures is of the rays swimming away as Robert tried to get a close up.