Walking, Swimming, Socializing
02 April 2010 | Hog Cay
Beth / 75 at 9am, sunny
Asylum III departed in the wee hours of Thursday morning for the 60 mile trip to Cuba where they'll spend the next couple of weeks. (Oh - we are so close and, being Canadians we can go - but it isn't in our plans for this year so we just had to wish them well and listen to all their tips on travelling there for when we do make it.) Those two intrepid sailors have had some wonderful cruising experiences all through these waters.
Madcap and Reflection set off to Hog Cay and its enticing beaches, and we'd have had a delightful sail except that just as we left South Side Bay, Phil called to say that he hadn't been able to get our motor part anywhere in Nassau or Long Island. Jim and I had decided that if that happened, we'd just accelerate our planned purchase of a new motor - if we could find a good price. As we sailed along, Phil checked prices and called back. We could get a Yamaha 15 - the motor found on the transoms of many dinghies down here - for less than what we'd pay in the states. A flurry of phone calls followed with the result that we had to hurry along to Hog Cay. These arrangements were being made late morning and the Captain C would be leaving Nassau about 5:30pm! We motor-sailed as fast as we could go. The dealer faxed Phil the paperwork; Phil roared out to Hog Cay in his fast boat with the form for Jim to sign; with papers in hand, he roared back to Duncan Town and sent off the order. More phone calls came from Shane - the Yamaha dealer. The fax had been received, the order was being processed, and finally - the box was on the boat!
With that all taken care of, we went ashore with Marilyn and Bruce to go exploring. Other cruisers have cut trails through to the windward shore and we spent a wonderful couple of hours wandering along a beach there. We found a couple of hamburger beans within the first few minutes and a few pretty, small shells, but there wasn't quite the wealth of shelling and beaning we had hoped to see. (Now if we were looking for shoes or plastic containers, it was bonanza time.) The sound of waves rolling ashore and the sight of layers of blue water and white foam was fabulous, however. Once back at the boat, we went for a swim, checking out the little coral head near us where we saw the first lionfish this year. That's the pretty but invasive fish that takes over the reefs and that they are trying hard to get rid of. No sharks, thank goodness!
Friday brought more walks - again thanks to the water- taxi service offered by Reflection. We took a different trail to the other side, made no interesting beach finds at all, and made our way back to the leeward side of the cay by following the trail of shoes that had been stuck on tree branches. (Not quite enough of them because we had to do some real searching out of the trail in a few places!) A well preserved rock wall wandered along among the buttonwood trees for a good way. As far as we know, it was a pasture wall. Pavlidis tells us that Hog Cay was used for raising cattle, primarily Brahma bulls in the 1970's and 80's. This wall looks older but hasn't fallen into ruin like the foundations of Loyalist houses. Perhaps it dates from back then but continued to be used in more recent times. I wonder whether it held livestock in or out? We spotted a few small goats as we got to the beach but they were very skittish and departed quickly once they spotted us.
In the evening, the boats in this anchorage and at Lobster Hole got together at the pretty gathering spot on Middle Pen Beach for Happy Hour. Carol and Michael (Kanaloa), Marilyn and Bruce (Reflection), Dorothy and Glen (Dot's Way), Bill, Mike and Brendan (m/v Caribbean Explorer) and Jim and I (Madcap) had a very fine time swapping stories and munching on the food we had each contributed. It was funny to see those of us who have been here a while reaching for the potato chips brought by Caribbean Explorer. Our potato chip supply ran out weeks ago and the sight of those salty crispy things was a delight. They reached for dips and spreads because their galley doesn't run to those sorts of things this trip! It's proof that all offerings are welcomed at happy hour!