MAY ALREADY? How’d that happen?
01 May 2012
Tuesday May 1st, 2012
A good nights sleep helps and we wake to a beautiful morning here in Bequia. The local Bread delivery boat comes by and so Jim buys some breakfast banana bread and baguette. We are torn because we would like to spend another day here (we like this place!) and getting to our next stop – which we really like too. You might say…we’ll hey – its not like you guys are on a schedule…but well, the weather forecast changes on Friday – so we are currently planning to spend one day in the Keys, then go to Union Island and check out, then leave Thursday, when the weather looks favorable, to head down the last 40 or so miles to Grenada. So, we reluctantly leave Bequia this morning and head 24 miles south to the Keys. Today is also a squally morning, but we experience mostly grey skies – with a little rain. Shortly after leaving Bequia we notice a target on our AIS off our stern. Looks like an interisland ferry heading down island as well. As we watch her get closer we discover that there is not one, but two ferries behind us…however, only 1 has an AIS…so if the one we see is going to pass within 300 ft of us….how close will the other guy get? After watching them close on our position for 20 minutes or so we decide a change of course to take us out of their way is the prudent move. (even thought we are sailing AND they are the overtaking vessel, and therefore we have a double right of way – they are still two 200 foot vessels approaching us…we apply the Gross Tonnage Rule - he with the smaller boat gives way) I am sure that these pilots appreciate that we clear out of their way, as shortly after they pass us we hear one of them calling an approaching charter sailboat in their path, which they need to deviate their course for.
A little while later we prepare to drop our sails as we are thru one outer reef and approaching the Keys! I have the binocs glued to my face to see if I can spot my friend Walter, and sure enough, there at the entrance where they await the incoming boats is my friend! As we get closer, all of a sudden I can see him recognize the boat and he throws up his arms in a welcome hello! Ahh – we are now at the Tobago Keys! We found a place to anchor in 10 feet of water, not two boat lengths from the outer edge of the turtle sanctuary, and shortly we realized that we we wouldn’t need to swim far to see the turtles as they were swimming all around the boat in the grassy patches. Walter comes for a visit and we catch up on the last nearly year since we saw him last. HE says a warm hello also to our friends he met last year – especially ‘Miss Louise’!
The water here is as beautiful and clear as remembered and the snorkeling great, as we jumped in the water and swam no more than 200 ft from the boat to see many large turtles, easily 3 ft across on the shell, and some even bigger. We discovered that the bigger turtles actually stay outside the sanctuary, so, so did we. After getting back aboard we say a ray swimming under the port hull and a little while later we heard someone yell “Shark!” and so our eyes were fixed on the water. We see a shadow swimming past two other boats and shortly it swims just over our anchor chain and about 8 feet from the port bow, and sure enough…it IS a 5 foot shark! WOW – I love the Keys!
The moon is waxing and will be full this weekend, so we have quite a lot of light at night here. Too much to do any star-gazing, but so much that you can see the water nearly as clear as daylight. We are able to see schools of fish passing under the boat, and another ray winging by.