Busy, Busy, Busy
23 January 2013
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Well! We have just arrived in Sopers Hole to check the Ferry schedule and plan for Black Thursday, the dark day when Louise has to return to the Icy North. But that is getting ahead of ourselves…..
When we last posted, we were at Marina Cay, preparing to Snorkel…which we did, and were somewhat disappointed about the condition of the Reef, last year, it was in much better shape. However, that said we still managed to see quite a lot of our little friends down there, AND the most amazing HUGE (18 – 20 inches long!) conch we have ever seen. Louise spotted it and we spend quite a lot of time watching her move by Inches…pretty amazing sight.
The sea state at Marina Cay was a little rough, as usual, and some of us didn’t sleep too well… and also because a charter boat came in and anchored within about 25 feet of us…and dragged slightly overnight. We woke on Wednesday to a heavy overcast and watched the sunrise thru storm clouds, then saw a double rainbow…fabulous start to the day. When the weather cleared we headed out to the North Sound…and discovered that the weather really hadn’t cleared all that much as another squall blew thru and we clocked winds at 33 knts…yikes! while we were cruising thru the Dogs. All was well, and we made it to Leverick Bay just fine and enjoyed Happy hour and the Michael Beans Show. He is great as usual, and in addition to that, the Sunsail Flotilla was here, and sitting close enough for us to hear their briefing. We discover that they are heading to Anageada tomorrow, and instructions are for them to be off the moorings by 8:30am… Should be a fun show in the morning too.
Thursday we wake, get our coffee and enjoy watching the boats all jockey for position on the water dock, prior to leaving. One of the Sunsail’s, with an older couple on board, had a problem with their mast, so they had to move over to the docks, and the next thing you know, the Flotilla Captain is being winched up the mast. Meanwhile half of the Sunsail boats are cruising around waiting to leave, since it is now after 8:30, and the other half are sitting on their moorings, just ready to cast off. While we originally decided to leave behind them, we slip out mooring and head out ahead of them, and as we are heading thru the channel turn around to find that they are all ready now, and like chicks following their mama, all the little boats are in a row with their mainsails up and ready to head out… very fun to watch.
We put up the Jib, and sailed out and down to Trellis Bay. Here, Louise and I swam out to the point to see if there was a reef there we could explore. There was, and we saw lots of beautiful fans and fish, as well as a small eel there. On the way back around the bay we saw upside down jelly fish, small lobsters, two wrecked boats, amidst other fish, small barracuda and strange sand formations that looked like mini volcanos, even spewing …very strange.
On Friday, we were up and out fairly early, and over to Monkey Point for a snorkel. It turned out to be Magnificent! There was a tiny, quarter sized fish who thought Louise was his momma, and hung around while we snorkeled. The silver sides were back, and so thick that it was hard to actually see thru them, thousands, perhaps million of them. And where the food is the hunters go and we saw Snapper, plentiful jacks and a large Tarpon, easily 3-4 ft wandering thru the buffet. As we were swimming out past the rock beach Louise called to me and I turned to find a school of 30 or 40 Tarpon, not more than 6 feet away, cruising along at surface level. Frankly, I was a little intimidated having a gang of these big, glittering silver fish, so close to us…but it was an amazing sight!
We headed down to The Bight afterward, as Ocean Jedi was coming to join us there. They came in late, after dark, and we watched them shining light on the cans until they took one a little behind us. Then popped over for a visit and dinner. Saturday, we decided to take OJ’s dingy over to Soldier Bay, on the east side of Norman Island and while Jim acted as our chase boat, we did a drift snorkel all around the bay. We say a large and very beautiful Trigger fish, and some gorgeous coral, then the granddaddy of all Lobsters, who was unfortunately dead. On the way back to the boat, we also saw about 5 or 6 tarpon, but this time they were just leisurely hanging in the water, about 20 feet below us…not quite the show of the hunters we know them to be.
Sunday, we decided to take another long snorkel, and this time Frank dropped Denise, Louise and I off over in Privateer Bay, and we swam past the caves, around Treasure point, along the reef and all the way back to the boat. Turns out we were out there for nearly 3 hours and we saw amazing things. Blue Tang fish eggs, being attacked by Seargent Majors, a small eel, amazing monolith coral on the edge of Treasure Point, octopii, a 6-7 ft Nurse Shark, Turtles, Rays, and lots of other fish to entertain us. Denise picked up a Conch and when we got to the second Octopus lair she put it in front of him and we were able to watch him snag it and eat it out of the shell. Amazing! After we left the Octopus’ garden and saw a turtle or two we saw and followed a spotted eagle Ray winging its way along. It came within 5 ft of Louise. We were all completely captivated by this guy, and an amazing snorkel experience. Later on Sunday a Moorings ‘captained’ boat managed to hit another Moorings bare boat who was on a mooring just in front of us. It sounded terrible, but seemed ok once it was over, until you looked at the unnatural angle that the anchor was at, and noticed the torn fiberglass ripped from the bow pulpit. Monday morning we watched the people load up all their stuff, and around noon another boat was delivered to them, they transferred all their stuff over to the new boat, and 5 minutes later…off everyone went. Oh the crazy stuff we get to see.
Tuesday, Denise and Frank wanted to dive so Captain Jim again manned the chase boat while they dived and Louise and I snorkeled from Treasure point on back to the boat. The Shark was gone, but our friend the octopus, Mr. Spotted Ray, Mr. Stingray and the whole Turtle family visited with us. So, today, Wednesday, we cruised over to Sopers Hole, to enjoy the show and get ready for Black Thursday. Check the photo Gallery for pics of our friends!