Friday, March 22, 2013

Back at Sand Dollar

Wednesday morning was splendid at Leaf Cay. The forecast was good so we stayed another day. Our friends on Rhapsody left which made us sad, but then Stephen and Marja on 'Motu' spontaneously took an early right on their way south to Georgetown and sailed in for a night's stay. The four of us set out exploring in our dinghy. Our prime target was the abandoned Perry Institute for Marine Science. It was an eerie tour through property and buildings that seemed to be abandoned within at an hour's notice. Food, books and equipment - including a very new decompression chamber - were left behind. It took us hours to walk through the site. We deduced that the massive runway was installed prior to the existence of the institute. Even though it was eerie, it was fun to speculate on the demise of the institute. There are more pictures on our Picasa link to the right.

Word was, do not take anything from the site - except coconuts. We harvested our coconuts on the iguana beach. We were in the middle of getting the husk off the last one and I broke into laughing because it looked like a spiky haired dude:

The next day we made a fishing trip of our motor sail back to Georgetown. It was not a catching trip. We had one hit and watched a mackerel or barracuda go airborne twice at the teaser. Our fishing expeditions have been rather frustrating, but the explorations they afford make up for it.

Hopefully we will break this streak soon. We have company coming and need fish!

Love to all,

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Leaf Cay - Near Lee Stocking Island

Today was all about fishing…so we thought. We set out just after getting the weather forecast. Greg and Luba took 'Rhapsody in Blue,' their Mason 44, on this fishing trip as well. The winds were not as light as forecast, but it was behind us so who cared. We tried pink/black, green/yellow, jet heads and a blue/white tuna plug. We put conch skin on the lures and used a teaser. On Rhapsody, they had an even greater rainbow variety and ran four lines. All to no avail. It was very disappointing to arrive at our northern decision point with nothing to put on the BBQ. So into the Adderly Cut we went, skunked. But it is very hard to stay disappointed for long when surrounded by turquoise water and only two other cruising boats in the anchorage. We further consoled ourselves with coconut bread French toast, a nap and the satisfaction that we put around 150 gallons of RO water in our tanks. After the nap, we launched the dinghy and picked up Greg and Luba to go explore. The small beach to the north of us on Leaf Cay housed a number of iguanas eager to greet us. We chatted with some other cruisers when suddenly a tour helicopter did a low circle around us, passengers waving madly, and then made a hard downwind landing on a very small outcropping of rock and sand. They did not stay or disembark and I regretted that I left my camera in the backpack. Not too long after the helicopter left, up rushed three different outboard tour boats with sunburned tourists exited and afraid of the iguanas looking for a handout. The beach had a little bay that was out of the current, making it a delightful place to swim - we had no idea how busy this little patch of sand could get!
It took us a while to find a suitable patch of sand to drop our hook and not be on a lee shore. The winds have died and we should be swinging on the anchor with the tide change shortly. There is a pretty good current in here, but it is something we learn to live with because that is what keeps this water looking so beautiful.
Love to all,

Posted via 3G.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Georgetown Bike Ride

Our adventures of late have all been within the Georgetown area and have been of similar variety as those previously disclosed.  Hence the lack of blogging.  We did, however, have a new experience about a week ago.  We had need for a trip to the pharmacy.  As we crossed Elizabeth Harbor in our dinghy that morning, Myron stated that if the loaner bikes were at the top of the dinghy dock, we would make it a bike ride.  In their absence, we would procure a taxi and accomplish our task in the same fashion as last year.

To my dread and worry, the bikes were available.  I was all for the exercise, it was the vehicular traffic in combination with narrow roads that concerned me.   After little deliberation about who got the mountain bike and who got the beach cruiser, we set off on our rusty and rickety two-wheeled steeds.  Myron’s mountain bike would rhythmically skip a gear spoke.  The chain was so rusty, we just hoped it would not break.  My cruiser gave me a fit of panic during the moment that I had to realize the brakes were not on the handles but in the pedals.  After working out those minor details we kept to the British left side of the road and pulled off the side, as often as, and IF, possible, when we heard traffic approach.  It seemed it was an uphill workout all the way to the pharmacy, although not in reality as the scenic beach remained steadfast on our right. 

Once our chore was accomplished at the pharmacy, we sought out the auto parts store.  According to Explorer Charts, we should have seen the store before we arrived at the pharmacy.  We pressed northward and found a small car repair shop that did not have our item.  The clerk told us that we had passed a NAPA store and needed to go back a mile.  She called it “AiD.”  Outside the repair place, as we discussed the allusive NAPA store, Myron observed a woman utilize a free compressor hose to fill her car tires.  Remember those days?  Free air?  Myron took the opportunity to substantially increase the pressure in our bike tires.  The difference was amazing, we no longer felt like all directions were uphill!  On our way back to town we found a building with a tiny “AiD” sign on the outside, and at the end of the long building was a Department of Treasury office.  Even though the place looked closed, we parked our bikes and sought an entrance.  We were impressed.  The inside was like a combination of True Value and Auto Zone.  No advertising on the outside other than small letters within the AID sign that read “Everything you need.”  Who knew?  No joy on what we actually needed, but now we know where it is.

I share this story, not only for fun, but also for cruisers who are coming to Georgetown.  The bike ride was not as harrowing as I had feared and proved another source of exercise.  We are thankful to the cruiser on “White Wing” who leaves his bikes there for all to use.

A few days ago, we had some large northerly swells from a storm near Bermuda.  We could see from our anchorage the spray of the swells breaking on the other side of Stocking Island.  Impressive.  We ventured across the island to view the power of the sea for ourselves.  At low tide, we were forced to walk above the high tide line.  The picture below is nothing like the placid water experienced by Shari and Paul during their stay.  There was no swimming in this: 

Today is cool due to the passage of a cold front and the northerly winds.  We are back in sweats.  It is only temporary.  To take advantage of the cool weather, we planned a long walk on Stocking Island with friends from “Rhapsody in Blue.”

Love to all,