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Old 12-11-2009, 04:48   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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Boat: Morgan 461 S/Y Flying Pig
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Here, Fishy Fishy, or, Michael and Fish Aboard 10/23-26/09

Here, Fishy Fishy, or, Michael and Fish aboard 10/23-26/09

We left you comfortably, if noisily, at anchor, very close to where we were
yesterday, off Lynyard Cay, across from Little Harbour. After a comfortable
night's sleep, Friday morning October 23, we decided to go visit some other
beaches in the area. Accordingly, we moved quite south of our prior
anchorage, into another very sheltered location, where there were more
beaches to explore. We had the anchor up by 11:30 and in position, but our
first choice/attempt we thought too wet due to surf splash, so we moved
further south yet.

We had our anchor secure by noon, across from a couple of lovely beaches.
One of them had several boats there, with a portable pavilion set up, so we
didn't go to that area. However, there was another with what looked like it
might have also been a gathering place, but nobody there, so we ventured the
short distance from Flying Pig to shore in our dinghy.

It turned out that this was a popular cruisers' "bulletin board" - many
different forms of flotsam with boat names and dates on them, hung or nailed
to the trees, and marking a path to the other side. We took the path after
examining the various boat names and dates, some of which had multiple years
on them, and very shortly we were on the ocean side.

WOW! Huge expanses of sand beach running as far as the eye could see in
both directions, and the way down from the dunes was helped by someone
having mounted steps, made from driftwood lumber, all the way to the beach.
The amount and variety of stuff which had been tossed up on shore was
stunning. Part of a stern of a boat lay on shore, many fiberglass boat
parts/segments as well, much lumber of all descriptions, the usual plastic
garbage of all sorts, particularly water and soft drink bottles and a HUGE
steel "something" - perhaps a loading ramp, perhaps a door, maybe a
rudder?? - lay just under the high tide waves. It must have been 10'x30'x2'
from our perspective not far away, and we could only marvel at the forces
needed to push it onto the beach where it lay. Lydia went looking for more
of the precious hamburger beans which make such lovely jewelry, I went
scroungng for useful stuff, and Michael and Fish went the other way, just

In particular, I was searching, among the many water and fuel jugs which had
been cast on shore, for a spare cap and seal, in the event one of our jerry
cans should come up missing one somewhere along the way. I learned, the
hard way, that jug manufacturers - or, at least, Igloo, anyway - won't sell
you replacement caps and/or spouts/seals. They want you to buy another jug.
No luck on any of that; all that had one were broken. Lydia didn't find any
hamburger beans but found several interesting shells.

However, there was what looked to be a virtually new yellow diesel jug (sans
cap and spout, of course), so I used that to mark our visit to the area. A
quickie ride to the boat got me a wide sharpie, and we inscribed our names,
boat name and date on the jug and hung it with the short piece of line I
brought with me from the boat, joining all the other cruisers' mementos at
the entrance to the path to the beach. Ever hopeful, we snorkeled the area
in front of the little beach landing next to the path entry, but found
nothing other than some interesting shells. We left after marveling at the
totally deserted, but hugely debris-strewn beach we'd enjoyed, and returned
to our home for dinner and a simulated Boggle game.

The wind during Michael and Fish' visit has been unrelentingly strong for
any of the snorkeling we'd prefer to do, over any reefs, but on Saturday
morning, October 24th, it shifted and moderated to S-SSE at 10-15 knots.
Hopeful, we had the anchor up by 11 AM and had a lovely, if short sail up to
Sandy Cay, reputedly fantastic for turtles and other reef life. The area
has many bouys for dinghies to tie up to, so we were hopeful of being able
to enjoy some of it with the moderated wind conditions.

Sailing around the top and into what passed for somewhat of a lee on the
other side of Sandy Cay, we had the anchor set by 12:15. We motored in the
dinghy around to the east side, but found that the water was entirely too
rough for comfortable snorkeling, regardless of water clarity, which wasn't
the best, either, so reluctantly headed back to the west side. There we
went to the sandy portion at the south end, not really a beach, but at least
enough to land the dinghy among the submerged rocks, and went exploring.
There's a sandy spit which is exposed at dead low water, connecting Sandy to
the next island south. As well, there were interesting tidal pools among
the rocks on the east side. We were also able to snorkel out toward Flying
Pig, and were pleased to see a large manta ray exploring inshore. Ashore,
we found many good shells, as well.

Back at the boat, we'd seen that it was rolling somewhat alarmingly, but
weren't concerned, in general, as we secure everything aboard each day.
However, for the cruisers reading this, one item with which we were
particularly well pleased was our WalMart plastic dish rack and tray. It
stayed put despite all the rolling. We'd gone to some lengths in Georgetown
last winter to obtain a similar unit, replacing our in-sink stainless steel
one which was terminally rusty, but this one was larger and had better a
tableware holder, so we swapped it out for only about 6 bux, in contrast to
the smaller one at $12 in Georgetown. Just another example as shown in our
under-development "Frequently Asked Questions for Visitors to Flying Pig" of
how much more stuff costs off the mainland USA...

Ever on the move to try to find good snorkeling opportunities, and mindful
of how early and precipitous sunset was in these parts, we had the anchor up
by 4PM, heading for the south end of Tilloo. This, you'll recall, was the
same island we left hurriedly, following my extraction of the fouled sheet
from the prop, so this time we weren't going to go to the tip. Instead,
following a lovely, if short, sail up, we maneuvered in the tight channels
to go around the sand bar to the recommended-by-the-power-boater anchorage
north of the huge sand bar, near the harbor.

With the wind coming over the sand bar, and the steep dropoff in depth next
to shore, we could get in close to shore, and have no effective fetch (the
waves can get bigger from traveling a long distance [fetch] before they get
to you) on the waves which, south of there, would have made for an
uncomfortable anchorage (recall that we were very strongly encouraged to
leave there only a couple of days ago), instead would dissapate over the
sand bar. We had the anchor down by 5:30, and enjoyed sundowners (cokes!)
soon after. Curiously, we've yet to hear the first conch horn at sunset
here - likely, that's just a gathering-of-cruisers thing, not seen until you
get a few of them together. We're very happy that we've been virtually
alone out here so far, as it means we have our choice of anchoring spots and
solitary entertainment. This was like all the others so far, with our boat
being alone on the hook, and, sure enough to my prediction, we were very
calm at anchor despite the relatively high winds.

We spent the next day, Sunday October 25th, just snorkeling and enjoying the
environment of the area. We were hopeful that a large expanse of sand bar
might provide some conching opportunities, but aside from a single
adolescent, we saw none. I did, however, get to show Michael how to track
it (conch are usually a bit difficult to spot, having marine growth on them
making them appear the same as the bottom in most places, but seeing their
trail leads right to them), as well as a sea biscuit which, at the end of
its track, had thoroughly buried itself. By this time, the wind was dying,
and the opportunities for a comfortable snorkeling run were superb, enhanced
by the wamer water in the very shallow area (under 6 feet). This sand bar,
while having lots of grassy spots, was a good place for shelling, and I
found a pristine version of a sea biscuit, very extended, which Fish will
have to remind me about for the proper name, but it was more the shape of a
rugby football than the typical round ones we'd found so far. Sand dollars
and other interesting shells abounded, so Fish will have a challenge in
selection of what to take, there being far more accumulated on our stern
than she can easily transport!

Monday, October 26th, we sailed off our anchor at 9:45, heading to Great
Guana Cay, anxious to try out the vaunted reefs off Nippers, the celebrated
beach bar and restaurant. The wind was still relatively calm, and in a
direction which was promising for snorkeling, so we went in a wing-and-wing,
with the genoa poled out in 6-8 knots apparent wind, making all of 3.8 to 4
knots over ground. The wind shifted along the way, so we jibed the main at
1:30, going on what was now a beam reach. Because the winds were so light,
we left the genoa poled out to keep it from collapsing. As the winds again
shifted in the light-and-variable conditions we were experiencing, we
released the genoa from the pole, and tacked to the beam reach on the
opposite side.

By 2PM, the wind had died enough that we were encouraged about potential
reef snorkeling, so diverted to Fowl Cay with an ETA of 3 PM. Sure enough,
after wandering around, looking at our depth sounder (recall that our first
night, we'd been too close to the sand bar and had bumped a couple of times
at low tide), we had the hook down at 3PM off the little cay with a hut on
it, Russel Baldwin Rock, and were soon off to find the reefs Lydia and I had
discovered on our first trip here.

We'd been there at low tide but now was high tide, and finding a secure
anchoring point for our dinghy on its relatively short anchor line proved a
bit challenging. However, that was soon resolved, and we headed out to see
what was there this time. True to our previous experience, this was
enchanting and we got up-close-and-personal video and photos with the
underwater camera Michael and Fish had obtained for us before they arrived.
Compared with the previous underwater views they'd been experiencing, this
was stunning.

Curiously, the reef fish here didn't seem very interested in the rice we'd
brought along (we take Gatorade bottles, melt a hole in the lid, put cooked
rice in, and, with a squeeze on the bottle, dispense a few rice grains each
time). Those following us know from our time in Cambridge Cay that we'd
experienced fish all around us in both Thunderball Grotto and the national
seaquarium, but the fish there largely ignored them. Nonetheless, there
were still ample opportunities for sightseeing and photos. I also saw, but
wasn't able to keep up with underwater, a barracuda who was being followed
by several smaller fish both under and on top of him. Perhaps they're
scavengers? They didn't seem at all concerned about, nor did they elicit any
apparent interest from, the barracuda. Lydia, Fish and I retired to the
dinghy, having gotten a bit chilled, but Michael, wearing a long-sleeved
shirt, was still comfortable, so he went and played with all the wildlife
for probably another hour before we headed back to Flying Pig. Following
our showers, we enjoyed our dinner and dessert treat of oreos.

As this is getting long, again, we'll leave you here, thrilled with our
snorkeling, full of good food and cheer, comfortably at anchor.

Until next time, Stay Tuned!



Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig KI4MPC
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