Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Fronts are tricky since they usually hit hardest during night when you would like to be warm and snuggled up in you bed, letting the unpleasantness roar by. Unfortunately, you need to watch out for your neighbors and their anchors as well as your own. This unwelcome task is called an anchor watch.
Pat Vance( creator of the acronym IOTA) reminds us that we live in a peculiar world. Imagine waking up in the morning to find that while you slept your house had run amok, causing mayhem and destruction in the neighborhood. Our house and the homes of our neighbors, like Dr. Jekyl / Mr. Hyde, have potential for unpredictably bad behavior.
After Warderick Wells, we were off to the Sea Aquarium. Tightly clutching bags of corn, we snorkeled in a shallow reef with fish who expected food and lots of it. The corn seemed a more nutritionally sound alternative to their other favorite snack, cheese in a spray bottle. Enthusiastic is too mild a term for their response. The trip a success, we headed into Bell Island for the night.
Warderick Wells is one of the islands where you can find Hutia, a relative of the porcupine and capybara. Once nearly extinct, they have been reestablished on Warderick Wells and are multiplying exponentially. This hutia is exhibiting the behavior pattern seen in small children and rabbits, "If I don't move, they can't see me" and its variant "If I can't see them, they can't see me".
The need to leave a mark seems to be almost universal. Like Camp Driftwood, there are various spots in the islands that host collections of found objects dedicated by the transitory visitor. We made our pilgrimage to the Wardrick Wells garden, Boo Boo Hill, and installed the Amante memorial.
The Land and Sea Park encompasses 176 miles of beautiful islands and the surrounding waters. The parks headquarters is at Warderick Wells, a lovely island with walking trails, ruins of a Loyalist settlement from the 1780's, and places to snorkel on the reefs.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
The Camp is a collection of wood, shells, and other stuff washed up on the beach and inscribed with the names of passing sailors. Some offerings can be quite creative, others seem to be just what they are, flotsom. Here the Oreneta crew add their contribution, a small pink bear they found on the beach. It appears that he has been enthrowned as king of Camp Driftwood.
No lizards, no beer swilling pork. Shroud Cay did not have the tourist attractions and we found a very quiet anchorage and lovely island. It is actually several small islands with mangroves and small streams running between them. We wandered peacefully through the maze with birds and fish.
But wait, that's not Alessia and Francesca, where did those kids come from? The crew from the sailing vessal "Oreneta", Danielle and Natalia, came on the excursion with their mom Chistine. They kindly provided some very helpful lessons in finding seabeans for the altitudinally challenged.
Allen's cay is notorious for its iguanas who scamper out to greet the dingys coming to shore. They are quite bold in their application for handouts and especially enthusiastic about grapes. They only appear aggressive. Several children in our group played on the beach for hours, surrounded by the lizards who occasionally tresspassed on their sand creations, but otherwise coexisted peacefully.
Wonderful people and lovely places, but it was still time to head south for the Exuma's. A large group of sailboats were clustered by the passage out and waiting for morning, so we left just before dark to travel more peacefully. It was Mr. Toad's wild ride through 8 foot breaking waves to the enthusiastic yelling of the crowd on the VHF. This is Twice in a Blue Moon going out with us. We were able to inspect each others hulls as we were both airborn several times.
Far away and long ago, we met Gail and Bob in St. Mike's MD, at an Alberg 30 soup dinner. None of us owned an Alberg 30 at the time but we had all doted on them in the past. We found each other again at Junkanoo, fairly easily since Gail and Maria are about the same definition of tall. One night we learned that at her company Christmas dinner, Gail, wearing a backless (and certainly elegant) gown, astonished the crowd with her rendition of "It had to be you" on a nose flute. Of course, she dedicated it to Bob and we were so touched by this story of high art and true love that she gave us our own nose flutes and encouragement to always play with passion.
Friday, February 10, 2006
We met Jan and Cameron in the Riverside boat yard as we first started working on Amante. They seemed to be from another world with their talk of spear fishing and Jan's long tiny braids. Almost a year later it was a great surprise to be eating dinner on their boat, Ruben sandwiches made of fish that they had speared and other wonderful things. Although they stayed in the Abacos, Cameron's drawing of Amante is framed and hanging in the cabin and Jan's curry ginger squash soup is going to be the winner at any pot luck.