Is this everything we thought it would be? Did Kenny Chesney and Bob Marley get it right when they sang about life in the Islands? I have to say that so far this has been quite the experience. I will also say that I was expecting more partying with other boaters and sharing stories. I envisioned having dock parties, and sundowners with others like ourselves. That hasn’t really happened. We have pretty much been to ourselves. (could you be with your spouse 24/7 for a whole month?) We have met a few people and shared drinks with them, but it wasn’t in the capacity I was expecting. To be fair, this is our first year to be here. I guess to be part of the party, one would need to be at the right marina. But we didn’t want to spend all our time just at marinas. Because of chance and weather, we found ourselves at certain anchorages to avoid the direction of the winds. We did take advantage of what each anchorage had to offer. Let me explain.
Since leaving the marina at Spanish cay, we have been to several islands. The first one was munjack cay (pronounced key). It was so nice we ended up staying 3 1/2 days. The snorkeling was great. The fishing, not so great. All we caught was bait fish which ended up in my freezer to use as needed. Riding around in the dinghy was awesome. We saw lots of turtles and a pair of spotted eagle Rays, black with white spots. It was gorgeous and we were loving every minute of it.
Then we headed to green turtle cay for a few days. We rented a golf cart and explored the island. Green turtle cay is fairly small. About 450 people live on the island. They have 3 small grocery stores where we were able to get what we needed for about 3 times what we would pay in the states. Then we found a laundromat. That wasn’t cheap either. But it was nice to have clean smelling clothes and sheets again. We were docked next to a nice guy who had a boat like ours, only bigger. Archie, on s/v slip away, was pretty interesting to talk to. He worked in the control tower in New York on 9/11. He had some stories to tell. I always like meeting other boaters. Most of them would give you the shirt off their back. And they all seem to have pretty neat stories to tell.
Once the weather cleared up, we left Green Turtle and had a great sail to Allens-Pensacola cay. We had read about this place and it lived up to our expectations. We fished, and hiked and snorkeled. One interesting thing there is this memory tree that boaters have decorated. It’s a small hike over to the Atlantic Ocean side, and once there, you are greeted by this large tree decorated in all kinds of boating paraphernalia. Since we had read about this, we decided to leave our mark of being there. We have been collecting these cool sea biscuits and one in particular was large enough to write our names, the boat name, our home of Jekyll island and the year. Keith was able to get a line through it and hang it from the tree. Keith and Lynn were here!
We met another boater there on s/v Abraxis and fished with him. He shared his snapper with us and we shared our barracuda and conch with him. He was an interesting fellow. The first time we met him, Keith and I were in our dinghy going over to his boat to say hi and take him some brownies that I had just made. As we got closer, I quickly realized that he was wearing nothing but a smile. So we turned the dinghy in the other direction fairly quick and decided to explore a reef first. Later we went up to his boat to introduce ourselves. I noticed that he ducked down below just before we got there, probably to put some pants on. After that, we just called him on the VHF radio.
One day we went out to fish and we were told that conch made good chum to attract the fish. Keith snorkeled for a bit and found the biggest conch I have ever seen. We used part of it for chum and ate the rest. Since we ate the conch, we got to keep the shell. Snorkeling was great. Lots of things to see. It is a little scary to see a barracuda while you are snorkeling. I quickly removed all my jewelry. Just to be safe! We always snorkeled before we fished. No need in luring the bad guys until we are out of the water. Those pesky Sharks were still coming around whenever we would catch a fish. One time while we were fishing, our dinghy anchor got stuck and wouldn’t come up. Keith put on his mask and snorkel and dove in and got it. I don’t know if I could have done that. Kudos to Keith!
Since the weather is expected to get rough in a couple of days, we decided to move north and duck into a marina that we have wanted to check out. Not to mention, we are low on fresh foods and ice. If all goes as planned, we will stay there for a few days and then head west a bit to anchor out and stage ourselves for crossing back over to the states. We have some things that we need to do and our son is flying home from Alaska for a week and we can’t miss that opportunity to see him. These last few weeks have been fun and challenging. Weather has played a large part in what we did and where we went. But as nice as its been, I’ll be glad to be back in the states. Life is good