Day: May 23, 2016
We once again awoke to explore a new cay, this one, called New Cay. There were about 8 or 10 beautiful beaches all around us, so we picked a couple to explore. The first had many new mangrove shoots all over it, and squiggle marks in the sand from tiny mollusks.
Emma and I found many tiny little shells for her collection.
The second beach we explored had no mangroves on it and was long and narrow.
A strong current flowed parallel to shore, so Mycah and I swam out into the current to swim against it for a while. I finally understand why some people have current pools. It was such good exercise and really interesting to be swimming hard yet staying in one spot.
Once we reached Tanda Malaika we made preparations to fire up the engines and set sail. The windlass was still not working, so Jude and Mycah pulled the anchor up by hand while I started things up. Much to my dismay, neither of the engines would start, so we were quite proud of ourselves to sail off right from the anchor. Our journey took us through some of the clearest, most exquisite water in the world.
We had to maneuver through a narrow cut between two islands, and then entered the Atlantic once again. While underway the creatures scrubbed decks and under the floor board in the stern salon. The boat looks so clean after their hard work.
As the hours past we tried trouble shooting to figure out the engines and windlass situation, and spoke with my trusty friend, Captain Elayne, as well as our friend Captain Dan Zwerg. Both were really knowledgeable and so patient with me. We knew that we were going to have to anchor without the aid of an engine, but rather, with wind power, so we tacked back and forth till we found a suitable area to spend the night. Just as we were about 1/4 mile off shore, the wind stopped completely and we sat totally dead in the water. Our good communication and team work skilsl brought us to the idea of a couple creatures towing us to shallower water for anchoring, with the dinghy. So, we did. While Emma and Mycah towed, Jude and Aidan manually prepped the anchor chain, and then dropped it once we reach 25 ft of water.
I wanted to make sure the anchor had set, so dove in with a mask and began diving down into the darkness of the ocean with a sun no longer shining to give light. The water was murky and dark, and just as Mycah jumped in to dive the anchor with me, a large fat bellied shark swam directly below me, then turned to deeper waters.
I am so proud of my crew. They worked hard today and still kept up with their school work and chores. We are now 11 miles north of George Town, and I’m really hoping that the engine will start up in the morning.
It’s always fun to anchor at night then wake in the morning to see what it looks like where you are. This morning we woke to an exquisite scene…gorgeous clear water leading to a long beautiful beach and not another soul in sight.
The creatures were all fast asleep, so I put my swimsuit on and quietly slipped into the water for my daily swim. The ocean floor consisted of sand, and nothing else. Just white sand in ripple formations as far as I could see – which was pretty far, given the clarity of the water. There were also no fish, just me and the sand and sea. Though I’ve never been to space, I imagine it feels much the same as I was feeling…weightless, suspended and able to move fluidly and free with no obstructions. It’s a beautiful feeling which brings me incredible peace, and it is often during these times that I take time to pray. After swimming about half of a mile, I turned toward shore and swam to the deserted beach, where my footprints were the first to break the patterns created in the sand by water and wind. I glanced toward our floating home and smiled, knowing that 4 of my babies were there, comfortable, cozy and sound asleep.
A googolplex of tiny ceriths, bivalves and limpets lay thick and white in a two foot wide band like the Milky Way across the length of the entire beach parallel to the water line. I can confidently say that I have seen a lot of beaches in my 44 years of life, but I have never seen a beach with as many shells as this one. I lay down on my stomach, sorting through the tiny treasures, knowing that Emma was going to have blast and a half here, collecting shells for the jars she fills.
I couldn’t stand it any longer, i just had to call the creatures to come and see, so I called to my playmates, waking them from their slumber to come out and explore with me. I watched them emerge out onto the deck, rubbing their eyes – not surprised because they are used to my spontaneity and craziness, but rather, curious as to what I wanted to show them this time! In no time at all they arrived in the dinghy, greeting me with their sweet smiles and ‘I loves you’s’, as I replied with…”what took you so long, I thought you’d never come out and play!”
Many flat rocks in all sizes and shapes lay scattered higher up on the beach, which Aidan used for skipping rocks. We joined in with him and bounced our flat limestone findings across the gentle waves.
We built towers, and left them standing tall and proud, a memory that we were once there appreciating the beauty.
By late morning we raised the sail, brought up the anchor, started the water maker and moved out across the ocean. In our 8 hours of sailing, most of which was done 1 – 2 miles off shore, the deepest water we were in was 9 ft. It was like we were on a turquoise sandy bottomed lake the whole day. So beautiful.
Mycah played and sang on her Uke, Jude and Aidan made rice crispy treats, everyone read and relaxed and conversed, and at sunset we dropped anchor in yet another wonderland to explore. By tomorrow evening we hope to be in George Town, where Danny will be flying into on Tuesday or Wednesday from his trip.