Adventures of Adirondack

Adventures of Adirondack

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Boys and Snakes on the Boat!

We have been having an exciting time on Adirondack with visitors of various sorts. We spent almost all of March exploring Eleuthera, an area of the Bahamas that we had not seen before. We crossed over from the Abacos to Spanish Wells, a town dedicated to catching crawfish – the lobster of the Caribbean. We took a pilot to help us navigate the Devil's Backbone over to Harbour Island and picked up David who had flown directly from Minnesota to Nassau then to North and a water taxi to the dock at Harbour Island (our dinghy motor was being fixed). We then made our way back through the Devil's Backbone, following the track on our iPad Garmin Bluecharts - wonderful technology. You can pilot the boat like a video game, though we are always careful to also use VPR (visual piloting recognition). We cruised down the west coast of Eleuthera, which was beautiful.

We got down to Governor's Harbor where we rented a car and drove to the south end to pick up Adam, who had bused from Northfield to MSP, then flown from Minnesota to Houston, spent the night in the airport and then had flown to Nassau and on to Rock Sound airport on Pineapple Air. It was a l o o o n g day for the dear boy. We kept the car the next day and took Adam up to Harbour Island to see all the fancy, famous people there along with all the bikinied spring breakers. We actually didn't see any of the reportedly famous people, but did see all the old houses, expensive stores, and big boats. We stopped also to show the boys Preacher's Cave and the Glass Window rock formation, then back to Governor's Harbour and the boat.

We had great weather as we cruised south. We checked out Davis Harbour on the south shore of Eleuthera where there is a scuba diving operation, Ocean Fox Diving. The boys signed on for a "Shark Dive" - using gear to sit on the bottom while they lower a frozen "chumsicle" of fish to feed the sharks. The dive master gave a very good talk about shark behavior before they went and they had a great time, with a second dive along some of the reef in the area.

After David had to return to the frozen tundra of Minnesota, we had some good snorkeling times and went into Cape Eleuthera Marina for laundry, an elegant swimming pool, and a tour of the Island School. The Island School is a program for high school sophomores and juniors that has them come for a term to learn scuba, marine biology, oceanography, and lots of sustainable programs for their food, etc. There is associated with it the Cape Eleuthera Institute which is a graduate school level research program looking at lots of different aspects of marine biology - sharks, lion fish, deep water invertebrates. It was a nifty place.

We headed back up to Rock Sound to get in place for delivering Adam to the airport. We were able to shop at a well stocked grocery store, eat ice cream, and have a cruisers get together one evening. We then moved up to the very northern end of the bay, right by the airport so we would have a short dinghy ride in the early morning. The weather report was predicting a squall coming through a dawn, but it luckily hit at 3 AM - lots of lightning, rain, strong winds and waves. By 6 AM, it had calmed down a bit and we had a brief lull and were able to scamper over in the dinghy to drop Adam off for a short walk to the terminal. He got to Nassau and was able to throw himself on the mercy of the airlines and change his overnight in Newark NJ ticket for one with a stop back in Houston but home to MN by 10 PM. It was great to have both boys with us and overlapping for part of their times.

We were able to make the jump to the Exumas on a beautiful calm day, crossing over to the Exuma Land and Sea Park at Warderick Wells. It is a magical place with great hiking and snorkeling. We saw a 5 foot shark, eagle rays, huge lobsters (who know they are protected and can't be caught and eaten), colorful fish, and coral in a bay of sand bars and blue water. The morning we left, we came out on deck and found an 18 inch thin snake on the back deck! Jeff photographed him then tossed him back in the water. We were told he was most likely a brown racer - a non-venomous snake that will climb up the mooring lines and onto boats. Since he was a park animal, we had to leave him in the there as it is a no take zone for all animals.

Now we are working our way south, visiting the swimming pigs at Staniel Cay, the iguanas at Bitter Guana Cay, and the wonderful laundry at Black Point (along with Lorainne's mother's delicious coconut bread). We are trying to get down to George Town to check it out, then will start heading north and back to Florida by the middle of May. The waters are still blue, the skies sunny, and the boat is running perfectly. Life is good. Sally