Thursday, February 28, 2013

To Tahiti Beach & Beyond

I left you at Tahiti Beach the last time and this is where I shall pick it up with some photos of our stay.

Tahiti Beach anchorage

Tahiti Beach loaded with coconut palms

Looking back to the beach at low tide.

Renegade and Dea Latis

Dirk getting us some fresh coconuts

The anchorage was fairly empty the first evening with only about 5 boats in it. The next day however it began to fill up as there was a cruisers race close to Hope Town and I think once people finished racing they headed down to the anchorage. Being a live aboard cruiser I can’t imagine why these people want to race their houses. Well most of the people that cruise only live aboard the boat while cruising and return to their homes once done and so they only carry on board what is needed. I don’t need my stuff flying about as I have that enough already. Dirk and Dave had gone hunting that day and were gone for a couple hours returning with only a small hog fish. Dirk said the reefs they visited looked dead and some looked bleached which is a shame. For those not familiar, some people will actually take bleach and take it over the reefs to flush the fish and lobster out and kill them. This is illegal and it has huge impacts on the reefs and all the fish it comes in contact with. It actually bleaches and kills the reef and all the fish. What a shame as the people that do that are only hurting themselves for future hunting.  Once Dirk got the hog fish filleted he pan cooked it and I made a smoked fish dip out of it. It wasn’t my best batch but it was edible. Later on he decided that it was so calm that he would try it again. He returned with nothing but said he enjoyed his snorkeling. As the sun went down we sat on the back with a sundowner enjoying some music and just relaxing. On the 21st we decided to pick up anchor and head down to Tilloo Bank and drop the hook close to the island as the winds were suppose to pick up from the east. We took the short cut which meant we had to wait for a rising tide to take the channel by Lubbers Cay which is the home of Cracker P’s. We inched our way through and found 6.5 feet a couple times. We draw 5.6 and it makes you hold your breath till you at least see that 7 foot mark again. Its only sand on the bottom but still with the width of our keel she would sit there like she did in Vero Beach until the tide came up a bit. Dea Latis was about 15 minutes behind us and set the hook right beside us. We were the only two boats here and that evening we had sun downers and when the sun went down the guys blew the conchs to mark the passing of another beautiful day.
Insert photos
Dirk & Dave blowing conchs at sunset
The next day was a bit overcast and drab but we had plans to take the dinghies across the sea of abaco to Snake Cay. It’s a nice little dingy trail with shallows that house many starfish, stingrays, and turtles.

Beautiful large cushion starfish we had photo opps with

Dave and Tanya's turn, then we returned him to his home back in the water

It’s beautiful when the sun is out because you can see right through the turquoise water but with the cloud cover it was hard to see really anything. By the time we were through the trail the sun was getting low on the horizon and we had about a 2 mile ride back in rough water. We had to head north a bit in order to turn back south and head to the boat as the waves were too big to take on the nose. I got quiet the workout as I find it is easier to ride in the dingy standing up and holding onto a rope. I call it doing my palates because there is so much balancing to do and your core muscles really feel it. Not to mention the legs. As we were getting closer to the boat the sun was just sitting on the horizon and was sinking fast. We had split up from Dave and Tanya as they chose a different route back and they move a little slower. As soon as I was back on board I put the anchor light on so they could see our location and got the binoculars out to scan the horizon. I was beginning to worry when I didn’t see them for a bit and then in the distance I saw a speck coming into view. Whew, had me worried for a minute. After a long day we grabbed a shower and some dinner then called it a day. While in the Tillo Bank area Dirk and Dave took the opportunity to do a little hunting and they both scored 3 lobster apiece. The bigger one was an 11 inch tail and the other two were about 7 inches.I don't think were going hungry anytime soon. Yippie.....

Not bad for a days catch

This is his biggie for the season
The next morning we listened to the weather guru Chris Parker and checked our favorite online weather sites. Not one of them was giving us a favorable forecast for heading south. We had a weather day to get south to Eleuthera but the thing is, once you are in Eleuthera you don’t have many choices of where to go and anchor. The winds in the near future are due to be in the 30 knot range and the holding in many areas is iffy at beast. After talking it over we made the decision to head back to Hope Town and wait the weather front out while our friends on Dea Latis made the decision to try and make the hop to Eleuthera. They have friends that were flying in and really needed to make this crossing. One reason why Dirk and I make it a rule that you can pick the time or the place to fly in but you can’t pick both. We are basically at the mercy of the weather and when Mother Nature says you’re not moving, you don’t move. We said our goodbyes and we hope to run into them again on down the road. Dirk was enjoying having someone that liked to hunt buddy along with him. We have since heard they made the crossing just fine and made it to Spanish Wells just fine. We slipped back into Hope Town and grabbed a mooring. I was worried that they may be full with people preparing to wait the weather out like us. We really didn’t want to have to spend a week in an overcrowded, busy Marsh Harbor at anchor where we would have to worry about dragging or being hit by a dragging boat. We grabbed a shower, cleaned up the boat a bit and decided to head into Captain Jacks for a burger and a beer.

Hope Town Lighthouse

Another photo of the lighthouse from our mooring

While doing laundry I found this pretty hibiscus
On the way back we noticed there was a boat we had met in Tahiti Beach on a mooring so we ended up going over to say hello. They invited us aboard and we chatted a bit before heading back to Renegade and calling it a night. The next day the winds were suppose to be calm and Dirk took the opportunity to go hunting. He took off about 10:45 and didn’t return until about 3pm. We kept in contact via radio and he returned with 4 lobsters and a conch. Time to start freezing these so we have some for our guest when they arrive. We had Linda & Bill from m/v Ruby Slipper over for sun downers and sat on the back chatting by almost a full moon.

Bill & Linda M/V Ruby Slipper
Bill wanted to go hunting, so Dirk and him took off about 11 the following day to check out some other reefs. Many hours later they returned and Dirk had gotten 2 more conchs, 2 more lobsters and 1 nice sized hog fish. Bill didn’t do so well but he had fun anyway. This morning as I write this the winds have picked up just a small amount. We are looking and waiting for our next weather window which seems to be ever changing in order to hop down to Lynyard Cay and then make the day long crossing to Spanish Wells in Eleuthera. Till then……

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Loving your blog, kids!!! Especially the great photos of that handsome couple from M/V Ruby Slipper. Anyway, be safe & we look forward to following your adventures. Hugs! Bill & Linda