Monday, March 2, 2015

Guest On Board

We have known Lisa & Larry for a while now as they were in the same marina as us in Merritt Island. We've known them for years but just recently got to know them. We would go out on the weekends to anchor at Ski Island area just to get away from the marina for a while. They have a motor vessel but we wont hold it against them....M/V Jersey Girl. There were times they took us on a day trip down the ICW to anchor for the day, hang out and have lunch and we took them out once for a sail in the ocean. That trip turned out to be wild as the winds and waves were crazy, but that's a story for another day. Anyway before we left Florida this year they expressed interest in coming for a visit. We all made plans to make it happen and this is the week it was happening. They arrived on the 31st at Staniel Cay on a fairly windy day.

The plane is here

First things first. We stopped at Isles General store to buy some last minute items, then Dirk and Larry took the luggage back to the boat. Lisa and I proceeded to walk down to the Laundrymatt/discount liquor store and purchase the required alcohols, then we continued on down to the Staniel Cay Yacht Club so we could grab a late lunch, early dinner. We saw Shawn and Cynthia from Arkuda seated with their guest and went to say hello. We decided to get a big table together and I got to eat my first meal out since being in the Exumas. Hamburger and onion rings. Yummy.....Once finished we took a peek at the nurse sharks that like to hang around the docks looking for handouts.
It was a non fishing day so it was a little light on the sharks. We then loaded into the dinghy to head back to Renegade and let them get settled in. The next day we decided to stay put and relax a bit and do what there was to do in the area. First up was a dinghy ride to Pig Beach where they got to experience the swimming pigs.
That's one big pig chasing him 

Three little pigs, so cute

After the pigs chased us around for a bit we fed them and had photo opts with them. Both Lisa and I loved the three piglets. We then headed over to Pirate Beach for a couple games of Corn Toss and sat relaxing watching the view.

what a view
The next morning we made our way up to Pipe Creek and took advantage of low tide to do some snorkeling and exploring.

Little bits of art people leave around
I saw this one a couple years ago, now its been repainted
Lisa playing cat woman
After we finished we headed up to Compass Cay and anchored in our normal spot to enjoy the evening. Lisa worked on her sign which would be placed at Boo Boo Hill while I cooked dinner and the boys went out trolling in the dinghy. Next morning we were off to Warderick Wells in the Exuma Land and Sea Park. We went and checked in taking our signs with us to place on Boo Boo Hill.
in front of the whale ready to hike to Boo Boo Hill
And the signs are placed
After the hike we headed back to Renegade for a quiet rest of the day. We had a remora fish that had been traveling with us since before we picked up Lisa and Larry. We tossed our scrap food over every evening and he I guess found us as a free food source. We tossed some scraps of meat over board and soon had several sharks about. Of course with two men on board that meant game on. Women below to find more meat scraps and Dirk hopped about getting his go pro ready to film it.
This was a reef shark we think

They weren't scared a bit
As you can see they werent small sharks and at one time I think we had three of them. The boat next to us followed our lead but were stupid enough to get in the water with them. I expected at any moment for a bite to occur. You could tell by the behaviour of the sharks that they were becoming agitated. Oh well, natural selection.....The next morning we headed back to Staniel Cay as the weather was going to start deteriorating again and this would be our only day to sail on the outside and do some trolling. One small Mahi was reeled in and filleted for dinner on the spot.
Little one, but she fed us well

We headed into the cut and headed past the yacht club as the sun was beginning to settle lower into the sky. Dirk told me to help him check on depth as it seemed a bit shallow. Before I knew it I heard a thump and we stopped abruptly. Now let me say we have covered this stretch of water so many times that I cant count them. Why today did we find the reef that we know is there. I think it was a combination of the setting sun and a bit of not paying really close attention. We were hard order of business was to make sure there was no damage. Dirk donned his wet suit and proceeded to hop in the water to check the situation out. I kept going below pulling floorboards up to make sure there was no water coming in. Listening for the bilge pumps, or high water alarms. Saw no water, heard no alarms or pumps running. So far so good. It was low tide so we knew we would have the water to float us again but we had to wait. Since the tide was coming in we were also by the channel which meant that as the boat floated we would be pushed further onto the reef. We tried deploying a second anchor to help us stay where we were but with all the chain it just kept getting caught in all the crevasses and wasn't doing any good so we pulled it back in. Finally a mega yacht owner had a crew member come out with their big dinghy and try to pull us back into deeper water. The currant was so strong that he wasn't able to keep his boat pointed in the right direction. Finally they figured out that if he pulled us backward while Bobby from S/V Barefootin used his dinghy to push our bow that we made some movement. It took several tries but finally we were floating once again. Just in time too as we saw a squall coming which would have been incredibly nasty for us if we would still have been stuck. We managed to make it to the tip of Big Majors drop the anchor and we didn't have to back down on it. The winds kicked in and did it for us. Whew, what a rush, the adrenaline was pumping and perhaps a drink was in order. Guest were fine, the boat appeared fine and like Capt. Ron says about squalls, "they come on you fast and they leave you fast". All was quiet so we settled in. The next morning after a rolly night we moved back over to Pirate Beach and enjoyed our last full day with Larry & Lisa as they were due to fly out the following day. Next morning we made the most of the remaining time we had together. Dirk and Larry went and sat on the beach as Lisa packed up. Then we returned them back to the airfield and said our goodbyes.

Time to say goodbye

We hit the Blue Store and headed back to Renegade. We had to wait now for a part to be delivered from Canada to Ft. Lauderdale FL and flown in to Staniel Cay. When our guest were here our new wind generator stopped working and we found that the controller had gone out, so we wait...and wait.

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