November 30, 2006 Thursday
Still at Christmas Cove.
It has been a few days since we updated our log and we have already forgotten whatever we have done during those few days. Guess that means we haven’t done much.
We did inflate the kayak and tried kayaking on a calm afternoon here in the anchorage. That was a joke! Bill has learned that if he continues to criticize the way Judy does something, then he gets to do it all by himself. No matter how she paddled the kayak, Bill thought she was doing something wrong. So she just held the paddle out of the water and let him handle maneuvering the kayak. He got to do all the work and she got to enjoy just gliding along with no effort. We haven’t tried the kayak again because the winds have picked up quite a bit. Winds this strong would surely capsize that kayak, or at least blow it beyond our ability to control or paddle.
Snorkeling is better than we expected. There are still thousands of black sea urchins in Christmas Cove; that hasn’t changed in 20 years. There are also lots various kinds of rays. Judy has seen 2 rays jump out of the water. That is so strange to see. Most of the coral is bleached and dead, but there are a few small spots of coral that still has color. It does not compare with
Bonaire. Of course, we never seem to remember to bring
the underwater digital camera with us when we snorkel; and once in the water
neither of us is willing to take off the fins and climb back aboard to fetch
the camera. So – still no underwater
Oh! There are deer on St. James island. Judy had seen them three times so Bill just assumed she was seeing goats or something. Then he also saw them – for 3 afternoons in a row; so now he is willing to admit that they really are deer. There are 3 of them that come down near the beach every afternoon about 4:30 – 5:00 as long as there aren’t a bunch of people around. We tried to get photos of them, but they are too far away from where we are anchored. If we took the dinghy closer then they probably would be frightened and wouldn’t come out. They go to this particular big bush and eat leaves each day. We cannot imagine how in the world deer got onto this island. And what are they doing for fresh water? There is no known source of fresh water on this island. Really strange. But they look pretty healthy, so there must be sufficient fresh water and food for them here.
On one of our trips across the channel to Independent Boat Yard we visited Budget Marina and purchased one of those suction-cup handles. It sticks to the side of the hull so we can clean along the waterline and stay close to the boat. We could also just hold onto a line cleated to the deck, but then you swing away from the boat and it makes cleaning difficult. This little suction handle device works well. We scraped off all the bits of marine growth that always seem to grow just at the waterline. The bottom of the boat still looks clean, so the bottom paint is working well. (Micron 66 for those who are considering new bottom paint in warm weather seas)
Someone asked what fishing tackle we use. We use a Cuban Reel. No reason to have a lot of fishing tackle taking up space. It is just a reel of heavy line attached to a bungee cord. We use a tandem lure where a yellow lure with a big hook chases a brown decoy lure that skips on top of the water. We trail this about 70 meters behind the boat when we are sailing. The bungee cord is placed either around a winch or around the throttle knob at the helm. When a fish strikes, the bungee cord bounces the spool of line all around. Then we don fishing gloves and pull in the line; gaff the fish; and haul it aboard. Most of the cruisers we have met use similar arrangements. Works just fine and doesn’t take up a lost of space.
Today we wanted to go over to Jost Van Dyke to Foxy’s for lunch. But we just never got around to it. Maybe tomorrow. (It is getting easier and easier to have this attitude about almost everything) Instead, we just sat around and watched the day boats bring snorkelers to this anchorage. Also watched one charter boat get towed away back to
presumably back to the base for repairs.
Our entertainment for the day. We
call this HBO-W. Home Boys on the
Water. Better entertainment than
watching a television.
One of the large catamaran day boats is rigged in the strangest manner. It has 2 masts of even height, like a schooner. Anyone ever heard of a cat-schooner? We haven’t. And it has an inner foresail. And a weird boom for a furled mainsail; it just swings freely from side to side, like a self-tacking staysail. And this huge catamaran is powered by a single little outboard engine that is placed beneath the bridge deck.
Of course, Bill’s favorite pastime is to identify the “best of show” on each day boat. In case you can’t figure that out, it means the prettiest girl in the tiniest bikini on each boat. Some boats definitely do not have a “best of show” aboard! Gosh, we Americans are fat. From the looks of most of these people, they must be from northern climates; as many of them are extremely pale. But occasionally there is a true best of show who stands out from all the others.
Winds have been gusting to 30-35 for two days. Supposedly the seas are 7-12 feet, but we haven’t been out of this anchorage to confirm that. Maybe tomorrow we will actually go over to Foxy’s for lunch. It would be strong winds on the nose, so we would motor there; but should have a fast sail back down here. The winds have set up a lot of rolling here in the anchorage, so we are looking for a bit of diversion and a rollicking sail sounds nice. We are hanging around this anchorage for several reasons. One reason is that we just like it here; another reason is that we are waiting for several shipments of various things to be delivered to our mailing service on
is only 2 miles from here, so this is a great anchorage to hang around while
waiting on mail/shipments. Cruz Bay
couple came over for drinks one evening, and we went to their boat for drinks
another evening. It is nice to visit a
bit. We have asked them to join us for
the sail to Foxy’s tomorrow. They
haven’t been there. Someone told them
that Foxy’s was a “bad” place to go to, so they have avoided it since they
arrived here last March. We have no idea
what anyone could possibly have against Foxy’s.
Foxy’s is known all over the world.
Cannot imagine what this person was warning them about.
Judy has cooked chili; maybe she will even cook cornbread to go with it for dinner. Chili is not our usual fare in the tropics; but the wind has seemed cooler than usual, so it just seemed like the right thing to cook today.