Thu. Jul 14th, 2005
Day 8: Trellis Bay -> Norman Island Bight
After several (comparatively) minor squalls during the evening we were a little
nervous, as the bulk of the storm was due to arrive later this evening. Jim
reassured us and we'd been talking to Liz about what they do during a
hurricane. Since most of the house are built with cinder block now they can
withstand a lot. Residents board up windows and go to a designated community
center to wait out the worst of it. There's a special lagoon the boat owners can
reserve a spot in, but the boat has to be stripped bare of sails, rigging,
covers, tables, and anything not permanently attached first.
Since the forecast was now certain it wasn't going to hit us head on and was
likely headed for Mexico we'd dodged the bullet, but we'd still like have some
rough weather and possibly gusts up to 35 knts when it passed by. We'd still
need to be certain we'd found a good sheltered spot to anchor, but we no longer
need to worry about sitting at Trellis. The channel was looking fine today so
we weighed anchor and headed off to Norman Island to see The Bight, the Willy T
and the Caves.
It was a nice sail over as we had plenty of wind. (Looking back I think there
were only 2 days over the entire trip we didn't end up reefing to some extent.
Nice thing about hurricane weather - great sunsets and no worries about lack of
wind.) And one of these days I'll remember I can cut the corner of Peter
Island even closer.
This time we went further west, past Pelican Rock and into the Bight. Jim
wanted to find somewhere sheltered, but close to the Treasure Caves. We'd only have a
quick dinghy ride over and the boat would be safe from any wind surge. He aimed
us for a spot just the other side of the point from the caves, but once we were
there and ready to drop anchor, it was decided that it wasn't quite sheltered
enough for the possible winds we could get, so we moved over to just behind
Water Point. We went thru several mooring balls before we grabbed one that we
all agreed on. Well, agreed on for lunch at least. So there we were, on our
second anchoring, and again with the jokes.
Len and I went in swimming while Jim and Liz readied lunch. As it turned out one
of the other boats in that cove belonged to a former student of Jims, so he
popped over and he and Jim caught up on things. Several other boats were
pulling in about lunch time, and the big cat moored in front of us had some very
nice floating chairs that Liz thought were brilliant.
After lunch we were cleaning up and one of the gulls got a tidbit we were
throwing away. WHOMPH! we were surrounded. Unlike the Western Gulls we have at
home these guys are pretty cute, and not at all scary. They aren't around all
year either. They arrive in the early spring and leave in the late summer. They
were sort of hovering in a cloud around us that was so interesting, we all had to
get pictures. They weren't afraid of the boaters and would even take food from
our hands. But alas, too quickly to get a really good shot. One landed on the
horseshoe buoy and wouldn't leave. Jim flapped his hand in a shooing motion.
Didn't faze it in the slightest. He then looked at it really hard and growled
"You know I could grab you by the knees before you could fly away". It just
looked at him. Jim made a move as if to grab it. Nope. Honestly the bird just
turned at looked bored. So Jim gave it a small quick poke. He got a half step
back, but that was it. We're all laughing our heads off at this point, so Jim
finally has to give it two good pokes before it decides to head out.
Another minute and we'd have had to grab it round the middle and toss it up
and away like a carrier pigeon.
By this point we were getting quite good at spotting approaching squalls and
sure enough, what with the "banded storm" thing Emily was giving us plenty of
practice. Jim felt it might be prudent to move to an anchorage a bit closer to
wear we'd be eating dinner tonight, so up and away we went. We found a mooring
ball about half way between Pirates and WillyT on our third look round.
Once we were sure we were set it the weather had gotten a bit too iffy to risk
hitting the caves what with the wind, waves and squalls. Jim and Liz told us the
story of someone who had died in there when a large cruise ship had gone by too
fast and the wake had filled the caves, swamping the snorkeler. So we now have
something to see when we go back. Instead we went out for a "Sunday Drive" in
the dinghy, with Jim pointing out spots of interest and Liz showing my the frangipani
trees which were in bloom. We tootled along so that we could combine it
with Lens first turn to drive the dinghy. When we got down as far as Pirates we
stopped to get a look at the menu and see if we wanted to make dinner
reservations. It turned out to be Buffet night so we thought we'd check out
WillyT before making a decision. But as long as we were there, might as well
kill a few minutes in their gift shop. . . Several minutes later while Jim
relaxed in a beach chair, Len and I and Liz emerged with bags o'stuff. I had a
few shirts, and Len even found one he liked (It had something about flogging, of
course). So over to the WillyT we sped.
The special at WT's looked better so we elected to make reservation there. But
after we had a drink first. The place was pretty much empty at that time, just
one or two people besides the bartenders and us. Liz knew one of the bartenders
thru her daughter and introduced us. And later found out that the other (Goldilocks, we
named him) also knew her daughter, so they knew several people in common.
He advised us to not only make the reservations earlier rather than later, but
also warned us we might want to show up a few mins early as they do get busy
quickly on the nights Pirates has a Buffet, and seating can be rather limited.
Always good to know.
Liz was saying that the working shift on Willy T is usually a 4 day shift, and
you have to stay on the boat. The have sleeping quarters below deck I guess.
That could be either a lot of fun or total hell I'd imagine. We headed back and
did a bit more studying before dinner.