Wednesday, January 27, 2010



Well I did not get much sleep Monday night as we rolled and banged around all night despite being aligned to the major swells so it was out with the charts and guides and I decided that the Bight on Norman Island looked like a quiet spot.

The forecast said 20 – 25 knots so I tucked in a reef and left to cross the St Francis Drake Channel to the Bight. It was only a short hop and it was exhilarating sailing with spray flying at times, six and sometimes 7 knots. Despite me fiddling with sail trim I could not get the boat balanced enough for the autopilot to cope with the gusts. Maybe I needed the second reef

Rounding the corner into the Bight I saw it had developed acne, white pimples all over the place. I do not want a mooring, it is tough to pick up a mooring singlehanded. I want to anchor, but after a tour around the anchorage I realized that all the plum spots were taken with moorings and I was relegated to the deeper water with the big boys and dropped the hook in 60 feet. I had got there quite early and as the afternoon passed boats came rolling in including this bald headed wooden schooner who came round the headland flying all sail. I dashed below for the camera and got a shot just as she dropped her headsails. I have seen her before at anchor, she is called the Pride of Massachusett.

As night fell the dinghies nosed up to the side of the Willy T, just like fat puppies to their mother, all looking for a drink. I will go over sometime as it would be criminal not to visit the institution that is the Willy T a replica of a lumber schooner, that has been dispensing food, drink and good times in the Bight for years.

After a really good nights sleep I was ready to go and explore the famed snorkeling site round the corner. I decided that an early visit should find it deserted as nearly all the boats had left, onthere way to the next must see point on their weeks charter. But before I left I dropped the centre board for the first time and went over the side to have a look at it.

Well it is bigger than I thought it would be, as the actress said to the bishop and good do with a scrub, but when I went for a closer look I saw that something was sticking out from the rear. Diving down again with the camera this time to take a shot I found this bad boy was what had tricked me into thinking there was something wrong.

Now I know that 'cuda are not supposed to attack divers unless they are wearing something shiny BUT!

The board is fine but after a quick couple of scrubs I realized that I was being watched by the cuda so decided to finish the scrub another day and dinghied over to the caves, as the snorkeling site is called.

Well I should have known. It was jammed, a cruise ship must be in and all the party boats were over here with loads of punters all snorkeling their pasty white buns off. But I got lucky as I searched for the dinghy mooring, the horns sounded and they gathered up their sunburned cargo and headed off leaving just a few heads in the water.

It was good to have clear water, lots of coral and plenty to see but I need to work getting my free diving ears and lungs back into shape. You could see that some coral kill had taken place as there were some whitening of the reef but mostly it looked healthy and the parrot fish were out in force crunching away at the coral and venting coral sand from their bums as they brunched on the reef.

How am I able to post this? Well despite being anchored off a tiny island with no roads, houses and as far as I can see only one bar there is free WIFI! Thank you Pirates, who ever you are!

Mind you despite the lack off shore facilities it is still possible to get milk eggs bread beer batteries etc from the sea going mobile shop Deliverance.

Now do I fancy an ice cream to finish off the day sitting in the cockpit, updating the blog while I watch with amusement the evening entertainment as the charters try to pick up a mooring buoy, some with much shouting and revving of engines..

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