Thursday, February 27, 2014

Food chains

Looking across the inlet to Old Bahama Bay
The gust front blasted into Old Bahama Bay around 0530 this morning. Rigging sang, wind generators howled, and boats heeled over. Those on the lee side of a dock strained lines trying to get away, those on the windward side ground against their fenders. Kintala lay to the lee, kept in place by a total of seven dock lines, of which five were on the windward side keeping her within jumping distance of the dock.

Five is a good number. A boat near us had five on that side as well, but somehow the bow line got loose from the piling. The other four kept her corralled. Friend John tried to get the crew's attention and instead ran afoul of the aluminum boat's Captain (tied next in line) who gave him a line of lip for tapping on their boat. (Better John than me, else someone might have gone swimming this morning.) Later Deb, John, and I fished the line up with a boat hook hauled the bow back in place, and retied the line. We would appreciate it if someone did the same for us, and it only took a couple of minutes. (Fortunately the aluminum boat's Captain didn't make a second appearance and thus avoided an early morning swim.)

We all thought the wayward boat's crew had departed for places unknown but it turns out they were aboard throughout. Having completed a 36 hour passage and arriving with the winds late yesterday, they slept right through the morning excitement. I completely understand.

The channel to the anchorage north of Old Bahama Bay

With our neighbor secure Deb and I walked out to the point to check out the ocean. In the Bahamas, when deep ocean waves plow into shallow bottoms and make for seriously lumpy waters, they call it a "rage sea". White caps, breaking waves, passing shadows, and the stunning colors of this water all mixed together make for stunning viewing. My guess is it may be a bit less stunning if out in the middle of it all, either anchored or trying to make way. I was content to have made the weather decision we did, and get our first glimpse of a "rage sea" from a marina.

Later in the day Deb and I did a little snorkeling. The water was a bit murky though not bad enough to prevent us from spotting a ray, about as long as I am tall, buried in the bottom. Honestly, there was no intent to disturb him, but he flushed up and flew away with the sand flowing behind him like a contrail. That kind of made our day. We also spotted some kind of fat and sassy looking eel snug in his hole. There was no intent to disturb him either and this time he stayed snug in his hole, which was fine with me.

It has been a long, long time since we did any serious swimming in tropic waters, and I'm pretty sure there are some creatures (like fire coral, big fat and sassy eels, sting rays, and Man-O-Wars) that we really don't want to bother. So we are approaching the in-the-water exploring with the same kind of take-it-easy attitude that we are with the on-the-water exploring. I didn't know a Man-O-War looks a bit like a little plastic bag when it is sailing with the wind. (Really, they do that? Who knew?) The water taxi driver pointed one out while we were in Dinner Key. I'm not sure it was a sting ray we saw today, but I do know one was the bane of the somewhat famous Crocodile Hunter of a decade ago or so. And anyone who ever watched "The Deep" knows eels can be bad news. It pays to be careful when one is someplace were humans are not at the top of the food chain.

The anchorage


sailingaway said...

Your "sister" boat Marigot is a few weeks behind you. Sitting near St Lucie inlet, hoping to move S to Lake Worth soon, then across to Memory Rock, then Great Sale and check in at Green Turtle.
Steve and Dorothy

Ryukyu said...

More Pictures, Please. Looks beautiful. I wish you had an under water camera… maybe a future purchase?

Deb said...

@Steve and Dorothy - we're at Donnie's Marina for a few days. Let us know when you get here. We'll have phone service back tomorrow after we make it to Batelco.

@James- I'd love to have one, but it's going to have to wait for awhile. I did put my camera in a waterproof box and did some video that will be forthcoming.