Monday, March 10, 2014

Lifeless in paradise

 The Whale was asleep so we motored through. With little to no wind putting up a sail would have been a waste of effort. Too bad really, as it was an otherwise perfect day for sailing. It would also have been nice to put on a slight heel to steady the boat. Even with no wind the swell off the wide open Atlantic to our east lined up to roll the boat pretty hard, just once in a while, making sure we were paying attention. Wind or no, this is still really big water for a couple of lake sailors from IL. The swell also made for breaking waves on each side of us as we transited the channel, which was kind of cool. For a while it kind of looked like we were back on the ICW. (Well, except for the empty horizon, breath taking colors, breakers, 5 foot swell, cays, tropical sun, seeing the bottom through 20 feet of water … I guess it didn't look much like the ICW after all). A whole parade of boats was making the trip today, a line of sticks all taking advantage of a quiet and cooperative ocean. It has been a while since I navigated basically by just following along.

The day was so nice that we didn't make it to Treasure Cay. After nearly a week of living on a dock a night anchored at a less traveled spot was a treat not to be passed. Water Cay really isn't a Cay at all. It is a little point of land sticking out into the Sound off the east side of Grand Abaco Island. We are tucked in with a couple of other boats, though this place really isn't that well protected. Wind out of the west will be okay, but any out of the north, east, or south will have a lot of fetch to work with. The weather forecast (which is right so far) calls for light winds out of the WNW, fading to nothing as the night goes on. Tomorrow we will find our way to Treasure Cay ahead of the incoming front.

This bit of ocean looks like a sailor's paradise. The numerous SunSail charter boats suggest that we are not the only ones who feel that way. There sure seem to be a bunch of them around these parts. We are both a bit surprised that the clear, sparkling water appears to be completely devoid of life. There are no fish around the boat; not even the minnows we have seen nearly everywhere else. Only 3 or 4 dolphins have dropped by for a half-hearted visit since we crossed the Gulf Stream, and we have seen only one since leaving Crab Cay. None were around today. There have been no turtles, hardly any birds, a couple of barracuda in Black Harbor, and a few stray jelly fish. I can't help but wonder if we haven't broken our world worse than we yet realize.

1 comment:

Jeffrey Michals-Brown said...

Water is clear because there is nothing in it: no sediment (like in an estuary), not much algae (so probably little nutrients), and so no fish (since there's no food). That is, I think, pretty typical of ocean waters away from coasts. Nothing without trade-offs!