Tuesday 4 Feb, BHS day 36, Compass Cay: Drift dives, dinghy ride and evening BBQ on Pearl.
It was a bit of a bouncy night, especially when the tide turned at 3am making the wavelets slap under our aft cabin. We did think about moving into the main anchorage on the high tide at 2am, going through the shoals on instruments only, but decided against it. Probably wisely!
After breakfast I go out on “boys” snorkeling expedition, with Pete, Stu and Ian. First, it’s a drift dive where the current takes us over some quite pretty patches of coral with lots of sea life, but apparently nothing to spear. Ian and Pete are particularly looking for lobster to go with our planned steak evening on board their boat. With lobster it would become a surf and turf evening. But there are no lobster to be seen, or maybe they are just hiding very well from us.
Second site is a reef around a small island. The current is strong but the visibility is amazing. And I’m impressed at how long Pete manages to stay underwater on one breath. He says it comes from a naughty childhood game where he and his brother would take it in turns to swim under water until they blacked out. The brother would pull him to the surface and revive him, then they would compare who lasted longest under water! It’s just one of Pete Goss’s many wacky stories!
I find the water quite chilly today. It’s 24DegC but after 40minutes I find I’m quite chilled, so I end up sitting it out on the dinghy trying to warm up. Back on Cloudy, I’ve never quite welcomed a hot shower so much. Eventually the sun warms me, along with hot tea from Oana. Next time I’ll wear a wet suit, even if the others will think I’m a whoosy!
At midday Oana and I head off for a tootle in the dinghy. Just south of us is an area known as Pipe Alley. It’s a multitude of channels between cays, stretching for several miles. It would be lovely to bring Cloudy through here, but I think we would be challenged by the depth. The area is very picturesque, probably even rivaling what we saw yesterday in Norman’s Cay.
Unlike Norman’s, lots of cays here are privately owned and developed. Most looking extremely exclusive with manicured grounds and luxury properties. But, as far as we could see, all devoid of people or any signs of life. It seems such a waste to have these marvelous properties and no one to enjoy them. Such is the life of the super rich – they probably have islands like this all over the world and only a couple of weeks a year (inbetween making money) to actually enjoy them! Well, we enjoyed looking at them and tootling in and out of all their private marinas and beaches. Given no one owns any property below the high tide line, we are not technically trespassing.
We also land on another sand bank and admire the various shades of blue water around us. And of course, lots of photos and video. These last few days are really filling our hard disks!
Late afternoon we head over to Pete and Tracy’s yacht, Pearl, armed with food and drinks. Ian has bought over his BBQ too and soon the two BBQs are sizzling with meat. We have a wonderful evening in their cockpit, chatting and telling jokes. It will be quite sad when we have to go our separate ways again. They’ve all been such good company. We particularly feel for Stu who will have to be on a plane back to the English winter on Friday – poor him.
Late evening we dinghy back to Cloudy with the moon lighting up the shallow sand banks. They glow white in the night allowing us to see the channels. Even so, we still manage to have the outboard kickup at one point because it’s now dead low tide.
The rest of our evening is relaxing and running the generator to recharge batteries. Tomorrow we continue south bound, in search of fresh vegetables.