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Monday, May 2, 2011

Quest for Shell Island Treasure

Here I sit on a Wednesday night watching 3,908 day old TV, Magnum PI.  Trying to give enough thought into the upcoming days itinerary.  Tin and I (the "Tin Tin" in the Boo Boo Tin Tin name of my dinghy) are going on our first expedition and adventure aboard Gemini Dreams.  It must be fun while passing the "mommy" test.  Which is why he is not here tonight, 30+ knots with squall lines tonight.  I have found there is "treasure" on the island.  So tomorrow morning the adventure begins,,,   "X" marks the spot!

Tin came to the Marina around 8am toting his backpack and a huge smile.  The storm from the night before was now only a "cool morning breeze" and a power outage at the dock.  After stowing the cooler and his gear we caught a ride to Hel-mart for a PFD for him.  I had put off the purchase due to growing kids.  We grabbed some breakfast and a bus ride back to the marina.  After a quick lesson in charts we headed out into the bay.
Getting a grip on charts

After a few minutes on charts, we went over the departure check list, which with his new life jacket was complete.  We managed to get some ice at the marina even without the power restored.  It was time to cast off for the island now.
Taking the helm for his first time with a little heal.

We spent the first part of the cruise trying to tack underneath the bridge.  But the current and light winds made if more trouble than I could put the inspiring captain through.  We fell off and headed to the island.  On the way there you pass a small rock pile man made island called bird island "Audubon Island on the charts".  This is where we passed one of the Navy training ships which actually hailed us and gave us a compliment on the "nice looking little sloop".  He also asked about our destination.  I explained it was my son's Tin's first voyage and we were spending the next four days at shell island.  Later I heard him hail another sailboat.  He must have been dreaming of being out himself.   We continued down wind in the light winds doing my favorite thing, wing and wing, NOT. 
Standing watch
You really need to be there when you kids experience dolphins in the wild.  

It was a thrilling trip to get the few miles across the bay but we finally had the anchor down and ready for the little man to brave the 25 knots coming later in the night.  Just for info he slept through the whole thing and really handles the boating life like a sailor. LOL   Do you remember my post from Bahia Honda about the 25+ knots and dragging anchor?

He seemed to enjoy the days with dad...
He played with the stars, he caught a lady, He was almost swallowed by the sea, He talked to crabs, and took a break.  
Taking a break while hunting the secret treasure of Shell Island. We took a walk from the anchorage to the park docks.  This is quite a hike!  I was hoping for redfish and trout but it turned out to be a crab hole for Tin.  We also got within a mile of the buried treasure before the Principe de Pirata decided to turn around and head back.   The next day we moved to a new anchorage and tried again, crossing crab infested tidal grasses and palmetto palm thickets.  Once again we turned around for a better approach.  So the treasure remains out of our reach for now, but with two of three routes marked off we are indeed closer than before.
This sandwich is good.... was that a fish? What kind of fish? Can I cast over there? Can we go?
Wading the flats
The catching didn't stop when he was aboard Gemini Dreams
One of the blue crabs "reeled" in this weekend
It's HOT!
Going dinghy!
Ahhh that is better!   It'sssss cooooold!
He just couldn't get enough
The only issue we had was a little sunburn when he left his hat on the dinghy and didn't wear his glasses.  This put a damper on his last day as we watched James Bond and Merlin instead of fishing in the sun.  But as the sun went down on Sunday...

Tomorrow it is back to school with bragging rights!  We caught around 25 fish and crabs between us.  

Even though we didn't find the "treasure" we will always treasure this time.  He did leave asking when are we going to the Bahamas?  What an awesome 4 days.  Thanks Ayrton my "Tin Man"


May 1st 1994

Some thing in life impact today, some impact tomorrow and some impact forever after.

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