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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Still at Staniel

The days are starting to run together but sometime during our first week here...

Day 4 or there about:  We took the dinghies south stopping at the first of two sunken airplanes here at Staniel Cay.  We continued on after a quick dip to the islands south that we felt were too far last time without a motor on the dinghy.  We only managed one Nassau Grouper and NO conchs.  I used the hand held depth sounder to check the depth of a trench between the islands and we are now able to go  below 25 feet.

Day 5 or was it 6 at Staniel Cay:  The strong easterly winds broke for the day and we chose to capitalize on the situation.  We took a dinghy ride around the island to snorkel on the coral heads on the windward side.  Too bad the GoPro has had charging issues lately and was DOA at the first dive site.  Today we saw a 6-7 foot nurse shark on the first place we all got into the water.  Not far from it there was a good sized turtle napping on the bottom.

Later as we hopped from coral head to coral head we managed to shoot 5 fish with the pole spears.  Two speckled hinds and 3 small groupers filled the stringer.  To our amazement we didn't see a single lobster even see a tiny langastino sized one.  We also saw NO conchs!

We finally had the crew from s/v Liberty over for dinner.  We have used enough supplies over the last four months that there is finally enough room for guests.  Blackened Grouper Alfredo Ayrton's favorite was on the menu.

Day 7 will get it's own post following this one.

Day 8 was Fryday! (Thursday)  We were on our way to the SCYC for an order of fries and soda, actually we were sitting inside when Ben decided it was better to buy a bag of fries after our 3 hours here last time.  So off we went to Isles and found them closed for lunch.  Off to the blue store and a small bag of fries.  Off to the pink store for cheese.  But the pink store didn't have cheese but did have a big bag of fries for only $7.  Back to the Blue store to trade the small bag of fries for cheese.  Back to the Pink store to buy the big bag of fries.  What would a day cruising be without making such a simple thing as an order of fries and a soda an adventure.  After we had the key ingredients we went back for jalapenos from Gemini Dreams.  Once on board Liberty we had fries, chili fries, desert fries eating the whole 4 or 5 pound bag except a hand full!

Day 9, yes day 9, we know because we arrived the day before the supply boat and today was a day after the supply boat day number two.  We are still getting pounded by the wintertime winds of 15-20 PLUS.  Two years ago we were already into the summertime 10-15 zone when we arrived here.  We were a little cabin crazy today and needed to go snorkeling somewhere.  The most logical place was just behind the boat and the small rock islands near the airplane.  But that was not for us.  We chose to go to the islands east of Staniel.  All was good taking Boo Boo Tin Tin down wind to the islands.  The first two spots really didn't live up to expectations but as we ventured farther out where most cruisers don't go we started to see more life on the coral heads.  This was now the time a very weak squall line passed over dropping a few rain drops, changing the wind 60 degrees to the minus and increasing the wind speed to over 20 knots.

We could turn around and run for it making our way to Gemini Dreams or we could go on to the next rocky island and anchor behind it and continue to snorkel.  We went with plan B giving Ayrton a shot at a lobster.  We now had half of dinner.  He was hyped and wanted to call Liberty on the radio and “rub it in”.  We were on the last island before Harvey Cay and Ayrton with his lobster had retired to the dinghy and was now rowing as I drifted down the side of the island.  It was along the side of this island that I saw the largest Nassau Grouper of our adventures.  I was not able to get a shot at him but surfaced and told Ayrton as I handed him the only conch I had found in days.  It didn't take long for him to dive in and try to find the grouper.  I saw the grouper one more time but still had no shot before he disappeared into the depths of the fallen rocks.  I settled for a Yellow Snapper.  We now had conch and lobster for an appetizer and fish for dinner.

Day 10 is the annual benefit at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club raising funds for the Annual Native Sloop Regatta on New Years Eve.

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