Saturday, November 17, 2012

Day 6 - BOSS Sailing School Trip - 10/18/2012

Wow, what a day!  The bay that we anchored in was very quiet, except for a few local fishermen.  Since this was low season, the restaurants that were normally open were closed.  We took this opportunity to snorkel this morning, so Tony and I (Sadeem passed), headed over to snorkel on the reefs close to the rocky shoreline.  I wore my reef gloves in hope of catching a lobster, so I was ready!  I saw many lobsters in the rocks, but they were all too small to take.  They were all huddled together under the reef, but you could always see their antennas sticking out.  I saw a couple of spotted moray eels, which looked up at you with their mouths open, showing their large teeth.  I gave them a wide berth.  We worked our way around the point, and suddenly the water dropped off to about 40 feet, and the visibility increased to more than 100 feet.  It looked like I was looking through glass on an aquarium.  As I hovered at the surface, I could look down on thousands of sergeant major (yellow with black stripes) fish, sea urchins, sea fans, lobsters (too small), and thousands of other colorful tropical fish!  It was amazing, as this was the best snorkeling that I have ever experienced.  I also saw a couple of turtles and 4 sting rays, as we headed back to the boat.  There was also a strange fish, and as Tony went closer, it put out it fins and they were beautiful blue stripped!  I saw these fish on the wall at the Miami Airport, so they must be famous.  It was a very nice snorkel!  Unfortunately, I didn't bring an underwater camera, so I don't have any pictures.
After cleaning up, we headed over to the other side of the island to see 'Happy Island' and get some supplies.  The wind was very strong, so we started with a reef in the main and jib.  'Happy Island' is a small reef that some guy built up, and placed a little bar on it.  It sits in the middle of the bay by the town of Clifton.  We were going to anchor there for the night, but the wind was blowing very hard into the harbor, making the anchoring too dangerous.  We needed some supplies, so Tony send Sadeem and me into the town, while he stayed with the boat at anchor.  The waves were really large, so taking the dinghy into the dinghy dock was a little challenging without getting wet.  The whole week, I have been wanting to see some sharks as we were snorkeling, but up to this point, I haven't seen any.  Also, for some reason, Sadeem was deathly afraid of sharks.  So when we snorkeled, he usually stayed on the boat.  As were were walking up the pier from the dinghy, there was a small walkway that went between the harbor water and a small lagoon.  Inside the lagoon was several nurse sharks, one about 7 foot long.  You should have seen the look on Sadeem's face when I pointed out the sharks, which were just a few feet from the walkway!  I don't know if the sharks can get out of the little lagoon, as there was a pipe that went out to the harbor.  I didn't have my camera, so I don't have any pictures of the sharks. 
Rough harbor by Clifton, Union Island
As we went into the different stores looking for chicken, there was a guy with a couple of large lobsters.  After we bought some chicken and a few other things, I asked how much the lobster were, and they said 10 ECs per pound.  Wow, that was an excellent price, so I bought both of the lobsters (5 pounds), for about $18. 
Sadeem and Dale with lobsters for dinner!
After securing our lobsters and other supplies, we were going to sail back to the quieter side of the island to Salt Bay, where Andato was already anchored.  Their windless broke, so they were taking a mooring there, so we were going to anchor close to them.  The wind was high again with some rain showers, so it was an exciting sail around the island, with huge waves that we were surfing down the front.  We had put in a couple of reefs in the main and jib, so we were in complete control the whole sale. 
Once we arrived in Salt Bay and anchored, we jumped into the water to warm up!  That night we ate the lobster and it was excellent!

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