Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Nick and Silke's Visit - Part 2 Cary Cay, Excellent Snorkeling, and Returning to Steppingstones

The next morning after the Super Bowl, maybe not so Super this year, we decided to head out to Cary Cay.  I hadn't been there before and it looked like a nice place to spend a couple of days.  We really wanted to go to Ranguana Cay, but decided the 20 NM plus journey against the wind might be too much for Nick and Silke's first sail to one of the offshore cays.  So we pulled up anchor and headed out of Placencia Harbor toward Cary Cay.
We had an excellent sail out to Cary Cay.  We sailed close hauled most of the time, as the wind was coming from the east.  We did have to run the motors a little when we arrived close to Wippari Cay, as we had boat traffic, and a couple of reefs to miss!  We arrived at Cary Cay and was happy that there was a mooring ball there that looked in good condition.  We had to follow the dark blue water between a couple of shallow reefs to finally get to the mooring ball.  The mooring ball was in 50 to 60 feet of water, but the reefs were on both sides of the boat!  For safety, I dropped our main anchor and almost 100 feet of chain straight down under the boat. 
Cary Cay

Beautiful anchorage at Cary Cay
Once we ate lunch, we took the dinghy over to the island to explore.  We pulled up the dinghy on a small sandy beach, and headed over to the east side of the island to check it out.  We had to hike through some brush, but we made it just fine.
Nick and Silke


Nick saying:  Step on that stick, and then this rock...while I was watching for snakes from a perch on a large log!
Lucky, there are no poisonous snakes on the cays. 
Once we got over to the east side of the cay, we were totally disappointed!  Not in the beauty of the island, but in all of the trash that was washed ashore.  There was tons of plastic bottles and flip flops.  It was truly a shame the amount of trash that was on the island.  If you wondered where your plastic bottle goes when you throw one away, or what happens when you lose a flip flop, I think I can tell you!  One day maybe they can do some cay clean up day and a whole bunch of us can clean up the cays!  I think we could have filled MokaKat up to the brim just with lost flip flops!

MokaKat on anchor
After our hike, we decided to snorkel on the reef close to the boat.  It was Nick and Silke's first time to snorkel, so it was easier to go straight from the boat.  They did excellent and Silke was able to try out her new rough and waterproof camera.  We enjoyed a nice snorkel and then returned back to the boat. 

Cow Fish

Elusive Hog fish!

Queen Triggerfish

We had BBQ chicken for dinner and split a bottle of wine and enjoyed the sunset!
After dinner, we decided to play Rummy, German Rule Rummy!  Mom and I thought that we knew how to play Rummy, but the German version is really different!  Of course Silke, being from Germany, was the expert, and set the rules. After a few hands and uncovering a few more rules, we really enjoyed the game.  It got a little cut throat, but no money or blood was lost, and we all had a great time!  Thanks Silke!!!!
The next morning, after coffee and breakfast, we headed out in search of lobsters.  We decided to go on the north east side of the island to see if we can find some spots that are less hunted.  Well, we didn't find any lobsters, but we found the most beautiful snorkeling spot that I had snorkeled on since we arrived in Belize!  The water was very clear and hard and soft coral was outstanding!  We were able to see lots of different tropical fish, and it was a perfect place for Nick and Silke to continue their snorkeling experience.  I saw a small moray eel, and two large barracudas.  Silke said that she was happy she didn't see the barracudas, but they are always curious, but usually ignore snorkelers.  For some reason, my underwater camera was having a bad day, and the lens fogged up, so my pictures were not as good as I had hoped.  Silke took some excellent underwater pictures with her new camera.

Silke selfy


Dale and Nick on the hunt for lobsters

Dale showing Silke a live sand dollar (it was returned to live another day)
We then headed back to the boat without lobsters, but with many beautiful images in our minds.  There is so much to see in just one coral head, it is amazing. 
We then had a great dinner of fried eggplant, and charcoal grilled Wahoo!  Another bottle of wine was shared and we enjoyed the sunset. Everyone was exhausted, so we all crashed early.  I wasn't able to teach them Texas 42 with dominoes, maybe next time!
We watched the stars for a few minutes, and then everyone turned in.  We had to leave around 7:00 am in order to get back to Steppingstones before their hired caretaker left at 1:30. 
Another excellent day on MokaKat!
Our last sunset with Nick and Silke (beautiful photo Silke!)
We all rose early on our last day with Nick and Silke.  After a quick cup of coffee, we headed out on our way back to Steppingstones.  The wind started out strong, but fell off and we had to motor most of the way. 
We had minimal success fishing, catching seaweed and reef fish. 
Another ugly Lizard Fish

Wait, Nick has one!!!

Just more seaweed!
Then the reel started to sing!  FISH ON!!!  The fish took almost all of the line out before Nick was able to stop it!  Wow, it must be a huge fish.  I slowed down the motors, and Nick fought the monster!  After about 15 minutes of reeling and fighting, we started to see a silver flash behind the boat.  I was thinking that the boat record was just about to beaten, and everyone crowded to the back of the boat to see the monster that had been so hard to fight.  As Nick continued to bring the fish in, we noticed that it looked a little small for a monster.  It turned out that it was a two pound Cero Mackerel that had been hooked right behind the head.  So much for breaking the boat record, but it was dinner for Nick and Silke!   
Wow, this is a monster!

What????  The monster turned out to be a foul hooked Cero Mackerel
We arrived early back at the anchorage to Monkey Cay.  I then took Nick and Silke over to Steppingstones by dinghy.  It was sad to say goodbye, but hopefully, we will meet up again before we leave Belize! 
Happy Sailing from MokaKat!

New Friends for Life!

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