Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Manjack Cay

Stardust has been bouncing back and forth between Green Turtle Cay and Manjack Cay. All of the stores and marinas with water, fuel, groceries, and post office are on Green Turtle, while Manjack has easy access out into the ocean reefs.

Matthew (Second Wave) and I have made several dives from Manjack, and we refill our tanks at a dive shop on Green Turtle. We’ve seen some good reefs and some poor reefs, but each dive has been excellent. We’ve even seen a few lobster, but lobster season is over, unfortunately. I’ll try to post some recent dive photos if the wifi connection allows it.

Many boats are in the area waiting for weather to cross back to the States. Green Turtle is the last point offering supplies, so we hang out here waiting to cross. When a suitable weather window arrives we’ll head up the islands which extend another 60 miles to the north. They look fantastic on the charts but there are no supplies, so not many boats go there. There aren’t many protected harbors either, so it would be sort of like anchoring off a small island on the edge of the ocean. Sounds good, but you need good weather to do this and the good weather is over for a couple of weeks. So we’ll remain here until things shape up. Our crossing back to the US could be in two weeks. We hope to make it to Beaufort, North Carolina (just south of Cape Hatteras), but if the weather does not allow us to traverse this distance (465 nm) we’ll make landfall somewhere else along the coast. Worst case scenario would force us straight across the Gulf Stream to Florida.

Squalls bringing 20-30kts of wind are forecasted for the area for the next 10 days. We have good anchorages around here, so we are comfortable and safe. A deep low near Cuba could go sub-tropical, but the mountains of Cuba and poor upper level conditions for tropical formation will probably squash it before it gets too big. Still, having had a named storm this early in the season forcing the rescue of 12 boats off the Eastern Seaboard has us a little on edge and ready to depart with the next opportunity. I bet we’ll be part of a flotilla of 20 or 30 boats crossing to the US when the good weather arrives, so there will be lots of company and safety in numbers definitely applies here.

Meanwhile we are having fun with our friends, and there are several kids around for Rachel to hang out with. We spent yesterday afternoon at the marina pool with parents drinking cocktails and discussing the weather while the kids yelled and screamed in the pool. I keep looking behind Rachel’s ears for any signs of gill formation. I can now hold my breath underwater for two and a half minutes, so maybe the girls should start examining me as well. We’ll probably visit the local museum today or tomorrow during a lull in the 20kt wind. I shaved Whitefoot this morning on shore, so she looks as sleek as an otter again.


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