Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Day 275- Long Cay, Off South Caicos, T&C

We're cooling our heels, waiting for the winds and swell to calm down before we head out on our next adventure. We're in an isolated, fairly protected anchorage on a prime conch fishing spot. Tomorrow we're planning to cross the Caicos Bank toward Provo, the biggest town of T&C. This is new territory for us in several ways, it is very shallow and we have a relatively deep draft (6.5 ft) boat for this area. Here we have to navigate more by reading the water color for depth and coral heads than by relying on charts. Pablo chose a path that is deeper than others, for our first experience. This means that we won't be quite skimming the bottom at the 7 ft spots but will hopefully have a full foot below us at most times for the next 2 days. Once the winds are lower and swell is down, we're hoping for a nice sunny day for ideal visibility. The water is incredibly clear here. By far the clearest of the trip, not only can you see you bottom but Pablo says horizontal visibility is amazing even in these rougher conditions. Pablo saw a ton of conch all along the bottom during his anchor inspection.
Pablo bought lobster from local fishermen yesterday. At first I thought they were messing with him when I saw what he came back to the boat with... "Flipper lobster". They turned out to be Slipper Lobster. It is mostly tail, the most delicious part! After my initial concerns ("That's not a lobster!") subsided we had a wonderful dinner. Will post photos as soon as we have decent wifi again, which may be a while.
On a more sour note, we had our first cockroach sighting on the boat. For those who are not boaters, cockroaches on a boat is a total nightmare, we go to extremes to avoid them. As you can imagine, they are prevalent in many of the places we travel. This particular one was about 3 inches long and had most of us screaming and scurrying like little girls. At this point we are operating under the assumption that it was a lone soldier and had not yet had a chance to invite his buds onto our little cockroach oasis. I'm not ready to consider any other scenarios at this point!
Check out our position report on Google maps (at www.svborealis.com). The water color is just as amazing as the satellite photos indicate. I have read that astronauts say that the Turks and Caicos, in particular, look spectacular from space, not surprisingly.
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The "flipper lobster"
Hanging with really curious local kids at a home made kite festival

A barracuda patrolling around the boat

Borealis anchored on the Caicos Bank

Remi goofing off

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