Sunday, March 19, 2017

Lee Stocking Island: Beginning the Trek Back North

Friday, March 10, 2017

Bright and early at 8:45am, we pulled anchor and bid Georgetown farewell as we headed out onto the Exuma Sound and pointed the boat NorthWest towards Lee Stocking Island.  We had to leave so early in order to time our departure carefully so as to arrive at Adderly Cut (the entrance to Lee Stocking Island) at low slack tide.  More on this later.

On the way, we passed a beautiful wooden schooner, brigantine rigged with a single square-rigged sail forward.

Schooner with Single Square-Rigged Sail
Joan was bound and determined to catch a fish, so we dragged about 100' of handline in the deep water, using a squid lure on it as had been recommended to us.  Total fish caught: 0

Joan fishing with a handline

 A word about the "cuts".

Cuts are narrow passages thru the islands from the deep Exuma Sound side to the shallow Exuma Banks side.  The currents in these cuts can be quite strong, up to several knots, depending on the tide. And if the tide is flowing in the opposite direction from the wind, you get something called a "rage", where the waves are steep and choppy, making it difficult and unpleasant to try and get through.  So the trick is to run the cut at slack tide, when the water isn't flowing, so you only have the wind to contend with.

Apparently I got the timing right,  as we motored through with no problems.

Once through Adderly Cut, we tucked around behind Lee Stocking Island and were totally sheltered from the wind and the waves.  It was a pleasant place to anchor after all the days of pounding we went through at Georgetown due to the large front that passed through while we were there.
Quiet anchorage in front of the abandoned research station
Had to spend the rest of the afternoon repairing the dinghy, as some of the rubber strakes on the bottom were coming loose (again!) and had to be glued back on and allowed to dry.  We'll explore tomorrow.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

With the dinghy successfully repaired,  we put it back in the water, mounted the outboard, and went exploring.  The shore was too rocky and sharp to beach the dinghy, so we did a reverse Mediterranean moor, with a bow line tied to the shore, and a stern anchor holding us out.
Dinghy anchored, with Dolce Vita in the far-right background
The station was like something out of a post-apocalypse movie.  Buildings with equipment left behind, even notes on the wall or whiteboard.  Very creepy.  Though we didn't follow it, I'm told it's reminiscent of the TV series "Lost".  Personally, I thought it reminded me of Isla Sorna in Jurassic Park III.  I told Joan to watch out for Velociraptors!

Abandoned "Lobster Lab"

Outdoor Specimen Tanks
Rosetta Stone: A map of the facility!
This antenna tower is not long for this world
Old computers stacked up in the analysis lab
Abandoned runway
Collapsing  Quonset Hut
Its hard to believe that this was a fully functioning facility just over three years ago! It was closed down due to loss of funding in 2013.  It seems that this climate is really hard on structures.

Tomorrow, we'll head back out the cut and continue NorthWest to Farmer's Cut, where we'll spend a few days anchored off of Little Farmer's Cay.

Life is good.

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