We arrived at O'Brien's Cay around 2:00 in the afternoon, and anchored in a nice spot on the west side of the Cay just a short distance from the sea aquarium snorkel site. By the time we got the boat settled, and had our traditional end-of-voyage drink, and put the engine down onto the dinghy, it was 3:00 and high-slack tide.
So, we jumped in the dinghy with our snorkel gear for the second time today (see "Thunderball!" post), and went snorkeling.
The location lived up to all the hype we had heard about it. There were large schools of all types of fish there. Several dinghys and larger tenders were already there on the park-provided dinghy moorings, and one of tender captains was throwing handfulls of whole-kernel corn into the water, and the fish were going crazy over it!
If you swam over near him, he would throw a handful at you and the fish would surround you going after the corn!
|School of Yellowtail Snappers hiding in the soft coral|
|Juvenile Stoplight Parrotfish|
|A couple of Reef Butterfly fish|
The Sea Aquarium was definitely the best snorkeling we've seen yet! We were so glad we were able to catch this site on the way north because we missed it on the way south.
And speaking about the way north, we had still held out hope that we might have time to shoot over to Eluthera from the Exumas, and squeeze in a few stops there and in the Abacos before heading back to Florida.
But it is already almost the end of March (Spring has officially started!), and if we are to be back in the Chesapeake by June first, we will need 6 to 8 weeks for the ICW. That means we need to be back in Florida in the next two weeks! It may sound like a lot of time, but our experience this winter has been that we keep getting held in one spot for many days for a weather front to pass through. As an example, another one is coming on this Thursday, with North winds up to 30 knots for days, so we will probably run up to Warderick Wells and shelter there for three or four days until it passes.
And so, with a little sadness, we decided that Eleuthera and the Abacos will have to wait for the next trip, and we revised our plans again. After Warderick Wells, we will make a longish run up to Highbourne Cay, where we will get fuel and water, and then anchor out for the night. The next day, we will make another long run back to New Providence Island and reprovision. From there, we will anchor overnight at Chub Cay/Frasier's Hog Cay and again at Mackie shoals before getting back to Bimini. And at Bimini, we will have to wait for a weather window to cross the Gulf Stream to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
As for tomorrow, the Park only takes mooring ball requests for the Warderick Wells location one day in advance, so we called them on the VHF and had them put us on the list for tomorrow. We'll have to listen to the daily 9:00 am broadcast tomorrow to see if we get in.
Like all cruisers, our plans are written in the sand, on the beach, at low tide!
Things change, things happen, you adapt.
Life is good.