Friday, March 14, 2014

Onward to Clarence Town

We plowed out of the Redshanks anchorage on a low tide, literally plowed. Our draft is 7 feet and the depth sounder read 6...I believe the depth sounder. I am sure we left a stripe in the sand. We left at 4:30 pm, on a low tide. Why? I had this need to draw closure to the George Town experience. I have come to realize that we tend to just get too comfortable in an area and just dwell, and it was happening again. Don't get me wrong, we have had the time of our lives. We have met many great people, and forged bonds. Some I am sure will last a lifetime. Call me the incredible barbecuing party bear.
These lobsters think I am their friend!
Eva and Hadrian lookout for coral heads as we leave Elizabeth Harbor.
The truth be told, we are way behind schedule. Yes, I know that this may sound like an oxymoron, but even out here, there are elements that dictate a say "hurricane season". We should be down by Grenada no later than August to avoid hurricanes.
Our next destination is Clarence Town on Long Island. It is a 10 or 12 hour sail, so we must sail over-night in order to arrive in the morning, with enough daylight to navigate around the coral heads at the entrance of the harbor.
We had a pretty nice sail, but there were times that the depth of the water went from 3000 feet to 30, and the waves kinda build up in these areas. The seas were so rough at times that I had to hold on with both hands.  Everything on the boat got rearranged. We did not however, have to steer the boat the whole way through. Otto Mann, our wind vane steering system drove the whole way there. The only problem is he doesn't have any eyes so we must always be on watch for any other boats.
The aftermath of an easy sail, a view of the main salon.

A view of the galley.

A view of the main salon, port side.
 The entrance to Clarence Town was a scary proposition with 2 out of 3 buoys that mark the entrance, missing, and the depth of the water again went from 3000 feet to 30. Needless to say, we made it. My guess is that we have a team of guardian angles working on our case, constantly.
After a brief scare from the marina, saying that they didn't have room for us, they found an empty slip. and we were soon nestled in, and connected to shore power for the first time in a month. The first thing on was the air conditioner. I sat there with my mouth wide open over a vent for a while. It's the little things!
Every place has it's unique and endearing characteristics. Clarence Town and Long Island has it's churches, and many, many cemeteries. In fact, someone needs to enlighten them to the cremation alternative as space is running out.

We were planning on staying here for about 3 days so we rented a car to run up and down the 80 miles of roads. We stopped to see Hamilton's cave. I wasn't too sure about this but Marie was playing tourist so I just followed, not expecting much. That cave was impressive. The mere scale of it! It must have been about 100,000 square feet, like a "Home Depot". There were 5 species of bats that called the cave home. Lenard the owner and tour guide told us that they would play hide-n-go-seek there as children, many decades ago. My guess is they must have used dogs to sniff the hiders out?
One of many chambers inside Hamilton Cave.
We continued our drive up the island, and stopped at the Stella Maris Marina. Well not really stopped, but more like slowed down. There is not much there. Next was Santa Maria Resort, the northernmost destination. Not quite what we were looking for, we were back in the car after a brief walk. Marie had read about some 18th century plantation ruins that seemed promising so we went searching. There was a decent sign off the main road, Queens Highway, that pointed the way. The road went from paved to dirt to over grown with foliage, about a mile altogether. It got rougher, and then just dead ended at the waters edge, no place to pull-over, it just ended. We got out and followed some tracks on the beach that looked like they came from somebody better informed than us. As we walked along the beach we came across a distinct row of conch shells that led to a path in the woods. So, we followed that path. We came across very well produced signs that assured us that we were on the right path. It was about a half mile walk in the woods before we arrived at the ruins, a rock wall and 2 small roofless sheds so overgrown with brush that you really couldn't make out much. The mosquitoes had us where they wanted us. We had to run out of there.
We stopped at a not-so-super "supermarket" on the way back home. The need for a semantics police becomes really apparent at times. We bought a box of pasta that turned out to have more protein than carbohydrates, maggots!
The following day we drove to "Deans Blue Hole". Right off the beach, I mean 3 feet off the beach, there is a 600 foot deep hole. It is about 70 feet across. Free divers come here to practice and compete. It's amazing and eerie at the same time, it's amazingly eerie.
Marie and Hadrian in front of Deans blue hole.
Later that same day we drove up to Stella Maris Resort. Different than the marina by the same name. They had two pools, one was a tidal pool, quite cool. The kids really enjoyed their time at the resort, and I enjoyed my time at the resorts bar, You see I had to consume so that the kids were allowed to use the facilities...a win-win if you will.

Back at the Flying Fish Marina, our neighbor is quite the fisherman. He returns each evening loaded with wahoo, tuna, and dolphin, more than he could ever use. I am more than happy to take some off of his hands. In fact, I'm so happy with this arrangement that I bake him bread, it's the least I could.
Wahoo by the bag full, what a treat!

I bake bread for my generous neighbor, to keep my conscience clean.

1 comment:

  1. So good to hear you guys are having a great experience. Love to read your blog.
    Jorge & Made