Sunday, May 31, 2009

Moored at Cambridge Cay and Snorkeling with a shark! (5/28-5/31 Thursday - Sunday)

Another new experience - we took a mooring ball at Cambridge Cay.  Grabbing the mooring ball and figuring out how to attach the lines wasn't too bad. After one evening we figured we hadn't done it quite right as the lines were hitting the anchor, so we got out the binoculars, looked at the other boats and figured it out.  There's that learning curve again :)

Cambridge Cay is part of the Exuma Land and Sea Park. We'll be in the park for the next week or two.  The moorings are $20/night so you dinghy over to "mailbox cay", fill out an envelope and pay in the box that's there. The park warden comes by at least once a day to check on everyone (and they told us about some snorkeling sites). We snorkeled the Sea Aquarium and a 6-7 foot nurse shark came by. You would not believe how fast I can get my butt into a dinghy - Martin was amazed. He didn't hear me yell his name but he figured what had happened as the blur-that-would-be-Stephanie flew into the boat. Nurse sharks, by the way, are "harmless". They are totally not aggressive and people snorkel with them all the time. But apparently I was traumatized as a child by watching Jaws and no shark that is bigger than me is getting close without me experiencing shear terror... Our routine now is that Martin jumps in, scopes out the waters and gives a thumbs up to signal "no sharks". Then I get in and am totally preoccupied looking into deep water :) We also snorkeled the Rocky Dundas, another cave in a rock that is beautiful. Then we snorkeled the Coral Garden and saw a 4 foot grouper and 2 HUGE lobsters. Martin did get a pic but it doesn't show the scale - these guys were about 2 1/2 feet long with such long legs!  You can tell that we are in the park now - a no-take zone. The fish are all so huge…

We got to do a bit of walking on land too. We went onto Cambridge and walked the north and south trails. The north trail cut across to Bell Rock (see pics). The sand here is so fine that it's hard to walk on - you sink up to your ankles.  Then we went to the south beach near the Coral Garden and walked through to another beach. We got to see what the plants look like on the Cays - tiny palms and poisonwood that you are supposed to stay very, very far from. We also went exploring looking for a natural pool that CJ & Margie told us about on the tip of Compass Cay. They gave us good directions and we found Rachel's Bubble Bath - very cool.

Last night we had another brute of a thunder/lightening storm. We woke up at 3:30 - it was amazing!  We stayed up for an hour watching it as it passed. I've missed these storms living on the West coast though I think I'm going to get to see plenty of them this summer.

This has been a beautiful place to stay but oh - the neighbors! A 128 foot megayacht named "Arioso" came in the same day we did and moored right next to us. They have many water toys and get this - an airplane. So we get to sit in the quiet, looking out at the blue waters ... and get buzzed by a plane, repeatedly, all day long.  We can locate the boat using AIS (ask Mart…) so we’ll be sure stay clear of them from now on.

We're spending tomorrow night guessed it - Sampson Cay ;-)  It's the only marina here with: laundry, internet and fuel. We had a close call today when we realized the dinghy was on empty when we were out cruising around Little Hall's Pond Cay. CJ told us about the cay - it's owned by Johnny Depp and you can see cameras all around island.  (We had a nice tour of the island and did make it back to the boat.) So we'll post these blog entries, update the pic of the day, wash the towels and fuel up the dinghy before heading to Warderick Wells on Monday.

Posters note:  Another post authored by Steph and posted by Martin.  Don't worry, I'll be posting up some horribly technical, jargon-filled narrative soon.  I know my fan(s) are anxiously awaiting one...

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