The Scubadooby creature has been off course once before, and this year there are signs of proof that this might happen again... Not so much off course though, still along the golf stream the creature has drifted to the Bahamas!
The creature seem to be more and more dependent on water, moving down from the hills to the beach in Bonaire last year, the creature now actually will rest ON the water when surfacing from the deep. It has become rather sociable and will be spending time on a sailboat with very goood friends and UW-creatures whenever up to dry up. Since this implies less WIFI connectivity, time will show if the Scubadooby are able to transmit signals to the rest of the world. The creature is still closely attached to new friend Precious, and hopefylly this symbiosis will result in images of the UW-scenery for landlocked creatures to enjoy - stay tuned :)

The Bahamas is an archipelagic state consisting of more than 700 islands, cays and islets in the Atlantic and is located southeast of Florida, north of Cuba and Haiti and northwest of the Turks and Caicos.

Bonaire er den minste av ABC-øyene (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaceau) - sør i Karibien ca 80 km nord for Venezuela. Bortsett fra et fantastisk korallrev og dykking i verdensklasse, er det ikke noe særlig annet å se eller ta seg til... en relativ flat, tørr og liten øy med masse kaktus og kun noen få sandstrender, altså det perfekte sted å senke skuldrene og ta det piano et par uker.

fredag 16. februar 2018

Leaving the Bahamas - for now...

Last day of sailing from Cave Cay to Blackpoint, with good tailwinds was a pure pleasure on the Exuma Bank - making 7 knots at the most. Stopping at Great Guana beaches photographing jellyfish and conch - not so much other stuff to see in the shallow waters apart from rays cruising by...
Doing a bit of beachcombing is not so bad either :) And hiking/playing around on desolate airstrips goood fun too! Watching the waves breaking on the Soundside of Exumas - and talking to boaters fighting the waves and winds from Georgetown we absolutely made the right decision not to head on.

The little settlement of Blackpoint was our final destination  in the Exumas and where we had to say gooodbye to dear friends, divebuddies and our hosts the last couple of weeks - Ty and Kelly.

Ty and Kelly - thank you so much for your friendship and hospitality, this has been an adventure we will never forget. Introducing us to the joy of sailing, sharing your Willemsadventure and hanging around with you guys is absolutely AWESOME! Absolutely heartbreaking to leave you there on your own. But we feel confident that Sea Smoke will take good care of you for the next months :)

We love diving, but sailing is not so bad either... Feeling the freedom and speed made by silent windpower just can't be described well enough. As we left Blackpoint yesterday watching the Exuma chain of cays and islands from a small aircraft - this is truly paradise on earth. One astronaut descrided these islands with shades of blue, green and white as the prettiest sight on earth observed from space. Agreed.

tirsdag 13. februar 2018

A visit to caves and "Dinghy cay"

It is easy to plan a trip on the map – however, on a trip like this what really decides your itinerary is weather… On our way down  to Georgetown we decided to turn around for two reasons:
1. Exiting the calmer Bank side to the rougher Sound side of the Exumas which we would have to to get to Georgetown is really not a good idea in high winds/waves like we have at the moment. Especially going against the winds would give us a bumpy 2 day sail…
2. Phoning the dive-company  - the weather is actually to rough for diving this week… And diving was our main reason for heading towards "sivilization"...

So, I guess our dive-blog will be a snorkeling blog this time… But  then the snorkelig the Exumas is actually very good. And we get to practice "split level-photography" - which is half under/half over surface.
Down on the southeast side of Ruddercut we got to explore a couple of caves – a pretty good reef , and we saw even more rays, one with it’s tail bitten off by probably a shark. This area also have a full size concert piano with a mermaid leaning onto it places on a shallow sandbank…! This put her by illusionist David Copperfield why owns an island here, Musha Cay, which you can rent for only 39 000 dollar – per night, minimum four nights….We kind of decides just to pass slowly by...

We’re experiencing and learning every day here – for the last couple of nights it has been rather bumpy nights anchoring here – being tossed from side to side, anchor dragging and one night we ”slept” with the keel touching the ground for a couple of hours on low tide… Waking up to our dinghy gone the next morning! Searching the area we found it washed ashore on a small island, both sides of this island open ocean… next to it a red plastic bucket conveniently  placed there by ”someone” so Stein could empty the water out and wrestle it back to us. Now last night in very sheltered calm Cave Cay marina repairing the dinghy (had a few holes) and waiting out winds before heading back to Blackpoint – exploring/snorkeling Great Guana Cay on our way.

lørdag 10. februar 2018

Exuma Land and Sea National Park

On the northwest side of the stretch of islands and cays that forms this island paradise you will find Exuma Land and Sea National Park, a protected area that allows nature to stay in good health - and an area for us to enjoy.  We stayed three nights up there, cut off from Wifi and cell phone connection – just wonderful.  Enjoying hikes we visited BooBoo hills where sailors leave offerings to Neptune for good fortune and a longer hike on search of Stromatolites  - the earliest form of life on the planet – to be found here. On the way stopping by Pirates lair a fresh water hole where the pirates found fresh water and space to sleep while on land. We could almost see Captain Jack Sparrow walking up and down the beach…

Since we can’t scuba dive there (no air/tanks) we did some snorkeling instead – pretty good though. We intruded a nurse sharks reef and got checked out before he/she left us to it and found another reef. Usually the nurse sharks are sleeping under a rock, so it was a treat to see him swimming around – posing no threat to divers they are docile creatures with small mouths…

Rays – there are rays everywhere! And we most often see them from the dinghy cruising the shallows, small and large southern stingrays. The reefs seen here so far have not been in so pristine conditions we see in Bonaire, but yesterday we took a dinghyride up to a snorkelsite called Aquarium close to Cambridge Cay – a beautiful cay and bay where we ankered up for the night. Indeed is was like an aquarium, hundreds of fish, mainly sergeant major fish greeted us as we entered the water – it was packed fish fish on a beautiful healthy reef. A southern stingray dosing off at the seabed – not even bothered by Stein the fishman diving down to say Hi.

Now crusing southeast, we have good winds and are stopping at small settlements on our ways. A few not so small houses we can observe from the boat only, - this is the playground of the rich and famous. Passing by Overyounder Cay yesterday – a huge place with it’s own seaplane waiting outside we could only guess which celebrety was enjoying that luxury now. For us though this sailboat is perfect though, the real thing – life is easy and we are in the mercy of the winds – and our perfect hosts. Life on board this sailboat is just a treat we are so fortunate to experience, learning the science and art of sailing as we go along.