The wonderful thing about sailing with a buddy boat or fleet is the opportunity to get to know people really well. We left Georgetown with Bel Canto (Sandy and David), Solmate (Karen and Steve) and Valinor (Tim and Dorothea). We didn’t know Tim and Dorothea until we got to to Lee Stocking Island, a gorgeous anchorage that used to be home to a Caribbean Marine Research Center, now deserted. As you might guess from his boat’s name, Tim is a Tolkien fan, so we had a great conversation about science fiction (he’s an old school fan) and books in general.
At least once each day we spotted enormous sharks, about 8 feet long, that we hoped were nurse sharks. We also swam a lot. The water was so clear–you could easily see the bottom in 30 feet–that we felt comfortable splashing around.
We snorkeled in huge yellow forests of Elkorn coral and caught lobster off pristine white sand beaches. We gathered sea-fans that had washed ashore. We gathered for drinks and dinner in each other’s cockpits—Valinor, a Manta catamaran, had by far the nicest one, although Solmate, a 40-something Hunter, is pretty swanky, too.
Solmate and Valinor left after one night, but we stayed with Bel Canto and had a deliciously lazy day doing as little as possible. Finally we had the hot weather and slow breezes we have been waiting for! I paddled around the anchorage and saw seven Southern Stingrays measuring at least five feet across. Then we headed off too a beach from a postcard and “wallowed” in the water, drinking cold cans of La Croix and munching tuna wraps. We made a bunch of silly videos that I can’t show you here, unfortunately. It takes hours and hours to upload even the shortest clips to Youtube, so I’ll have to add them all back in after I get back to a “normal” internet connection.
On our last night at Lee Stocking, the moon rose a like an enormous upside down fan.