Thursday, August 13, 2009

Discovery of missing islands...

Our chart showed several small islands and lots of reefs around Cayo Media Luna which lies about forty nautical miles off the Honduran coast and about fifty five nautical miles south of Vivorillos and very close to the border with Nicaragua. As we approached we couldn't locate the islands visually or via radar. Missing islands can make navigation tough and the captains a bit nervous. Missing islands make you wonder if you might be lost... After cruising around for the better part of two hours between what should have been islands all we could find was island remnants. Nothing above water, just reefs shaped similar to what that chart showed as islands. The conclusion, albeit after careful consideration and triple checking is that a hurricane removed these small islands and deposited their contents elsewhere.

The point of finding the islands was to find an anchorage. After so much time spent searching for islands that no longer existed it was getting late in the day and good sun light essential for eyeball navigation was quickly slipping away. We did spot one small island just a speck at some three miles away. It was make it or break it time and decided it would be our last ditch effort or we'd put back to sea and continue on sailing overnight. Several reefs blocked a direct approach creating considerable difficulty and adding a bit of stress, but eventually we got the anchor down behind this tiny island that is maybe three times the size of our boat. Needless to say it doesn't offer too much protection from the swell and no protection from the wind. But, it has one shrub and a considerable population of birds.

Never thought I'd say "I discovered missing islands"... in this sense, but I just did.

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