Friday, August 28, 2009

Snorkeling bliss... great day!

Another gorgeous day in paradise.

Waking up around 6AM, living with the natural cycle of the sun (it's been up since 5:15) we listen to our weather forecast from Chris Parker and some cruisers nets between 6 and 8AM. Freshly brewed Columbian coffee helps inspire our plans for the day and we enjoy some breakfast with the last of our fresh bread... after this if we want fresh we bake it ourselves.

Today, as yesterday we decide to go for an early snorkel... that ends up concluding way later than planned with possibly serious sun burns. So much for staying out of the sun between 10 an 2. Our snorkel trip was at least 4 hours of bliss,but too much sun. Greg on s/v Coconut joined us to our pre-chosen destination is about 1.25 nautical miles south east of our anchorage. Today the wind is blowing about 20 knots so the dinghy ride was pretty rough. We run down close to the leeward side of the reef in a few feet of water to avoid the wind chop that is building up quickly in the lagoon. It's a rough ride none the less. As we approach the destination way point we see three large dolphins jumping out of the 5-6' waves at the end of reef. Very cool to watch the dolphins frolic as they explode out of the face of the waves and completely clear the next wave crest in their airborne flight of clear joy. We stopped the engine, but the dolphins didn't lend us much attention.

The seas were too rough to anchor the dinghy at our chosen spot so we surf down white foaming crests to a more protected point just behind the end of the reef. Actually, pretty fun stuff to surf on a 11' dinghy.

We did find some nice snorkeling although with the strong wind induced water current it was lots of work to stay close to the dingy. We speared plenty of fish including some tasty trigger fish, grouper and snapper. Later we moved to shallower water and picked up a half a dozen Conch. Not a single lobster of acceptable size was spotted. But, still a perfect day none the less.

Back at the islands we landed at the northern most island and the Columbian marines stationed on the island were happy for the distraction and helped us clean our catch. Super nice guys! They also supplied a dozen shucked coconuts as a take home gift. We offered to bring in some beers for the twelve guys stationed on the island, but the commander said that guns and beers don't mix so thanks, but no thanks. Good policy in action.

It was a bit funny to have several guys armed with loaded machine guns helping/watching you clean your fish and conch.

Later we spun by in the dinghy with Kathy riding on her knees on a boogie board behind the dinghy. Her college water ski team talent showing off a bit. We offered to give the military guys a free ride and they just looked to the commander for approval. He said "no". A tight ship he is running with very disciplined and respectful troops. Oh well, at least we tried to add some extra fun.

For dinner we had s/v Coconut over for a feed of fish and conch. Way to much great food and a great way to end another perfect day.

Looks like the other two boats will leave tomorrow for Panama and we'll have the place to ourselves for the next week or so.

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