Quilts and Other Stuff from Frances

Day 11 – Friday, October 31st

View out our hatch window….right over our bed

Would YOU trust this man to skipper your boat?

Parrott fish

Beautiful coral

Brain Coral

This morning began quite early when the rains came in full force and we woke up to our bed getting wet. Michael quickly got up and closed the hatches and he and Danny checked the rest of the boat. We went back to sleep listening to the rain and watching it hit on the glass hatch door….very nice!!!!

We ate breakfast and took morning SKEDs. The weather report talked about the wind speed, tides and absolutely NOTHING about rain…even though it was bucketing down where we were.

We had pretty much decided to just spend the day at Stonehaven, but at 10:15 the sun came out and the clouds started receding. At 10:25, we unhooked from the mooring and headed out to sea and at 10:30….here comes the rain again. It rained for a short while and then cleared up again, but fortunately we did not lose sight of land or of the warning signs at any point. The rain clouds chased us all the time of our 1-1/2 hour trip. As we were traveling, Ruth decided that it was time for morning tea and pulled out Jatz crackers (like Ritz), covered them with butter and then slathered on the Vegemite. Michael and I had chips instead!!!

While we were traveling there was a call on the radio that they had sent out the Med-evac Helicopter to pick up someone. It is a good reminder that we must continue to be careful.

We were hoping to get a mooring at Blue Pearl Bay, but all of them were in use when we arrived. There is supposed to be a two hour time limit on the moorings during the day, so we “stalked” for a while by sailing back and forth across the mouth of the bay, waiting for someone to leave. We had just decided to leave this bay and go to the next one and Danny had revved up the boat when we saw someone heading out. Danny did a wonderful U-Turn in the water and we were able to pull up easily to an empty mooring.

We put on the snorkeling gear and took the Tinnie over to one of the beaches. The snorkeling was much nicer at this bay and there was tons of live coral. We watched the big Parrot Fish eating the coral and could even hear them crunching thru the water. We also saw sponges, purple and blue corals, Cabbage Coral, Brain Coral and LOTS of fish. It is such fun to watch them sparkling and shimmering in the sunlight. We saw a Yellow Damsel fish, a Stripey, a Coral Trout, Leopard Fish, and Banded Humbugs, which were cute black and white ones.

We went back to the boat and had another wonderful lunch and spent some time resting again. We were having trouble with the mooring buoy bumping into the boat, so Michael and Danny decided to pull the boat in a little tighter to the mooring. While we were at the bow of the boat, we noticed these large, Angel type Fish swimming under the boat. We moved to the stern of the boat and started feeding them some of our leftover bread rolls. It was great fun watching them fight for the bread. Michael was even able to feed some of them from his hand.

While we were on the port side of the boat feeding the fish, we heard a splash and a great gasp of air and looked up to see that a Sea Turtle had surfaced just off of the Starboard side of the boat…..too many animals to photograph at once!!!!

We had Happy Hour about 5:30 and dinner at 7:00…..this time it was Tacos, prepared by the Yanks.

After dinner, we all wandered out to the front of the boat where there are trampolines (not for jumping) that you can sit on. We spent the next hour or so looking at the stars and “Sticky Beaking” at all of the neighboring boats. We had quite a collection, from a HUGE cabin cruiser with only one family aboard to a modest size catamaran with 17 on board. There was also a Schooner (large and with two masts) just beside us and we think that they were carrying a number of backpackers. Finally, there was a massive cruiser that had neon lights on the stern and lights everywhere on board. We could hear music coming from it and dubbed it the “Party Boat”.

Dessert was at 9:00…..waffles, with ice cream and chocolate sauce, followed by a cup of tea.

Then off to bed looking at the stars through the open hatch over our bed.

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