Monday, April 20, 2009

Home To Trellis Bay

[Kyle]Since our trip from Benures Bay to our “home” in Trellis Bay was supposed to be a long one into the trade winds of up to 25kt and against the swells, I made sure we got an early start so we could make generous tacks and complete the journey without having to push the boat too hard.

The anchor was up just after sunrise. I may have purposely come just a little too close to Grumpy’s boat for his comfort (remember he has a wide exclusion zone) on the way exiting the bay (not close enough to be unsafe mind you). This, of course, caused grumpy to come booming out into his cockpit (fully nude of course), screaming obscenities at both of us, and suggesting we get sailing lessons. I had a nice cathartic scream back (our apologies to the others in the anchorage who may have still been sleeping). Even then, Maryanne was still hoping to wear him down with an exchange of kindness, but failed to get any conversation in over the screaming.

With grumpy purged from our system and a content and righteous smile on my face, we entered the channel between Norman and Peter Islands for the trip around the East side of Peter Island. (Peter Island circumnavigation – check!). We tacked back and forth and eventually found ourselves in big swells in 1500’ of water off the island shelf before tacking back into Sir Francis Drake Chanel and returning to our usual spot in Trellis Bay beside the Last Resort Restaurant. We’d made such good time in the strong winds that we actually managed to have the anchor set by noon, in plenty of time for the afternoon show.

Maryanne had been talking to me for a while about the entertainment value of our particular anchorage, but this afternoon as the charterers arrived to anchor and moor for the night, I got to see the show in full swing. Our first exciting episode involved a SunSail charter boat trying to pick up a mooring. Time after time the skipper would almost get to the mooring and then bring the boat to a stop too far away, or drift off, or pass by too fast. At first it was hilarious, but we soon began to feel pity, but the time they were successfully attached to the mooring (about the 8th try) we were rooting for them like the underdog in a world championship. Two more misses and I’d have swum over and handed them the pennant myself. Poor guys. To their credit, they remained calm and collected the entire time, never once shouting nor losing their cool. Hey, you have to learn somehow! Way to go guys, you earned those rum drinks.

Next was the dinghy show. Footprint is anchored just on the edge of an infamous shoal. The anchor is in about 9’ of water but the stern in about 2.5' of water. Beyond that the water quickly shoals to ankle deep. When I jumped in to check on the anchor I was standing in my fins in thigh high water, a few steps further and the water is ankle deep. This is, of course, too shallow for most dinghies with an outboard motor and we would occasionally see people take the “short cut” to the dinghy dock only to have their propellers grind, engine stall, followed by confusion, realization, and then a hasty exit under oars or by jumping out and pushing. ON a few occasions we notice an imminent event we try to wave people out of danger, but usually they continue on in confusion of our intent, before the realization hits them when they run aground.

A week or so ago, while I was at work, I was actually on the phone with Maryanne and got to hear her half of a conversation as she tried to warn a monohull about the shoal. They heard her but were convinced they could squeeze through, it grounded. Maryanne tells me that this particular spot of ours is good for about 3-4 dinghies a day and 3-4 big boats a week. Way better than television.

I’m off to work now, and won’t be sailing again until our exit North from the Virgin Islands next month.


kate said...

that paragraph about shouting with grumpy naked guy was H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S! bravo, kyle!

JD said...

Too Funny! Other options as you passed by (for future reference):

1. Sail past naked (the egalitarian solution)
2. Give 'ole Grumpy an Astronomy lesson (show him a couple of moons and the rings of Uranus)
3. Break wind loudly into your hailer mic as you sail past (extra points if you do a long and two short blasts in the fog!)

Thanks for the great laugh!

Mommy Dearest said...

I still want to know what you actually shouted to Grumpy, Kyle. That would have been the best show of all. Maybe Maryanne will tell on you in your absence, hehe.

Anonymous said...

Grumpy's "collison avoidance system" of full frontal nudity seems to be working for him. I wonder if he has a patent on that system. West Marine never heard of it yet. Does not use much 12v juice though. He will be sorry though if some nurse shark mistakes that equipment for bait and makes a full frontal attack.