Saturday, November 1, 2014

Island Hopping

Latitude 22 degrees 12.69 minutes S
Longitude 166 degrees 20.18 minutes E

We spent two nights off "Ilot Signal." We circum-ambulated the outer perimeter along the water one day and then walked the inside path. Both were great short walks with lots to see. The inside path took us very close to many seabird nests – nests that are underground. As you'd walk by, you'd hear soothing cooing sounds coming from under the ground. You had to step carefully around the giant holes along the path. In one area, the marine park built a wooden walkway to take you over the hundreds of nests. There are interesting plants in what they call the "dry forest" of the island and a few historical points of interest including the phallic shaped monument for which the island is named. This was built by old sea captain to mark the way and has been re-built and maintained through the centuries. There is also the stone remnants of a limestone burning area – this was a giant oven to turn limestone rock into fertilizer and lime used for cleaning, medicines and building. We also enjoyed watching the local "Gendamarie Maritima" (the marine police) come in and anchor their 60 foot boat nearby. We thought we would get our papers checked – but no, they simply launched their inflatable and took what looked like a VIP ashore. Then we watched as the big boat did circles after dropping a diver overboard to obviously look for something. It was good entertainment.

The wind started to build and was predicted to get into the 20 plus knot range, and Ilot Signal is a pretty open area with very little protection. The second night was pretty rolly in the anchorage and it would only get worse so on Friday morning, we sailed off for "Baie Maa." This very large bay is supposed to have great holding and be protected from the normal trade winds (southeast). We had a lumpy sail over and settled into 8 meters of water surrounded by hills.
A unicorn came by the boat on Friday night! The small critter was Sophia from the sailing yacht Kailani – trick or treating amongst the boats. She was our only trickster that night but was as cute as can be. We'll be heading aboard their lovely Deerfoot 63 tonight for cocktails. We've heard this boat a lot on the radio nets, but had never met them until yesterday.

Right now there are 22 boats in this anchorage, so it is obviously the place to come for big winds. There are many local New Cal boats as well as a few cruising yachts.

Happy Halloween to all!

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