Sunday, August 31, 2008

just another boating day in paradise...

While we are "hunkered down" here watching Tropical Storm Hanna blow all over us, I thought I would stick up some more photos. So far this season we have watched storms Fay, Gustav, and Hanna go by us on their way to the USA. We watch the weather very closely this time of year, of course. We cannot just hop in the car and drive inland. Well, we could, but two miles from here we would be back on the beach again. Not much help. It's a nervous feeling stuck out here facing Africa and watching storms approach on the weather sites. Kind of like trying to play dodgeball when you can't move your feet.

In between storms, we are still getting some usable "atmospheric" photos, although not our best shots:

Lately it seems the dawns are a little more interesting than the sunsets have been:

But I am sure that is subjective. I am biased. It's possible I like the water and sky without all the island stuff between the scene and the camera.

Yesterday we took the opportunity of the last nice day in the forecast for a while, and spent the afternoon on our boat. No specific destination, just enjoying the day and the ocean. We cruised up along the shoreline of several small islands, keeping an eye out for any interesting driftwood that might be useful for something. I have been trying to collect bamboo lately. I have an idea for using it to build some small gates.

The reef side of Water Cay is one of our favorite local areas. The shore there is lined with small limestone caves, and little private beaches. Perfect places to anchor a boat and have a picnic:

And of course we have our usual crew on lookout duty in case we see something that needs investigating. Or perhaps something that needs biting. Or just something that he feels needs to be annoyed.

I like this spot. We are going to have to pack a lunch and go hang out here one of these days when we are not on a mission:

The dog really is good for keeping a lookout. Anything at all that breaks the water surface gets his attention. He kept his eye on this shipwreck for at least a mile before we got to it:

Every time we find ourselves running this route between Providenciales and Pine Cay at night I tend to stay a half mile or so offshore, just because of this and a few miscellaneous rocks:

It could ruin your whole evening to hit this thing in the dark in a boat.

While we were checking out the beach for driftwood (we didn't find anything worth getting wet for) I looked out a bit further and spotted what I suspect is the same bottle-nosed dolphin people here have named Jo Jo. So I turned the boat and headed out to see how close we could get:

And it's no problem to get near him. In fact, as soon as he spots Dooley the Delinquent Dog on the boat, he comes over to us for a look:

(sorry for the blurry photo, I think this camera is continuing to develop some issues. We are looking for a waterproof replacement.)

This happens to us now every time we see the dolphin. I am convinced that there is some rapport going on between him and the dog.

He will pace the boat, staying on the same side as the dog. And while the dog would be barking frantically if this were any other fish...he is strangely quiet and attentive when it's the dolphin.

We continued on up to Fort George Cay, which is usually a good place to find some driftwood. We did not see any bamboo. We did spot some likely sources of seasoned wood, but not having a saw with us we decided to leave it for another day when I wasn't feeling so lazy:

We did see three pelicans sitting in a tree:

We motored over to see how close they would tolerate us before flying. We don't normally see these birds in trees, and I guess I had assumed their webbed feet were not great for holding onto branches. I thought they would take off, but they didn't:

Maybe the dolphin called ahead and told them to check out the funny little dog.

Or maybe he told them to mark that pile of driftwood for us...

We motored around for a while longer, looking at beaches and a place to drop the hook, turn the boat off, and go for a swim. The tip of Ft. George is usually a good spot for that:

But when we rounded the point we found the beach there was absolutely mobbed with boats and people...

So we motored on off to a more private spot where we spent the next couple of hours just floating around, relaxing, and messing with the dog's head. I did not get any swimming dog photos this time, because we no longer trust the camera in the ocean.

Other than watching storms, repairing things and DIY projects the past week has been a bit on the quiet side. I am almost finished with some workshop drawers:

Which has allowed me to get enough clutter off the workbench to actually be able to see the workbench. Now I need to straighten these up and build four more for the other side.

We are still planning some boating trips this season, if the hurricanes will give us some breathing room. A friend I met on an internet boating forum is in charge of all the fishing activities out at Ambergris Cay. He posted some photos he took of a sailboat out there, and we have now added that to the list of places we want to go snorkel around for a look. Here are a couple of photos that got my attention:

(sunken sailboat photos courtesy of Capt. John Mallette)

Ambergris Cay is a private island being developed as the Turks & Caicos Sporting Club.It would be about a 90 mile round trip for us in the boat so we would not undertake it at the last minute. It would be a full day, and we would for sure want a good weather forecast. It should be good for some nice photos. Or at least I imagine it should be.

As usual, I will finish this post with some more sunset photos. We must have a few hundred of these by now. A shame they are not good for anything but looking at, but somehow I hate to delete them:

And one with some of our new fountain grass foliage:


Anonymous said...

"A shame they are not good for anything but looking at, but somehow I hate to delete them:"

Hmmm... Save them for passing around the retirement home - "See where we used to live".

Or... "See Sam, this is where Gramps and Gram lived."

The best part is that they don't take up any real storage space. Just some electrical charges on a magnetic medium.

Stay hunkered down as Hanna decides where to go.


Anonymous said...

Great photos, thanks. Good luck with Hannah...hopefully she misses you. Looks like it may be an exciting fall season this year...


Anonymous said...

Whaddya mean "not good for anything"?!!

They're great for lookin' at, and I'd bet jigsaw puzzle makers might like 'em too.