Saturday, December 1, 2007

Back to sea, briefly

We wanted to head out to the reef yesterday. We had been ashore for a few days and needed the ocean. Common ailment with us. So we loaded up the Boston Whaler and headed for the blue. We got a mile out of Leeward and turned around. It was just rough enough to make it an uncomfortable ride on the Whaler, and the water was stirred up enough to affect the visibility. We decided to head up to Pine Cay and pick up our diving compressor to bring back to Provo with us. On the way we stopped at a local navigational aid to enter it into the Whaler's GPS system as a waypoint. People have been adding visual aids to it since we were last here a month or so ago. The dog always pays close attention to strange looking things on the ocean, in case they involve a fish that requires biting.

I have found it difficult to get a still photo that shows accurately how lumpy the water is. The two-dimensional aspect of it just doesn't do it justice, but even on the Bank yesterday we had a good two foot chop. The Boston Whaler rides a whole lot differently than our Panga. Each boat has it's own characteristics, and they are very noticeable when the water gets rough.
We were only on Pine Cay briefly, just long enough to gather up our diving hookah and take it back to the boat. La Gringa and Dooley did go for a wade in the ocean. Water temp here is still in the low 80's.

Actually she was encouraging the little PITA to wash off the fish he had found to roll in on the beach. Just one of his less endearing habits.

I know there are some fellow woodworkers reading the blog. I wanted to mention this wood that is very common here, from the Casurinas tree. It's also called Australian Pine, but it's not a pine. In fact, its not a soft wood at all. It's hard, and sturdy, and I have read that it has a very high heat index, burns clean and hot for a long time, and makes beautiful furniture. Last spring I had picked up a few pieces on the beach and put them aside to dry out. Now that my workshop is becoming a reality, I took a look at the now-seasoned Casurinas branch to see how it looked. It's got a very interesting grain, that almost glows with irridescence in the sunlight:

These trees are common here, and considered almost a nuisance. I have seen them with trunks a foot or more in diamter,which means I can easily find pieces of this big enough to turn salad bowls, lamps, candlesticks, furniture legs, etc. once I get a lathe set up. I have a feeling it's going to be fun to work with. And the scraps will be great to use cooking barbeque. With a bandsaw, I can resaw it into planks. This is gonna be fun.

We have the parts I need to repair the hookah, and we decided to bring it to Provo. It's been on Pine Cay for almost four years, and we intend to start using it a lot more than we have been. Especially since we got the new metal detector. The hookah, for those who don't know, is a small gasoline powered compressor that floats on the surface and supplies air to several divers at once. It's got some advantages over SCUBA in a place like this. We loaded it all up in the bow of the boat an headed back:

Now I have to remove the old carburator, install the new one, and work on waterproofing the ignition wiring. It's a strange experience to be swimming along at 30 or 40 feet down when the compressor quits. Not a place for people who panic over a little thing like being suddenly unable to breathe.

We bounced and splashed our way back to Provo to the marina where we are parking the boat. You know the slip, it's easily defined as the second inside slip on the right at Walkin Marina at Heaving-Down-Rock at Leeward-Going-Through on Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands in the British West Indies.....

Maybe I am starting to understand why we don't have house postal addresses or mail delivery here...

That was basically how we spent our Friday afternoon. Not all that exciting, but sure beats sitting in traffic on I-95. Any day we spend on the water is a good day, as far as we are concerned.

After we got back to Provo, La Gringa got some emails from Trish, of "Catch the Wave" charters. It looks like the wahoo are here in force:

(Trish, next time take the photo with the sun in FRONT of you)

(or wait til dark and use a flash, yeah, that'll work too....)

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