September 30, 2008
According to plan today is our "passage" to Anegada. While we were enjoying breakfast the local Mobile Mall pulled alongside and a nice young lady opened her wares – hand made jewelry from local shells, stones and seeds. Nothing like an early morning shop on the starboard pontoon, Debbie always says, so they all spent a few minutes modeling, ooohing and paying.
You may remember the water fill we observed yesterday at Saba. Well, one of our tanks ran dry overnight and we had heard that there was no water on Anegada, so. . . the mooring was free maybe the water was, too. Our other alternative was to motor back across the sound to Leverick and delay our early start to Anegada. Fast and Free won out. David took the helm and guided us to a perfect docking and we connected up a hose and started to fill. I took some cash up to the building to see if there was an office open or someone around to pay. The place was deserted. We had one tank almost full when a salty older gentleman showed up in a small outboard. You guessed it – the Saba caretaker from across the bay! It had been he who filled his tanks the evening before. We explained our situation, offered, even begged, him to accept payment before he let us off with a stern look and a mumbled "rookie charter".
We hightailed it out of there as soon as we could, and motored full speed to the rock marking the exit of Gorda Sound. It was another perfect day for sailing. David set the autopilot on 5 degrees and we sliced through the 5 foot swells with just enough spray to delight everyone on the foredeck. At one point we noticed a dark spot just off the port side and thought it was a school of fish. Only after we thought a minute did we recognize it as our shadow reflecting off the sandy bottom through 70 feet of crystal clear water!
A brief visit by some dolphins playing at our bow brought everyone’s camera out for a Sea World moment. One of our favorite group pictures was taken when everyone looked up as Flipper headed away towards faster playmates.
The trip to Anegada was the one part of the trip we thought might be denied by the weather or by TMM’s rules, so we approached the infamous Setting Point entrance with outrageous caution. Shoal lookouts were posted at every corner of the MarthaR. We crept from buoy to buoy, dismayed that one was missing, and fearful of a coral crunching, hull tearing surprise. The depth gauge dropped to 12 then 10 then 8 feet but the crunch never came and soon we were cruising through the large mooring field to an anchorage near a stately wooden vessel. We spent the night straight out from the Anegada Reef Hotal dock – a fact we all came to appreciate the following evening.
This was an evening of star gazing the universe from the trampolines. We enjoyed a light hearted photo op with our Cuban cigars, and spent a long time contemplating the Dorfmueller conundrum – Can we determine our position in the Milky Way by observing the stars?