Monday, January 30, 2017

stepping out

1 Jan 2017
Our anchoring spot at Lee Stocking Island has us just off shore from the Caribbean Marine Research Center:

We find ourselves with no immediately necessary boat projects and no impending storms.  How will we suffer through?

One morning here was more relaxed so we had home made sour dough pancakes.  Those of you who followed our misadventures 7 years ago might recall numerous comments about Sour Dough Saturdays, etc.  We have thought of having sour dough starter aboard each year, but couldn’t bring liquid starter aboard the airplanes.  This year we tried something different.  I had heard of powdered sour dough starter, so I poured some out on saran wrap and let it dry.  Then we bagged it and brought it along.  Ours was not powdered.  It was hard and in big chunks.  We didn’t have much hope, but a little flour and water to feed it and it came to life.   We’ve had whole wheat sour dough pancakes twice so far.

This day was set aside for hiking and exploring on the island.  The CMRC was a substantial research facility into which a lot of money had been invested.  Funding dried up and a little over 4 years ago it was shut down.  Personal possessions were packed up and the facility closed.  It was assumed it would re-open soon, but never did.  Food, computers, files, etc. were left behind.  Much of it has grown legs and disappeared, and storms have left unrepaired damage.  It is quite the ghost town now.  It had its own reverse osmosis water system and diesel  generation electrical system and landing strip.  There are over a dozen buildings for various purposes.  One of them holds dozens of large aquariums waiting to be refilled.  They also dammed around a natural lagoon so they could control water depth and inflow/outflow.  It is named Lobster Lagoon.

After wandering through several of the buildings, we walked across and down the island to several beautiful pinkish sand beaches.

Not every boat visiting the islands has a good trip.

At the northerly end of the island, we enjoyed our lunch on the deck of an abandoned home on a hill.  Our luncheon views?

On our way back through the facility, Barbara picked up a couple coconuts.  They weren’t completely green, nor were they ripe.  We both had seen people drinking exotic concoctions from green coconuts so we thought we would try to make our own.  I’ve never seen how “they” do it.  My efforts included a hand saw, a large screw driver and a hammer.  After much struggling and mess, I was able to puncture the nut and drain off the fluid.  It was clear, not milky.  However, when a little dark rum was added it made a tasty island cocktail!

During the day, no fish were to be seen around our boat.  However, right after dark, the water came alive with fish jumping and splashing.  They appeared to be about a foot and a half long.  What were they eating?  Where do they go in the daylight?

The next day was a lazy day and a short relocation to Leaf Cay.  It is best known for its “pink” iguanas.  They are not really pink all over, but the larger ones have pink on their legs and elsewhere.  When we arrived in our dinghy, they came out to greet us by the dozens. 

We left them to explore a couple other beaches on the island.  When arriving back at our dinghy, we learned why they surrounded us upon our arrival.

Passing tourist boats stop to show off the iguanas.  To make sure the iguanas do their share, the locals guiding the boats will bring bags of grapes.  The iguanas come out for lunch.

Another night at anchor and then off to Little Farmers Cay.

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