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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Boat friends aboard!

Friday we were up with the sun (well, nearly) and were underway at 0710. We slipped out of the marina at high tide with no mishap, and motored across the Caicos Bank in utterly calm waters (variable winds @ 3 knots) on our way south to French Cay. Blue skies and bright sun on the water....what a treat for Dan and Trish: crystal clear teal and turquoise waters from horizon to horizon sparkling in the sunshine -- we are not on the Chesapeake any more, Toto!
Ron and Dan at the helm en route to French Cay
We saw the Turks and Caicos Explorer already on a mooring when we pulled up to French Cay. We took the G-Spot mooring (pink buoy) as we came off the Bank, but other than that, there were no other boats around. Then we geared up  for a dive; Trish is certified, but hadn’t dived in a while, so Ron put his training (rescue diver that he is) to the test and did a complete review and renew on skills with her beforehand. Once in, Trish and I floated about and made sure she was feeling comfortable with the gear while Ron watched from the transom, ready to assist if needed. She admitted to feeling a bit nervous, so we calmly floated about, adjusting her weights and the fit of her gear until she was feeling calmer,  more confident and eager to dive. Ron then joined us in the water, and we three descended without issue, following the mooring line down to 50’. Unfortunately, with the rough seas of the past few days, visibility really was low -- not up to its usual gorgeous clarity -- but that didn't matter to Trish! She was happy to be in the water and amongst the fish. We meandered along the top of the reef, just enjoying the fish life. We saw great schools of blue chromis, wrasses, angelfish, butterfly fish, lots of parrotfish, and even a small spotted moray and a large green moray -- delightful! Oddly though, no sharks! 
Trish getting ready for the second dive
We moved to a nearby mooring for the afternoon dive, which just as fun, but again, without sharks. Since Dan doesn't dive, Ron, Dan and Trish went out in Eclipse for some exploration of the shallower reefs, where they snorkeled and looked for lobster...with the lobster being wily once again, and no where to be found. However, they did come across a very large 7' nurse shark! 
Blue skies and calm seas for snorkeling and exploration
Sunset had some clouds on the horizon and squalls to our north, with the winds picking up a bit. We watched the amazing myriad of sea life, from diatoms to blood worms to sea wasps and small bait fish that the crevalle jacks were feeding on. We were all mesmerized by the scene, by the "biological soup" as Ron called it. A great day and night aboard!

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