On Norman's Pond or some version- thereof

Trip Start Mar 09, 2009
Trip End May 26, 2009

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Monday, April 6, 2009

April 6, 2009 - Norman Cay    Day 2
N24 37.506   W76 48.717
Today is a new day with a new set of challenges and joys.  Similar challenges as I would get at home - I could roll off the couch reaching for something.....stub my foot on the way to the bath and slip on my kitchen floor!  Roll, stub, slip - just about anywhere - it's all in your perspective.
This morning's perspective is a slightly different view from last nights.  We had low tide at around 11PM.  Around midnight Dave reported that the water level was below our sea cocks in the head....but we did not roll - just sat firmly on our wing keel.
Around 4AM we both felt the slightest of movement - a very little rocking that was different from the solidness we'd been experiencing.  A boat sitting solid in the water is a strange feeling.  Since it was still dark, we couldn't really accomplish anything on deck we decided to wait another hour until it was closer to high tide. 
Around 5AM we pulled on the anchor some and Dave put the boat in gear as I pulled the anchor and Spindrift's bow swung ever so slowly toward the deeper water.  We were free of our overnight spot .... No longer destined to spend eternity just off the channel in Norman Cays.

We secured the boat in deeper water and went below to wait until sunlight.  At 7:30AM we were delightfully still floating.  The current of the now outgoing tide was over-riding the effect of the wind so we had wind coming down the companionway rather than the bow. 
On VHF we heard the 7:30 AM weather forecast out of Highbourne Cay and the front is still marching down.  We are going to pursue getting into The Pond as it provides excellent protection 360 degrees.  That is if we can get in there!
Pavlidis' guide goes on to say ....."Leaving the western tip a wide berth head westward then turn north" - that's where we spent most of today.  At 11:30AM we are again sitting on a sandbar - just 3' from deep water just 3' from the entrance to The Pond.  The tide is going out so we aren't going anywhere for a while.

     We were frequented by several visitors while whiling our time away.  Had visitors from "Jade" who had dinghied over from their anchorage outside of The Pond.  They have a 5' draft and were afraid they couldn't get in here.  There is another boat anchored just inside the cut, where we probably should have anchored.  Saw two masts on the other side of the cut - one of the boats was attempting to enter through the wrong cut and it stopped short - they didn't come any further in. 
A couple on a power boat stopped by and gave us some depth readings.  Said we were only a couple of feet from freedom but that it was dead low tide.  Since we didn't have anything better to do, and it was a beautiful day - S 10kts - we just cooled our jets and enjoyed the beautiful place we were stuck in. 
Made lunch and relaxed.  About every hour we'd give it a shot to see if we could get out.  At around 2 we put up the headsail thinking that might give us a boost - it didn't but we did get turned around a bit.
Four young people (late 20's, early 30's) came over for a visit in their dinghy.  They are on the Gulfstar just outside the entrance with a 6' draft and didn't attempt to come any further into the pond.  They are from New Zealand and Australia.  Very friendly kids - on their way to the Dominican Republic.  They asked if there was anything they could do to help, we told them no - we'd wait for the water.  Before leaving they told us to call them on Ch 16 if we need anything - their boat's name is CANT.  I bet they can!
Around 3PM we gave it another shot and sprung off the sandbar.  Came off it with such a force that our dinghy got cockeyed and came up on it's side and almost flipped.  We were in 15.5' of water and frantically trying to loosen the lines so we didn't loose the dinghy or motor.  One of our oars and the cushion floated away.  I ran forward and dropped anchor while Dave sorted out the dinghy issue.
Captn Dave get rescued by a beautiful French woman!!!!
Anchor held and we were now in 15.5' of water.  Dave got in the dinghy, started the engine and headed out to pick up the cushion and to find the oar.  By this time the wind was picking up 15-20 kts out of the south getting ready to swing around to the west.  As Dave gets the cushion, I can see him pulling the cord on the engine.  It has obviously stopped and not starting again!
The wind is blowing him further away from Spindrift.  I watched him pull out his one oar and try to row the dinghy as a canoe - however with inflatables there is a lot of windage and he was getting blown further and further away from the boat.  At this point I'm thinking I'm going to have to run up to the bow and pull in the 100' of  rode and chain and anchor, and dash back to the wheel and take Spindrift to him.   However, he was being blown closer to shore and it's shallow over there. 
Then rounding the point I saw a dinghy coming into The Pond.  Dave and I both waved and the operator saw Dave and headed over to help him, picking up our errant oar on the way.  The dinghy gets to Dave, finally, and pushes him back over to Spindrift which is a good ways to go. 
So.....Capn Dave gets rescued in Norman Cay's  Pond by a very good looking, well built, bikini clad French woman.  You gotta be impressed by his luck!
So as I write this, it's 5:00.  I'd love to say we're settled in but you never know what's going to happen next!
Life is good.
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Where I stayed
N24 37.506 W76 48.717
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