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Thursday, December 20, 2018

Day 3: Cooper Island to Prickly Pear Island

The day started with a 40 minute drive to the Baths. We had gotten up just about 20 minutes later than usual, and thus were not the first on the mooring balls. In fact, Arturo spotted a luxury cruise ship, one small enough to fit into the harbor just north of the baths and with a really long anchor, which was undoubtedly sending tourists our way.

Last year, Boen had cried all the way from the dinghy to the shore and then refused to let go of mommy once ashore. What a difference 18 months makes. This year, we towed him ashore with his snorkel vest on him, and while he cried a bit, once ashore, as long as I was carrying him on my shoulders he actually did OK. The hike was more challenging as a result, but we could do everything. We saw a girl from the Disney Princess cruise cry for what his dad said was 2 straight hours, and compared to that Boen was doing quite good.
On the other side, the kids played while Arturo and I, having decided that the place was way too crowded to attempt the hike back, decided to just snorkel back to the dinghy to fetch it, this being faster and also granted us the opportunity to snorkel.

Once back on the Omega, we decided to eat lunch, and then drove just a nautical mile north to the dive buoys marking the Aquarium. Arturo had great impressions of this, having much better memory for dives than I did, so I went along. It was a good dive, with lots of fish, and even a lobster!

Spanish Town had a dive tank fill, but I remembered that the harbor was a major pain to get in and out off, and there were no mooring balls inside the harbor, so I requested that Arturo and Mark make the run in the dinghy, since the harbor entrance was plainly visible! They did so without trouble, and then we headed north towards Lee Bay to see if it would make a good anchorage for the night.

We got there to find that the place already had 3 boats. "Marina Cay or Leverick Bay?" "Let's try Leverick Bay." What I hadn't anticipated was that with the destruction of Saba Rock and the Bitter End Yacht Club, Leverick Bay had become the most popular place in Gorda Sound! We arrived at 5:00pm only to discover that every mooring ball was taken and every anchorage was also taken. I thought about trying to squeeze in and decided that it was this sort of decision that would lead to a sleepless night for all involved, so we went across the sound to Prickly Pear Island where there were 3  boats already anchor'd but ample anchoring room for us.

We dropped anchor in about 20 feet of water and I asked for about 80 feet of chain, but Arturo must have been off because we ended up using all the chain, which was 200'. We raised enough chain to get about 100', but then some confident guy came in and anchored in front of us. Well, we were there first so any problems would have been his fault, but after Arturo dived the anchor I checked his position and the anchor was well behind the new Catamaran. The anchor was well dug in and so we could have a reasonable dinner and sleep well for the night.

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