Kristen here – Today is Monday 5/25/09. We have just arrived at Harbor Island! Yay! We woke this morning to something unthinkable…SUN!!!! It was strange and felt odd on our skin. The wrinkly white, water drenched areas of our body started to dry out and we felt…wait for it…wait for it….WARMTH! Off came the long shirts and long pants, and on went the shorts and t-shirts. It was glorious!
This morning Little Woodytold us to be ready to cast off the dock at 9:15. Little Woody is the pilot who would be taking AlyCat and us through The Devil’s Backbone. This is the deep path of water that stretches from Spanish Wells to Harbor Island. It is loaded with twists and turns and many patches of coral. People have told us that you can navigate it yourself, but only on a calm sunny day. With all of these storms and clouds, we decided to play it safe.
We started out of Spanish Wells, following a line of markers that looked like telephone poles. Well, this isn’t too difficult, I thought. Little Woody was on AlyCat, in front of us, and we were following. All of a sudden he made a sharp left right in between two poles. Then I immediately knew we had made the right decision. The next turn was right around a point over a very light green section of water. Yup, definitely the right decision. From then on we wound our way between shore anywhere from 20-50 feet off our starboard side and reefs with waves crashing over them on our port side. We had sun for most of the 2 hour trip, but at times the clouds moved in and I couldn’t read the water at all. We passed over and around tons of coral, and I can’t wait to dinghy back there and check it all out!
Little Woody brought us right to our anchorage and we paid him and thanked him for the Johnny Cakes that his wife made. When he met us in Spanish Wells, he gave us Johnny Cakes (delicious bread shaped like an English muffin, but tastes like a biscuit) and said we could eat them for breakfast during the ride. We dropped the anchor, and discovered that our internet access was minimal. That means it’s time to motor around and search for internet! Yay! This is where I get ready to drop the anchor, Chris drives around, and Casey watches the computer for a good internet signal. When Casey sees the signal, Chris stops the boat, and I drop anchor. This time we only had to drop anchor twice! I am more than willing to do this, though, because a good internet signal means we can skype, and I can call my parents.
Once anchored, the kids did some school until everyone was ready to go ashore. While we were below, it started to rain. Then…it REALLY started to rain. Usually heavy rain only lasts a couple of minutes, so we waited. But this wasn’t stopping, and the thunder and lightning started as well. I wasn’t sure how much water we had in our tanks, so I suggested we try opening them up and letting the rain water flow in. We’ve heard of people doing this before, but we’ve never had a long hard rain to try it out. It had been raining hard for a couple of minutes, so our decks were clean and the water running down the sides was clean as well. I put on my working bathing suit (the one with the worn out bottom) and rushed upstairs to dam the water before the rain stopped. Our water intake is about ½ inch above the area where the water runs down the edge of the boat. This works out well because I could dam the water with a towel and the water would pool and rise up that ½ inch while the dirt stayed at the bottom. The beautiful, clean, pure, great tasting, and absolutely free rain water then just poured into our tanks. The starboard tank filled first, and I had little hope for the port tank as the rain started to slow.
I was drenched, so I sat in the cockpit and watched the pattern of the rain. You can see the heavier rain dance around the water in random patches. At one point I could see a small patch of heavy rain to my right and one at the bow while right around us it was light. The rain was so heavy, it would hit and pearls of water would splash up around it. When you went out from the cover of the dodger, the drops stung your skin.
But despite it all, we became giddy with excitement. I first got excited at the prospect of filling our tanks with free water. Anything free makes me happy! We did eventually fill our tanks. Casey was at the sink and all of a sudden the water overflow (a spout that flows into the sink) started to spew a steady stream. The rain just kept coming! So much fresh water! Casey came up top in his bathing suit and ran around the deck. Then we found a spot where water was just pouring off the dodger and you could sit under the steady stream. We each sat under it, tilted our heads back and took long drinks. We just couldn’t help but laugh at the sheer joy of all this fresh water. We took it for granted at home. Casey said he couldn’t believe that he took a 12 minute shower every other day when we were at home. This was the longest shower he’s had in many, many months. By now, even Chris had emerged in his swim trunks and was enjoying the rain.
Then we glanced at the dinghy and saw….BATH TIME! Oh boy! I asked Kaitlin (who was below the whole time because she didn’t want to get wet) to grab my shower bag. Casey and I jumped into the dinghy and washed and conditioned our hair. Each of us took turns writhing around on our backs in the fresh water, now about 4 inches deep on the bottom of the dinghy. Then we made like monkeys and splashed our chests with water, which turned into a splash each other fight. It felt like the first snowfall at home, when everyone comes out and makes snowmen and has a snowball fight. We looked over at Taua and noticed Caroline and Claudia playing in their dinghy as well.
Eventually the rain subsided, and we dried off and enjoyed some down time. Kaitlin is now over playing with Caroline on Taua, and Colby from Asolare is here playing with Casey. Tonight is a pot luck on AlyCat. I guess we’ll have to go to shore tomorrow! It’s good to be clean!