Spanish Pete

Sunday morning is grey and generally uninspiring however I am determined to take the boat out. There is very little wind and I imagine a little cruise around the lagoon for an hour or so. It is of course very warm, 28 degrees ish. Once out, the wind gets up a little, blowing pleasingly from the South West , which is perfect for a run up the coast. We zoom along and before I know it I am at Spanish Pete Island, some 10 miles north of the house.

The University from the sea

The University from the sea

This a delightful place, admittedly prettier with blue skies. I go for a snorkel and then set off home. The wind has got up and is blowing right on the nose. The tide is low and the channel  away from Spanish Pete is technical with reef on one side and big rocks on the other. I beat up, tacking every 3 or 4 minutes until eventually reaching a channel through the reef and open water.  Now I have to get home. Of course I have brought, no food, nor water, nor sunscreen. The wind is now quite fresh and I charge off towards China, going like hell but not in any direction in which I would like to go.  3 hours and a half later, I am off the house after a hard-bitten sail down the west coast of the island.  I loved every minute and thank you Flying Fish and Roseate Terns for keeping me amused. Spring tides making the passage into the lagoon and so the mooring very difficult. There is only one channel of deep water through the reef and the tide is so low that all the reef is fully exposed effectively creating a wall around the lagoon with just one way in, which we will call the Iron Gate.

The Iron Gate - check the dogleg

The Iron Gate – check the dogleg

Sailing into the Iron Gate with a strong wind blowing against you and no sunscreen is a wonderful way to pass the time. The Scaffie dances, ducks and weaves her way through with great skill and we are safely into the lagoon. Well, usually safe but the water is so low that big lumps of coral that are normally several feet underwater are now only inches from the surface. I am coming in very fast and just realize the danger in time.  I turn upwind and get down the sail in the most inelegant fashion. I eventually have to anchor the Scaffie way out in the lagoon for want of water. What fun to be had in boats.

A long way from home.

A long way from home.

Here is a long dull video.

Sweet Tara gave me a bottle of whisky and two packs of bacon for my birthday. She understands me. After my time at sea I determine to make some real sailor grub, no raw fish and raw vegetables but potatoes, onions and bacon. I have been making a dish that I got from a book called Poor Cook by I think Caroline Conran, in 1970. You bake onions, potatoes and bacon in a white sauce.

Very cheap

Very cheap

It is delicious! I bet real pirates ate it.

After a couple of hours in the Cobb

After a couple of hours in the Cobb

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