February 7-9, 2010... Pipe Cay

Sunday we left Sampson Cay after another rolly night thinking there had to be joy somewhere. Off we went, slogging west and north into 20 knot winds for the 4-mile run to Pipe Cay -- it seemed to take forever. Finally arrived, put the anchor down between Pipe and Little Pipe Cays and decided to reward our efforts with a kayak exploration. Well. We hadn't had much sleep, we were anxious, and John got a little ahead of the kayak in dismounting from Anhinga. Over the kayak goes and fills with water. (John was OK.) The next 45 minutes were spent as a rescue operation for our beloved yellow kayak. We finally got it up and bailed enough water out so that it was floating again. Not to be put off, we still went kayaking and circumnavigated the basin. Over by Pipe Cay we found mangroves and perched on one was a beautiful white bird that we later identified as the white morph of the Reddish Egret -- apparently an uncommon find! Circling Hattie Cay we found ourselves aground on a large sand flat and had to walk across pulling the kayak, but, we found our first live conch in the wild.
Monday we went out exploring again in the kayak; this time looking for the perfect spot for waiting out the NEXT cold front. We met an old hand who gave us some ideas, and also told us about the beautiful scenery on Thomas Cay. We decided to give it a look, and found the 'Pipe Creek Yacht Club' (a hut of found materials memorialized by many conch shells) and walked through the brush to the ocean side for some spectacular views. Back to the boat, we decided to move 1000 feet further north up the basin to ride out the next front. We were anchored well, only to find that the current had pushed us up on a sand ridge and we were aground. It was easy coming off, and we pulled ourselves off 2 more times. Finally we moved the boat in the middle of the night so that we were again afloat.
Tuesday, we corrected our anchoring location and spent more time swimming over the anchor and checking our position. We think we have it now. The front arrives tomorrow morning and we think we are in a good spot and will hold. Stay tuned. Photos to follow when we get access to internet.

between Little Pipe and Pipe Cays: +24° 14' 5.04", -76° 30' 12.06"
Pipe Cay basin off Smidgeon Cay: +24° 14' 12.48", -76° 30' 16.62"

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