Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Grand Cayman to Florida

Sailing with Dummies (California to Texas Florida, Day 35)

Monday, July 13, 2009

by Mike

I took Elizabeth and Fullerton to the airport at 6:00 this morning. Back to civilization for them and now I’m stuck with Bob. It sure was nice having them along for as long as they could stand us.

After that we got fuel, picked up laundry, turned in the rental car, and checked out with customs. We also removed 59’ 9” of broken stainless steel hanging from the mast and lashed it to the side of the boat. It was good to get it out of the way. We would drop it in deep water later.

We unhooked and drove about 30 minutes to the northwest corner of the island and hooked up to a mooring ball there for a parting dive. We were looking for a wall to dive, hopefully with a light current. The depth at the mooring ball was 50 feet. The depth when the boat strung out behind the mooring ball was 79 feet. That was encouraging.

We both planned to follow the mooring ball to the bottom. However, once we got below the surface it was so clear and the current was light so we just went straight down. The coral formations were spectacular.

Swimming along at 60 feet we could go over straight drop offs of coral, and swim straight down the face of coral, surrounded by fish. It reminded me of the IMAX videos of airplanes flying over the cliffs in the Grand Canyon. There was coral as far down as we could see.

There was a natural temptation to go over the cliff edges and swim down to see what’s there. Problem is, the wall goes down … and down … and down. Within a hundred yards the depth is 700 feet, and just past there it is a few thousand feet.

I spent about 20 minutes between 60 and 95 feet and then spent the rest of the dive at 50 feet or less. There was plenty to see everywhere. When I got low air I spent a long time on the mooring rope at 15 feet, safety-stopping just in case. Bob did the same.

After the dive we took off for the west tip of Cuba. We dropped the front stay in 702 feet of water.

Our tour of the gulf coast of Texas will have to wait. We have decided to take the Minnow to Florida. We think some of the needed repairs will be easier to do there, so our next destination is Fort Lauderdale. We want to get the front stay fixed. And there’s the air conditioner issue.

Oh, and for all of you who are enjoying telling us that it is 102 in Oklahoma, a few questions:

(1)     How many of you were in 102 degrees when you sent the emails or text messages telling us it was 102?

(2)     What was the temperature in your office when you typed your message?

(3)     How many minutes have you spent in 102 degrees this summer?

Okay, I feel better … but it’s still hot warm here!

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