Cobb Life

JUN 2019

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12 COBB LIFE | JUNE 2019 Our captain (a very crusty elderly gentleman) told us it was Sin City and that he guaranteed we would not want to stay long. What does it say about us that we absolutely LOVED it? Ha! It is clean, full of friendly people, and has the Pink Sand Beach, at which I could happily have stayed for a week. You rent a golf cart right across from the dock. You drive that cart about three long blocks to the public beach access. At the end of the access road is a fabulous (albeit crazy-expensive) restaurant and a little shack that rents chairs, umbrellas, towels, snorkel gear, paddle boards – anything you might need for a beach day. And Cheetos. We plopped ourselves down on two chairs and beached, all day. It was heavenly. The only thing I neglected to do was take a picture of the pink sand. Truth be told, the pink is very faint. It is mostly white, with a pinkish tinge, from coral they say. But it is glorious, because it was the softest sand I have ever walked on. Not hot at all – cool and smooth beneath your feet. If I'd had a little more time, I'd have rented snorkel gear too and swum out to the reef to see if I could find some fish. That's okay, though – I have already decided I will find a way to come back here. The only bad thing that happened to us this day was having to leave to go back and meet Captain Crusty at the ferry dock. Oh, and our dinghy had some water in it when we got back. We don't know why – it wasn't alarming, but it's yet another problem to solve. So ,we counted this as a very successful day. L ast week, I was in a hard place, mentally and emotionally, after all the drama with our passage back to the Bahamas and our engine troubles and the approaching storm. So Andy suggested a mental-health field trip – something fun, to remind us why we wanted to take this journey in the first place. We were anchored in a beautiful cove o' of Cat Cay, in the Biminis. Cat is a small private island, and outsiders are not welcome ashore. But just north of Cat Cay is the unpopulated Gun Cay, and at the top of Gun Cay is Honeymoon Harbor – a popular beach and snorkeling spot. We had anchored there once overnight, after an all-night passage, but we did not go exploring then. So, Andy did a little research and found that Honeymoon Harbor is the home of stingrays and turtles. A worthy candidate for a field trip! We loaded up the dinghy with towels, water, and snorkel gear, and motored about a mile to Honeymoon. The sea was calm, almost placid, making the ride smooth and enjoyable. As we approached the beach, we slowed down to evaluate where to tie up the dinghy among several other boats already there. Then we saw them – a large school of rays! We drifted toward a dock and found a spot to tie on, eager to get closer to the stingrays. We knew from previous experiences that stingrays are gentle creatures that only sting you when you step on them. As long as you shu"e your feet along the sand, they will hear you coming and get out of your way, so there's little risk of either of you getting hurt. Several families with kids and dogs were already in the water feeding the rays – it's a common practice here, and Andy had brought a small bag of bait fish from the stock he keeps in our freezer. (Mr. Project Manager believes in planning ahead.) We carefully climbed out of the boat and eased into the water. It was cool and clear, and about 10 rays swam immediately to us. They were so beautiful – gray, with some blue tones up close, varying sizes, gliding smoothly over the sand and each other. At first we just put the bait in the water and watched the rays race each other to it. But a man near our boat advised us that we could just hold a piece of fish in our fingers, and let the rays swim over and "Hoover" it up directly from our hands. He explained that their "teeth" are more like sandpaper, and they simply suck the food up from the surface of your hand. We both tried it, but only Andy was bold enough to hang on to the bait long enough for the ray to suck it up. A word on the color of the water here – WOW! After our bait was eaten up and the rays moved on to the little kids with a full bucket, we took some time to walk on the beach and gaze out over the glorious water. Every shade of turquoise – I did not know there were so many. Eventually, we struck up a conversation with the – • S w i m m i n g w i th S t i n g ra y s • – OUR CAPTAIN (a very crusty elderly gentleman) TOLD US IT WAS SIN CITY AND THAT HE GUARANTEED WE WOULD NOT WANT TO STAY LONG. WHAT DOES IT SAY ABOUT US THAT WE ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT? KAREN CR OWE

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