04/17/2013, Highbourne Cay
Bound for Boundless! 16 April: 5 a.m. airport shuttle to Newark, New Jersey. Hanging out in the United Club eating bagels and paying cards. Smooth flight, landing at 1:20 p.m. in Nassau, Bahamas. Greetings from Captain Jeff. Wind is right, and conditions best to set sail. We begin our 6-hour journey to Ship Channel Cay in the Exumas. A fine meal and a first night’s sleep aboard the gently rocking sailboat. The night is dark and the sky chock full of stars. We’ve arrived!
Tuesday, 17 April: Hello, Day! Surrounded by turquoise blue waters, white sands, pure and simple island nature, and we are the only people here.
Cockpit meeting with Jakob as Captain for the day, Elena as First Mate. We record our latitude and longitude, wind speed/direction, barometric pressure, amps, and more. Climb aboard the dinghy to a day of snorkeling. Followed a sea turtle, saw barracuda, parrot fish, and even a large southern sting ray buried in the sand. Swimming off the boat, lots of fun in the sun. Set sail to Highbourne Cay – site of a little known reef called Octopus Garden, which is where we will begin our undersea exploration tomorrow. What a day! Stay tuned for more … right now, it is sleepy time!
04/18/2013, Norman’s Cay
Thursday, already??? 18 April 2013.
We awoke around the same time as yesterday, 0700 to be correct in sailing terms. Breakfast of hot chocolate, cereal, and fruit tasted great for a morning at sea. After the cockpit meeting, we lathered up, got the wetsuits on, and took the dinghy to Octopus’s Garden (not many people know of this great snorkel spot, according to Captain Jeff). There was a current, so I literally did nothing but breathe when snorkeling. The fish and coral were both spectacular. I am thankful for being able to go on this trip, especially because of the stars. – Emma
AMAZING! The see-through water was so clear that I saw fish circling 13 feet below as I was putting on my snorkel gear from inside the dinghy. “Okay, it is in neutral, so jump in,” Captain Jeff said as he prepared us for our drift dive. He would then take the dinghy to the other end of the reef to pick us up.
As I jumped in, the cool water rushed through every opening in my wetsuit and soon my body was chilled. I quickly warmed up and was snorkeling alongside my snorkel-buddy Elena, without a care in the world. – Jakob
Today we went snorkeling in Octopus’s Garden. There were no octopus, but plenty of coral and fish. It was colorful and bright. There were blue, green, red, and black all over the place and many more colors of fish, too! The brightest were angelfish – blue and yellow. It was fun to snorkel and be able to see all of the different kinds of fish. – Gabe
Jeff brought us to Octopus’s Garden in the dinghy, a small motorboat that can be attached to the sailboat. Octopus’s Garden is like a garden of coral and fish. We saw bunches and bunches of fish. My favorite was a rainbow fish. The head was purplish-blue, and the scales were all different colors. Tomorrow we are going to snorkel inside a sunken aircraft. I think that will be so cool! – Elena
My third day on Boundless and we swam at Octopus’s Garden, one of the greatest coral reefs anywhere, although almost no one knows about it. It was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. There were so many beautiful corals and fish, so many different colors and shapes – I cannot wait to post the pics! – Nolan
Well, today we did a lot! It started with Emma’s goggles not working and continued onto playing at an amazing beach. While snorkeling in Octopus’s Garden, we saw lots and lots of bright blue, purple, yellow, and many more colors of fish. No barracudas were in sight today … but they were there … somewhere. The food is great, the boat is fabulous, showers are surprisingly a lot better than last year, and it is so much fun. In conclusion, everything here is fantastic and looks like a real-life postcard! – Jody
04/19/2013, Ship Channel Cay
Friday, 19 April 2013: Another sunny day in the Exumas. Today featured snorkeling inside and around a sunken plane, a swift-drift dive along a reef called “the refrigerator”, where we found some conch (hence the reef’s name).
After a fine lunch of grilled cheese, we sailed to Allen’s Cay, the island famous for its indigenous and endangered Exuma Igaunas that roam the island and come mighty close to us visiting humans. While on the small beach, Captain Jeff instructed the group in how to remove conch from its shell – quite a process. Tomorrow, we will be eating conch fritters for lunch.
A full day we’ve had. Everyone is relaxed and tired and very much enjoying life aboard Boundless.
A couple of quotes for today:
“No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars or sailed to an uncharted land or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.” – Helen Keller
“How you spend your minutes determines how you spend your life.”
Gratitude and love,