Norman's Cay 2

Ambler Isle
V and S
Thu 6 Jan 2011 15:39
The call for assistance came at dusk. Christmas day.   An 80' Sunseeker, Alantria had gone aground at the entrance to the pond on the east side of Norman's Cay, just a short distance from us.  The 100' dive boat Aqua Cat answered the call and suggested they call  a boat out of Samson Cay that did towing work, Zoo Keeper.  The radio became silent and we assumed further discussions were being made by cell phone.  However, the next day, the Sunseeker was back on the VHF, speaking to the dive boat.  They were still stuck and desperately needed a tow.  The dive boat sent their tender with a diver to inspect the hull.  Meanwhile, a salvage company called to offer assistance in salvaging the boat.  Salvage of a boat is very costly.  It is assumed that the boat might be extremely damaged if not moved, and the salvage company is able to charge up to half the value of the boat for this service.  The captain decided to wait and see what the diver reported.  There was no hull damage, but one prop was ruined and the other somewhat damaged, too.  The tide was high, and soon the boat was towed free.  They slowly made their way to the marina at Highbourne Cay, some few miles north and tied up the boat.  They could arrange for prop repairs to be made from there. 
The winds continued to blow, so next day we decided to move to a more sheltered anchorage closer to the island.  It was so chilly, we had to don our heavy winter float coats and woolen caps.  Mornings are about 60 degrees, and there is little warming by day.  Winds have gusted to 30k, but otherwise are about 20-25k.  The waves in our protected bay have white caps. We got in the dinghy to inspect the anchor set, but the normally crystal clear water was murky from the stirred up sand.  We decided to take a shore walk, but when we started to tie up to the old, decrepit government dock, we spotted the Highbourne Hailer,  a 30' boat bearing passengers for the airstrip. (maybe the captain of the Alantria?)  We moved to let them tied up, and decided to take our walk another day.  Instead we opted to go home and have a nice cup of cappuccino to warm the bones.  Then, like magic, the winds died to 10-15k.  The waves settled down, and there was an eerie stillness.  The tide was slack and even the constant roar of the tidal currents underneath the Amber Isle were quiet.  Were we aground?  No, of course not, but there was no movement at all.