Conception Island 2

Ambler Isle
V and S
Mon 14 Mar 2011 12:26
March 2011
After the Tropicbird show, we packed a lunch and loaded up the dinghy with fishing poles and diving gear.  It was sunny and warm already.  We went to say hi to our neighbors on White Pepper, Karl and Jan and to tell them of our plans.  We dragged lines for a while over the clear reefs on the NE side of the island.  Hooked a red hind, but he got off.  Rounding Booby Rock we dropped the anchor over a small coral reef.  Last time we were here Jack got lobster.  We would try for one, too. Slipping into the cool water we were glad we were wearing wetsuits.   No luck.  So we moved the dinghy to the next reef.  We like to keep the dinghy nearby for offloading fish we catch.  We saw numerous fish, but no lobster.  Also no lion fish.  After our picnic, we took the boat to shore to comb the lonely beach.  Three beautiful hamburger beans were added to our collection, although we found no shells.  Circumnavigating the entire island, we arrived back at our boat.  All the diving and fishing gear needed washing, as well as the dinghy.  By the time we were finished, we enjoyed a fine sunset.  The wind had picked up a bit, and we decided to raise the dinghy to its cradle.  If tomorrow was windy, we go south to Long Island.  If not, we could always launch it again and spend another day here.  The dinghy is difficult to raise in high winds or waves.  Conception is one of our favorite spots.  (That and about 20 others, haha)
That morning we set up the satellite phone to get a weather report.  Away from inhabited islands, we had to other internet service.  While the report was not bad, it was interesting enough to make us check the charts and decide where we'd like to spend a few days if weathered in.  We opted for Calabash Bay at the NW of Long Island.  But when we left our safe harbour, we were greeted by Mr. Swell.  "Where ya been?" he growled.  It was again out of the NE until we got into the open water between Conception Island and Long Island. Then it was joined by an equally steep swell out of the SE.  For the two hours it took to get south, the swells pummeled us.  First one would lift our starboard beam, then the next would lift the other side.  Occasionally they both hit at once, lifting the bow on the crest.  The boat did not slam, just rose and fell gently.  Valt took over the helm from the autopilot, he was the better driver.  We were also trolling as we went, and for once hoped we would not hook a fish just then.  We tried taking a video of the confused seas, but as usual the camera flattened out the image and it did not look as bad.  Calabash Bay was was out of the question, it had whitecaps.  We continued on south.  The swells had settled down and the wind was only 10k out of the east leaving us again in pretty calm water.  Where was the wave action near shore coming from?  On the VHF radio we heard a boat calling for a slip at the Stella Maris Marina.  This was not a good sign.  Was the entire west side of the island mysteriously affected?  The island should have blocked the east wind.