Snorkelling in the Tobago Cays and a midnight move

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Tue 1 Feb 2011 23:59

Position           12:38.05N 61:21.46W

Date                2359 – 1 February 2011


A short 7 nm motor to windward charged the batteries, made some drinking water and got us to the Tobago Cays where we found our Swedish friend Kai on AMEL 54 Amelit.  He kindly was holding the strop on a park mooring buoy so we took it – to be regretted later, however the best of intentions etc..


The wind once again was blowing 20-25kts and a vigorous short sea was washing through the anchorage.  Nothing ventured we went off to snorkel taking the dinghy to Baradal Island and swimming beyond it.  A swim around Baradal produced two good turtle sightings, one of which was a 3 flippered one but swimming well nevertheless, and large shoals of fish.  It is quite strange to come up for air and find a turtle some 5 feet away doing precisely the same  -  we observed each other, no alarm on either side.  On the anchorage side of Baradal is an area buoyed off that is over an area of sea grass that turtles feed on and despite poor visibility there we sighted two large turtles feeding and then three small ones doing the same.


Returning to the boat we were invited aboard Amelit for a sun-downer but declined their offer to join them at a beach lobster barbeque later but returned tired to the boat for a good dinner and a DVD – only our second since we started.


Before finally turning in we realised that we were swinging very close to a small Sunsail charter yacht.  They were there first so we decided to move and anchor which we duly did without any problem and spent a much more peaceful night.  It is interesting to note that in many years sailing together we have only had to move twice in the night both times in the Tobago Cays, the first time eight years ago.