East Holandes Cays - the 'swimming pool'
Sunday 30th December 2012
Distance run: 10nmiles
We left Coco Banderos on Friday morning, and motored the 10 nmiles to what the cruisers call ‘the swimming pool’. This is an enormous anchorage behind the outer reef, and although the sea is calm, the wind howls through. The current caused by the water coming over the reef keeps the boat from swinging too much, so it’s quite comfortable, if a little noisy.
The sea breaking over the seven-mile long reef.
Rod was feeling very poorly with a stomach upset, so they didn’t want to mess about with sails, so we decided not to put any up either in order to stay close. Typically, this was the day when we really could have done with them, as we had to cross a northeast facing inlet channel through the reef, and there was an enormous swell coming from the northeast. Without the lift the sails give us, we were tossed around in a most uncomfortable way. Poor Rod, he was having a rotten time as the sea made matters even worse for him.
This racing machine creamed past us in the channel –
Its bow hidden by the swell.
Fortunately it was only a few miles across the channel, and then the sea subsided as we ducked behind the next reef. We had the anchor down by lunchtime. Rod just about managed to get their anchor down before retiring to bed for the rest of the day.
We spent a couple of days here, swimming and exploring the reefs and the islands. It was time to get rid of some rubbish, so we went ashore for a burn-up. This is the best way to get rid of plastic – if you give it to the Kuna to dispose of, they just toss it in the sea. So we dug a hole in the sand just by the high water mark and lit a bonfire. We have started to put all our plastic wrappers into an empty drink bottle – it’s amazing how much you can squeeze into them with the help of a wooden spoon handle to push it down. This compresses what would be bags of rubbish into a much smaller container which can then be burnt or thrown out depending on facilities available. Since here we had no option but to burn, we added just enough petrol to raise the temperature to a point where the plastic would melt and burn, and by the time it had burnt out and we put the sand back into the hole, there was very little evidence of a bonfire at all.
Storing plastic wrappers in an old drinks bottle. Steve & Rod watching over the rubbish burn & exercising their right arms.