Wednesday 30th September 2015
Distance run: 11 nmiles
We were woken early this morning by a flurry of activity from the shore to Mystery Island. Yesterday we had seen the Police launch make several trips from the shore to the island with kayaks, surfboards, paddles, noodles, dive gear etc., and this morning a whole flotilla of tiny boats were ferrying locals to the island. As we only had to make a short passage along the west coast of the island, we were in no hurry to leave, and settled back to watch the proceedings.
When we woke this morning, the cruise ship was making its approach to the bay. We were interested to see where it would anchor, as there was clearly not enough swinging room for it to come inside the reef. Sure enough, it dropped anchor just outside the gap in the reef, and in no time at all had launched three jolly boats and a safety boat. On the island, a table had appeared on the jetty with drinks for the passengers – clearly it must be thirsty work sitting in a jolly boat for all of ten minutes to get ashore!
As the jolly boats began disgorging their passengers on Mystery Island, we thought once again how lucky we were to have seen the island in its (near) natural state and to have it all to ourselves. It seemed a good time to lift the anchor and leave them to it.
The first of the jolly boats taking passengers ashore. Breakfast must have been early this morning!
We passed Carnival Spirit on our way out of the bay.
We headed out of the bay, past the cruise ship, turned right and headed up the coast. There was a gentle breeze blowing and we lazily unfurled just the headsail and sailed gently along in the flat water of the lee side of the island. By lunchtime we were anchored in Itchepthav Bay, which was just about big enough for our two boats. With steep sides, the bay had not a sign of life, other than the dozens of flies that invaded the boat.