Dolphin! Just say the "d word" and we all look. Can't help but love those playful sea creatures that swim along with the boat. These dolphin came to swim in Valkyrie's bow wake off and on all day long as we were traveling along the coast of the Carolinas. We went out the St. Mary's Inlet on the Georgia/Florida line. It took just over two full days to get to Cape Lookout, NC. This video was shot along the way. We were several miles offshore and couldn't see land. The water was clear and calm. If you look closely, you can see the reflection of the bow in the water. If you listen closely, esp. at the beginning, you can hear the dolphins clicking. I added music to this one (at the request of a good friend :-)). Hope you enjoy the video as much as we enjoyed the dolphin!!!
"No aquarium, no tank in a marine land, however spacious it may be, can begin to duplicate the conditions of the sea."
While we were offshore on the way from Fernandino Beach, Florida to Cape Lookout, North Carolina, the dolphin came to play in our bow wake MANY times. Here are a few pictures to tease you. You KNOW I shot lots of video!!! It's a comin' soon!
While iguanas live all over the Bahamas, some islands are more noted for them. These were at Bitter Guana Cay. When we first walked up to check out the sign, at least 5 iguans came RUNNING out to greet us. Clearly they expected food, which we did not have with us. Let me tell you having 5+ of these creatures barreling towards you expecting food you don't have does more than just give you pause. It makes you run backwards FAST! Not only did I do the backwards dance, but so did everyone else on the beach. These are not cute little curly tail lizards. They are seriously hungry dragon looking speed demons. After we caught our breath and they realized we didn't have any food, things settled down. We realized that the iguanas, while they were running straight towards us, would only come so close before stopping on a dime. If you moved closer to them, they took off in the other direction. That was a relief!
I filmed the video using my underwater camera, which is the one to the left. There is no screen on the back, so you can't see what you are videoing. I just held it up and tried to aim it. Please forgive the shots that aren't centered. It's a little jumpy and there is no sound, but it does give you a nice view of the iguanas.
While heading up the waterway just before the Haulover Bridge Canal, something caught our eye.
I jumped up and grabbed the binoculars. It was indeed a pink bird. The only pink birds I know of are flamingoes. And I have never seen them in the wild, only in a zoo. So just what kind of bird was this???
Turns out they were Roseate Spoonbills!! And not just one or two that had secretly escaped from a zoo. There were lots of them on two tiny islands!! At first I thought they were flamingoes, a common Florida tourist mistake. In fact I wrote that they were flamingoes. Guess that puts me in the total Florida Tourist category. But thanks to a comment you can read below, I learned something new today!!!
Those who know us well, know that we have worn the paint off our fishing lures trolling. I am quite good at putting the lures on the pole and taking them off. I watch the line. I call to the fish. I do the fish dance. But we have yet to have any luck trolling!!! We have been totally skunked! Valkyrie 0; Fish 100.
When Dad came aboard, I had hopes that he would catch something. My Dad has fished his whole life! If anyone could catch a fish, it would be my Dad. Of course with trolling, you set the line and then just drive. Day One = No fish. Dad joked with Don that the Captain was supposed to know where the fish are and drive over them.
I was about to give up hope, when bam, we got a hit. Not that the fish stayed on the line, but it was a definite bite. This was a first!!! We all got excited. As we were heading around the top of Long Island, it finally happened! We got another bite. Dad kept the fish on the line and brought him in!!! I knew Dad would catch a fish!!!
Caribbean lobster are very different from Maine lobster. The most obvious difference being that the Maine lobster has claws while the Caribbean lobster does not. The claws are the sweetest and best part, imho. It is what Mainers use to make their delicious lobster rolls.
To catch a Maine lobster, you put out a baited lobster trap. Then you haul the trap up and oh so carefully remove the lobster and put bands on the claws so you don't get pinched. No one gets in the water 'cause it is just way to um shall we say ch-ch-ch-chilly. Most folks just run to the store and buy a couple for dinner. Not a biggie.
Here, you could buy them from a local fisherman, but that takes the fun out of it. To catch one, you must go swimming. The water is warm enough so that isn't a problem. The hard part is that the lobster like to hide under rocks and ledges. You aren't allowed to use a tank, dive down and walk around to find them. You must swim around looking for a rock or ledge, hold your breath, dive down and look to see if one is hiding. Then you come up for air, dive back down, aim your spear and shoot. Hopefully you got him. If not it is up for more air, hold your breath and dive down to try again. It is not easy to do, trust me.
We went out for our first try at Black Point. Pay Dirt!! Don got four lobster!!!! He has been officially nicknamed, Don, da mon!!! We shared two and ate two. We steamed the tails. Ummm! Ummm! Yummy!!!
Can't wait to try again on Long Island!!
Every wealthy family needed a vacation home by the ocean in the late 1800's. Cumberland Island was it for the Carnegie family. Now it is a National Seashore owned and maintained by the National Park Service. It reminds me of Cape Lookout, NC. Bring it, or you won't have it. There are still a few structures and homes that a few people who negotiated time with the NPS still live in. But mostly it is moss covered trails, beaches, wild horses, wild turkeys and squirrels. There are more animal tracks than footprints. We did find what we thought was an orange tree. Of course we climbed up to pick one. After one bite, we realized it was not an orange, but a super sour grapefruit!
We just loved anchoring off Observatory Beach at Morgan Island. It was such a unique experience. Seeing such diverse wildlife living together was an unforgettable experience. Put it on your bucket list!!!
While waiting for family to arrive for the weekend, we had a few days to kill between Charleston and Beaufort. I pulled up Active Captain and began clicking on all the various anchorages and found this:
Famed 'Monkey Island' - anchor out and watch the monkeys come to the beach in the evening to play. Decent anchorage for going out to sea next morning. Quiet and peaceful. Tidal range of 3 feet. Some wind protection from the east. No wakes or parties.
Being skeptical, I thought, yeah right, must be a little sarcasm because Monkeys don't live in South Carolina. They must be joking. This is probably a place where small power boaters pull on shore to party and the monkeys are really drunken boaters.
So I googled it. We all know Google knows everything! Sure enough it was true! Real monkeys do live on this island! They were brought here in 1979 to research on the oral polio vaccine. Since then they have grown into a breeding colony of 4,000 Rhesus monkeys with 750 babies born each year. That was good enough for me. I was ready to go!
Within 5 minutes of dropping the anchor, we saw monkeys playing on the beach while watching dolphin swim by the boat. The next morning deer came down for a stroll along the beach, while eagles hung out in their nest. Blue jays and pelicans flew past. We felt like we were watching Wild Kingdom Live! It was amazing. Check out these pictures!
And to think this wasn't even on my bucket list! Thank you Active Captain!!!
Most of the time when we see dolphin, we are standing on the bow. Usually the sound of the waves going by are the only sounds we hear. As I was shooting video with my camera, I caught their sound. The video wasn't worth sharing. But the sound was. Listen to their clicks.