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Fall 2019 Voyage Concludes

Sunday was a busy day that started with Courtland sailing us over to an anchorage by Cistern Rock under jib alone. It was a quick trip, and upon arrival the crew sat down to take the Marine Science final exam. After the exam, we went ashore to a nice sandy beach and went for a snorkel on the reef fringing Cistern Rock. Along the way we saw a few sea turtles, one of them with our tags. A team effort - led by Maddy and Charlotte - amazingly swam after and captured two green sea turtles. Not an easy thing to do. We measured, weighed and tagged the turtles, then released them. Back on board, we set the mainsail for the last time and William sailed us off the anchor and on our way to meet our harbor pilot, Woody, who would guide us through the Devil's Backbone reef. Carly was at the helm, of course, steering us through this intricate reef. Once clear of Spanish Wells we set full sail and had our final passage 40 nautical miles down to Nassau. After sunset, the glow of the city brought us to the entrance - where William (with Carly again at the helm!), called harbor control on the radio and guided us into Nassau harbor. We arrived to our dock in the late evening. 

Our final full day was spent packing, doing a very thorough cleaning of Geronimo above and below deck (the crew did an impressive job!), then a dip in the pool, showers, dinner out, ice cream and a walk through the Atlantis aquariums. We wrapped up the evening with an activity to help us consider our amazing accomplishment of sailing over 2000 nautical miles down the coast. 

 

  • 2019 Fall Voyage
Harbour Island

Carly did an excellent job as JWO sailing us off the anchor, navigating and sailing us up to the anchor at Harbour Island. Upon arrival we had a review for the marine science final exam, then headed into town to explore and visit the spectacular pink sand beach. Back on board we had a swim call and a peaceful night at anchor. 

This morning we slept in a little, and then headed out for another day of turtle tagging. We were fortunate to be joined by the founder of the Geronimo program again - Stephen Connett. He brought much expertise and knowledge about the local turtle populations. We tagged eleven green sea turtles, and and one recapture that had gained nearly 7 kg since being tagged back in 2014. Bella M. was the first one to get a turtle today, and she executed a perfect jump. Back on board we had time to again explore town. As I write this Bella B. is making dinner. Looks like chicken, some sort of pasta and salad. 

  • 2019 Fall Voyage
Halloween at Man Island

Bella M. started off our day handing out animal headband costumes to everyone. Courtland brought us off the anchor and up to Spanish Wells, where we met our harbor pilot Woody. He brought us over the north side of Eleuthera through a section called the Devil's Backbone and then on toward Man Island. After Woody departed, Court took over and sailed us up to the anchor under jib alone. We enjoyed a nice, but hot, afternoon at anchor. Homemade macaroni and cheese for lunch, a post-lunch swim call, a mangrove class in the mangroves. Bella B., Maddy, Charlotte and I tried to tag a turtle, but after a long chase, it eluded us in deep water. In the late afternoon we saw a group of dolphins swimming through the anchorage slowly. Most of the students quickly loaded up, and we went to get a closer look. They were swimming slow and seemed agreeable to us swimming alongside them - so that is what we did. Not something that happens everyday. William and Court teamed up to make a burger feast. Court made the buns and William took care of the burgers and other details. Too much candy and ghost stories followed dinner. Plan is to sail down to Harbour Island tomorrow and have our final day of turtle-tagging on Saturday. 

  • 2019 Fall Voyage
Turtle Tagging in North Eleuthera

Bella B. had double-duty this morning, making breakfast of scrambled eggs and scones - then she was JWO moving Geronimo a few miles north to our anchorage close to Corrie Sound. She did a great job with both. We met up Stevie Connett, and with two boats headed out to look for turtles on the rising tide. By around 1130 we had five green sea turtles, one was a recapture. Next we headed a little further north and tagged another six turtles. Maddy led the charge with four of the turtles. Back on board in the mid-afternoon, Bella M. sailed us off the anchor and then expertly up to the anchor just off the beach at Meeks Patch, about six miles away.  It would appear that the number one tourist attraction in The Bahamas now are swimming pigs, and this is one of the many islands where industrious locals have set up a place for visitors to come see them. This island also has a turkey that had a mean streak. We went in to unload some of our food scraps and fed it to the pigs. Perhaps it was just a coincidence, but Bella B. prepared some delicious pulled pork, homemade biscuits, sweet potatoes and salad for dinner. Our plan is to make our way toward Harbour Island tomorrow morning. 

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