This morning we are swinging quietly in the most peaceful and beautiful anchorage -- Smack Bayou. It is noted in my guidebook as the perfect hurricane hole and was only a couple of miles from our anchorage at Shell Island. I chickened out and didn't make it all they way into the bayou as it was so narrow. I anchored near two other sailboats - but not too close.
We left Shell Island at lunchtime yesterday amid reports of a heavy storm headed our way. While our anchorage at Shell Island was truly amazing it was totally exposed to the wind - not a good place to be in a storm. Before we left we were surrounded by lots of dolphins. It took about an 1 1/2 to raise anchor scoot over here under power and drop the hook again.
Yesterday was a test day for Coleen and I guess this home schooling is working as she did her best ever - only missing two problems out of all the subjects combined. She spent most of the rest of the day making jewelry, reading and cleaning/organizing the deck. It's amazing how much she can find to do when we have no t.v. Although she did comment that she wanted me to get her a sister from an orphange so she'd have someone to play with. When I pointed out that she'd have to share her bunk - she said she'd think about it :-)
Sometime in the late afternoon we heard a knock on the hull. We looked out and there were two fellows in a nearly sinking dinghy with broken oar locks. Each one had a paddle. They wanted to know about the weather reports as while they have a radio - they couldn't understand it as the NOAA guy talks too fast. They introduced themselves - Fernando and Julio - from Uruguay. They were traveling in an 1970's era 37 foot sailboat. They bought it in Dallas and had it shipped to Mobile - staying for a few weeks in Turner Marine (as we did) to redo the rigging. They had sailed from Pensacola on Saturday and blown out their mainsail. He said the seas had been rough and they couldn't make headway so they came in here to fix the sails and wait for better wind.
I offered to give them the weather report - but at that moment lost my internet connection (which had worked all day). Fernando (who looks like Enrique Iglesias) said he'd come back in an hour.
When he came back later he had lots of questions on the ICW going East so I invited him to tie up and come aboard and look at my guidebooks.
They are headed to Miami, Bermuda, the Azores, Africa, then Uruguay - 9,200 mile trip. I asked what was so special about this boat that they traveled from Uruguay to Dallas to buy it - and he said it wasn't about the boat - it was about doing the trip. He was fun to talk with - even though we had a little difficulty communicating. They may try going under the next bridge which is 50 ft - they have 49 ft mast height. He said no problem he'd put a guy at the top to check. If it looks like they won't make it he'll swing out the boom and put the two guys on it to heel over enough :-) We visited for about an hour before he left with his weather report which didn't look good for sailing the way he needed to go.
The predicted storms passed north and west of us and we only had a few sprinkles, so Coleen and I went for a dinghy ride to get some exercise. Once again we had lots of dolphins. The remains of a large de-masted catamaran are washed ashore way at the end of the bayou - which made Coleen decide it's not really much of a hurricane hole after all.
After our dinghy ride I dug out the sewing machine and gave Coleen her first lesson. We made this little dress - and she's making a matching one for her doll. I'm making her hand stitch the hem - so it could be a while before the doll dress is completed.
We had a late dinner - sandwiches from the left over pork tenderloin and fruit. I invited Coleen to sit with me in the cockpit to eat and she said no she wanted to stay inside. The view is beautiful - one side has the lights of Panama City and the other the bayou with it's forest and white sand beaches. When I peeked inside I found out what she was up to. That child loves to read and she just started on the Boxcar Children series.