Not only was it a quick jump to our next destination it would all be done under motor-power. Eagle Harbor on Cypress Island, only 7 miles to our north, was to be our home for the week. The write-ups in the books put it at the top of our list, even with the warnings about being open to some winds. No big deal, we need to get acquainted with the boat rockin’ and rollin’ at times, right? Plus, we would be picking up a mooring ball for our first time, who cares about wind when we are on a ball. Eagle Harbor is a beautiful little cove surrounded by cliffs on two sides and a long beach at the furthest tip. Established trails led up and all around the island. We knew at first glimpse that we would be enjoying ourselves here.
When we arrived, only a few other boats were moored (it would fill each night). With eight of twelve balls to choose from we motored around to each, testing the waters so to speak. We wanted to know the depths at each before committing, now a little timid from our issues at Inati Bay. Eventually we found one that was not too hot and not too cold and went for it. Kerri was up at the bow with our pole while I inched us closer to the ball, which slid up along our starboard side where Kerri grabbed it and inserted our line. With that line cleated off, we brought another line from the port side of the boat, around the bow, and inserted it as well. This gave us two lines – a bridal of sorts – onto the mooring ball. And that was it. Engine off. We were moored, for our very first time. Heck, that was easy! We went straight ashore thinking we would have to register for the mooring, but it turned out to be free (bonus!). Moose enjoyed the trip to shore anyway. Upon return we got straight to the barbecuing, another first for us – BBQ on a boat.
For the next five days everything went smoothly. Pre-work morning hikes – like the old days – occupied us a few of the mornings. It is here that I’d normally give Kerri some flak about not getting out of bed early enough to hike more, but in reality it was me and my janky old knees which have taken a real beating this year – when the lower back hurts the knees get a lot more use. I just couldn’t hike anymore. Instead, some nights we would take the dinghy out to a secluded beach around the corner and let Moose run around while Kerri and I sat with a thermos of hot cocoa. All three of us were enjoying this routine, Moose especially, who is taking well to this new life.
Not all was perfect though. We had one issue that persisted all week – a foul neighbor. That neighbor was our mooring ball which would come bang on our hull while we tried to sleep… all night. Like it was some game! Some thuds would be gentle, then a massive earth-shattering crash like an old dog in a drunken rage pounding his head on a bedroom door while crying out for his momma (it has happened, ask me some time), followed by two minutes straight of death-metal guitar screeching as the top ring on the buoy slid up and down our stainless steel bob-stay rigging. This literally went on the entire time we were moored in Eagle Harbor. It isn’t the fault of the cove. Just how things work when there is no wind or current to keep the boat and the buoy separated. I would look at the bow of the boat each morning expecting to see damage, but nothing. Kerri and I tried numerous different rope setups to stop the behavior, none of which worked. We just had to live with this seriously bad neighbor.
By the end of the week Kerri’s nerves were fairly well frazzled from poor sleep. I seemed to be able to sleep through much of it, unlike her. We decided to not spend the the entire weekend here, instead choosing to completely alter our course to head back towards the North. A choice made in part due to the prevailing winds here, which go North-ish. No reason for us to be sailing against the wind the whole time and there are some amazing places to go see up North. We were both seriously looking forward to some down-wind sailing – which we have not had much practice doing – only once if I recall.
Another week, a little farther up the learning curve and who can fault a week where you had bbq on the water?