Wind be dammed, we will sail! Saturday, the wind was forecast for WNW at 10-15kts and we were headed NE- thus hopeful for a day of sailing. Our goal was Tavernier Harbor which is not really a harbor but a barely perceptible indent where the Wild Bird Sanctuary (WBS) is located. 25 miles and we had the sails set in every combination as well as wing-to-wing to make up for the wind that never exceeded 12 kts. Light winds in the morning allowed us to try a successful sailing off the anchor executed thus: removed anchor bridle, raised main, weighed anchor and off we went. Did have an engine going- but just briefly.
Thanks to Google earth, emails and phone calls we were able to locate the WBSand knew we could anchor off the property and dinghy in. Pulled the dinghy up on to a small sandy spot amidst mangroves with a passel of pelicans nearby. (can see our dinghy in the upper right of the below photo) The sanctuary was entirely outdoors with pelicans, herons, ibis and egrets roaming free and looking cute for the photographer.
Most of the birds live elsewhere and only visit- some regularly, others once a year. The birds who are permanent residents have large pens set up around buttonwood trees and other naturally occurring features. We had a close look at owls, a peregrine falcon, several varieties of hawks and parrots. Each day at 3:30 is feeding time. The birds – mostly pelicans- come in to the beach area and really have a flapping wild time when the 5 gallon bucket of small fish is tossed about. The birds are fed to bring them in close to observe them and look for injuries and entanglements. Well worth the visit.
Sunday (Jan 9,day 92) brought another opportunity to sail off the anchor and get creative on eeking out enough speed to arrive at our chosen spot at a decent time. We’ve been planning short days so that we can sail and not have to rush to get somewhere. Plus, we’re not in any big hurry to get back to the city- until we have to. Benj flies out Jan 13 and we plan to stop at No Name Harbor before ending up off Miami Beach.