Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pipe Creek

There are a bunch of rocks and cays that are collectively referred to as Pipe Creek within an hour of Sampson, and which we have never visited. Our dear friends on Celebrian, being more adventurous than I, frequent Pipe, especially during those winter storms that blow hard from various directions. In Pipe, you get protection from just about any direction. But, here's the catch: you have to be willing to enter and leave near high tide in order to get the depth you need, and when you anchor you may find good water, but shallows nearby and possibly under you during a wind shift. But you are rewarded with solitude and fantastic shelling, as at low the flats are exposed and sand dollars and immature conch are stranded.

So, we tried it. There are several different ways to enter the various hidey holes, and we chose the most conservative, between Pipe Cay and Little Pipe. At high tide we saw no less than 11 feet (with a 3 foot range), and the entry is a very clear dark blue path surrounded by lots of white shallow water. We found the holding to be good and although the current was swift in the anchorage, we seemed to be fine with one anchor. In the morning we listened to the weather, which continues to bode 25 knots of wind gusting higher, and now, several days of squalls. So we contacted Beth, and postponed her trip. This of course will surely change the forecast.

We walked the flats and found many murex shells and tiny sand dollars. With the big weather coming I begged the captain to head to Warderick Wells where we will be able to hike and have internet during our confinement. So, following a grounding while trying to haul anchor, three hours later we picked up mooring ball # 16 in the North mooring field. As the weather guru said this morning, whereever you are today you will be for awhile so I think we made the right call with Beth.

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