Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Swimming with turtles and Sundowners on Happy Island

We treated ourselves to one more day at Tobago Cays. Friday is normally 'changeover day' for charter yachts so many had dashed back to their home ports leaving the islands a little less busy. Whether this also had an effect on the turtles, we don't know but the turtle count shot up as we motored over to the reef when we spotted two or three heads pop up. As we snorkelled out from the beach, it wasn't long before we spotted two turtles below us. They were grazing on the sea grass and seemed totally unaware of our presence. We stayed mesmerised by this magical picture until occasionally one of them would decide to surface, pop his (or her) head up and then dive back down for more grazing. As we snorkelled on, we came across others and so we watched them for a while. Only one other snorkeler was lucky enough to spot them and we were careful not to crowd these beautiful creatures. We eventually left them to it and began to make our way back to the beach. On the way, Dianne came across two more turtles so stopped to watch them before tearing herself away but with a big smile on her face when she got to the beach. The whole experience was made extra special after there had been no turtles the previous day.
Next stop was Union Island, only 4 miles away. We anchored in Clifton Harbour which is perfectly protected by another reef which cuts out the swell and the rolling. We headed into the town of Clifton to have a look around (we'll post some photos on a later blog) and stock up on some provisions. Unfortunately we were limited as the one cash machine had run out of EC dollars and wouldn't be restocked until some time on Monday morning.
The destination for our sundowner on Saturday evening was Janti's Happy Island. Janti built the island by hand on the shallowest part of the reef, using the discarded conch shells left by the fisherman. The result is Happy Island- about 45 feet in diameter, roughly round, solar- and wind-powered and a unique place to watch the sun go down. As well as the entertainment from Janti behind the bar, kite surfers whizzed by and launched into the air as they turned, skimming our dinghies tied up right outside the bar.

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