Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Amazon Adventure #30. A normal school day at Stocking Island.

Sailing in the harbour with friend Cris, from `Set Free'.

All the young people who are out cruising with their families are an interesting bunch. When sailing, they are an important part of their crew and take watches, navigate, and generally share in the family adventure. They relate to all adults straight across -person to person. They also have regular schoolwork to add to their duties and their aim is to see how efficiently it can be done so as to enjoy the afternoons off with any friends they might find along the way. This adventure story of ours started with the children in the Swallows and Amazons books by Arthur Ransome and our desire to have a Carribean sailing adventure just like them. We watch our children becoming more and more skilled and self reliant like the crew of the ‘Wildcat’ in the story ‘Peter Duck’.

Around noon each day, the VHF radio lights up as plans are made for the day and soon an inflatable dinghy will zoom alongside and the two eldest will be off for an afternoon`s adventure. Anne tells the story of a fishing expedition out to the reefs on the ocean side of Stocking Island.

While her sisters are out to play, Gwyn gets help with her homework.

From the journal:

Elaine, Aaron, Chris and I went off fishing “oceanside” of Stocking Island. We went through a narrow cut, -lucky it was high tide! Out we went bashing through the waves. We counted at least 13 other rafts out there, I bet there would n`t be any more fish or crayfish. Saw Mark off of ‘Sea Rogue’ he told us there was n`t anything on his reef so we tried another one, and another one etc.

They finally got a medium sized Crayfish. Aaron spotted it and Chris shot it with his spear gun. Aaron`s aim sucks!

Tried two or three more reefs- they got chased by a barracuda. Exciting! Went back to the reef where they caught the crayfish. They found a huge grouper -15 to 20 lbs. Got four spears into him and he flattened himself against a rock crevice. After an hour they finally got it up. Now I know how tiring holding spears is - I dove down to get the spears - 8 to 10 ft. Ugh!

Headed home but this time the tide was low so we surfed over the coral on a wave crest otherwise we would never have made it. Got back, did homework, went to bed. Anne.

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