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This blog documents the adventures of the sailing vessel Gypsea Heart and her crew Rankin & Sandy. Thank you for visiting our blog and we encourage y'all to poke around and explore. We have many features which will enable you to keep track of us and in touch like subscribing below. We hope you enjoy your visit and follow our adventures.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Conception Island

We left Dreamer and the Exumas behind on Thursday, January 5th evening and had a beautiful night sail to Conception Island, a land and sea park, about 80 nm east.  We arrived Conception around 7:30 a.m., took a quick nap then had a nice snorkel on a coral patch located near the boat.  It was a beautiful, sunny warm day, so we continued exploring and met another boat anchored nearby named Foxy Lady (Steve & Barbara).  Steve works for the Bahamas Trust and they are responsible for tagging the turtles in the nearby creek.  Steve & Barbara also provided the "lay of the land" for us of particular interest were the dive moorings located on the southern part of the island but that's for another day.

We stayed in Conception Island for about three days.  There were a few sailboats anchored about (YachtSea, a Leopard cat, Dreams Float, Hunter 49, Curiosity, a cat) but what surprised us were the very large motor yachts which stopped to visit the island.  Two large motor yachts had stopped in Conception Island during our short three day stay.  The motor yacht Pacific caught our attention mainly because of the helicopter located on the back of the vessel.

M/Y Pacific, check out the helicopter

Another surprise was the discovery of our hidden crew member, a little gekko, we named Herbert.  Herbert was aboard during our entire visit at Conception Island.  I quickly snapped a picture notice his unique tail.


As with any boat, a few things required our attention.  The generator (Ole' Betsy) stopped running, so we spent part of a day troubleshooting and resolving the issue (impeller).   We replaced the impeller and removed the little impeller pieces and we're good to go by mid morning.   We also received an error message on the watermaker which required our attention.  We replaced the necessary filters and we've been happy with the continued operation of the watermaker. 

In between repairing things, we moved the boat to one of the dive moorings mentioned above.  Steve (Foxy Lady) had mentioned a wall dive which sounded great.  We found the dive mooring located at 23.48.631N and 75.07.185W and tied off.  We pulled out our dive gear then decided to test some used equipment we recently purchased.  Gear ready, we jumped into the water and try to descend, but couldn't ... needed more weights.  So, I got out, grabbed more weights for us both and then we were able to descend.  We quickly determined the current was pushing us farther and farther away from the boat and began having a slight equipment malfunction.  After much effort, we sadly aborted the dive.  We were not thrilled, but it was probably the best decision.  We cleaned our gear and moved the boat to a new anchorage located on the southwest side of the island near a beautiful beach.

We motored to our new anchorage and observed that the guests from the motor yacht Pacific, mentioned above, were enjoying the beach with tents, chairs, food, kayak, ski doos, etc. setup.  We didn't anchor very close to shore so everyone could enjoy a little privacy.  There appeared to be one crew member, distinguished by their black t-shirts, for every guest.  About an hour after our arrival, a large covered boat sped by our boat, picked up the guests and whisked them away presumably back to the motor yacht Pacific.  The crew members were left ashore and quickly gathered up the tents, chairs and other toys and equipment left behind.  The crew did a bang up job wrapping up everything in about 30-45 minutes.  It was a buzz of activity and fascinating to watch.  By 5 p.m. all was clear and we had the anchorage to ourselves.

Though we enjoyed our visit to Conception Island and hadn't received our invitation aboard the M/Y Pacific, it was time to leave.  On Monday, January 9th, we raised the sails, pointed the boat south and sailed to Long Island.

NOTE:  When we arrived Long Island and had access to internet, we tried to find additional information about the motor yacht Pacific.  The little bit we could find is that the motor yacht is 279 ft long with a 52 foot beam.  It was built in 2010 by the German builder Lurssen Yachts.  We don't know who owns it or the value.

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