Tuesday, January 20th -- Anse Colombier
It was very relaxing to not have to move the boat today. After a satisfying breakfast we agreed that on this cloudy morning a hike up the hill was a good idea. Each person gathered their preferred hiking necessities into bags and climbed barefoot into the dinghy. Before locking the boat up we double checked the key-lock match for both the boat lock and the dinghy lock. A few large waves helped us beach the dinghy quite high on the sand. We secured it with a rope around a large rock and with the anchor rope to be doubly safe, then somehow managed to de-sand and dry our feet (some gymnastics required) before putting on our hiking shoes. The hike was more than worth the effort. Along the partially shaded trail we saw a small hummingbird, a kestrel, a soldier crab (aka hermit crab), a Frangipani hornworm (caterpillar of the Tetrio Sphinx Moth), a tortoise, diving pelicans and boobies, and a view of the east side of the island, with its luxurious-looking condos. What we didn't see, even under the trees, were mosquitoes or gnats. The hiking path is the only land access to Colombier beach. We took time to soak in everything there was to see, so the 2-mile round trip hike took us about an hour. The dinghy was still where we had left it.
Back on Tartane, the key worked. Lunch was soup and crackers with assorted toppings and fruit for dessert. With heavy clouds welling up from the east no one was in a hurry to snorkel yet. We digested, read and talked until a few peaks of sun started to appear at about 14:00. Snorkeling here wasn't much different than other spots that we had already been to -- a few struggling corals, sea fans, feather coral and the usual reef fish. Suddenly a whole school of little blue fish swam straight at my face, followed by a school of the bigger blue fish swimming frantically below me. I looked for something ahead that might have made them flee but saw nothing. Just then Hubby swam up asking if I saw the reef shark swim near me. NO! Too bad! I did spot an octopus though, which was very thrilling. If it had not been crawling over the rocks below me I would not have even seen it. As it moved it changed colour from all brown to having a white skunk-like stripe to brown again. It kept moving for enough time that everyone was able to swim over and see it, but once it had found its new spot on a rock it curled up, turned brown and looked just like a rock. Even knowing it was there we had trouble picking it out from the surrounding rocks.
The sun was gone and so was the visibility. We were actually colder once we were back on the boat standing in the wind and the on-and-off rain. Hot, fresh water showers were a treat! So was the tea at 15:30. We tried the turmeric root tea today and all agreed it was tasty. The only drawback was that my hands, the cutting board and the knife were stained yellow for a few days.
At about 16:30 we started cooking the instant Black Bean Quinoa in broth from the roast. The remaining flour tortillas and shredded cheese made tasty quesadillas when toasted in the oven and were very popular. Along with the pre-spiced quinoa we sautéed mushrooms and used up the leftover chili. It was an easy dinner with very little cleanup required. Having eaten all the fresh vegetables (except for the carrots, radicchio and four potatoes for tomorrow's dinner) at this point of the trip we were able to move all remaining refrigerated items to the upper baskets of the fridge and consolidate the remaining fruit into the fridge also. There are only four more 4.25 liter bottles of drinking water left so we will need to buy one more in Gustavia tomorrow when we clear Customs. We will look for a few more fresh veggies also.
While washing the dinner dishes we lost water pressure and noticed that the water pump was not starting as it usually did when we opened a faucet. After checking a few things like the battery level and water level in the tank, Hubby inspected the water pump itself and then its electrical connections. By wiggling the most visible connector the pump suddenly jumped into action -- and so did Hubby. There did not seem to be any way to fix this loose connector. We had to reseat it several more times throughout the evening when boat water was required.