I slept in today, waking up at 8am :) This must be a good sign, although I have to admit that I didn't sleep too well during the night, the wind changed and put Zanshin beam to the waves and this caused an occasional deep and long roll, enough so I had to assume what I call the “Starfish” position in the bed to ensure that I didn't roll around. While I still managed to sleep, I believe I didn't get as much deep REM sleep as I needed. Anyway, I listened to the tail-end of the morning VHF network while letting some dough I'd removed from the fridge rise and then fired up the generator to bake the bread and simultaneously charge the batteries for a bit. Breakfast was eggs, bacon and fresh bread but I stretched it into a brunch, not really getting going until 11am.
It was time to re-load songs to the little iPod nano which plays my music, but this process of uploading songs from iTunes via the USB port takes a very long time, so uploading 300 or so songs took about 2 hours! Once I get faster internet I'll have to check Google to see if this is a bug or just due to my slow notebook CPU (while only 3 years old, it is probably already considered a venerable antique and slow as molasses). There was a large 50+ boat between Creole Rock and St. Martin and at first I thought they were stopping for a bit, but an hour later they were still there and somehow backwards to the prevailing wind. I thought they might have run aground or had other problems, so I dinghied over (it was a long upwind ride) to see if they needed assistance but when I got there I saw someone holding a reflector panel and two young ladies in bikinis putting on makeup, so I realized it was a photo shoot and gave them a wave and returned to my boat. A catamaran had anchored quite close to me, despite a wide-open anchorage and I am a bit worried that when the wind dies down tonight we'll become closer acquaintances than either of us would prefer.
I realized that the day was more than half over and I hadn't really accomplished anything at all, so I got the dive gear together and dinghied out to Turtle Reef. I had forgotten how far out this dive site is; getting there is downwind and easy, but returning is a lot more work - bashing against the swell and chop. When I got to the reef there were 2 boats from Octopus Diving there, and I was asked to take the far mooring ball (well, a black plastic container) and I did that. That mooring is just off the reef but Octopus Diving had conveniently laid some detritus (piping, railing and other long and straight items) to act as markers and a distinct path from the mooring to the reef and back again, so this was an easy dive. I enjoyed the somewhat deeper (30 feet) dive and felt that I was finally becoming used to diving again by the time I finished and surfaced. By that time I was alone and have to admit that I had a couple of moments of trepidation when, halfway back, the outboard died on me! I had my anchor along and knew that the sandy bottom was only 15 feet or so below me, but got a good shot of adrenaline nonetheless. I'd taken the handheld VHF out, but had left on the deck of Zanshin rather than take it with me on the dinghy. Anyway, after ventilating the fuel tank and giving the bulb a squeeze I pulled the starter cord and the good old reliable Tohatsu outboard fired right up again, much to my relief!
Back aboard I cleaned up the gear and set it up to dry and loaded the pictures from the camera to the notebook. By the time I'd checked out the pictures the sun was setting and I used the long telephoto for some pictures, then I opted to stay aboard instead of going ashore for dinner and toasted some bread and hot dogs on the BBQ (which seemed to work much better now that it was polished and showed no evidence of rust) for dinner.

Inside the cockpit table I looked inside the cockpit table while tracing some wiring and was surprised by how dirty it is - I'll have to go over it with some Pine Sol or Mr. Clean to get rid of the mould.
(2014-02-05 14:45:52 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.0, 1/80s] ISO 100)
Inside the cockpit table
Yellowed LED strip The remaining strip on the aluminum backing is quite yellowed from exposure to UV radiation.
(2014-02-05 14:45:23 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.0, 1/320s] ISO 100)
Yellowed LED strip
LED strip yellowed from UV This LED strip has been removed from the aluminum backing plate and freed from adhesive, I intend on using it on the underside of the cockpit table.
(2014-02-05 14:45:20 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.0, 1/250s] ISO 100)
LED strip yellowed from UV
Grand Case Sunset I couldn't resist going for another sunset picture set, the conditions were good although the boat was rolling in the windy gusts, but the sunset looked irresistable.
(2014-02-05 18:05:12 NIKON D7100 with a "70.0-300.0 mm f/4.5-5.6" lens. [f/5.6, 1/640s] ISO 100)
Grand Case Sunset
Grand Case Sunset I couldn't resist going for another sunset picture set, the conditions were good although the boat was rolling in the windy gusts, but the sunset looked irresistable.
(2014-02-05 18:06:02 NIKON D7100 with a "70.0-300.0 mm f/4.5-5.6" lens. [f/5.6, 1/640s] ISO 100)
Grand Case Sunset
Grand Case Sunset I couldn't resist going for another sunset picture set, the conditions were good although the boat was rolling in the windy gusts, but the sunset looked irresistable.
(2014-02-05 18:07:02 NIKON D7100 with a "70.0-300.0 mm f/4.5-5.6" lens. [f/5.6, 1/400s] ISO 100)
Grand Case Sunset
Damselfish A Damselfish coming out of the cinderblocks
(2014-02-05 15:53:29 NIKON D7000 with a "35.0 mm f/1.8" lens. [f/5.6, 1/50s] ISO 100)
Damselfish
Nassau Grouper being cleaned A Nassau Grouper being cleaned by pederson cleaning shrimp.
(2014-02-05 15:56:18 NIKON D7000 with a "35.0 mm f/1.8" lens. [f/5.6, 1/25s] ISO 100)
Nassau Grouper being cleaned
Juvenile Redband Parrotfish A juvenile Redband Parrotfish at Turtle Reef
(2014-02-05 16:03:58 NIKON D7000 with a "35.0 mm f/1.8" lens. [f/5.6, 1/125s] ISO 100)
Juvenile Redband Parrotfish
Pretty but misplaced Lionfish These two Lionfish are elegant and pretty, but are voracious predators on the reef that don't belong in the Caribbean.
(2014-02-05 16:04:37 NIKON D7000 with a "35.0 mm f/1.8" lens. [f/5.6, 1/40s] ISO 100)
Pretty but misplaced Lionfish
School of Grunts A big school of Grunts along the coral at Turtle Reef.
(2014-02-05 16:05:16 NIKON D7000 with a "35.0 mm f/1.8" lens. [f/5.6, 1/25s] ISO 100)
School of Grunts
Saucereye Porgy Saucereye Porgy
(2014-02-05 16:11:26 NIKON D7000 with a "35.0 mm f/1.8" lens. [f/5.6, 1/160s] ISO 100)
Saucereye Porgy
Sergeant Majors patrolling the reef A school of Sergeant Majors patrolling around the reef.
(2014-02-05 16:14:56 NIKON D7000 with a "35.0 mm f/1.8" lens. [f/5.6, 1/160s] ISO 100)
Sergeant Majors patrolling the reef
Direction Markers (thanks Octopus Diving) These lengths of pipe and other metal pieces mark the direction from the mooring to the reef and back. Thanks to Octopus Diving for divers like myself without a compass!
(2014-02-05 16:15:51 NIKON D7000 with a "35.0 mm f/1.8" lens. [f/5.6, 1/200s] ISO 100)
Direction Markers (thanks Octopus Diving)
Juvenile slippery Dick A Juvenile Slippery Dick guarding the entrance to the bottle. I wonder what's inside?
(2014-02-05 16:22:07 NIKON D7000 with a "35.0 mm f/1.8" lens. [f/5.6, 1/60s] ISO 100)
Juvenile slippery Dick
 
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