3500 Monkeys on this Island plus Sailing Lessons for Kylee & James - Blue Dot Voyages PILAR - EP46
On the 4th of July weekend – 2020, we had 2 guests onboard who wanted to learn what it’s like to sail a catamaran, visit Monkey Island, AND celebrate a birthday!
The evening before our sail, Kylee and James joined us – Kylee even 20 weeks pregnant – but you could barely tell.
The next morning, Stephen showed James his way around the helm station, secured the deck, prepared the dock lines and we cast off with an ebb tide.
But not 30 minutes into our sail, one of our engine overheated. So, Captain Stephen quickly got to work while underway. The belt had frayed, luckily we had a spare, he replaced it and we were back on plan.
With that repair done, and wind speed at 8-12 knots from behind, we hoisted the parasailor and were elated to see Kylee and James surprise when they saw we were now a pirate ship.
Then on to fishing. James caught his first ocean fish, a king mackerel.
We enjoyed a super relaxing sail down to St. Helena Sound, South Carolina. Nature’s timing was perfect, as we caught the flood tide for arrival, down this very long reefy inlet. We anchored by Otter Island, a popular spot for day boaters, and went for a swim.
We were all thrilled to watch dozens of pelicans diving on bait balls of menhaden all around the boat.
But if you’ve never swam in menhaden waters, you should know that the oils get in your swimsuits and will stink like crazy if not washed and dried completely after!
Menhaden are flat, bright silver with soft flesh and a deeply forked tail and grow to around 15 inches long. They are prized for their oily flesh, and feed many birds, including egrets, ospreys, seagulls, northern gannets, pelicans, and herons, all birds we see on this east coast.
If you ever wonder where your omega-3 fish oil supplements come from, it’s from menhaden. You will also find the oil in lipstick and animal feed.
Dinner that night was local shrimp from the commercial shrimp dock right on Bohicket Creek. Thanks Cherry Point for the freshest white roe shrimp ever. https://www.facebook.com/cherrypointseafood/
That evening’s sunset was spectacular. Kylee and James enjoyed the evening on the top deck, which we eventually interrupted with a birthday song and ice cream cake for James.
The following morning, after coffee on the top deck, we headed off on an adventure to visit Monkey Island.
To get to Monkey Island, (really Morgan Island), you head inland down the Morgan River until you round the bend and there it is – can’t miss the signs. Over 4000 free-ranging, Indian-origin rhesus monkeys with the herpes B virus inhabit this 635-acre upland island property surrounding by 4489 acres of marshland. Initially 1400 came from the Puerto Rico Primate Research Center. And yes, don’t get too close – they moved from Puerto Rico because they were infecting humans., causing severe central nervous system disease, resulting in permanent neurological dysfunction or death. If not treated early, it has an 80% fatality rate.
Read more about Monkey Island in Wikipedia.
Beach walk on Otter Island – Read more about Ace Basin. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ACE_Basin
On our sail home, Stephen taught Kylee and James few more tricks including how to tack and they put their training to use manning the helm station and we supervised.
Pelican Photo Credit
1. By Gribeco - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24398464
Menhaden Photo Credits
1. By SEFSC Pascagoula Laboratory; Collection of Brandi Noble, NOAA/NMFS/SEFSC. - NOAA Photo Library: fish4126 or http://www.photolib.noaa.gov/htmls/fish4126.htm, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16456831
2. By Originally en:User:Brian.gratwicke - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Brevoortia_tyrannus1.jpg, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1674101
Rhesus monkey picture credits:
1. By Charles J Sharp - Own work, from Sharp Photography, sharpphotography.co.uk, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=84763869
2. By J.M.Garg - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6361461
BLOG SITE: https://bluedotvoyages.com
SEA CREATURES - DEEP SEA FISH TO COASTAL CRUSTACEANS AND MORE. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLz8Z8h1MloaO6BKFm9brFJ4kPrWOUvm7w
LONG VOYAGES - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLz8Z8h1MloaMVYY-0QB1x8dgRkA9laYnD
Blue Dot Voyages is a Sailing Adventure Company. On our Leopard48 Sailing Catamaran PILAR, we sail, fish, snorkel, scuba, and we offer travel advice on our blog and vlog. We offer charter trips when we can. Watch our videos and live vicariously through us!
Master Captain: Stephen Bell
First Officer: Dawn Bell