The Exumas have so many islands and cays around that are so close we also ventured out on our OCT tender about a mile and half over the deep channel to South Allan’s Cay. We love having a tender that can move us far and fast around the anchorage so we can easily explore all the cool places around. They have dinosaurs on the South Allan’s Cay! OK, maybe not dinosaurs but there are plenty of iguanas that call the island home. We took some carrots with us to appease them so they don’t destroy any major cities. We anchored just off the beach and waded up to the watchful and waiting lizards. They were a little apprehensive at first but you can tell they’re use to getting visitors. As soon as Lisa broke out the small pieces of carrot a crowd of scurrying feet, claws, and tails was upon us. We hung out and fed the iguanas for awhile. When we ran out of food they quickly lost interest and ran under the rocks and vegetation to get away from the bright sunlight. We waded back into the tender and headed back towards Highborne Cay.
After getting back aboard we used a clove hitch to tie the tender to stern of Unwritten Timeline thinking we would be getting back in soon and exploring some more. A clove hitch is a good hitch for temporary use. One major drawback is that it can make itself loose, especially when it is going through cycles of tension and no tension. You know, the motion waves make. Well, 2 hours later we were comfortably relaxing on the couch and it was quiet. A little too quiet. I realized I didn’t hear the rhythmic slapping of the tender off the stern of our boat. I jumped up saw that it was in fact no longer tied to the stern and scanned the horizon. A tiny little boat that looks remarkably like ours was floating about a quarter mile away. I alerted Lisa, I jumped into the water to try and swim to it since we had no more tenders aboard. As I was swimming towards our escaped tender Lisa got on the VHF and tried to raise anyone in the anchorage. Luckily a fellow cruiser was listening. Lisa explained that I was swimming to our tender as it tried to make its way slowly out to sea. He jumped in his tender and motored out to pick me up about a quarter of the way there. I’m glad he showed up. I’m not sure I would have made it to the tender. Swimming is hard. We made our way to our tender and I jumped in and sped back to Unwritten Timeline exhausted, embarrassed, and humbled. I took over a 5 gallon can of gasoline and a drink to say thanks for saving the day. It’s nice being out cruising with great people like them.
Since that was more than enough excitement and certainly enough exercise I tied up the tender and also used the stainless steel wire and lock just to make sure I slept sound that night.
Moral of the story, take time to tie a good knot even if you think you’re just leaving it for a few minutes.