Snorkle Treck

We found ourselves pinned in the harbor at Royal Island yesterday, the wind was too strong from the south to get out of harbor and we tried several times to land the dinghy on the reminants of the old pier in front of the ruins to take a walk but the swell made it untenable. Inside the protected harbor and on the other side of the island it was completely flat and knowing that we had a couple of days coming up that we would be stuck on the boat we were determined to get out and get in the water. Time to think out of the box.  Figuring if we could just get ashore somewhere we could lug our Snorkle gear over to the other side and maybe catch some dinner.

We dinghied around the entire shoreline and found a little spot on the rock shore that looked less sharp than the rest and climbed off the dinghy there.  It took a little brush beating at first but made it up to a cleared road from when the island was being prepped to become a resort.  It must have been used to drive prospective investors around to the available lots as the lot markers were still there.  We even found a lot that must have actually been purchased because there was an old dock overlooking the water, it even had a few steps carved into the rock to make it easier to get in.  It was the only lot that had any improvements on it and it became our little picnic spot for the day.  The reefs were not reachable from shore but we got lobster for dinner and had a great time enjoying someone’s long abandoned dream deck and nice teak chairs. 

^^ Happy we got off the boat when we could.

The other highlight was watching a mama dolphin swim with her newborn around the boat.  The baby still had stripes on it, sort of that newborn wrinkly look.  I don’t know if it just hadn’t figured out the surfacing thing yet or was playing but when it came up instead of arching it kind of bounced with its whole head out of the water, like they do at the sea parks.  I don’t know if it could see us at all, but it looked like it kept poking its head out to look at us.  Damn adorable.  Sorry, no pics.  I didn’t want to stop watching to go get the camera.


Royal Ruins

Royal Island is a fascinating island in that it has a large natural harbor in the middle and it has some interesting old ruins on it. We’ve been here before but still enjoy tromping around and exploring.  I haven’t found the whole history on the island but stories go that the pirate Captain Henry “Long Ben” Avery hid out here and was one of the few pirates that actually escaped capture and death.  Obviously, the ruins are not from his time but there are reports of a large house on the island in texts and old charts dating back to the early 1800’s.   At one time a sheep farmer owned the island which does explain the stables and the massive and very labor intensive rock walls cutting across the entire island.  There are also stories of it being owned by a rich American that used it as a place to get away from his wife and go fishing with his buddies.  No doubt the island has also seen its share of “goods” being run, maybe it still does.  Its latest history was that it was bought by a couple of pro athletes with intentions of turning the entire island into an ultra exclusive community with a large Marina and golf course in 2006. Then 2008 happened.  There are five small villas on the far side of the island, and a care taker comes over each day but other than than that there is no other activity and no signs of development happening. Eventually there will, it is inevitable but for now it is still an empty, overgrown treasure to explore.  

The natural harbor also provided great protection as we stayed for a week waiting out a cold front.