December 28, 2013.
The wind dropped to less than 20 outta the east so we pulled the hook early and sailed the 10 miles north to Raccoon Cay. There was 1 other boat behind the cay when we arrived and we dropped the hook about 1200 yards to their south. Within 20 minutes they pulled their hook and motored away leaving us with the west side of the cay to ourselves. Cool, buh-bye.
When we pulled in I hadn't recognized the other boat. I looked for a national flag for a clue but none was displayed. Then I realized that there was neither a courtesy flag or a quarantine burgee hanging in the rigging. Hmmmm. That's when we realized it was Northern Goose. We've seen them down here several times through the years but have never met them. I actually don't know anyone down here who's them.
I can be fairly antisocial and we enjoy the privacy that our lifestyle affords us. But in comparison these folks make me look desperate for companionship. A couple of years ago we were going hunting in the dink and as we turned a corner we came across their boat. They were in the cockpit and as we skimmed past we both waved and ….nothing. They stared us down and made no acknowledgment of our passing. Ohhkay then.
I thought it was a bit weird but as the years have passed we've found that our experience seems to be fairly common. Several other boats have shared similar stories with us. I don't know anyone who claims to have met them in the flesh or even spoken to them on the VHF. We even heard stories that they've been suspected of removing markers on the trails that crisscross the various cays in the area to confuse newcomers. True or not, I dunno, its just weird. I'm sure there could be a valid reason for the standoffishness. Perhaps they're on a sailing sabbatical from a leper colony. Perhaps they're large flesh covered lobsters and they're afraid I'm going to kill and eat their children. Maybe hes got a voice like Mike Tyson and hes stays off the radio as a public service to us all. I dunno.
Of course after I post this I realize that I'm doomed to meet them somewhere. They might turn out to be lovely people that just enjoy their time alone. But just in case I'm still gonna have Christy whip up a gallon of tartar sauce.