Saturday November 10, 2012
Not that we had chosen this anchorage for a reason, but we happened to be anchored next to Carrot Island which is rumored to have wild ponies roaming it. At first I was a little skeptical, but after checking my good friend Google it showed lots of images of the island and it seemed to be overrun with them. After finishing some projects in the early afternoon (Matt was glassing in a bulkhead to the anchor locker and I was roaming around town trying to find an internet signal) we jumped in the dinghy at low tide and beached ourselves on the sand. Throwing down the dinghy anchor since tides change so much in the area and we didn’t want to come back to no ride home, we started to make our way forward to the hills and trees of the island. Standing in our way though was lots of marshy grass and ankle deep water. This wasn’t a problem for me as I had borrowed Stephanie’s rain boots but Matt was walking around in his Merrell water shoes taking the full brunt of the nastiness. Getting to dry land we had to make our way through thick brush and branches but after a little bushwacking we were in the clear.
Walking up the sandy grass we got to a high point on the island where we could see the Atlantic on the other side but could not see any ponies roaming. Treating me as if I had a sixth sense Matt asked me what direction we’d find them and I pointed to the left (only because that side had more land to cover) and we began making our way over. Although we weren’t seeing any wild animals at the moment it didn’t take long to discover that they were actually there by the gargantuan amounts of horse poo all over the island. It was all over and most of the time you had to be careful where you stepped as not to walk into a big pile of it. It was starting to feel like we were back on Mackinac Island again. Getting scientific we started searching out fresh piles thinking it may lead us to the ponies. Walking up and down the dunes and through the trees we did not see anything moving except a few birds. So far this search was looking fruitless. Marking our way from the solid ground towards more marshy land in the center I pulled out my binoculars to scan the area. Looking all the way across the island as far as I could scan I stopped as I saw a dark figure in the distance. Going back and focusing in a little clearer I saw two ponies grazing. Pulling the binocs down I looked in the same spot to just be able to make out two dark specs. Getting excited I handed the binoculars to Matt so he could see and started formulating a plan to get ourselves over there.
There looked to be a miniature lake separating a straight path to them so we hugged the sometimes solid and sometimes soft ground that lined the water. Every few minutes the ponies in the distance would become a little clearer and my excitement grew. We walked for close to a mile and just as I could start to fully make them out with my own eyes our path was halted. Not only was there a lake between us and the horses on one side, but now there was a channel blocking our other way around. We weren’t sure how deep it was or if it was crossable, but a fishing boat sitting off to the side verified that it was nothing we could make our way through. The journey ended here. Standing there with disappointment I thought I’d never get to see my wild ponies when we noticed the fishing vessel disappear. The channel must lead out to Taylor Creek which means we could get in to it with our dinghy and practically land ourselves right next to the ponies. Hope was growing high again but unfortunately the sun was not. By the time it would take us to go back to the dink and ride it all the way out here again it would be close to twilight. The hunt would have to wait. We made our way back through the marshes and high ground and back through the branches to where the dink was still sitting waiting for us. Getting back to the boat we consoled ourselves a little by making up some big juicy hamburgers to throw on the grill. Being treated to another beautiful sunset and a quick dolphin sighting I watched the sky slowly turn black and the smoke from our grill send clouds across the anchorage.
So close yet so far away.