07/09/2011, Lee Stocking to Staniel Cay...
I really wanted to take this route to get on the bank...it's breathtaking! I know I sound like a broken record...but I'm not kidding.
Entering the cut as planned on a incoming tide was still hairy, for me. The chartplotter lays everything out for us clearly, but when you approach there is always that question, "hmmmmm' does this look right?"
It was a remarkable leg, wanting to get on the bank at last and we thought about stopping at Little Farmers. "We just cannot stop everywhere we want with our deadline we've chosen", says my captain of reason.
There are just too many exquisite shots to pick one for this post. We motor sailed, sad to say, past Rudder Cay, Musha, Cave, Galliot, Big Farmers, Li'l Farmers, Great Guana Gaulin, Bitter Guana, Harvery and finally here to Staniel, all scattered along the cystal clear turquoise waters know only here in the Bahama Bank. Even the Tobago Cays fail to compete with the beautiful, shallow water found only here.
It took us almost 9 hours, but again...only a 40 mile day passage which is a nice change from the overnight and 24 - 96 hour passages of late.
We are also back on the Bahama bank and down the home stretch of our last leg. This photo taken at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club where we felt like islanders, spoke volumes about our journey today....Floating Interest...for real!
07/07/2011, Georgetown to Lee Stocking!
The first thing we needed to do was cut the umbilical cord. No way were we planning to stay in Georgetown for 10 days...but it's hard with extended family holding on like Kudzu to the entire flora of the east coast of the US and possibly beyond.
The rain was a gift...we filled everything and had more water than we could hold. Shucks, we just fetched water a couple of days ago and that's when it rains, when we are full up!
It was a monsoon...we couldn't see the bow of the boat...so we didn't leave until 11a. New destination...Lee Stocking Island.
Have always wanted to check this out: The Caribbean Marine Research Center. We started to call to set the stage "May we take one of your moorings"? No answer. We really wanted to make an appointment for a tour to explore and learn as much as possible of their mission and success to date. We tried until well after we actually took a mooring, dinner was cooked, eaten and showers behind us...the sun was well below the horizon and still no response! Maybe tomorrow! Very exciting!
We only traveled 25 miles and still have 300nm to go. This 5 miles per hour is seriously hampering our desire to get home by Dudley's birthday on the 23rd.
It was hairy entering the cut and then had to hug the coast all the way in and around the the north end of the island...He's my expert eyes on the bow!
07/06/2011, Windward Coast Hike...
That sunset was quite the blazing, brilliant, bling spectacle last night! We had a hangover this morning, but could not leave Georgetown until we walked the beach on the windward coast of Stocking Island. I lost my prescription glasses during all the fun, but managed to get that shot and see perfectly or the camera did for me!
This day is very special first because it's tradition and second, when we reach this pivotal point in our journey whether it's our final destination or a passing fancy...we must walk this beach!
My man is amazing and I will never stop with the accolades! I'm proud to be by his side and he never ceases to amaze me.
07/05/2011, Stocking Island, Georgetown, Exuma
Here are our top best reasons to bop over to the Chat and Chill before leaving Chicken Harbor:
25. All the work on the boat is done (for now) and we can VEGGGGGG!
24. Watching the sunrise which just seems better in the Bahamas and on the water.
23. Getting a haircut on any spot along hole #1 or the famous Sand Dollar Beach.
22. Laughing so hard TRYING to play volleyball.
21. Wading in a neon adarondack chair you've plunged into the surf...
20. Strolling, climbing and balancing our way around hole #1 to peek into hole zero!
19. Drink an icecold Kalik beer (Bahamian brew) that costs too much anytime of day just because you're here.
18. Pick a wildflower from KB's (Kenneth Bowe) property for your loverkins.
17. Gaze mindlessly or thoughtfully, depending on how much rum you drank at the sunsets which are lengendary.
16. Eat great fresh seafood or bbq'd anything from the hands of Ulrich the Grillmaster.
15. Sit for hours chatting with KB about the old days.
14. Sitting for more hours with KB to Chat about the new days!
13. Drinking too much rum on the sand.
12. Take as long as you want building teeny sand sculptures...or not. Just playing in KB's sand box.
11. People watch.
10. Drink more ice cold Kalik beer with someone new, since my first mate doesn't drink beer.
9. Try to remember if you've sat under every cassarina or almond tree over the years.
8. Beaching the dink after too long away...and the feeling you have when you tromp up the beach to the bar...indescribably comforting!
7. Depending on the time of year, seeing if you recognize anyone.
6. Reading the shirts and banners hung high above our heads in the rafters...
5. Deciphering the madness scribbled in the guestbooks.
4. Gawking at babes sitting, playing v-ball or walking by.
3. Drolling over the hunky guys doing whatever.
2. Family regatta action and Cruising Regatta craziness spilling over here in April.
And the all time best and number one reason to come to the Chat and Chill:
1. Beaching the dink and walking to the windward side of Stocking for the historic hike along the stromatolite, ancient reef formations still being studied to this day, and making it up to the monument... then coming back to the Chat and Chill for an ice cold Kalik.
Thanks KB for all the memories, since l998, and he's keeping on keepin' on! Check out the Chat and Chill on Facebook!
07/04/2011, Georgetown, Exuma, Bahamas...
We have a big beautiful family and extended family back in America to celebrate this day of Independence...we miss you! We miss America too which we hope and pray is on the mend. It's got it's problems...and we hope that we can be more proactive in showing and teaching how to "live simply...so that others may simply live"!!!
Today...we were leaving, heading to Stocking Island for our historic walk on the beach on the windward side and a cold chilly Kalik at the Chat and chill when we return.
Then we go sailing toward Miami!
We couldn't get wifi for me to get caught up on the blog, so my hero agreed to let me park at Forbes Enterprises for the day!
This is the place to get things done! During season and the Family Regatta and Cruisers Regatta...there is a cruisers net. "There is everything here at Chicken Harbor for the sailors who need to keep busy and Naaman Forbes is the place to go"! They, his number one man, Mike Sweeting and Naaman are too good to be true! Lots of love here! Shipping, tours, mail service, sharing taxi's to the airport, etc. If Naaman Forbes can't find it for you then it can't be found! Did I mention Love...it's oozing from this place called Forbes Enterprises, Ltd.
Thanks for letting me squat here today on this independence day of the USA!
07/01/2011, Sandollar Beach and Chat and Chill!
We really should stay focused and finish fixing the list of things to be done on Altair....NOT! Not today anyway!
Zelma agreed at the last minute to join us for a day on the water! We thought she was bringing Neekie, her granddaughter and she arrived on Elvis' Water Taxi with Nellie, Tyler, Jobe and Neekie!
Dudley was the hero today...taking them into shore after we motored over to Sanddollar beach. The sanddollars appear to be extinct...but one showed itself! They also took a young counch that we talked them into returning to the sea. Jobe, that wonderful 16 year old, wound his arm like a pro softball pitcher, tossed that baby into the sky and it plopped into the shallow bay getting a real headache I'm sure!
We had a blast and Dudley treated us all to burgers at the Chat and Chill.
Another great day by Dudley!