The Adventures of Dave and Alexandra

Who: David & Alexandra
Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
We're always Somewhere South of Somewhere.

The Banyan Love is Growing.

http://www.hitwebcounter.com/htmltutorial.php
WebPage Visits

We're on Facebook

Sailing Banyan

but we're not Tweeting or Instagramming.

Should We #HashTag?

Our friends Paul and Sheryl Shard, of Distant Shores, are incredible producers of their very own TV Show.

If you haven't already, check them out.

Their DVD's are informative and fun to watch as they travel to all four corners of the world.

You might even find Banyan in some of them!!
22 March 2017 | Eleuthera, Bahamas
14 March 2017 | Great Guana Cay and Oven Rock Cave, Exumas, Bahamas
07 March 2017 | Sampson Cay,
04 March 2017 | St Augustine, Florida
20 February 2017 | Hog Cay, Warderick Wells, Exuma Land and Sea Park
10 February 2017 | Exumas to Nassau to Exumas Bahamas
04 February 2017 | Black Point, Exumas, Bahamas
31 January 2017 | New Bight, Cat Island
29 January 2017 | New Bight, Cat Island
27 January 2017 | Cat Island
04 January 2017 | Staniel Cay, Bahamas
28 December 2016 | Warderick Wells, Exuma, Bahamas
17 December 2016 | Great Harbour Cay, Berry Islands, Bahamas
12 December 2016 | Las Olas, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
03 December 2016 | Vero Beach Municipal Marina
29 November 2016 | Long and Winding Waterway
28 November 2016 | On the ICW, from Daytona to Titusville
27 November 2016 | St Augustine to Daytona
24 October 2016 | St Augustine, Florida, USA
01 October 2016

The Long and Short of It

22 March 2017 | Eleuthera, Bahamas
Alex, and Checking the Weather three times a day
Don't Weather Dictate All? We wake up, live by, and go to Sleep while the Weather does its thing around us. Read on for our WeatherEscapades while in Eleuthera.

****

Eleuthera is one very long (180 km's long) type of island in the Bahamas, and with the weather currently being broadcast we knew we'd have plenty time to explore here as we started our Journey Northwards.

{{Insert some foreshadowing type of music here, as the reality of it all played out quite differently from the idea of it all }}

Although it's always hard to leave great friends Jeff & Izzy (MV IzzyR)



that we'd been exploring the Exumas with recently, the winds were more than perfect as we sailed from Staniel Cay to Highborn Cay and the next morning had us waking up with the sun and slack water as we headed out on what was going to be one of the best sails ever.



Can't get any more than perfect than when the Dolphins come out to play,



and as we got closer we saw the gin clear blue waters give way to shades of emerald greens, that took our breath away. Safely anchored in Rock Sound, we were immediately greeted by friends Harry and Finola on SV Escape Velocity. The fresh air and all that sailing though had us asleep in the cockpit before we even had supper though, which is what the cruising lifestyle is sometimes all about.

Eleuthera comes from the Greek work eleutheros which means "free", and this island was also known as Cigateo way back when. Not to be outdone by its Longness, Eleuthera is also quite narrow, barely 1.6 km's (1 mile) wide, with one side facing the Atlantic Ocean and the other on the Grand Bahama Bank. There was lots to see and do here (from blue holes to caves to explore) and we were excited to be somewhere new.

Rock Sound is a quaint and cute settlement, with a great LaundryMat, and an impressive grocery store for provisions (three times the size of all the stores in the Exumas!) and we were warmly greeted with offers of fresh coffee as we shopped. Only buy what you can carry though, it is a bit of a walk back to the anchorage.

For a more serious peek into our photo-about at Rock Sound

{{ the link will take you to our Facebook photo album }}

Laundry and Provisions back onboard, Dave sat down to reload the Weather Pages, while I put replenished Mother Banyan's Cupboards, and I heard him murmur,

"Well, Dear, that small weather blow coming? It's getting stronger and longer and we'll have to seek some shelter. If we want to sail though we should go now, as the wind dies the next couple of days and we'd be motoring a long way!"

"Well, what are we waiting for?" I said, as I put the last bit of stuff away.

Up Sails, and off we went to Governors Harbour (the administrative capital of Eleuthera) where we anchored on the South side by LaughingBird Cay, reputed to have better depths and holding for us.

The next morning had us enjoying a splendid walk around Governors Harbour. Governors Harbour ran the country for a time and the colourful colonial type houses in the settlement blended in perfectly with the oceanfront, a peaceful and beautiful place.

When we got back, it was another Weather Check and this time I heard Dave comment,

"Well, Dear, do we want to stay here for the Winds? I'm not crazy about the holding. Or should we keep on going?"

"Well, let's keep going" I agreed with him "Hatchet Bay might be an option". So up that way we went.



The Entrance into Hatchet Bay is carved through a high rocky cliff and you can almost miss your way in if you blink. The harbour does provide all around protection, but the holding, according to some, is a questionable type of grass. We motored into the narrow and impressive inlet, thank goodness for calm conditions. With quite a few boats already in there, and more coming in behind us, we circled around for a bit, checking depths and absorbing the look and feel of it all, as Dave reloaded the Weather. Again.

"Well, Dear, where would you like to spend the next week? We can stay here. Lots of boats coming in behind us. It's a small anchorage. Well protected. Or we can keep going to Spanish Wells. But if we don't go today, we're not going anywhere for a week".

I hemmed and hawed and replied : "Well if we keep going right now, do we have time to make it to, and through, Current Cut, in the right conditions, by the time we get there?"

Another double check on the tides and currents and timings of our arrival at both places.

"Yes, We'll make it just at high tide, slack water. And we should reach Spanish Wells an hour later, just a tad before sunset. But that's an easy anchorage in the dark".

We both simultaneously agreed that we preferred to be there for the Blow. Spanish Wells or Bust.

Going through Current Cut in flat calm conditions was a breeze.



and true enough, not even two hours later we were anchored, at sunset, in Spanish Wells.



And that is how we spent a couple of days boatbound during The Blow, and then a few good days hiking and exploring the quaint and lovelySpanish Wells .

For the brief time we spent in Eleuthera, we fell in love with her. There is a laid back charming historical vibe here, and we're looking forward to coming back (when the weather allows). And that, dear Readers and Friends, is the Long on the Weather and the Short of Eleuthera.

Something Alien at Oven Rock Cave

14 March 2017 | Great Guana Cay and Oven Rock Cave, Exumas, Bahamas
Alex, hot with a chance of finding Aliens
Maybe there weren't any horrible face hugging Alien monsters (remember the 1980's Science Fiction Action Horror movie??) hidden in the deep dark cave that we found on Great Guana Cay. Or Maybe there were. Read On...

****

Great Guana Cay is but one of the many many small Cays in the chain of Islands and Cays that make up the Exumas, and where we presently found ourselves anchored and ready for some exploring.

Oven Rock sits just by the sandy cream coloured Beachfront, and both beckoned to us as clear and as loud as the day was beautiful and blue. As we dinghied closer to Oven Rock we could better make out the large hole in the middle of it, and it did look somewhat like a large oven kiln. Pizza or fresh baked baguettes anyone?



Once closer to shore, we discovered it wasn't all sand and games. It took a little bit of exploring to try and find a rock free spot to safely land the dinghy ashore.

Barefoot we walked the long stretch of beach enjoying the heat of the sand, and the very different type of landscape our toes encountered.



Not quite all sandy, not quite all rocky. Limestone Strata, or Stromatolites perhaps? Long, flat slabs of rock that were perhaps pushed up from the ocean floor many many moons ago. And are now being eroded into the sandy bits we were walking on. The wind rustled the palms a little bit, and the heat of the glaring sun started the trickle of sweat down our brows.

We walked our way behind Oven Rock heading towards the Northern End of the Beach, where we had read that there was a walking trail that might take us to Oven Rock Cave (if we were Brave and Daring enough to find it). And as with all foreshadowing type of events, and quite possibly thanks to the many other Cruisers here before us, we immediately found a clear clue as to where to go.



We zigged and zagged along the hot sandy trail, looking for Clues and Cairns to point the way.



Pretty soon there were no more views of the water we'd left behind and we were totally enveloped in the enclosed heat of the green palmed trees.



This way. That way. And finally up and up and up-a-way's.

And on the tree densed hillside of Great Guana Cay, we found the entrance to Oven Rock Cave. We ducked under the trees that crossed our path,



and immediately were transported to a dark humid entrance of wonderment.



It is a wide but narrow mouth of an entrance and we started towards it, quite enthralled at the darkness that lay ahead of us. Carefully climbing down some rocks, ever watchful of the placement of our feet on the treacherous pointy jags of rock, each step downwards taking us further into the cavernous humid room.

The ceiling decorated with hanging somewhat pointy stalactites



and rising up from the ground the mounds of stalagmites



stood in our way.

The floor of the cave was nothing but a dark and cold looking body of water.



Truth be told we were sort of glad we hadn't brought our snorkel gear and thus didn't have the option to find out what monsters might lurk below us had we swam in the dark waters.



The beam of dancing light of our handheld flashlights illuminated the walls of the cave in excited fashion



as it touched on the nooks and crannies.



Some bats flitted about overhead. And then the beam of light came to rest on this. A large egg shaped mound.

It stood by itself. At the highest peak of the only rock before the cave disappeared into obscurity. Doesn't it remind you of something?



We talked in hushed whispers of Aliens and Alien lifeforms. How made up horror movies leave a lasting impression. How Life came to be. How surprising it was that the rocks looked wet, but weren't. Of cave explorers and divers that contort themselves into tiny spaces and explore miles of underwater areas. How hot and humid it was. How absolutely incredible this all was.



It's always easier to make your way out of something that took a while to get into,



and as we exited Oven Rock Cave towards the path, we turned right and made our way towards the windward side, where we walked the seaweed and plastic strewn beach back and forth, for the exercise and in the hopes of finding some beans.



And then back across the island and to our boats.



Life Sure is Great when you've searched for, had a possible encounter with, and escaped: Aliens! Yet Adventurer (or Alien Watched) Beware, you never know what could hatch when YOU visit this place.
Vessel Name: Banyan
Vessel Make/Model: Jeanneau 40 Sun Odyssey
Hailing Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Crew: David & Alexandra
About:
Welcome Aboard. I'm Alexandra, and if I'm not out Adventuring with Camera in Hand, or cheffing up a storm in my galley, I'm looking to pirate some WiFi to upload our latest tales (with way too many photos) about our most recent adventures. [...]
Extra: CHART YOUR COURSE: Our destiny is shaped by our thoughts and actions. We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails.
Social:
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The Adventures of Dave and Alexandra

Who: David & Alexandra
Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
We're always Somewhere South of Somewhere.

The Banyan Love is Growing.

http://www.hitwebcounter.com/htmltutorial.php
WebPage Visits

We're on Facebook

Sailing Banyan

but we're not Tweeting or Instagramming.

Should We #HashTag?

Our friends Paul and Sheryl Shard, of Distant Shores, are incredible producers of their very own TV Show.

If you haven't already, check them out.

Their DVD's are informative and fun to watch as they travel to all four corners of the world.

You might even find Banyan in some of them!!