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C'est la Vie
C'est la Vie
Port: Everglades City, FL
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Return to Highborne Cay
Friday August 22nd 2008, Exumas

After fueling up and some additional internet time, we managed a noon departure from the anchorage just off Thunderball Grotto. This departure allowed us to take full advantage of the ebbing tide when entering Exuma Sound. We spend the day racing against sunset and dodging thunderstorms enroute to Highborne Cay. We entered the cut at Highborne just as the sunset. We anchored on the sound side of Highborne. In the days fading light, we folded up and secured Origami on deck in preparation for the longer crossings that will deliver us back to the United States: Highborne to Nassau - Nassau to Chub - Chub to Bimini - Bimini to Miami. With any luck the next time Origami hits the water we will be back in the US.

AdderlyCut and beyond!
Thursday August 21st 2008, Exumas

We got an early start to catch the low, slack tide in Adderly Cut (see image). The spire just behind Anne is the traditional form of navigational aid for these waters. During the salt trade in the 1600's fires would be build at the base of these spires to inform passing ships that this was a safe harbor with salt available for trade. Pirates and scavengers would build false beacons to lure unwary vessels into shoals Once grounded the hapless vessels were easy prey. The spires remain and we have yet to encounter any nasty pirates. We have encountered numerous wana-be pirates that are eager to share rum and stories.
During the day the winds were fickle and ultimately died. Passing in at Farmer's Cay, we found the banks side no more hospitable for sailing than the sound. Ultimately we ended up motoring the final 10NM into Staniel Cay.
The day may well prove to be the hottest day of our journeys. Any cooling breeze from our stern was neutralized by our forward speed and no clouds broached the banks to cast a cooling shadow. We hope that kinder winds prevail for the remainer of our journey north.
One bit of good fortune - entering Staniel Cay anchorage we did recognize Marion J and Karana from our time in the Abacos. We spend a couple hours catching up over cold beers at the SCYC.

Tug & Barge Rocks
Wednesday August 20th 2008, Lee Stocking Island

The winds out of Georgetown died as we reached the Sound. We anchored off of the Caribbean Marine Research Center at Lee Stocking Island. NCOBS Sea Kayak Staff know this area well and will recognize the image included of "tug & barge rocks". It is very odd to be in this area in a vessel other than a sea kayak. I am amazed how different everything looks being 7 feet above the water in the sailboat rather than two feet in a sea kayak.

Bye Bye Georgetown
Wednesday August 20th 2008, Exumas

We have learned through friends in Everglades City that Sunset Island was flooded during TS Fay's passage. The lower east and west cottages have 1/2" of mud inside, there was damage to the fresh water system, there is no power on the island, and the jon boat dock is only hanging on a single piling. Unsure of other damage and worried about our home we are sailing north. With luck and fair weather we will return to Everglades City within two weeks.
While the Georgetown cruising scene was silent during our stay, we did enjoy spending time with Albert and Marta on Marlaga, Ben & Wade on Flip Flop Logic, and Neville, the Commodore, & the Doctor at the Peace and Plenty. I wish all our new friends good times until we meet again.

Monument Beach
Monday August 18th 2008, Stocking Island, Exumas

We are still lingering in Elizabeth Harbor. The reliable internet connection in the harbor has allowed us to track Fay and kept up updated on her torment of FL. We know she made landfall within 20NM of our home, Sunset Island. Our future travels will depend largely on the reports we expect to receive on any damage to the Outward Bound Basecamp. We are keeping our fingers crossed.
The weather is fair here in the islands. The image included was taken on our hike around Monument Beach. It was meant to be a hike up to the top of Monument Point, but we waited too late in the day and the trails in the wooded areas were thick with mosquitoes, ahh feels like home. The rock formations on the beach were fascinating.

Fay is tracking south & west of our position!
Saturday August 16th 2008, Elizabeth Harbor

With growing certainty we can say the TS Fay is going to travel south and west of our position. We will remain here in Georgetown a few more days to be certain of her progress. This is good news for us here in the Exumas, but now it looks as though Sunset Island and our friends in southern FL need be concerned about Fay's track.
We are again anchored by Volleyball Beach on Stocking Island. From our anchorage it a short dinghy ride will provide us access to a system of trails that lead to various summits and beaches. This gives provides us an escape from the boat during the waiting game. In the image included Anne is shelling along the ocean side of Stocking Island.

killing time in Georgetown
Thursday August 14th 2008, Elizabeth Harbor

We are stalled here in Georgetown waiting to see what the low pressure system to our south is going to do. Anne is feeling better and better with each passing day. We have signed up for a week of wifi service with a local provider. Having an internet connection allows us check the weather, catch up on some work, and update our friends. We are also stocking up on naps and consuming the library of books aboard C'est la Vie.

When is checkout time?
Tuesday August 12th 2008, Georgetown, Exumas

Anne seems to be on a slow rebound. She did manage to consume most of her P&P pancake breakfast. Determined eke every second of air conditioning, TV, and internet out of our room we lounged around until just after the noon check out time.
In the image, Anne is playing the hook and ring game that seems to be a staple of any nautical establishment. I'm inspired to find a place on Sunset Island for one.
The Building in the background is the P&P bar. The building was originally the cookhouse built in loyalist period in the late 1700's. The walls are 18" thick and Neville claims it is the world's best site for hurricane parties. We hope not to test this theory, but are keeping our eye on a tropical low that is threatening our area.
Back on the boat. We spent the remainder of the day taking care of our to-do list... we changed the oil, changed the fuel filters, and reprovisioned.

Down for the count at the Peace & Plenty
Monday August 11th 2008, Georgetown, Exumas

Anne is sick. We think is may be something she ate at the Chat'n'Chill cookout. I am as of yet unaffected, but Anne spent last night heaving into the head on C'est la Vie. In an act of compassion I moved the boat to town and got a hotel room at the Peace and Plenty (P&P) in Georgetown. The image included is of the patio area of the P&P. Volleyball Beach is visible in the background, left of the flag poles.
After a long shower, Anne crashed out in front of the TV's non-stop Olympic coverage. I spent the afternoon in search of supplies - propane, water, fuel, etc.
By evening, Anne was well enough to wander out of the room. On a pass through the P&P bar, the manager Neville, offer to buy us a drink and asked about or accommodations. One drink turned into four and two baskets of conch fritters. We spoke at length with Neville and Danny, the Commodore of Family Island Regatta. We enjoyed the evening's conversation. Neville was very generous with the drinks and food. Anne mostly drank water, but by the end of the evening was persuaded to try some rum and coke. Back to the room.
The P&P is a wonderful hotel and well run by Neville and his team. If you want more information visit the website:

Volleyball Beach
Sunday August 10th 2008, Stocking Island, Exumas

Every winter hundreds of cruising vessels arrive in Elizabeth Harbor, Exumas and create a vibrant floating community. The floating community is very important to the local economy. Many businesses cater to the population of cruisers that inhabit the harbor from December - April. Currently there are approximately 10 occupied cruising vessels in the harbor.
One very popular gathering spot is Volleyball Beach and its associated grill/bar the Chat'n'Chill. The image included is of Volleyball Beach from the bow of C'est la Vie. Despite the low number of vessels in the harbor the Chat'n'Chill still hosted its popular Sunday Cookout. Yep you guessed it meat (chicken), peas & rice, slaw, and mac & cheese... it's the island way, Mon. After wrapping up the splicing session (pun intended), we spent the remainder of our Sunday lounging in the beach in the shade of the casuarinas pines. I thought I would be absorbed by my current read, Don't Stop the Carnival by Herman Wouk, but the people watching dominated our time on the beach. So diverse and intertwined were the beach goes that midway through the afternoon Anne stated that she felt as if she were in a United Colors of Benetton advertisement. There was a wedding party for a couple, he was Japanese and she was from the States. The swing in the tree behind us was popular with the kids and parents from the US frat boy persuasion to a family from India. Often the children lasted longer that the parents so parents ended up push other people's children as everyone took turns. Statements in swimwear ranged from the self conscious Midwestern mother wearing the built in skirt type suit to the rail thin Italian guy in the short boy shorts, to the random thong lost in voluminous pale cheeks to the must avoid all contact with UV rays body wrap including a balaclava. We enjoyed our day on the beach, but achieved little reading.

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