Weather window opened and we departed from Sapodilla Bay to Ambergris Cay
Great motor-sail from Sapodilla Bay to Ambergris Cay, lots of sunshine and 25 knots of wind. Ambergris Cay is known for a "wax-like" substance that is excreted by the humpback whales that pass through the Turks Island passage and that is often found on the windward shore of Big Ambergris...not planning to go ashore and walk the beach! Actually, it is Humpback Whale season here. Over 3,000 whales pass through Turks passage on their way to Samana Bay, Dominican Republic. Humpback whales come to the Silver Bank (Banco de la Plata) off the north coast of D.R. for their breeding season...Yes, Dan and I are whale watching.
After a nights rest, we departed Ambergris Cay for South Caicos
Not much to say about South Caicos...Dan and I went ashore, returned to our boat and were happy to depart...Sketchy!
South Caicos to Great Sand Cay
You will enjoy this...a 20 mile sail took us 9 hours. We had a beautiful day. Great Sand Cay is our last island before our over night sail to D.R. Great Sand Cay, was once a habitat for the west Indian monk seal and the manatee before they were hunted to extinction. Upon our arrival, ten other cruisers, a conch horn, and a full moon greeted us. Once again, Dan and I were just in-time for happy hour. Life is Good!
2-10-08 through 2-11-08
Depart Great Sand Cay for Luperon, Dominican Republic (Hispaniola), located on the north coast of D.R.
80 miles in 16 hours, one tack and a star filled night. Brilliant! By sunrise, we reached our waypoint and celebrated the journey with 10 other cruisers who reached the same bay. Luperon is surrounded by lush green mountains and rainforest. Luperon Anchorage is the safest hurricane hole is the Caribbean for the cruising world. The local community is a pleasantly friendly, simple, and affordable. Dan and I are expanding our spanglish skills and thoroughly enjoy the culture. For the past week, we have explored the island by bus, Gua-gua, and foot. We have been entertained by cock fighting, local discos, waterfall tours, a soap rock museum, and a day travel to Puerto Plata...locals...locals...
Last full day for John and Kathy aboard Chinook, spent the day visiting hamburger beach, hiked to ocean beach for a swim, and spent the evening at St. Francis's watching football (the Packer's demise). Returned to Chinook for more adventure...effects from a cold front finally blew in and decided to rock and roll all the boats in the harbour...yep, our anchor started to drag. Let the fun begin!
John and Kathy departed at 6:00 a.m. from Chinook. A local water taxi service picked up John and Cathy from our boat, nice service! Normally, it would not have been an issue to take them to shore but the wind was blowing 25 knots and it was raining!
After several days of high winds, we were able to provision and stage up for our departure out of the Bahamas! We said our good byes to our friends aboard Dog's Life and began our 215 - mile trek via our rumb line to Turks and Caicos. Not to worry, we are never traveling alone in this life style, our friends Hot-Latte-Tudes (Gram and Pam) were just a few miles ahead. Dan and I departed for Calabash Bay on Long Island (1st leg of our 3 day journey). Columbus discover the island in 1642!
We departed for Rum Cay at 6:00 am., another 45 mile travel day...Arrived in Rum Cay, Port Nelson by 4 pm.
Dan caught his first fish... a Yellow Jack! At Rum Cay, several other sailors and friends...Hot-Latte-Tudes and Windego were there to greet us...Of course, we were just in time for a party on the main land!
Continuing our journey for Turks and Caicos (The British West Indies), we departed for Mayaguana (the last island we anchored on in the Bahamas), with Hot-Latte-Tudes. Our journey from Rum Cay (departing at 7:00 am.) to Mayaguana consisted of 130 miles, 25 hours with 20-25 knots of northeast winds, and 10-15 foot rollers...we reached the southeast point of Mayaguana at 8:30 am.
After confirming that our friends reached their anchorage, Dan and I enjoyed a 5-hour nap...
Departing by 6:00am, we set sail for our final 40-miles to reach Turks and Caicos, Providencials Island. Set anchor in Sapodilla Bay, cleared customs, and obtained a seven-day cruising permit. Mayaguana to Providencials "Provo" Island in Turks and Caicos
Providencials Island is undergoing an extreme makeover...building everywhere. The locals are very friendly and hard working. The land development is a major change from the Bahamas. Dan and I have been keeping very busy in Turks. We enjoyed a two days of diving with Caicos Adventures to French Cay and West Caicos, hiked around the island, rented a car with Hot-Latte-Tudes, and participated in a bar hopping excursion. Not escaping too far from reality, we enjoyed the Super Bowl at a local bar called Neptune's...
Dan and I cleared out of customs in Turks and Caicos and will be departing for Luperon, Dominican Republic on 2-5-08, the journey will take four days and approximately 140 miles.
Big Major to Little Farmers Cay
Making our way towards Emerald Bay Marina... Plan to stay in Little Farmers for our next weather window. Dan and I enjoyed our stay with Dog's Life (Zack and Ann) and Terry at the Ocean Cabin. After an afternoon of diving, we were able to enjoy two fresh lobsters for dinner and relax under our colorful Christmas lights.
Little Farmers to Emerald Bay Marina, Great Exuma Islands
Plan to dock Chinook until January 10, 2008. Dan and I are returning to home for the holidays. Emerald Bay Marina is new facility with the works...10 loads of laundry later and Chinook was almost clean! December 22nd, we departed for Chicago leaving behind 90-degree weather.
Happy New Year! Dan and I would like to thank our family and friends for a wonderful holiday season! Additionally, huge thanks go out to our parents for providing us with the comforts of home, love you! We have returned to Chinook in Emerald Bay Marina. We plan to provision and move toward George Town, we will be welcoming our first guest aboard Chinook.
Emerald Bay Marina to Stocking Island, Volleyball Beach
Upon our arrival to Volleyball beach, we were welcomed by our sailing friends' Dog's Life and Hot-Latte-Tude...Conch horns and full moons. Ah, it is great to be back! Setting our hook off Volleyball Beach, we had a couple of hours to meet with our friends for sundowners before picking up John and Kathy at the Peace and Plenty. John and Kathy will be staying aboard until January 21st.
Stocking Island to Calabash Bay, Long Island
After several days in George Town, we set sail for Long Island. John and Kathy were able to enjoy their first sail aboard Chinook. After beautiful 5 hour sail, we set our hook in Calabash Bay, near the Santa Maria Club. For three relaxing days, we were able to explore the island in solitude. We spent afternoons hiking, swimming and hunting for lobsters... No bugs could be found in Calabash Bay!
Calabash Bay to Stocking Island, Volleyball beach
Our return to Volleyball beach included another beautiful sail at 7 kts, hoping to set our hook before a front moves into George Town. The sun has been shining for John and Kathy's vacation! As John quoted, "We have been mellowing enjoying ourselves!"