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The Voyage of S/V Estelle
Cruising from Maritime Canada to Florida in our Bristol 41.1
Happy Easter!
Jim Lea
04/08/2007, Royal Island, Bahamas

Easter Sunday dawned with a beautiful day. A cloudless sky covered us with a light north-east breeze, making it a perfect morning for breakfast in the cockpit. We bought some fresh local fruit yesterday on Harbour Island and had it for breakfast with yogurt and granola, both healthy and tasty! We were on a mooring at the east end of the harbour, just off where the fast ferry docks, so we watched it come in from Nassau then pull out to Harbour Island. Not as big a crowd as yesterday, but still full. Last night we had a take-away dinner of grouper, cracked conch, cole slaw and potato salad. It was from a home just a few feet away from our mooring, so I just dinghied over to pick it up. It made a perfect end to a great day. Then this morning, we went to church at the local Methodist church. Yesterday I mentioned that Spanish Wells has some unique characteristics. One I forgot to mention is that its inhabitants are just about 100% white. Apparently, according to our cruising guide, they are the descendants of United Empire Loyalists who left the United States after the American Revolution. They established here and have really prospered. Although their accent is a bit different from most Bahamians, it is still a bit unusual to hear the Bahamian lilt coming out of a white mouth. And it was the same in church, with the preacher's accent. The music was a mix of traditional hymns and modern music with a definite Bahamian twist. The organ was accompanied by a piano and drums, and none of the musicians were shy! After church, we were offered a drive back to the marina where we had left our dinghy, and we dinghied back to the mooring and had lunch from last night's leftovers. It was just as good re-heated. Then we went for a short walk, came back and dropped the mooring to head back to Royal Island. We came back to Royal Island, as it gives us a head start of about an hour and a half for tomorrow's crossing to the Abacos. We will leave (assuming the weather forecast holds) about 7 am and be there in late afternoon. Because of the distance, we will want to kep our speed up above 6 knots. So if the wind lightens, we will have to motor-sail. If the forecast holds for 15 knots out of the east-south-east, we should have a beautiful sail on a beam reach. But they are forecast to die later in the day, so we may have to motor the last few miles. We'll just see! Tonight we will have pork loin on the BBQ with salad from local gardens (so much more flavour!). I forgot to mention last night's coconut cream pie... Excellent!!! Tonight Bill and I are going to try to make contact via short wave radio. We only managed once before, but radio conditions seem to be better, so hopefully we'll have success tonight!

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04/08/2007 | Ron White
Got over 15 cm snow here last night and winds over 90km, quite a storm. We are keeping track of you and enjoying all of your postings. Keep them coming.
Straitshooter
04/11/2007 | Susan Muir
Was in your neck of the woods last week at Paradise Island on Nassau and golfed on the same course where Daniel Craig filmed Casino Royale. There are some crazy big pleasure boats down there! The weather's not much better in Toronto than in PEI, still getting the odd snow shower and most jealous of your new lifestyle! Had Easter with Sally in Montreal and she had Albert over to dinner - all is well there. Cheers! Sue
And on north
Jim Lea
04/07/2007, Spanish Wells, Bahamas

Some time ago I wrote about Bahamas weather, and noted that it seemed easier to predict than ours at home. Forecasts out as far as five days held true! Well, forget I ever said that. On Thursday, we woke up in Governor's Harbour to listen, as usual, to Chris Parker's weather forecast, and heard him tell us, and everyone listening, that there had been a major change in the forecast overnight. Since leaving Long Island, we had been running up the western coast of, first, Cat Island, then Eleuthera, a total distance of about 120 miles. With the normal winds from the eastern direction, running up the western shore means that you are running up the protected lee side of the island, giving pleasant sailing in most wind conditions. But the converse it true too! There is only one harbour that offers any protection from western winds, Rock Sound, in southern Eleuthera. So when Chris told us that the wind was going to swing to the west and blow, we knew it was time to make a run for it! So we left Governor's Harbour at 7:30 am on Thursday and headed up to Royal Island, about 60 miles away. And the wind did clock into the west, coming up about mid-morning to about 15-18 knots, so we actually had a nice sail up. But , and there's always a "but", at the top of Eleuthera, to get to Royal Island, you have to pass through a particularly tricky cut called simply, "Current Cut". Looking at the tide tables, which are only a guess for anywhere but Nassau, we thought we could time our arrival for just about slack high water. We missed it by an hour or so, and were whisked through going 4 knots through the water, but propelled up to 9 knots by a 5 knot ebbing current. But there was only one tricky section that we managed without incident. From there it was a nice sail across the last 9 miles to Royal Island. Royal Island has a very well protected anchorage where we dropped anchor in mid-afternoon. We were disappointed to have to leave Governor's Harbour and Eleuthera so quickly, as there were other areas we were hoping to see. But we did have a nice walk ashore the evening before we left. As we travel north, we can see a distinct trend in the economy. Each community is increasingly better off than the its southerly neighbor. And Governor's Harbour was no exception. Coupled with that, the bougainvillia shrubs are all in full bloom, and are everywhere draping their bright colours over walls and onto the streets and walks. And the nicer homes, all gaily painted just add to the beauty of the place. Royal Island is different. In the Bahamas, it is quite common to see either an old abandoned estate or development, or a new one under construction, but Royal Island has both. The crumbling ruins of what must have been a very beautiful summer estate when it was built in the 1930's stands next to the huge clearing where a new resort and marina is under construction. The island is only about 3 miles long and 1/2 mile wide, but has a perfectly formed harbour in the center with a small opening for boats to get in to. So by the time we return, I expect that we will be faced with not the remote quiet anchorage we had this year, but a bust resort that may or may not tolerate cruisers. But that's progress, I guess... Near Royal Island are two major (by Bahamain standards) communities, Spanish Wells and Harbour Island. Spanish Wells is only 5 miles from Royal Island, and Harbour Island is just 10 miles further on. Because we wanted to see both, and are looking at a weather window to cross to the Abacos on Monday, we ran down to Spanish Wells yesterday (Good Friday). It is a small and busy harbour with a large fishing fleet, and no room to anchor, so we rented a mooring for two nights. We left Royal Island in early afternoon, after the squalls and rain passed through, and motored the short distance down. Picking up our mooring, we then headed ashore and walked around the Island. There are a few things that strike you immediately on going ashore. Once again we have seen an increase in the standard of living, but this time it is a quantum leap! Spanish Wells fishing fleet consists of million dollar ships that supply the Red Lobster chain with its Caribbean lobster. And the fishermen have homes to match their boats. It is a very nice, but an unusual town. Last year someone opened a liquor store, but a bylaw shut it down. No liquor is sold on the island. Today we were walking down the road past the store, and saw the door ajar, so went in. "Hello!" we called... no answer. We repeated it a few times as we walked through the store, checking out the cold beer inventory, and all the details. No one appeared. We called a few more times, but after 10 minutes, no one showed up, so we left. I shut the door behind us. Today (Saturday) we caught the high speed ferry over to Harbour Island. Harbour Island is just the opposite to Spanish Wells. Very touristy, and very upper end. Mega yachts and fancy resorts, intermingled with some very nice summer homes, both old and new. Fun for a day, but that's it. Check it out on the internet (it may be under Dunsmore Town). Try Pink Sands Hotel. We didn't take our boat over because the route is referred to as "The Devil's Backbone" and with good reason. We were on a high speed catamaran ferry, and watching it weave between the reefs which constitute the backbone was impressive. At times we were less than 100' off the shore, running at 25 knots in a full sized ferry. Most cruisers who do go take on a pilot. But we chose to just do a day trip. It was great fun, but I think we did it right, as we were ready to leave just as the ferry was ready to go. This town, Spanish Wells, is a working town, and we actually enjoy it more than the very touristy Harbour Island. Tomorrow we will go back up to Royal Island and plan to cross to the Abacos, the most northerly group of Bahamas islands, on Wednesday. We plan to spend only a few days there waiting for a weather window to head back to the US, probably arriving at Port Canaveral, Fla. Its about 140 miles, or a long overnighter.

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And on north
Jim Lea
04/04/2007, Governor's Harbour, Eleuthera, Bahamas

Rounding Cape Eluthera (on Monday) we headed into a very narrow channel with the wind dead ahead, so we furled the sails and motored the last few miles into Rock Sound where we anchored next to True Love, with Frank and Eve from Montreal aboard. So we had a good chat on the VHF. They are also on the same general path as we are, but were heading out for Governor's Harbour in the morning, so I expect we will continue to run into them as we work our way north. Arriving late in the day, we just took a short walk ashore then back on the boat for mahi mahi, rice & beans and cole slaw! Excellent. Then yesterday (Tuesday) we just toured around the village of Rock Sound. The look of the buildings says that we are getting into more prosperous territory, and we expect that trend to continue as we head north. But the village is very pretty and retains some of the appearances of its colonial past. I took lots of pictures which, of course I can't post until I get a good internet connection. In the afternoon, about 8 more cruisers, including Trumpeter, came in. It is an excellent harbour and on the route north from both Long Island and points south-east, but also from the Exumas, where most cruisers seem to spend the winter. Today (Wednesday) we are moving on again, but just a short hop up to Governor's Harbour, a distance of only about 20 miles. At one time, it was the capital of the Bahamas (when the pirates were still in control of New Providence Island, where the current-day capital is located). We will probably stay just one night, as we are starting to look at the weather forecast for crossing from the northern part of Eleuthera to the Abacos as soon as possible, and it is starting to look like early next week may be a good weather window. The crossing is about 60 miles of open water, so will take just one long day. But the weather is still not typical settled spring weather, so we want to be there and not miss a window.

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Off to Eluthera!
Jim Lea
04/02/2007, Exuma Sound, Bahamas

Well, the trip up to Orange Creek on Saturday was not a quiet sail. Although the winds were light when we set out, and forecast to stay light, we had two reefs in both the main and jib quite quickly, and shot up the coast of Cat Island averaging 7 knots. Another great sail. When we anchored it was apparent that the anchorage wasn't as protected as we expected it to be. But we put out lots of scope (anchor chain) and I went out with the dive bucket (a glass bottomed bucket that you can look through) and checked that the anchor was well set. We dinghied ashore, to find the store (reported to be Cat Island's best) closed, as was the laundromat, but both scheduled to open in the morning. So we went for a stroll up the road, and quickly saw all of Orange Creek's sights. We guess that there are about 25 to 30 people living there. And guess who comes from there??? Sidney Poitier!! But he wasn't home. Back aboard, we were able to BBQ for the first time in weeks, in the lighter winds. So we had steak with baked potatoes and, to add some Bahamian flavor, plaintains. But although the wind was down, there was a swell coming in to the anchorage that made for a rolly night. In the morning (Palm Sunday) we went ashore and found the store and laundromat open, so re-stocked our supply of fresh veggies and did a laundry. Then we went for a walk across a beach that was 2.5 miles of white sand with not a house or person on it. By late afternoon it was obvious that the swell wasn't going down, so we hoisted anchor and headed down to another tiny community (they are called settlements) called Bennet's Harbour. There we ran into Trumpeter, a Bristol 45.5 who we met in Thompson Bay. They are on roughly the same schedule as we are, but a few days behind, so we will probably keep bumping in to them all the way up to Maine where they keep their boat for the summer .But Bennets Harbour, although not entirely swell-free, was a lot better than Orange Creek, so we had a better night. For dinner, curried shrimp with basmati rice and more plantains, with another nice chardonnay. Today (Monday) we are off to Eleuthera, a sail of about 55 miles, so we left eatly (7:30 am). Just a few miles out is Little San Salvadore, or as it is now known, Half Moon Cay. It has been bought by Holland-American Cruise Lines, and they heve converted it into a stop for their ships. They have built a whole bunch of stuff ashore, and have sea-doos and stuff for the passengers to use. But there is only one anchorage, and they will let cruisers anchor, but not land if a cruise ship is in. So, as there was a ship in, we just sailed by, taking a couple of pictures. The anchorage would be exposed to the swell, anyway, so might not have been too comfortable. Passing Little San Salvadore (it seems every cay in this area was called San Salvadore at one time or another) we are now heading up to Rock Sound on Eleuthera. Eleuthera is a long island stretching about 100 miles in a north-westerly direction. We will spend a few days travelling up the western shore then into Spanish Wells at the top where we plan to spend a few days. Then a 60 mile jump across to the Abacos Islands. For dinner tonight, very fresh Mahi-Mahi! I caught one just of the southern tip of Eleuthera so we will have it grilled tonight with rice& beans and plantains.

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Back into the land of nice winds
Jim Lea
03/31/2007, New Bight, Cat Island, Bahamas

This is a picture of The Hermitage built by Father Jerome here on Cat Island.
I just noticed that in my last posting, I forgot to change the date. It was actually written on March 23th, not the 25th. But here we are in Cat Island. Today is Saturday, March 31. We left Simms on Thursday morning at 7 am to cross over to Cat Island. We were in company with two other boats, Osprey and Syrena. Winds were actually quite light as we hoisted anchor off Simms, so we set full sail, fully expecting that the wind would rise and we would be reefing, but at that stage, full sail was very comfortable, and we still motor-sailed as we headed the last 10 miles up the coast of Long Island towards Cape Santa Maria and the 30 mile crossing to Cat Island. As we expected, nearing the Cape, the swell began to make itself felt about five miles below the cape, and the winds gradually rose at the same time. So by the time we reached the cape, we had two reefs in both the main and jib and had shut the engine down. And also as expected, the swells were still in the 8' range. But they were a good interval (time between them) of about 8 seconds, so they were not uncomfortable. The wind continued to rise, and probably averaged about 18 knots, just ahead of our beam. So we had excellent sailing conditions and crossed the gap of 30 miles with an average speed of 7.3 knots, excellent sailing for us. As we approached Hawks Nest Point, the south-western tip of Cat Island, the wind died, and we were just able to drift past it into the bay behind the point. But as we cleared the point, the winds strengthened again, this time up to about 20 knots, and we had to harden up for the last ten miles to New Bight. In three long tacks we were in our anchorage, and dropped the anchor at just after 4 pm, a distance of 55 miles. An excellent day of sailing, and good to be moving again. After a full day of sailing, we just stayed put on board and had the remains of the Spaghetti Bolognese from two nights ago. Then yesterday (Friday) we went ashore to explore New Bight. Our first objective was The Hermitage, Father Jerome's last home. I have written about Father Jerome before. Trained in England as an architect, he first came to the Bahamas in the early 20th century as an Anglican priest to rebuild the churches destroyed in hurricanes. There are about a dozen churches he built at that time on Cat and Long Islands. Then her converted to Catholicism and built some more, the most beautiful of which is St Pauls in Clarence Town. But at the end of his life, he decided to become a hermit and built a "hermitage" (and this required the bishop's official approval and all that stuff) on the highest point of land in the Bahamas, Mt Alvernia, just behind New Bight. So we hiked up to see it. He died in the 1950's and it has been empty but maintained by the local catholic church ever since. Built by him alone, it is a very impressive sight. I took lots of pictures and will post them whenever I get a chance. But it was a very extraordinary site. His small chapel has just one pew, and he was truly alone up there. Coming down, we walked around the "village" and up the road to the store, then back. There is a bakery, just in someone's home, so we bought some corn bread and a loaf of whole wheat bread. Then back to the boat for lunch. There is a "Fish Fry" in New bight. A Fish Fry is a series of restaurants, but not the normal type of restaurant, along the beach. A Fish Fry restaurant is just a shack, probably no more than 15' square, and just a take out. They have a very limited menu, usually fish (the type is what they caught today), stwe chicken, or ribs, all with cole slaw and rice & beans. And there are usually a bunch of them. Here in New Bight there are about six of them. Then there are tables where you can eat. Oh yes, also beer. By yesterday afternoon there were seven boats anchored here. So we all decided to go in to the fish fry for dinner. It was really fun. We had, of course, fish, fresh snapper, and Kailke, the Bahamian beer. Next to the fish fry is the New Bight boat club, which hosts the Bahamas largest regatta in June each year. They race a few different classes of Bahamian sloops, and these are not just old fishing boats. On Long Island we went in to look at one under construction. All are wooden, and the finish is so smooth and highly finished that we first thought it was fibreglass. All spars are wood (They are gaff-rigged sloops with a huge mainsail), and sails must be canvass. No dacron allowed. But last night it was just a bar with music that went until 3 am. We weren't there that long, but we did hear it as we were anchored just off it. That about covers the sights and sounds of New Bight, so today we will be heading north to the northern tip of the island, to a place called Orange Creek. The wind is down, so it will be a quiet sail of about 30 miles.

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Finally on the move again
Jim Lea
03/25/2007, Simms, Long Island

Finally the end is in sight, or at least according to Chris, the weather forecaster. He is calling for winds and seas to subside today and tomorrow, giving us a window to cross to Cat Island. So this morning, we raised the anchor, and headed over to the fuel dock. The anchor came up relatively easily, considering it has been down for 10 days in high winds. But from the mud that came up with it, it was obviously completely burried> Thank goodness for our windlass, so that raising and lowering involves pressing buttons, not heaving on chain and heavy anchors! Our plan for the day was to fuel up and head up the shore to the town of Simms, to spend the night and give us about a 10 mile head-start tomorrow. And at that it is still 55 miles of sailing, or about 10 hours, so we will make an early start tomorrow. But today (Wednesday) we were off early as we had to catch the fuel dock before the tide fell too far. We didn't want to put on a show like another boat did yesterday, aground for about 6 hours just off the dock. So we were alongside by 9 am, an early start to the day in the Bahamas. So it took some time to get the attention of the operator, and we watched the depth sounder showing less than one foot under the keel. But he showed up and I topped up both tanks (a total of 75 gallons, or just half our total capacity) while Jeannie did some last minute grocery shopping. I thought the price very reasonable at $3.60/gallon. I decided to pass up the shopping. Last week I bought some bait for fishing snapper, and assured the lady on the checkout that I would be back on Monday with lots of fish for her supper. But it has been too windy to fish, so no fish. When Jeannie returned, she said the lady was laughing and asking where her fish was. Next year... So we were off the fuel dock, and still afloat, and away from Thompson Bay. It is a great anchorage, but 10 days waiting out the wind was more than enough. In fact, last night, we had a party on the beach to celebrate the forecasted end to the wind. All the boaters brought their own drinks and some appetizers to share. As we all expected to leave in the next day or so, it was the last chance to get together. Much to my surprise, I was the organizer! I'm not normally an organizer for that sort of thing, but the day before (Monday) we were chatting with a few couples on the beach and suggested the idea. Everyone thought it a great idea, but no one would organize it. Really there's nothing to organize. I just got on the VHF in the morning and announced it, and said BYOB and some snacks. See you at 5 pm. And that was it. But it was a great hit with 100% turnout, and we all had a great time. So today, we headed out of Thompson for, we hope, the last time this year, and motored 10 miles up to Simms, where we hope to just overnight, then on to Cat Island and points north! At Simms, we went ashore for a walk, and checked out the "Government Complex", three small pink stucco buildings; a post office, Administration Office, and the Jail! Then down to the Blue Chip restaurant, and back aboard. We are traveling with two other boats, Osprey, from North Carolina and Syrena, from Georgian Bay, Ontario. And tonight Osprey invited us all over for drinks, so we had a good time (this makes three nights in a row for social events!), then back aboard, dinghy hoisted on deck, ham and cheese omelet with tossed salad for dinner with Bahamian Bread Pudding and locally grown Pineapple for dessert and to bed. Tomorrow will be an early start, weather permitting.

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Eating well is the best revenge!!!
Jim Lea
03/25/2007, Thompson Bay, Long Island

No letup in sight! Last night at least 4 squalls came through, with the typical high winds and heavy rain. One consolation is that our water tanks are full. Normally I would run the watermaker every couple of days to keep the water tanks full, but there is a fine sediment in the water in Thompson Bay that will clog the filters, so we have been running low until the rains started. Even if it had not rained, it wouldn't be a major problem, as Long Island is one of the very few places in the Bahamas where water at the dock is free. On most cays, water is made by reverse osmosis plants, just a big version of the system we have on board. But Long Island is big enough to have its own natural water supply, so it's not a scarce commodity like elsewhere. Some boats even come here from Georgetown just to fill up. For 150 gallons at prices ranging from $0.60 to $1.30 per gallon, you can run up a good bill in a hurry! But in any case we are fine. I fashioned a water collection system that directs the rainwater into our aft tanks (we have 3 tanks, one forward and to aft). And they quickly filled with the heavy rain in the frequent squalls. Today (Sunday), in between squalls, we headed to shore for a walk. Once ashore, we decided to head across the island to the beach on the east (windward) side. There we saw a good reminder of why we were staying put. On Thompson Bay, we are extremely well protected, and it is easy to think that perhaps we could leave. After all, we have often cruised on 20 knots at home, and its not much more than that here. But those were in protected waters. The windward side of Long Island is directly exposed to the Atlantic Ocean, and the size of the breakers crashing ashore made it easy for us to see why we weren't out there. As far as we could see, the sea was white with foaming breakers, and the 12' seas crashing across the reefs and pounding the beach threw salt spray 40' in the air at times. It was what is locally called "a Rage" on the ocean. As we scuttled back across to the lee shore of Thompson Bay, we were more than content to stay put. One positive about being stuck here is the food. There's lots of time for planning and preparation. Take today for example; for breakfast we had fresh fruit, mostly local, with granola that Jeannie made yesterday and yogurt. That was followed by toast made from bread we bought at the Clarence Town Bakery, which is excellent, and accompanied by Marie Sharp's Guava jam. Marie Sharp manufactures all sorts of jams and jellys plus excellent hot sauce, in Belize. When I was down there last week, I brought some of both back. I have never seen it outside Belize, but it would be a great seller, as it is delicious! Lunch was a vegetable and cheese omelet with fresh garden salad, and cookies (yes, from the bakery) and tea for dessert. Tonight we will finish the Butter Chicken from two nights ago with some fresh local vegetables. Dessert is TBA. So in spite of getting a little antsi, we are still having a good time.

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At least it's not snowing
Jim Lea
03/24/2007, Thompson Bay, Long Island

This wind just refuses to give up. But the good news is that there are no bugs! Each morning we, and every other cruiser in the Bahamas and Western Caribbean listen to Chris Parker, who runs a weather service out of Florida. He broadcasts on a variety of frequencies, but the one that we listen to, 4045 kHz, covers the Bahamas, the Caribbean down to Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic, and the Western Caribbean including Belize and Guatemala. He gives a detailed forecast for each area, in fact he divides the Bahamas into three areas. We are in at the border of the Central and Southern areas, so we listen to both. He gives a five day forecast, and it's usually quite accurate. And, sadly, he has been accurate recently with one word... "windy". If you wand some details for a trip from one area to another, you call him, and he will give you as much detail (usually a lot more!) as you want. Last week when we got back, his forecast was for at lest a week of "unseasonably" windy weather, out of the north-east... our desired route to Cat Island and Eleuthra up to the Abacos. And he has been right. Now it looks like we will be stuck here until Tuesday or possibly Wednesday of next week. But we're not alone. There are about 1,500 boats trying to get either south or north, and all holed up in one anchorage or another. It's amusing to listen to the calls in to Chris in the morning. You can easily sense the frustration of people, almost blaming him for the weather. A few days ago, one boater called in and told him where she was and asked "Isn't there anywhere I can go?" His reply, always very polite, was that he could only give her the forecast, and that it was up to her to decide where to go. We sensed that he might like to suggest where she might go, but he is far too polite. So today it was good news when he said that he expects it to break early next week. If the forecast holds, we'll go over to the fuel dock to re-fuel on Monday, then head up the shore (we are on the lee side of Long Island, so the seas are calm in spite of the wind) to the town of Simms to be a bit closer to our jump-off point of Cape Santa Maria. Simms will still leave us about 10 miles from Cape Santa Maria (named by Columbus after he ran the Santa Maria aground there on his first voyage), but going further up would put us into swells that curl round the cape from the seas on the windward side. And those swells, while not dangerous, can be very uncomfortable and frustrating. We have spent a few nights in them, hanging on to the bunk all night, and it is no fun. The problem is that the boat points into the wind, but the swells, having curled round the cape, come at you broadsides, rolling the boat incessantly. So we will be sure to stay far enough south of the cape to avoid the swell. Yesterday (Friday) we rented a car and went touring, and did laundry. We picked up the car at about noon and went south towards Clarence Town. There is a marina there with a laundromat, so we did our laundry there, and talked to cruisers there. Clarence Town is on the east, or, in this wind, windward side of the island. Normally it has enough protection from a few cays and off-lying reefs, but with the huge seas pounding in, they were washing right over the reefs. There were eight boats anchored in the harbour and about a dozen in the marina, completely filling it. The marina has enough protection from a breakwater that the boats in it are reasonably comfortable, but for the boats anchored, it's a misery. We spoke with a few, and they're totally fed up. Because of the danger of dragging, someone has to be aboard at all times, and it is like being inside a washing machine. The air is so filled with salt spray, that hatches have to be kept shut, so that the boats are hot and stuffy. So although we are getting a bit bored, we really appreciated the calm anchorage we have here. After the laundry, we went for lunch at Le Pon, a small local bar in town. I had a conch burger, Jeannie had a fish burger, both with cole slaw, and for $12. A great lunch and a great price. In the afternoon we found a wireless internet site at the Fedex office in a tiny town. That is typical of most business here. They will have one main business, but often run a couple of other, completely unrelated ones out of the same location. The problem is learning about them, as the sign just shows the main line. With the car, we bought a few more groceries, mainly liquids, normally too heavy to carry, so we are pretty well stocked. And with all this time, the meals are improving. Last night was Indian night with Butter Chicken (not on the low-fat diet!) and coconut cream pie for dessert (we stopped at a bakery in Clarence Town). Since we rented the car at noon for a day, we had it until noon today (Saturday), so this morning we headed north, and went up to Cape Santa Maria and watched in awe at the huge waves breaking on the reefs offshore. Then on the way back, we stopped at a fish wholesaler, and bought some excellent looking veal chops, steak and rack of lamb. Like I said, you have to know where to go! Tonight will be rack of Lamb with asparagus and sweet potato, followed up by a raisin pound cake. As I close, yet another squall is bearing down on us. For the last few nights, we have usually had two come through, complete with winds of 30-35 knots and heavy rain. They last anywhere from 5 minutes to 15, then the skies clear and the wind drops back to it's normal 20 knots. But today's is the first to hit us during the day. A few nights ago one came through Georgetown with a gust that hit 60 knots, sending a couple of dozen boats in the 250 boat fleet dragging. But apparently no damage! Oh well... but Chris says the squalls will end tomorrow.

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