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Great Lakes to The Bahamas
Who: Wayne & Pat
Port: Jackson
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The Day Continued
02/21/2009, Frazer's Hog Cay Berry Islands

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We dinghied to the beach and walked back to the lake (yes it was a lake). It was a bit more dried up than when we saw it yesterday so it must be open to the ocean somewhere not visible to us. We followed the sand/coral road (more path) northward and came upon some ruins that appeared to have been someones home at one time. It had a garage/workshop out back and steps built into the coral/stone that led up a path to the house that had a wonderful view of the water and Aurora (Den & Brigid's boat) Naturally I had to take a picture. On the way back to the road we ran into Brigid & Denny. They were coming back from the other ruins further up the road. We decided to walk to the Berry Yacht club for beers and maybe some conch fritters. We got the beers but no conch - they only had fish and chicken wings so we ordered both. Half an hour later the lady called me back to the kitchen to tell me they had no fish. So we all had chicken wings, which she served to us with a small salad and fries. She said she'd have conch for me tomorrow so we said we'd be back for dinner at 5:30 (you have to let them know ahead of time if you want dinner or they won't have it). This is a cute little place & we met the progeny of the man that built it. They were here to scatter their dad's ashes and were telling the lady that they'd bring pictures of the place and how it looked back then. Pretty cool.

After we left the Berry Club we walked to the other side of the island where the water was very shallow. We passed the area where all the trash is taken. It looks like nothing ever leaves the island that comes on to it. We collected some shells and wandered the coral rock then headed back for the beach. The waves were up out of the east and the wind was howling. I was glad to see Kolibrie was still at anchor even if her back end was pointed toward the shore in shallower water. When we got back to the boat (wet dinghy ride through the waves) the depth was reading 7.5 ft and we were close to high tide. The anchor alarm showed we'd moved 60 ft toward the shore. With the wind pushing at us toward the lee shore we took a committee vote of two to move. We considered moving out to where Aurora was, only they looked like they were rocking more than we were so we decided to pay up the $15/night for a mooring and take one in front of the Berry Yacht Club. The winds are picking up again as I write this.

Heavy Winds
02/21/2009, The Berry Islands - Frazer’s Hog Cay (N25*25.782 W077*49.871)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Wow, what a night. The winds picked up and we were hobby horsing. Every two and a half hours I was up and checking to see how far we moved and in which direction. It was interesting because I loved having the breeze come through the hatch above the bed and feeling it blowing across my face, but every time it gusted, I thought about the boat rocking and kept listening for the anchor chain and waiting for the boat to chatter. I laid in bed until I could make out Wayne's features in the twilight then got up and looked around outside. The moon is a small crescent and the stars were fading with the light. Brigid and Denny were still at anchor a distance away to the north, the yellow boat was getting ready to leave and 3 other boats on the moorings were pulling out at first light. Two of them came our way as they hoisted their sails into the wind then swung around and out of the channel.

I played a couple of computer games and downloaded pictures from my camera while having my morning coffee then made some blueberry pancakes for breakfast. I thought I'd be using the last of the blueberries but still have some left. Guess I'll have to make some muffins soon.

Wayne took a look at the energy dissipater and tried to do something with it and I swept up the cabin sole and cockpit, shook out the rugs and did the breakfast dishes. Enough work for the day - now lets go explore some of the island.

The Berry Islands - Frazer’s Hog Cay (N25*25.782 W077*49.871)
02/20/2009

Martha and Dave (he's Australian - nice accent) from the yellow boat dinghied to the beach near us to clean the 4 conch they'd caught for dinner and I got a lesson on how to get the critter out of the shell and cleaned for cooking. They put a hole in it between the second and third whorl on top of the spire, with a sharp pick hammer then push a sharp knife through the hole and put the blade point along the surface of the columella - pressing it forward then across severing the muscle from the columella in a scraping motion. Turn the conch over, reach inside, and pull the critter out by the operculum (claw), then skin, cut & gut it... As they were getting ready to go back to the boat, Denny dinghied over to see what the secret to anchoring here was. They were still dragging and resetting. Martha said to be sure to visit the Berry Club Bar - beer here is only $3 (and they have internet access?).

We discovered that the sand here is a thin layer that coats hard pack layers of limestone (coral). So anchoring here isn't very good. That's probably why they have moorings further back. Dave said that he always dives on his anchor and pounds it in. There are a few good patches of sand here and there but for the most part it's poor holding. They pointed out several areas they thought would be good, and Aurora ended up going a little further down near the point to the north. Most boats try and anchor and catch the grass then end up dragging. I noticed that there are grass patches marked on the charts. Great - while we haven't drug, now I'm going to be on guard all night.

After that, we didn't explore much but went back to the boat to keep on eye on things. I made some hot pork sandwiches and corn for dinner and finished it off with some pudding. Anchor lights on, wind generator off (making to much energy with nothing attached yet to dissipate the excess) and I'd bet another sleepless night for me. David said it was supposed to calm down tonight but that's not what we'd heard. Hope Den & Brigid have settled in for the night...

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