We made a short trip back to the mooring balls at Cambridge Cay and got there in time and with favorable weather to take a 3 mile dinghy ride across the inlet to Rebecca Falls (really just a tide fed rapids) and then a short walk to the "Bubble Bath" a spot where the surge from the sound comes into a small neck and crashes over the rocks into a pool and creates a Tide Pool and wave like the theme parks, only in real life. It was delightful, until Lynn lost her prescription glasses in a large surge and it took a half hour to find them, but we did.
Tuesday gave us the window to Dinghy to Compass Cay marina, walk the trails and enjoy the beautiful protected beach, have one of Tucker's famous burgers, watch people swimming with the sharks (notice I said WATCH!!) and take a smooth ride back to the boats.
Wednesday was the weather day, and we watched the effects of the wind blowing for the first half of the day, and then we dinghied ashore and walked to the North end of the Island. There we watched some boats sailing toward the mooring field wich we knew was full due to the impending weather. We wlaked back to the dinghy and saw that one of the incoming boats, DUET, had grounded outside the entrance on a reef. Brian and Steve boarded the dinghy, and along with nearly a dozen others in the mooring field went out to get her off. After a lot of coaxing, pushing, pulling, and kedging we were able to free her and get her into the anchorage adjacent to the mooring field. Whew from us and them.
Another windblown night, and a decent morning made it possible for us to head back to Sampson Cay for a slip for the weekend to sit out the big blow (40-50kt. Wind predicted) in the safety of a marina. More tomorrow.
We have had an almost totally delightful stay at Sampson. The area is beautiful to go walk-a-bout and we can dinghy to Pipe Creek and to Staniel Cay and other interesting and fun places.
The management had a Super Bowl party Sunday and had a buffet and drink specials all night. It was great except for the outcome of the game.
Tomorrow we head back out to Cambridge Cay for a few days and then plan to return here for another weather cold front that is coming next weekend. Ahh, the joys of predictable but un-controllable things like weather.
We have decided to stay at Sampson Cay for a while longer and sit out the blow that is coming through tonight, tomorrow, and into Sunday. We have reserved a slip and now we can watch the Super Bowl game (or stupid bowl as some non-believers call it) and still walk home. GO COLTS!!!!!
We have been cruising around in the dinghy and snorkeling wherever it looks good, and yesterday we found crab and stingrays and the nurse sharks, a dozen or so are just around the point. Wheeee!
Having a great time. Wish everyone could be here to enjoy this with us.
We have decided to try to get our anchor to grow roots for a while and are staying at Sampson Cay, at least through Sunday. We will have the priveledge of watching the Super Bowl at the Marina with snacks and drinks and big screen, surrounded by Saints fans, but ready to go. GO COLTS!!!!!
Today we took the dinghy about 5 miles South to Staniel Cay and walked around town, stopped at Thunderball Island and Cave where the namesake movie was filmed, missed the Cay wher the swimming pigs come out to beg for food, and are really enjiying the Bahama pace.
More in a day or two.
Monday, Feb 01, 2010
We left Cambridge about 9:00 headed for Staniel . Wind was just off our nose. Midori was low on gas so we decided to duck into Sampson Cay Club to fill up. And that completely changed our plans for the next 2 days. We love this place. It is very polished and civilized. A very nice marina with Grocery, laundry, restaurant, rentals that are beautiful, great harbor and FREE anchorage in the harbor. Needless to say we are taking advantage of all the amenities...clean, yea! We will be swimming with the sharks here but they are 3 big nurse sharks which are more people friendly. Off to Staniel on Wednesday, probably, and hope to be at Black Point on Saturday for the Super Bowl on Sunday. GO COLTS! (But Weather looks iffy ).
Friday , Jan 29, 2010
Cqmbridge Cay, Exumas, Bahama
We left Wardrick Wells this morning and are safe on a mooring in
Cambridge cay. This is still part of the Land and Sea Park which is very much like our National Parks. We walked through the island to the beach and just enjoyed the sights. Every island is different with different types of plants and density of growth. Todays walk was through small palm trees, just head tall on a very narrow path...think palm fronds in the face most of the way. We are not swimming in this harbor as there are 2 bull sharks in residence here and the guide book says they are "a potential danger to swimmers".
We took a walk to another part of the island to Bell Rock, It is a big rock island shaped like a bell with a big hole through it. Later we met with the other boaters in the harbor on a small sandbar island for "Happy Hour". The timing had to be just right because this island is under water much of the time.
We took the dinghy to the Rocky Dundas this afternoon. We think it means big rocks with lots of holes through them...like a sponge. We went snorkeling under the overhangs and even went back into a cave that had a big hole in the roof. All 4 of us could stand up and move around in the cave. The snorkeling was wonderful, full sunlight under water on the reef with lots of sea fans and heavily populated with fish. There is a conch shell fence on this island that has shells carbon dated back to the 1500's. Later we went to another area and saw rare elkhorn coral. Steve and Brian being the mocho men had no trouble getting back in the dinghys, and Lynn and I did manage to belly in too with a little coaxing.
Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010
Warderick Wells Cay, Exumas, Bahama
We left Allens Cay, just North of Norman's cay yesterday morning and made the mooring field here at the Land and Sea Park about 1 p.m. It was a beautiful sail with the wind off our port stern and we shut down the iron jenny and sailed most of the way. The place is beautiful, as are all the other island (cays) that we have seen so far. The boat is performing well, the first mate is doing a super job, and the Captain is coping and unwinding, especially now that I have wifi.
We are now off to explore the Land and Sea Park.
We explored the island and found ruins and a stone wall built from one side of the island all the way across to the other side. No one knows what they were or what they were used for or who built them. No records for them in Nassau but archaeologists will be here later in the year to study them.. The beach here has a skeleton of a sperm whale that washed up 15 years ago. It is very impressive. We also went snorkeling and Brian found a HUGE lobster...probably wouldn't have tasted very good because of his size...we are in the protected Land and Sea Park, so we'll never know...drat!
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Allens Cay, Exumas
We got breakfast, provisioned, and departed Nassau about 10:30 a.m. motored into the breeze most of the way, and arrived Allens Cay around 4:00 p.m. We secured anchoring in a small bay just off of the channel from the Exuma Sound to the Banks and settled in for the evening. Winds holding steady at around 12-15 kts. Are keeping the wind generator spinning and the batteries full. A slight wind shift overnight and the promise of a cold front tomorrow have led us to evaluate our anchoring position and prepare for the wind shift.
Friday, Jan, 22 after checking anchors by snorkeling over them and diving down we founs a couple small reefs and were impressed with the amount os sea life we found. After lunch and a siesta, we dinghied to the next island North and wandered about, studying the old home ruins, and investigating the other side of the islands. We were invite aboard My-Gem-N-I for happy hour and then retired to Living Well with Brian and Lynn for Steak and potatoes on the Magma Grill and a most enjoyable evening.
Saturday, Jan. 23 getting pretty comfortable and confident with the anchoring arrangement. Snorkeled and wandered the beach, and had a very relaxing day. Spaghetti on Midori tonight, and Mary Ann is baking bread. Colts play tomorrow afternoon.
Sunday, Jan. 24 We have had ample opportunity to snorkel and dive and swim and dinghy about, and have really seen some very pretty reefs and aquatic life, as well as the multitude of Iguanas that come to to greet you when you dinghy ashore, undoubtedly looking for handouts. More snorkeling and walking about. Happy hour and then the Colts, winning to go to the Super Bowl made it a fantastic day.
Monday, Jan. 25 We have kept a close watch on our anchoring position, moving anchors and re-positioning rodes to provide the best swing, protection from the winds, and holding. In the tiny bay which is suggested for one or two boats, we had four boats most of the time. Last night we had winds of 28+ kts. And with the surge from the exuma sound we bounced around pretty well most of the night. When the sun rose, we found ourselves exactly where we should have been witht eh anchors doing their job well. Brian and Lynn came to LW for happy hour and while we were relaxing, the Bahamian fishing bost boys came past and sold us two very large Lobster which we cleaned, cubed, and sautéed and had a fantastic surprise meal.
About 3 a.m. a cold front blasted through with heavy rain (which provided fresh water showers on the back deck)and then winds suddenly switching from SE at 10-15 kts. to NW and blowing between 25 and 30 kts. A very large Catamaran had maneuvered past us in the little bay and anchored in 3'-4' of water earlier in the day with it's nose to the then prevailing winds (and shore). When the wind shift hit it was trying to drive them ashore and they were up the rest of the night, as were Brian and I., while they moved around, reset anchors, and then finally left and headed for Highborne Cay with boat slips. It was a relief to see them go. The Bruce held well, the CQR stabilized the crazy swing Living Well does in the wind, and in the end, we were fine, as was Midori and Brian and Lynn. Off to Warderick Wells about 8 a.m. for a 6 hour cruise.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Nassau, New Providence, Bahama
We left Marathon on time and had a very good crossing of the Gulf Stream, carrying us North as we progressed East and we slid onto the Bahama Banks about 8:30 a.m. We sailed and motored the rest of the day, and at 5:30 p.m. (25.5 hours later) we anchored for the night. Tuesday morning, we started for Nassau about 5:30 a.m. and arrived in Nassau Harbor and the Harbor View Marina about 3:30 p.m. We had to wait until almost 8:30 p.m. for Customs and Immigration to get us cleared and then we rushed ashore to a Dominos pizza for supper. Wednesday the four of us walked across the bridge to Paradise Island are toured the Altantis Resort casino and hotel, shared a $15 Johnny Rocket burger, caught a water taxi to the straw market, walked downtown Nassau, and took the bus to the Fishery (a local row of native restaurants). Lobster and Grouper were the meals of the evening and we took a taxi back to the marina. Tomorrow we will provision in the morning and head South for Allens Cay, about 6 hours away.
Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010
Marathon, FL USA
It looks like we have a good weather window coming today, so we are spending the major part of today getting ready to depart for South Riding Rock and the Bahama Banks. We plan on leaving this evening around 4:00 p.m. with the final one-stop destination of Nassau. I will let you know how it turns out as soon as I get a good wifi spot located.