Moving Down the Coast
12 February 2010 | Fresh Creek, Andros, Bahamas
Beth / 80's daytime / sweaters at night
Once again, we managed to sail most of our journey down the coast to Fresh Creek. The wind was behind us so it required some tacking, but we were in no rush - wanting to time our arrival here at mid tide or higher so we could get over the bar at the entrance.
We had read reports from other cruisers about going aground here, as well as stories in the guidebooks of mailboats coming to grief so we were a little worried. In the end, we had no difficulty although we kept a sharp lookout for reefs and shoals and channels. It is a bit unnerving to come along and see the waves crashing on the world famous reef, pick out which marker is which among the AUTEC posts and line up on mid channel to hit the deepest route over the bar.
Once in the harbour, we called the Lighthouse Yacht Club and Marina but when there was no answer, Jan and Dave (Arctic Cat) radioed back to say, "Just pull in against the dock and we'll take your lines!" Jim made a couple of narrow circles (the water is lots deep near the docks but it shallows out quickly on the north side) while I readied our lines. He then pulled us neatly up along side, we got lines attached to the pilings and hopped off. One guidebook had warned of fierce currents and difficulty getting docked. We found that, while strong, the current didn't present any problem, particularly as we motored into both wind and tide to tie up. We do agree that anchoring in the harbour would be foolhardy. The ferry comes in and turns right where one might be tempted to drop anchor, and besides, there is reported to be very poor holding. It might be possible outside the harbour entrance if the seas were very calm, but it didn't look that way to us.
We have yet another front coming through so we decided to bite the bullet and tie up until Monday. There is a good wifi connection here, and on Feb 14th it is important for us to reach and be reached by our family!
The marina building is lovely - airy and pretty. The docks (although not floating) are in good condition. The charge is $1.30 per foot per day with water, power and cable available at an extra cost. (We aren't using them.) Donna made us feel welcome.
We took a walk to the tourist office down the road and around the corner, and got a warm greeting from Shanise who told us that Donna - at the marina - makes and sells bread, gave us a map of the area and told us where the good eating places are. From there, we took a stroll around the town of Fresh Creek, picking up some frozen chicken wings for about $4 at Gaitors Store, spotting Hank's Place - reportedly great food, and generally taking in the area. This is not a beautiful place, but it is, like almost everyplace we've been, friendly. If we don't wave or call out a greeting first, we are sure to be responding to one in short order.
We had lunch at Kristina's cafe on Friday - delicious stew fish (snapper - with onions and a spicy sauce) and then took a walk to the Androsia factory and outlet store. There was no one around to show us anything and the shop door was locked with a sign in the door to come over to the factory. I wandered around a bit. asked the women working there if I could take pictures of the wax plates and the rinsing and dying process and received an OK. Eventually a lady came along and opened up the shop for us, but she wasn't very conversational so I didn't really find out anything about the operations. I may have to go back! We bought some placemats and a length of fabric. The colours are so vibrant and the fabric so soft that I'd love to have yards and yards of it in a rainbow of colours. It is hard to believe it all starts as plain white voile.
The AUTEC (Atlantic Undersea Testing and Evaluating Center) base just a bit further down the coast is a big American presence, and we've seen a bus with US Navy marked on it rattling along the road.
Many of our neighbours on the docks seem to be regular visitors, or else have been here for months. Bill and Anne Marie (Shunda) came for a couple of nights and have been here over a week. Now doesn't that sound familiar? The folks on the big fishing boat next to us are divers and brought back the most beautiful triton shell today. It has made me itch to go out snorkeling, but having spent today writing, and with the waves whipped up by tonight's wind, I think we will have to wait till Sunday.
I think I am finally up to date so if you have just picked up this entry, scroll back, and back, and back to see the last 5 or 6 new ones ... all the way back to a final Frazer's Hog Cay posting ... if you want to of course!