Back to Familiar Ground
05 January 2011 | New Plymouth, Green Turtle Cay
Beth / beautiful day high 70's, breezy
Tuesday, Jan 4 was another day of motoring - with a sail up to boost us a little - as we made our way from Great Sale Cay to Green Turtle Cay. We weren't in any hurry - already on Bahama time - and we made our way along past Grand Bahama Island and Centre of the World Rock. I love that name for a chunk of rock that sits all by itself out in the water between Little Abaco Island and Allans-Pennsacola Cay.
We passed by Manjack Cay and could see several masts, but we didn't stop this time. I hope we'll meet up with Greynorth somewhere while we are in this area! Instead, we dropped anchor where we have been several times in the past - just off the government dock at the pretty little town of New Plymouth. Green Turtle Cay is where we checked in on our first trip, back in December 2007 and here we are to do the same thing on our third Bahamas trip. It was almost 6 o'clock before we got settled, so we had a short little happy hour of our own before dining in the cockpit on a stirfry of chicken, broccoli, and peppers and a nice glass of chilled sauvignon blanc. Then it was time to sit back and look at the stars, take in the lights of the town, bask in the warm air and feel so glad to be back here.
This morning (Wed, Jan 5/11) we woke to a clear warm day and the warnings from Chris Parker of heavy winds to come. Accordingly, we dinghied in to see Kevin MacIntosh at the Other Shore Club in Black Sound to arrange a mooring. Yes, yes, I know - we still needed to check in, but first things first! We can get into Black Sound on a high tide and that was around 9 and the Immigration Office didn't open till 9 so the boat came first. Kevin had nothing open, but like all Bahamians, he has friends! We went in on the tide, seeing no less than 7'7" through the channel and tied to a somewhat suspect mooring ball. Once his buddy comes back from fishing, we'll switch to a more secure one. In the meantime, we are in Black Sound where we want to be! Our old friend, David Allin (Solitaire 1) came over to welcome us to the neighbourhood and we saw lots of Canadian flags flying.
Next stop - the Customs and Immigration office where check in went relatively well too. There has been much talk recently about the length of time cruisers have been given before having to check in again - and the latest word was that all offices would be giving 30 days - a serious inconvenience. We asked for 120 days and got 90 - the same as last time we checked in here. That allows us to do some moving around before we have to present ourselves again.
So here we are at Pineapples, the little bar nearest our dinghy dock. The wind is picking up, the waves roll in, and the sun is high overhead. The water is aqua blue and the tables yellow like the colours of the Bahamian flag, and we truly do feel like we are in a home away from home.