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George Town BG (Before Guests); March 6-9
Kathy
03/18/2013

George Town BG (Before Guests); March 6-9:

It was nice to wake up and tune into "the net" at anchorage the first morning in Elizabeth Harbour. We're anchored off of Sand Dollar Beach with great holding. "The Net" is an information sharing service over the VHF radio managed by a volunteer cruiser. We all (300 give-or-take boats) tune into channel 72 at 8:00am after Chris Parker at 6:30(the weather guru who broadcasts on the Ham radio). This year, Herman from the sailing vessel White Wings is in charge. He does a great job. The information is divided into different sections including "today's activities", "activities in the near future", "local businesses", "weather", "boater's general", "shout outs" and "arrivals and departures". Different cruisers call out their boat name, Herman acknowledges them, and they share the information they have. I announced the arrival of Nancy Lu! I also heard about the cruiser's arts and crafts show to take place at 10:00am that morning on Volleyball Beach.



I thought about the plaques that I had made with sea treasures for Nancy Lu, but had not yet hung...why not!? It's always fun to participate! That morning I was happy to see A.J. still making conch salad at the conch salad bar! I knew he'd be there since I keep up with him on facebook. We met a nice couple from Texas and visited for a while. We couldn't linger too long because we had so much to do to get ready for ClAiRe, KaY and KeNnY! First on the agenda was laundry. We had heard on "the net" about a laundromat about 2 miles from downtown George Town--Baranki Wash. The owner offered a free ride and free internet while you wash and dry your clothes. That sounded good to us so that's where we headed after lunch...as soon as I hung my art work on Nancy Lu!

The next day, Mark spent most of the day in town running some errands and using the internet to take care of some business including posting blog entries. One of our favorite places to use the internet is Pet's Place, a restaurant that offers free, fast WiFi. He made a hair appointment for the two of us. While he was gone, I practiced guitar for the first time since we boarded Nancy Lu. I made ClAiRe'S and KaY's beds...ExCiTeMeNt for their visit mounting!

The day before the BiG DaY, Mark and I dinghied across the harbor (1½ miles) to our hair appointments.



Mark went first. We had a yummy cheeseburger at Pet's Place, checked email, and then did grocery shopping in preparation for OuR GuEsTs!!

On ThE bIg DaY, we woke up early and dinghied over to George Town to catch the bus tour to a few historical spots and have dinner and fun at Exuma Point before OuR GuEsTs ArRiVeD!! We had signed up for this excursion on "The Net". It was a good way to pass the time as the ExCiTeMeNt over OuR ViSiToRs grew.



I had wanted to see more of the island since we were here last year! The food was DELICIOUS--the best I've had of authentic Bahamian cuisine! We met another nice couple over lunch.



It was a pleasant day especially with what we had to look forward to--OuR GuEsTs!! When we got back to George Town, I did a little last minute grocery shopping and we dinghied out to Nancy Lu.



BeFoRe We KnEw It, the water taxi that we had arranged for ClAiRe, KaY and KeNnY arrived!!! It was so great to finally see them! That night, after some tuna salad polynesian, we had hot tea and did some stargazing. It was a great week for stargazing since there was no moon.



It was a good feeling to be at the very beginning of a full week with our daughter and friends!!

There are many more photos with captions in the photo gallery under the title "George Town"




03/19/2013 | cindy strobel
Does aloe Vera grow wild in the Bahamas or do you have a place for a hanging basket for aloe vera? I know you must use a lot of that. Sequestration, impacted the guests ? Who knows about all off the mechanical problems! Still waiting for rain the lake is continually going down! winters is over I am planning on planting in my garden while others have already planted. Love the posts!
Warderick Wells and on to George Town
Kathy
02/27/2013



Warderick Wells and on to George Town; February 27-March 5:

We got up Wednesday morning and headed south to Warderick Wells. This Cay is the Headquarters of the Exuma Land and Sea Park. The park is a nature preserve that includes 15 major cays and stretches from north to south about 22 miles. It's a wonderful place to be, but we were there not just for the beauty and the fact that Adrien and Nina from Dolphin were there....we were sailing for cover from a Nor' wester due to hit in a few days! We needed a protected place. Warderick Wells fit the bill with very strong moorings and good protection. The moorings are by assignment only here. The procedure for getting one is for a vessel to radio in a day ahead to be put on the waiting list and then listen the next day at 9:00am to see if you get a mooring assignment. We were relieved to get in since the place was FULL! I don't know if the fact that we called the Bahamas National Trust to renew our membership and asked them to be sure and call Warderick Wells to let them know helped us get in(members get preference), or if it was the fact that Adrien went up to the office to personally tell them this bit of information that did the trick. Either way, we were relieved to be in!!

Again, the first thing I did when we arrived was jump in the water and snorkel! We had a great mooring right near one of the reefs. Over the time we spent there, I swam with a nurse shark, a spotted eagle ray and a lemon shark! I finally saw a spiny lobster which The Bahamas are famous for, a lionfish and many other colorful fishys and coral! I really love snorkeling and trying to identify all the living creatures and plants that are unique to the ocean.

During our time here, we enjoyed hikes up to Boo Boo Hill and down to Boo Boo Beach.




Some of them before the cold front and one after! The views from the hill are spectacular.



Looking to the west, "The Banks" side, you can see the deeper blue channel where the moorings are and the extremely shallow water all around!



The view to the east of the ocean side is majestic. The Bahama Islands are surrounded by banks of shallow ocean with deep (1000s of feet) channels that cut into that. The name, The Bahamas, comes from the Spanish words that mean Grand Shallow Ocean. Up near Boo Boo Hill there are "blow holes". When the surf comes in from the ocean side a rush of wind (and sea water if the tide is high enough and the surf is strong enough) blasts through these holes in the limestone.



I experienced a "Marilyn Monroe moment" with the skirt of my swimsuit blowing up and my hat, as well! All of the Exuma Land and Sea Park is a "no take zone" so Mark just took a picture of the "blood tooth" shell that I found on Boo Boo Beach. I had never found one of those before so it was hard not to add it to my collection!




We introduced Adrien and Nina and others to the rock that looks like Aslan, the lion. Kenny discovered that on his visit last year!



We enjoyed catching back up with Nina and Adrien with visits between our boats



--a little bit of business, a little bit of pleasure. We had a nice dinner on their boat with some new friends that they introduced to us, Lauren and Brian, on "Que Cera Cera".



The cold front hit and the winds were as high as predicted (gusts up to 34 knots), but we fared very well on mooring ball #16.



Everyone stayed inside Saturday when it hit. We rented a couple of movies from the park office! The temperature dropped to about 64degrees.




I finished my sailboat mosaic and stayed cozy on Nancy Lu.

We left Warderick Wells Monday along with Dolphin. They stopped at Staniel Cay, but we sailed on (We got to use the spinnaker sail again!!) to Black Point, a town we enjoyed last year on Great Guana Cay.




When we got there that evening, we went to shore and walked to the house where Sharon and Charles Vassalo live when they are on island in the winter. They serve as missionaries there. Their little parsonage was closed up tight. We walked on to Lorraine's Café for dinner, and I asked about them. Lorraine told me that they didn't come this winter because Sharon had surgery. I was sorry not to be able to see them again.




We had a nice night at anchorage in the harbor at Black Point, and left early this morning to make it through Dotham Cut at slack tide on our way to the east side of the Exuma Island chain to sail down to George Town, Great Exuma Island.



When you go through a cut from the shallow "Banks" to the deep ocean side or vice versa, the current is very strong and makes it hard to control the boat. That is why you plan to go at slack tide(the short period where there is no current between a rising or ebbing tide).




Mark's always happy when we make it through a cut just fine!!




He'd also be very happy if we could catch a fish.






Today, a beautiful Mahi Mahi got away and we let a little barracuda go. We're excited about picking up our guests, Claire, Kenny and Kay in George Town on Saturday! I've got laundry and a little grocery shopping to do before then. We finally can get internet so I can catch up on posting these blogs!

Man! I forgot what it looks like at night in Elizabeth harbour with all the anchor lights from the hundreds of sailboats--they look like stars! It is the last week of the cruisers regatta here. I hope the boats stick around so Kenny and Kay can see what it's like.

See the photo gallery for more pictures.



03/07/2013 | cindy strobel
Beautiful Pictures! I believe it is good luck if you find a sharks tooth!only if you dont find one in yourself! Ha! Speaking of sharks this morning they are saying that the Florida beaches are closed due to too many sharks in the area! so be careful out there snorkeling!! Spring is inching its way into the area! Everything except the trees are blooming or flowered out. tomorrow we are to get a cold front bring temp down to 40's! brr! wish we were there with you! Dave and I are going fishing in a boat on the gulf in a couple of weeks! excited to see my cousin and land a catch of fish! We will show you how it is done! Tee He! miss you guys!
03/08/2013 | Carol price
Wow, spectacular pictures for sure. Sea life is growing on yu and it is clear your comfort level is much better. That ol' generated did take a toll on yu. Kathy is getting a good tan. when she gets my age she will wish she splashed on more block. how I love the sun! Woodies are in, martins have arrived and you can head back soon be cause winter has moved on. There won't be much water in the lake. we have not had a drop of rain thru several fronts that were supposed to drench us. sure hope we get rain soon ro allow the wildflowers a drink. The neighbor has built a new boat dock on the property line but left off the "no trespassing" sign. That was nice. Thanks for the wonderful pictures. Jean and I took on two committees this year and have been busy as can be running things for the ladies group. We are doing two fashion shows modeling in both. Fun but exhausting getting it written and all together. Take care dear ones. We'll leave your light on for ya! C
Norman’s Cay and Highborne Cay
Kathy
02/23/2013

Norman's Cay and Highbourne Cay; February, 23-26:

We reluctantly left our beautiful anchorage at Ship Channel Cay early on Saturday morning and sailed to Norman's Cay. It was a nice sail even though we had to tack as we got closer since we were headed into the wind. That made it slower, but we're glad to be sailing instead of motoring! We anchored pretty much where we did last year. The next day, we explored, by dinghy different parts of the island where we'd never been before.



I found some nice beach treasures



and we inspected a shipwreck on the shore. I don't know if it was the walk on the beach or the long dinghy rides, but by the afternoon I was "down in my back" never a pleasant experience, but definitely not good on a boat. I was glad to get in bed that night!

The next day, we decided to switch gears and go back up north to Highborne Cay. We had decided skip it this year since we've been there multiple times, but we heard Mezzaluna and Cheers on the VHF from the north anchorage there! They were talking about the Octopus' Garden. I had read about it in a cruisers guide, and it sounded like a great snorkeling spot. We had never been to the north anchorage at Highbourne Cay before, and we were trying to find a good anchorage to ride out some high southerly winds that were coming so Highborne Cay was a good choice. I'm soooo glad we decided to go!



After we anchored, Mezzaluna and Cheers showed up in their dinghies ready to snorkel.



I jumped in the water right from Nancy Lu; we were so close to the coral.



Mark checked the anchor with the lookie bucket before he joined in the fun. The snorkeling was the BEST that we've done in The Bahamas. I'm bummed that I can't show pictures. There were so many different kinds of coral and the colors were so vivid through the crystal clear water! It just went on and on. Octopus' Garden was the perfect name! That evening, we dinghied to the beach to meet Mezzaluna and Cheers.



On the way, we had the moonrise to our left and a beautiful sunset to our right!



Nancy Lu was perfectly silhouetted in the setting sun! The next day we snorkeled some more and ended the day with Jeff and Katie and Ida and Keith over for dinner and visiting.



It was a nice time and great to get to know them better. I think that it is ironic that a place where we had been many times last year just as an overnight stop--not a real destination--turned out to be one of our nicest stops so far! I shouldn't forget that last year, Highborne Cay was where we found so many of my favorite sea treasures, the sand dollar, AND Claire and I swam with a spotted eagle ray there, too! BTW, the snorkeling did my back good, and the pain gradually subsided over the next couple of days. My motto is: "Don't let no stinkin' pain keep you down!!"

Current Cut Settlement, Eleuthera and Ship Channel Cay, Exumas
Kathy
02/20/2013

Current Cut Settlement, Eleuthera and Ship Channel Cay, Exumas; February, 20-22:

We dropped our mooring at Spanish Wells Wednesday afternoon and motored a short distance to Current Cut Settlement on the west side of Eleuthera. Mezzaluna and Cheers left, as well. They actually went through Current Cut to the east side of Eleuthera so that they could visit a few more places on this 100 mile long island. We would like to visit some of these places on our way back up north. We didn't even get off Nancy Lu that afternoon, and we set sail the next morning early for Ship Channel Cay.



It was quite an exciting sail and beautiful! We sailed through some very shallow waters that looked more like an anchorage! The last 10 mile portion of the route was very shallow with scattered coral heads that we had to avoid.



We were able to sail through them, but I had to stand at the bow and look out for very dark patches in the otherwise light blue water. Thanks to our ever-planning Captain, we passed through this area with the sun overhead on a bright sunny day--no coincidence; I can assure you!



A few hours after we arrived, we had a short down pour that left us with a beautiful sunset. We really enjoyed our short stay at the first small island (cay--pronounced Key) at which we anchored in the Exuma chain. We were the only boat there when we woke up to a gloriously sunny morning. What a nice feeling. I went snorkeling first thing, swam back, soaked up the warmth of the sun on the deck for a bit, made some lunch and went snorkeling again--the perfect day in the Bahamas!



03/08/2013 | Carol price
Ahhhhhh such is life in the fast lane when all is going well. You deserve it. Curious about the difficulty in the actual sailing and coverage without Clair with you. Likely staying in certain places longer for rest and such...C.
Last couple of days site seeing in Spanish Wells
Kathy
02/18/2013

Last Couple Days On Our Mooring In Spanish Wells/February, 18 & 19:

We enjoyed learning about the town of Spanish Wells. It is one of the few prosperous communities in The Bahamas. They do not rely on tourist dollars as many other communities do. They supply 75% of all the lobsters throughout The Bahamas. There are also many small businesses in the town.



You may wonder how I know these interesting facts...we visited the small but interesting museum just a short walk from the docks (not to mention all the reading that I do in cruising guides-especially Steve Pavlidis' guides for various areas in The Bahamas)!

We woke up Monday morning to a coolish day that threatened to be overcast so we decided this would be a good day for a museum visit as soon as we got through posting our blog using internet from the Harbour Side Golf Cart Rental and Gift Shop.



We found out that "Mezzaluna" and "Cheers" had the same idea about a museum visit when we got there just a little while after them.

The next day was to be our BIG sightseeing day!



We caught a private ferry along with one other passenger (who got a nice view of Nancy Lu at her mooring) for the short distance over to the big island of Eleuthera. The same man who piloted the ferry, drove the taxi that dropped the other ferry passenger at the airport and us on to the next ferry that we caught to Harbour Island. This island is quaint, pretty and touristy.



It is known for its beautiful pink beaches. When I asked locals what made the sand pinkish, I was told, "Nature". I could hear the "Duh!" that they thought, if not said, in their voice. I learned later from one of our cruising guides that the beaches get there pink tint from pulverized red algae. I thought it might be from the prolific Queen Conch--wrong. The beautiful beaches of Harbour Island are lined with small, upscale resorts. On our walk to the beach, we passed the biggest school I've seen in The Bahamas. Like all the other school children we ever encounter, these wanted to pet Timmy, the "sausage dog". This school was more like one you'd see in The States surrounded by a chain link fence. The kids reached through to pet Timmy!



We had a nice lunch at one of the resorts. It was an atypical dining experience for us over here, quite fancy. After lunch, we walked the beach. After just a little while, up ahead, we saw "Mezzaluna" (Jeff and Katie) and "Cheers" (Keith and Ida) walking toward us (great minds...as they say). We joined them for the rest of the day. We walked around the town, checked out shops, sights, and stopped at a great little outdoor restaurant.



Ida and I shared some yummy conch salad that the women are experts at preparing! While we were visiting on the deck we heard the distinct sound of the hole being knocked into the conch shell in order to extract the conch and clean it.



We went to the edge of the deck to watch a man do this job of cleaning the conch for the ladies to make into delicious salad.



He gave us commentary on what he was doing and gave Ida, Katie and me each a conch shell. It was a nice time.

We shared a ferry ride back over to Eleuthera with "Mezzaluna" and "Cheers" and a taxi to their dinghies, which they had taken instead of a ferry as we did. They gave us a ride back to Spanish Wells. From the back seat of the taxi, Katie asked Ida to ask our taxi driver, Amos, how much it would be to take us on a detour to Preacher's Cave (we had learned about this place at the museum the day before). The price he quoted sounded worth it to all of us, so off we went.



Amos turned out to be a great tour guide!



Preacher's Cave is the place where the survivors of a 1648 ship that wrecked on the Devil's Backbone lived for a couple of years before they were able to settle the area. These people were from England by way of Bermuda seeking religious freedom. They were the first inhabitants of Eleuthera since the Spanish wiped out the original natives, the Lucayans, in the 1500s and the ancestors of the people now living in Spanish Wells--interesting stuff! The cave was impressive and inspired my imagination. It reminded me of scenes in which you might find Ayla in Jean M. Aul's books.



After the Preacher's Cave, Amos dropped us off right at the shore where the dinghies were safe and sound. We got back to Nancy Lu right at dark. We were tired, but it was a nice day of sightseeing and visiting with new friends!



03/20/2013 | Cal Daughetee
Great Pictures; I enjoyed them very much. I know it must taske a lot of your time to put together such a BlogBut keep up the good work. Youall are obviously having a great time and seeing a lot of beautidul sights and interesting places. I envy you so much, but am so glad you have this opportunity. I am doing very well and am enjoying life here in this retirent community. The Staff provides us with lots of activities and thing to keep us occcupied.And we are always adding new people. with new storiesto tell.More later.Enjoy your selves- - - Cal D
03/24/2013 | Carol Price
Looks like some very good eating. I wish they would recycle the conch shells back into the water. The cave is very interesting. I wonder if there are any bats on the island. C
4 in 1 entry
Kathy
02/17/2013



I'm sitting in the cockpit this Sunday afternoon listening to the Christian station on Sirius XM as I write this, enjoying the sun, scenery and cooler temperatures since the cold front that came through last night. It's about 67 degrees at the moment. We are on a mooring in the harbor off of Spanish Wells, the pretty little town on St. George's Cay, which is off the north end of the bigger island of Eleuthera. We came here to be well protected from the north/northwest in anticipation of the gale force winds that were predicted to accompany the cold front. We weathered the front just fine and were happy with our choice of places to take cover.

It's been so long since my last entry that I'm going to do 4 separate entries at this one sitting. It makes it easier on Mark, who does the actual posting, to do it this way. This is our first access to internet in a while, and we won't have it again for a while so here goes the 4 in 1 entry...




Part 1--Bimini:

We had a nice time on Bimini and met a lot of other boats checking into customs here. We've been running into different ones of them at different places since then. I'm glad we checked in here because we didn't visit this island last year, and I've wanted to come here ever since I saw all the beautiful shells that our friend, Marianne, got here last year. She also told us about all of the sea glass that was to be found here. She was right! I've noticed from our exploration of these islands last year and this year that each beach seems to be abundant in a certain kind of shell. Bimini's signature beach treasure is definitely sea glass!



I'm putting together a little craft project with a little bit of it!



My little mosaic was inspired by the mosaics from "Dolphin House".



We toured this house, which was built and decorated by the artisan and historian, Ashley Saunders.



His house has been a work in progress since the early 90s. He rents out a couple of rooms upstairs that have a living area and kitchen in common. If the current guest says it's OK, he will give a $2.00 tour. It is well worth it!



His guest when we toured was the artist, Norbert Kox. He had a book displayed on the kitchen table that featured some of his paintings that are housed in a museum in Paris, France. Mr. Kox comes to "Dolphin House" and works on his art every year. He told us all about that...what a treat for us!




Mr. Saunders let me see in his private quarters downstairs that are just as interesting as the upstairs.



He also let us see the cistern that supplies him with fresh water to supplement the town water supply.



The view from Mr. Saunders' roof is beautiful.



He's in the process of using tile to spell out different cities with arrows pointing in the direction in which they lie.



Timmy was glad to see us when we got back! He ran around Nancy Lu's deck about 20 times with a toy in his mouth! He had to stay in his kennel down below while we were gone.



We hung out with Nina and Adrien a lot, and spent a sunset on the beach and a get together at the marina patio with them and others that were with us at Brown's Marina.




Part 2--Bimini to Great Harbour Cay:



We left Bimini early on Friday, Feb. 8 along with S/V "Mezzaluna", S/V "Cheers", and we buddy boated with S/V "Dolphin" to Great Harbour Cay in the Berry Islands. This was to be our first stop back to somewhere we've already been in The Bahamas! I was excited to get back there!



We had a great SAIL!!



"Dolphin" got a picture of us flying our spinnaker sail! It's a goal to do more sailing as opposed to motorsailing this year.



Timmy enjoyed the morning! We got to the shallow waters about 2 miles off Great Harbour Cay around 10:30pm. We didn't want to navigate through there in the dark at low tide (especially since there is a pole marker with no light on it there) so we dropped the hook and spent the night there on the "Great Bahama Banks" all lit up like a Christmas tree (anchor light, bright deck light, and some solar lights that we got at home depot) and slept!

The next morning, we woke up early and anchored just about the same spot where we anchored last year. We dinghied out to check our anchor with the lookie bucket and go meet our neighbors and check Dolphin's anchor as well. Later that morning, we went for a hamburger at the beach out by the airport where we went last year. Nina, Adrien and their guest, Sue, walked with us. Guess who we saw there?



Little Kyla, who we had met last year at the airport and in the preschool where Claire and I volunteered last year was at the hamburger place!



We walked about 2 miles on the beautiful beach and found tons of green sea urchins, and I found a sand dollar and a sea biscuit (the first ones of these I've ever found without diving for them).



The next day, we all attended church at St. Bartholomew Anglican Church. It was nice to see the same people that we did last year when we were there, except that it made me miss my Cedar Creek Bible Church family. The sermon was about getting ready for lent. I decided that maybe what I was giving up for lent was my "involvedness in my home church" in order to focus on Christ alone. Anyway, I was touched by the message and the church liturgy of this season. We received a hug from EVERYONE in the congregation during the sharing of the Peace!! ...We received a hug from all except Adrien and Nina. They had to leave before the service even began because they saw from the window of the church that their boat was dragging anchor so they had to go save it! They ended up taking "Dolphin" into the marina and then getting a ride back just in time for the end of the rather long, but meaningful service!

Monday was the BEST!!




While Mark waited outside R.N. Gomez Government School For All Ages with Timmy,





I got to go in and give a little gift that I brought from The States to the preschool class where Claire and I volunteered last year. It was good to see Ms. Kielan again! This year I had prepared a knitting activity to share with the older kids if it was all right. Well, it was all right, and it was a blast!



I got my kid/teaching fix! First, we finger knitted bracelets in Mr. Ram's grade 4 class. Mrs. Hope, the home ec. teacher that Mark and I met as we were walking to the school, sat in on the class as I taught them so she could learn herself and teach her home economics class later on. Mrs. Banwell asked me to come back after lunch and show her grade 5 class.



I was thrilled to come back after lunch at Coolie Mae's while Mark went with Adrien and Nina on a tour of the island in a rented car.



Mrs. Banwell's class really enjoyed learning how to knit bracelets with a little contraption that I had made out of toilet paper rolls and popsicle sticks for each child to use.



A tool like this is sometimes called a Knitting Nancy, but we called it a Knitting Nancy Lu! The class had been learning about recycling so it was a perfect activity for them!



I could tell that Ms. Banwell is a really great teacher by all the things she had in her room and the way she interacted with her WELL-BEHAVED class!




I stayed until the end of school, and got to join them in their daily "end of school" prayer.



After school, I waited outside with some of the other kids that wanted to make bracelets for Mrs. Hope, Mr. Hope and Ms. Kielan to finish a late class. Mrs. Hope had told me that morning that she had always wanted to see the inside of one of those sailboats so I was happy to accommodate her, and she brought along Mr. Hope and Ms. Kielan!



They took me in their car over to the marina where we met Mark, Adrien and Nina for a tour of "Dolphin".



Part 3--Soldier's Cay

On Tuesday, we got up early and left Great Harbour Cay for Soldiers's Cay, buddy boating again with "Dolphin".



We passed "Monarch of the Sea" which was anchored off of Great Stirrup Cay, a cay we went around on the north side of Great Harbour Cay on the way to Soldier's Cay. A pair of parasailers from the cruise ship went right over us as they waved and whooped and hollered! We got to our anchorage around 3:00pm.



I got right into the beautiful water for a swim to the beach. I saw lots of pretty fish and there were tons of live sea biscuits around Nancy Lu. That night, we were "Dolphin's" guests for dinner,



and the next night Nina and Adrien came over to Nancy Lu for dinner.



I really enjoyed the tranquility of this little anchorage! This was another place that was new to us this year.



Part 4--Royal Island and Spanish Wells, St. Georges Cay:



We got up early Thursday morning and set sail for Royal Island, which has a natural harbor with practically 360degrees of protection. We were on a mission to be holed up for the coming high winds. We parted ways with "Dolphin", who felt like they would be more comfortable in a marina so they started making their way to Nassau. We were at a marina in Nassau a few times last year so we didn't want to spend the money for a slip there this year. It turns out that "Mezzaluna" and "Cheers"(boats from Bimini) had the same idea we did because they were at Royal Island when we showed up. We learned from the VHF that a couple of other boats that had been at Great Harbour Marina were on their way there too. This made us feel more confident in our decision to come here.



The harbor was really beautiful. The 8 hour sail over was FANTASTIC! We averaged about 7.5 knots, but got up to 8.9 knots at one point! We sailed the entire way! We celebrated Valentine's on the way!



Mark made a little scavenger hunt for me by using an old waypoint print out...sweet! The next morning, after talking to "Cheers" and "Mezzaluna", we decided to follow them into the harbor at Spanish Wells, which is also well protected and just an hour motor away (kind of right around the corner). We had heard that it is a neat town to visit, but we were wary of the shallow entrance. We got depth readings from "Cheers" all the way in, and we planned it so that we arrived at high tide so it was just fine.



We got there just in time to follow "Cheers" AND the ferry in at 10:00am. This was a better place for us since we knew we were going to be here at least until Tuesday in order to sit out the arrival of the cold front, and unlike Royal Island, there is a lot to do. As I was about to pick up the mooring ball with our brand new boat hook, the handle slipped right off, and the hook went in the water. I quickly got the old boat hook and snagged the mooring, but I guess I just threw that boat hook in the water as I was putting the mooring line on our cleat...GREAT! I had to quickly get my fins on and jump in the water (fully clothed--I was wearing a cute t-shirt with pictures of all the kids that were in the Christmas musical on it that my friend, Karen Holmes, had made for me) to retrieve the old boat hook, which floated. I had to dive for the new one since the handle had slipped off, and it filled with water and sank. The water was murky, and I couldn't find it so Mark "got to" come in for a swim as well. He was able to find it! It was actually kind of fun, and it makes for a story to tell! We had lunch in town after we had showers and put on dry clothes.



A nice woman that everyone calls Ma Dini gave us a ride to a spot where we could dine outside with Timmy.



After lunch, we happened upon the school's "all sports day".



We watched the tail end of that



and walked around town a bit. That evening we joined Katie and Jeff on board "Mezzaluna" along with Keith and Ida from "Cheers" for drinks. It was nice to visit with all of them. The next day, we had lunch in town again,



rented a golf cart (the most common mode of transportation in this town),
did a little grocery shopping (ran into Cheers and Mezzaluna there),



a little beachcombing



and a lot of laundry. There ended up being only one washer and dryer at the "laundry facility" behind CW's Grocery so we ended up bringing all the wet laundry back to Nancy Lu to dry



...It's a long story that I don't have room to get into! It was a rainy day so I had to hang the laundry inside. The front arrived that night. That brings us to today! I'm not getting off of Nancy Lu at all today.

Tomorrow, we're taking the fast ferry over to do some sightseeing through the reefs off of Eleuthera called the Devil's Backbone and tour around Harbour Island (we're told that's where the rich and famous go).


I know this was long, but I'm sure my mama and daddy wanted to read all about what we've been up to!! I hope it wasn't too much for the rest of you!

See the photo gallery for more pictures



02/18/2013 | Karen
What fun!! I'm incredibly sad that I cannot join you... you have no idea how much i wish i could!! But I LOVED seeing your post about going back to the school and teaching the kids to finger knit... they did really well!!!! Good job!! Looks like you are having lovely weather (for the most part). It's been mild here, but super windy with tons of mountain cedar in the air so EVERYONE is having sinus problems!! ICK! Eric and I will finish up our foster parent training next week, then we just have some inspections and paperwork to finish.... he is currently building a workbench with locking cabinets so we can lock up all the sharp and pointy tools (required to pass inspection). We have scheduled a Baylor visit for Danny, I thought you should know... well, I better get going, I have homework to do for my class and tonight is the only night i'll be home to work on it!! Miss you!! Love you!! Be safe!!
02/19/2013 | katrina
Love hearing your tails of the sea. The sea glass sail boat was beautiful and your wall of pics behind your table remind me of your home. Ava said Wow that is their home. She was looking at the pic around the table not the one with all the laundry hanging. Thanks for the post and it didn't seem long at all.
02/21/2013 | Mama
I love all the stuff you are doing. Just wish it wasn't so far away. I sent Amy her birthday money, her "hundred penny box, and the book THE HUNDRED PENNY BOX. All the children and grandchildren are getting that this year on their birthday.

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