Night Hawk

28 March 2012 | 26 29.88'N
20 January 2012
18 December 2011
30 November 2011 |
17 March 2011
08 March 2011
11 February 2011
29 January 2011
30 December 2010
23 December 2010
15 December 2010
21 November 2010 | 27 11.82N 80 15.74W
21 August 2010
21 April 2010
27 March 2010
21 March 2010
09 February 2010
22 December 2009
07 December 2009

Heading North

28 March 2012 | 26 29.88'N
March 12, 2012
We are finally in the land of good internet service again.
We finally moved from the Jumentos around February 28 and went to Thompson Bay, Long Island. We stayed there for about a week and got to the Island Breeze for my Philly Cheese Steak fix. When you are down here any good food is exciting.
We left Thompson Bay and went to Red Shanks, Exumas, just outside of George Town to chill and relax for about a week. It is very quiet and beautiful here, but only a short dinghy ride into George Town if you need something, but away from all the foolishness you get when you anchor anywhere near Volleyball Beach . We spent our time here with a boat we met in Thompson Bay – “Quality Time” from Ontario.
We moved on to George Town, Exumas because we had to go to Immigration to get more time in the Bahamas. We only got 90 days when we landed in Nassau.
We met up with a lot of old friends here, so that was nice. We sailed in two races on a boat from Nova Scotia “No Justice” Warren and Diane from LaHave River Yacht Club. LaHave was well represented, with No Justice, Glory Days, Quick Stix and Moxi. We had a lot of fun with them.
Barry entered a volleyball Tournament and his team came in first place – who would have thought. He won a bottle of rum.
We met up with Sam the Skull and Sapphire after having to leave them in the Jumentos – reunions are always fun.
The internet was very poor in George Town, as there was about 230 boats there draining all the band width.
We were having good luck with the boat, and then some gremlins moved on board and entered our water maker. Barry worked all day replacing seals and it still leaks – too tired to do anymore, but will tackle it another day.
We left Georgetown March 10 and headed for Big Majors Spot and caught a Mahi Mahi on the way – we lost another one – we only stayed overnight there. We then moved up to Highborne Cay and stayed one night before we moved on to Fresh Creek, Andros. Fresh Creek is where we were stranded three years ago and met a lot of wonderful people. It was like old home week. We had a party every night we were there. Bicycle John (not dancing John) came one day and picked us up and took us to a Blue Hole for swimming in fresh water for the afternoon – that was a lot of fun. Windrush, Bruce and Val from Nova Scotia were at Fresh Creek also. We borrowed Audrey’s car and went north so Val could get a prescription filled at the pharmacy. Barry stayed back at the boat and worked on the water maker and managed to switch parts from our hand held water maker and fixed it – yeah. The trip up north to Nicols Town was fun as Bruce and Val had never been up there before. We went to the Mennonite farm and managed to get fresh veggies – like green beans, cucumbers, etc. etc. We drove to Morgan’s Bluff (this is where Barry and I usually check into the Bahamas) so Bruce and Val could check it out. In usual Bahamian style we went to the pharmacy and it was “closed for a few hours”. We went next door and asked if they knew where his was. They said he wasn’t there all day. Off we went to Batelco (telephone Company) to see if we could use their phone to call him at the number he left on the door. The lady there said, everyone is wondering where he is this morning; I’ll call a friend of his. She called and found out he was in court, and the courthouse was next door. Off we went to court. We got there to find out he just left. We went to lunch and used their phone this time and finally got hold of him and picked up her prescription on the way back. But it is so funny how these small communities know everyone’s business. Lucky for us they did. The Bahamian people are so friendly and helpful – it is so nice to see.
We left Fresh Creek March 16th and tried to go into Frasers Hogg Cay, in the Berry’s but found it too rough to stay so we headed up to Alder’s Cay and stayed the night there. Bruce and Val went to Bond Cay, they have a catamaran and could go in there – it was too shallow from that direction for us to go in. We went to Bond Cay the following day from a different direction and stayed there for a few days. We have been watching the weather and have decided to wait here then leave to go straight to Lacaya which will be an overnighter. Band Cay has a few good beaches on it, so we went for walks and I collected shells for Sienna’s kindergarten class. We found a sunken life raft in the shallows here and managed to salvage a few items off of it. The rumour is that Shakira (singer) bought this island and is going to build a house here. On the beach we found a pile of rubbish that was left behind, it looks like they were planning a big party and just abandoned everything for some reason. There are folding tables, chairs, tiki lamps, charcoal starters etc. etc. Weird. They have also built part of a dock and up on the hill they have constructed a platform which we guess is to show what view from the house will have.
There are a lot of flats here, so just riding in the dinghy we saw lots of rays, a shark and quite a few big fish just swimming along – one was an ocean trigger and of course there are always the flying fish that you disturb just by going by.
Bruce and Barry have gone hunting a few times and came back with trigger fish and lobster. There were some greater amberjacks, but no one has room for all that meat, so they left them. March 20th is our son Stephen’s birthday so we dinghied back over to Alder Cay where we got free internet so we could e-mail happy birthday to him. It is a private island so we stayed in the dinghy and brought our little computer with us and e-mailed from out there. It was rather funny to be sitting in a dinghy and doing internet.
Another funny thing happened - Barry decided to go up on deck for something and it was very fortunate that he did as he thought he heard some yelling, so he looked around and saw one person on the beach and no dinghy. He thought that was strange so looked around and saw their dinghy floating out to sea – all by itself. He jumped in our dinghy and went after it. He managed to get it (it was a long way out) and towed it back to the beach to very happy people. Barry was a hero that day and we got invited out to dinner on their boat.
We decided to leave the Berries and head to Lacaya a day later than planned as the wind never did die down when it was supposed to. We watched a 60ft+, four spreader sailboat leave Alder Cay Cut and it was burying its bow so we thought it would bury our whole boat, maybe we should leave tomorrow, Friday, March 16th. We were bored so we left early in the day and sailed along the coast. We were making too good of time –( usually you want to make good time, but we wanted to land in Lacaya in daylight and we figured it would take about 16 hours to cross) – so we stopped at Little Stirrup Cay and rested for a few hours. We decided that we couldn’t go more than 4kts or we would arrive in the dark, so we keep taking sail in. We fished along the way and caught two barracudas in thousands of feet of water. You should never catch barracuda out there (we hate them) we never did get any good fish, but we did manage to catch a bright pink air mattress floating by, of course we would rather it have been a rib inflatable – oh well.
We arrived in Lacaya around 6am, Saturday, March 24th and it doesn’t get light until 6:30-7:00, so we slowed down to 2kts and only had to kill half an hour. We made it into the Lacaya canals and anchored. There used to be two marinas here, but one shut down the day before we got here (of course it was the cheap one), it is a beautiful marina, so sad to see it fail. We dinghied into town and were quite surprised at how nice it is. It is very touristy, but we are ready for that after spending so much time in isolation on the islands. We went to a bar that serves two beers (corona included) for $5 and mixed drinks, Bahama Momma, Pina Colada etc. for $5. We found a Greek restaurant and ordered half a chicken meal for $8 etc. etc. We saw people going by with the most amazing looking ice cream (haven’t had any for six months) but we were too full to get one – we will go back. We should be here at least until Thursday due to weather – oh well might have to go to the casino and up to Freeport etc. etc. Lots to do here. There is a huge tall ship across from us called Ghost. It was used in the film “Pirates of the Caribbean”. There appears to be a “crazy” Bahamian living on board. He sings and dances and talks (to himself) for hours. He hangs from the wires, bow sprit etc. etc. Quite entertaining, but a little sad. We were going to town this morning with Dyad (Dave and Kathy), but a freak storm was passing by with thunder and lightning (we never see that down here) so we decided to say on board the boat, so Dyad invited us over for dinner this evening and we will go to town tomorrow.
Took the local bus into Freeport – not too much to see there, then we took another bus to Ocean Reef Marina. Some of our friends go there for a while so we thought we would check it out. It is a very nice place, but there seems to be more to do in Port Lacaya.
We are slowly making our way back to the US to catch our flights to Ottawa (to visit our son Stephen and his wife Marlies) on April 20th, and then back to Chilliwack for six months.

STILL in the Jumentos

20 January 2012
January 20, 2012
We are still in the Jumentos and Ragged Islands which are in the southern end of the Bahamas – only sixty miles across to Cuba.
We had it very peaceful down here for over a month with only five boats here, us, Sam the Skull, Jubilee and a few boats that came and went, Tropical Impulse and Countess Cousel. Windrush also came down about three weeks ago. Now there are about 25 boats here – give or take. It is starting to get crowed down here, so it will soon be time to head up to Thompson Bay and George Town. We have to go to George Town in order to get more days on our visa – we only got 90 when we entered the Bahamas, so we have to re-up and George Town is the easiest place to do this, as you do not have to rent a car.
We are almost lobstered out, Barry got another three yesterday, so we had Sam the Skull and Windrush for lobster aux gratin for dinner last night. Bruce on Windrush got a huge Greater Amberjack and is having us all over for dinner tonight and Sam the Skull had us over for lobster currie the night before last. I think I am actually craving a nice piece of chicken or a hamburger.
We have had many beach walks and now try to make a game of it – we pick an object to look for as we now have enough sea beans to supply George Town. The beaches on the ocean side are always filled with treasures (junk) that has washed up on the beach from the ocean, this could be shoes, knapsacks, plastic galore, along with sea beans etc. One day we needed to find something to make a rudder for Barb’s inflatable kayak (she lost hers), another day it was a sieve to sieve the sand to find even more treasures. We do silly things, like float around in blow up chairs for hours ( that would be the girls, while the guys go hunting). Sounds rather boring probably, but we do keep busy and have a lot of fun. Now that there are a lot of boats down here there are the inevitable beach parties and garbage burning nights. There is only one community down here and it is on the last island and has a population of 70 people. So we have to dispose of garbage somehow, so why not make it a party? It has been a great time down here, but it is almost time to leave.
Barry did get one huge lobster in Southside Bay – it was around seven pounds, which is quite large for the lobster down here. We also get a lot of conch, which we now want for the guts so we can line fish out of the dingy. We have been having a lot of luck catching great fish this way. We have been getting, ocean trigger, queen trigger, red hind, grunts, snappers etc.
Our next adventures should be from Long Island. Cheers for now.

The Jumentos

18 December 2011
We met up with Sam the Skull in Sampson Cay and the next day Windrush (Bruce and Val Marshall from NS) arrived. We had a great reunion as we have not seen them since last winter. We left Sampson Cay and headed for Black Point where I got my hair cut by Ida. It would not be a trip to the Bahamas without an "Ida Do". We then moved down to White Point for the evening. Barry, John and Bruce went hunting. The next day we left to head to the Jumentos through the back way. We have never gone this way before as we were nervous of there not being enough water for us, but as it turned out the lowest we saw was 9 feet so we were quite comfortable. We stopped at Rocky Point for the evening, just so we wouldn't have a night crossing, although it would have been just fine. We arrived in Flamingo Cay the next day. We traveled with Sam the Skull as Windrush is going home for Christmas and had to go to George Town to get their flight. We stayed here for a couple of days then moved down to Racoon Cay where we stayed for a few more days. The wind is still very strong so there are only so many places to anchor in the right wind direction. We have now moved down to Hog Cay and have been here for about four days. There are great beaches to walk and the guys have been hunting and getting fish, lobster and conch. We haven't touched anything in our freezer since we got here - it is still full.
The only settlement down here is Duncan Town and it usually has a population of about 75 people on a good day. Right now there are only 30 left on the island as it is Christmas and a lot have gone to Nassau etc. The store is not operating very well as Maxine's daughter had a stroke last year and Maxine is in Nassau helping out. Her husband is still on the island but he doesn't take food orders like Maxine did, so you have to be self sufficient to be down here. The mail boat comes in three times a month, so if you are organized you can get them to bring you gas and propane. You send your jugs one week, they bring them back when they come next to the island.
There are only five boats down here so far this year. Tropical Impulse had us and Sam the Skull over for sundowners last night and it was very pleasant. They plan to have us over again tonight for cracked conch as we told them where they could get conch. I think we will all be here for Christmas as the weather is not cooperating for anyone to leave.
Happy Holidays to all.
Vessel Name: Night Hawk
Vessel Make/Model: CS33
Hailing Port: Chilliwack British Columbia (from Mahone Bay, NS)
Crew: Barry and Susan Wilson
We have both retired from our jobs in order to make this trip. We were both born and lived in Nova Scotia until our original trip to the Bahamas in 2007. This year (2009) will be our third year down south. [...]
Extra: Like our namesake, the Night Hawk, we migrate south every fall. We hope to be somewhat like our namesake - small and determined.
Night Hawk's Photos - Morgans Bluff to Fresh Creek,Andros
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Lifting the Mahi Mahi out of the water
Lifting the Mahi Mahi out of the water
Added 7 December 2009

Living the Life

Who: Barry and Susan Wilson
Port: Chilliwack British Columbia (from Mahone Bay, NS)