Long time, no talk...
10 March 2007 | Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas
We've been meandering through the island of Eluthera and the Exumas for the past few weeks. Eluthera was cool. We had a harrowing experience in Royal Island harbor. A beautiful Hinkley Bermuda 40 almost crashed into us as it dragged anchor during a 40 knot blow. It was heartstopping for me. Actually the captain of the boat was in his dingy working on the outboard and didn't even notice his boat dragging down onto us, until Brian yelled for him. It was clear that the captain, a kid in his twenties, had no idea what was happening. Brian jumped into the dingy and sped toward the Hinckley ramming it just in time and pushing it against the wind and away from Puff. By this time the kid is behind the wheel and cranking the engine. I'm on the deck of Puff hanging onto a shroud to keep my balance on the pitching and swinging deck. I'm watching this 150k boat slide across the surface of the harbor toward the rocks at an alarming speed, I guess the guy wasn't throttling up enough to counteract the wind. By this time, Brian ties our dingy to the Hinckley and leaps aboard taking the wheel and telling the guy what to do to get re-anchored safely. At the same time two other boats dragged anchor and recovered swiftly and they end up motoring around the harbor for hours during the blow trying and retrying to reset their anchor unsuccessfully. They must have been going out of their minds, I know they made the rest of us quite nervous. Anyway, Brian finds out this kid has his dad's boat down here. He has to change to a better anchor and finally they got it set, far away from other boats. In the meantime, I'm freaking out because just a couple weeks earlier our own anchor drug in Marsh Harbor. So, I had Puff's engine cranked and ready to go in case our anchor had any trouble, which thank god we didn't. Sooooo... after that drama, we had some pretty days at Royal. We took the dingy about a 5 miles out to a cool wreck of a metal ship about 170 feet long, almost fully intact, part of it sticks out above the water, and there's really good details of the ship visible, engine, deck, hardware... Brian saw a couple of pretty big bull sharks around there a couple of years ago so we started fishing it with hook and line first and man, Brian pulled in the finest looking cero mackeral you ever saw. After Royal we went to a couple of other harbors on Eluthera, one was Governours Harbor, which we have fond memories of from our first trio down here 6 years ago. They have a great town fish fry street party every Friday and as usual it was a blast. Another was Hatchet Bay, where Brian has access to a really good break he likes to surf there. Hatchet Bay also has access to some really spooky and impressive caves. Pitch black inside, we took flashlights and water and made our way through, I was so scared, I get clausterphobic. There were stalagtites and stalagmites 10 times our size! The air was weird and it was very wet and huge dark caverns all around, it was hard not to get lost. We left Hatchet and made our way to the Exumas, just exploring all the shallow anchorages around that nice little chain of island, saw some spectacular Spotted Eagle Rays flying through the gin clear water, caught some fish, speared some fish and lobster. We're eating well, needless to say. The sights in the Exuma islands are incredible, shallow light colored sand flats, deep blue channels, even some amazing limestone cliffs, the highest being 129 feet. Now we are having a surreal experience. We have docked at this totally posh marina called Emerald Bay. The development has been under construction for 10 years so far, and they expect another 15 or 20 years to completion. The marina opened a little over a year ago and they are letting cruisers in for pennies per foot, sooo cheap you cannot believe! It includes free laundry, internet, hot tub, hot showers,dvds, transportation to shopping, water is cheap, it's very cool. When they get the docks finished you won't be able to spend a couple days here for under a few hundred bucks. Alas, we are only here for a day and a half. Tomorrow. we cast off for Long Island where we will visit our special friends, Charlie and Joyce, and feel right at home. Sorry, no pics this time, connection is too slow. Thanks for your emails and keep writing! Oh, and yes, the tiny speck of a boat in the photo above is us.... all alone in all this beauty.