02/21/2012, Rock Sound, Eleuthera
Just a quick update - batteries are not the best but we decided to head to Eleuthera anyway. We had a great crossing, motor sailed most of the way, light winds, low seas. It was about an 8 hour sail. We should be here for another couple of days then head up the west coast of Eleuthera. I'm sitting in front of a gas station getting internet. Hey, when cruising you take advantage of the wifi where ever you can get it!!
02/17/2012, Highbourne Cay Marina, Exuma
We are having battery issues; they do not want to hold a charge. We decided to head to a marina to use the electric hook up to "cook" the batteries, hoping equalizing them will fix the problem. If problem solved we are going to head to Eleuthera tomorrow, looks like a good weather window to go the 40 miles. If problem is not solved it means the batteries are shot and we will head to Nassau to see what the cost is to replace them. We are also having head issues. We just replaced it about a year ago and it's already falling apart, something else that needs replacing.
Weather has been a little chilly, actually wearing a sweatshirt this morning. One of the things we have noticed is the lack of wild life here in the Exumas. Except for Warderick Wells in the Exuma Land and Sea Park we have seen very little fish or birds. When we were anchored off Stocking Island we would see sea turtles fairly often but very little fish or birds. At the fish cleaning stations at the marinas there is usually sharks hanging out below looking for people to through in the fish carcasses. We have seen some really big Nurse Sharks at Staniel, Sampson and Highbourne marinas. By big I mean 8-10 feet.
I will post again once we get to either Nassau or Eleuthera.
01/30/2012, LITTLE FARMERS CAY, EXUMAS, BAHAMAS
Yesterday we left George Town at 8:00 and arrived here at Little Farmers Cay at 3:30.
We are headed back up the Exumas again. We plan to be here for a week, enjoying the 5F's (First Friday in February at Farmers Festival). Festival has everything from 'C' Class sailboat racing to best buns contest.
Thoughts on George Town - glad we experienced it but 6 weeks was long enough. As with all places, good points and bad points. We would highly recommend stopping at least for a couple days for any one heading south. The two grocery stores are well stocked, of course higher prices than the States. Probably the smallest selection and highest prices are on meat and munchies. If you love chocolate absolutely bring lots with you.
I don't think George Town wanted us to leave; here is the sequence of events:
1) Pulling up the anchor - it was under another boat and Michael on Windsong had to move his boat in order for us to leave. This gives you an idea how close all the current 200+ boat are off Stocking Island. We then anchored overnight off Kidd Cove (a mile away) to do provisioning, water, fuel, etc.
2) Drop our anchor at Kidd Cove - I put the gear in reverse to set the anchor and the cable breaks. I had to kill the engine quickly since we then stuck in reverse.
3) Dinghy motor dies on Bill - on one of the several trips back and forth from the boat to the Exuma Markets Dinghy Dock the outboard dies and Bill gets out the oars and breaks the oar lock. Another cruiser comes by and tows Bill in.
4) Cheryl sitting with $235 in groceries waiting for Bill at the Dingy Dock - another cruiser then tows us back to the boat.
5) Bill fixes gear cable and outboard - contrary to our always first thoughts that it must be something drastic that has happened it was just the bolt that attaches the cable to the transmission came out, so easy quick fix. As far as the outboard think a little water must have gotten into the tank when we put new fuel in it. Another easy fix. Unfortunately, not fixed in time to get me back to town for my 1:00 hair appointment.
6) Beer run - Bill is out of beer and George Town is the best place to buy it. We head in, outboard mother once again working to discover all of the liquor stores are temporarily closed. We then head to the Leslie"Buzzy" Rolle Appreciation Day fest ivies at Regatta Park (in George Town). He is a "C" Class sailboat builder and racer. He seems to be much loved by the Exuma people. So, we leave there to thinking at least one of the liquor stores will be open. They close at 6:00 and it is now 6:03. No beer for Bill. As a side note: Bill is $42.75 per case and cigarettes (cheapest brand) is $22 a carton.
7) Next morning time to prepare to leave George Town - Bill can't get the outboard motor off the dinghy. The dinghy clamp handle breaks in the effort to try and unscrew the clamp. Bill finally was unable unscrew the clamp, the handle is now replaced with a vice grip.
Out luck change on the trip to Farmers Cay. Or I should say Bill's luck did - he caught a mackerel and two yellow fin tuna. I say Bill's luck changed, not mine. He hacked them up in the cockpit, amazing the amount of blood 3 little fish have (gross). Bill was a happy camper though.
01/12/2012, Stocking Island, Exumas, Bahamas
Since I have complained so much about the weather I should comment about how nice it has been. More of what we thought it would be which is - one week nice with winds < 15 and 2 days winds >15. We are told this is more typical for time of year here in the Exumas. Water is a bit chilly, needing at least a shorty wet suit to snorkel in.
We have settled into a routine here. Our typical week goes something like this:
Monday - Chat N Chill for a burger and fries then volley ball and basket weaving on Volley Ball Beach (guess which one does what).
Tuesday - Poker at St. Francis
Wednesday - George Town for provisions, gas, water and propane (when available and needed)
Thursday - Poker at St. Francis
Friday - Boat day, or hiking and looking for palm leafs (for basket weaving) or Volley Ball Beach
Saturday - Same as Friday
Sunday - Poker at St. Francis
Add the occasional snorkeling, various volunteer activities, laundry or extra trip to George Town.
Several people have asked us our future plans. Always with the knowledge that our plans are: subject to change, by the month, week, day, hour:
January 28th leave here and go to the Marina at Emerald Bay for a night or two. It is about 12 miles north of here.
January 30th go back up the Exuma chain.
January 31st to February 5th Little Farmers Cay. They have a sailing regatta called the 5F's (First Friday in February Farmers Festival) that we want to see.
February 6th through March 1st work our way up the Exumas to Highbourne Cay.
March 1st to April 1st in the Eleuthras.
April 1st to June 1st in the Abacos.
June 1st head back to Florida.
Once we get to Florida we haven't decided where we will stay for a while, possibly Ft Myers. From there it is up in the air.
01/01/2012, Georgetown --- St. Francis Bar
Happy Ney Year ---- Just added about 45 pics to our Georgetown Album. I have a Video of Junkanoo that was celebrated here in Georgetown (thats about 1/100th of what they do in Nassau) Nevertheless was fun to see. I am not able to post it here on sailblogs,,,,,hopefully be able to get it on u-tube.
12/22/2011, George Town, Great Exuma, Bahamas
We are safe and well anchored here off Monument Beach, Stocking Island. We put all our LED Christmas lights on the boat, can see us miles away!
Hope every one has a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.