03/31/2010, George Town, Great Exuma
March 25th...2010 Georgetown, Exumas
We've been on the west side of Elizabeth Harbor for a few days topping off our tanks and making a few trips to the grocery. Steve, Kim, Scott and Amy returned on Monday and had us over for breakfast on Tuesday before Scott and Amy flew back to Annapolis. Steve had done some good Samaritan work in Calabash Bay and was thanked with a $50 bottle of Champaign which didn't last long.
We made the trip over to Volleyball Beach and anchored just off shore. There was a dance at the Chat and Chill that night that was lots of fun. Many of the winter
Georgetown residents have already headed north so it wasn't as packed as most of the dances seem to be.
On Thursday we weighed anchor and finally made our way out of George Town and headed north. Our goal was Galliot Cut, which was about 40 miles north. Seas were a little rolley at first but settled out after an hour ...and we made good time.
We caught two Mahi on the trip. Neither were huge... both about 42 inches, but it's always nice to have fresh fish in the freezer. Especially when we have company coming in a week.
Anchoring off Galliot Cay at about 3pm, I began cleaning fish. Steve and Kim came over a little later and we invited them over for fish tacos out of the smaller filets.
We listened to Butler beat Syracuse but couldn't last for the later games.
Sam and Nic danced the night away
03/16/2010, George Town, Great Exuma
Sunday March 7th...2010
We are sincerely sorry for those of you who occasionally stop here to keep track of us. Our lack of blog entries is unexcusable. In truth most of the entries were actually written but never made it to posting before their untimely demise.
I believe that we left you in Thompson's Bay Long Island. From there we motored north to Hog Cay which is just south of Cape Santa Maria and the tip of Long Island. We spent an afternoon hunting but had little luck. In the morning, with forecasts of 15 knots from the NW, we set out for the 25 mile run out to Rum Cay. As we rounded the cape and headed east it was obvious that that we had way too much sail out for the conditions.
The autopilot couldn't keep up with 30 knot winds and 12 foot seas and on three occasions rounded us through the wind and back the way we had come. In each case we nearly broached.
I tuned off the autopilot and hand steered which kept us going the right direction....flying along at 11 knots. I knew that we should douse the main, but didn't relish the thought of going out on deck to get it done. At about this point both of our fishing rods started screaming. There was no way we could land a fish at 10 knots ... so Kathy got me the harness and we rounded back into the wind. It took about 2 minutes to lower the sail but it seemed like much longer.
Sailing now on mizzen and staysail, we were in full control of the boat for the first time today. Amazingly, both fish were still on. I grabbed the small salmon rod that was almost spooled and began slowly putting some line on the reel. After 40 minutes, we had a nice Mahi next to the boat but in ten foot seas couldn't employ our normal gaffing technique which called for Kathy going on deck with the rod and backing up to a point where I could gaff the fish into the cockpit.
At this point the big reel which had been slowly clicking as we dragged another fish through the water, screamed for about three seconds and was quiet.
With a fish at the side of the boat I couldn't be bothered by the second rod. I had no choice but to but the rod down and grab the line to get the fish close enough to gaff. When it was about 4 feet away, it shook it's head and was gone.
Fish number two was also gone .... we assume it was shark lunch. Anytime you drag a fish for more that 15 minutes the odds are that a shark will find it.
By this time we were only about an hour out of Rum Cay. We still had large seas and 30 knots of wind but with the main gone were balanced much better and made our way to the lee of the island and anchored.
Rum Cay offers no protection from the south and so we only had about three days until the next front to explore the area. We walked the town...there are about 50 residents but found a nice restaurant and made friends with Dolores the owner.
The next morning as we had our coffee in the cockpit, the boat behind us weighed and headed around the reef to our south to open water. We were reading and didn't pay much attention. A little later the same boat sailed back behind us and continued on toward shore. I wondered what he was doing but went back to reading. A few minutes later he sailed past us again heading south.
A few minutes later, someone came on the radio saying that they were aground and gave their lat. and lon., which sounded very much like our own. I stood up and sure enough about a mile to our south the boat that we'd been watching was hard aground on the reef.
Barry was along side "Sapphire" when the guy called one of the other boats in the anchorage for assistance....meanwhile Steve dinghied over to a fishing boat with a couple of large outboards to see if they would try to pull the boat in distress off the reef.
Barry and I were holding back because there was nothing we could do with just our dinghies... but when the guy came back on the radio saying that he was taking on water, we had no choice and made our way through the 2 foot chop out to "Second Wind."
We arrived about the same time as the fishing boat to find that there was little to be done. The rudder was torn off and the pumps were not keeping up. There was no way that the fishermen were going to be able to move the boat and if they were able to get it off the reef it would just sink. Barry finally, told the guy (who's name was Mario) that his boat was gone and he need to get his possessions loaded into our dinghies.
With tears in his eyes he began the process of off loading. When we were full, we headed to the marina and deposited his stuff on a dock. He made two or three trips back out to his boat during the day and removed solar panels, radios and anything else of much value. He had no insurance and when he was finished, walked away telling the Bahamians that they were welcome to anything they could salvage.
Mario's story was that his engine was overheating and he had raised the jib to check things out. He found that the belt driving the water pump had broken and had tacked back to shore. When he got too close he tacked back out and went below to replace the belt ... paying no attention to the reef that runs for about 3 miles on the south side of the island.
We spent the remainder of that day and the next hunting and swimming off the reef to the south east of the island. It was impressive but we didn't shoot many fish.
The next day we hiked around the island and ended up at Kaye's bar around lunch time. We promised to return that afternoon after we did some more hunting. Dolores is an older lady who spent her early years on Rum but ran away to teach in Nassau. Later in life she returned to open Kaye's.
The next day we headed back to Long Island. We caught a nice Mahi and had a couple of other hits. "Night Hawk" and "Fine Lion" elected to stop at Calabash Bay at the north end of Long Island while we continued on to Thompson's Bay.
We arrived to find "Solitaire", "Savage Son," and "First Edition" all at anchor and were immediately invited to dinner on "Solitaire."
We spent a few days in Thompson's Bay before heading to Georgetown to meet Sam and Nic who were flying in for a week.
After spending a day on Volleyball Beach with them we sailed back to Long Island to attempt to get them in the water for some snorkeling. We spent a couple days at Thompson's Bay attending a hot dog roast at the Island Breeze and hanging out with other curisers.
Then we sailed up the island to Calabash Bay for some snorkeling before fishing our way back to Georgetown. Nic caught a tuna but after looking it up found that it was a Skip Jack and not all that edible.
After another day in Georgetown it was time for them to take their sun tans back to Michigan. It wasn't the best week weather-wise but compared to snow in Michigan it didn't feel that bad.
With yet another front heading our way we hunkered down in Georgetown at Sand Dollar Beach and worked on projects and read for a couple of days.
"Savage Son" and "Far Niente" were anchored close by so we got together with them a few times. We also touched base with "Discovery" and "Tilt" who are from Pentwater and Grand Rapids respectively.
"Fine Lion" returned to pick up Kim and was anchored on the other side of the harbor at Kidd Cove. They picked up a load of laundry that we had sent to the cleaners. So we moved over to join them outside Kidd Cove. It was good to see Kim again after her 3 week visit to Colorado.
We had "Night Hawk" over for soup on Sunday. They are looking for a window to begin their trip back north toward Florida where they leave their boat. Steve 's son Scott and his finance Amy are flying in on Thursday and I think that we'll spend a few days fishing with them before following Barry and Susan.
Thanks for all the condolences for Mike's computer-yes, the brand new one.
Long time-no posting
03/01/2010, George Town, Great Exuma
Well, we may have posted earlier, but Mike's computer with all the posts went swimming and does not want to work any more. We have been in Long Island and out to Rum Cay. That was a terrible trip, by the way. Rum Cay was interesting and we had a good time.
We returned to Long Island to hang out with friends and had a great time. We rented a car and took a tour to the salt ponds, Goat Pond Bar, and the beach at the end of the island.
We are now in George Town and it happens to be Regatta time. Sam is coming with her friend Nic on Wednesday-looking forward to that.