A little further on
01/16/2008, Green Turtle Cay, Abacos, Bahamas
There may be a little repetition-Mike didn't know I shot a quick entry out yesterday.
Tuesday Jan. 15
I set the alarm this morning for 6:30 to listen to Chris Parker... and then took off to visit Ann and Neville on "Peace" who spend most of their winter here. We met them at the lock in the Dismal Swamp and have seen them a couple of times on our trip south. A couple of days ago while checking the engine I noticed the one of our alternator belts was loose so I got a wrench and tightened it up. Today, it was loose again.... The base of the tension arm was broken. We need a one inch weld and I knew that Neville would know where to send me to get it done. I had tea and toast with them and met one of their friends Brian who is from Traverse City.
Neville's advice was to stop in Marsh Harbor and ask about welders on the Cruisers Net in the morning.
Bye the time I returned, it was time to explore our island so we took off with Bob and Jan from "English Rose" to check out the coves and beaches. As we motored slowly in the dinghy in calm water, there were always star fish in sight...Fish of all shapes and colors moved out of our way as we cruised the coral shoreline.
We had our spear gun and were watching for lobster but they were hidden under rocks. I needed to get in the water to have any chance of seeing one. We beached the dinghies in a cove and I took off with mask, fins, and spear to go fishing. There were tons of fish.... Anne had told me not to shoot Anglefish and the Trigger fish were too spooky to get very close to. The grunts were probably the best targets but the only ones that came close enough ( 2 feet from the end of my spear) we too small. I did not see any lobster but I was not in the right place for them.
I know that most of you have seen photos of the water in the Bahamas, but you would really have to be here to appreciate the different blues. It is impossible photograph.
After our adventure we returned to the boat for lunch . I went over to English Rose with our charts in the afternoon to pick their brains about how we should proceed south. They are probably going to stay in the Abacos most of the winter.
Since my diving stuff was out, it seemed to be about the right time see if our failure to follow Piccaroon last summer out of Cove Island... the hull was fine. Dave, I couldn't even seen any missing paint so you can quit sending people half way around the world (or to Vero Beach where Elysium 6 visited on Dave's behalf) to apologize.
I did however find some living things, and scraped most of them off. The very bottom of the keel has some barnacles that I will have to deal with in the future. The very bottom of the keel did not get much paint last spring in the cradle and it really shows.
Later in the afternoon we weighed anchor and motored 5 miles down to Green Turtle Cay and anchored off New Plymoth. We went ashore and wandered the settlement that looks like a Bahamian village...pastel colored houses, narrow streets, roosters crowing, and kids on skates and bikes. Bob need gasoline so we dinghied to the other end of the island...White Bay where there is a marina and resort. We needed some ice are were directed to the bar where they bagged us up some ice and sold us each a Tipsy Turtle ... the house specialty that tasted a lot like a rum punch.
At dark we returned to Sapphire and grilled a pork loin and had dinner while listening to the Spartans defeat Ohio State.
01/15/2008, Manjack Cay, Abacos, Bahamas
Manjack Cay . . . January 14 and 15
Mike, Bob, Jan, and Greg took "English Rose" to New Plymoth on Green Turtle Cay yesterday to check in. I cleaned the boat, wrote some e-mails, and did general boat stuff. I had Skype (a program that lets you make phone calls over the internet when you have a good connection) up and working, put some money in our account, or so I thought, and we called Mike's mom. Everything worked perfectly, so I was ready to call my mom and it said we had no money in our account. Well, somehow Mike had done a download with a different user name than I did and his was the program on the computer and we have e-mailed Skype about the problem. Bummer, I thought I had it all figured out.
We are now flying the Bahamian courtesy flag and so can go to shore. There is really not much on shore here. There are some houses (and someone must have WIFI), but much of the island is empty. "English Rose" and "Muskoka Moon" came to our boat for happy hour and we talked for hours.
Today we took the dinghies out to explore some beaches. It is a beautiful blue sky, sunny day. We saw all kinds of star fish and brightly colored fish and needlefish-all very cool. We walked the beaches and waded in the water. Mike brought his Hawaiian sling (a spearing device) along and tried to do some fishing, but without any luck. He is really hoping for lobster. I would like that also!
Mike and I are thinking of leaving here this afternoon and going around The Whale to Great Guana Cay, or somewhere in that area. It is a potentially rough and difficult passage and today is supposed to be a good day to go through this spot. Since we don't know when we will next have internet service and we still haven't figured out Winlink, I am hammering this out while Mike is next door seeking information about anchorages and such down the way.
Mike and Kathy
01/14/2008, Manjack Cay, Abacos, Bahamas
Great Sale to Manjack Cay...January 13
Today is Sunday and since we can't check into the country until Monday it was decided to head for Manjack Cay for the night before checking in at Green Turtle Cay. It is only a couple of miles away and much less hectic. There is supposed to be a front coming through tonight but our anchor is well down in the sand and we've seen much worse.
We left Great Sale at 8:30 and motored to the north end of the island before heading east and south. Our sails were up prior to departure and were in assist mode for about 2 hours before we turned off the engine and had another perfect sail ,,,, swimming suits and suntan lotion. Late in the afternoon we caught up with our sailing group and followed them into our anchorage on Manjack Cay. After getting things squared away, we dinghied over to English Rose for Champagne and snacks to celebrate our arrival.
Most of our trip today was across 50 miles of desolate shallow water. The depths were between 12 and 20 feet for hours. The water in the shallows is a new color for us... my best descriptions is Neon Turquoise. There are always islands and rocks in the distance, but usually far away.
The nice thing about being here is that we have internet from somewhere and we were able to get word from our daughter, Ellie, that my mother's surgery went well and she will be moved to a nursing home for therapy and recovery today or tomorrow. When we get checked in we may go to town to find a phone card and call home.
It was a gorgeous day sailing in beautiful water.