01/27/2008, Spanish Wells, George's Cay, Eleuthera
Saturday, January 26 Spanish Wells, Eleuthera
We and "Madcap" hauled anchors and drove about an hour east to George's Cay and the town of Spanish Wells. At the dinghy dock we met "Hawk" who is from Wisconsin and has a home here. Hawk spent a few minutes explaining the town and it's attractions.
There is a cement break wall that runs the length of the harbor lined with ships big enough to be impressive, but not too big for the shallow waters of the Bahamian ports. There is also a large fleet of commericial fishing boats....trawlers that a all clean, and shiny unlike similar boats along the ICW.
We bought some fresh tomato's, a green pumpkin and a few green peppers from Shirley who was standing along the side of the pier. Then we were off on a walking tour of the island. The homes are small and painted in every conceivable pastel...neat, tidy, and for the most part well kept. One point of interest is that the houses have shingle roofs like any other, but they are painted with some white substance to reflect the sun and to glue the edges together so they won't blow away in a storm.
There was no real downtown area just a few shops scattered around town. We stopped for lunch at a small restaurant and waited forever for our very marginal lunch. Kathy bought some "Johnny Cake" at Kathy's Bakery and some lemons at the grocery before heading for the gardens at the Methodist Church. The Gardens consisted of a palm planting of about an acre with shaded paths crisscrossing the interior. All the plants seemed to be native .... and were quite impressive.
We returned to the dinghy in the mid-afternoon and headed back out the channel to Sapphire anchored off shore. The afternoon was spent ferrying water and fuel back and forth from town to the boat. Pindars, where we bought the fuel allowed us to fill jerry cans of water for free with the purchase of fuel ... so I took the opportunity to top off both of our tanks. Meanwhile, Kathy was busy uploading blog entries and keeping up on emails.
We had a wonderful meal of pan fried mahi-mahi, potatoes, and sliced fresh tomatoes.
01/26/2008, Royal Island, Eleuthera, Bahamas
Friday January 25
The forecast cold front moved through just before dawn and the wind picked up to about 20 knots. The day was cloudy and breezy. A few boats dragged but we were fine.
After coffee, we began the project of regrounding our SSB. At about noon we finished up and on the first try were able to log into one of the win link sites. What that means is that we should be able to send and receive email over the radio.
Kathy made pizza for lunch and we spent most of the afternoon reading. We are planning on heading for Spanish Wells tomorrow and then on to the Exumas on Sunday, but you never know.
Back out on the ocean
01/26/2008, Royal Island, Eleuthera, Bahamas
Thursday, January 24
We were raising the anchor at 6:15 in the dark and were underway by 6:30. Our plan today is to go out the Little Harbour cut and into the ocean for a 50 mile run down to Royal Island on Eleuthera. We had no difficulty in the cut and the ocean was perfect. We had swells from the east most of the day but the period was about 9 seconds which makes things pleasant. The trip was uneventful ... except for the fishing.
I had two lines in the water. One was a hand line with a snubber attached in the middle. The other was one of my old salmon rods for Lake Michigan wound with 50 pound test. I was running green and white squids about 50 to 60 feet back skipping between the waves trying to imitate a flying fish.
Before noon I hooked something small. Once it was in the boat, we got the fish book to see just what we had. It looked like a tuna shape but color and size were wrong. As it turned we had a small Blackfin Tuna which was cleaned, bagged and in the refrigerator immediately.
At some point in the afternoon , I was below checking the engine when Kathy was yelling something... when I got away from the engine noise it was clear that we had a fish on. She was holding the rod in the holder while the drag was screaming. I got the rod detached and started making some ground as Kathy took the helm to try turn us into the wind to slow us down some. At about this point I realized that there was also a fish on the our hand line .... it was going to be disaster unless I got that one in the boat first so I put the rod back in the holder and hauled in the handline. The fish was well hooked so I hoisted it over the side into the cockpit and grabbed the rod to try to land the second fish....after a few minutes we got it along side and I was able to get the net under and dumped it in the cockpit with his (really, they were "hers") buddy.
Neither of us needed the fish book for these guys... we had two 12 pound dolphin...popularly referred to in the seafood case as Mahi-Mahi. There are absolutely beautiful when they come out of the water...neon yellow...with bright blue and green hues.
Although the seas were a little rolly I took them to the foredeck, where we have access to water, and had them cleaned in a few minutes.
We arrived at Royal Island at about 3:30. Royal Island has a wonderfully protected harbor. Unfortunately, the once wild island, is being developed into a resort and although we can anchor, we can't go ashore. A front is supposed to go through tonight with winds up to 25k ... it's a great place to be even if we can"t go exploring.
Jim and Beth (Madcap) joined us for a grilled mahi mahi dinner and later we listened to the Spartans beat Northwestern.