Mike and Kathy
03/29/2008, New Bight, Cat Island
March 22... George Town to New Bight, Cat Island
The harbor at George Town was clearing out today and we were the third boat out leaving at 7am. The cut into the sound was rolly, but once we were able to set our course to the north, things were fine. We sailed a beam reach from about 8am to 4:30 when we arrived here at Cat Island. We were traveling in the company of two other boats: "Night Hawk" and "Star Shadow" with "Tilt" and "Fawks" about an hour behind us.
"Starshadow" caught a 20 pound Mahi on the trip and invited us to dinner with Barry and Susan from "Nighthawk". We had a very nice meal and returned just after dark.
Although the weather here is fine today, by tomorrow night it is going to be windy and will stay that way for most of the week. It won't affect us much because Cat Island is 56 miles long and protects us from the East and North in most places. We may just stay here for a few days.
Easter morning. We awoke to roosters crowing and a hymn from the sunrise service on the beach which was lead by a single, off-key trumpet. It went on for at least 10 verses. Easter is big here in the Bahamas ...Friday and Monday are both legal holidays, so if we are going to buy some coffee beans it will be Tuesday.
On the top of a nearby hill there is a place called the "Hermitage" which was built by a John Cecil Hawes, better known as Father Jerome. He was born in England and first became an architect and then and Anglican priest. He was sent to the Bahamas after the 1908 hurricane to restore the damaged churches. He then went off and did some other jobs and later became a Catholic priest. He came back to the Bahamas and chose Comer Hill, the highest spot in the Bahamas, for his retirement home.
As you climb up the hill, you pass by monuments depicting the Stations of the Cross and a replica of Jesus' tomb, (and it is Easter Sunday-wow). The Hermitage is built entirely out of stone and is a scaled-down replica of hermitages in Europe, and turned out to be an interesting place to visit.
I spent the afternoon lobster hunting and came up short again. I did get a lesson on conch cleaning before heading to a get together on shore. There are only seven boats here so it was much easier than the parties in George Town where there are as many as 100 people.
"Restless" arrived today and informed us that Jimmy Buffet flew his sea plane into Elizabeth Harbour (George Town) and went in to the Chat 'N Chill. Shoot! We missed it.
The weather today is a little iffy...There is a low forming over this area and a cold front sliding by at the same time. The wind is going to clock and increase throughout the day and hopefully get to the North West by dark where we will have some protection. For those of you that sail Lake Michigan, we are in a place similar to South Manitou. This Bay is open to the west where there is about 50 miles of fetch.
Two of the seven boats here left this morning for the safety of a marina about 10 miles away.
We took the dinghy up a creek to try to get closer to the main grocery store but could find a place to tie up. Our choices were mangroves or a cement wall. We retraced our wake and walked to a convenience store to pick up some coffee and then hiked down the road to the home that sold ice. On our way a truck stopped to give us a ride. The box of his truck was full of produce which he was taking to the store. He said that he would stop back at the government dock at 11 but didn't show until about one thirty by which time we were all back on our boats.
The wind picked up in the afternoon from the west and made things quite rolly but we didn't have any problem until about dark. Some good sized swells had built from the west but the wind was clocking to the NW which put us abeam to the seas. We did not have a good time although things finally settled down around 2am.
We suffered no damage ... but lost the step that we use to get on and off the boat to the dinghy.
March 25 ...
We stayed in New Bight today and let the wind and waves out in the sound die down a little. We worked on some boat projects and read most of the day.
We don't go out in this
03/21/2008, George Town
March 18 - 21
It has been windy this week and even though it has calmed the last two days there are still good sized swells in the sound. There has also been some question about the weather this coming weekend so we have remained here in George Town for a few more days. The weather problem (was a low pressure system going to form over our heads or not) has resolved itself so we will be off tomorrow at about daylight.
There were some huge waves on the oceans side ... but try as we may, it is impossible to capture their magnitude on film.
Our days have been spent reading during the morning and sitting on the beach in the shade during the afternoons. I play Bridge from one to about four every day.
I did make a very wet trip to town on Wednesday to have our empty propane tank filled. The truck comes to an empty parking lot on Wednesdays and Saturday's at 11am. However, here in the islands that sometimes means 3pm or not at all. I also picked up some water, diesel, and a few groceries before heading back.
We spoke to "Madcap" last night and again this morning after the weather. They are heading for Long Island today and will probably be a couple of days behind us as we will be in Cat Island tomorrow, which is the next island to the north.
The Bahamians in general are a very religious people and everything here is closed from Friday to Monday for Easter. There is a sunrise service on the ocean that would be neat...(Sunrises are very cool here) but we'll be gone. Our goal on Sunday is the hike to the Hermitage which we'll explain with some photos later.
We'll have more to write about next week...
Bye for now
Sam... you will be saddened to hear that Johnny, the conch salad boy, was deported back to Hati this week. It seems that he dumped has girlfriend for another and the jilted one reported him to the authorities.
There is a new guy in the shack, but it's not the same.
More from George Town
03/19/2008, George Town
A front came through this morning and the wind picked up to about 15 knots. It increased all day and will continue until late Wednesday. I really isn't a huge problem except that we have to be prepared to get wet every time we go ashore.
We hoisted our Irish Flag in honor of St. Patricks Day and made a great breakfast of hash browns and eggs.
Before we left Michigan, Dan gave us a large Dansforth anchor which I had never used until today. We had our normal 45 Delta set on 120 feet of 3/8s chain. Because we were going ashore to check our the sand sclupter competition, I took Dan's anchor out in the dinghy about 10 yards further that the Delta and gently laid in on the bottom to serve as a safety.
We went into volleyball beach around noon and after checking things out I brought Kathy back to the boat to do some work while I returned for a bridge game.
We I got back later in the afternoon I made an ice run to St Francis and then we went over to visit Steve and Carol for awhile before dinner.
During the evening we watched a movie and listened to the wind blow at 25 to 30.
Dear Sam and Erin...
Today we killed time until about 1pm and then went to shore at the Chat and Chill for the Golf and Bridge tourney awards. We sat around for a while under the trees and then I was asked to play bridge while your mother sat in the shade with Night Hawk, Restless and Star Shadow;.
After a while we went to St. Francis for a beer and ice and then to Kris and Craig's for snacks and drinks. We came home just after sunset in calm winds. It is going to blow about 20 knots for the next three days from the north so we may be stuck here... reading again.
It was 90 most of the time and is still 82 at 9pm...
We miss you guys.
Mom and Dad
My main goal for the day was to fill our empty propane tank and to fill two gerry cans of fuel. The propane truck comes to a spot across the street from Eddie's Edgewater at 11 am on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Unfortunately, as I was loading up the dinghy for the trip, Eddie's called to say that the truck wasn't coming today. I still made the trip picking up some fuel and taking a garbage bag to the dumpster.
The rest of the day was non-eventful. I worked at clearing the decks and tying down all the gerry cans. We read books and later grilled some burgers for supper .
It sounds like the Sugarbush is in full swing at home. It is the only activity that I've missed so far on this trip.