04/13/2008, Great Guana Cay
April 12th...Fisher Bay, Great Guana
I spent most of the morning cleaning the bottom of our boat. Although the bottom paint has held up well, all boats still need some work in tropical conditions. There are divers in all the major harbors who will scrape and clean your hull for a couple of hundred dollars, but I prefer to do it myself. This is the second time that I've scraped. My system is to use a wide putty knife going around the hull scraping anything in reach. Then I put attach the scraper to a dock pole and hit the areas that are deeper. Finally, I go around again with a long handled brush to knock off any left over slime and junk.
Around noon I finally got out of the water, showered and got ready for going ashore. We were invited a few weeks ago via email to a surprise birthday party for Penny on "Viking Rose" to be held at "Nippers" on the other side of this island. We left the boat a little early to walk the town and as luck would have it, ran into the birthday girl and Richard doing the same thing. There really wasn't much to the town , so we joined them for the walk to the other side of the island. "Nippers" is a restaurant situated on the Atlantic that has two pools and miles of beach to walk. It is nice but not posh. We had a beer watched the ocean roll in and before long Steve and Carol showed up. A few minutes later Barry and Susan (who don't even know Penny, but should) joined. A fourth couple joined us and still Penny was unaware that anything was up. Finally when the group got to 12 she wised up. Richard ordered everything on the hors de vours menu and we all sat around most of the afternoon.
On our walk back we bought some nice looking tomatoes from a roadside stand which we ate along with our baked chicken for dinner.
Leaving Marsh Harbour
04/13/2008, Marsh Harbour, Great Abaco, Bahamas
April 11...Marsh Harbor to Fishers Bay, Great Guana
When you check into the Bahamas, Customs gives sailors a Cruising permit for one year. It costs about $300 and allows your boat to be in Bahamian waters. You also have to check in with immigration ... if your entry point has no immigration office the Customs office checks you in for 90 days. If you stay longer, you are required to find an Immigration office and apply for an extention. So, although Sapphire was legal, our Visas were expiring on Monday. Since our plans were to leave Marsh Harbor today for Great Guana Cay, we needed to find the local Immigration office.
We left the boat at about 9am and headed to the area of town where the map said we could find the Immigration office. After wandering around for 20 minutes, we found a policeman who directed us back to the government dock where the office had moved. After another hike we found the Port Authority office where the Immigration office was located. After about 45 minutes of being harassed by a fat Bahamian lady with a brown uniform, we left with another 60 days added to our Visas.
Back on the boat at around 10:30 we left Marsh Harbor for Fishers Bay, Great Guana, which was a trip of about 11 miles. It was a beautiful day and the anchorage was wide open. We parked behind "Night Hawk" and had lunch... Craig and Kris from "Tilt" stopped by for a visit. Within two hours the anchorage was packed... with boats anchored way too close.
The bottom was grassy so I dove on the anchor and found it dug in but not buried as we'd like. Winds are not forecast to be over 15 so we should be ok.
What hopefully is the last cold front of the year, is going to be passing on Sunday night so Steve called Hope Town to reserve moorings for the three days or so that the winds will be gusting from the north.
"Restless" pulled into the anchorage later in the afternoon with a bucket full of conch... his first. We went ashore and removed them from their shells and then back to "Night Hawk" for a lesson in skinning them.
Susan had us all over for Barry's birthday dinner and cooked some of the Mahi that she caught on the crossing up to the Abacos. It was delicious.
Rake and Scrape
04/13/2008, Marsh Harbour, Great Abaco, Bahamas
April 10...Marsh Harbor.
Our plan for the day was to wax and work on stainless. In reality we spent most to the time reading. I did get one side of the boat waxed, although the waves and wakes made it difficult. Kathy finished the stainless in the cockpit. In the afternoon "Fine Lion" sailed into the harbor . We had met Steve and Kim in Georgetown when Sam and Erin were visiting. They dinghied over later in the afternoon and we decided to go to Snappa's for dinner and "Rake and Scrape." Steve and Carol joined us as well.
For dinner Kathy had a grilled shrimp salad and I had a grilled conch dish that was interesting.... they marinated the conch in coconut rum and some kind of fruit juice. Then, with plantains, onions and sweet potatoes, they put everything in in foil and grilled for about 30 minutes.
The "Rake and Scrape" was not as good as the one in Eddie's but interesting. We stayed talking with Kim and Steve until about 11 before heading back to the boat.