Mike and Kathy
05/04/2008, Bakers Bay, Great Guana Cay
April 29th....Treasure Cay to Baker's Bay
We left Treasure at around 9:30 and had a brisk sail almost due east to Bakers Bay, a trip of about 12 miles. Baker's Bay is a resort that is in various stages of completion. The very northern end of the bay seems to have quite a few completed buildings... and we know that guests stay there so that area must be finished. The remainder of the property... a couple of miles of shoreline is all being developed at this time. Although cruisers are allowed on the beaches... to the high water line, they are not welcome on the property. They are building a large marina and guests there will have the run of the place.
It's not all that desirable an anchorage but from there you can see the "Whale Cay Cut" and can better judge its condition. There is also some great shelling on Spoil Cay about a mile to the west.
As we arrived "Solitaire" was just getting ready to traverse the Whale passage and we were in the process of deciding whether to join them when "Madcap" arrived from Fisher's Bay. Beth wanted to go shelling ... and the Whale looked a little bad, so our decision was made.
There aren't really many good beaches in the Bahamas for shells. The Atlantic side is almost all protected by reefs which have the tendency of grinding all the shells into pink sand. Spoils island, because it is located just inside a rather deep cut, is different and there are shells everywhere, although they are mostly small.
We spent a couple of hours wandering the island collecting and playing with hermit crabs before heading back to the boat. When we got back to the boat we discovered that one of our shells had crawled out of the bag and was walking in the bottom of the dinghy. (I knew I wasn't supposed to pick up the shells with legs!) We made a little home in a bowl with some pink sand we had collected and fed it some lettuce, which seemed to make it happy.
Beth and Jim invited us to dinner to try out a new coconut chicken recipe. As always, we had very pleasant evening with the Madcap sailors.
Stone crab claws
04/30/2008, Treasure Cay, Abaco, Bahamas
April 29...Treasure Cay
The weather forecast today was for a cold front to pass bringing rain and squalls. High pressure will fill in behind and the next few days will be windy. We are currently in the position where to move north in the Abacos we have to "go through the whale" which simply means that we have to go through the cut on the south end of Whale Cay into the ocean.....head north for about a mile and then back through a cut on the north end of the island to sheltered water.
The high pressure system that will be in place for the next two or three days will pile up water from the NE in the cuts to the point that will probably stay on the south side of the Whale... at least until Friday or Saturday.
Today we spent mostly doing computer work since we have and excellent connection. I went ashore in the morning and picked up 20 gallons of water. Later we went back in to go to the bank and the hardware store. On the way back we purchased 5 pounds of stone crab claws from a guy on the dock.
After lunch we read until the squall came through which was a great time to wash the decks. After the sun returned, we jumped back in the dinghy and explored the canals here in Treasure. The place is much larger that we were aware. At some point in time fifteen or twenty years ago this place was a mangrove swamp. Someone dug about a 4 miles of canals, complete with cement break walls. A marina and resort were built and then a small mall consisting of two buildings with maybe 10 stores were put up. Lots were sold in the area of the resort and today one of the two main canals is almost entirely built up with homes.
The other canal is mostly wild land ... there is a sign that says that a new resort is coming soon but no sign of building. It's an interesting place but much more like Florida that the Bahamas.
Steve and Carol stopped by later for some snacks and after they wore off (the snacks that is) we pigged out on crab claws. They range from as big as my hand down to about fist sized and are always sold precooked and frozen. We just thaw them out and heat up some butter....
Lunch on the beach again
04/29/2008, Treasure Cay, Bahamas
April 28...Treasure Cay
After coffee and the net I dinghied over to "Restless" and borrowed Steve's hooka. This particular model consists of a DC air pump connected to a garden hose and a mouth piece. With a weight belt, it allows a person to stay underwater indefinitely. Today's task was to clean and scrape our hull.
Donning my wet suit, mask and fins, I was over the side. First, using a wire brush I worked on the prop. It wasn't bad, but seemed a little rough. Next I began the process of cleaning the hull with a three inch scraper. The top half wasn't bad because I have been able to reach that area with a large brush and have worked on it three of four times here in the Bahamas. The bottom half had some longish thin grass like stuff that came off with little effort. The difficult part was the bottom of the keel that didn't get as much bottom paint last spring because Sapphire was in a cradle. We will not make that mistake again. It was covered with barnacles and took some muscle to scrape off. After about three hours under water I was finished.....in more ways than one.
We went to shore with Steve and Carol for some lunch and a hike on the beach. On our return we stopped at the store and looked around the little downtown area.
What there was left of the afternoon was spent reading and putting together some goulash for dinner.
April 27...Marsh Harbor
I took some trash to shore in the morning and chatted with some of the boats anchored in our area. Our friend Tom from "Startin' Monday" in flying into Marsh Harbor tomorrow to help "Northern Star 2" back to the States and we would like to make sure our paths crossed. So, I spoke with Gary the captain about their plans. It looks like we may be able to Hook up in Fishers Bay on Tuesday.
We were trying to get out anchor up before the first of the day's Sunfish races started, but Michael, from "Valkyrie" stopped by to chat for a few minutes. By the time we finished the racers were upon us and Kathy had to dodge a little to get out of the anchorage.
We had a wonderful downwind sail to Treasure Cay, at about 4.5 kts. The trip was only 15 miles so we really weren't concerned about any speed records. We caught a little barracuda to liven things up for a moment but otherwise we plodded along reading our books.
Treasure Cay was reasonably full and we ended up with our stern in the main drag ... which the fishermen use to get to the banks. We were going to move forward but another boat pulled in and dropped their anchor directly in front of us. We decided to move in the morning when boats leave the area.
There is a potential weather window opening up next week for our trip back to the States but we're not entirely sure that we are ready to leave..... we'll just have to wait and see.