05/05/2008, Green Turtle Cay
May 3rd...Green Turtle Cay
It was rainy in the morning so we spent quite a while reading, making breakfast and cooking up some black beans. Green Turtle is the last town we will be seeing before we hit the States, and tomorrow is Sunday and the stores here will be closed so any provisioning will have to be done today.
We could have used eggs and butter but probably have enough of both to make it back. I did squeeze one of our jerry cans of fuel into the tank and then went into shore to get the can refilled @$5.74 per gallon.
After wasting a little more time waiting for the weather to clear (and it did), we headed for the Festival. We wandered both the festival grounds and the town for awhile talking to friends and checking out the food vendors again. In the evening there was Junkanoo (junk-a-new) which is a Bahamian parade similar to Mardigras. Normally, Junkanoos occur on boxing day 12/26 (all night) and New Years Day. Junkanoo stems from a slave by the name of John Canoe who demanded that he be allowed to visit his family on other islands during the Christmas season. (they think)
There was music well into the evening including a "pop" concert by the Bahamas Royal Police Pop Band.
A festive occasion
05/04/2008, Green Turtle Cay
May 2nd... Green Turtle Cay ( Island Roots Heritage Festival)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY LEAH!
Sam ... We were in a Beach restaurant called Tippy's in Eleuthera and I spotted Ms Carey's photo on the wall with the owner's son. It was a nice place and the food was excellent (I had a lobster salad roll-up) but is wasn't over the top or anything like that. You didn't need to wear shoes or anything. We knew that she hung there. The other photo we saw there was of Matthew McConaughey
Anyway we had a wonderful day at the festival here in Green Turtle and will probably end up there again tomorrow afternoon for music. It may be a little hard to explain. First, the festival grounds double for a jetty just about the size of a football field there is water on all sides except for the roadway in one corner that connects it to the town of New Plymouth. Opposite that corner there was a stage erected with a roof. On one of the long sides were a row of about 15 smallish tents without sides where the food and drink vendors were set up. The food was all done by local groups and individuals and were all Bahamian: Conch chowder, fritters, burgers and bites, Jerked chicken, BAR B Q ribs, Grouper fingers, sandwiches, and dinners. Deep fried lobster, sides of peas and rice, crab and rice, slaw, and mac and cheese.
On the other long side of the area, were a similar row of tents that housed crafts and things for sale. Most were of reasonably high quality. In the middle were three large tents with picnic tables.
At noon we watched the opening ceremony including a five minute prayer and the introduction of the actors. We wandered around and split a conch salad for lunch. It was evident that nothing much was going to happen until later in the afternoon so six of us walked across town to a beach to hike. We found some shells and Jim and I each found a sea bean (sea beans are a big deal here).
On our way back though town we stopped at the Blue Bee... which is a bar /restaurant known for their Goombay Smashes (read Rum Punch). They were as good as advertised, not too sweet and not too rummy which is a minor problem here because the rum costs less by far that the juice or mix.
Back at the Festival we listened to the Royal Bahamian Police Band and then watched a group of girls perform a Maypole Dance. Later, the Prime Minister of the Bahamas arrived driving his own golf cart. He worked the crowd for an hour or so before being recalled to the stage with some other dignitaries for speeches. We retired to a plate of ribs, crab rice, and mac and cheese..
After dinner we listened to a Rake and Scrape band before heading back to the boat just a dusk. We were able to listen to the remaining acts from the boat. Tomorrow I'd like to attend one of historical lectures presented by a local author who has written three books on the influence of the Loyalists who migrated here in the days of the American Revolution.
May 1st...Bakers Bay to Green Turtle
The wind was blowing 15 to 20 from the NE when we got up but the ocean swells were not breaking in the South Whale Cay Cut. We watched " Kelly Rae" head out heading to the north and with the binoculars could see that while they the rolled around a bit, didn't seem to have much trouble. So after the weather we battened down the hatches. Took the outboard off the dinghy and got everything loose tied down. We hoisted anchor at about 8:30 and were off with "Madcap" about 800 meters behind.
In about a mile we left the shelter of a few little islands and were in the Cut proper. It was rolly. Swells from the north west were about 6 to 8 feet with about a 4 second period while the wind was from the southeast. The seas were confused but not too scary. We had our staysail and mizzen up and the motor running for back up but couldn't follow our planned course. With the frequency of the swell being virtually nothing, we couldn't take them on the beam so we headed into them about 30 degrees to make the ride bearable. When we got to a point just shy of dead upwind of the North Whale Channel, we hung a left and surfed back through to the somewhat protected waters of the banks.
For a while into Green Turtle we sailed at 5 knots on just our mizzen and staysail. When we arrived and got anchored, it was time for some lunch. Jim and Nancy from "Solitaire" came over to welcome us to the anchorage-they got here yesterday. We read and rested a bit, then headed into town for a look around and to release the little hermit crab on a beach.
We met up with "Madcap" and "Solitaire" and we all checked out the Captain Roland Roberts house. It is a restored home, built in the 1800's and run by the Reef Relief organization, so much of the interior is dedicated to educating people about the reefs and how to visit them safely. They also took donations, of course. We watched a video about reefs that was quite interesting. They also have a Bahamian bush medicine garden that was pretty cool. Jim and Nancy headed for the museum, while we went with Jim and Beth to the fish store. He only had red snapper today and Beth bought some. We picked up a few groceries and headed back to the boat. At 4:00, we all headed over to Pineapples, a little waterfront bar, for happy hour and to use computers. After a couple of hours of conversation, we headed back to our boats for dinner.
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.