Sunset at Manjack Cay
05/06/2008, Manjack Cay
May 4th... Green Turtle to Manjack Cay
During the morning we moved up to Manjack Cay which is about 5 miles north of Green Turtle. It is well protected from all directions except for the west and has very few homes. After getting a hook down we had some lunch and read for awhile.
At about two pm we took off in the dinghy to go exploring the island to our south. At first our outboard was acting up but we got up on plane and ran across the bay to a very shallow cut into the ocean. Unfortunately, it was too close to low tide. I tried to pole the boat through but had to give up. When we got back to deeper water the motor wouldn't start. We got a tow from some friends to a point that was directly up wind from Sapphire and began our drift back to Sapphire. After a few minutes, I tried the outboard and it seemed fine so we reversed our course and went around the island in the other direction. It was mostly rocky and the bottom had quite a bit of grass which is usually good for conch. The only ones we saw though were too small to eat.
We did find a small secluded beach with hundreds of sea biscuits, shells and other treasures. Before heading back I rigged a line to both sides of the transom of our dinghy with a large loop behind. With snorkel, mask and fins, I had Kathy drag me through the shallow water looking for conch. It's a Bahamian trick used to find areas of conch that we learned from Barry on "Night Hawk". You can cover lot of ground in a hurry this way but again all the conch that I saw were small. I did see some large scallops but need to do some research on them before I start collection.
Shortly after our return to Sapphire the crews of "Madcap" and "Solitaire" came along side to toast our safe return. They had heard of our motor problems, and when we didn't show up, went out to find us. Although we strive for self sufficiency, knowing that we have folks looking out for us comforting. Our adventure during the last few months has been truly enhanced by the wonderful people that we've met along the way.
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.