05/11/2008, Allans-Pensacola Cay
May 7th...Allans Pensacola Cay
We sailed part of the way, but ended up motoring slowly the rest of the way. Allans Pensacola is a deserted cay where the U.S. had a missile tracking station during the cold war. There are supposed to be ruins and a nice beach to see, so after we got anchored and checked the anchors (Nancy dove on them), the crews of "Sapphire" and "Soitaire" headed out in our dinghies.
We found the remains of an old dock and saw "things" hanging from a tree. This usually means there if a trail there, and we were not disappointed. We followed the trail where a road used to be for about ½ mile to the other side of the island. We came upon a signing tree which is a tree where boaters have signed there name on all sorts of driftwood, old wine bottles, and other things that had drifted in from sea.
Nancy and I walked the beach looking for treasures while Mike and Jim walked the high water line looking for washed up junk and possible treasures. We found a few shells, Jim found one sea bean and we found some small sea beans in an odd place that must have been deposited by a hurricane. We also found some ruins and old wells. We did not drink the water.
We discussed leaving for the states tomorrow from Allans Pensacola, or possibly going to Great Sale Cay and leaving from there on the 9th. We would like to stay longer, but it doesn't look like we'll have the weather for a crossing for quite some time if we don't go now. "Madcap" finally arrived and they have decided they are not ready to go back and will be staying for a weather window in the next few weeks. We will be sad to leave them.
05/11/2008, Manjack Cay, Abacos, Bahamas
Our plan was to leave today but didn't. "Restless" took off for Great Sale Cay and plans on making the trip back tomorrow. We just weren't ready to leave yet. In the morning we dinghied into the mangroves and found some nice conch. It was a neat trip motoring up as far as we could go, probably about a mile, and then floating with the ebbing current back to where we started.
Be the time we got the conch cleaned it was two o'clock and we decided to stay. I fried up some cracked conch for dinner and took a plate over to "Solitaire" which resulted in an invitation. So we spent most of the evening with Jim and Nancy.
The weather is not going to be conducive for a crossing until next Tuesday at the soonest but we will slowly work our way up a few miles every day beginning tomorrow.
Sea biscuit beach
05/06/2008, Manjack Cay
May 5th... Manjack Cay
High tide was about 9am and we needed the water to get our dinghy out a shallow cut into the ocean. At the mouth, we found lots of conch but none large enough to take home. Jim and Nancy were a little luckier and at least found one nice one. The ocean was a calm as we've ever seen as we motored south and explored a beach on an uninhabited cay. We continued south around the island, through a cut back into the bank side and ended up at the same beach that Kathy and I had explored yesterday. After wasting most of the morning we headed back to the boat for some lunch.
In the afternoon, in the company of the crews of "Solitaire" and "Madcap", we went to shore and met the lady who is responsible for our wifi access here. Leslie and her husband, Bill, were boaters who ended up purchasing this spot on the Cay about 16 years ago. They have a wonderful place and have created hiking trails that cover most of the island. We walked about a mile to the ocean side and spent a few hours on an uninhabited beach about 2 miles long.
On our return, we had to prepare some snacks for Nancy's Mexican potluck birthday party. I made cottage cheese dip and some bean and cheese quesadillas that ended up being well received. There was a corn and bean salad, chicken enchiladas, and a chocolate birthday cake for desert.
Tomorrow we will move north about 5 miles to Powell Cay which is a deserted island that we have heard good things about. This will probably be our last communication for a while as we spend a few days in some of the remote north eastern barrier islands.
Although some of our group would like to stay in the islands for a couple more weeks we can't really last that long without water and will be looking for a weather window to return to the states within the next 5 or 6 days. However, we are traveling with folks who have water makers and if there is not a safe weather window for our crossing within this time period, we may be here longer.... so those of you who have the tendency to worry...don't.