01/01/2009, White Point
January 4th, 2009 White Point, Great Guana, Exumas
We left Big Majors at about 8:30 with calm seas and blue skies heading south. Passing Black Point, we continued on a few miles to Isaac Bay. There are coral head here as well as some good rocks for fishing. .
We arrived at about 11:30 and were in the water by noon. On the first coral head we got one lobster and Barry killed a few lion fish. There was another lobster but he was so far under a rock that we couldn't get a spear in him. Lion fish are an invasive species with no predators and will soon take over the place. We saw a few last year and this year they are everywhere.
At the next spot we saw a nice grouper but they are out of season at this time so we let him go. Kathy and I found another head in deeper water where we got three more lobsters. While we were snorkeling "Fine Lion" pulled in and Steve and Kim were soon in the water.
After 3 hours of swimming I was pooped, so we returned to our boats and decided to go back north to White Bay for the night. In Isaac Bay there is about 3 inches of sand with rock underneath...not good for holding.
We hauled the anchor and furled both of our head sails for the 3 mile run. It was pleasant traveling at about 3 knots in the warm afternoon sun with no engine noise.
We anchored in White Bay where there is a great beach. Later the six of us met there for some wine and cheese. When we returned to the boat I used some of our canned beef to make beef and noodles. We also heated up some green beans and had a great dinner out of cans..
Hunting Lobster in the Rain
January 3rd, 2009 Big Majors Spot, Exumas
During the night it rained on and off but by daylight it poured in earnest. It was the single rainiest day we've had in the Bahamas. A squall would slide through about every 30 minutes dumping another half inch of rain in five minutes. Then the sun would pop through for a little while before the next deluge.
We spent the morning reading. I tried to come up with something to cook or bake but nothing sounded very good so I kept reading.
Steve stopped over on his way back from town to say that they were heading south today to get a change of scenery. We're planning on doing the same tomorrow and will catch up with them.
A little before noon Barry came over to see if I wanted to go lobster hunting and returned a few minutes later with Susan to pick me up. We snorkeled some perfect looking edges and rocks for a couple of hours without seeing a lobster. We did see some trigger fish that we should have shot for supper, but once you shoot fish it's best to move to another location. There are so many people passing through this anchorage that lobsters are just scarce.
We did get caught in a downpour while moving from one spot to another. I rained so hard that Barry and I put our masks on to be able to see through the pelting rain. Luckily there were no cameras.
As we returned to the boat "Perseverance II) was anchoring so we checked their anchor and Tom invited us over for snacks at 4:40. After a late lunch, I made a pesto-pizza and we headed back for a visit.
We returned to "Sapphire" around dark and listened to the Spartans beat Northwestern. Then is an episode of NCIS before bed.
Aground in Fresh Creek
12/29/2008, 24 43.49'N:77 47.26'W
December 29th. Morgan's Bluff to Fresh Creek, Andros, Bahamas
We left Morgan's Bluff with about 15 knots of wind form the southeast. We could sail but were pointing so high that the correct series of waves stopped us dead in the water. So we left the engine on, idling along to keep our momentum up into the three foot seas.
I had three lines out but failed to even get a bite. Barry and Susan had about 4 strikes and landed one Mahi. I don't think we were doing anything different. There is a "no fish zone" all along the banks here, but I thought we were out far enough to be legal. As we neared Fresh Creek a helicopter from the fish police buzzed us but after looking at the map and our track on the GPS, we had never been within a half mile of the protected area.
I led the way into Fresh Creek which is narrow and shallow. We called the marina but there was no answer. We did get a response from Lucke, whom we had met a few day's ago in Morgan's Bluff. He is moored here and knows his way around. I made a spin outside the marina while Kathy called them on the phone. The lady said to just park anywhere. Lucke had told us of a government dock where we could spend the night a little further up the Creek so we continued in to check it out. We passed Lucke's catamaran and another when a lady popped up and said "Go State" in response to our Michigan State Flag flying below our Bahamian courtesy flag. As I chatted with her we went aground. According to the chart we were in 7 feet of water but our sounder said 3.5. On the starboard side of the boat there appeared to be about 6 feet of water, but on the port side there was about 3 feet. We couldn't move. There was no kedging to be done because the bottom is rock covered with an inch of sand. There wasn't enough wind to raise a sail to heel us a little either.
With low tide an hour away we didn't have any choice but to stay where we were until there was enough water to float us off. Lucke came over in his dinghy and we went in to look at the government dock. There was a lot of water, but no cleats to tie to. Back onboard, I lowered the dinghy and dropped the motor in place with Kathy's help. Then I drove up to chat with "Night Hawk" and "Perseverance II" to tell them that we were just going to sit until the tide changed.
By then it was about low tide. We hadn't eaten much today and we had the time, so I made beef stew with dumplings which turned out quite well even though I used canned beef. I went over to the government dock to attach some lines to rocks, pipes cemented into the ground and old rerod protruding from the crumbling wall while Kathy talked to Abby, Jake and Sam.
Fur hours later, as I was preparing to run over to pick up Tom and Barry help us tie to the wall, Lucke came over and pushed us off with his dinghy. He deposited his wife Karen on the wall and then prepared to use his dinghy as a tug pushing us sideways if necessary. We were with the current which is usually not the thing to do but in this case there was no choice. On the first attempt we ended up too far from the wall and had to come around again. We went a little further up stream on the second attempt and slid slowly next to the other boats on the wall until we reached our spot and then tucked in behind a little power boat. I put the engine in reverse at about 1500 rpms to stop us while Kathy and Karen secured the lines. We were there. We thanked Henry and Karen (Lucke is their last name) who invited us over when we were properly tied and fendered.
As the sun set on Fresh Creek, we dinghied over to the marina to chat with our friends there and then on to "Phoenix" to drop off a pint of maple syrup to Henry and Karen for their assistance. We stayed for an hour or so to chat. They used to have a place in Michigan up by Kalkaska.
By the time we returned to the boat it was time for an episode of "House" and then to bed. Tomorrow we'll be crossing the Tongue of the Ocean and about 30 miles of the Great Bahama Banks to get over to the Exumas.