Hog Cay, Long Island
At 8am this morning I was off to "Brilliant" to collect Tom and Susan for our fishing tournament. Barry left both his and Steve's dinghies there to make fishing easier from their boats. We got our anchors up almost immediately and were headed for deep water about 2 miles away. There was a $6 per boat entry fee. Largest fish and most fish split the pot. Barracuda's didn't count.
Once in about 200 feet of water we followed the drop off north to the end of the island and then continued north out the beyond Cape Santa Maria. There were probably about 6 other fishing vessels in the area and some of them were catching fish. We however, came up empty. We did land a Barracuda and found some real promising mats of weeds but couldn't catch anything for supper.
We trolled around most of the morning without success and finally headed back to the anchorage around 1pm. The other boats came back empty as well so there were no losers.
After returning Tom and Susan to their boat we had some lunch and I got the snorkel gear out and checked the bottom of our boat. I found some twine wrapped around our prop shaft and took care of that. There were a few very small barnacles on the prop that I scraped off as well. I wiped down the water line but the bottom was amazingly clean.
We spent the rest of the afternoon reading and baked some chicken for dinner before watching an episode of "Cold Case".
Kathy & Mike
Bains Bluff to Hog Cay
We left Bains Bluff around 9am and motored north along the west side of Long Island. The trip was uneventful andwe arrived at noon at Hog Cay. After some lunch we loaded up our snorkeling gear and took off to explore the area. We had a nice swim but didn't really find much to shoot. Barry got one small lobster and we saw lots of small grouper but the area seems to be worked quite hard. We did see some huge rays. Two of them were buried in the sand and swam away in a cloud of sand as I was about 6 feet away. They all had wing spans of around 5 feet and were impressive once I recovered from the shock.
The three crews "Sapphire", "Fine Lion", and "Night Hawk" got together at that point and explored Joe's Sound as far as we could before chancing getting stuck in an outgoing tide. Then we rafted up and floated downstream for a mile or so. The ladies wanted to swim so we took a side creek that led into the flats and motored up are about 400 yards until it got shallow enough to get in and out of the dinghies easily. After sitting in the warm water for awhile we hiked up stream a few hundred yards . got back in the water and floated back to the dinghies.
We were back onboard "Sapphire" at about 4 and put together some Bahamian Mac and Cheese for Kathy's birthday party on "Fine Lion." At about five we went over to "Fine Lion" and were joined by "Brilliant" and "Night Hawk". We had snacks. and Mac and Cheese, played a dice game called "Left right center"(Hmm, Kathy's had a little experience with that game in someone's basement party room) and then a dessert of cake, cookies and ice cream. We all had a great time.
On the move again....
Thompson's Bay to Bain's Bluff
We left Thompson's Bay around noon and sailed north in 20 knots of wind, averaging between 6 and 7 knots with our jib. After only about 10 miles, we stopped at Bain's Bluff in Alligator Bay for a little protection from the east.
After getting the boat secured for the evening, we took the dinghy to the little settlement of Simms and wandered around a little before stopping at the "Blue Chip" which is the only restaurant in town. We found Steve and Kim digging to a plate of cracked conch. Neither of us was hungry so we ordered a beer and watched them eat.
After returning to the boat we read in the cockpit and watched a great sunset before heating up some leftovers for dinner.
The lack of wind was a little weird this evening. For the first time in almost three weeks the constant drone of wind in the rigging was absent.
.As an aside. The Thompson's Bay / Salt Pond area has become much more cruiser friendly. The opening of Long Island Breeze has provided laundry facilities, showers, and offers a drop off service for propane. For the first time there is a reasonable dinghy dock in Salt Pond in all but west winds.
There is free wireless service at Club Thompson Bay, Island Breeze, and will be coming soon to Parrots.
Michael at Island Breeze operates a daily VHF net with good weather, headline news and an open mike for questions and answers. He and Jackie bend over backwards to make life easier for those of us at anchor in the harbor. Mike ran us to the bank the first day we were here. a trip of about 12 miles and set up a taxi service from Thompson's Bay to Salt Pond when it was too windy to travel by dinghy.
There are two grocery stores that are well stocked and four restaurants within either walking or dinghy distance. Fox's Auto operates a car rental service and is happy to pick up cruisers at the beach. There is a marine store that has most of the basic cruising needs.
During our 12 day stay we found everyone to be extremely friendly and helpful.