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.
Thompson's Bay, Long Island
After coffee this morning I emptied a locker located under the aft end of our settee. It was beginning to smell a little musty. The canned goods were fine but there were some cargo bags and cardboard that were damp. I mixed up some bleach and water in the sink and wiped the area down then left everything out to dry for a few hours.
We packed our dirty laundry from our laundry bag to the water resistant duffel that we use to keep things dry in the dinghy and headed for shore into two foot waves. (Yes the wind is still blowing 25 knots) At the shoreline we turned south in calm water for the three mile run down to Long Island Breeze where there are three washers.
There was a line in the laundry but we didn't really anything better to do today so it wasn't a problem. I took the dinghy to the fuel dock and loaded up 25 gallons of water and ran pack to "Sapphire" to off load. By the time I returned our clothes were washed but Kathy was waiting for a drier.
We worked on the computer and eventually the driers were available. After a nice lunch, Kathy ran across the street to pick up some dish soap while I slowly down loaded some software. When we finished it was back to the boat to put things away and put together some pickle wraps for the beach gathering at 4:30 that "Tilt" had set up.
We did get to just sit for awhile before the dinghies heading to shore signaled that it was time to push off again. It is always fun at these gathering because there are always new folks to meet and old friend to touch base. While doing laundry we met Carol and Dave from "Passport." On the back of Dave's shirt was a map of Lake Charlevoix which served as a conversation starter. While talking to him at the party it surfaced that they used to live in Grand Ledge and are good friends of Bruce and Helena Traverse who are long time residents of Carson City.
Back at the boat we listened to the Spartans play Michigan but I fell asleep just after halftime and don't have a clue how the game ended.
Dinner at Trifina's
Thompson's Bay, Long Island
I made blueberry muffins for breakfast, (out of a packet) which we downed in minutes. Tom on "Brilliant" called to say that they had rented a car for the day and if we needed anything could drive us. We made plans to meet them on shore around noon. Meanwhile on the VHF I heard Sharon on "About Time" call in to Trifina at Club Thompson Bay to see if she could make dinner for a group. Trifina is known for putting together authentic Bahamian meals but her knees are bad she is not always available to cook. Today however she was fine and after talking to Sharon put out a call to everyone in the Bay. Barry happened by at the time and thought we should sign up so I call in a reservation for 8 without talking to half of the group who was out and about.
Our morning was spent reading and minor boat chores. Tom called a little before noon and we went in to the beach to meet them. Meanwhile Steve called to see if there was room for him to make the trip as well. Any it ended up being Tom, Susan, Susan, Steve, Kathy and I heading south for the bank and to run some other errands.
The most eventful stop was at a Max's Conch Stand which was a thatched hut along the road with about 12 bar stools. There were 4 or 5 folks sitting around but there were enough stools left for our group. Max was a treat.and we had a beer while talking to him. I really wanted to try the special.pan fried Hog fish, but ended up ordering a conch salad with most everyone else. There was a container of conch salad already prepared but there wasn't enough to make five salads so Max got busy chopping. In a few minutes he served up one of the best conch salads we've had. Tom ordered conch fritters which were also exceptional.
We returned to Island Breeze to drop off Steve and Susan and then headed to the grocery for a few items. Then we dropped off Tom and Susan at their dinghy and drove their Rental Car to the beach where we had left our dinghy. (Sam.it is the same beach where you and Erin hid from the rain under the table)
Back at the boat we read for an hour and changed for dinner before braving the waves on the way back to the beach. There ended up being 41 people for dinner at Trifina's, most of whom we had met at some point along the way. The meal consisted of curried chicken, ribs, cracked conch, jerked pork, Bahamian Mac and cheese, peas and rice, potatoes salad, and Cole slaw. Most everyone ate enough to last a couple of days.
The tide had come in and we had to wade to retrieve our dinghies before heading back to our boats.
We read for a while and then watched an episode of "Cold Case" before going to bed.
Thompson's Bay, Long Island Feb. 8th
After spending the day on the boat yesterday, it was time for me to get away. I dinghied over to "Fine Lion" for a visit, and then motored over to "Night Hawk." There was a solid consensus that we need to go for a walk this afternoon.
After spending most of the morning reading, we headed to shore abut 2pm and hiked about a mile out the point to Parrots where we had a beer before walking back.
With constant winds between 20 and 25 knots we have been very happy with the output of the Windbugger. At 20 knots it's putting out a steady 5 amps and at 25 knots, 10 amps. We've seen as high as 16 amps in gusts. Along with our solar panels, we are creating more power than we can use.