Our guests arrive!
02/21/2009, George Town to Long Island
February 20th, 2009 Hog Cay to Thompson's Bay Long Island
Before we left this morning Jake and I joined Barry and Susan in searching for a spear that had jumped out of their yesterday afternoon. We traced their movement as well as Barry could remember them but came up empty. Luckily he has two back-ups.
We were all tired of rolling side to side and got the anchor up about 8. It was a twenty mile trip south to Thompson's Bay. There was no wind and Jake and Abby spent most of the time on the foredeck getting some sun and watching the bottom for starfish, coral heads, and the occasional fish. The water was never over 14 feet deep and most of the time was closer to 8 feet. We had left without breakfast so Jake and Kathy whipped up some bagels and cream cheese on the way.
There were about 20 boats in the anchorage when we arrived a little after noon, but there is lots of room here for everyone. We anchored close to where we were located a couple of weeks ago where we visited here. There was still some Mac and Cheese left over for lunch which we had a little while later before getting our snorkeling stuff loaded into the dinghy.
It was about a 2 mile drive back to the mouth of the Bay where there were some likely looking rock formations. The water was roiled up some and it was a little hard to see but I did take a shot a nice grouper... only to miss. It was an easy shot and I have no idea how I could have missed. Jake had spent last evening with the fish book trying to learn which ones were good to eat and which ones to leave alone. He saw some nice ones today but didn't get any shooting.
After returning to "Sapphire" and showering on the foredeck with the solar shower, we read for a couple of hours and then motored over to a little tiki bar called "Parrots" for hamburgers for dinner.
It was dark when we returned. Jake and Abby crashed almost immediately. Kathy read and I tried to get this blog caught up a little. It's hard with company to take the time to type up the days events and get them posted.
February 19th, 2009 George Town to Hog Cay, Long Island
After the weather we packed up and by about 8am had the anchor up and were on our way out of the George Town. The cut into the sound was rough but when we got out to deep water, things smoothed down. We sailed with a double reefed main and jib most of the way but added sail as the wind steadily lost its push. Although the conditions were poor, the fishing was terrible. Neither Barry or I had a bite until we hit shallow water and Jake picked up a Barracuda.
We anchored in Hog Cay around noon and had some lunch before shortly after. Then dropped the dinghy into the water and loaded up with snorkel gear. We toured Joe's Sound for a while but it was high tide and the flats were under water so we couldn't see much.
Then we stopped a small reef to let Jake and Abby snorkel. We had a great time swimming through the coral and checking out all the fish. Abby got a little cold after a while (water temps were 76) but Jake was hard to get out of the water. Returning to the boat we read for a while before boiling some Lobster for dinner. There were some left- over ocean swells making their way into the anchorage which made for an uncomfortable night with Sapphire rolling side to side.
February 18th, 2009 George Town, Exumas
After coffee Jake and I went to shore for a load of water and returned to make some breakfast. With the water mostly loaded and the boat picked up a little we went to shore to wander around town giving Abby and Jake a feel for the town. We bought a loaf of homemade coconut bread, went to the bank and picked up a couple of items at the grocery.
We returned to the boat and had some lunch and loaded the remaining water. At about 2 we dinghied across the harbor to the Chat and Chill. It didn't take long for either Abby or Jake to feel at home in the shade of Casuarina trees.
I played a few hands of bridge but mostly we just sat in the shade and chatted with friends.
On our return Jake and I made another water run before thinking about dinner. We had Mahi fingers for dinner with some left over Mac and Cheese and then watched an episode of "House" before going to bed.
Feb 17th... George Town, Exumas
The wind came up in the night and we were rocking and rolling again. After coffee, we started cleaning and cooking. I made a batch of brownies in the morning and then in the afternoon, I put together Bahamian Mac and cheese and a tuna seviche.
Kathy cleaned everything... Sapphire hasn't been this clean in a long time.
At about 5 pm I took the dinghy to shore to pick up Jake and Abby who arrived shortly after. We got a little wet getting back to the boat but nothing like Sam's trip last year.
We had dinner and talked for a while afterward. At about 7pm our friends Barry, Susan, Kim and Steve braved the waves come over to meet Abby and Jake and say good bye to Kim who is flying to Colorado in the morning. It was cold, but we had a nice time as always.
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.