Big Majors Spot to Black Point
04/07/2009, Black Point
We listened to Chris Parker and packed up to head to Black Point. No anchorage will be comfortable for the next few days, but it's a shorter ride to shore to watch the game at Black Point.
We arrived at Black Point and Matt and Mike went to shore to get a big load of water. I packed up the laundry and Mike took me in to get started on the washing while Ellie and Matt took showers and got cleaned up.
We went to Lorraine's Cafe to do some internet work and Mike went back to get the kids. We had some lunch with "Fine Lion" at Lorraine's and everyone got their internet fix.
We did a little shopping at Adderly's grocery store and headed back to the boat for some reading and naps. We had a little cheese and crackers to tide us over and then went to shore at about 7:30 to have some pizza and watch the game with "Fine Lion".
Needless to say, we found the game a little disappointing and we all agreed to head back to the boat at half time. We listened to updates, but it didn't get any better so we all turned in for the night.
Go State, again!!
04/06/2009, Black Point, Great Guana Cay
Abby, Flying Pig is the name of a boat.
April 5th, 2009 Big Majors Spot, Exumas
The seas were still calm, for the first time this year, so after breakfast we dinghied over to Thunderball Cave to do some snorkeling. We spent quite a bit of time swimming before heading back for lunch. After wasting some time on the boat we took off again exploring some of the Cays to our north and a little more snorkeling.
We finished the afternoon reading. I grilled a pork loin for dinner which we had with some fresh spinach and potatoes. It was nice to be able to get around in the dinghy without getting splashed.
April 4th, 2009 Big Majors Spot, Exumas
We were up at 6:30 am to listen to Chris Parker. There are two cold fronts on their way here and the second may take some thinking about where we want to be anchored.
I made some breakfast for Mom and Anne and we loaded their baggage into the dinghy for the trip ashore to the airport. We arrived a little early and the plane arrived about an hour late so we had a nice time waiting. There were 14 passengers flying out this morning and the plane only held 9. The Company had dispatched another plane for the overflow but it hadn't arrived. Some of the folks were unhappy but there was nothing to do...
Mom and Anne were seated on the first plane and it headed for Nassau. I returned to Isles General where I had left the dinghy and purchased a few vegetables before heading back to "Sapphire."
Kathy almost had the boat cleaned and picked up by the time I got back. We finished up and killed a little time before heading back to the Airport to pick up Matt and Ellie.
Their plane was only about 20 minutes late so our wait was minimal. I loaded up their baggage and headed out on the 2 mile trip to "Sapphire" to unload while the rest of the crew walked to the Yacht Club to nail down the best seats for the game.
I met them a little later and we had 2 hours to kill before game time. Ellie and Matt hadn't eaten so we ordered some food. There was a happy hour in honor of the Final Four games from four to six so we also had some wings and vegetables.
It was interesting watching the game where the majority of the people really didn't care in the least. We had a great time watching our first game of the season.
The water was calm on our 2 mile trip back...
April 3rd, 2009 Sampson Cay to Big Majors
We were up at 6:30 for Chris Parker and had coffee in the cockpit. I worked on the computer for a while the ladies read or worked on crosswords.
At about 10 Kathy, Anne and I went in to the Marina to check out the store again and to pick up some frozen meat.
Anne picked up some trinkets to take home and Kathy found a shirt in the
$10 bin. Nothing much was happening so we returned to the boat and prepared for our move over to Big Majors. Our destination was only about a mile away, but we had to sail about 4 miles out and around an island to get there.
We moved in close to shore for the best possible protection and found a spot next to "Brilliant." There we 21 boats in the anchorage today.
We were planning on heading into Staniel but it was windy until just before dark so we stayed aboard all afternoon. Tom and Susan came over for dinner of Mac and Cheese (Susan) and Fish Tacos. Everything tasted good as usual and most of us ate way too much.
April 2nd, 2009 Black Point to Sampson Cay
After breakfast Kathy set up the printer and we both worked on printing our taxes. We just can't seem to find enough band width to efile so it's the old fashioned way this year. We also got Sam's taxes finished and printed so that Mom and Anne can take them back to the States to mail. Taxes done, we got the boat organized for travel and hauled up the anchor a little after 10. Winds from the Southeast at about 10 knots were advertised but once we cleared the headlands found them to be Southwest at 15 to 20 instead. It was a rolley, not quite downwind ride for a couple of hours. Once we rounded Harvey Cay the seas flattened out some and we made our way into Sampson without and trouble.
We did have a little excitement .... jibing in too much wind, but after starting the engine and altering course, we were able to get things going again without a trip to the bow.
There is nothing at Sampson's Cay except a very nice resort that includes the best marina we've seen this year. There is not much room to anchor but we found a place next to "Solitaire" and got the hook down and set. We were exposed to the south west and spent the afternoon rolling at anchor.
The leftover lobster was turned into chowder which made a nice lunch.
I transferred the 16 gallons of fuel from our jerry cans to our tank, which topped it off, and then went over to the marina to refill them. After lashing them back in place we were in business with a range of over 500 miles.
A little later Mom, Anne and I returned to the resort to look around a little more. There were some nurse sharks hanging around the fish cleaning station that were huge. We picked up some fresh spinach and a cucumber at the store and eventually headed back to the boat to read for the remainder of the afternoon.
I made beef stew for dinner which was a little change of pace. While it was in the over we decided that tomorrow we should have fish taco's but remembered that we had used up the last of our tortillas last week. We called over to Nancy next to us and in a few minutes had an unopened package of tortillas.
After a late dinner, we watched a movie about the life of Harvey Milk.
April 1st, 2009 Black Point, Exumas
I ran to shore for a load of water before breakfast while Anne took off with Susan from "Brilliant" to go for a walk. When she returned we had something to eat and then all of us returned to shore and headed north out of town where there is a trail to some small beaches on the eastern side of the Island. It was probably a mile and a half each way and by the time we returned to town it was time for lunch. There was a crowd a Lorraine's and it looked like we were in for a wait so I went back to the boat and picked up our computer.
It was slow but eventually we were able to answer our emails and post the latest Blog entries. Anne was able to chat with Ellie about the do's and don't of the Nassau airport.
We ended up spending most of the afternoon there with friends and loaded up our water jugs before returning to the boat. Jim and Nancy stopped over a little later for a visit and when they left, Tom and Susan motored over.
I boiled a couple of large lobsters for dinner and Kathy made a salad that was perfect.
March 31st, 2009 White Point to Black Point
After breakfast we weighed anchor and headed north to Black Point. "Solitaire" was behind us about a mile after beginning their day in Little Farmers Cay. We arrived around noon and anchored among friends. "Brilliant", "Veranda", "Inamorata", Lapidus, were all in the same neighborhood so "Solitaire" and "Sapphire" joined them.
We had some lunch and a little later Mom, Annie and I went to shore and walked around town for a while. We made the mandatory stop at Lorraine's for a beer and some sodas and then walked down to the grocery for some eggs and butter... except there was no butter. Anne and Mom did find some T-shirts however that were nice.
Everyone wanted to get together in the evening for a party but there were too many of us for a boat and there really aren't any good beaches here. Tom spoke with the Chief of Police who granted us permission to use their gazebo at Regatta Park. All of the little towns in the Bahamas have a park on the shore to view their annual sail boat race. The one in Black Point is very nice and has a reasonably sound dock.
Scorpio's (a local sports bar) was advertising a happy hour so a few of us loaded up our computers and stopped there on the way to the party. I needed to download some tax forms and their internet access is considerably faster than Lorraine's. In a few minutes I had what I needed and in a few more our taxes were finished.
There was a turnout of about 50 sailors at the party, half of whom we knew from our travels. I spent quite a bit of time talking to a couple from Traverse City who were interesting.
Kathy and I ate enough to call it supper but Mom and Anne made a sandwich when we retuned to the boat.
We watched some video before calling it a day.
04/01/2009, Black Point, Great Guana Cay
March 30th, 2009 Big Majors to White Point Exumas
After coffee and a breakfast of French toast made with coconut bread, we wasted some time on crossword puzzles and weaving. There seems to be no reason to hurry. We weighed anchor around 10 am and headed south for
White Point which is about 12 miles away. Motor sailing to the west for a few miles, we were soon able to make the angle to our destination with tacking.
The anchorage was empty so we tucked in as close to the southern end of bay as possible to give us a little relief from the southern wind and a small chop.
We had some lunch and then hauled out the snorkeling equipment. It took us a while but we eventually found a few coral heads to explore. Dave sent us an underwater camera so both Anne and I took some shots. Who knows how they will turn out?
Back at the boat we rinsed off on deck, picked up some shoes and headed to the beach for a walk. We didn't find any treasures but I did score three of the palm fronds that are used in weaving. Later Kathy got mom going with the cottage weaving industry that seems to have grown from one to three weavers in the last few days.
For dinner I butterflyed a small chicken and planked in on the grill. It was quite good picking up a little smoked flavor from the cherry wood. We had some dressing and I cooked some carrots in butter and maple syrup which although tasty, probably went from nutritious to a health hazard.
We finished the movie from last night before finally settling in to bed.
March 29th, 2009 Big Majors Spot, Exumas
We had a relaxing day on the boat. Anne found room on board to walk a couple of miles on deck. I spent the morning going through our mail, first sorting and then actually taking some action....regrets to Whitney on her wedding invitation, vessel documentation renewal, and taxes.
I've been worried about our taxes all winter but after calculations were finished we actually are going to get a small refund ... for the first time in ages. It's the only bright side of losing money.
We had a late breakfast of my now famous Cheese Grits and poached eggs after which Kathy began weaving lessons. By the time we were ready to go ashore the basketball game was on so we remained on the boat. Between, ESPN sports updates phone calls to Lansing and Sam's text messages we managed to keep up on the game. Knowing this team as we do, no one on board breathed very easily (regardless of the lead) until the game was in the books.
Anne wanted a photo of swimming pigs so we went ashore for close ups then motored down to a couple of small beaches to search for the correct palm fronds. We wandered around for a while exploring before heading back to the boat.
Kathy made drinks around to toast the Final Four Spartans while I got some baked potatoes in the oven. I cut some mahi into fingers which were dredged and then sautéed and Kathy put together a salad. We ended up with a great meal.
Anne crashed... too much sun and fun, but the remainder of our group watched some video before calling it a day.
March 28th, 2009 Big Majors Spot, Exumas
Our morning was spent with continued cleaning. Among other things, I vacuumed the carpets and upholstery while Kathy dusted and scrubbed. We fired up the generator and heated some water to do the dished and shower. Finally, "Sapphire" was as clean as she was going to be... and much cleaner than she has been for months.
Shortly after noon, we dinghied to Staniel which is about 3 kilometers a way from our anchorage. Our fist stop was Isles General to drop off an empty propane tank that Burkie will fill as soon as the mail boat brings him some gas. Since we will be in the area for a couple of weeks it really doesn't matter when it gets filled.
From there we retraced our steps to the public beach, hauled up the dinghy and walked over to the yacht club to waste some time and have a beer. The Yacht club was all decked out for one of their big parties... this time it was "Bond Night", poker night with the label of Casino Royale. A portion of the Bond movie "Thunderball" was filmed here.
Then it was back to the grocery to see what was available. We ended up with a few vegetables, a frozen chicken, some egg noodles and a few other things that looked good.
From there we walked over the bridge to the airport terminal which is a rectangular, open gazebo. We sat there for about an hour while four or five golf carts pulled in, either meeting the plane or delivering passengers. Finally after three or four false landings the proper plane landed and Mom and Anne shoe-horned their way out of the 9 passenger commuter.
Mom and I took the dinghy back to the Yacht Club for a late lunch while Kathy and Anne took the walking tour and met us there in a few minutes. I decided that given the wind and waves it would be best for me to deliver the luggage to the boat and come back for the passengers.
We had a nice lunch, although the place was full and the music was loud. At 4pm or so we made the trip back to "Sapphire" and spent the evening catching up ...
March 27th, 2009 Black Point to Staniel Cay
After coffee we loaded up the dinghy and went to shore with a bag of garbage and our water jugs. I loaded up our jerry cans while Kathy walked the trash over to the garbage trailer located on the government pier. We headed to the grocery where the sign said open. The door was open so we went in and picked out the items that wanted and then had to go look for someone to pay. After a few minutes I found the owner who was happy to come in and collect our money.
After walking back to the dinghy I loaded up another 10 gallons of water before we headed back to "Sapphire."
There were some waves curving around the point and rocking us a little so we lowered the Windbugger, tied down our jerry cans, and weighed anchor for Big Majors Spot around the corner from Staniel Cay. Once we cleared the banks and turned north we were faced with following seas and about 20 knots of wind.
With just the head sail up we rolled quit a bit but we only had about 5 miles to the waypoint. An hour later we turned back east toward the anchorage at Big Majors Spot. We got the anchor down and ended up closer than we'd planned to our nearest neighbor. Later, two large trawlers that were anchored in front of us left so we decided to move ahead to give ourselves a little more swing room.
We spent the afternoon spiffing up the boat a little as well as weaving and reading.
For dinner we used some leftover black beans to make burritos. With a little lettuce, hot peppers, onions and cheese... they really hit the spot.
March 26th, 2009 Black Point Settlement, Exumas
Before breakfast I made a run into the government dock for a load of water and then returned for the transfer to our tank. Kathy cleaned up the now empty staterooms and got the laundry ready to go. At about 10 we headed in to the Laundromat and while Kathy was there I made another run for water.
With our tank full I went back ashore and since we had 30 minutes before the clothes were dry, walked down to BATELCO to pick up a couple of phone cards.
Lorraine's was on the way back so we were obligated to stop and fire up the computers. For the next couple of hours we (Ahem, there was no "we" in the running back and forth), ran back and forth to from there to the Laundry. We had a nice lunch, talked to some folks from Sutton's Bay, and worked on email and getting our blog out for the first time in a week or so.
When Kathy didn't return from the Laundry for a while, I packed up the computers, paid our bill, picked up our coconut bread and wandered back to find her.
Ida had returned and was cutting Kathy's hair on the porch. I packed up the dinghy and talked with "Greta" whom we'd met along the way, while Kathy finished up.
Back at the boat we put laundry away and Kathy made the second berth.... by the way, making beds on this boat is not an easy job... way too hard for me anyway.
With our new phone cards we talked to Abby to find that she is gainfully employed again, and to Mom who is packed for her trip down here on Saturday.
I made some marinara sauce later in afternoon and we boiled some penne for a nice simple dinner. Later we listened to the early NCAA games but couldn't hang for the nightcap.