Tooling about the island
04/18/2009, Staniel Cay
April 10th Staniel Cay
After breakfast and a little cleaning we were off to shore to pick up our golf cart and a map of the island. With four in the dinghy and a considerable chop from the SE, we all were mostly soaked on our arrival. We had to hunt for Lydia to tell us which cart to take and found her cracking conch on the dock. In a couple of minutes we were on the road. The island is not all that big and in a couple of hours we had covered all the roads at our disposal... We did find a nice hiking trail on the north end of the island with some amazing views. There is quite a bit of construction on the east or ocean side that seems to be progressing a little faster than most building projects here in the Bahamas.
We returned to the Yacht Club for lunch then made a short tour of the village before returning the Cart to TC Mobile.
Back at the boat we read for a while and then cleaned a couple of lobsters to crack. After it was fried up, we dinghied over to "Fine Lion" for seafood feast. (poor Ellie) Steve made cracked conch and some Mahi to go along with our lobster. Don and Karen and boys from "Dragon Lady" joined us as well. We had a great time as always.
After breakfast we weighed anchor and headed north to Big Majors. It was almost calm so we were motoring once again. The trip is only about an hour so we arrived sometime during the mid morning hours. For lunch, we dinghied to Sampson Cay with Steve and Kim. Matt rode along with them to even out the load but we still couldn't get up on plane like we should.
We had a nice lunch and picked up a few things at their store before returning.
It looked like a good day to hit Thunderball Cave again for some snorkeling so we headed out about 2pm. We should have waited a little longer as the current was almost too much deal with. We did finished up the film in Dave's underwater camera. If they turn out, we'll be purchasing a couple in the future.
From Thunderball we motored over to the yacht club where Matt and Ellie worked on the computer while Kathy and I hiked to the three grocery stores in the village. We knew that things would be closed tomorrow for Good Friday and there were a few things we needed before heading North in a few days.
Back at the boat we read a little and then had some Mahi and Mac and Cheese for dinner.
We wasted away most of the morning but after lunch went snorkeling and spent most of the afternoon on the beach.
We knew the wind was going to clock to the west and then blow hard from the north west today. Before noon we weighed anchor and moved around the point for some protection at Little Bay. After lunch we dinghied ashore and hiked back to town where we picked up a loaf of bread that we had ordered yesterday, to get on the internet and to purchase a phone card. It was a long hot walk, but we had some water to keep us going.
The evening was calm and everyone got a much better night's sleep.
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.