Fine Lion flying the spinnaker
04/18/2009, Highborne Cay
April 13th... Big Majors to Highborne Cay
We left the anchorage shortly after 8am and motored out to Sandy Cay a couple of miles to the west. Once there we hoisted sails and turned off the engine. We wouldn't hear it again for 9 hours. It was one of those days that reminded us of just why we like to sail.
Much of the morning was spent running under 5 knots with winds behind us. We ran wing on wing for a few hours as the wind veered more to the south. Finally we were able to bear more to the north which put the wind just behind the beam. We spent the last three hours between 6 and 7 knots flying along.
"Fine Lion" started the day in Black Point and were about 4 miles behind us when we started sailing. They had their spinnaker deployed and passed us about noon. They were making at least one more knot all day and arrived about an hour before we did. We got some nice photos of them as they passed us.
Once the boat was squared away, we dropped the dinghy and ran over to plan our next hop and to deliver their propane tank which we had picked up in Staniel Cay. We stayed for an hour or so and then returned to cook some chicken and fried potatoes.
Kathy talked to Nancy via cell. They are heading north on the eastern route up Cat and Eleuthera Islands. We'll catch up with them in the Abacos if not before.
April 12th... Big Majors Spot, Exumas
Today, Easter Sunday, was perfectly calm. It was the first calm day we've seen all winter. There have been a few times when the winds were down for a few hours, but today the water was flat for the full 24 .
After some coffee I made the 2 mile trip to the Yacht Club for another load of water and returned to begin topping off our tank. It only took about 10 gallons so we have a little extra water which I will add in a day or so.
By 10 am it was 85 degrees and with no breeze, really hot. We stayed in the shade most of the morning reading and weaving. After lunch I removed the carbeurator from the outboard. It hasn't been idling lately and usually that means that it needs a cleaning. There is one tiny port especially that is prone to clogging.
With the outboard running better than it has in weeks, we took off for a beach about 2 miles away for a swim. We returned to the boat for a moment and then left again on a slow cruise abound Big Majors. On our way to the cut to the north we passed a boat at anchor that was from North Muskegon. As it turns out the guy built Larry and Carol's radar mount back at Wesley's Marina in White Lake. We're often reminded of just how small our world is...
After our tour of the island, which used up most of the afternoon, I chopped up some conch and vegetables for a salad. Adding the juice last, it went into the refrigerator to cool and cook for an hour. We really can't explain how good a conch salad can be.
There are about 10 very large (150 + feet) motor yachts in the anchorage. Vava has been right next to us for the last few days and we've had fun watching the crew play with the owners away for a few days. They have lots of toys and lots of friends.
April 11th... Big Majors Spot, Exumas
We were up at 6:30 and had some coffee while Ellie and Matt completed their packing. At around 8 Steve came over on his way to town so we split the load and both of us were able to get up on plane for the trip to the Airport. Due to the Easter festivities at Black Point, Flamingo Air schedules were all messed up . Matt and Ellie's 8:45 flight left at 10:10 which didn't leave them much time in Nassau to complete customs and make their connecting flight.
We had a great time with Ellie and Matt and were sorry that their stay seemed so short.
I stopped at the grocery on the way back to the boat to pick up a few items. We had some left over Mac and Cheese for lunch and then spent a couple of hours reading. I transferred what water we had in jerry cans into the main tank and then we headed back to the Marina for a load of water.
We walked over to Isles General to pick up "Fine Lion's" propane which wasn't filled this morning and then had a beer in the Yacht Club before heading back to the boat with our load of water.
The rest of the afternoon was spent reading and transferring water into the main tank. I make some chicken fried rice for dinner... which was a little crunchy but edible.
We watched some video into the evening.
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.