An Unexpected Opportunity
26 January 2012 | Thompson Bay, Long Island
Our day began as usual. I took the time and water today to shower. I didn't use too much water, we haven't run the engine or the generator in days and the water was cold! I got pretty clean, anyway. After we took Fuzzy ashore we listened as usual to the Cruiser's Net on the VHF radio here.
We were surprised to learn that Sara and Monty Lewis are here at Thompson Bay and were giving a talk on updates to the Explorer Chartbooks. The Explorer Chartbooks are the Bible for the Bahamas. Very few people sail without them. Monty and Sara are the principal authors. So we loaded up two of our three Chartbooks (the one for the Far Bahamas and the one for the Exumas and Ragged Islands) and our computer and headed in to the Long Island Breeze, which was hosting the talk. Not only are Sara and Monty here, but two other couples who do research for them and contribute writing and photography for the chartbooks were also there. Wow, I was pretty impressed. Bud got to talk to one of the men for a while after the talk and asked him about the passage to the Jumentoes and the Ragged Islands. That's a chain we'd like to visit if we get a good weather window. The main channel leading to them from here isn't even on our electronic charts. It is well marked on the Explorer Charts and I guess it's quite wide and not a problem as long as we stage our trip "on the top half of a rising tide". A lot of people won't buy new Raymarine chartplotters if they are coming to the Bahamas because they use Navionics electronic charts instead of C-Maps, and C-Maps uses the data from the Explorer Chartbooks. That's how good these books are.
The man Bud was talking to and his wife who are contributing authors are a couple we had met the other day on the beach with their dog. You just never know. We meet people who have been cruising for 20 years or more (like them) and people who are down here for the first time (like the couple we sat next to at the talk). Everyone shares and everyone treats each other with respect. It's a pretty nice community of people.
We would have like to stay for lunch, but we had Fuzzy back on the boat, so we came back right after the talk. It's probably close to a mile from the dock at Long Island Breeze to the north end of Thompson Bay where we are anchored. The wind was pretty brisk today, and has moved a bit south of east, so it was blowing across quite a fetch of water by the time it got to our part of the bay. It was rough enough to make the dinghy ride a bit difficult. Also, Bud has a sore heel that is making it hard for him to walk, and makes climbing the ladder from the boat to the dinghy painful. So he waited in the dinghy while I unloaded the charts and the computer and got Fuzzy and we took the dinghy the quarter mile further north to the beach. While we were there a trimaran came sailing in to the bay. He tacked and sailed back through all the anchored boats. I got a picture of him sailing near where Earendil is anchored. I'll post it when I next take the computer ashore for Internet.
We stayed aboard the rest of the day, only going off the boat once more at sunset (after I blew the conch horn salute) to take Fuzzy in for his last visit of the day. I know Bud is getting restless, but we have banking that needs to be done on the internet on the first of the month, and there is no internet in the Jumentos or the Ragged Islands, so we'll have to wait until then to make that trip, if the weather holds.