Position 24 14.080' N: 076 29.433'W
Location Pipe Creek
The trip over from Long Cay to Long Island was some what an open ocean crossing. We had a northerly swell of about 6-8 ft with a wind chop on top of it. The wind was 15-20 from the NE. We were heading NW so it was a close haul all the way with good speeds, and top speed of 9.8. Thus it only took us a bit over 7 hours to cover the 44 miles from anchor up to anchor down.
The next day the plan was to sail all the way to George Town via Hog Cay Cut, but we need some help from the tide to get through. Well the tides were wrong for our arrival time, so we planned to anchor on the bank side and pass through the next morning.
Well as we were passing Dollar Harbor we heard "Wind Lass" on the radio. It seems they were traveling with "Naked Sail", and "Cloud Nine", again, and they were all heading for the marina at Stella Maris. They mentioned spending Easter week end together, and offered a free meal of pork chops and sour kraut on "Naked Sail", so needless to say a new course was plugged in and Stella Maris was now our new destination.
The whole crowd met us at the dock to catch lines and get us secured. The marina has very few slips, 5 or 6, so we were the only boats in the marina. With the marina price of $1.00 per foot, you get the entire resort package included. So enjoying the pools and Tiki bar was certainly in order. We all decided to take the "Admirals" out for a genuine dress up sit down meal at the resort. It was very weird getting dressed up, but for Diane, I endured. And it was a good time with good food!!
On Easter Sunday we had the planned pork chops and sour kraut dinner prepared by Tabby on "Naked Sail", and it was very good, and fun was had by one and all.
We still planned to hook up with "Kokomo" for the cruise back, who were some what waiting for us up the Exuma chain. So again it was time to head out. The wind and seas were kicking, so doing a rumb line to Stanial/Pipe was out of the question. So instead we headed for the lee side of Great Exuma. With the wind honking, 15-20, out of the east it was a great sail up the "backside".
We will stay in Pipe Creek for awhile, as the conditions are calling for 20-30 Knt winds and seas 7-10, at least a week. Then not sure where we are heading other than heading for Nassau. So the wind will dictate where we go from there
22 38.331'N: 74 15.791'W
Crooked Acklins Group
When deciding whether to go to the Crooked Acklins or not, we ask many folks that had been there before us. The questions were answered with either wonderful, to don't bother!! But everyone said "there is nothing to do". So S/V Kokopelli and us decided we should find out for ourselves.
Our first stop was the leeside anchorage of Long Cay. Once a bustling sea port now the entire island has less than 20 people living there. There is what is left of a huge church to explore which dates back to the late eighteen hundreds. Then just a bit on down the same road we found a wonderful elderly man that ask if we had time to listen to him play a couple of songs on his guitar. What a great treat it was to spend a bit of time sitting under the shade of a large tree and listening to his songs of his life, with a few stories between songs. It was a wonderful afternoon spent with the gentleman and two of his neighbors. After that we ventured to the grocery store which was closed but Liz and Diane found the owner, who also works at the Batelco station,(phone relay office), who called the local bar to arrange for him to open so we could get a couple of beers and cokes. How gracious is it when they open the bar just for us.
The next stop for us was on the east side of Acklins Island. It was a Sunday so nothing was happening at "Delectable Bay". Then the next day we moved up to "Snug Corner". On shore we found a very nice grocery store with much better prices than at Georgetown or Long Island, and well stocked. Up the road was a roadside food stand, which naturally we had to stop at. It is run by a wonderful man named Conrad Hanna (sp?), who had been a chef in Nassau, and Grand Bahama. He went to culinary school in Texas, of all places. His daily menus were extremely good, generous portions, and $9.00 for lunch and a cold coke. And again an extremely nice man, who sat with us and told us tales of growing up here and the local history.
So far the only problem for us has been the constant waving and saying hello to all the people who pass us on the road, as we stroll around. It is kind of neat when we talk to anyone one and they all ask us if we are the folks from those TWO boats in the harbor.
The wind was favorable for us to travel down to the south end of Acklins, to Sugar Bay. It was a nice sand bottom with good holding and numerous patch reefs. Allan and I immediately jumped in and started to hunt the edge for food sources. There were some small lobsters and Allan was able to get a nice Nassau grouper, which he donated to us. The next day Allan and I went out to some of the small patch reefs/heads. The hunting was very good. Together we were able to harvest some very nice groupers, bar jacks, red hind, slipper lobster, and lobsters. Needless to say the freezers are now full.
Unfortunately the time was nearing for us to start back north and leaving our DEAR friends, as they are continuing south. It was probably the worst part of the trip here. We will miss them both very much.
So we leave Kokopelli and head back over to Long Cay with a departure for the south end of Long Island the following morning
Position 23 29.373 N 075 44.510W
Location Red Shanks, (Georgetown)
Well it has been a while since the last update, but we have been out of communication areas for some time!
From Georgetown we headed for the Jumentos with Kokopelli via Hog Cay Cut. It was a nice sail down and we plan on staying for a few days until the weather makes us seek protection from the west. The fronts have been coming through about every three to four days. Which is very unusual for this area, the easterly trades is the norm, with occasional cold fronts with clocking winds.
After a couple of days of diving at Water Cay it was time to look for protection from the next front which promised to be strong with 20-30 knt from the west to northwest, then clocking to the north. The closet and best spot to hide is down at Raccoon Cay, on the southeast side in "Man'O War Bay. It was a motor sail down the outside of the chain, with calm seas and a bit of wind, and no fish to be found!!
We get tucked in to Man O' War and await the next front in a day. On the way down are more friends on four other boats: S/V Wind Lass, (we know them from other yrs.), S/V Naked Sail, SV Poco Loco, and, M/V Cloud Nine. As they are on the way down the winds really pick up and they get the Hell beat out of them with unpredicted winds of 25-35 Knts with seas of 8-10. Luckily all make it safely in to the small cove where we are and all is well with a welcome bonfire on the beach to welcome them.
Now the bad news, for me any way. It seems that while in G-Town I was developing an infection under the skin, similar to a boil. Against Diane's recommendation I would not go to the local clinic, bad move!!!!!!!! The infection developed into a carbuncle, which developed multiple exit points, with LARGE chunks of infection coming from the exit points. It could become a very serious issue if the Staph was to spread to the blood system or the bone. I was informed of this from a nurse on "Naked Sail". The treatment consisted of taking a cue tip and shoving it through the tunnels from exit point to exit point, with beta dine and peroxide, then packing the tunnels with sterile gauze using tweezers to push the gauze in. The next day pull the gauze out and repeat. The openings ended up being .5 inch in diameter and .75 inches deep, and the swelling 4 inches by 3 inch.
The wound was not getting better, so we called the only clinic around, which is located in Duncan Town. The nurse looked at the spot and said I really needed to see the doctor, which by chance was making her monthly visit the following day. The doctor was very concerned and lanced the tunnels. The slices were 1 inch deep and 3 inch long. This made the packing much easier. She gave me antibiotics and told us to watch it very carefully and stay out of the water.
Well we are now pinned down in Duncan town by the weather AGAIN! After a few days the wound is not getting much better and we are running out of medical supplies, so we have to return to Georgetown.
At the same time as this is happening to me Jerry on "Poco Loco" fell and broke his are and had to be flown out from Duncan Town. So the fleet now has a vessel with no captain. We all decide to take "Poco", (the boat), back to G-town at the same time as we are going.
The fleet consisted of "Naked Sail", "Cloud Nine", "Poco Loco", and "Wind Lass". We decided to do an over night to White Cay. It took us 21 hours to get there and 98 miles. We caught a few hours and made the last 18 miles to G-Town the next day.
Back in G-Town I went back to the doctor, and she decided to lance it some more!!!!!!!!
And we are still here waiting for her to release me so we can go SOMEWHERE!!!!!!! I can't thank Tabby enough for the great care she gave me! With Tabby's and Diane's help I think I am now on the mend, with only a couple of more weeks of no swimming!!!!!!!!! And a new title "Captain Carbuncle"