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12/11/2011, Little Harbour Cay, Berry Islands

Thanks to Don K for the download... I am sure it is copy protected somewhere... so thanks who ever wrote it first. I had dinner there last night. Just Bill from Charesma and myself and Chester.

It's an ill wind that blows nobody good, and this is exactly what happened at Little Harbour Cay, Berry Islands, Bahamas. Chester Darville and his family rode out hurricane Andrew in the settlement that was originally founded by his grandparents. The original houses were built in the late 1930's and the early 40's by the founding families to their own ideas, without plans, much like early American settlers. These houses, that were kept in good repair, escaped the fury of Andrew, unscathed. In the late 1980's several new houses were built in the village, by licensed builders from Nassau. They were all totally destroyed by Andrew. Unfortunately, Chester had decided to ride out the hurricane, with his family, in one of the new houses, instead of the older, tried and proven original houses built by his father. As the entire roof blew off, in one piece, walls began to blow away, the entire family retreated to the bathroom to ride out the rest of the blow. Not much different from the experiences reported from south Dade County, but at this point the story changes.

About a year and a half prior to the hurricane, Chester Darville had obtained a license to operate a bar and restaurant at Little Harbour, but like so many of us, he never got started on his "dream." The experience of Andrew built a fire under him, and he decided that this was going to be the first day of the rest of his life, a new life, without procrastination. He would clean up the wreckage of the village, and build his "dream," a bar and restaurant high up on a hill overlooking one of the prettiest and most picturesque harbours on the Bahamas. By early June 1993, Chester, with the help of a visiting yachtsman, had the frames up and was starting with the roof. He built several picnic tables, all equipped with colorful umbrellas, and is now serving very tasty meals under the stars. Food and service are excellent and everyone is welcome.

Chester is a volunteer of BASRA - the Bahama Air Sea Rescue Association - and always stands by on VHF Ch. 68 to be of service to visiting yachtsman. He is also an excellent pilot, fishing and snorkeling guide and is a very happy and cheerful person always ready to make your visit to Little Harbour a most enjoyable experience. His hospitality is hard to find anywhere today, and is very refreshing.

Boats drawing over three feet will have to wait on the tide to get into the harbour, and Chester is always happy to go out and meet you and pilot you in on the appropriate tide.

Any cruise to the Berry Islands would be incomplete without a visit to Flo's Conch Bar and Restaurant at Little Harbour. Chester named the restaurant after his mother - the cook - Florence.

I think it's Tuesday
12/11/2011, Little Harbour Cay, Berry Islands

I think it's Tuesday, I have been here for a couple of days I think. I will have to get the log book out to see. The wind is still blowing at 22 +. Although today is supposed to the worst of it. I might be able to leave on Friday for Nassau. The high tide or near high tide that I need to get over the sand bar is around 11 am on Friday. I need to wait for the higher water to get out and still have enough time to sail the 38 miles to Nassau and get there before dark. So maybe tomorrow I'll start looking at it closer. Walked over to the windward side this afternoon. YIKES.. the surf rolling in. No wonder there is no one moving around the last few days... The large crashing wave and large ocean swells from the weather system up near Bermuda and off the Carolinas.

Might be here awhile
12/11/2011, Little Harbour Cay, Berry Islands

We made our escape yesterday from Great Harbor and sailed around Stirrup Cay to Little Harbor. At that time the wind was from the E-NE to about 23 knots. We anchored just inside the entrance to Cabbage Cay because is was low tide and could not get any farther in. During the night a few squalls came through and things got a little rolly for a while. This morning at near high tide we were able to pick our way through the sand bars and get behind Little Harbor. Bill is anchored about a 1/2 mile away and I am tucked in pretty close to shore. 3 people live on one of the half dozen or so islands here so this place is pretty quiet. No other boats around as the wind has been too nasty to travel. We did some exploring and found a Blue Hole on Devils Cay which was pretty cool. Stopped and had a few beers with Chester and made plans for dinner tomorrow night (have to order ahead around here). The latest forecast shows it might be Friday until we can venture out and make Nassau. So til then we'll just have to suffer with the peace and quiet, no internet, no crowds, no other boats. I get to crank the stereo up and work on my tan lines If the winds stays like this, there will no shortage of electricity. sent via SSB radio (no internet) email: [email protected] (no attachment, no pictures, no junk) alan

12/12/2011 | Ron Mariano
Just took a look at Passage Weather. They agree with your assessment. Going to be a little blustry for a few days out there.

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