Wendy & Burry Cruising

Back aboard, Headed south from Green Cove Springs, going to the Exhumas.

17 July 2013 | Nassau, New Providence
11 July 2013 | Black Point Settlement
11 July 2013 | Sampson Cay
11 July 2013 | Georgetown
11 July 2013 | Kingston
22 February 2013 | Sampson Cay
18 February 2013 | Waderick Wells
15 February 2013 | Waderick Wells
07 December 2012 | Green Cove Springs
22 May 2012 | Florida (jacksonvillle)
20 May 2012
19 May 2012 | Spanish Wells
19 May 2012 | Northern Exhumas
19 May 2012 | Little Farmers/Black Point
17 May 2012 | Emerald Bay on Great Exhuma
17 May 2012 | Little Farmers Cay
16 May 2012 | Black Point
01 May 2012 | Stanial Cay
11 March 2012 | Center of the Land and Sea Park
08 March 2012 | Shroud Cay

A week in Nassau

17 July 2013 | Nassau, New Providence
So once Sherry/Jason left we discovered that Tara and Chris decided to visit us, and perhaps crew with us back to Florida. It was therefore decided to RV with them in Nassau to make life simple. Couple of days before we headed in and decided to stay at a marina until they arrived, chosing the Nassau Harbour Club. Nice place, pool and right across from a mall with superb grocery, liquour store and starbucks. Once Tara/Chris arrived we decided to anchor out.
Mother Nature had different plans for us which precluded a crossing. Plan B was head back to the Exhumas, but our concern was we might not get back to Nassua because of the front. So we ended up sticking around Nassau.
Interestingly, after 3 years of cruising the Bahamas this was our first time at Nassau! Never been one for crowds or busy places we never saw the need (coupled with negative reports of high crime). Our friends on Dutchess gave us a totally different perspective so we decided to try it out.
Had a great week playing tourist. Did a few walking tours as well as dingy tour. Downtown is very interesting at how the athmosphere changes dramatically when a bunch of cruise ships are in.
We really enjoyed the national art gallery, which is in an old estate converted to a gallery. Next was the rum distilllery tour, with of course sampling after. Next day we toured one of the forts and the Queens Staircase. Had a great local provide a superb commentary on the fort and staircase, including the history and background. This is a much see if your in the area.
The best was some of the local food. We checked out the Fish Fry out at Arawak which was good, but the best we found were in the food shanties under the bridge over to Paradise Island. Probably the best conch fritters I have ever had! Great prices too, so highly recommended.
While Nassau is definately not the Exumas we felt safe there and found a lot to see and do. Day after Tara and Chris flew out of Nassau and as the front cleared and behind it gorgeous weather. Throwing off the lines we headed past the cruise ships and headed to Frasiers Hog. Arriving there at noon, with a great forcast for the next couple of days we decided to press on and so pushed across the banks, the gulf stream and dropped the hook at West Palm around 1100 the next day. Great crossing! Even hooked a nice MahiMahi, but lost it as we got it near the boat.

Black Point, Great Guana Cay

11 July 2013 | Black Point Settlement
Black Point, on Great Guana Cay, is probably our favorite spot in the Bahamas. We seem to always be drawn back there. The anchorage is not overly well protected, N to S, but the holding is real good and the people there are amazing.
The anchorage is easily accessed either from the south from the nav line going out to Doltham Cut or from the NW if coming from the south along the banks. Good holding and given the gradual slope means the cats can get real close and away from us mono hulls. There is no fuel/marina at Black Point, a very good dingy dock, as well as Rockside laundry has a small dock.
There is a small grocery store as well a small fruit/veggie stand so some basic/top up provisioning can be done there. Two main restaurants. Lorrianes, has a bar, restaurant, internet cafe and has a weekly buffet dinner when there are a lot of boats anchored. DeShammons (our favorite) has great food, wonderful lady who runs/owns it and has a weekly bbq special with ribs/chicken/mac&Cheese for $15! She also makes the best pizza in all of the Exumas, making it great stop after a few run drinks down at the Scorpios bar.
Rockside Laundry is a great benifit to the cruisers, with a super clean, modern laundry, wifi access, a store (great patties), showers and even haircuts/braiding! This one spot alone makes a stop well worthwhile. Added benifet is that Ida, owner/operator, is a wealth of info about the Cay and can provide excellent advice.
There are some great long trails/roads for hiking, giving access to some nice beaches (both sound and bank side) and a blow hole. Also a short hike to the SW will bring you to the "Garden of Eden" where Willy and his grandson will tour you through his natural sculptures made from driftwood. As well he has a large variety of fruit tree and it quickly turns into a local horticultural lesson.
A short dingy ride to the North and there is Little Creek, a magrove creek which at mid tide you can take and get to a superb area on the eastern shore with great beachcoming. Across Doltham Cut is Guana Cay South which is the home to a rare bread of very friendly/inquisitive iguanas. As well lots of sand dollars!
Overall Black Point remains one of our favorite stops. Should you add this to your visit list, please take along some school supplies as the school there is always in need. Ida, owner of Rockside Laundry is the best initial contact to drop off the supplies.

Sampson Cay

11 July 2013 | Sampson Cay
Sampson Cay is a hidden jewel which many miss being so close to very popular Big Major (swimming pigs) anchorage. We stopped in here as we are not crazy about the very busy Big Major and didnt want to go into Stanial yet.
The anchorage is surprizingly well protected with hardly any current. You anchor of the West/outside dock of the Sampson Cay Resort in about 9' of water in good holding sand. Great swimming right off the boat.
The small resort has a store, marina, condos, and a small restaurant. The staff is super friendly, but the owner is a bit excentric so the availability of fuel and access to showers/laundry depends on how busy the marina ($3.50/ft) is and the mood of the owner. While we were there we had no problem with showers, laundry, store or restaurant. Fuel, in particular gas, was in short supply so that was unavailable to us. Water always was at the normal 0.50/gal.
Behind the resort was a large tidal flat with the eastern half of Sampson on the other side. Dingying over there at mid tide we found a short trail and found an amazing stretch of beach, rocky to the north, sandy to the south, just perfect for beachcoming. Found an Urchin nursary with litterly hunderds of small to very large urchins. Back at the dingy we found a depression/bowl of about 2m of water that was about 10m across forming a natural hot tub. The high salinity and hot temp meant you could float and soak with no effort, quite the feeling.
A few trails along the western arm of the Cay were nice for early am walks with Maggie. Had to keep a tight leash with the free range chickens walking around. The other interesting aspect were all the nurse sharks which cruised around the docks and over by some of the small snorkel sites. Burry and Jason snorkeled with then on one of our visits and was quite the experiance. Initial encounter makes you suck in a bit of air!
Sampson Cay is a gorgeous place for a few days, definately recommend it be added on a cruisers place to stop list.

Georgetown, Exuma

11 July 2013 | Georgetown
This year we managed to get to Georgetown. Was an experiance, mostly good. We were amazed at the number of boats, and we came at a slow time, there were only about 400, it was at 650 a few weeks earlier. On arrival we anchored off monument beach on the lee side of Stocking Island, and ended up staying there for the duration. The down side is that its a bit of a dingy ride into Georgetown, the up side close to quiet beaches, lots of hiking trails and not as many boats as the other anchorages. Volleyball beach was just packed with boats moored and anchored in a very crowded area, not our style. Interestingly over the three weeks we discovered there are two types of cruisers anchored in GT, stickers and the GT Shufflers. We were the former, finding a good place to plant the hook and stayed there. The shufflers were folks who moved every day or two to a different spot. There were a lot of cruisers who were there for a long time. Many come south from NE US/Canada, push to Georgetown and stay at that one spot until May when they push back north for Hurricaine season, with a few heading south to tuck into Luperon, DR for the summer.
Georgetown is probably the best place for provisioning, in many ways similar to Marsh Harbour in the Abacos, with a major airport, regular container boats, and a hub for the area. They also have a major hospital being built which is scheduled to open this year. Two grocery stores, fairly well stocked, liquor stores with reasonable prices and banking. Free garbage disposal and free water is also a big benifit.
Dingying into GT is interesting as we had to go around a point and then you go under a small bridge into Lake Victoria, which has the town around it. The main grocery store has a huge dingy dock, with a water spigot right there so provisioning is quite easy. A small dock across from the grocery store is attached to the gas station so getting your fuel cans filled is easy.
Georgetown is a busy place compared to the rest of the Exhumas. Lot of traffic and lots of people, locals and cruisers. Found some nice restaurants and some great food, in particular a small hut serving up some great BBQ ribs and chicken. $10 got us both with some Bahamian Mac & Cheese and corn on the cob, more than enough for the two of us for lunch.
Across Elizabeth Harbour is Stocking Island, with three hurricaine holes and the majority of anchorages (Monument, Volleyball, Sandollar beaches). Volleyball beach has the infamous "Chat and Chill" where the food was not bad, prices OK but very slow service, good thing we were on Bahamian time. Every Sunday they had a local historian who would speak on the history and give an excellent overview on the Bahamians, a condensed human geography course. We sat through one of his amazing talks and loved the local antedotes he would add to his narrative.
We really loved the trails on Stocking, with various loops allowing variety in our daily (sometimes twice) hikes. A few of the trails ended up at the monument which entailed a bit of a climb. The eastern beaches on Stocking were incredible with trails on the beach and a parrallel one up on the ridge. Really a superb place for hiking and beachcoming.

Time for an update

11 July 2013 | Kingston
Been away from here for a bit. Combination of slow internet in Bahamas, rushing up the ICW and being a bit lazy. Have decided to change the format and add short articles on places we have been and people that we meet rather than a chronological journal/log. Have done the same with our albums.

Spent all our time in the Exumas, with the exception of a week in Nassau when Tara and Chris joined us. We so love the Exumas, especially Sampson and Black Point. We definately appreciate the quieter places.

Another change this year is no anchoring on the Banks. Coming back we sailed from Nassau to Fraziers Hog, arrived noonish under sail with great sky and decided to carry on. Ended up going direct from Nassau to West Palm, overnight on the Banks. Great crossing yet again, arriving late morning in West Palm.

Next day checked in, went up to Vero on the outside, great run but Fort Pierce inlet was nasty, especially with half blocked with dredge and an outgoing tanker. Spent a while in Vero, Wendy few home and then I moved Seahawk up to St Augustine. Once Wendy was back we had a busy run up to the Bay, stopping at Cumberland, outside hop to Beaufort, SC where we stayed for three days and then a big run up to the Bay.

Seahawk is now at a friends dock while we visit friends and family here in Kingston. Wendy folks coming down, nieces wedding and then should be back aboard early Aug. Plan (caste in quano) is to gunk hole the Bay, maybe cruise up to DC and then winter on the Bay this year.

Sampson Cay is a Jewel

22 February 2013 | Sampson Cay
gorgeous weather
So we pulled out of Waderick around 1100 and made the short hope down to Sampson Cay, about 4 nm north of Big Major, where our two friends (Tribute and Groovin) were headed. About 60 boats there, 6 here, so much more out type of anchorage. We are tucked in close to the marina, with excellent protection from NW through E to SW. Not a lot of current either and great holding, tops on our list for great places to sink the hook.
Sampson doesnt offer a lot of snorkling or fishing but has some nice walks, great beaches and nice swimming. The resort offers us showers and laundry (providing they are not busy with marina guests), a small store, restaurant for lunch and places to sit and relax in the shade with incredible views.
We were only going to stay two nights, but decided to hang out for a few more days to enjoy this place. Went for a dingy jaunt today, around the north end of Sampson, over to...wait for it..."Overyonder Cay". Neat place, high end houses, three huge wind turbines and a huge solar panel array.
Next we circumnavigated Rat Cay, going along Little Pike Cay and waved to Mr Depp. Back home for a beer and relax until evening walk with Maggie. Havent decided what we are doing tommorow, but can decide that tommorow lol. Love this life!
Hope to get some pics up once we get better bandwidth.
Fair winds.
Vessel Name: Seahawk X
Vessel Make/Model: Island Trader 41, Ketch
Hailing Port: Kingston, Ontario
Crew: Wendy, Burry, Maggie, Bartley (in our hearts)
About: Wendy and Burry have been married for 30+ years and moved aboard Seahawk when they were transfered from Maryland to New Jersey. Threw off the lines fall of 2010 and have been travelling the eastern seaboard and bahamas since.
Extra: We have two children we love a lot and miss, hoping they will visit us more once we are in the tropics lol. Tara is a budding bio scientist, recently married to Chris, and just completed her masters. Michael is in the Navel Reserve and has finished his degree and headed to Saskatoon with Megan.
Seahawk X's Photos - Down to Florida Winter 11/12
Photo 11 of 13 | Back To Album
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Lot of sailboat racing on Key Biscayne.  Many of the olympic trials occured here.
Lot of sailboat racing on Key Biscayne. Many of the olympic trials occured here.
Added 6 March 2012

The Adventures of the Vanderveers

Who: Wendy, Burry, Maggie, Bartley (in our hearts)
Port: Kingston, Ontario