14 April 2009 | Georgetown Bahamas
1st Mate Gail/Sunny Wind SE 15
We did move to Staniel Cay. We secured a mooring at the opening to Thunderball cave. We snorkeled it again. It was even more beautiful than last year. We also went to shore. It is such a colorful, lovely place. The bouganvilla (sp) is breathtaking, so much of it and so many different colors. We did see the sharks and sting rays near the fish-cleaning table. This time, we counted 18 nurse sharks and four large rays. The sharks aren't interested in the people, only the fish heads and bones.
We didn't do a lot because the high wind did come in. For two of those days, we only left the boat to take Keesi to the ladies' room. It was still lovely; days sitting in the cockpit watching the days cycle in and out, sunrises and sunsets, good book, good music.
On Thursday, April 9, we left for Georgetown ultimately. The first night we anchored at Galiot Cut. It might have been the most comfortable sleeping night to date. There was no sign of inhabitants on all the islands around us; only four boats in a small cove. The wind apparently did not blow against the current. There was enough of a breeze for comfort sleeping and almost no boat movement. A nice combination not always found when cruising.
The next morning, we went outside into the sound and sailed to Georgetown. Well, the forecast was ENE, but it apparently clocked too soon, so we had more ESE, not too far off the nose. It was off the nose, however, just enough to sail without the motor most of the trip.
This was a beautiful sail and turned out to be one of Frank's favorite days. He was trawling (fishing) as we sailed. Early in the sail, he caught a two foot long dolphin fish (Mahi Mahi). (We didn't have the means to weigh it, but we have pictures.) They are colorful after they are caught, primarily green with a little gold; however, before they are brought out of the water they are a neon blue, really a spectacular sight.
Before we arrived at Georgetown, Frank caught two more, but they were so large, one broke the shackle the other broke the lead. The second one looked half again as long as the first (maybe three feet long), but the third one was really big. The third one made it to the back of the boat before he broke the line. He was as long as the swim platform was wide, I would guess every bit of four (4) feet. I don't think I am exaggerating.
We decided to grill the fish on shore the next night with the two other boats that we have been cruising with. The fish was big enough for a restaurant size piece for 8 people. Frank and Ken, however, decided to go fishing that afternoon in the dinghy through the cut. Frank caught a grouper and a snapper. So instead of a portion of fish, we had all we could eat. Frank was certainly the man of hour for his fishing. Ken was telling the story of Frank's fishing. He started by saying "Frank pulls out this fresh-water fishing equipment, out of a tackle box with a lot of rust...cast three times....pulls in a grouper...then catches a nice sized snapper...." Sounds like Frank. We were at Monument Beach (Pete & Clare know). There is a dinghy dock, but no place to clean fish, so there aren't typical water life looking for the fish remains. While Hendrig was cleaning the snapper and grouper on the dock, this hugh (at least 3 feet across) ray comes up next to him. He just wanted some bloody fish parts. Then comes another one a little smaller. Hendrig was able to stand in the water and interact with them. He gave the big one a fish head, the ray swam over it, and when the ray swam past it, the fish head was gone. We also saw a star fish that rolled up in a ball when the ray swam over him, then opened up again when he passed. There was also a brown and tan striped crab, he just sidled on his way. We hadn't planned on such good entertainment before dinner. Later while we were fixing dinner, we looked up and Keesi was wading in the water, apparently looking for rays to play with.
We grilled fish, brought side dishes, built a large fire on shore and enjoyed the sunset. Oh, did I mention it was the night of the full moon. It rose as we dinghied back to our boats. Nice day!
Now Georgetown took me back 50 years. The day mentioned above was Good Friday. Every business was closed on Friday, again on Easter Sunday and the Monday after Easter. One boater went to town on Friday to buy a bag of ice. He went to six places and nothing was opened. They certainly observed the resurrection of Christ like no place I know of in America. The Commonwealth of the Bahamas sounds like it is a British territory. We fought the British over two hundred years ago for our religious freedoms, freedoms for which we struggle somewhat again today. Is there some irony here?
We went to a lovely church on Easter with people on another boat. We enjoyed our cookout so much on Friday, that we decided to do "pot luck" on the beach again on Easter evening. Again, good food, camp fire and good company.
(Just a note: While we were sitting in the cockpit Easter morning, we heard kids on another sailboat say "I found the red egg," they must have been having an easter egg hunt on board.)
Monday morning, we moved from Monument Beach to Volley Ball beach, same island up the coast a few hundred yards. We can get internet sometimes, plus there are more activities. Tonight we are going to a place called St. Francis (it isn't a church) and play Texas Hold 'em for $5.00 per person. Sounds like fun. (Didn't get to post this until after the poker tournament. We didn't win, but it was certainly fun.)
We'll be in Georgetown for several more days, then start looking for a weather window to start back. Until then, we hope you are having as much fun as we are.
Happy Birthday, Katie!