29 April 2009 | Georgetown
1st Mate Gail E15-20 Sunny 85
Well, the winds have been up (20+, we clocked 29) for several days. It doesn't look like it is going to moderate enough for the waves to settle down at least until Friday or Saturday. So, if there is such a thing, we have been and continue to be stuck in Georgetown, Bahamas. The water is teal and aqua. Although the wind is up, we are in the lea and out of the current, meaning it isn't a rough anchor. With the wind and sun, battery power is plentiful. We even turned off the wind generator at night because the batteries are too full. (A rare situation with boat batteries.)
We saw a dolphin (not many to be seen in the Bahamas), but it only surfaced twice and we weren't successful getting Keesi to see it. We have seen a local turtle, light golden brown (about 2 ½ feet in diameter) two or three times. He just floats by and lifts his head out of the water a couple of times, then dives and moves on. Of course, we have seen rays near shore again. And one of the boats we are traveling with caught a large barracuda. That is one ugly fish. The teeth in its mouth look like several of the long canine teeth in a large dog. (Update: Yesterday, the turtle surfaces 6-7 times right behind our boat. Keesi has become a "turtle watcher." She seems to get almost as much satisfaction identifying the turtle as she does if she sees a dolphin. This is good. It is sad watching Keesi watch for dolphins that never come.)
Last Sunday afternoon, we packed a lunch and hiked across the island to the Atlantic side. My hip won't let me walk as far on the sand, so I sat and watched the surf while the others walked the beach. I had just as much fun.
Most days, we go to the beach by 2:30 and Frank plays volleyball. Keesi and I root for Daddy. We have lots of friends. It's hard to describe, somewhat like a retirement community. There is always something to do outside and lots of people with common interests.
As it turns out, Texas Hold 'em is every Monday and Thursday nights. We have played four times. This past Thursday, Frank and I both made it to the last table. I finished in the money, 4th place - $15 cash and bragging rights. They started with five tables of 11 each. I am the first one of our "traveling group of sailors" to finish in the money. The next day, several people stopped at our boat as they passed in their dinghies to congratulate me. Simple things, but a lot of fun.
The Family Regatta ran from last Tuesday through Saturday. It is so special, people were repainting buildings in Georgetown, building shacks (similar to Barbeque contest booths), big freighters come in bringing people and regatta boats. One freighter was stacked to the max with boats.
Last year I described the regatta at Little Farmer's Festival that Frank crewed in. Well, this is the granddaddy of them all. We counted almost 50 boats. Last year, I mentioned that I was surprised none went over because the boat is less than 20 feet long and the boom is 38 feet (I think I remember). Well, this year the winds were 20-25 most all days during the races. Boats went over, boats sunk, some boats lowered sails with a 30 knot squall came through and others sailed through it like it was a breezy 15 knots. We are anchored between Chat n Chill and St. Francis out on the last row. No boat is between us and the channel. The wind was coming over Stocking Island, so our cockpit was facing the races. Some markers were placed not too far from our area. It was like being on the water watching the America's Cup. What a seat!!
We continue to enjoying our "floating home" in paradise until the winds subside, which should be Friday or Saturday, when we will be slowly headed home. To all we love, we miss you and look forward to sharing our trip with you.
Until next time -