Good Sport Award
08 February 2019 | George Town, Exumas
EVS: clear, windy
We spent two full days in Lee Stocking Island, where there used to be a marine research center. Unfortunately, the buildings are pretty much abandoned. Sad to see someone’s dream gone to ruin.
We arrived in Lee Stocking after another two day stay, this one near Cave Cay and Musha Cay, the latter owned by David Copperfield. Van tried hunting for lobster but came up empty handed. The cuts, where the lobsters like to hang out (or so we are told) run very big currents, so there is only a short window to hunt before running the risk of being swept away. We tried on the inside too, at various coral heads, but no luck. So, we moved on southward to Lee Stocking Island. We visited here on our first trip to the Bahamas in 2010. We took a hike to the ocean side (having missed the trail to the reputed highest point in the Bahamas — that and two others so identified) and marveled at the plants growing in what could be sidewalk material. On our first visit, we took a mooring near the research center. The moorings are all gone now, so we pushed down the west coast as far as we could go to enjoy a different area. Here too we hiked across to gain a slightly different vista, and to stretch our legs. And, Van tried lobster hunting again, but again, we came up short. So, we decided to try fishing for a change. Friends Sue and Mac, who took us under their wings in 2009 and who no longer sail, had marked our charts for fishing and lobster haunts. The latter have proved not productive, but we trolled and caught three nice fish — one yellowtail snapper and two jacks. The jacks are fun fish to catch, but they are bloody and not very tasty (or we have not found a way to prepare them to our liking), but the snapper is a delicious fish. We fileted the fish, dredged it in flour, egg, and bread crumbs and sautéed it in butter. It was served with green beans and Bahamian “peas and rice”, a staple. Delicious!
Because the weather is supposed to worsen over the next couple of days, we decided to leave Lee Stocking and make our way to George Town, where there can be (and indeed are) hundreds of boats. We meandered down the inside of Lee Stocking, past Children’s Bay Cay (lovely spot), and exited to the ocean on the south/east side of Rat Cay. The cut takes one back north, which made it very comfortable in the east winds. No breaking waves and a gentle transition at near high tide.
The outside, however, was altogether different. The winds were somewhat higher than forecast (17-18, gusting 23 knots), but the direction was considerably different from what we had expected. Instead of E/NE winds, they were from the E/SE and just about right on our nose. So, it was a very rolly ride in 4-6’ seas, with some 8’-ers thrown in for fun. Because we were motor sailing into the winds, which were blowing at high teens and low 20s, our speed was much reduced, so the trip took considerably longer than expected. Thumbelina, our “sailor cat” was not impressed or happy, and neither were we. Lauren suggested she and Thumbelina deserved good sport awards!
We arrived in George Town and anchored close to the “downtown” area so we could get groceries and water without a long, wet slog back to the boat. Van put 40 gallons of water aboard (two trips with 4-5 gallon jugs each trip) while Lauren went shopping to replenish our depleted fresh stores. After that was accomplished, we moved Gratitude to the lee shore of Stocking Island (not to be confused with Lee Stocking Island, which we left this morning). We do not like to have so many boats around, but we are happy to be here, and glad to issue the good sport awards to all who earned them.