Where has the time gone??
02 June 2010 | Staniel Cay, Bahamas
After bidding a fond farewell to the Caribbean and the Virgin Islands, Safari Tu crew embarked on a four day passage to the Bahamas. At least that's what we set out to do. We had a glorious 3 day sail which got us most of the way there - the idea was to head to an island called Mayaguana. However, our last night at sea showed us how wrong we were. A huge thunderstorm hit right overhead, with loads of lightning, torrential rain, and big thunder boomers. Not being able to see where we were, or which direction the storm was headed, we opted to heave to until daylight.
Fast forward a few hours, and we're still hove to - surrounded by lightning, but at least we can now see. It's really wet everywhere. We finally make the decision to motor to the Turks and Caicos island of Providenciales - our closest landfall. We managed to motor out of the storm, and into the beautiful calm waters of Turtle Bay - where the sun was actually shining.
So, while it was not on our itinerary, we made the most of our stay by enjoying the great food available on the island, rented a car for the day to explore, and provisioned up for our real trip to the Bahamas.
Post - storm, winds were very light, and we set off in the direction of Rum Cay - a good name for our first Bahamian island! We anchored in a huge bay with only one other boat in it - and truly enjoyed the absolutely crystal clear blue water which surrounded us! Scott thinks he saw a hammerhead shark pass right by our boat - and we were only in 7-10 feet of water! We had a lovely reef to snorkel around, including a sunken sailboat - a bit ominous!
In any case, it was a bit quiet, so we headed off to the "metropolis" of George Town in the Exumas. This is the social center for cruisers in the Bahamas - and we managed to meet a bunch of new family boats while anchored there for several days. One family on "Sea Gypsy" had been out cruising with their kids for several years - and had a lot of good information for us. They also introduced us to a German family on board the catamaran "Pacific High". Their kids are the same ages as ours - and we all hit it off immediately with a game of volleyball on the beach. They have moved permanently onto their boat - and have wowed us with all the comforts of home which they have on board. We decided to travel as far as we can with them, as they are making their way through the Bahamas and north to the States as well.
We now find ourselves in Staniel Cay - the home of Thunderball Grotto - of 007 fame, and of all things, swimming pigs. See the photo album for documentation.
The water continues to amaze us here - and the shallowness of the Exuma Bank! Navigation has taken on a whole new meaning - but we are getting the hang of things. We plan to spend another couple of weeks exploring the Exumas and Abacos before making the big jump back to Newport!!
We are lucky to have former ASTA intern Amelia along with her boyfriend Grant join us as crew on our journey home. Just to make the passage even smoother, Scott's parents have agreed to host summer camp for the kids while we are working our way up the coast. So plans are in place, and the trip is coming to an end. Unbelievable.
We'll have another update prior to our departure - and will try to enjoy every last minute of this wonderful year!! Thanks for sharing it with us!