In a Bahamas state of mind
20 March 2014 | Black Point, Exumas
After racing to get to the Bahamas, it's time to slow down a bit and get into a very different state of mind. We're so accustomed to being connected 24/7 that its been a little tough not to have a functioning cell phone, a wifi connection, Internet or cable tv for that matter. It's amazing that we' re still alive. The cell phones seemed to work for us in Nassau and then we got to Highbourne Cay, Exumas (iPad spell check wanted to make that "high-prune - yes that's exactly what I meant to type thanks for your help) and BTC (Bahamas Telephone Company) seems to be having a problem. Poor cell phone hasn't worked since Nassau.
We also need to adjust our daily routines and priorities a bit. Being in a skinny island chain with exposure to the west (Exuma Banks) and to the east (Exuma Sound) we are watching weather much more closely than we were while we had the protection of the Inter-Coastal Waterway in the States. If we make a bad anchoring decision it means spending a night inside a washing machine on slow agitate. It took us a couple of days to get into our Bahamas cruising rhythm of checking weather early in the day and constantly adjusting our plans based on where we can anchor where it will be reasonably calm. Casey is certainly not a fan of the boat pitching fore and aft throughout the night.
The first few days in the Exumas we made our anchoring decisions based on ease of entrance and on having an open anchorage without a bunch of other boats. We certainly weren't making them based on the best protection from the wind and we paid the price- some very restless nights. It's nice to be in a little better synch with the weather and our anchoring decisions.
The Bahamians really don't care about a lot of things that get the authorities in the US in a lather. We wear life jackets in the dinghy and put out an anchor light at night because they are prudent things to do, not because we'll get arrested if we didn't. The Bahamian authorities really don't care what the numbers are on the side of our dinghy nor do they care about our Federal registration numbers. It's nice not to have to be concerned about these.
Our best anchorage to date has been at Hog's Cay, at the southern end of Warderick Wells. This area is within the 22 mile Exuma Land and Sea Park, a Bahamian National Park where you can not take anything from the land or sea, nor leave anything behind. Hence, the beaches are pristine with very little trash; and the water is filled with the most beautiful fish....it is as though the fish know they won't get hooked on a fishing line so they stay within the borders of the park. We took a hike along the ridge of the Warderick Wells Cay and had some of the most beautiful views of both the Exuma Sound and the Exuma Banks!
We have traveled to Black Point today, one of the largest Bahamian settlements in the Exumas. It was here that Eric and Courtney attended school 14 years ago for a few days. We are planning to meet up with several of the boats we had traveled the ICW with in the fall...they are on their way north as we head south but it will be nice to catch up with them and hear of their experiences in the islands. And then on Saturday, we are excited to meet Eric and Janna in Staniel Cay who will be aboard Sanderling with us for a week! What a treat for us!
We are slowing down and adjusting to a Bahamas state of mind.