West End, Grand Bahama Resort Time
09 May 2012 | West End, Grand Bahamas
Sylvia - good for moving on tomorrow
As sometimes happens with cruising plans on when to leave and where to go, things change. The weather after we got here in West End was such that we just decided to stay for a while. The winds and their direction weren’t good for us to head into the islands. We negotiated a great monthly rate which made it reasonable to stay. The normal daily rate is pretty steep but with the monthly rate we could stay as long as we wanted. Nick and Karen on Calypso did the same thing while John and Joan on Changing Lanes negotiated a weekly rate. The news got around amongst the other sailors as various folks came in – some with mechanical problems that necessitated them staying much longer than they had planned. And so we are learning to ask about better rates. Don’t just take it as they tell you. In fact, we are leaving before the month is up but have already negotiated a better than daily rate for a month or so from now when we come back through here. We are learning.
No more lobster dinners but the local bread maker continued to come by with her Bahamian, banana and coconut bread. So we helped out the local economy buying those. The coconut bread makes wonderful French toast, by the way. I had fixed it then discovered that the Tikki Bar serves it for breakfast and they add some coconut to the egg batter. I’ll be trying that next time.
We went by bus into Freeport with the Lanes and got to see more of the island. It is pretty depressed economically right now which is sad to see. They just had a big election for the ruling party and the opposition party is now in. Our bus driver, Ed, was great about telling us what was going on and who was running. He was for keeping the current party in and giving the Prime Minister another 5 years to continue to improve things but that didn’t happen. We didn’t get chance to talk to him again after the election to get more of his take on the situation. It was a very active election with many rally’s going on all over. Anyway, Ed took us wherever we needed to go and waited for us – groceries, hw store, liquor store, propane fill. All of those things that cruisers have to take care of when they can.
The Lanes took off for the coast after several days here. We enjoyed getting to spend time with them and are so hopeful that we will be able to do so again one of these sailing season. Just after they left in came Paul and Elizabeth on Liesel whom we had met in Tiger Point. They came sailing in from the Exumas and were as excited to see us as we were to see them. It is such fun reconnecting with friends we make along the way. We had a lovely pasta dinner with them one night and they spent a couple of hours with us and our chart showing us where we could and should go in the Exumas. That is one of their favorite cruising grounds here in the Bahamas and they had just spent a month there. After talking to them we are even more excited about getting down there. They draw 6’8” to our 7’2” so we were comfortable taking their advice about anchorages and routes. They left after about 5 days to return to Tigerpoint. Everyone has had to wait out weather systems waiting for windows to either cross over to the States or head over to the Abacos or wherever in the Bahamas.
And there were those I mentioned who had mechanical problems. Jennifer and her 3 children and brother-in-law on Morning Star were stuck here for over a week with a transmission problem that needed to be fixed. Jan and Bud on Persephone had alternator and engine cooling water pump problems that kept them here about 2 weeks. We haven’t had any problems on Eos and are so glad that the ones we had were back in the States. Hopefully, we are good for quite a while. Bill and Sandi on Southern Belle didn’t have any mechanical hold ups – just weather. They keep their boat in Brunswick on St. Simon’s Island so we are looking forward to reconnecting with them after we get back.
Bob and Betsy on Belair and Nick and Karen on Calypso were wonderful to talk to and spend time with. They are the really big water sailors. Nick and Karen came from Seattle, WA and have spent time in Mexican and Central American cruising grounds while Bob and Betsy are came from New Zealand and have extensive Pacific cruising as well as Atlantic and Caribbean cruising. They have sailed around Cape Horn at the tip of South America. That is major cruising experience! They also keep their boat at BLM so we will see them later this summer when they return to Brunswick after going back to their home in Bermuda to take care of some things.
While sailors came and went Calypso and Eos sat here and watched it all happening waiting for our windows to move into the islands. Karen and I took the bus into town for fresh food and enjoyed several games of backgammon at the Tikki Bar by the pool while Nick and Bill worked on the boats. Nick had purchased a new PC and was busy getting all of the necessary programs loaded and running while Bill was busy working on polishing our stainless and taking the head a part about 5 times. It is really tricky to get the flapper valve seated just right. But he can now get it a part and back together in about a half hour. It can’t be too tight or too loose. Hopefully, the job he did today on it will last and he has finally learned the trick. We hope. He really hopes so!!
Calypso and Belair took off Sat to the Abacos. Calypso will be there several weeks but Belair will only be there a few days before heading up to GA. It may be that we will be back here about the same time as Calypso on our return trip. What a kick that would be. And as I said we will see Bob and Betsy in GA later.
Since we knew we were going to be here for awhile because of weather we got in touch with David and Jim in Ft. Lauderdale and told them to come on over. They worked things around at their jobs and flew into Freeport on Fri, 5/4 and stayed until Monday afternoon, 5/7. They had a rental car so we did some driving around on Sat and got to both Freeport and Lucaya. The International Market and Straw Market in Freeport were a major disappointment. Hardly anything was open. So we drove on down to Lucaya. The Lucaya Market was better but because there weren’t any cruise ships in things were pretty quiet. Not the lively port we had expected to see. But Jim and David and David’s parents had stayed at the resort there many years back and we talked our way into the grounds for a walk around and some lemonades at the pool bar and they enjoyed reminiscing about their previous trip.
Sunday we went for a sail. A SAIL NOT A TRIP! What fun. We had good wind for about 4 hours, floated for an hour and then motored back in before the tide got too low. With the full super moon right now the high has been really high and the low has been really low. In fact, when we motored over to the fuel dock on Sat to top off the tanks we stirred up some sand on the bottom getting back into our slip. So we made sure we got back from our day sail around mid-tide. Everyone enjoyed the sailing. Jim keep saying “This is so cool” and “It does move.” Of course, the only other times they had seen Eos was in the barn in MN, at the dock in Superior and at the dock in Riviera Beach. David took the helm some and helped with raising and lowering the sails. It is a lot different than the times he spent with us on Lake Superior with our little boats. But it came back to him and it was great to see him enjoying the sail.
And so we are coming to the end of our West End resort vacation and will be moving on to Nassau and the Exumas. We plan to take off tomorrow, Thursday, 5/10 and get to Nassau some time mid-day on Friday for several days before heading to on to the anchorages in the Exumas. (I discovered that I lost half of the pictures on the camera while transferring them, darn it, but I think I know what I did wrong.)