Vacation in the Middle of Vacation?

We enjoyed a late lunch at Xuma’s at Highbourne Cay Marina.  I think we will take Christy there.  The next day we headed over to Southwest Allen’s Cay and fed the iguanas and enjoyed a day of swimming  and paddle boarding in the very calm cove.  I was even able to stand up and paddle for awhile.  Unfortunately John was not able to get a photo.  (Sorry Katie maybe next time.)  John saw a ray and a lobster in the water.  It was a nice calm place to hang out.  There was a large tender off a big boat that got stuck in the shallow water.  All the people had to get off and they even had to push it out into deeper water.  Note: make sure of the tide before you anchor somewhere.

After a great day hanging around we headed back to Highbourne to anchor.  The way the wind was going to come up it was the best place to anchor.  We saw a very NICE motor yacht with a slide set up.  I asked John for a slide for next year but he said he did not have enough air in him to blow it up.  Oh well.  It was a very rocky/bouncy night as the winds picked up to about 20 knots.  It calmed down some the next morning so we could make our way up to Nassau.  On the way out we saw a sea plane land and take off.

The motor sail to Nassau was great.  We had the headsail up and we were getting 7.5 to 8 knots.  We were flying.  We did get passed by a beautiful monohull.  John got some great photos and when we got to Palm Cay Marina they were there.  We met Pierre from s/v Renaissance III and we shaired the photos with them.  It is very hard to get photos of you own boat while under sail.  We were in the right place at the right time.  Friday moNing it was laundry and clean up time.  We need to get the boat ready for Christy and since we will be spending the week in Nassau at the Sandyport Resort with Bonnie and Richard, we would not have any other time.  Of course we did have time for some yummy pizza at the beach club here.

Renaissance III under sail with Capt Pierre

On 3/16 we want to wish a happy birthday to VeNessa and we are sorry to have missed her party.  A Wease Birthday Party back home is whole lot of fun and we will miss being with all the family.  We cannot wait to send the week with Bonnie and Richard at Sandyport Beach Resort.  Nassau will never be the same after “Lasky Party of 4” gets finished.

Up And Down, Back And Forth

We decided to head up to Staniel Cay on 3/1.  We have our underwater camera charged and want to get some photos of Thunderball Grotto.  There were lots of fish “fins” and lots of swim “fins”.  But we did get some cool photos.  A lot of tour boats bring people to the Grotto and some of the young and foolish ones jump into it from the hole in the roof.  I was glad John did not get jumped on while he was taking some photos.  And while we are “young” at heart, we did not jump!

Staniel Cay has some cute homes and one night we got to see the “green” flash at sunset.  At night some of the light in the homes had evil eyes!  Spooky!  We spent several day going from Staniel Cay to Pig Beach.  I did not go back to see the pigs since we already had photos of them and I had nothing to feed them.  They can bite you.

 On 3/5 we headed up to Warderick Wells in the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park.  After we got there we took a dingy ride over to Rendezvous Beach and took a little swim.  We tried to sit on the beach for a while but the “noseems” were bad.  There was a north easterly wind coming up and the Emerald Rock field was full.  The office said it has not been full like that for several years.  There was a bit of a tussle.  There are about 6 mooring balls for very large ships (numbers 1-6) and small boats are asked not to take them.  Well a small boat had been on one for a night already and had paid for 2 nights when a very large power boat came in and started to complain.  He was making a big jerk of himself and tried to make the small boat move.  The wonderful park employee took responsibility for the mistake as she had allowed the small boat to be there.  The power boat did get a big ball but what a show it was.

On 3/7 we headed up to Hawksbill Cay and enjoyed a dingy ride and some beach time.  We stayed one night and then headed to Shroud Cay for a night. On 3/9 we got up and headed to Highborne Cay for a few nights.  We hope to try out the restaurant to see if Katie and Christy would enjoy it when they come down.  I just hope we remember to spring forward on Sunday the 10th!  We islanders do kind of forget about things like that and also what day of the week it is.  But we never ever forget where we put our bottle of rum!

George Town Part 2

On 2/19 we moved closer to Kid Cove near Lake Victoria (closer to ice and water). It was less rocky and we enjoyed several days on that side of the harbor. While there we met another couple that have a Wildcat like us. Marc and Isabella of s/v Isla Bonita keep their boat in George Town and fly down for a while in the winter from Canada. They both came aboard to see our boat and look at the changes we made. We were not able to make it to see their boat before we left. I hope we meet up with them again somewhere. On Friday the 22nd the Regatta held the “Round The Island” race. It was a timed start and all the boats went around Stocking Island. John and I decided we would try to find a new location in the harbor so we went from Monument Beach all the way to Sand Dollar Beach looking for a less rocky location. We found a spot at Honeymoon Beach close to shore. That is the good thing about a “cat”. You can get close to shore.

While the “Round The Island” race was fun to listen to on the radio, we could not see much. The “color” commentary by Donna and Lisa was great. We did have a great spot to watch the “In Harbor” race on Sunday and we got some great photos. It was a two lap race we sat on the bow and watched while we listened to Donna and Lisa again. They were very funny!

On Monday the 25th we left George Town to slowly make our way to Nassau. Our first stop was at Emerald Bay Marina for gas and water. After that it was out into the Exuma Sound for a trip up to Musha Cay for a couple of days. The funny thing was that a bunch of boats left George Town when we did and we saw a few while we were getting gas. As we were moving up the sound we kept hearing one of those boats s/v Cupcake trying to hail a vehicle that may have been in distress. At first we could not see her or the other boat but then we saw the smoke and Cupcake. At that point we turned around and headed to help. We were about 5 miles and it was taking us some time to get there. The m/y Patience was also heading that way and they launched their tender. The tender got there very fast and there was only one single handed sailor and he was in his dingy or life raft and was ok. The m/y got there and planned to wait for the sailboat to sink. They were asked if any other assistance was needed and they advised they were fine. When Cupcake and us heard that we both headed on our way. From Facebook we saw that his flexible solar panels caught the canvas bimini on fire.

After that drama we got to Musha Cay and anchored. We stayed 2 nights and one day we swam and drove our dingy around. John and I were both able to practice getting into the dingy from the water it makes it nicer to take the dingy to a snorkel location. We even got photos of The Musician a statute placed in the water near the Cay.

On 2/27 we headed for a short trip back up to Black Point. We did not go into the Sound as the wind had picked up. John had to be on the lookout for shallow areas and coral heads the whole way. At Black Point we were able to make it to Scorpio’s for the cruisers happy hour. We got to meet lots of fun people and then we headed to Deshamons for his famous pizza. It was good.

Little Town, Big Boat Community

We left Black Point on 2/12 heading south.  We made great time and anchored in Little Farmers Cay.  The weather was good but it was a swift current and while we did not drag anchor we did swing around a lot.  The next morning we took to the Farmers Cay Cut over to Exuma Sound.  The sound side has much deeper water and the western side of the Exumas has many shallow areas with coral heads to watch out for.  We stayed out for about an hour but the large rolling waves made it feel like a washing machine so we cut back into the west side near Musha Cay.  Musha is a private island with a resort owned by David Copperfield.  You can rent it for $39k per night with a 4 night minimum…….. no thank you, I will stay on my boat!  We dropped anchor for a bit to make some decisions as to where to go.  One of the thinks we wanted to see was the submerged piano and mermaid sculpture that David commissioned and was done by Jason deCaies Taylor.  We did not find it as we decided to head out to the sound and make for a closer stop to George Town.  We headed out of Rudder Cut and the waves were better.  With the wind going (for once) in the right direction we were flying.  John decided we were making good time to make it to George Town before the sun set.

We made it to George Town to stay with about 200 other boats.  There is a BIG cruiser community here and we made it just in time to enjoy their annual regatta.  This is the 39th regatta.  After dropping anchor between Lake Victoria and Stocking Island we enjoyed a quiet night.  Bright and early the next morning we headed into Lake Victoria in the dingy to go to the Exuma Market for provisions. Each morning they have Cruisers Net to give news on all the activities and to welcome new people.  It appears that a daily get together happens on Volleyball Beach where Chat and Chill is, so we headed there to see what was up.  After enjoying a bottle or two of Sands Beer we learned of an variety show going on the next night and we decided to check it out.  It was fun and there was quite a lot of talent.  The owner of Chat and Chill provided free rum punch (while it lasted).  It looks like we will be here till the end of the week and then start heading back up to Nassau.

On Sunday we went to Peace and Plenty Beach Club for burgers and beer and after John and took a little swim around the boat.  Monday night we had a full moon and it lit up the harbour.  Tuesday we have some wind and rain coming and we moved over closer to the shore to get out of the wind.

Sharks, Pigs, Iguanas Oh My!

On Sunday we moved the boat over to Pig Beach, it was about 30 min ride from Staniel Cay.  We took the dingy into the beach to see the swimming pigs.  The beach was full of people and pigs.  It seems there is a tour from Nassau for $400 that will bring you down to see the pigs, snorkel the grotto, see the iguana, go to a “hidden” beach and get lunch.  I kind of liked my way to see the pigs better.

After that we went back to anchor near Staniel Cay Yacht Club for their Super Bowl party.  I did not care much for the game but I wanted to see Maroon 5…….sigh Adam……..  Let’s just say I was not disappointed.  We had some yummy food and for the first time I noticed that the area near the fish cleaning station was full of sharks, nurse sharks but still they ARE sharks.  

We left Staniel Cay on 2/5 to head south.  We stopped at Bitter Guana Cay to see and feed the Iguanas.  It was an easy dingy ride into shore and as soon as we landed out they came.  After feeding them all the cherry tomatoes we had we took a walk down the beach to a very small cave.  It was cool and from the beach we could see our boat.

We left there to anchor at Great Guana Cay at the Black Point settlement.  A great island and super friendly people.  We did some laundry at Rockside Laundry.  If you need to do some laundry this is the place.  10 washers and dryers and reasonable cost. The cost is $3.75 per wash and dry.  Samual is very nice there and will help you tie up your dingy at their dock.  They also have showers and free WiFi.  After starting our loads we headed to Lorrain’s Cafe for a yummy lunch of cracked lobster and conch fritters.  Add rum punch and you have a perfect meal.  At least in my eye.  I don’t think John will try them again.  We took a little walk and while they have free RO water and trash drop off, donations are suggested.  The mail boat came while we were there so we got a few grapes and a cabbage.  For the grand cost of $17.  Fresh stuff is soo costly here.  Not sure when we will leave but I think we will head to Little Farmers Cay next.

Stopping and Smelling The Roses

On 1/25 we left Palm Cay Marina as the weather was much better.  The winds had calmed down enough to head out so we were more then ready to go.  Our plan was to head to the Exumas so off we went.  We were able to make it to Cabbage Cay and got a spot to anchor.  We were there early enough to even swim some.  The water was sooooooo clear.  After we got out I even saw a nurse shark who decided to swim around our boat for awhile.  I am just glad I did not see him while I was in the water.  The weather that night turned rough so we stayed an extra day and read and watched some dvd’s.  I just love me some Firefly!  Even with all the wind and current our anchor held firmly.

On 1/27 we were off again and heading to the Exuma Cay Land and Sea Park.  We were able to get a Mooring ball at Emerald Rock and we were glad to get it.  There was some rain on 1/28.  Yes it even rains here in Paradise.  On 1/29 we took the dingy into the park and walked around  we went up to Boo Boo Hill and even went to see the blow holes (it was low tide sooooo no blowing up the holes).  Boo Boo Hill is named for a schooner wreck off of Warderick Wells where all souls were lost and not a single body was recovered.  It is told that if you walk up there on a full moon you can hear the lost souls singing hymen’s.  Now most people bring a board or something to paint their boat name on and leave it.  I unfortunately did not know about this before soooooo no item left from Dreamers.  After we went back to the boat we took the dingy and paddle board over to the beach to play awhile.  I was not able to get up but John is becoming a master.

On 1/30 we left the park and headed for Staniel Cay.  We had a nice motor sail and got here in record time.  This was the setting for the James Bond movies Thunderball and Never Say Never.  We grabbed a mooring ball and plan to stay for a few days.  We were close enough to snorkel over to Thunderball Grotto and it was worth it.  Since you have to go into a cave the best time is at low tide.  We were close enough to swim on over and enjoy the sights.  I wish my underwater camera had been charged so I could have taken some photos.  We met some new friends (Dan and Becky of C’mon Girl) at the Yacht Club Bar and they dingyed over to our boat and went too.  

So far we have enjoyed the Yacht Club Bar.  I even got a hat.  The beer is good and cold.  Sands Light is no bad at all and I even tried a cool rum drink.  Lunch today was grouper fingers and they were great.  The staff at Palm Cay in Nassau said we had to try them and they were right.  Who knows tomorrow we may head to pig beach.  Just wait till you see those photos.

One Tree Island

1/15 we left South Bimini to cross The Great Bahama Bank  it is a 75nm across and 180nm long hunk of ocean.  It is approximately 15 to 18 feet deep along the way.  And boy oh boy is the water blue.  I even saw a cool ship wreck.  It looked like it had been there for a while.  When we started out we knew we had two choices.  We could do an all day and night sail or anchor in the middle of the ocean.  We picked to anchor.  It was a bouncy motor sail and John decided to stop before it got dark.  It was nice to be out in the ocean.  I saw no sea creatures but it was still nice.  At night it was so dark and I felt like I could touch the stars.  It was a bit or a rock and roll night with us walking up about every hour or so.  But as soon as the sun was up we were off again.

As we left the Bank we decided to cross over to Chub Cay to get some fuel and anchor for the night.  It was great and just watching the sun go down can relax a girl.  The next day we headed over to Nassau.  We actually went through some deep water.  Like over 8000 feet deep.  I think it was a part of the ocean called The Tongue of the Ocean.  There was some wind from the north so we picked an anchorage in West Bay.  It has some clear water and we decided to stay there a couple nights, just so we could have a fun day.  The first day we did not have much time to do anything but pick a spot and cook dinner.  The next day we swam, and played with the paddle board.  John got all the way up.  I am still working on my arm strength so I kind of used it like a kayak. Still we had fun.

More strong wind ware coming in for Sunday and into the next week so John made the decision to pop into a marina.  We headed around Nassau passing Atlantis Resorts, some parked cruise ships and Nassau Harbour.  We got a slip here at Palm Cay Marina. And so far we have been here 3 nights.  They have a restaurant (yummy pizza), nice showers, washers and dryers and we can check out a car for 2 hours at a time.  We went to a nice grocery store one day and the next we went drove into downtown Nassau.  OMG!  They drive in the “wrong” side of the road and the car we use has the steering wheel on the “wrong” side of the car.  John drives and my job is to keep saying “drive on the left” or “turn into the left lane”.  It is enough to drive a Ferrell to drink!  I think we may be able to leave Thursday or Friday and then it is off to the Exumas.  I can not wait to get on the road again.