Sunday, December 30, 2018

Snorkeling at Little Bay

Today we took the dinghy 2 1/2 miles to Little Bay for snorkeling. We debated about pulling the anchor and taking Breeze On to Little Bay but knew we would have to come back here to Black Point anyway. The dinghy ride wasn’t bad at all. The snorkeling was as nice as always. The reefs are tiny but there are always a lot of fish there. This time George got the underwater camera to work and he was able to get photos of a few of the fish. Pay no attention to the date and time stamp on the photos. They really were taken today and not last March!









Saturday, December 29, 2018

Out for a Walk

Yesterday afternoon we went for a walk to explore some new territory. We walked all the way around the point on the north side of the harbor. We took a look at Exuma Sound and saw that the waves were really pounding the rocks. We passed by huge sand and rock piles that are apparently spoils from dredging around someone’s private island. We don’t know how they got the sand and rocks from a barge to the land. At the turn-around point of our walk we came to a little cove (known as Little Creek) with a dock and a sunken sailboat. It could make a nice protected anchorage or marina if it was enlarged. Along the way we passed some cacti. The land is arid here but I am still surprised to see cacti. 
Last evening we went to Glory Days for happy hour, along with Alex and David from Banyan. George and I took an appetizer and our own drinks, as is the custom with cruisers. 
This morning was dedicated to boat chores and then we went for another walk in the afternoon. The supply boat was at the dock when we arrived. Tomorrow will be a good time to check the stores for new produce. We are thankful that the strong winds are staring to ease a bit. They are still in the wrong direction for us to move south and east to Long Island, but that is okay. We can be patient. 

Waves crashing, Exuma Sound

“Little Creek”

Cactus with glimpse of sand pile on the right 

Supply boat

Friday, December 28, 2018

Coffee Cake

We had squalls all morning yesterday so I thought it would be a good time to bake something. I have always liked to bake but found that I didn’t like baking on the boat. The past two winters I would occasionally bake blueberry muffins for George to eat for breakfast and that has been about it. This past summer we purchased an Omni Stovetop Oven for the galley. I used it once to make a quiche and it worked very well. The biggest advantage of the Omni is that it doesn’t heat up the galley as much as the oven. I recently had an idea to convert the blueberry coffee muffins into a blueberry streusel coffee cake baked in the Omni. Before I leave home I package up a few vacuum bags of the blueberry muffin mix: Bisquick, sugar, dried egg crystals, powdered milk and a separate small bag of freeze dried blueberries. This saves searching all over the boat for the ingredients. I thought I could make up some streusel with the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and butter I have on board. I had some leftover hard sauce I had made to put on top of rum cake we had bought from the laundromat for our Christmas Eve dinner. I put that on top of the coffee cake as a glaze. The coffee cake was a big success. George declares it delicious. 
Throughout the morning we noticed that the wind had shifted just a little south of east and the anchorage was getting rolly. We decided to take the two mile walk over to town and look at the conditions in Black Point harbor. It looked much better. We returned to Breeze On, hauled up the dinghy, raised the anchor and motored back to Black Point. It is indeed much better here. Last evening we went to Scorpio’s for happy hour and met several other cruisers there. It was raining when we left. After our experience on Christmas Day when the squalls went on and on, we decided not to wait for this one to stop. By the time we got back to Breeze On and hauled the dinghy up we were soaked. 

Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake

Omni Stovetop Oven

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Little Bay

This morning we raised the anchor and motored 2 1/2 south around Black Point to Little Bay, one of our favorite anchorages. We will have strong trade winds for the next few days. Little Bay has a little less wind protection than Black Point but since we can anchor closer to shore it has much less chop. That makes using the dinghy quite a bit easier. It takes about 40 minutes to walk from here to town but we can use the exercise anyway. After setting the anchor we took the dinghy to the beach and went for a walk. 
Someone has put quite a bit of work into building a bar right next to the beach. After leaving the beach area we explored the roads that were cleared for a development that was never built. On the higher lots we had a good view of Exuma Sound on the eastern shore and we are happy to not be out there today. Next we walked some of the way toward town before turning around. Along the way George spotted a land hermit crab in the road. The poor thing has completely outgrown its shell. When we returned to the beach we saw Johnny and Doris from ‘Bout Time. They were there with their children and grandchildren. The families are renting a large cottage for two weeks along with a couple of golf carts. They seem to be having a great time. One of the grandsons appears to be the designated driver of one of the golf carts. He always has a great big smile on his face when he is driving. The other grandson came up with up with the families’ radio call sign, “Super Fantastic”. I think that is adorable. 

Drink anyone?

Exuma Sound


Hermit crab in need of a new home 

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

An Interesting Christmas

Every Christmas on a boat is different. This year our plans revolved around staying in Black Point so that we could celebrate with other cruisers at Lorraine’s Cafe. Then it almost didn’t happen. A line of squalls came through last night and just sat over our area. Usually squalls pass through quickly but each one of these lasted for hours at a time. The squalls brought a lot of wind so we wanted to wait for a break in the squalls before we went ashore. We finally just gave up waiting, put our foul weather gear on and headed slowly to shore. We put the dinghy on the beach instead of risking the dock. By the time we got to Lorraine’s, two hours late, everyone had already eaten. We did squeeze in at a table with four other cruisers and they happened to be very nice and welcoming. Lorraine put some Junkanoo music on, put on a costume and invited others to join her in a type of conga line around the restaurant. Junkanoo is a street parade with music, costumes and dance that occurs on Boxing Day (December 26) and New Years across the Bahamas. We have actually never seen a live Junkanoo so we really enjoyed this one. Lorraine also had other games including a hilarious one involving a donuts. It is too complicated to explain. 
After dinner we walked with some other cruisers down to Emerald Sunset View for drinks but didn’t stay long. The groups that were there were pretty tight-knit so it didn’t feel like we were welcome. 
Yesterday we started our day with laundry. We made a point of arriving as soon as the laundromat opened thinking it was going to get crowded. Several more boats had arrived in the harbor since we arrived. We needn’t have worried, no one else came in to do laundry while we were there. Ida was busy with about 1000 other things but was finally free to cut our hair by the time our laundry was finished. We saw Laurie and Frances from Glory Days in town and took the opportunity to ask them for dinner. I had been meaning to reciprocate since they had us over for fillet mignon last Christmas Eve. My dinner want nearly as fancy but we had a good time catching up. 
Johnny and Doris on ‘Bout Time have Christmas lights all over their boat and it is really beautiful. It is hard to get a good photo at night so this one doesn’t do it justice. 











Sunday, December 23, 2018

A New Experience

Well, I had a new experience today, one I hope to never have again. I fell into the water off of the dock ladder. Right after a shark swam by. Here is what happened. George and I returned to Black Point this morning in hopes of having a Christmas dinner at Lorraine’s, as we did last year. We went ashore, tied our dinghy to the main dock and went for a long walk.  At the end of our walk we stopped at Rockside Laundry (closed for the day) and sat outside to see if we could pick up some WiFi (we couldn’t). Then we stopped at Lorraine’s to make sure they were serving Christmas dinner and ask to have our names added to the list. When we returned to the dock there was another dinghy between ours and the ladder. George climbed down into the dinghy from the dock but it was low tide and too low for me to try that. George said he would drive our dinghy around the other dinghy to get to the ladder so I could get in. Then he asked me to climb down the ladder to push the other dinghy out of the way. Since it was low tide I had to climb down to the last step. By that time Doris and Johnny from ‘Bout Time had returned to their dinghy and offered to pull it out of the way but I said I could manage.  I did push their dinghy away with my foot but lost my balance on the slippery step (slippery because it spends most of its time under water). Into the water I went. I was fully clothed with walking shoes, socks, hat, sunglasses and Apple Watch. And I was holding the dry bag that held both of our iPads, and phones. Fortunately, the shark wasn’t interested in me. Also fortunate that the dry bag kept our electronics dry and my watch survived even though it wasn’t set on water mode. I wasn’t hurt, except for a few small scratches on my arm. I am not sure if I got them on the way down or during my effort to get back up the ladder. Johnny grabbed one of my hands and pulled. George grabbed the other and I was able to haul myself into the dinghy. Sorry, there are no photos of me looking like a drowned rat. At least none that we took. There was a large tour group in a boat on the other side of the dock when I went in so I did have quite an audience. 
In case you are wondering, this is the same dock under which our dinghy was submerged last January. We really do like Black Point but I don’t think that dock likes us. 
On a more positive note, we saw a great green flash at sunset last night when anchored at Big Majors. Tonight’s sunset is quite pretty so I will include it in this post. 



Saturday, December 22, 2018

Errands

Last night, just after we turned off the light to go to sleep we heard a  boom...Boom...BOOM...boom boom against the hull on my side of the v-berth. It was loud!  We both knew it was the mooring ball banging up against the boat but I couldn’t understand why it would be doing that. There was still a fair amount of wind that should have overcome the effect of the current. George went up on deck and managed to get the mooring ball over to the other side. It worked for a minute, the boat sat behind the mooring ball. Then, a few minutes later-boom...boom...BOOM on his side of the v-berth. We knew we couldn’t sleep with that racket going on so we turned on the light, grabbed our books and started reading. A short time later the current must have eased up and the banging stopped. Fortunately, it didn’t start up again with the next tide change six hours later. 
We left Cambridge Cay mid-morning today with the hope of getting some diesel and groceries at Staniel Cay. Once we arrived at Staniel we looked around for a place to anchor temporarily while we did our errands. There was enough of a NW wind to kick up quite a chop in the area between the Big Majors anchorage and Staniel Cay. We ended up at an anchorage known as “Downtown” in Active Captain but we call “Behind the Rocks”. It is a tight space between three large rocks and a beach off of town. Like most anchorages close to town it is quite shallow. We were in a race against the clock to get our errands done before low tide. George got the dinghy in the water in record time. He drove me to the beach so I could walk to the store. He then dinghied over to Staniel Cay Yacht Club with four jerry cans to buy 20 gallons of diesel. As I was walking to the store I said hello to a man riding a bike. He said hello but gave me a very funny look. I then noticed that I was still wearing the gloves I wear when operating the lines to get the outboard on the dinghy. In my haste I had forgotten to take them off before I got into the dinghy. As I approached the Blue Store I saw a couple coming out with two large bags of groceries. A very good sign!  When I went in I saw the owner still unpacking boxes of food. Yay!  I bought two heads of lettuce, tomatoes, carrots and a zucchini. The cucumbers looked nice but I decided to pass up the $5.00 price tag this time. I walked back to the beach and a few minutes later George came by with the diesel. He took the jerry cans to Breeze On and then came back to the beach to get me. We quickly pulled the outboard off of the dinghy. We still had 1/2 hour before low tide. Not bad!  We pulled up the anchor and, as I was maneuvering around to leave, I went aground. Ugh!  I was able to get free, after churning up a lot of sand, and we motored over to Big Majors where we will spend the night. 


Pulling up the anchor from “Behind the Rocks”. Big Majors is the land you see in the distance. The water is much choppier between the rock and Big Majors than it looks in this photo. 

Friday, December 21, 2018

Our Neighbors

George and I were curious about the boat in front of us, Giovannino. It arrived after dark the night before last. There appeared to be seven people on board. At least one person stayed behind and appeared to be cleaning while the others went to shore yesterday morning. George and I also went ashore for a walk and passed by two groups from Giovannino. One group was speaking French, yet the flag on the boat is a US flag. Then it occurred to us that it might be a crewed charter boat. George looked it up online and it is indeed a crewed charter boat. Up to six guests can charter it for a week for a mere $19,000.  Since this week is a holiday week the cost is $21,000. The crew consists of a captain and a cook. We have smelled some of the food they have been cooking and it does smell good. Most of their charters start in Nassau and that explains why they arrived at night. The week started on Wednesday and if they came straight here from Nassau they wouldn’t have arrived until after dark. Since they are professionals and make this trip multiple times a season they could probably do it with their eyes closed. 
A pre-frontal trough with squalls came through about an hour ago and we are now awaiting the arrival of the front with strong westerly winds. The dinghy from Giovannino is the only one out and about. Everyone else is hunkered down. Since the Giovannino guests paid $21,000 for this week I understand why they want to get as much out of it as they can. 


Giovannino 



Rainbow during a squall

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Cambridge Cay, Again

We left Cat Island yesterday morning and motored 60 miles west across Exuma Sound to pick up a mooring ball at Cambridge Cay. We are expecting a cold front that will bring strong westerly winds and we wanted to be in a relatively protected spot. The cold front is not due to arrive until tomorrow but we are glad we didn’t wait any longer to come here. We picked up the second-to-last mooring ball for boats of our size. Sometime in the night a motor cat came in and picked up the last one, right in front of us. There are a few large mooring balls left that are meant for boats that are 100 feet or more. Quite a difference from that last time we were here when we were all alone. We entered through Conch Cut, a deep but wide cut, and it was a snap compared to Dothan Cut. It helped that it was close to high tide when we came through. We plan to get off the boat today and go for a hike and maybe snorkel, too. Then we will haul the dinghy up onto the arch and hunker down tonight. I am developing a list of things to do while we stay on the boat tomorrow. 


Sunset at Cambridge Cay

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

New Bight, Cat Island

The wind shifted more to the west overnight and, since Cat Island is wide open to the west, waves built up. The wind was fairly light and the waves weren’t huge.  However, the boat is always swinging back and forth and when the boat would swing so that the waves were hitting us broadside we would rock and roll back and forth. This continued on through the morning so we decided to go ashore for a walk. This time we headed north through a part of New Bight we had never seen. It turns out that there wasn’t much to see except the Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, the last church built by Father Jerome. I am glad we took the walk to see it. We walked back on the main road and stopped by Olive’s Bakery to see if she had anything new. It was closed. I think it makes sense to call ahead to make sure they have baked goods made and are open. No problem, we have our coconut bread and it is delicious. The restaurants at the Fish Fry did not appear to be open. Breeze On is still the only boat in the harbor so the restaurants were probably not expecting customers today. George ran the water maker after we returned to Breeze On. The new part is working just fine and he had the tank filled in just an hour. 



Monday, December 17, 2018

Black Point to Cat Island

We took advantage of a favorable forecast and sailed 60 miles east to Cat Island. We left Black Point just before dawn and exited through the nearby Dothan Cut. We could have waited a few hours for slack tide but that would have meant getting to Cat Island quite late. We were hoping that, since the wind would not be opposing the outgoing tide, the conditions at the cut would not be bad. Dothan Cut is deep, about 20-30 feet, and narrow so the current moves through there rapidly. As it turned out we had 5 foot waves with very short intervals so it was a wild ride for a few minutes. I was happy to be done with it. We were pleasantly surprised to have enough wind to sail for the first few hours, then we motor sailed and finally just motored. The wind clocked around from the SW to the NW so we attempted to anchor in the NW corner of the bight for more protection from the waves. We couldn’t get the anchor to set, so after two attempts we motored over to the anchorage off of New Bight. There was just one boat here when we arrived and it left shortly after we arrived. The waves from the NW made it a bit bouncy early in the evening but it calmed down and shifted to the N overnight. 
This morning we went to shore and hiked up to the Hermitage, said to be the highest spot in the Bahamas at 206 feet. Father Jerome, a well known figure in the Bahamas who built churches that have withstood hurricanes, built it by himself as a place for him to get away from it all. It is based on a medieval monastery, built at 3/4 scale. The very steep walk up the hill is not for the faint of heart but worth it once you get there. One path, the steepest one, takes you through the stations of the cross. As we walked back down the hill we noticed a very large garden that seemed to have some sort of beans or peas. The interesting part was that the plants were interspersed between the rocks. They didn’t bother clearing the rocks away and probably couldn’t have even if they tried. After coming back down the hill we stopped at Olive’s Bakery. Her cinnamon coconut bread was the best bread we ate in the Bahamas when we were here two years ago. The bakery was closed so we called one of the two numbers on the sign to see if they would be open today or tomorrow. A man answered and said they were just returning from his father’s funeral and would have bread ready for us by 4 pm. I gave him my condolences and said we would return. Next we stopped at Hidden Treasures, one of the restaurants on the beach in the Fish Fry section. We asked if we could come back at 3 pm for lunch. She said yes and asked us to tell her what we wanted to eat. We both chose the grilled lobster which we remembered as being delicious when we ate there two years ago. It was just as delicious this time. We sat at a picnic table in the sand and had smoke from a fire of pine needles blowing on us to keep the no-see-ums and flies away. After we finished our meal we walked back over to Olive’s Bakery and bought some still warm coconut bread. 

The Hermitage

Garden with bean plants

Grilled lobster from Hidden Treasures

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Lunch at Lorraine’s

Today we went to shore for lunch at Lorraine’s. There was a New England Patriots’ pre-game on the big screen TV. It was deja vu all over again. Last January we watched the New England Patriots play in the Super Bowl with our daughter, Pam, and her now fiancĂ©, Brad. That was the night that the dinghy was caught under the dock and submerged. This time the dinghy was right where is was supposed to be and secured with a stern anchor.  Before we returned to the dinghy, though, we went for a walk. We encountered a fenced in yard with a couple of goats. One goat was trying to get at some banana trees that were growing in a sink hole, which was also fenced in.  When I got out my iPad to take a picture the goat walked over, most likely to see if I had anything for him to eat. I did not. 



Friday, December 14, 2018

Big Majors (Staniel Cay) to Black Point

Yesterday morning we raised the anchor and set sail nine miles south to Black Point. The wind was right on our nose once we rounded the corner at Harvey Cay so we dropped the main and motored the rest of the way. The harbor at Black Point is not quite as protected as Big Majors but we like being at Black Point much better. First item on the agenda once we settled in was laundry at Rockside Laundry. We weren’t desperate to do laundry but it didn’t look busy at the dinghy dock so we thought it was a good opportunity. We were wrong. All of the washing machines were full. There was a nice couple sitting there waiting for their laundry so we had a nice chat with them while we waited. A little while later another nice couple came in and we chatted with them as well. Finally, after about an hour of waiting we were able to put our laundry in a machine. Ida, the owner of Rockside, was apparently at a funeral in Nassau so a man named Stick, from Deshamon’s restaurant, was covering for her. He was running back and forth between the laundry and the restaurant. He told us that the laundry was having problems with the water pump so the washing machines are very slow to fill. After about an hour and a half one load was ready to put in the dryer. I eventually checked the dryer and found that the clothes were damp and the dryer was not at all hot. I decided to add these clothes to the other load once it was ready to go in the dryer. When I finally did that the second dryer didn’t get hot, either. George saw that the dryers were powered by propane and we guessed the propane had run out. George went over to Deshamon’s to find Stick, who was in the midst of serving a buffet lunch to a tour group. He came over anyway, hooked up new propane and gave us a couple more tokens. Finally, after four hours in the laundromat, we were done. We had made plans to meet the two couples, Darcy and John from Kindred Spirit and June and GT from Sirena Gorda, for happy hour a little later. We ended up at a new restaurant, Emerald Sunset View. It has a gorgeous view of the harbor but, unfortunately, we had just missed the sunset. The six of us sat on the deck and traded stories and had lots of laughs. When we shared the story of our reef line/propeller mishap near Cape Lookout, June said she had heard us talking with Tow Boat US on the radio. When June and GT shared a story about another boat hitting theirs at a marina in Bimini (while they were away from the boat), Darcy and John said they were there and saw it happen. The cruising world is indeed a small one. 
We returned to the main dock to dinghy back to Breeze On. After our experience with nearly sinking the dinghy when it got stuck under the dock last winter, George used a stern anchor this time. Not taking any chances even though the wind was blowing the dinghy off the dock.

Dinghy secure with stern anchor

Shark hiding out under the dinghy

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Cambridge Cay to Staniel Cay

Yesterday was another stay-on-the-boat day. The front came through and brought a lot of wind. A boat joined us in the mooring field at 11 pm. It appeared to be a man traveling alone. Pretty gutsy move to come into a dark mooring field at night and pick up a mooring while alone on the boat. Also, the entrance to Cambridge Cay can be tricky even in the daylight. Later yesterday morning two other boats joined us. Since it was so windy and choppy we didn’t venture out to meet our new neighbors. It was cloudy all day and our battery levels were dropping so George ran the Honda generator. While he did that I worked on a new cup holder that we installed at the helm. I made it out of Phifertex and used the HH-66 vinyl glue to put it together. We put strips of 3M Dual Lock (otherwise known as super duper Velcro on Breeze On) to hold it onto the boat. It worked very well when we used it during our fast sail from Cambridge Cay to Staniel Cay this morning. 
After anchoring at Staniel Cay we dinghied to shore to run errands. George picked up the replacement part for the Rain Man at Watermakers office in the Staniel Cay Yacht Club. This is the fourth time we have used Watermakers to have something sent to us and we are always pleased with the ease and speed. Rain Man has upgraded the replacement part from plastic to stainless steel. I am guessing we aren’t the only ones to have had a problem. While George picked up the part I dropped off the trash. Staniel Cay Yacht Club charges cruisers to dump their trash but we don’t mind. Next, George bought a jerry can of gas and then we ate a nice lunch at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club. Finally, we walked to both the pink and blue grocery stores to look for fresh vegetables. Our timing much be off because we didn’t find much. I did buy a small cucumber for $5.00. Ouch. 
We returned to Breeze On and moved over to the anchorage at Big Majors. George is running the water maker now and it seems to be working well. As he was setting it up we were visited by a rather large shark!
Cup holder in progress

Finished cup holder

Nice Day!

Our visitor



All Alone at Cambridge Cay

Note:  This is a post from two days ago that did not post. I will try again. 

Was it something we said?  We left Warderick Wells this morning and had a delightful sail down to Cambridge Cay at the southern end of Exuma Park. We were hoping to pick up a mooring ball here and wait out the next front tonight and tomorrow night. George fully expected the other five boats that had been at Warderick Wells would also come here but not a one of them did. There are 14 mooring balls here. When we arrived there was a sport fishing boat on one of them and it left a short time later. 
Soon after we were settled in we dinghied up to our favorite snorkeling spot, the sea aquarium. It did not disappoint. It took us a little while to figure out our Up n Out Ladder - this was the first time we’ve used it since last winter. We sat in the bouncy dinghy for several minutes before we finally got it set up correctly. Operator error. As George was working on the ladder I could see the sargent major fish swimming right up to the dinghy in hopes that we had food. Once we got into the water they swarmed around us. There were thousands of fish of numerous varieties and a lot of pretty coral, too. We love that place. George took pictures with the underwater camera but apparently the battery was dead. Another time. I am sure we will be back. 


Empty mooring field

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Exuma Park

Yesterday was cloudy, windy and squally so we were lucky to be able to get off of the boat at all. In between squalls, at mid-day, we dinghied ashore and hiked up to the top of Boo Boo Hill. We saw another squall on the horizon so we didn't linger. We went back to Breeze On and back to our reading. We have done a LOT of reading recently.
Today is a much nicer day so we spent most of the morning off of the boat. We first hiked along the beach and over the hill to see the blow hole near our mooring. We could see and feel the spray from the blow hole from time to time when we first arrived here. Since the wind direction has changed the waves at that location were smaller and there was nothing happening at the blow hole. Next we changed into our bathing suits, grabbed our snorkel gear and tried to find a spot to snorkel. Our first choice required a wild dinghy ride through some significant chop that we deemed not worth it. Our next choice didn't seem to have many fish, as seen through the look bucket, so we decided that wasn't worth it, either. Then we took the dinghy to the beach near the park office (named Powerful Beach, not sure how it got that name). We hiked with our snorkel gear on trails that we thought would take us to Butterfly Beach where there were supposed to be reefs near the beach. It looked like it would be a short hike according to the map. Not so much. It was rather difficult walking on the sharp iron rock. Since it was near high tide a portion of the trail was under water and slippery. We found Barefoot Beach but never found Butterfly Beach. At one point George walked ahead while I waited with the gear. After he came back and described the trail that he thought would take us to Butterfly Beach we both decided that wasn't worth it either. After we returned to the beach we went for a nice swim before returning to Breeze On.
So far today we have seen several sea turtles in the anchorage and one shark that swam right by our boat.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Rock Sound to Warderick Wells

We left Rock Sound just before daylight to sail across Exuma Sound to Warderick Wells. The wind had subsided to the low teens overnight and varied from 13 to 20 knots from the ESE after we left the anchorage. Although it was nice to have enough wind to sail, Exuma Sound was quite lumpy. That is always the way. Wind=waves, no wind=calm water. The conditions were not my favorite. It was a downwind sail so we had to be careful to avoid an accidental gybe. The wind was always shifting and the waves were pushing the boat this way and that so I had to keep my eye on the sailing angle at all times. If it was too high we would be heeled over, if it was too low the jib would gybe over. I found that if I even took my eye off of the apparent wind angle reading to look around for a few seconds the boat would be immediately sailing too high or too low. At one point, 1 1/3 hour into my watch, I saw George check the time. I then said to him "I am counting the minutes (until my watch was over)". He very kindly offered to take over 20 minutes early. By the time his watch was over it was time to take the sails down and enter Warderick Cut so I drove the rest of the way in. Warderick Wells is part of the Land and Sea Park system. The mooring balls are first come, first serve. George was worried it would be crowded but there are only two other boats here and twenty empty moorings. The changes in depths of the water here make this place really beautiful. We plan to spend our time hiking, swimming and snorkeling before moving on.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Calm Before the Storm

We had a day of very light wind before a front came bringing strong wind. Rock Sound is over 2 miles wide so George and I decided to move Breeze On to the other side of the sound, away from town and the dinghy dock, to an area with a little more protection from northerly wind. It is a completely different world here, very quiet and no buildings at all. One big bonus is that the bottom is soft sand without grass, making it much easier to get the anchor to hold well. After moving the boat we spent the rest of yesterday on the boat waiting for the front to pass. We were hoping that today the wind and chop would ease enough to make it worthwhile to put the dinghy back in the water and go to shore for a walk on the beach. It didn’t subside much and we decided it wasn’t worth crashing through the chop in the dinghy to go for a walk. We aren’t quite that desperate yet. 





Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Nort’ Side Restaurant aka Rosy’s

Shortly after 3 pm yesterday Rosy met us at the dinghy dock with her car. She drove us the 2 1/2 miles across the island to the ocean side. Along the way Rosy shared some of her life story. It was quite a story. When we arrived Rosy introduced us to her three dogs and one cat. Her restaurant is actually rooms of a house. We entered into the bar which has sand as the floor. From there we went into the main dining room, a large sun porch, which can actually seat quite a few people. It was set with Christmas tablecloths and filled with items she collects from the beach. Rosy walked us out to the large deck and suggested we take a walk on the beach while she finished up cooking our meal. Her restaurant is set on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic. We took the 32 steps down to the beach and went for a walk. Shortly after we returned Rosy had our meal ready. It was a delicious Bahamian meal of fried grouper fingers, plantains, peas and rice and coleslaw. Rosy laughed that since her deep fryer wasn’t working properly and the grouper fingers didn’t turn out as well as she liked, she was calling them grouper finger cousins. There were still delicious. After we finished she brought out a photo album and showed us pictures of her six adult children and their families who live all over the world. We also saw pictures of Rosy in the many places she has traveled. Rosy was born in Freeport and raised by her grandparents after her mother died when Rosy was a infant. Rosy’s husband was from Rock Sound and came to Freeport as a teacher when Rosy was 17. Rosy said her godmother spotted Rosy’s future husband and told her she had seen the man Rosy would marry. When Rosy’s husband first saw Rosy he decided he wasn’t going to let her get by him. They married the following year and lived a happy life until he died 18 years ago. They would have been married 50 years (hard to believe since Rosy looks to be between 45 and 50). She and her husband built four cottages with a plan to build more and rent them. He died before they were finished. She had them finished and carried through with the plan and also opened her restaurant on the property. Although her husband would have built more cottages she stopped at four. She could only do what she could do. Before she drove us back to the dinghy dock she took us on a tour of one of the cottages. The cottages are even higher on the bluff and the view is absolutely stunning. The cottage was lovely. 
Rosy took us on a tour of the back roads of Rock Sound on our way back. She took us by Dingle’s to pick up the laundry we had dropped off in the morning. As we were getting out of her car at the dinghy dock George realized he had left his new hat (purchased a few months ago at the boat show) at her restaurant. Rosy insisted on driving us back to get it. She is a lovely person. 
Rosy

View from the deck

32 steps to the beach

Bar

Nort’ Side Restaurant


Monday, December 3, 2018

Coco di Mama to Rock Sound

All right, I am willing to give the Coco di Mama anchorage another chance. We had a peaceful night after the wind and the waves finally died down last night. Under the right conditions it is a nice place to anchor. The Coco di Mama Resort did not appear to be open. The four colorful buildings were lit only by outdoor lights in the evening and we never saw any people on the property. 
We left the anchorage this morning on our way to Rock Sound. We bypassed Ten Bay, an anchorage we like a lot. We are traveling quickly along Eleuthera for a couple of reasons. We wanted to get to Rock Sound with enough time to get some errands done ahead of the next cold front. Also, we want to be prepared to go to the Exumas in order to pick up our water maker part in Staniel Cay. 
The wind was light all morning so we motored to Rock Sound. The predicted wind did not pick up until we arrived in Rock Sound. The wind and chop made arriving and departing from the dinghy dock a little challenging. We wanted to put the dinghy on the side of the dock that would allow the dinghy to blow away from the dock. As we approached I noticed that the only ladder on that side was swaying in and out. The piece of wood that holds the bottom of the ladder had broken off. I got out of the dinghy on a sturdier ladder on the other side of the dock. George tried putting out a stern anchor to hold the dinghy off of the dock on that side but finally gave up and went back around tied up to the other side.  Then he climbed up the swaying ladder. Fortunately, he made it without mishap. We walked the short distance to Dingell’s gas station and bought 10 gallons of diesel. While we were there we made the arrangements to have our laundry done tomorrow. We will drop it off at Dingell's early in the morning and pick it up at the end of the day. George called Rosie’s Restaurant to make reservations for dinner tomorrow. Garth and Sue from Jabulani raved about Rosie’s when we saw them in Hope Town. I am looking forward to it. 


Rock Sound

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Coco di Mama

Late yesterday afternoon a few more boats came into the small Spanish Wells mooring field. A large catamaran picked up the mooring directly behind us. The couple on the catamaran quickly put their dinghy in the water and left. A little while later we noticed that the four monohull boats in the mooring field were all lined up but the catamaran behind us was perpendicular to us. Not only that, at times it seemed to be edging sideways closer to us. Later on it turned even more so it looked as if it would be pointing the opposite direction and right up beside us. Much to my surprise George didn’t seem at all worried about it. He joked about putting some fenders out, but ended up going to bed without putting fenders out and didn’t even get up during the night to check on the catamaran. At 7 am this morning Bandit, the manager of the mooring field, was out in his boat asking the people in the catamaran to move to a mooring that is meant for larger boats. Then he stopped by our boat to say he normally doesn’t like to come out this early but he saw a squall on the horizon and was worried what might happen between us and the catamaran if the wind picked up. Bandit likes for people to call him either on the VHF radio or telephone before picking up a mooring. Not surprisingly, the people on the catamaran had not called ahead. I also noticed that the last boat to arrive had already left, presumably without paying for the mooring. We think that is so sleazy. 
We left Spanish Wells by 8:15 with a plan to get to Current Cut around 10:30. We had written down in our log 2 years ago that we went through the cut 1 1/2 hours after low tide in Spanish Wells. Last year we went through the cut about 2 hours after high tide in Nassau. The idea is to time it for slack tide since the current can really rip through the cut. It was more convenient for us to go after low tide so that’s what we were aiming for. We must not have timed it right because we had a current of almost 2 1/2 knots against us through the cut. We are thinking that timing it about 1 1/2 hours later would have been better. That would make it 2 hours after Nassau low tide.  So it makes sense to go either 2 hours after Nassau low tide or 2 hours after Nassau high tide. 
After exiting the cut we aimed for an anchorage near the Coco di Mama resort. We plan to spend just one night here so haven’t bothered to go ashore. So far it is not one of our favorite anchorages.  It was difficult to get the anchor to set and it is a bit rolly. The rolly conditions may be because the wind has been from the southwest (forecasted to be from the southeast) all day. There really isn’t much protection from southwest winds along the western coast of Eleuthera. 
One thing worth noting that I forgot to mention in yesterday’s post.  A couple of dolphins came through the mooring field!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Spanish Wells

The first item on today’s agenda was try out that fix for the water maker part and put some fresh water in the tank. The fix didn’t hold. The part cracked again right through the Sugru George had used to repair it. Next he tried wrapping the part with Rescue Tape, a very stretchy vinyl tape used in plumbing. That worked well enough. About half of the water leaked out of the fitting, so instead of collecting 30 gallons an hour he collected about 15. Also, the pressure was lowered than usual and not enough to get the water up to the water intake at the bow. George filled a 5 gallon jug 5 times and hauled it up to the water intake to pour it in. In any case, we have more water in the tank and can limp along with this set up until the new part arrives. George decided to have the part (and a spare) sent to Watermaker’s Air in Staniel Cay. We have used them before and it worked out very well. They handle all of the paperwork required and are very fast. We should be able to get to Staniel Cay within 1 1/2 to 2 weeks to pick it up. We felt a bit guilty running the water maker this morning in this mooring field. The water maker is quite noisy and there were boats in close proximity ahead of us and behind. Oh well, it couldn’t be helped. 
After George finished with the water maker we dinghied ashore and bought jerry jugs of diesel and gas. I bought a few fresh vegetables at the small Pinder’s Grocery Store. We brought the fuel and groceries back to Breeze On then went back to shore for a walk and trip to the larger grocery store. We bought a few more fresh vegetables there. When we first visited Spanish Wells two years ago we were struck by how much the residents seem to get into the Christmas spirit. The more sparkle the better. Today we saw a few yards that were filled with Christmas decorations.






Friday, November 30, 2018

Pets’s Pub, Little Harbor

We left Hope Town at mid-tide yesterday morning and sailed the convoluted Sea of Abaco route south around the shallows. After going about half way down that southern part of the Sea of Abaco George commented about how clear the water was. There are a lot of cuts in that area allowing water to enter and exit from the Atlantic. We anchored near Bridges Cay, not too far from Little Harbour. Then we put the dinghy in the water and motored over to Little Harbour for a late lunch at Pete’s Pub. If you didn’t know us well you would think we were pub crawling. Actually, we went to two bars in two days for the good food. Really!  The food at Pete’s Pub really is delicious. George ordered coconut cracked conch (cracked conch is what they call deep fried conch) and I ordered  a shrimp gyro. Both meals came with two sides, pineapple walnut slaw for both of us, quinoa salad for me and rice and corn for George. We ate our meals at picnic tables in the sand overlooking the harbor. When we finished we took a quick stroll through the gallery and gift shop. There are some really beautiful metal sculptures for sale that are made right there in Little Harbour. After we returned to the boat we had a rather unpleasant surprise when George tried to use the water maker for the first time. A Y connector that connects three hoses had broken. He put everything away and used a product called Sugru to put the connector back together. Sugru is like Silly Putty that dries into a hard plastic within 24 hours. In the meantime, George sent an email to the Rain Man representative and will arrange to have a new part sent to us somewhere in the Bahamas. 
This morning we got up before sunrise and left the Sea of Abaco through the Little Harbour Cut on our way south to Spanish Wells. We motor-sailed initially until the wind picked up enough to turn the engine off. Once we entered the Northeast Providence Channel, just past the tip of Great Abaco Island, they were ships coming and going every which way. Of course, the only two that came anywhere near us did so during my watch. It always seems to happen that way. The closest one was never closer than 1 1/2 miles, but I had to keep an eye on them to make sure we were going to pass at a safe distance. 
We are now tied up to a mooring ball in Spanish Wells. We aren’t sure how long we will be staying, at least two days, maybe longer. 

Pete’s Pub

Broken Piece of Water Maker

Nice Day of Sailing to Spanish Wells


Entering Spanish Wells