Dec.16 We showed Andale Staniel Cay. Kat and I got groceries and we all had lunch at the Yacht Club. In the afternoon, We took both dinghies to the Isles General dock near the airport and picked up Chris, Corey, and Mike. After the kids settled in and had a quick swim off the beach, we had an early dinner and went to bed.
Dec. 17 Had to go snorkeling at Thunderball Grotto for old times sake and Corey saw many new fish for her life list. Later, we fed the pigs and zoomed around in the dinghy to various beaches for shelling. For dinner, we invited Chris and Ann from “Mr Mac” over to meet the kids because he writes pirate books (Mike loves pirates) and she is a marine biologist (mike wants to be a marine biologist). Everyone had a great time and a rousing game of Mexican Train Dominos.
Dec. 18 This mornings expedition with Andale was done by dinghy 3 miles down to Bitter Guana Cay just below Staniel in 15 kts of wind from the SE. It was a bouncy ride but the bigger dinghies can handle it. Our bodies were a little worse for the wear but it was “something to do while we had the kids here “. On Bitter Guana are a good group of local iguanas on the beach and they love fruit. We all fed them and were pleased to see babies among the group. There is also an interesting white cliff formation to check out. The trip back was definitely easier. After lunch, we left the anchorage and headed up to Bell Island which was about a 20nm trip. We wanted to anchor just east of it because more wind was coming from the SW, W to N over the next two days. The anchorage is surrounded by islands and you don’t get too much wave action. John found a sweet spot where we could swing 360 and not be in too shallow water. Bell Island in privately owned now by the Aga Khan.
Dec. 19 The wind was blowing but John dropped us off on a small protected beach and we beach combed and explored the island. After lunch, the big expedition was N past Little Halls Pond Cay, which belongs to Johnny Depp, and further north to Big Halls Pond Cay to walk on the long beach and snorkel. I walked the beach and the kids snorkeled. john smoked a cigar in the dinghy. On the way back, we tried to stop at the “sea aquarium” to snorkel, but it was too rough. Dinner and a movie finished off the day.
Dec. 20 When John awoke, he spotted a large pirate flag and a motor yacht by Johnny Depp’s island. They had not been there the day before which meant he must be in residence! The kids were all excited to get a closer look so we loaded up the dinghy and zoomed up there in the1-2ft chop. The big flag had a skull & crossbones and a red sparrow and the yacht was at least 150 ft and looked like a reproduction of an old motor yacht. All the beaches were set up with”toys” and lounge chairs. I have photos in the next post. On the way back, we were able to stop at the “sea aquarium” and the fish were back! After all were safely on board, we brought the anchor up and headed out to sea to weave our way through the islands back down to Big Majors. The first few minutes on the outside were a bit rocky and rolly in the 3-4 ft confused seas and we had to stuff towels in a few noisey places but it didn’t last long. Soon we were back through the next cut and headed for the bank and calmer waters with only 1-2ft chop. Luckily the wind was on our stern. Lunch was served and we went smoothly down to Big Majors. Scrabble and dominos were the entertainment during cocktail hour and the movie, Moby Dick, was the evening entertainment.
Dec 21 We all needed our email and Staniel Cay Yacht Club lunch fix on Chris. Afterwards, we picked up Andale and took them snorkeling the Fowl Cay cut and my reef on the back side of Big Majors island. Everyone was frozen so it was back to our boats for hot chocolate and dominos.
Dec. 22 The wind was finally down and we needed water because our watermaker died (parts are on order) so we went into the Staniel Cay Yacht Club dock. to get some. After anchoring back in our usual spot, we gathered up Andale’s crew and went in two dnghies up the islands to Compass Cay. The idea was to take the dinghies out through the cut and around the southern end of the island to a beautiful crescent beach and have a picnic. As we approached the cut, we realized there was a big swell and breaking waves her and there. John and Chris (with his surfing knowledge) managed to work their way through in between “sets” and led Andale’s crew and me to the beach. The problem was that the swells were making it difficult to land the dinghies on the beach so the plan was scrapped. Back out and around and into quiet water again. We found a small protected beach and had delicious our picnic there. After lunch, we stopped at another island and walked across to the windward side to look for shells while the men watched the dinghies. I went back to Andale while John took the kids for one last snorkel. Well, the best was saved for the last! The reef they sorkeled on is about 20ft deep and they were able to swim with two large spotted eagle rays and a reef shark (which Mike was very happy to see as he loves sharks!). They were thrilled. We had a final dinner of lobster Newburg which really pleased Corey who misses Maine where she grew up.
Dec. 23 Everyone was up early and suited up to brave the 2-3ft chop in the dinghy to go to the airport. After they left, we straightened up the boat and went over to Andale to work on their jigsaw puzzle (me) and watch Fox News (John).
Dec. 24 John was feeling brave so we took the “mother ship” through the narrow Fowl Cay cut and around the bend and to a more protected anchorage just north of Fowl Cay because a storm was coming the day after Xmas. The watermaker parts came so John busied himself getting it working again while I went to Andale to work on the puzzle and have lunch. Later, we went to the little beach in the anchorage for a swim and walk. As we landed the dinghy, we noticed a bunch of jet skis, a table set for lunch, etc. A large man came up to Alan and asked politely that we leave because they were having a private party on the beach. Kat and I looked at one of the men and said to him” As anyone ever told you that you look like Glenn Beck?” and he said “Yes many people!”. Kat went to walk the dog and Alan came back to me and told me the man was really Glenn Beck! Now we were willing to leave but we needed Kat to come back. When she got back to the beach, she was chatting with Glenn not know he was really him. She is very friendly. Finally, we got her attention and called her over the to boat and told her. Everyone laughed and they helped us launch the boat again. We went to another beach and then they dropped me off. Meanwhile, John had had to move the boat because it was to shallow where we first anchored and was now working on the watermaker again. I helped as “surgical nurse”. By dinner, it was working and we were able to have a nice Xmas eve dinner together.