Saturday, February 18, 2012

Feb. 3-7  The weather was beautiful so we just enjoyed the neighborhood both on and in the water.

The girlies and John went for a walk above Staniel Cay

Feb. 7 Our friends, from last year on Semazana, were on their way in stages. Suzie arrived by plane in the afternoon to stay with us till Sam arrived with crew on their boat.

Feb. 8 When we entered the Bahamas this year, we were only given 90 days so we knew we had to renew our visas soon. Ray and Susan on No Agenda had chartered a plane to go to Nassau for their flight back to Texas so they graciously let us fly with them. We had a wild taxi ride to the immigration office in downtown Nassau, got our extension (after much consternation), and had another wild ride back and flew back to Staniel. That evening there was a big party on our beach so, of course, we went.

flying back home over Norman's Cay and Shroud Cay

The new marina on Bell Island owned by the Aga Kahn

All the new windmills, houses, marina and landscaping on Over Yonder Cay

our anchorage at Big Majors

Feb. 9 Pizza day again so we all went over to Sampson and filled our faces. Afterwards, John took Suzie, Susan and me to our favorite shelling beach and he hit the motherland of little sea biscuits! Suzie and I found a good many sandollars and  sunrise tellins too.

Some of our finds- all different urchins

Feb. 10 Sam came by the boat and woke up Suzie and took her back to their boat. John and I went to Judy’s on Little Majors island and played a rousing game of Biriba. Semezana came for dinner and Sam and Suzie spent the night on Windermere while their crew dog watched Fred their Portuguese water dog.

Suzie, Fred, and Sam on their new kayak

Feb. 11 The wind was up and coming from the west which made for a rough day. everyone just stayed on their boats and read. In my usual crazy fashion, I went for a swim over to Semezana to say hi to Fred as I had not seen him yet this year. John took the dinghy to Sampson and picked up the food for my birthday party the next day.

Feb.12  It was blowing harder but from a much better direction so the chop was lower. We had Faring, Exodus, Semezana, and Samantha on board for the tapas that the chef at  Sampson had made. Everyone was cozy and warm and enjoyed the food. Suzie had make a chocolate cake which was inhaled rapidly! All in all it was a wonderful birthday celebration.

The birthday party group with the feast!

Feb.13  The weather was better. Samantha asked us to join them at Staniel for lunch and then I found a few groceries at the Blue store. The excitement for the day was involved our friends on Steadfast. We had been waiting for them to arrive and we got a call that their, 7 months pregnant, daughter was sick  and needed medical attention. We were able to get them in touch with the clinic and nurse on Staniel. They found a fast tender to take them from Compass Cay to Staniel. After she was treated, we were able to pick them up, ( 9:30pm) and she and her mom, Rosemary, stayed on board for the night. Just as we were going to bed, we heard a noise and saw a bright light! The big supply boat (about 200 ft) that goes to Fowl Cay resort was aground right off our stern! The light we saw, out the porthole, was their headlights. They managed to get off the sandbar and turned and went behind Semezana and barely cleared the next sand bar. We didn’t stay up to see how they got out again.

Feb.14  Valentines day! We celebrated on board Samantha with old friends and Sam and Suzie. There was a pretty sunset and a delicious dinner .

Feb.15-16 The wind was right for sailing the laser so sailing we did. One of the other trawlers had a laser too so we were able to sail/race together which was a fun treat. I got a little carried away with a tack and flipped my craft and had to be rescued by John and Ken (Faring) but I am determined to get back on my “horse” and sail again. Suzie and I try to swim everyday to keep our “svelte” figures. She is already svelte and I am trying.  The social scene is in full swing cocktails, dinners, pizza lunches, etc.

John and Phillip racing the lasers
Feb. 17 This was a special treat day. June, who does our weather every morning, invited us up to her new house on the hill behind the airport. Judy from Little Majors island was invited too. We all had a tour of the house and played cards overlooking the turquoise and dark blue sea. and wild rocky ocean facing coastline. As we were playing, the crew of their boat suddenly arrived with lunch already prepared and procecco to drink. This day was turning into quite a civilized one! After lunch, we all went for a swim on their beach. This was the first time we had swum in small waves down here as we are usually swimming on the bank side where it is calm. These conditions reminded us of California except the water was 75 degrees and crystal clear. June then returned us all to our dinghies and we returned home. Suzie and I had our swim and the Semezana and Windermere went to Faring for a fun dinner and lots of laughs.

The great view from June's new house on Staniel Cay

Friday, February 3, 2012

sunset over the Big Majors anchorage

Mike and De having fun on the Laser

lots of fishies at the sea aquarium

Mike and De on top of Little Cambridge Rock

resident nurse shark i call Nellie

resident ray I call Ruprect

two spotted eagle rays flying by

pen shell
Jan. 25 Change over day! Jeff and Brenda left in the morning and Mike and De arrived in the afternoon. We wildly cleaned and did laundry and ironed but everything was ready without too much fuss. Mike and De had almost not made it because of an airline schedule change and were very short of sleep so we had a quiet first evening. We did manage to start our Biriba tournament.

Jan. 26 It was two for one pizza day so everyone headed to Sampson and enjoyed lots of pizza and beer. After lunch, we went up to Over Yonder Cay to show the guys the progress there and to snorkel in the deep water nearby. No Spotted Eagle rays or sharks but a big barracuda instead! De got to use her new underwater camera for the first time and loved it. That afternoon there was a cocktail party on the beach with the usual gang. 

Jan. 27  No Agenda, Pirate, and Windermere headed north to the sea aquarium north of Bell island. We hit the tide pretty well so the current by the garden wasn’t strong. De got some good shots. On our way home, we stopped by Cambridge island and hiked to the ocean side. De and Mike climbed to the top of a big rock and got a great view across the island to the anchorage. Our next stop was the Rocky Dundas where we snorkeled and saw the small cave inside the rock. Finally, it was time for lunch so we headed to Joey Cay and all had a picnic on the beach. The conga line then proceeded back to our respective boats for the evening.

Jan. 28 Oh boy! it was time to get the laser down and let the guys sail it all over the bay. It was a bit windy but they only flipped once. De is still learning so Mike let her take the helm. When they came back, I took the boat out and they kayaked over to Pig Beach. It was good to be sailing again even if it was windy and the smaller sail on the Laser made it easier for me to keep her from going over. John was under the weather from all the sun the day before and slept a lot that day.

Jan. 29 Exodus needed to move to Staniel to get her new batteries installed so Mike and De went with them as crew and John and I took their dinghy and our dinghy over for them. After they were safely tied up at the dock, they treated us to lunch. After lunch, we went to our new snorkel place just south of the island. The current was running and it was hard to get around the two rocks but we managed after much effort and heavy breathing! Back at the anchorage, Mike and De had a last kayak and I went for a light wind sail. It was not as much fun as the stronger wind but beggars can’t be choosers. Because there was wind coming the next few days, we put all the toys away up on the top deck. 

Jan.30 The fun for the day was a long snorkel in the Fowl Cay cut and a swim all the way back to the boat. John was in the dinghy protecting us from other dinghies while we were in the cut but then left us to our own to explore and swim back. In the cut area we saw two Spotted Eagle rays! and De was able to get some pictures of them. Further on, a curious 3 foot barracuda came right up to them to say hi and she captured him too. The Biriba tournament continued with the girls slaughtering the boys so far. 

Jan 31 Our only outing was a full afternoon of Biriba playing at Little Majors island with the owner Judy. She loves to play cards she and De enjoyed beating Mike and myself. They enjoyed seeing her wonderful house with the incredible view of her own private bay. 

Feb.1 It was blowing but we were treated to lunch at Sampson and had a good time. Afterwards, I took them to Thunderball for a nice long snorkel. De was still having fun taking pictures with her camera. We finished the Biriba tournament and, even though the boys put up a good fight, the girls squeaked through with the win!

Feb. 2 Mike and De left on the morning flight and we just enjoyed getting the boat back.