Friday, March 30, 2012

Mar. 17 Larry and Leslie departed on the mornig flight, which of course was late. We did chores and enjoyed getting the boat back.

Mar. 18-20 It was back to normal on the anchorage. We watched the comings and goings of different boats, went swimming,watched movies that Faring had lent us, and palyed cards with Judy on Little Majors. Our friend, Joann, on Walkabout had broken her outboard engine mount so we lent her our little electric engine while hers was being fixed.

Mar. 21 Finally, it was mailboat day and fresh food would be available at the stores. Joann came with us to Staniel and we had lunch at the yacht club together while we waited for the food to be unloaded. Then we took the dinghy over to the cove by the general store and sat in the shade with some other cruisers waiting for quite a while. I had talked to the owner of the store, Vivian, and suggested we use deli numbers to keep the crowd from rushing the store and she liked the idea. As cruisers arrived, I handed them a number. When the food was all unloaded and put out, we let only a few people in at a time. Everyone liked the system so that made me happy.

Mar. 22 Judy wanted us to see her guest house and play cards again so we made some sandwiches and went over there in the dinghy. The guest house was very nicely laid out and decorated with great views around three sides. We ate our sandiwches and had fun playing biriba for several hours.

Mar. 23 John and I took Joann in to Staniel to pick up her repaired outboard motor and pick up a few groceries. On our way back to the anchorage, we saw Semezana coming “home” to their anchoring place right behind us. They invited us over for tunafish sandwiches and asked us if we wanted to take them to Conception island since they had never seen it. It took us a few moments to check the weather and and other logistice like food storage and we said yes! Faring decided to come along too so we had a jolly group for this expedition.

Mar. 24 After getting the food transfered and our guests aboard (including Fred the dog), we headed south on the inside of the chain down to Cave Cay. Just nearby to the Cay, we ran aground and had to back up using the Z drive but it worked. We inched our way down to the Cave Cay marina entrance. Faring was inside getting fuel. We wanted to show the totally protected marina to Semezana and were able to just get in after touching once. Now it was time to leave again and we tried twice but it was no use. It was low tide and too shallow. Plan B take a slip and spend the night. Faring took one too and we had the place to ourselves. The owner was very friendly and happy to have us. He told us about a wonderful shelling beach at the end of his runway so we all walked with the dogs down the whole length and went for a swim and found some good shells. The owner had also told us to pick some of his tomatoes on the way back and we did so. Dinner was on the aft deck of Windermere. Plan B worked out well.

Our first breakfast of the trip

Mar. 25 Faring left early and we followed just about an hour later. When they got out into the sea, they realized going to conception was not going to work so they called us on the radio and Plan C was devised. We both went to the Lee Stocking island area and anchored for the night. It wasn’t far so we were there by mid  morning. After lunch, John took Suzie, Faring, Fred,  and me to several beaches to look for shells and swim. On two of them, we found iguanas. That night, We had Faring on board again for dinner and a rousing game of dominos.

Mar. 26 The wind had shifted to the west and we were able to head over to Cat Island in calm seas. This became plan D. Faring sailed near us along the way. We both anchored in the big main anchorage in town but the wind was still quite blustery and the seas choppy. Faring came over for dinner and we all played dominos.

Mar. 27 The wind had gone down overnight and we all loaded up in Ken’s dinghy and went ashore to hike up to the famous Hermitage. This group of stone buildings were built by one monk as his retreat spot. He built a small chapel with bell tower, kitchen and dining area, and sleeping quarters. Everything is to scale and looks much larger from the town at sea level. These buildings are situated on the highest point to the Bahamas, about 206ft. After hiking down, we got a taxi to take us to a nearby resort called Fernandez Bay. We all fell in love with the resort and its setting on a pretty beach lined bay. The bar was on the“honor system” and lunch it the high ceiling thatched roof dining area was tasty. After lunch, we took the same taxi back and picked up some homemade bread on the way. We decided to move the boats up to the anchorage off of the resort which only took about an hour. As soon as we anchored, Suzie and I swam ashore and walked along the beautiful beach picking up shells. John snorkeled in and found some treasures along the way too. Dinner was simple as we were still full from lunch and we watched a movie.

Wendy in the Hermitag

Faring, Semezana, and Windermere at the Hermitage

Wendy and Heather resting after a big lunch at Fernandez Bay

Mar. 28 The big descision was whether to go to Conception or home and the consensis was to go home, Plan E. The wind was going to be strong for the day and it would have been uncomfortable to go there. We made french toast with the homemade cinnamon swirl bread and had Faring over for a farewell breakfast. Then we upanchored and headed out to deeper water and to the Exumas. Sam put his fishing rod in the water and , sure enough, caught a tuna just as we got into deeper water. There was much excitement and picture taking. The first fish to be caught on Windermere by a human! Sam cut the fish up into steaks and we had some for dinner and it was delicious. We decided to anchor off the iguana beach where it was still peaceful before reentering “civilization”.

the happy fisherman with his catch

cutting tuna steaks on the swim platform

Suzie and Sam "cutting a rug"
Mar. 29 It was a beautiful calm day and Suzie and I went on deck to watch the tropic birds flying and squaking overhead. After breakfast, we reved up the engine and headed back to Big Majors. someone was in “our parking space” but there was space just behind them. Suzie and I went to the beach to give Fred, the dog, a run. I made the mistake of calling him to me from the other end of the beach. He ran full steam right into me knocking me down! As I went down, my knee bent more than it likes and twisted. For the rest of the day, I was not a happy camper. Drugs and ice are good.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Mar.9 We had a quiet day and went for a nice dinner on Ariel.

Mar. 11-13 Larry and Leslie who we have known since our Mason 44 days (they had one too) arrived on the afternoon flight and the party began. Over the next two days, we explored, shelled,, snorkeled, and partied. One night, we played Hearts and I got the Queen of hearts every time! For those of you that don’t know about Hearts, this is not good. I vowed to never play Hearts again. Life is too short.

Mar. 14 L and L and Wendy went with the dive master, Jake, and other friends on a full day snorkeling trip up into the Exuma Land and Sea park. We snorkeled in 6 different areas and each was different. We saw very large lobsters, a good size turtle, spotted eagle rays, an old army jeep, a plane wreck, two caves, and of course lots of fish and coral formations. We got back just in time to shower and change for a dinner out on Staniel at Taste and Sea restaurant with Judy and her house guests. All 7 of us piled into her boat named “Gutsy Lady”. Dinner was delicious and the company lively.

Queen Angel fish on the Current Cut reef

The gang is hungry for dinner here

Mar. 15 The wind was down and the tide right for an expedition to nearby North Gaulin Cay to collect sand dollars. Susan from Exodus joined us and we had lots of success. Lunch was at SCYC because Leslie needed more conch before she left. We thought of going to Thunderball but it was too cool. Instead, John dropped us off at Judy’s island and we walked on her beach and met her new guests. John picked us up in time to go back to our boat and get ready for our dinner party for eight. Faring and Ariel joined us for a curry dinner and Mexican Train dominos late into the evening.

Dinner with Faring and Ariel

Mar. 16 This was a busy day. Leslie wanted to cram in as much water time as possible. We started with a quick tour of Thunderball Grotto, then went sand dollar snorkeling off of a small beach nearby, had lunch aboard, dinghied to south Staniel for a tour of the lagoon area with its new houses, snorkeled on our two rocks, swam to the boat from pirate beach, had cocktails on the aft deck, ate dinner, talked, and collapsed! I have met my match!

Sand dollar beach

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mar. 3 I had flown back the day before from Nassau with some much needed groceries. In the afternoon, Doug and Dale Bruce arrived and so did the wind. We quickly got them into their bathing suits and took them over to Judy’s beach to swim as the wind was still coming from the SW and her beach was protected. They met Judy and we had a nice swim except for Doug who hung didn’t want to go all the way into the water quite yet. Duck was the welcome dinner and lots of conversation was the program for the evening.

happy couple swimming off Judy's beach

Mar. 4 The wind was still howling from the NW. After lunch, we took the Bruces to snorkel at the reef on the back side of Big Majors and then on to the beach on Little Majors for some beach combing. That night, we had Ariel and Jasmine on board for a big pasta dinner party. 

conch fossil in the rocks on the beach

dinner with Ariel and Jasmine
Mar. 5 The wind had circled around to the NE but was still blowing and it was overcast so Dale and I worked all day on a big jigsaw puzzle while the men enjoyed being “on line”. For lunch, we had homemade soup, bread, cheese and wine so a nap was also in order. Sam on Semezana was alone so we asked him over for dinner.

Mar. 6 Guess what- it was still blowing hard but we managed to get to Staniel for lunch and finished the big puzzle in the afternoon. Some card playing was added to the mix and dinner and a movie. (Doug likes to nap for the first part of movies but then wakes up refreshed for the last half.)

Mar. 7 The wind was not letting up but at least it was sunny. Dale and I did a smaller puzzle and we went to Thunderball for a quick snorkel. A picnic was packed so we could have lunch on Pirate beach before taking them to see Sampson Cay where several of our friends were hiding from the wind. Dinner and a movie (Mutiny on the Bounty which is verry long)

Doug kayaking

Dale kayaking

happy puzzlers

our Windermere

Mar. 8 Dale and I got into the genealogy and the men almost didn’t get their breakfast! Poor hungry helpless husbands (did I say lazy?) Then Dale and I had one last swim and snorkel in the anchorage before they packed to leave. Off in the dinghy to Staniel for lunch. Judy joined us and we then walked to the airport. After they flew out, we got groceries and had a very nice dinner on Ariel.