Thursday, February 7, 2013

big ray with remoras on board

pretty in a pink bow

Bahamian sloops racing

our turtle

Erick entertaining us

Mike and De in the cave

Jan 16-30 We passed these days just doing the usual with a few different moments thrown it for extra fun. Some new friends wanted to go shelling and she wanted to learn to snorkel so that meant and expedition. We didn’t go far but were able to accomplish our goal and they had a great time. 

dinghies and tenders- Everyone down here has one or the other because they are our “car”, “mini van” or “full size van” and we can’t get ashore,etc without them. The sailors have small dinghies and the good news is that they can be pulled ashore or “beached” as they are not heavy. The powerboats usually have bigger tenders and they have to be usually anchored just off the beach so we can go back “home” when we want and not when the tide tells us we can. They all need to be pumped up and that happens usually when the weather turns cooler and the air inside shrinks. They have engines that don’t like ethanol so there are various additives you have to put in the gas when filling up. Being the Bahamas, the gas availability can be a problem from time to time. Going to get your groceries or going on an expedition or going ashore for lunch all involve your “vehicle” so you always check the gas level, take a hand held VHF radio (in case of any trouble), get the right clothing on for the conditions and bring other equipment as needed, and maybe even bring some water. Tying the dinghy securely to your boat is very important as loosing your dinghy can really ruin your day! Around here, if they get loose, they end up in Andros which is 60 miles to our west. There are no stores around to go buy another one. Dinghy etiquette involves not going too fast in the anchorage and throwing up a big wake. This makes the smaller boats rock and roll and makes you not a popular person.

Jan 31st We went ashore and had a fun lunch at Taste and Sea with some friends who just happened to show up. Then we went to the airport to pick up Mike and De, our friends from Maine. They were so glad to get south to warmer weather. As soon as we got them aboard, we took off south toward Little Farmer’s Cay. About halfway there, we anchored in a nice bay with a sandy beach and spent the night.
Feb. 1 There is a festival every year at Little Farmer’s called the first Friday in Feb. festival at Farmer’s. We motored down to the cay and anchored off the west side thinking we were in just enough water. The wind was howling but we took the tender around to the other side and tied it to a dock. Then we walked along the airstrip to a restaurant where there was very loud music but a good lunch and a perfect view of the Bahamian sloop race. These were the smaller versions of the ones we usually watch by Staniel Cay around New Years. There were 8 of them and they all had to be lined up at the start with anchors and sails down. At the gun, they raise their anchors and sails and head up wind to the mark. About halfway there, one boat capsized and sank and another had rig problems. The rest somehow were able to finish the course. The wind out on the course was clocked at 30 knots! We were all sitting on the beach watching all of the excitement. Finally, we went back to the boat and I made dinner. The boat was actually aground for hours but we can rest on our three keels nicely. It is the slight bumping on the way down that is disconcerting! We had invited our friends Gail and Erick for dinner and he brought his guitar. After dinner, he entertained us which was a special treat.

Feb.2 The weather was still gray and windy so we brought up the anchor and moved a few miles north and anchored off the beach by the path to our cave. I led Mike and De tot he cave and they loved it. Afterwards, John picked us up and we moved the boat up to White Point. Mike, De, and I took a late afternoon swim into the beach and a walk. It was nice having the place all to ourselves.

Feb. 3 The sun was out but it was still a bit windy. We moved the boat back to Big Majors, went for a swim and enjoyed a Super Bowl party on No Agenda. I watched more football that evening than I have watched probably ever. 

Feb. 4-6 There was lots of snorkeling, playing of Biriba, eating and drinking and playing on the beach with the “gang”, fixing friends boats, and fixing our boat. 

Feb. 7 Mike and De left in the morning so it was time to do the laundry, get fresh food because the mailboat was in town, and pack. I had to go to Greenwich to be with my mom for a week in the cold and snow. John will be looked after and probably fed lots of meat by our friends in the anchorage.