Westend is a port of entry for the Bahamas. There is a small community here - along with some posh homes built in a planned community with waterfront canals, paved streets, landscaping, street lights. Just like many things Bahamian, hurricanes and the economy have conspired to make it less than successful. John Travolta has a home here - experienced a tragedy with his son - in the news recently. The opening of the casinos in Port Lucaya hit Westend and hotels and tourist attractions here closed.
We went for a beautiful beach walk with our "crossing buddies". Pat and Wayne from Kolibrie had champagne to celebrate our crossing. Very thoughtful.
|Our best crystal
We went for a long walk into the settlement of Westend, met Jerry, who sold us conch - went to a small grocery and bought limes, onions, and sweet peppers to make conch salad.
|Jerry showed us how to clean conch
Walked back to the boat to contemplate salad making... and Bumpy arrived!!! We haven't seen him for many years and it was good to catch up with family news. Glen and Bumpy took off for more than one beer and conch salad from a vendor up the road. They came back several hours later with great smiles.
Had a community dinner on Azaya. We supplied conch salad, Mary and Axel (Azaya) made cracked conch and Ralph (Equus) cooked the mahi that he had caught on the crossing. Great stories and great company.
|Group dinner on Azaya
Jerry arrived the next day to sell us some crawfish - yum... they made a delicious dinner.
We spent 3 nights at Westend waiting for a cold front to pass. On Thursday, we left Westend and had a great sail to Freeport... dragged a fishing line and had one strike. Something bit the line and took our $12 lure! There were four of us in a row and we took pictures of each other and kept in touch by VHF. We passed the Port of Freeport with its many oil tankers, container ships and cruise ships in dry dock. Our group had considered anchoring in one of the many undeveloped canals but were concerned about the predicted weather. GOOD THING!!! We spent our first day lollygagging around. Bumpy arrived and we took off on a tour... with lots of beer. Visited Bumpy's brother, Solomon, at Palm Securities, Cezario at OBS Marine and drove by Roslyn's office.
|Windy night in Freeport!
Came back to the boat and enjoyed good conversation with Bumpy and his sons, Cezario and Berlington Junior. Got some great fishing advice. These boys know fishing! Berly Jr predicted that the squalls would hit at 8:00 so they left at 7:30. At 8:00 PM something hit the fan. At the height of the storm, the wind gauge registered 73 mph!!!
|Wow - hold your hat!
Almost hurricane force. The rain was coming horizontally and we couldn't see more than 10 feet away. We had a very stormy night and were glad to be secured to a dock with six lines!
Weather was better today but cold. About 16 C. Spent more time with Bumpy and Cezario - nice lunch - and said goodbye. Tomorrow we strike out for the Berry Islands - and then to Nassau to pick up the Inmans. We are looking forward to this next chapter in our adventure!!