We settled them in on the boat, did the obligatory walk to Potter’s Cay for conch fritters and then did our provisioning for our trip south.
|Conch Fritters for Jackson
We had been wedged into a dock space so Captain Chaos had a fellow dockster hold a bowline to keep the bow from swinging into the wind as we tried to turn a tight corner. We made a brilliant exit – except that the Captain had forgotten to turn on the engine cooling water (after a bit of maintenance) so that resulted in some major scrambling to turn it on before we overheated.
We had a good sail to Allen’s across the Yellow Banks. The wind was on our backs so Glen and Luke pulled out the spinnaker and we flew it for the first time! It was beautiful! As it filled with air, our fishing line screamed. We reeled in a barracuda (and let it go.) It wasn’t as big as the one Mike caught in almost the same spot but big enough for us to worry about ciguatera – a poison that larger fish may carry.
Closs' to Allens' with swab Jackson
First time spinnacker - huge!
Anchored at Allen’s, fed the iguanas, did some snorkeling and then bedded down. Jackson settled in to his new bed and we had a pretty good night.
Bathtime for bedtime!
Then off to Norman’s for a couple of nights. Same ol’, same ol… saw the plane, explored in the dingy, went to McDuffs!
Welcome to Normans'
Welcome to McDuff's!
Jen, Luke and Glen left Pam with Jackson and went over to Norman’s Pond. We scoped the area out and we are really not sure how we would ever get Blue Pearl in there. The entrance is very shallow and tricky. Too bad, it’s beautiful and secluded.
Off to Warderick Wells and… lucky us, we got a mooring ball right in front of the park office. The anchorage is very cool. It is a long cut around a huge sand bar. It is 20 feet deep in the cut but you can stand up to your ankles on the bar. And it really drops off. Jen and Luke swam to shore and a little later we saw Luke leisurely… and then with great haste, swim back to the boat. He reported that he saw a 6 to 8 foot nurse shark on the way back. Glen told him he had better go back and get his wife back safely. Luke heard, “you had better go back and get my daughter back safely.”
Swimming at Warderick
Later that day Glen, Jen and Luke took the dinghy and went exploring. The snorkeling is amazing. We saw dinner sized crawfish, great big groupers, rays and many other varieties of colourful fish. Later at dinner, Pam finished her gin and tonic and tossed the lemon into the current – only to hear a great ruckass as the yellow jacks fought over it. We probably broke all the park rules by feeding the fish but soon we had 8 to 10 yellow jacks and a couple of lemon sharks hanging around the boat. Several trips to shore to let Jackson “swim” in the sea and to get sand on his feet. We walked up to Booboo Hill where there is the most incredible view of the anchorage.
Boo Boo Hill
Bananaquit birds flew out to the boat and ate sugar from our hands. We read, relaxed and played with Jackson. A nice way to spend a few days. We enjoyed getting to know Jack and learning his routines – forty minute naps, smiles, diapers, maybe teething fussy times and bathtime. He celebrated his 3 month birthday with us.
We think this is when Pam tried to kill us. Not sure how she did it, or how she avoided the same fate, but over the next few days each of us succumbed to major stomach issues. Very uncomfortable.
We love Warderick Wells. We enjoyed some terrific snorkeling and weathered a small front that passed through. But it was time to move on so we headed south – taking time to cruise in past the Majors where pigs will swim out to your boat to eat whatever you give them – and then on to Farmer’s Cay. Glen and Pam’s friend, Berlington, told us we should go in to say hello to Roosevelt Nixon, owner of the Farmer’s Cay Yacht Club. We tied up at the dock so we were more mobile with Jackson and spent that day organizing for Jen, Luke and Jackson’s flight home. We were having trouble getting hold of Bahamas Air for their Georgetown flight so to make sure of their connection we decided to hang around this area for the rest of their stay. Jen, Luke and Jackson spent a pleasant few hours swinging on a porch swing, looking at the view, napping, checking e-mails and drinking coconut rum drinks.
Thank you to them for a grouper dinner there. Luke had the lobster and was offered a “leftover” lobster tail, which he happily took off their hands.
We left Little Farmer’s for Darby Island. Glen and Pam had been there 30 years ago when they travelled from Great Inagua to Nassau on a sailboat so it was an opportunity to check it out again. After stirring up the sand in the shallow water we anchored in the bay – we were the only boat there. Darby Island was home to a German sympathizer during WW II who was trying to turn the island into a base for marauding German U-boats. He was very unpopular and was eventually forced from the islands. Luke and Glen got permission to go ashore and explore the home – called the Castle by the locals. It is a spectacular building – truly a castle - but has decayed significantly in the 30 years since first visited by Glen and Pam.
Following a back trail, Glen and Luke came upon an amazing cave in the limestone, with a hole in the roof typical of cenotes in this area and Mexico, only without the water.
We couldn’t keep Luke out of the water. He and Glen snorkeled around the boat, checking the anchor, tightening the bolts on the zincs they had installed at Warderick and pausing to watch a baby nurse shark nearby. The next day we motored around Musha Cay and Cave Cay – a couple of nearby islands. We anchored off Rudder Cay Cut – once again having the place to ourselves. Jen and Luke took advantage of a little time provided by Grandma and the beautiful surroundings to take the dingy and do a little exploring and snorkeling. They were having a good look around until a barracuda came to check them out. It was either 2 feet or 5 feet long – depending whether you ask Jen or Luke!
We motorsailed back to Little Farmer's Cay. Luke was the helmsman for the day, taking us through some very shallow water, avoiding coral and sand bars. Calm seas and light winds following us. Fifteen minutes from our destination, our fishing reel screamed and we pulled in a 32 inch fish! We were sure it was a wahoo and were disappointed when Roosevelt Nixon, proprietor of the Little Farmer's Yacht Club told us it was a barracuda! We ate it anyway! It was delicious fried in a fish fry seasoning and served in a fish taco.
Today we will attend the Farmer's Cay All Age School Fair and spend our last day with the Closs family. They fly out tomorrow morning. Our little sailor grandson is going home with his parents. We will miss them.