We moved the Blue Pearl over to Stocking Island for the evening, had a swim and blended into the Georgetown “groove.”
|Better in the Bahamas|
The next day we did some exploring, found the school where we are to deposit our books, facilitated by the South Seas Cruising Association (SSCA.) We did some provisioning, found some conch for salad and cracked conch and settled into our surroundings.
We left the next day to explore north. After a four hour sail we arrived at Rudder Cut and “cut” in to anchor off Rudder Cay. Don and Pat were in the water almost before we had anchored. We spent a pleasant, quiet evening at anchor. We had heard about a big Easter celebration at Black Point so we set that as our destination for the next day.
|Enjoying the Scenery|
Black Point was a huge hit. We saw the locals fight it out in basketball and volleyball. Don was particularly distracted and spent a great deal of time trying to engage with the basketball activities. We think he was looking for another gold medal.
We had some great local meals; chicken, ribs, fish, etc. The highlight was the Junkanoo parade on Saturday evening. The whistles, drums, brass and dancing made for an exciting evening and it was great to share the event with friends.
|Dancing at the Junkanoo|
We were joined in the celebration by more than 50 other cruisers. On our last day, we went to the “Garden of Eden”, where Willie Rolle has collected driftwood for over 50 years. He has pieces that resemble mermaids, iguanas, whales and other creatures. Too bad we were sober or we might have been able to see some of the images in his narration.
We left Black Point for Little Farmer’s Cay so we could watch TV and connect to the internet. A wonderful sail in the turquoise water. We toured Don and Pat through the Ocean Cabin, JR the Woodcarver’s place, past the school and through the rest of the community. At Ocean Cabin we met Terry Bain, the proprietor. He shared with us his opinion on many topics. What a character! So that took an hour and after that we returned to the boat for refreshments. Later we walked the runway and had a swim at the beach.
Monday morning we were up for the 6:21 a.m. launch of the space shuttle Discovery. Looking north we saw the orange glow of the shuttle and watched it for a few minutes until it disappeared into the low clouds. Our second launch this trip!
We let go of the mooring ball at Little Farmer’s Yacht Club and headed out the cut. The wind and waves made for a rolly trip so we cut back inside and motorsailed to Darby Island. We enjoyed our lunch in the cockpit, despite the howling wind. There were whitecaps in our soup and we had to hang on to our crackers!
Glen gave us a tour of the castle and the cave that he and Luke had explored. Back to the boat for a swim and happy hour. Don scraped some barnacles from the hull to earn his beer.
Once again we poked our nose out into the Sound to head towards Georgetown and found high winds and swells. We travelled in those conditions for a couple of hours and then pulled into Lee Stocking Island, a new place for us. It is home to the Caribbean Marine Research Centre. We had heard that they do tours of the facility but have lost funding and are short staffed. We radioed in and were granted permission to land but never met up with the staff ashore. Maybe another visit. We moved the boat south one mile to a beautiful bay occupied by only two other boats. Another swim in the unbelievable water. Don and Pat have spent a good portion of their time with us swimming!!
Glen opened the bottle of champagne given to him at his retirement by the Yale staff – a special place for a special event!
|Here's to Yale - and terrific colleagues!|
Wednesday, April 7 – again out into the Exuma Sound to travel to Georgetown for the Macdonald’s flight out the next day and the Key’s arrival. Their planes cross within 30 minutes of each other! Our 20 mile trip was into the wind and we did not make very good time. Luckily we had sandwiches prepared ahead so no one had to brave the inside of the boat during the trip. Glen is the only one of us who can be below when the boat is rolling. About a half hour away from Conch Cut into Elizabeth Harbour, our fishing line screamed and we were all planning a delicious fish dinner. Glen saw a fish jump in our wake and the line went slack. No fish tonight!
We anchored near Stocking Island, near where we were a week ago. Another swim and happy hour and then to shore for a dinner at the Chat ‘n Chill. Wonderful food, a bit of dancing, chatting with other boaters and the staff. No shoes, no shirt and you will still get service! Thanks, Don and Pat, for dinner.
|Dancing at the Chat and Chill|
We have enjoyed our time with the Macdonalds. They are looking forward to the next leg of their trip in Florida. They will be doing the Florida Keys while we will be hosting the George and Deb Keys.