Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sunsets of the Ragged Islands

Just too many to collect but at least we have a few……………

Wrap up of March 2014 in the Ragged Is

OK, we are back in George Town after a full month in the Ragged Islands & Jumentos.  The area is unbelievable and we met a lot of new friends along the way.  The trip was 292nm long and we made over 450 gallons of water since there is no place to find it down there. We now have fast Internet again and we can get most everything we need/want at the Exuma Market.

The area is so remote and yet so beautiful.  Some of the things we really noticed were:

  • No lights at night so the view of the stars is amazing!
  • No vehicle noise at all.
  • NO type "A" boaters complaining about people using the radio.
  • Plenty of room between boats.
  • The clearest water yet.
  • No planes going overhead…… just the occasional BASRA and Coast Guard helicopters.
We'll miss the lower islands and will do our best to get back next year……

On the way north we stopped at Double Breasted Cay and met up briefly with our friends on s/v Windward.  Ian and Lynne were hanging out in Johnson Cay, a very beautiful little anchorage that we didn't make it too.  Sooo, we dinked over to say "Hi!".

s/v Windward

While in the Cay we did some snorkeling along the shallows while the current was going out and some more beach walking to look for sea beans.  Anne really has a good stash of beans so it will be soon time for polishing.  
see the little groupers?

looking towards our anchorage

Stick your nose down close to me Mr……

Next stop was Buenavista Cay for a jump off point north.  The water was so clear and calm that fishing from the transom was interesting since you could look down and see the coral heads and the fish.  The one fish we didn't see was the one that grabbed on the piece of conch I was using for bait.  The barracuda won the battle I guess…..

Our anchor is holding well!

Not much of a dinner!

Our original plan was to go due north towards Barraterre again and back down to George Town but the winds didn't do as forecast so we kept going NE up to Water Cay.  Guess who?????  "Lady Marie" was fishing the waters up there so we went over to say "hi".  Ivanhoe & Colorado did a pretty good days catch I would say!!  We have an invite to stop and see them in Spanish Wells so we may be able to check out the settlement when we head towards Eleuthera.

Great day for sailing north
fishing vessel "Lady Marie"

Lobster heading for the freezer

Colorado, me & George

Ivanhoe in the huge freezer

The trip to George Town was done in flat (and I mean FLAT) water.  We've never seen the ocean so calm and you could see everything in 35+ feet of water.  Anne saw a shark and I saw a sea turtle.  Going through Hog Cay Cut was a piece of cake at near high tide and then we cruised into GGT (George Town) for laundry and supplies.  

count the starfish - 35" deep!

Yes, It is sandy and very deep…

Looking NW towards Great Exuma Island

Lets see what April delivers for us!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

So long Duncan Town……..

Most likely we will be moving out of Internet range for a few days as we start planning our way north back towards Long Island (not NY) and the Georgetown area.  The forecast isn't helping at all but we will see what happens.  Right now we will move 10nm north to Double Breasted Cay since we will be having some wind from the S & SW.

The improved ability of uploading pictures has helped dramatically.  We don't like taking the computer off the boat.  With that in mind we can keep trying to make the blog a little more fun to look at.

We have met a lot of new people while down in the Ragged Islands and the Jumentos and hope to come back next year.  It certainly has been worth the wait and effort we put in to get down here!

Our last sunset at Hog Cay

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Ragged Islands - Part 4 - trying to make our knowledge greater!

The Ragged Islands are represented by a number of different cays and islands at the very south end of the Bahamas.  Once you are down here you must be aware of the weather systems and move around them accordingly.  In that manner we have seen a number of the anchorages and also have met a number of the cruising boats that come down.  The numbers aren't great but that is one of the reasons to come down here………hardly anyone comes here!!

One of the main anchorages is on Hog Cay.  It also is the home of the Ragged version of the 7-eleven or as some call it, "The Country Club".  No blue blazers at this club and they even allowed us to come in!  The beach is great and there are a couple of trails you can take in search of shells, sea beans and sea glass.
Hog Cay Country Club

and the docks at the "Club"

Our anchorage at Hog Cay

and of course….. a sunset at Hog Cay

Looking towards the beach

Speaking of sea glass…….this is our collection so far.

Heading towards the beach in search of…..

a potential sea glass beach

our collection so far

While up at Double Breasted Cay we met George, Ivanhoe and Colorado on fishing vessel "Lady Marie".  They reside in Spanish Wells and come down here for fishing.  They know a thing or two about fishing!  On top of that they are some of the nicest folks we have met anywhere.  We were invited on board and given lessons on conch cleaning (think there is enough to practice on?) and I even had a chance to go on the fishing skiff with Ivanhoe and Colorado for an afternoon to watch how they do it.

Most of the fishing boats in the Bahamas work out of Spanish Wells like Lady Marie.  Check it out on:

Fishing vessel "Lady Marie"

George giving Ian & me lessons

Plenty of conch to go around

Lobster, slipper lobster, lion fish, and shells

Ivanhoe handing conch off to Colorado

A good days catch!

Colorado fishing with Ivanhoe

Ivanhoe in his work suit

Guess what……maybe by hanging around the fisherman some of the luck is rubbing off…….yep we had a good dinner of trigger fish the other night, and WE CAUGHT THEM!

These guys have sharp teeth and rock hard jaws!  Notice the destroyed hook.

Prepping dinner on the beach

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Ragged Islands - Part 3

Thanks to Bobo we think we have an easier, more efficient way to get pictures onto our blog so right now we will try to get an update done with pictures.  Here we go…….

At this time we are back to S. Side Harbor since the last front came through.  Our plan is to move towards Hog Cay today after using the Internet (the tower is on the hill in front of us) and making a dump run.

The last time we were here we met Dave & Karen on sv Carisa.  Now this double masted trimaran is one large boat.  She still is a cylinder inside (a la Grey Hound) but very impressive.  The boat is a Chris White Juniper design.  This boat is 55' long!

sv Carisa

We hadn't taken many pictures of Duncan Town the last time so we would like to show you some more of the settlement.
The best runway in the Bahamas & we walk across it to town!

Duncan Town time capsule 

The settlement school - 1 teacher

walls murals at the school

our internet pavilion in the settlement

Maya & her sister keeping us entertained

Not clothes hanging but dried conch going to Japan

another view from the hill

Island power plant and telephone/cell tower

Percy Wilson and family are the only folks living down here on S. Side Harbor.  We have heard a a restaurant/pub here owned by Percy but doesn't exist anymore.  What Percy has is quite a collection of wrecked and almost wrecked boats.

This boat had 55 Haitians on board when it landed not far from here.

South Side Harbor