Monday, May 30, 2016

Our Bahamas's been short but very, very sweet!

We can't believe its been a few weeks since we have updated the blog.  Here we sit in St. Augustine getting ready to jump outside and head north.  Tropical storm Bonnie is moving away and it looks like we have a few days to make a run north on the outside.  Where our next landfall is going to be?????  We haven't the slightest idea!  But first lets wrap up the remaining time in the Bahamas.  We didn't stay very long but we sure did have a great time!

After leaving Wardrick Wells we decided to check out why a number of folks went to Norman's Cay. Well......we still are wondering.....  The anchorage is fine.  The sunken plane is ok but I'm not sure there is a reason to go there.  With all the beautiful places to go to, I think we have to be selective in what we want to see and do.
The remnants of a drop kingpin drug plane

Anyone for a rebuild?

Looking into the cockpit

Can you tell these fish are tame?

Normans Cay.....not much there

this is all deserted

But......if we aren't mistaken Corona beer is brewed here!

From Normans Cay we went up to Highborn Cay and anchored right near the very high-end resort.  The swimming was good if you went at slack tide.  The restaurant is very nice and yes, fairly expensive.  The grocery store at the marina is very good but one should be ready to pay the piper.  Like we like to say......... nothing in life is "free".  Anyone who believes otherwise is a nut case for sure.
Looking good!

Does this look familiar

How about $5 buck each!!??

Since we had to make tracks north and west we decided to sail over to West Bay on New Providence Island and then from there jump over to the Berry Islands.  The sailing was good and we even got another chance to use the spinnaker.  Of course I kept our record in tact by catching more "cuda"!  Still nothing but barracuda.

Sunset in West Bay

another cud!

"Jaws" the sequel!

So it's time for deep thought

The Berrys Islands this year couldn't have been any nicer!  Fair weather, warm water, empty anchorages and fish!  Since we had bait I would go our in the cuts and fish near slack tide and we ended up having more that enough to eat right from the sea.  Lets see:

  • Yellow tail snapper
  • Dog snapper
  • Red snapper
  • Trigger fish
  • and Conch!

We could go on and on about how nice the Berrys are this time of the year.  They aren't for everyone but it fit our needs to a "T".  One restaurant, Flo's Conch Bar and Chester makes some mean dinners.  One should be aware of the rum punch too.......very dangerous!

Our new toy "Bridget"

Pretty easy to check the waterline

Our 2nd and third conch

Now to remember how to clean them

Ready for Madcatter!


Flo's place

Flo's Conch Bar

a room with a view

looking north

just us tonight

Local art

Seating for 3

Nati ....sad to be leaving the Bahamas

Our last sunset

Can you see why we don't want to leave!?

Beautiful seas!

The time finally came to cross back over to the US.  We had an uneventful 170nm sail and pulled into West Palm Beach only to be treated with a nice fresh water down pour.  Nati said thank you!
welcome back to the states

Check out the GPS speed over ground

Stay tune for more and exciting ........or maybe not so exciting updates....................

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Bahamas National Family Regatta........& a little more!

So as you know we made it to the most southern part of this trip, George Town.  The main reason was to see the regatta and we were successful in that.  Lots of fun was had by all and at this time we are headed back north.  Yesterday we pulled into Wardrick Wells since a big cold front was coming through and of course, 2am was the anticipated arrival time.

But, to stay in order.......the regatta.....lots and lots of fun!  We caught up with many friends we haven't seen in a long time, saw some good racing and had our share of "real" Bahamian food.  What else could one ask for?

On our way south, while at Barreterre, we had a chance to see the three "C" class boats they were getting ready to head to George Town.  They have; "Pot Cake", "Warrior", and "Hog Tusk".  One of them is now the proud owner of a mainsheet from Nati and another has some new blocks courtesy of Celest.  Some of the smaller settlements are racing on a shoestring so if we can help out.....why not!!??
stepping the mast

Time for racing

One mast almost up

But lets go racing!

Three classes are involved in the regatta, "A", "B" & "C".  They are determined by the size and we should have all the particulars on that but to bad.....we don't.  Some of the boats are fairly new.  Some, like one of the "A" class boat we got  involved with, "Palm Cay Princess" was 40 years of age and it showed.  But what makes this really special is that everyone, while staying very competitive, doesn't forget that FUN is the name of the game.

"Princess" coming towards Nati

"A" class finishing downwind

Coming to "A" mark

the plane was very low.....

Heading windward

A good start

The starting gun is moments away

Note the relaxed atmosphere on "Princess"

As it tuned out Robie befriended some of the guys on "Princess" and we ended up doing few projects on the boat while the crew was racing the smaller boats in the morning.  It was fun to be involved and Robie even sailed for two days on the boat.  All the guys on the boat were great to meet and talk with so we have gained new Bahamian friends in the process!
Even racing there is time to say hi!

Go figure.....Robie is in the middle of it!

Robie doing some sewing on the mainsail

A cute little devil, isn't he?!

The last day of racing was perfect.  The "A" class boats had good wind and we watched the start from  Dingh-go, up to "A" mark and then headed to the grandstands to watch the finish.  It worked out perfectly.  We saw the finish and were around the race site to watch some of the side attractions such as the National Police Force Marching Band.......They really sounded good and it gave a real festive atmosphere.

The start of the last race

Hiking out!

Running deep

Perfect or what??!!

Spectators unloading after racing

The regatta site

The Police marching band

Boats being loaded back on the freighters

The Long Island fleet

Check out the signs.....

On our last night in George Town we were invited to go over to a "get-together" at Flip Flop Beach.  Well, we found it and a number of long time cruising folks were having cocktails, playing guitars and other instruments, to old and new songs alike.  The beach hut was started a number of years ago and it reminded us of the "Hog Cay Yacht Club" down in the Ragged Islands.  It was set up just for this type of get together and again we had a good time "getting' down".  Before you knew it, it was time to head home and hit the sack!
Last day at Chat 'n Chill

View from Flip Flop Beach

The founder...

Our "fancy" hut

Sing along.....

The next morning we decided the winds were good to head north.  The forecasted cold front was going to head our way and we wanted to be north of our present location.  Next stop......Black Point!  But.......with the winds behind us the spinnaker came out and of the 50nm we did for the day we sailed 49 of them!  Now that is the way we like it!

From Black Point we did a short trip up to Cambridge Cay and then over to Wardrick Wells for the storm.  Timing....??? Yes, indeed.....1:30am the rain, lightning and winds close to 40kts arrived.  We got another dose just at dawn today but things are looking a little better now.  Windy from the NW but blue skies are starting to appear.

Our welcome committee at Cambridge Cay

Another friend saying hi

Looks like weather is coming..

Yep.....its here
 Stay tune for more...........coming your way soon.......