Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Feb. 1-7, 2011 (Week 18, Day 120-126)

Tues. Feb. 1, 2011 (Week 18, Day 120): Destination: Lee Stocking Island Weather: sunny with occasional clouds; pleasant temp about 23C Winds: ESE to SE 18-->10K & at night time 10-13K
0630hrs: Chris Parker--> verified predictions of last 3 days of prevailing east winds in the 20K range. Leaving Adderley Cut under these conditions would not be fun; winds tomorrow decreasing. There was a profound desire by many of us to do the tour offered on Tues. & Fri. at 1000 hrs. by the Perry Institute for Marine Science; also there was the capability of laundry services with a donation. Therefore our decision to stay was quickly made. A leisurely breakfast of French toast with maple syrup & coconut bread--> good! Unfortunately Lynn had some sad news to pass onto us from Ian Joyce & Patric Collins re the fatile snowmobile accident of Taylor Bruce, son of Peggy White & Gene Bruce. At 0900 hrs. 3 of us went ashore to start laundry while Graeme did an oil change. Eric conducted the tour at 1000 hrs. of the marine science facilities & studies--> excellent & highly recommended! Tori & Eric are wonderful representatives of this operation. The Dargavels gave a generous donation. Lynn & I could easily stay for a few more days. By noon the winds had decreased & the laundry was done. Lunch, beds remade & laundry away. Greg went ashore with Larry to repair the laundry machines as much as possible. Pam napped, Graeme read then went ashore & I read on deck. Mid afternoon Pam & Greg snorkeled near the shore marked by a buoy--> lots of fish & I talked to Tori re my blog. Afterwards we cleaned up as we were invited to the Morrows for a scrumptious spaghetti dinner! A phenomenal red evening sky. A dark & clear night & with fewer boats in the anchorage tonight (only 4) the stars & milky way were superb!
Wed. Feb. 2, 2011 (Week 18, Day 121): Destination: Lee Stocking Island to Black Point Departure: 0805 hrs. Arrival: 1350 hrs. Mileage: 33.11 SM/28.79 NM Weather: sunny with few fair weather clouds, perfect temp. Winds: ESE at 8-13K
Chris Parker at 0630 hrs. Easy departure from mooring ball as well as through Adderley Cut into Exuma Sound. We rolled both sails out, on broad reach through 1-3 ft. rollers. We noticed an increase number of boats travelling from one destination to another. Near noon we passed through Galliot Cut with a small amount of sail, wind on our beam onto Bahamas Bank; a little rolly. There was a local motor boat in the middle of the cut lobstering. A nice flat sail (without rollers) at about 5-5.5K passing Little Farmers Cay--> boats already there staging for the 5F Festival this weekend; all mooring balls had been booked. It is best for us to stage ourselves at or close to Staniel Cay with Super Bowl this weekend & with the Dargavels departing from there early Mon. am. All the lovely beaches along the west coast of Great Guana Cay looked most inviting. Lunch was on the run just before arriving at our destination. We anchored at Black Point; 8ft. depth & 60 ft. chain. Some R&R in the sun till 1530 hrs. then we all dinghied to shore & walked straight to DeShammon for internet & drinks. But the island lost it’s power for an extended period of time so we departed. I was unfortunately unable to email my family or post 2 weeks of my blog. Super= curry chicken & rice (one pot meal). A quiet evening with all of us longing for a reasonable hour to go to bed; 2000 hrs. was a bit early, so a shower & journal entry then to bed. Sunset happend but I did not observe it to describe the event. Another dark night with magnificent stars.
Thurs. Feb. 3, 2011 (Week 18, Day 122): Destination: Black Point to Emerald Rocks, Exuma Cay Land & Sea Park Departure: 0840 hrs. Arrival: 1300 hrs. Mileage: 26.5 SM/23 NM Weather: partly sunny, partly fluffy white clouds, temp about 22C Winds: NE 8-10K--> 10-13K
Yes, Chris at 0630 hrs.; some 15-20K NE winds blowing in this pm & a significant front next week. A pancake breakfast with real maple syrup for a nice change. We motored out of the anchorage via the southern/deeper water passage & flew our new DRS for the second time! It was perfect wind direction & speed. Our boat speed 6.5-7.0K. A course change was necessary at Harvey Rocks (Staniel Cay area) so the DRS was taken down smoothly & the main & jenny were unfurled & carried a speed of 6.2- 6.9K. Our approach towards Emerald Rocks lent itself to change sails to the DRS again but the skipper felt we were doing well as is. On the VHF 16 we hailed Exuma Cay Land & Sea Park, switched to 09, requested mooring balls for ourselves &’Twomorrows’ at Emerald Rock location. Since we were both members we had priority & were assigned E20 & E21. Snagging the mooring ball & tie up went smoothly. Lunch in the cockpit with a beautiful environment surrounding us; magnificent sunshine beating down on the stunning sandy beaches & emphasizing the varied hues of turquoise water! Greg, Pam & I dinghied to the Park Office & each paid for a night’s stay ie $15.00 X2 nights= $30.00. We admired the scenery from the office balcony then walked ‘Powerful Beach’ at low tide (conchs+++), followed by the trail to Boo Boo Hill & the Blow Holes--> recognized many boat names that we have heard over the last month. The Atlantic side was quite calm for an east wind so the Blow Holes were not activated. Back to the boat in time for a dip with 2 yellow tailed snapper/tunas about 21/2 ft. long that we not scared of us at all; unfortunately fishing is not allowed in the Park. Happy Hour on our boat. We saw a sunset & an amazing green flash! Supper preparation which involved using the oven on bake mode= shepherds pie--> great. A dark night again. Where is that moon? And the stars & milky way like you have never seen!
Fri. Feb. 4, 2011 (Week 18, Day 123): Destination: Emerald Rocks Weather: mostly sunny with a fresh warmness in the air due to the wind factor, temp= about 22C Winds: ESE to SE averaging 15K
Chris Parker (CP from now on) at 0630 hrs. then we forgot to listen to Warderick Wells & Staniel Cay broadcasts at 0800 hrs. while having breakfast. Prepared Japanese cabbage salad for part of supper tonight then washed up all the dirty dishes. Larry educated us that the friendly fish of last evening were horse eye yellow tailed jack; some are O.K. to eat while others are poisonous. So not to get too salty wet the 3 of us decided to dinghy to Rendezvous Beach just in front of us; we walked the ruins, continued to the far wall that led to Exuma Sound as far as Slave Dip; the waves were crashing pretty good today with a heavy component of east wind; the blow holes probably would be good today. We retraced our steps back because the hike towards Boo Boo Hill & the blow holes then across the island to the west shore would have taken several hours & we wanted to fit in some snorkeling by early afternoon too. Lunch= warmed up leftovers. 1315-1415 hrs.--> snorkeled the coral reef at Emerald Rock; the coral is alive & well with bright colours & little bleaching, multiple varieties of colourful fish of many sizes. The water was warm but chilled by the 15k wind. We rinsed ourselves down back at the boat with the transom shower. Naps & reading. Popcorn for snacks then we dinghied to the swim platform where 3 other couples had gathered to watch the sunset; beautiful but no green flash; red sky followed. Supper= ham & pineapple, potatoes & Japanese cabbage salad & cookies for dessert. We played a card game called ‘screw you buddy’ till 2300! A sliver of moon positioned in the sky like a bowl tonight! And of course those phenomenal stars. Another exciting highlight of the day was my 1st & 2nd time driving the dinghy today under the supervision & encouragement of Pam & Greg!
Sat. Feb. 5, 2011 (Week 18, Day 124): Destination: Emerald Rocks to Staniel Cay Departure: 0745 hrs. Arrival: 1120 hrs. Mileage: 21.5 SM/19 NM Weather: sunny, blue skies with clouds in the periphery Wind: SSE 6-8K
15+K winds of yesterday suddenly ceased just before daylight. CP at 0630 hrs.--> next couple of days sounding O.K. Once off the mooring ball we motored out onto the Banks & of course the winds were smack on our nose; there was no hope of sailing. We motored into Staniel Cay & anchored by Thunderball Cave by rounding east of the Grotto rocks then through the deep water narrow cut against current & dropped the anchor in sand in 16 ft. water with 100 ft. of chain. It was good timing as there were many boats that followed suit. Lunch, a dinghy ride to the beach south of the yacht club, a walk to the bakery (thank you Pam!) & then to the blue grocery store for a few basic supplies, then to Staniel Cay Yacht Club. At 1530 hrs. it was time to return to the boat, gather our snorkeling gear & experience the Thunderball Cave as it was low slack tide. Wonderful variety of colours of coral in good shape, in fact more than I remember from the last time especially outside the entrance of the cave & a fantastic array of fish. Lots of people snorkeling--> too many. Pam & Greg each had underwater cameras that they used extensively, but Greg’s had not worked; he thought he may not have loaded the card correctly from the previous day so formatted the card & will hope to try tomorrow again. Near 1700 hrs. it was a rinse down, a superb sunset but no green flash. Supper= fettucine alfredo with turkey strips & awesome rum cake (thank you Pam once again)! An early bedtime. Clear night sky, dark, sliver moon, stars+++ & milky way!
Sun. Feb. 6, 2011 (Week 18, Day 125): Super Bowl! Also presumably just over mid point of our trip Destination: Staniel Cay Weather: sunny, blue sky, very few clouds; few dark clouds that could have given a shower but did not in the late pm; more humid as the afternoon wore on Winds: SE about 6-8K
A few sprinkles of rain during the night but otherwise quiet. Fresh cinnamon raisin & coconut bread, toasted for breakfast. Pam & Greg returned to the cave at high water slack so Greg could reshoot some underwater movies of the coral & fish that had not worked yesterday. The current was too strong to enter the cave but he successfully acquired shots at & around the entrance. Graeme took me ashore for the 1100 hrs. church service at Mt. Olive Baptist Church & purchased some diesel from SCYC. There not many people at the church service but nevertheless it was very animated, musical, warm & welcoming; I skipped out early at 1210 hrs. as Graeme was picking me up, but apparently the service went till 1315 hrs.! Lunch, Graeme went off to the yacht club to save seats for us for the buffet dinner & Super Bowl game while the rest of us napped or read or practiced complicated knots (Greg). Luggage was prepared as much as possible for the Dargavels’ departure tomorrow, we cleaned ourselves up then departed for shore for the football festivities. Happy Hour was from 1600-1800 hrs. with snacks provided then buffet dinner of BBQ pork & chicken, wild rice, vegetable medley of broccoli, cauliflower & carrots, mixed salad & a variety of cake desserts= $18.00 compliments of Pam & Greg! And a good Super Bowl game with Green Bay being victorious. The dinghy ride home was warm & beautiful in the dark under all the stars. A celebratory shot of Nassau Royale, a pleasant liqueur served cold.

Jan.25-31, 2011 (Week 17, Day 113-119)

Tues. Jan. 25, 2011 (Week 17, Day 113): Destination: Sand Dollar Beach Weather: partly sunny, partly cloudy, warm Winds: E to ESE at 12-22K

Despite velocity of wind we were protected enough that we were not rocking & rolling or pitching. Poor reception for Chris Parker this am then something happened & no reception--> winds predominately E today & with increasing winds it was not ideal to relocate to Kidd Cove till tomorrow, but the Dargavels were arriving tonight & I have a need to do laundry & grocery shopping. I spent the am restocking storage jars, making up the V-berth bed with fresh linen, cleaning the mats & a quick wipe of the cockpit. R & R & reading on deck in the sun till the clouds rolled in. We dinghied to the Morrows to see how Lynn was doing with her sore throat & achy joints as well as to pass a novel on to them. A boat shower for each of us & anxiously waiting for the arrival of our guests, hoping all goes well without any hitches, while the cruisers had a gathering on the beach starting at 1630 hrs. which was well attended. The Dargavels’ flight from Miami was late leaving. Due to the rough waters & the direction of the wind we would not be able to meet Pam & Greg at Exuma Markets & asked Luther Rolle (Taxi 29) who met them at the airport, to call for the Water Taxi; he pointed out to us that he may have finished working for the day, but Elvis came through & safely delivered out guests. The Morrows were our communicating liaison as our VHF still does not transmit any great distance. Chat+++, supper= tamale rice dinner then bed. No stars & no moon so a dark night except for the mast lights & George Town lights, & it remained windy.

Wed. Jan. 26, 2011 (Week 17, Day 114): Destination: Sand Dollar Beach to Kidd Cove Departure: 0700 hrs. Arrival: 0745 hrs. Mileage: 1.32 SM/1.24 NM Weather: beautiful warm & sunny day with a few clouds Winds: ESE winds laid down about 2400 hrs.; S to SW about 10K & decreasing till nil at night

Chris Parker’s transmission was not clear this am; listened till 0700 hrs. then relocated to Kidd Cove, anchoring in 6 ft. turquoise water with 60 ft. of chain. A quick & simple breakfast this am. Pam & I did the much needed laundry & grocery shopping that I was unable to do the last 2 days; in Laundromat we met Dee Dee & Peter. Greg & Graeme did water, garbage disposal & beer purchase (Kalik cans= $40.00). We all met up at Denny’s & after returning to the boat with clean laundry & groceries returned to shore to enjoy a good but again very slow service for lunch. Denny’s was a place adjacent to the dinghy dock so we always met up with crusiers we had met along the way & also new ones also enjoying some lunch or a cold beer. Pam & I walked to Sandpiper Boutique, then met the guys at Pet’s Place--> internet. Once back at the boat a time of relaxation & socializing with the Morrows finally meeting the Dargavels. We heard of Dave’s (Firecrest) bad news when he hauled his boat today & he & Patric discovered a serious problem with the shaft; the best & quickest remedy for now would be for Dave to fly back to T.O. & get a new shaft from EMS, then return & install this new shaft & whatever else is necessary so as to slowly start back to Canada in the Spring when we can haul the boat & complete the proper repairs. After such a late lunch & then munchies at happy hour no one was really hungry. Therefore supper= rest of the tamale rice with nice fresh buns, celery & carrots with artichoke & spinach dip. The sun set was behind the landmass followed by a red sky. At night stars +++ & lightning around, moisture+++, little to no wind & flat calm water& later in the night a 2/3 moon was clearly visible.

Thurs. Jan. 27, 2011 (Week 17, Day 115): Destination: Kidd Cove to Long Island Departure: 0705 hrs. Arrival: 1330 hrs. Mileage: 40.7 SM/36.3 NM Weather: gorgeous very warm (28C/80F) & humid, sunny with clouds in the periphery Winds: E less than 2knots;>

Chris Parker was clear this am--> light winds clocking to N or a north component predicted for the next few days. From the anchorage via Elizabeth Harbour we made our way to Three Fathom Channel to Middle Rocks at 0800 hrs. Exuma Sound (Atlantic) was calm, like flat calm, mirror like, only ripples extending from the stern. There was a line of nearly 20 boats crossing over to Long Island through the perfectly clear turquoise water. The water was so clear that we could always see the rippled sand bottom, patches of tufts of grass & starfish . Pam & I spent the voyage at the bow chatting & reading in our bathing suits of course while the guys made sure Auto was doing the work correctly. 18 of us anchored in Thompson Bay close to the community of Salt Bay & ‘Sweet Chariot Too’ anchored in 8 ft. & 60 ft. of chain. After a late lunch we slowly organized ourselves to dinghy around Indian Hole Point where we walked the golden sand beach with mega tiny shells & coral & took a dip in the refreshing water while friends tried fishing from their dinghies to no avail. More swimming off the boat (83F) then rinsing off with fresh water with the transom shower. Graeme & Greg worked on soddering some loose connections from our VHR radio which hopefully is the cause of our communication problems. Nibblies & drinks, then we enjoyed supper in the cockpit = BBQ pork chops with potatoes & pork ‘n beans & oreo cookies (only 2 allowed) for dessert. A lovely sunset, red sky, flat calm water with boats facing all directions & a night sky of millions upon millions of stars. We did not stay up late enough to see a moon but got up in the middle of the night to see it.

Long Island Info: Long Island is located 160 miles SE of Nassau. It is only 4 miles at its widest part & 80 NM long. The Tropic of Cancer crosses through at the settlement of Simms. The Gulf Stream warms it’s waters in the winter & the Trade Winds cools it’s shores in the summer. Long Island is unique with characteristic high cliffs in the north, wide shallow beaches, historic plantation ruins, caves, churches & quiet self-reliant people who farm for themselves & as a major export to the rest of the Bahamas. It is made up of 35 quaint villages or settlements & farming towns named after plantation owning families spread out along Queens Highway. Of note are the churches many of which were built by Father Jerome, an architect, Anglican then Roman Catholic priest.

Fri. Jan. 28, 2011 (Week 17, Day 116): Destination: Thompson Bay, Long Island Weather: warm, humid, sunny with increasing clouds, in fact dark clouds & rain at North End Winds: SW clocking to NW, calm to 15K by noon time.

Chris Parker promised us a fine day with light winds. A short but informative session by Michael from Long Island Breeze at 0830 hrs. on VHF 18. Toast & egg breakfast then we readied ourselves for a day of touring Long Island in a rental van for the 6 of us from Stan Pinder (Blue Runner) because Hill Auto Rental had no rentals available. We landed our dinghies at Long Island Breeze, a beautiful, well managed resort by Michael. Graeme was the designated driver; right hand drive + drove on left side of the road. We drove Stan home first then continued north passing through several settlements starting at Salt Pond followed by Thompson Bay, McKanns, Millers, Wemyss, Simms, Millertons, Burnt Ground, Glintons, Seymours to North End. We were not allowed to drive to Columbus Monument because of the treacherous road but tried to find the lighthouse--> chose the wrong path. We did walk to Adderley Plantation Ruins, then lunched at Stella Maris Resort which overlooked the Atlantic. On our return trip we checked out Club Washington & Thompson Bay for dinner & because of our late lunch & nobody was hungry we continued driving south past Salt Pond settlement down to Cartwrights till dark then turned back. We had a very lovely dinner at Long Island Breeze. A 15K west wind was smashing into the dock & shoreline--> very rough such that the dinghies were pitching +++ at dockside & we were to dinghy home in this! It was now 2200 hrs. & pitch black. We were unable to get our dinghy motor to run. Plan of attack was for Larry to dinghy Lynn & Pam home--> waves over their heads! Meanwhile Michael lead the way in his vehicle to Thompson Bay Beach while we followed in our van; we would not have found our way. Then Larry picked Greg, Graeme & I up from Thompson Bay Beach--> much calmer & drier than the other’s trip. There were so very many more boats in the anchorage. It was right to bed as we were all very tired. A dark night & gazillion stars.

Sat. Jan. 29, 2011 (Week 17, Day 117): Destination: Thompson Bay, Long Island Weather: mostly cloudy in the am (threatening rain); a clearing trend mid am & beautiful, much less humid & sunny pm. Winds: clocking N to NE 8-12K, increasing as the day progressed.

0630 hrs.--> Chris Parker. 0700 hrs.--> spoke to the Morrows as prearranged; both Lynn & Larry unwell & would not be joining us for the ½ day tour to the south IF we were able to get the dinghy motor to run. 0730 hrs.--> Larry made 2 trips to drop the 4 of us off on Thompson Bay Beach; retrieved the van & drove to Long Island Breeze where the guys worked away on the motor engine. They opened the shaft which took some doing finally locating the impellar; a little bit of dirt but otherwise not bad & unable to find a replacement then reassembled. The carburetor was dissembled & cleaned, new spark plug installed & the floater valve was noted to be spewing gas; carburetor was removed again & the valve was readjusted, every opening & part was sprayed with carb cleaner & the idle engine speed was adjusted. Pam & I did some emails, returned the van & did some grocery shopping. Finally by 1530 hrs. the engine seemed to be running again. The whole day was gone! No Clarence Town, no Fr. Jerome Churches & no Blue Hole at Deans (Turtle Cove), the highlights of Long island I so very much wanted to see. And yet another wet ride home in our dinghy followed by happy hour on ‘Twomorrows’. The sunset sky was lovely. Supper= hot dogs then leftover pizza. A dark night, stars+++ & may mast lights in the anchorage. An early bedtime for most.

Sun. Jan 30, 2011 (Week 17, Day 118): Destination: Thompson Bay, Long Island to Sand Dollar Beach, George Town Departure: 0705 hrs. Arrival: 1350 hrs. Mileage: 44.04 SM/35.86 NM Weather: partly sunny, partly cloudy Winds: NNE 10 increasing to 15K (beam reach); 1 ft. rollers with curling white tops which increased in pm to 3 ft. E wind by night at about 10K

Being a Sunday there was no Chris Parker broadcast. An early start & with winds on our beam we convinced Graeme to fly our new DRS (drifter, reacher, spinnaker) as Pam & Greg were experienced with flying a DRS. At 0745 hrs. we made our maiden hoist! The boat was humming along at a speed of 7-8K on a course of 294 degrees. By 0845 hrs. the wind had increased to a steady 15K & it was necessary to stay up above the upcoming shallows so the DRS was pulled into it’s sock & we sailed on full main & jenny; the literature did not give us a guide as to the maximum wind speed for such a sail. A dolphin scooted across our bow a few times. Time spent on deck sunning & reading. The wind shifted slowly to our stern & it was necessary to head down, so a few times we tried to sail wing on wing. A sloppy point of sail + waves at Middle Rocks. ‘Escapaid’ caught a 4 ft. tuna in this location. A dolphin surfaced as we were anchoring at Sand Dollar Beach in 15 ft. water (80 ft. chain). Pam & I rowed to shore in the dinghy, walked the beach, walked the path to the Atlantic side & walked some more there. When we rowed back Tom & Phyllis (Cocoon II from B.C.) whom we met in Miami Beach & again in Bimini & Staniel Cay were visiting. Swims & showers as the Morrows were arriving for dinner. First hummus & pita bread as appetizers then delicious BBQ steaks with fried onions , potatoes & green beans for supper followed by fried bananas with butter & rum topped with chocolate sauce--> yum, yum good! Unfortunately we once again discovered dirty, salty tasting water in the same 2 floor compartments as previously; no clue as to where this is coming from. A dark night but unbelievable stars!

Mon. Jan. 31, 2011 (Week 17, Day 119): Destination: George Town to Lee Stocking Island Departure: 1130 hrs. Arrival: 1620 hrs. Mileage: 32. 7 SM/28.4 NM Weather: partly but mostly cloudy with sunny periods in George Town; clearer sunny skies as we headed north Winds: NE 13-18K; seas out in Exuma Sound ranged 2-5 ft. with whitecaps on the rollers

As usual was our 0630 hrs. listening to Chris, then we up anchored & reanchored in Kidd Cove to replenish water, diesel & gas, purchase minimum groceries & quickly use free internet at Pet’s Place. Another wet & salty trip back to the boat. We up anchored at 1130 hrs. at low tide motoring our way out to Conch Cut, then deployed the jenny & motored sail along at 6-6.5K out in Exuma Sound. Everything down below was well hunkered down as we hit a few good rollers. It was approaching 1600 hrs. when we were motoring through Adderley Cut on high tide into the calmer water. We picked up a first come first serve mooring ball #6 (brand new & more to be installed) in front of the research center--> $15.00 donation; anchoring is permissible. Tori was a young, informative full time employee that answered our many questions & told us a bit about the center--> free to hike the many paths, good snorkeling around a coral head, use of washroom & washers (3) & dryers (3) for a donation; airstrip, watermaker, WiFi an issue at present time. We are considering a tour at 1000 hrs. (1 hour in length) tomorrow before departing. Supper= hamburgers, leftover potatoes & beans & oreos. An evening of journal entry for me as I am several days behind, sleeping for Graeme & card playing for Pam & Greg. A dark night & indescribable number of bright stars.

Jan.18-24, 2011 (Week 16, Day 106-112)

Tues. Jan. 18, 2011 (Week 16, Day 106): Destination: Red Shanks; the reason for not moving is in the text below Weather: hot (near 27C/80F), sunny with a few cloudy periods Winds: SE at 10K to nil after sunset

Extensive moisture on the enclosure & the deck this am. More boats had left the anchorage early in the am; only 4 of us left. After breakfast & the Net, we dinghied into town for badly needed lettuce & fresh fruit, while Graeme did another bank withdrawal, filled 3 jerry cans with water & dropped 1 propane tank off for refill tomorrow. On our way back we dropped by a boat by the name of ‘Polar Pacer’ & introduced ourselves as friends of Karen & Warren Goodyear; spent a long time chatting. A semi wet trip back home. I quickly changed into my swimsuit & pulled on my wetsuit then Graeme dropped me at the Morrows--> Lynn, Larry & I were going snorkeling & lobster hunting; Larry had a sling. Apparently yesterday a boat from this location caught 7 lobster amongst the rocks we were about to search! But we saw nothing but a huge sea turtle, several varieties of small & colourful fish, starfish some of which were huge & different kinds of coral. Disappointedly we returned home empty handed. No fish for supper tonight! The hunt was the reason for delaying our relocation. Graeme instead wanted to dinghy back to town for more water & Lord knows what else; his actions & thoughts are private or secretive & seldom shared. Happy hour on our boat. A beautiful sky with the setting sun & for a time afterwards. Supper= BBQ pork chops & pork ‘n beans. Journal entry & a wee bit of reading. A very warm, moist, super calm night with a clear sky & a bright moon that made you not look for stars; the moon was 9/10ths full & was perfectly reflected on the mirror like water.

Wed. Jan. 19, 2011 (Week 16, Day 107): Destination: Red Shanks Cays to Kidd Cove, George Town Departure: 0715 hrs. Arrival: 0845 hrs. Mileage: 6.65 SM/5.77 NM Weather: sunny with cloudy periods more so in the morning; more blue sky than cloud & warm sun in the pm Winds: S 5-10K, but by evening WSW to W calm to nil

Dew+++ this am; a good opportunity to wipe off the saltiness from the enclosure’s windows, hatches, life lines & stanchions. Apparently yesterday Black Point was under fog for most of the day & many people there had not seen fog before. What kind of an omen was that? We up anchored at maximum high tide & motored out of the anchorage retracing our steps into Elizabeth Harbour past some coral heads listening to the Cruisers Net. Several boats were on the move heading south, many to Long Island. We lowered the anchor into sand in Kidd Cove, the anchorage closest to George Town, in 8-9 ft. depth & 60 ft. of chain. Graeme did his water jug battalion duty again today (why?), was to retrieve his propane tank but the truck did not show & 1 jerry can of gasoline; I washed the cockpit including the cushions & floor with soap & fresh water + polished all the stainless steel from bow to stern. Larry & Lynn did laundry today as their guests arrive tomorrow evening & made arrangements for a taxi to pick them up at the airport so we can meet them at Exuma Markets. Hence this location. Happy hour on ‘Twomorrows’ with Dave from ‘Firecrest’ present. As much as the harbour seemed to empty this am, the reverse occurred by evening; we could see masts right across the harbour to Stocking Island. Supper= hamburgers on the grill. Full moon tonight that was a spectacular sight--> pale orange ball that rose above Stocking Island as the sun was setting over Great Exuma Island; the moon’s reflection on the water was breathtaking. Flat calm water, stars & moisture+++.

Thurs. Jan. 20, 2011 (Week 16, Day 108): Destinations: Kidd Cove, George Town Weather: warm, sunny, blue skies with some white clouds & I need to mention the various shades of brilliant turquoise water because I haven’t done so in a while Winds: ESE to SE about 8-10K

Dew+++ again this am; in fact last night at sunset I started feeling the dampness on everything. We did not bat well with weather reports this am; reception for Chris Parker was poor & we missed the Net’s report. So I guess what you see is what you get. Graeme convinced me to do a load of laundry today (darks) so nest week I will just have to do a javex load of towels & a load of bed linen before our guests arrive. No propane again today; the pumping equipment on the propane truck not working. Another jerry can of water & Graeme scouted for dinner tonight. To Pet’s Place & Deli for free WiFi for several hours. The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing till it was time to go ashore for the evening. Boat showers X 2. American Airlines flight from Miami & the Morrows’ guests arrived early--> Dorcy & David Wheeler. We had reservations for dinner at Peace & Plenty for 1900 hrs., so after a pre dinner drink with introductions we proceeded to the dock in the dark, where upon I promptly slipped off the damp pontoon of the dinghy straight into saltwater as I attempted to climb onto the dock ladder to tie the dinghy up! As we entered the resort we passed a swimming pool on the way to the dining room & I simply detoured & submersed myself into the fresh water. If I was going to sit through dinner in wet clothes it was better in freshwater wet clothes than salt water! Dorsey got me a hotel towel. A absolutely fantastic dinner--> Graeme had conch fritters & I had a creamy seafood pasta + a salad. A simply lovely night, a bright full moon, stars & amazing number of mast lights stretched across the harbour & along the length of Stocking Island.

Fri. Jan. 21, 2011 (Week 16, Day 109): Destination: Kidd Cove Weather: warm, sunny, blue sky in the am & some clouds in the pm & turquoise water all about Winds: SE 10-12 K

0630 hrs. Chris Parker’s broadcast--> staticy. 0800 hrs. Cruiser’s Net. Weather predictions are calling for high winds (20-25K) Sat. pm then decreasing Sun., therefore it is best that we move to Red Shanks in the am. I washed walls in the main cabin & head, & floor in the main cabin with soap & water; I handwashed my clothes from last night’s plunge; I hadwashed some face cloths; Graeme & I went ashore to fill 2 jerry cans with diesel & returned them to the boat. Just after noon we went ashore again & met the Morrows & Wheelers for lunch at Denny’s--> grouper on a bun & curly fries (a long wait but good). We checked out the Bakery Shop by the Shell--> usually white bread ($4.00) or whole wheat ($4.50) Tues., Thurs. & Sat. but coconut & cinnamon raisin ($4.50) available by special order; 1 liquor store, Top 11 Bottom--> an amazing hardware store; Sandpiper Shop & P&P Boutique--> nice stuff! Between 1500-1700 hrs. we attended the Welcome Party hosted by the Department of Tourism; it was well attended by most cruisers; some speeches, Bahamian food, drinks & door prizes. Graeme picked up his empty propane tank while I made a quick stop into Pet’s Place & Deli to check my emails. Then home. Supper= soup as we were too full for anything else. A lovely sunset sky & a clear, dark night with umpteen stars until moon rose about 2100 hrs.

Sat. Jan. 22, 2011 (Week 16, Day 110): Destination: Kidd Cove to Red Shanks Cays Anchorage Departure: 0915 hrs. Arrival: 1015 hrs. Mileage: 6.18 SM/5.37 NM Weather: cloud cover both white & dark clouds after sunrise, sunny periods later in am & occasionally in pm; rain squalls possible Winds: W 12-15K

0630 hrs.--> Chris Parker. After breakfast at about 0730 hrs. Graeme dinghied to shore to deposit a bag of garbage, fill 1 jerry can of water & buy rolls & tortillas not bagels & pitas as requested + WD40. 0800 hrs.--> Cruisers Net. We exchanged Canadian money at par for US money ($750.00) for Tom & Chris (Polar Pacer) for when they go to Cuba. High SW to W winds 20-25K with possible squalls of 30-35K this pm till Sun., therefore we moved to Red Shanks at high tide for protection; a few other boats on our heels. We anchored in 8 ft. water & 100 ft. of chain. I have a great desire to see some of the Out Islands, but as I have mentioned previously I have a concern with weather & protected & secure anchorages; also with guests coming & their time frame I felt it best to priorize this wish list as follows: (1) Long Island, (2) Cat Island, (3) Conception Island, (4) San Salvadore & (5) Rum Cay. Thus I did a few hours of reading & familiarizing myself with the geography of where we are in relation to where these islands are located & where I think our friends would enjoy seeing. After lunch I snorkeled with Larry, Dorsey & David. 1600 hrs. was happy hour on ‘Sweet Chariot Too’--> great fun! Sunset--> I don’t remember, so it wasn’t memorable. Supper= pizza (crust= soft tortillas & the broiler worked!). Dark, cloudy & no stars tonight & moon rose even later than last night.

Sun. Jan. 23, 2011 (Week 16, Day 111): My father’s 2nd year of his death! Destination: Red Shanks to Sand Dollar Beach Departure: 1025 hrs. Arrival: 1130 hrs. Mileage: Weather: small amount of rain during the night; mostly cloudy, cooler & drier air all day Winds: W increased about 2400 hrs. to 20-25K & clocked by am to N; by evening shifted to NE at 15-20 K

The howling night winds finally woke me up at 0200 hrs. & then I was up 3-4X checking our position. The winds had certainly shifted to the north by this time. About 0400 hrs. Graeme was up because he felt an unusual stillness & noticed we were not moving in accordance to surrounding boats--> low tide & sitting on the sandy bottom in 4’3” water; towards dawn we were floating again. No Chris Parker transmission Sun.; only weather from the Net at 0800 hrs.--> N to NE 12-15K, still O.K. to move location as planned to Sand Dollar Beach. Mike from ‘Sea Sharpe’ came over for a visit before we up anchored; they & ‘Audacious’ spent 4 glorious days in Conception Island (1st time). I peppered him with questions re Long Island but he had not been to Cat Island. A short motor sail in 15-18K winds to Sand Dollar Beach, anchoring in 15 ft. water with 80 ft. chain; fairly calm seas & average of 15K N winds. We dinghied to shore after lunch & walked one of the many paths on Stocking Island over to the Atlantic beaches--> wide pink sand beaches, occasional tiny shells, built up shelves of sand that collapsed under foot, some sandy & some coral waterlines, occasional cottages perched at the top of high points of land; the ocean was colourful despite the cloudy weather but rough. At 1700 hrs. we left for supper at ‘Chat ‘n Chill’ by Volleyball Beach--> 4 couples (Lynn & Larry, Dorsey & David—‘Twomorrows’, Dorothy & Glenn—‘Dot’s Way’ & Graeme & I—‘Sweet Chariot Too’); Graeme had cheeseburger & I had hog snapper fish ‘n fries. At 1900 hrs. we dinghied back in the pitch dark; only a maze of mast lights, no stars.

Mon. Jan. 24, 2011 (Week 16, Day 112): Destination: Sand Dollar Beach Weather: cloudy night through to the am; dark clouds thinned & the sun broke through briefly in the am but pm was mostly cloudy Winds: NE 15-20K, whitecaps & slowly shifting E to ESE & increased velocity after dark to 20-25K

Despite the high winds I was able to sleep well. Chris Parker at 0630 hrs. was the clearest transmission yet; winds increasing today & tomorrow as well unfortunately, which may possibly prevent us from relocating to Kidd Cove for the arrival of the Dargavels; it maybe necessary that they take the water taxi from Exuma Markets--> $12.00/person round trip, $10.00/person one way. Wall washing of the V-berth & toilet & shower bench area cleaning. 1100’ish we dinghied over to the Morrows to say our goodbyes to the Wheelers; they took the water taxi across the harbour to George Town, a much drier method. Graeme went across harbour for 1 jerry can of diesel, 1 jerry can of water & garbage removal for us & the Morrows; he was drenched on his return trip. Lynn emailed the Dargavels for me on her backberry with arrival instructions. Some reading, preparing supper for tomorrow evening & making popcorn for this evening’s happy hour on the beach at 1700 hrs. Lynn was not feeling well, so only Dorothy & Glenn, Gail & Bruce & Graeme & I. A very late supper= cube steak & onions & potatoes. No sun, no sunset, no stars, no moon; simply dark, cloudy & howling winds.