Wednesday, February 9, 2011

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.

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