Saturday, 20 February 2016

February 14, 2016

Hermit crab in a SnakeSkin Shell

a beach walk

lawn chair adrift

Grace and Modaki

sea grapes not ripe yet

rays and nurse shark

more sharks and rays

sea ferns

Tuesday  February 16, 2016

We went to shore to find "Beef" at our agreed meeting place, he wasn't there.  I went to Lorraine's Restaurant to work on posting the blog, and Joe went to the Police Station to inquire about Beef and the RIB.  This officer knew all about it.  The dinghy was found on another island about a year ago and the finder was in the process of making it his through the salvage laws.  The officer had Beef's phone number in his phone and he called him for us.  We whereto call Beef later  and we did but there was no answer.
So of we went to Staniel Cay about 9 miles away for fuel and water.
We anchored in Big Majors and dinghied about one mile to the fuel dock.
The docks are so high even at high tide, the attendant lowers the hoses down to you and the dinghy.  When I went to pay for the fuel some fishermen where cleaning their catch and throwing the scraps to the rays and nurse sharks .. see pictures.
Back on the boat it was now too late to do another trip for fuel, so I decided to have a swim and wash my hair.  The water felt so good after 3 days of not being able to go in the water.  I got myself all lathered up and to my shock a shark came swimming towards me from under the boat, and a Remora was following the shark.
You have never seen anyone jump on the swim ladder so fast and get out of the water.  The shark stayed for about 5 minutes waiting for me to enter the water.  I did manage the courage to get back in and rinse the shampoo from my hair.  Now Joe on the other had a cockpit solar bag shower.

Stanley Cay is actually 2 cays separated by a mangrove creek up to 100 ft in places.  It is about 1 1/2 miles long and about 1/2 mile wide and there is a 15 acre salt pond at the north end.

Wednesday  February 17, 2016
Thunderball Cave
Low slack tide was around 9am and we dinghied to Thunderball Cave.  This cave is the site of movies such as Thunderball and Splash. (we will need to rent these when we get home this summer).
The interior of the cave is like a small grotto with a large opening at the top where the sun shines through creating a dazzling effect on the water.
(one cruiser told us that when they where there, local children where jumping through the top opening into the grotto).  There is a strong current running through the cave and it is full of small fish.  This for sure was a highlight for Joe and I.  Another thing crossed off our Bucket List.

We went back into Staniel Cay to go to the 2 out of the 3 grocery stores , one is the Pink building and one the Blue building.  The freighter had not come in so not much fresh food.  I bought 6 bottles of beer and it cost me $24.  Back to the marina and we got 10 gal of water 40 cents a gal.

For the next few days and high winds we motored  to Bitter Guana Cay, which is 1 1/2 miles long and less than 1/4 mile wide. It is named 
after the Iguana population that was once here and now these are on the endangered list.  It is now a protected
Iguana Preserve, these are a subspecies of the Northern Bahamian Rock Iguana and can grow to 3 feet.  It's coloration is dark grey to black, with white on orange tinged scales on the head and snout.  They eat leaves, flowers, berries and fruits. There is said to be only 1,300 Rock Iguanas in the wild.
On a sad note, there was a disaster here, a boat carrying Haitian refugees was wrecked just off Bitter Guana Cay.  It's crew and passengers who all lost their lives, were buried here in a mass grave.  The residents of Black Point had this job.

We went to shore and about 10 Iguana's came rushing to the water, wanting food.  They won't go in the water, so that is where we stayed …
are we chicken or what  ???
The cliffs here are very impressive, all very soft limestone.

Joe is getting better at conch blowing, practice makes perfect I guess.

The wind is picking up and we are very well sheltered from the N-NE-N

Only one more sail boat is here with us ..

another day in paradise

February 12-13, 2016 part three

Isreal's  back yard


helping me crack an almond shell

now it is Joe's turn

picking Pigeon Peas

anchored back at Black Point

Working on the blog at Lorraine's Cafe

the fruits and veggies that we where given from the locals at Farmer's Cay

our carving

February 12-13 part two

Little Farmer's Cay small harbour

a good saying

J.R. the wood carver

inside his studio




Isreal's house

picnic table
  wifi slow  .. will post again

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

February 12-13, 2016 Farmer's Cay part one

at anchor by the air strip on Little Farmer's Cay

a plane taking off

Joe hand sewing our bimini, that was damaged in the last wind storm

SnowBird leaving at 6:30 am for George Town

heading into town

the all grades school

main street

part one …

Feb 12, 2016

Little Farmer's Cay .. population is about 60 (we confirmed this with a local).  it is approx 3/4 mile long and has a 2,000 foot airstrip, marina (with no fuel), grocery store, restaurant, liquor store (a case of 24 beer, any brand is $72 ouch)
When Lagom, Snowbird and Modaki arrived on the west side of Little Farmer's Cay, the wind and waves where too much for any of us to go to shore, we didn't even visit each other for happy hour.

We started to prepare Modaki for the ocean passage, jack lines, making food, storing everything … I mentioned to Joe I was feeling not good about the last few days, things didn't sit well with me.
Neither of us slept well … Joe was up at 3 am and back to bed at 4, and I was up at 4 until the alarm at 5am.  
I mentioned to Joe that the timing is not right for us .. we spend 8 hours on the ocean to get to George Town and spend 2 weeks there, then look for the next weather window to do the same 8 hour passage north.
It didn't take much convincing with Joe, he was feeling the same way.
So we are not GOING.

We tried to contact Lagom and Snowbird at 5:30 and every 15 minutes after that, but they where busy getting ready to leave .. by 6:15 we got them as they where preparing to haul the anchor …
We are sorry that we did not make this decision the night before, but I think it had to brew a bit more in us.
We found out later from emails from Snowbird and Lagom, that it started out really nice of a sail, but then as always it got very spirited and they where surfing 9 - 9.5 knots down waves, and burying rails in the water. These boats are larger than us, one is a 36 ft and the other 42 ft. The entrance to George Town can be a challenge, but they both made it, thank goodness.

Modaki is the only boat left in the anchorage, so we headed to shore to find our way into town. The grocery store 20 ft by 20 ft had some bananas, frozen cheese and onions, but nothing else on our grocery list.

We visited J.R. Wood Carver, and bought a Wild Tamrind wood carving of a Bahamian Mama.  J.R. toured us his garden and back yard, everything he grows is editable or medical, and sent us on our way with fruits and herbs.
Then we went back to see Isriel, he is a descendant of the first settlers, a freed slave family, with last name Nixon and Brown.  He showed us around his property and let us pick pomegranate's, hot peppers and pigeon peas.  He even had us crack open almonds with a rusty hammer on an anvil.  He is such a character.  His sister is the lady at the grocery store we bought our veggies from …   
The police car came around a few times, and we are sure it is on it's last leg, it was chugging, puffing and squealing to even move at a slow pace.
There is no fuel on the island, it comes in once a week on the mail boat.

and the beer is really $72 for a case of 24 ..
I bought 6 bottles and it was $24

Modaki headed north into the wind to Black Point, where I spend a few hours at Lorraine's Cafe having a beer and posting some of the blog ..

February 10-11, 2016

some one made this and set it afloat in Black Point

February 10-11, 2016

Big Major's Spot (Staniel Cay area) is about one mile long and has a hugh salt pond in its interior, that was once worked by the people of Staniel Cay.
The whole island is a series of steep hills and valleys.
The western shore is mostly beaches and eastern shore is mostly rock sand undercut from tidal action.
They main attraction here is the swimming pigs and they will swim out to greet incoming dinghies.  We stayed a distance away from them, with our already leaky dink, we did not need a pig trying to climb aboard. 
Cruisers leave them bread, lettuce, carrots etc.
We needed diesel but it was too far for our dinghy and 4 hp motor to go to Staniel Cay.
Snowbird tried to go the Staniel Cay Marina in the morning for diesel, but a huge cruise ship was at the fuel dock, and they would have to manoeuvre there way around pilings to get fuel.  Also the current was running so fast that they decided against it.

The next day we went to Black Point, this is the largest town in the northern and central Exumas, okay this place is smaller that Chatsworth, Ontario .. it has two grocery stores .. one store is about 8 ft by 10 ft … and the other is 20 ft by 20 ft .. there was not much on the shelves, no fresh food at all ..  all milk is the long life, and meat is all frozen in a very small freezer …  we are not complaining, but it is hard to believe that this town is the largest in northern and central Exumas.
Lorraine's Cafe has free wifi and some Bahamian food.  Her mom bakes bread every day .. coconut and cinnamon / raison .. Joe is having a real treat with the bread he loves.
We did a load of laundry mostly bedding,  I always keep the other clothes
hand washed ..$7/wash and dry.
We also got 10 gal of drinking water and we left a donation of money to the school for our garbage disposal and water.

getting ready to go out side to George Town

February 10-11, 2016 North Major's and Black Point

feeding the Pot Cakes, local dogs

at anchor

our Canadian Flag got shredded in the last blow

a new flag and some laundry hanging to dry

we went to shore with Grace

limestone rocks washed out

lots of caves

washed out ledge

one of the swimming pigs

Modaki and Grace helping a local get his large dinghy off the beach, he came in on high tide 
and it was low when he wanted to leave

some more pigs arriving

Happy hour on Grace, Kevin and Debbie

Lagom (Mike), Snowbird (Janine)

Andante (Andrew)

a large private boat with a slide at the back

Black Point anchorage

directions on local attractions

the Post Office

Modaki is out there some where

Lorraine's mom, the bread maker

main street Black Point