Friday, February 16, 2018

A Visit from Dawn and Ray

Dawn and Ray, our friends from Cambridge, MD, flew in to Black Point on Valentine’s Day. It is a very good thing they are both pilots who are comfortable on small planes. It was a very small, full (and old) plane.  After they landed safely we started the 15 minute walk into town, turning down two offers for rides. People in the Bahamas are so nice.  We stopped at DeShamon’s for a very nice Valentine’s Day surf and turf dinner. 
Yesterday morning we raised the anchor and sailed to Big Majors where we met Hugh and Karen on Trekker and Ruth Ann and Fred on Shooting Star. We first “met” Hugh and Karen through our blogs. They read our blog and we read theirs. They also have a Hanse 415 and we used their idea for an arch to hold the solar panels and dinghy. Ruth Ann and Fred also live in Cambridge. Although we were all in the Bahamas this winter we haven’t crossed paths until yesterday. It was great to meet and catch up. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

And More Photos

Little Bay anchorage all to ourselves

Sargent Major fish

More photos

I write the blog on my iPad. The app I use can handle just two photos at a time. I have tried writing it directly through Blogger but I can’t seem to access my photos at all that way. So, here is a post to add a few photos that I didn’t post before. 
Pam snorkeling at Sea Aquarium

A rainbow so close we could almost touch it. Big Majors Spot. 

Awnings 2.0

After Pam and Brad left on Saturday we spent some time reattaching bungees to the reworked salon hatch awning. I had already sewed together the two awning pieces that had been attached either side of the boom in version one.  I had also removed the stainless steel rings and attached new patches and webbing. We put the awning under the boom and attached it to the boom vang. So far, so good. Saturday evening we went to a happy hour at Pirates’ Beach (aka Cruisers’ Beach). As always, it was fun to chat with old and new friends. 
On Sunday I removed the stainless steel rings from the v-berth awning. We replaced them with dyneema line rings. They will be much quieter in a strong wind. Early Monday morning we had another squall and both awnings seemed to keep the rain out. Hooray!
After buying fuel at Staniel Cay Yacht Club Monday morning we left Big Majors and had a jaunty sail down to Black Point. The anchorage and laundromat were quite crowded, it seems as if a lot of other people have the same idea!  If the wind calms down enough this evening we may dinghy over to Scorpio’s for happy hour. 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

End of a Great Week

We said goodbye to Pam and Brad this morning after a great week of sun, snorkeling, sailing, reading, beaches and games of Mexican Train. We thoroughly enjoyed their company and already miss them. The wind across the Staniel Cay harbour created quite a bit of chop leading to very wet dinghy rides. Because we didn’t want to send them off drenched in salt water, we made a plan to move Breeze On closer to town just long enough for them to get ashore. Plan A was to tie up the the Staniel Cay Yacht Club fuel dock. Plan B (in case someone was already at the dock) was to anchor in a tight anchorage near a beach in town. There was indeed already a boat at the fuel dock so we dropped anchor near the beach. It was a short and, thankfully, dry dinghy ride to shore where Pam and Brad had a 15 minute walk to the airport. The tide was going out and the depths are shallow in spots so we said our goodbyes and did not accompany them to the airport. We returned Breeze On to the same spot we had left at Big Majors. 
Bright and early yesterday morning we dinghied over to Thunderball Grotto for some snorkeling. We had researched the tides and thought we were hitting it at low tide. It seems we might have missed it, though. There was already a strong incoming current. The fish outside the grotto were pretty and numerous. We entered the grotto and where there were still a lot of fish but they were harder to see. Brad was taking pictures with the new camera. I suggested we leave the grotto through a different entrance. Pam and I swam out against the current and turned around to look for Brad. He had been taking pictures under water when one of his flippers came off. He swam under water to retrieve it and when he surfaced the current had pushed him toward to rock wall where he hit his head hard on a low rock. Pam and I saw him as he raised his arms to push himself away. By the time we returned to the dinghy (where George was waiting) we saw that Brad was bleeding.  Once Pam cleaned up the scrapes they didn’t look so bad. We were all grateful his injuries weren’t any worse. Pam and Brad took one last trip to the beach in the afternoon and Pam had the courage to take one last salt water bath (no sharks this time!)

Thunderball Grotto

Can you find the ray?

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Cambridge Cay to Staniel Cay

Yesterday we went back to the Sea Aquarium for more snorkeling. Much to my surprise it was even better than the day before!  There were so many fish of so many varieties. I saw some of my favorite, Queen Angelfish, and also some relatively small needle-nose fish that had snouts that seemed as thin as actual needles. 
After returning to Breeze On, Pam and Brad jumped in to take a salt water bath. Just after they got out of the water, and before they had a chance to rinse off, they spotted a 6 foot shark swimming right by the swim platform!  Yikes!  It looked like a nurse shark, but even so...  I am so glad it waited until after they got out of the water. A large ray swam by shortly after the shark. George opted to take a very quick salt water bath but I showered inside. 
This morning we sailed down to Staniel Cay. After anchoring at Big Majors we took a very wet dinghy ride over to Staniel Cay Yacht Club where Pam and Brad treated us to lunch. From there we walked to the airport just to see where it is and and time how long it takes to walk there (15 minutes).  On the way back to the dinghy we stopped at both the Pink Store and the Blue Store to shop for fresh food. The shelves were bare so we will try again later. Since the dinghy ride to Staniel was so wet and we are expecting more wind on the day of their departure we are making plans to get them ashore without getting wet. Plan A is to use the fuel dock at Staniel Cay Yacht Club. 

Sailing, Snorkeling and Sitting on the Beach

Last year the weather didn’t cooperate when Pam and Brad visited us in the Bahamas. It was very windy, often cloudy and cool (by Bahamas standards). They made the best of their week here and we all had a great time. This year the weather has been much more cooperative. In fact, it has been one of the best weather weeks of the winter. Pam and Brad have been taking full advantage of it. 
Monday morning we moved from Black Point to Little Bay. Pam and Brad loved the beautiful, secluded beaches and spent a few hours relaxing and reading on the beach. We were lucky to have the anchorage all to ourselves. After lunch we all dinghied over to the snorkeling spot by the Sandcastle house. We saw lots of fish including several of the Queen Angelfish. 
Yesterday morning we raised the anchor and sailed north to Cambridge Cay. It was an ideal day for sailing with just the right amount of wind. Breeze On was one of many boats sailing on the banks. After picking up the last available mooring ball and eating lunch we dinghied over to the Sea Aquarium for more snorkeling. It is a very popular snorkeling spot, for good reason. There are so many fish!  Brad used our new Go-Pro knock-off camera to take a picture of the Sargent Major fish swarming around me (looking for food, I suspect). It is a little freaky to feel trapped by so many fish. Pam and Brad loved the snorkeling and hope to go back to the Sea Aquarium again. In the meantime, they are getting in some more beach and hiking time while George and I run the water maker and defrost the refrigerator. 
By the way, the dinghy has been running just fine since it was trapped and submerged under the dock. We are SO grateful!

Pam and Brad both love to read. 

A swarm of Sargent Majors