Saturday, 25 December 2010

Christmas in the Bahamas


December 25, 2010 - Treasure Cay, The Bahamas

Stocking by the fire of course

After our long journey and many adventures to get to this new country, we needed a rest. What better excuse than some Christmas celebrations.

Richard visited for Christmas

We were joined for 2 weeks by Richard (Diane's Dad). Richard joined us in Marsh Harbour, unfortunately without his luggage, so we waited a couple of days for it and found the time to stop up on bottles of Christmas cheer, mainly rum and Baileys. After no luggage was forthcoming Richard bought a shirt and we set of for Treasure Cay.

Windy Boxing day in the Bahamas

The weather was expected to be quite windy around Christmas so we found a good spot in the middle of the Treasure Cay Marina resort, battened down the hatches and hung up our stockings.

Christmas presents

Christmas was spent opening all our lovely presents and scattering the content around the boat.

Christmas dinner with al the trimmings

Di made us a fantastic turkey dinner with all the trimmings. In case you are wondering its not a pint of Baileys, we just don't have a gravy boat. Baileys came later.

Beers in a beach bar on a chilly boxing day

On Boxing day we headed out to a local bar for a beer and lunch. Richards luggage finally arrived so he could change out of that shirt.

Traditional walk on the beach at Christmas

We enjoyed a short walk on the Treasure Cay beech, meant to be one of the top 10 beeches in the world. With the white sand and turquoise water it was OK, but we found many more places just as nice, but unspoilt by development and tourists.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Crossing to the Bahamas


December 12, 2010 - Lake Worth FL, United States

A rare view of other boats sailing on the ICW

In the last stretches of the ICW the weather was warmer, the winds gentle. On very windy days we stayed on the canals and sailed in calm waters, on reasonable days we sailed offshore and when there was no wind we rested or did some jobs. Surprisingly few boats used sails in the ICW, even with a fair wind. We feel we inspired a few to try.

Fellow sailing boats on the ICW

Of all the other boats we met on the ICW heading south, this was the only one that sailed all the way. He had an old Sea Gal outboard to get him through bridges and once lit a fire on deck, but later said it was not a good idea on his wooden boat. He was mad as a brush.

Fuel dock with the big boys

In Lake Worth we filled up with all that was cheap in the USA. Fuel at a super yacht marina and endless trips to the super market for food and beer, and lots of stuff for future projects to keep us busy.

Cleaning the fore peak, before

Whilst waiting for the weather to be favourable we continued with the improvements on Sea Gal. Di cleaned the forepeak.
Here before.

Cleaning the fore peak, after

And after.

Di painting the fore peak

Later painted in time for our Christmas visitor.

New mug rack

I made a nice new mug holder to hit my head on.

New sauce rack

and sauce rack for our HP, marmite and peanut butter.

Smooth passage across the Gulf Stream

Eventually the weather forecast was good to head across the gulf stream for the Bahamas. We left very early in the morning the make the best of the days light on arrival, had a very smooth crossing to memory rock.

Sailing on the ICW

We arrived in Bahamian waters and hoisted our yellow customs flag. This stays up until you clear customs, which was a few days as we had some weather coming to hold us up.

Clear blue water of the Bahamas

We enjoyed our first view of the clear waters of the Bahamas, with the white sand giving an amazing turquoise on a calm day.

Stormy weather over Great Sale Cay

The first night we anchored on the east side of Great Sale Cay. The recommended anchorage is on the West side, but we had a strong westerly forecast for 48 hours. Our anchorage was not the best and quite bumpy and times, but when we dragged anchor we had 50 miles until the next piece of land. Not so for a couple on a Bavaria in the western anchorage who dragged onto the beach and had a US CG helicopter take them home. The saga playing out took our minds of our own discomfort.

The weather soon cleared and we made our way to Green Turtle Cay to finally check in and enjoy arriving in a new country.

Cocktails in the Bahamas at last

Any woe's were quickly forgotten with our new stock of rum and a 'pain killer' cocktail.