Thursday, 17 February 2011

February and on to George Town


February 17, 2011 - George Town, The Bahamas

We continued south.

Waderwick Wells

The next Island was Waderwick Well, which is also the headquarters for the Land and Sea Park. Many days amusement was has listening the people on the radio calling up Waderwick Wells and me thinking of the Monty Python 'Welease Woger' scene from Life of Brian.

Sunset at anchor

The park had many moorings, but charged lots of money, so we anchored near to the park headquarters and had a much more peaceful time.

Trees in holes

We walked the trails ashore to explore the natural beauty and to get into holes with trees.

Quieter anchorage

Sunset were always good.

Making the stack pack

Di continues with the sewing projects, here making the main stack pack.

New screens

I made some new screens for the companion ways.

Swimming Pigs

Further south was Staniel Cay. We made sure to visit the swimming pigs, who were enthusiastic to see us at first, then just lay down to sleep as soon as they realised we didn't have any food.

Scrubbing the bottom of the boat standing on the ground.

We found another difficult to enter anchorage with very shallow water in behind Thomas Cay in the Pipe Cay channel. Just deep enough for the boat to float and shallow enough to stand and scrub its bottom.

Conch hunting with Paul and Liz

In Staniel Cay we met up with Paul and Liz again who took us Conch hunting. They don't run fast, but the bigger ones seem to be in the deeper water so take some finding.

Di caught a lovely pair of Conchs

After diving to find our fill we went to a beach to receive instruction on how to extract the meat from the shell and which bits to eat and which bits to chop.

Preparing Conch

Lots of work cutting slimy skin off.

Making Conch fritters

The end results were lots of tasty conch fritters.

Busy anchorage at George Town

Further South is George Town. The end of the line for many as they spend the winter here. There is a large sheltered anchorage, shops, water fuel and a lively social life. Although an idyllic setting it didn't feel very away from it all with so many others in the same spot. Trying to find a spot for you dinghy on a beach was never a problem before.

a Mix and Mingle

We took the opportunity to fill with food, rum and water and even had time for some socializing. Here at a 'bring a plate' ( with some food on it) to a rather lovely beach.

The quiet side of Stocking Island

It was still easy to find some peace and quiet if you walked for 15 minutes to the other side of the island.

Husking coconuts

Paul and Liz took us to a driftwood bar made on the beach and amused themselves watching us trying to get into some coconuts. After a couple of weeks it was time to head on south to some less travelled paths.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

On to the Exumas


February 1, 2011 - Allens Cay, Bahamas, The Bahamas

Crossing to the Exumas

We had reached the end of Eleuthera, the weather was getting better, it was time to cross to the Exumas. We had a beautiful crossing and anchored behind Ship Channel Cay. Not a great anchorage and a bit rolly for our little boat. Then next day we moved to the smallest anchorage we could find. We had to enter at high tide, and then we only had 5ft of water. Difficult to enter, but very sheltered and quiet. We spent a few days relaxing and swimming.

Allens Cay anchorage

The next stop was Allens Cay, famous for its Giant Iguanas. The anchorage got pretty crowded as it was the normal first stop from Nassau. Every afternoon tripper boats would unload on the beach for 10 minutes, then rush off and leave us in peace.

Iguanas in Allens Cay

First lobster supper

We bumped into Paul and Liz from Jalan Jalan who we had met in Rock Sound. An English couple who had been around the world, and now sail just around he Bahamas. The English humour took a while to remember, but we soon remembered how to be dry,sarcastic and talk about the weather. Paul turned up to our boat with a spare lobster tail. He had ben fishing and got a bit carried away, so we helped him out and enjoyed our first lobster dinner, of many.

Our favourite anchorage

Further south we found our favourite anchorage, deserted due to the difficult entry, but sheltered. Plenty of snorkelling, with a few lobsters to find. A well on the island for fresh water, what more could you want.

The first Stack Pack made, and its maker.

DI found a few days to concentrate on the project of renewing all the blue canvas on the boat. With the cockpit cushions completed, the next was the sail covers. We decided to make Stack Packs so as to make the large main easier to control. Di made the mizzen stack pack first so as to practice the design on a smaller scale. It looks and works like a dream.

Exploring into Shroud Cay

Next stop was Shroud Cay. This first Cay in the Exumas Land and Sea park. We explored the rivers and mangrove swamps in the dinghy.

Ray, our friendly guide

We followed this friendly ray through the island as he showed us the deeper parts of the river.

Meeting the ocean on the other side

At the other side of the island where it meets the ocean was a beautiful pool for swimming.

Resting after a hard day

After a hard days exploring there was just one thing left to do.