Sunday, March 2nd
Matthew Town, Great Inagua
Sunday morning we loaded the dinghy on deck and headed out of Lantern Head. We had good late morning light and with Roger keeping coral watch on the foredeck we encountered nothing ugly on our way out the door. We pointed our bow west. We had hoped to run the engine for a bit to charge our batteries before hoisting the sails but it was not to be. Shortly after leaving the Harbor the engine temp rose to a level we weren't happy with. Seaweed again we suspected. Roger checked the raw water strainer and found nothing. The next thing to check would be the through-hull. We decided this could wait until we arrived at our destination. The sails went up, wing and wing, and we had a terrific 25 mile sail in 20 knots of wind. Whenever we looked back at the following seas which were 7-8 feet we were glad we weren't still trying to work our way east.
There are several recommended anchorages on the west side of Great Inagua. If you need supplies you can anchor off the town proper. We did a drive through of the area and decided the swell was a bit much and headed for the north anchorage by the airstrip where it was somewhat less rolly. There we encountered our first cruiser since leaving Luperon. Who should it be but Windigo, the Islander 37 we had met at Rum Cay a month and a half ago. Kevin & Karen are originally from Wisconsin but have been living aboard for several years now. They are bicycling fanatics, with two stainless steel bikes hanging in their rigging and a dinghy which is pedal powered. There is no mistaking them even from a distance.
Monday, March 3rd
Matthew Town, Great Inagua
Monday morning we moved back to town for the day so we could take on water. Getting water was no small feat. Despite the fact that the source was a mere 500 yards from shore there were certain issues. The first was getting the water from the faucet into our blue jugs. After that was solved there was the issue of getting it into the dinghy. The nearby beach where the dinghy was located had a bit of breaking surf. If we hauled the dinghy ashore it would get pooped and fill with sand and water. If we left it anchored slightly offshore it was a trick launching the full jugs into it through the seas. Happily, with only a strained knee and a dinghy full of sand, we were able to replenish our water supply in only three trips (four jugs each.) At mid-day we moved back to the north anchorage with groceries next on the agenda. We decided to investigate the government basin as a place to leave the dinghy so as to avoid walking through town soaking wet from a beach landing. The basin was small with a bit of an interesting entrance and big concrete walls. It was fine to land the dinghy but I wouldn't have had a warm fuzzy feeling bringing the big boat in. Town was an easy walk from the basin. You can definitely see the signs of Morton Salt's presence here. We passed a baseball/basketball park with giant stadium lights surrounding it. The grass hadn't been mowed in a while so I'm not sure how popular baseball is around here. The next thing we saw was the Library, sponsored by Morton Salt. Windows, doors, air conditioning AND a half dozen computers. We did our shopping in the well stocked Inagua General Store where the employees all wore Morton Salt button down shirts. Next to the store was a playground with some very nice equipment. Once again the grass was uncut and the toys unused. I guess like kids everywhere they like to play in their own yards. After our long day we made our way back to the boat exhausted.
Tuesday, March 4th
Matthew Town, Great Inagua
Tuesday was diesel, gas and laundry day. We loaded the dinghy with a variety of jugs and dirty laundry and made our way to the government basin. As we approached the entrance we saw that there was a Haitian merchant boat maneuvering inside. It was amazing to see one of these boats up close. We have seen them through our binoculars in the past but up close they are quite remarkable. It was a wooden sailboat about 60 feet long. The crew of about five was moving it, using lines, from one bulkhead to another. It was like stepping back to a time when goods were transported by sail alone. As Windigo said, their boat builders are masters of the pine tree. The mast, boom and gaff were all still recognizable as trees, with sawn off branch nubs and curious angles. The sails and rigging were cobbled together from a variety of sources, none traditional, but the crews boat handling skills were very impressive. Every member of the crew looked to be younger than twenty five years old, wore rubber sandals and tee shirts emblazoned with English language slogans. Once they were tied up the local Customs & Immigration people started the three hour check in process. Once this was completed the boat, from "Berry Islands" could continue it's four day journey to Nassau where they would sell their cargo of charcoal. Apparently the production part of this process involves another group of people who are at home in Haiti chopping down trees, setting them on fire then burying them to make the charcoal that these boats transport north. It was a very interesting thing to see.
After the Haitian boat watching we somehow got hooked up with Mr. Williams. He carted us around to the diesel place, the gas place, the laundry place, Angie's (a local watering hole) and Navaro's for spectacular take-out cracked conch. Sometimes we were in his pick-up truck, sometimes we were in a church school bus but he got us where we were going. Mr. Williams has worked for Morton Salt for twenty five years and is happy with their management. He feels they are well paid and well treated, although we did hear from someone that there was a "work stoppage" of sorts last Spring. He pointed out the Manager's house and described the various ways that the Company helps the town. In order to load the salt, Morton has the only good sized dock on the Island.. All of the Island's fuel and building materials arrive at the dock which is a huge contribution. Needless to say it's a two way street but at least according to Mr. Williams it works out well for all concerned.
In the afternoon we headed to the Library to access the Internet. We encountered Kevin & Karen at the Library door as well. While we were waiting for it to open, the Librarian's seven year old daughter A'Zavier Cox arrived to tell us that her Mom, Veda Mae Palacious was on the way. We chatted with A'Zavier and her two friends Rayneisha McIntosh and Denique Whyms about a variety of subjects. The girls seemed interested in whether or not we could sing. I gave them a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday" which is the only song I know all the words to. They were not particularly impressed. The three girls then launched into what must be their favorite song which, sadly, I didn't recognize. Their voices are way better than mine. Thankfully Veda Mae arrived and I was spared further embarrassment.
Wednesday, March 5th
Matthew Town, Great Inagua
Wednesday morning Windigo headed towards Lantern Head. They are eventually headed over to the Turks & Caicos to meet up with family. We'll head to town to file our log update then work our way north to Man of War Bay to wait for a weather window to head to Little Inagua and then on to the Crooked/Acklins Islands.
Sunday, March 9th
Little Inagua, Bahamas
After spending Thursday and Friday in the shadow of the Morton Salt Terminal in Man of War Bay Saturday found us rounding the northwest corner of Great Inagua headed for Little Inagua. Little Inagua is five miles off the northeast corner of Great Inagua forty miles away. We had sort of promised ourselves when we left Luperon that our days of sailing to windward were over for a while. Apparently two weeks is a while. We were back at it. The wind was blowing less than it had been for days but was still not the calm wind we were hoping for. Because of the tight wind angle it was definitely a motor sail kind of day if we wanted to get in before dark which we did. Despite the seas we made good time. We looked on with envy as a small sailboat flew by us in the opposite (and saner) direction. This was the third cruising boat we had seen since leaving Luperon two weeks before. We arrived at Little Inagua by late afternoon, dropping the hook in front of a spectacularly empty two mile long beach, in 20 feet of water with a depth of "off soundings" just yards to our stern.. Ah, paradise.
Unfortunately it was going to be paradise delayed. After puttering down below for a few minutes I went to the v-berth to open the hatch to get the air circulating and discovered that the "master suite" was very wet. Had water come in through the windlass? It seemed too wet for that. It didn't take terribly long to identify our problem. Over the course of the previous month of beating south we had taken a lot of water over the bow. What we didn't realize till now was that between the muddy anchorages of the ICW and the spectacular mud of Luperon we had managed to clog our anchor locker drain, despite regular use of the wash down hose. The anchor locker was almost completely full of sea water and had begun to empty itself through its v-berth access doors onto our bunk. It was the quarter berth for us tonight. The following day after unloading the anchor chain and poking at the drain hole for a while we were no longer awash. The v-berth mattress, bedding and other wet items baked in the copious sunshine with us prodding them intermittently hoping we wouldn't have to spend another night in the quarter berth. (Sorry for the disparaging remarks about the guest quarters Jim & Lorraine!!)
Monday, March 10th
Little Inagua, Bahamas
After spending Sunday cleaning up we were more than ready to acquaint ourselves with Little Inagua on Monday. Our first stop was the big western beach. We walked the southern end picking up shells and generally exploring. We encountered the "Little Doll House" mentioned on the chart. It is a small clearing with a number of decrepit dolls and stuffed animals hanging in the trees. Presumably they are brought from the beach on the east side of the island by cruisers(?) and left as greeting. The place isn't actually visible from the water so we're not sure why it's noted on the chart. Perhaps there used to be something else here which warranted the name though I somehow doubt it. Monday afternoon we made our way to the east side of the Island and found the mother lode of beans. Sixty-five in one day! After our successful beachcombing we headed back to the west side of the Island and Roger procured conch for dinner. It sounds simple enough but it's a bit of a job. First you need to find them, then kill and clean them. Big job. Then the cook takes over and pounds them for all she is worth. This is followed by the "deep frying" process. There is definitely satisfaction in catching your own dinner but it's not the sort of satisfaction we require on a regular basis.
Wednesday, March 12th
Little Inagua, Bahamas
Tuesday and Wednesday involved some chores and a walk on a more northern east side beach. Little Inagua is a spectacularly beautiful place. The beaches are amazing. The eastern facing beach is like many eastern facing Bahamian beaches in that it collects all matter of debris that washes up with storms and current. Once you get over the stupidity that allows this kind of stuff to be floating around in the ocean you can't help but be intrigued by the stuff that you find. Why is it that light bulbs (both standard and long fluorescent) don't break coming in through the surf? Why are there always so many shoes on the beach? I'm not sure I want to know the stories behind the empty purses. The west facing beach is a pristine long white ribbon. It would take a good bit of time to make your way from end to end. When you look out from shore towards the water the change in color from the aqua blue of the shallows to the dark blue of the deep is breathtaking. Not only because it is so stark but also because it is so close to the shore. The interior of the Island is similar to other Bahamian islands in certain areas, with dense, chest-high shrubs. In other areas the landscape has an almost "above tree-line", alpine look to it. There is very low growth with bare, and in this case, parched land in between. The weather is such that the shrubs that you see in these areas have a sort of Bonsai look to them. It had been worth waiting for a weather window to visit this wonderful place.
Thursday, March 13th
Hogsty Reef, Bahamas
On Thursday we left Little Inagua headed for Hogsty Reef. A visit to Hogsty Reef is extremely weather dependant. We lucked into a forecast of "light & variable" for four days out. We didn't intend to spend four days there but it was a great cushion of time. Hogsty Reef is basically an atoll or as close to one as you're going to get around these parts. It is one of the few such formations found between here and the South Pacific. An atoll is basically a ring of islands surrounding a lagoon. In the case of Hogsty it's a ring of reef about five miles long and two miles wide with two small Cays marking either side of the west-facing entrance. At two other points in the circumference the reef is marked by shipwrecks.
After our fifty mile motor we were happy to be anchored inside the reef east of Northwest Cay. We dropped the dinghy into the water and were headed in to the beach for a look around at our "remote" surroundings when, much to our surprise, a big sport fishing boat headed in through the reef opening. He looked like he had stopped in for a tour as he continued in towards the far end of the Reef. Still bobbing in the dinghy, now finding ourselves in a shallow reefy area near the island, we were once again surprised by more company. This time it was one of the U.S. Coast Guard helicopters from the base on Great Inagua. Needless to say that with a sportfisherman making fairly quick work of the inner boundary of the Reef and the Coast Guard hovering above us we were somewhat distracted. We had lost sight of our path through the coral to the Island mere yards away and were now fending ourselves off of little hard bits to make our way to shore. I think the Coast Guardsmen were probably shaking their heads. After not too long we found our way to the beach. Northwest Cay, the larger of the two Cays is only about 300 yards long and six feet above sea level. On the Island there is a small conical brick structure which appears rather old but of indeterminate purpose. There is also a thirty foot high lighthouse (light on top of a pole; working) as well as one small dead tree. Other than that it's just groundcover, sand and birds. We made our way back to the boat, taking a straighter, less bumpy route and watched the sunset in our strangely unsettling anchorage.
Friday, March 14th
Hogsty Reef, Bahamas
On Friday we packed up the dinghy for a tour of the Reef's high spots (literally.) The sportfisherman, which wound up spending the night on the west side of the Island, left before dawn so we were by ourselves. It was an eerie sensation. We felt strangely compelled to bring a large and somewhat odd array of stuff we rarely bring on dinghy trips just in case of an emergency. Our first stop was Southeast Cay, about a mile southeast of our anchorage. Great shelling, nothing else. From there it was off to the southern wreck, Lady Eagle. We couldn't tell if it was an inter island ferry or a tugboat. Either way it had made its last trip. As a cruiser I am not all that fond of peering at wrecks. Perhaps if I was a diver... Stop number three was a drive-by of the liberty ship which wrecked on the northern reef in 1963. It's in pretty bad shape by now, though not as bad as the James Longstreet which was scuttled long ago off my hometown (Eastham, MA.) to be used for target practice. From there it was back to point A. Sadly we ran over a squid on the way home. Sorry guy.
Despite the lack of wind Hogsty Reef was making us uncomfortable. During our second night Roger got up twice to check on the anchor. By morning we were more than ready to be on our way. There were no backward glances as we made our way northwest towards the Crooked/Acklins Islands.
Saturday, March 15th
Castle Island, Crooked/Acklins District
We spent the third day of our four forecast "light & variable" days traveling northwest 40 miles to Castle Island which is the southernmost Island in the Crooked/Acklins District. We certainly weren't going to wait at Hogsty for the wind to pick up so it was a motor trip. We passed a southbound Haitian charcoal merchant as we approached our destination. They were tacking their way slowly home for another load. We could see the 135' lighthouse on Castle Island from twelve miles out. It's a beautiful white tower that we first mistook for a sailboat. Despite almost two knots of current against us we were anchored on the west side of the Island by four o'clock. Our friendly neighbor at this anchorage was the wreck of a Belizean freighter. At least we didn't have to worry about them making a lot of noise. Strong northeast wind was in the forecast for Monday forward so tomorrow we planned to head up the west side of Acklins 25 miles to Delectable Bay. Since Sunday was going to be a short day we planned to take a quick trip ashore in the morning to check out Castle Island before our departure. It was not to be. In reviewing our navigation for the following day we picked up a stray shallow spot. Although the route appeared to be through blue water (2 meters or more) we caught sight of a "1.1" (meters) on the chart. A typo perhaps? The Bight of Acklins is notoriously shallow, with a very small tide range. Did we want to risk grounding with a blow coming or should we go the long way around to the same destination? We opted for the 50 mile route thereby canceling our early morning visit to Castle Island. Some days are like that.
Sunday, March 16th
Delectable Bay, Acklins Island
We headed north to the southern tip of Long Cay, up the east side of the Cay then southeast across the Bight of Acklins to Delectable Bay. It was a very scenic day with lots of amazingly blue water though I wouldn't have minded the shorter route. Low and behold there were four cruising boats in Delectable Bay, with us making it five. We hadn't seen so many boats of any type in one place for weeks. The crew of Rum Tum Tiger from Rochester, NY stopped by to say hi on their way back from a walk. According to them the other boats anchored nearby included 2 British and a Dutch boat. They had all moved around the corner from Spring Point to sit out the wind which was forecast to arrive overnight.
Monday, March 17th
Delectable Bay, Acklins Island
Monday was a stay on the boat in the wind day. Allison & Derek from Kalida stopped by to visit. They are from Cornwall, England and are headed to Cartagena. They'll go as far east as eastern Puerto Rico then hang a right for a good shot south. They had originally planned to tour Cuba first but circumstances conspired and now they have to go the Puerto Rico route. We passed along our Gentleman's' Guide and a chart of Hispaniola which they lacked due to their last minute plan change.
Tuesday, March 18th
Delectable Bay, Acklins Island
Tuesday we killed the windy morning by baking bread and changing the oil. By afternoon we were ready to get off the boat. The wind was still strong but the seas were effectively blocked so we felt ok heading off. Rum Tum Tiger and Kalida were also off for a leg stretch so the six of us headed toward Spring Point. After a longish walk with no sign of our destination a van full of kids in sporting gear and their chaperone picked us up and deposited us in town. Bless them. We made a foray to the grocery store then to Copeland's Restaurant & Bar. We all ordered Kalik's and sat on the front porch awaiting their arrival. Not too long after we placed our order a pick-up truck arrived with two cases of beer which were brought inside. We were still empty handed. Derek, being a suave Brit, was elected to go back inside and check on our order. Apparently the recently arrived beer was in the freezer cooling. Would we rather have it on ice? We agreed that yes we'd take it with cubes, thanks. It was getting late as we began our dusty trek home. After several miles on our southbound journey a northbound pick-up truck turned around and asked us if we needed a ride. We said we were headed south to Delectable Bay. "Not a problem" All six of us hopped into the back of the truck with the three guys who were already there and made our way home. The driver, Froggy, and his friends are fishermen from Salina Point at the southern end of Acklins. They had just come from a sporting event at the Island High School and were headed for a beer. Like many Bahamians we've met they were in no particular hurry and went out of their way to be helpful to strangers.
Thursday, March 20th
Spring Point, Acklins Island
Thursday the wind had eased a bit. Several days earlier Rum Tum Tiger had met a man who was starting to build a resort of sorts in Delectable Bay. Ivan had a plan to create a bone fishing/ kayaking center. He had had a dock built on his property and had started to plant palm trees which he was watering faithfully. There were a few kayaks on the beach and several cabana-like structures in place. It's definitely a labor of love with a completion date somewhere in the future. Ivan had some flexibility in his schedule and had offered to drop us off at the path to the Ocean beach. The Bahamian government had paid to have a road constructed to the beach but as sometimes happens the job wasn't completed and what was done wasn't really recognizable as a road. We arranged for Ivan to pick us up in a few hours and we made our way east. What had once passed for a road was now overgrown with waist-high grass and small shrubs. Our party of six began to grumble after a half hour of bushwhacking. Soon thereafter the Bataan Death March remarks started and even Winnie the dog was looking a bit put out. After an hour of picking through the Bahamian flora in the hot sun we saw the beach spread before us. At last, water (albeit salt.)
We beach combed our way through an interesting collection of debris and enjoyed a lovely spread of trail bars and raisins before having to make the slog back to meet up with Ivan. Once again there was a great deal of complaining from the troops. Winnie the dog was able to convince Derek of Kalida that she might swoon at any moment despite having had a bowl of water. He took pity on her and carried her small form back towards the waiting truck. On the ride back to the Bay Ivan stopped to pick some Sapodillas for us. They taste a bit like caramel. Not what I look for in a fruit. I passed mine on to Roger who wolfed it down in a flash. In the afternoon we all moved north around the corner to Spring Point since the wind had died.
Friday, March 21st
Spring Point, Acklins Island
Today was an errand day. At least we intended it to be. As it turned out we were able to buy a few groceries but because it was Good Friday the gas station was open only briefly. Too briefly for us to haul our jerry jugs back and forth a few times. So instead it became a relaxation day. Rum Tum Tiger headed back across the Bight to Crooked Island to visit their local friends. For dinner we shared a pizza and cruising stories with Kalida. The best of these was told by Derek. It took place in Brazil and involved the crash landing of an ultralight that he was in, piloted by a young man that they had met just that day. Horrifying but amusingly told.
Saturday, March 22nd
Landrail Point, Crooked Island
We decided that, due to the logistics involved in taking on fuel and water in Spring Point, we'd just as soon continue our intense conservation efforts and fill up somewhere more convenient another day. That decision made we hoisted our sails early Saturday morning and headed across the Bight towards our destination of Crooked Island. Craig & Mary on Rum Tum Tiger have been coming to Crooked Island for about thirty years. For most of those years they arrived in their own plane and stayed at the northwest corner of the Island at Pittstown Landing. More recently they have come in their 40' catamaran. They have many friends on the Island and had sailed back to Crooked to participate in the Crooked Island Homecoming. We were invited to join in Saturday night's festivities which we understood involved a performance by the local school band. It was this and MUCH, MUCH more. Rum Tum, Kalida and we arrived at Gordon's Restaurant II at 6:00 p.m. where we were to catch a bus from Landrail Point to the Colonel Hill Settlement Park for the performance. This is where the concept of "Bahamian time" reared it's head. The six o'clock bus arrived at about seven, then it drove around honking its horn trying to round up band members who were in various states of readiness. After about A WHILE on the bus there was no suggestion that we were headed towards our destination any time soon. It was at this point that Kalida decided they didn't like the "look of those clouds" and flung themselves off the bus. I think, in reality, they saw the writing on the wall about exactly how long this evening might go on and decided to make a run for it. We, however, were still oblivious about what lay ahead.
Well after darkness had fallen we arrived at the Park which was packed with Crooked Islanders. Happily there was a wide variety of food available for purchase, from conch fritters to fried chicken as well as beer. It was ages before the band arrived from their practice area, but when they did they were quite something. There was the color guard, which consisted of nine young boys carrying rifles carved from pine. They were ordered about by their ten year old, 4'5" tall leader who tried his best to sound like a drill instructor. It was fun to watch. They were followed by the majorettes who came across as a bit sullen but were fairly well in sync as they did their dance routine. Then came the band. In the Bahamas all bands are drum-heavy. Undoubtedly due to their starring role in the Junkanoo celebration on Boxing Day everyone wants to play the drums. They were right out in front of the band drumming for all they are worth. The horns were pretty well represented but woodwind instruments don't seem to be favored. Too quiet I suspect. When the band concert ended it was after nine and the festivities had just begun. We were, after a while, treated to a May pole demonstration, a fashion show and a beauty pageant, all helped along by a DJ with a mysterious sense of humor. The Bahamians seemed to find him funny which was all that counted. I haven't mentioned the bugs, which were out in force. Despite several dousings with repellant we were being eaten alive. The beauty pageant, which had only three participants (thank God) was a bit slow going. Letting teenaged beauty queens change their clothes three times makes for a never-ending affair. We decided, along with Rum Tum to take refuge in the bus. We could still see the pageant even if we couldn't hear it. That was ok with us. The night had gone on well past our bedtimes. To make a very long story somewhat shorter, we made it home by 1 o'clock in the morning. Kalida had obviously swum back to their boat and were undoubtedly sound asleep. Lucky them.
Sunday, March 23rd
Clarence Town, Long Island
The weather over the next several days was forecast to be blowing out of the northeast. We didn't want to go back around into the Bight of Acklins to hide because we needed to get some fuel and water so we decided we'd head northwest over to Clarence Town, Long Island. We had never been to Clarence Town and thought it would be a good place to top off our various tanks then anchor for the blow. We had a downwind sail for forty miles, arriving in Clarence Town by five. We had intended to anchor for the night, head to the Marina in the morning, then back to the anchorage for the duration. It didn't work out quite that way. The anchorage was beautiful but on the smallish side and there were already two boats anchored there. It took us three tries to get the anchor to hold and when it did we didn't like our proximity to the neighbor boat. It was ok for calm weather but not for what was in the forecast. We decided we'd be happier spending the front at Rum Cay where the holding was good and there was plenty of elbow room. We had a chat with our neighbor, Renaissance (from Scituate) who we had met months before behind Cumberland Island, GA. He was ok with our position but we told him we planned to leave in the morning anyway. It was Easter Sunday so we created an impressive meal from the remains of our recently turned off freezer. Pork tenderloin marinated in rosemary and Dijon with sliced beets (canned.)
Monday, March 24th
Port Nelson, Rum Cay
We had a combination sail/motor sail to Rum Cay in the morning. The wind was expected to arrive in the evening and we wanted to arrive on the early side. It was an uneventful half day trip and we were very happily anchored by early afternoon. There was only one other boat in the anchorage, a Jarvis Newman lobster boat-type cruiser called Hannah II, from Camden Maine. It was just what we had in mind.
Thursday, March 27th
Port Nelson, Rum Cay
As we sat out the weather at Rum Cay we realized that we had closed the circle on the southern swing of our cruise. Rum Cay was our first repeat anchorage since we left here January 25th. Since then we have covered a lot of miles and time seems to have slowed way down. I feel as though we've been gone from here a very long time. There's something about the almost constant motion and new experiences that makes cruising so special. At home, and even staying in one place on the boat, it's so hard to avoid the routines that make life seem to go so quickly. With routines and habits our lives become easier but not necessarily more interesting or engaging.
Friday, March 28th
Hog Cay, Long Island
After four days of bread baking, granola making and mechanical maintenance we were ready to think about heading out. We made a trip into the fuel dock at Sumner Point Marina to fill our fuel and water tanks and to say goodbye to our friend George. With any luck we'll be back once more before this trip is over. We pointed our bow west towards Cape Santa Maria which is the northern most point of Long Island. By two we had rounded the tip of the Island and were headed south to our destination, Hog Cay.
Hog Cay is a small, private Island slightly off the west coast of Long Island. It has its own landing strip and a great octagonal house (which we have never seen occupied) overlooking a beautiful white sand beach. The anchorage is sheltered from the prevailing winds by the Island and a coral reef to the west stops some of the surge coming down from the tip of Long Island. The sound of birds is more prevalent than in many other places we have visited. It is one of our favorite stops and we were happy to be back.
Saturday, March 29th
Hog Cay, Long Island
We decided to spend one more day at Hog before heading south to Thompson's Bay to hide from weather once again. It was a beautiful day in a spectacular spot. In the afternoon we decided to take the dinghy up to the Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort which is about three miles north of our anchorage. The "Resort" is really pretty nice. It was originally a little line of beachfront cottages all by themselves. Now there is a restaurant and four two story buildings containing vacation condos. It's in a very out of the way location and the surroundings are beautiful. I guess you could call it understated as these things go. We went for a walk on their beach (after leaving the dinghy by the sign which read "visiting tenders please tie your boats here" How's that for nice?) and had a drink on their patio. A fine afternoon.
Sunday, March 30th
Thompson's Bay, Long Island
With yet another forecast of evil winds we headed south to Thompson's Bay, Long Island. We sailed close-hauled the twenty or so miles to the anchorage. Roger was in his glory. We were anchored by two among nineteen other boats in this big, well protected Bay. It's the season of squally, convective weather it seems.
Monday, March 31st
Thompson's Bay, Long Island
On our way down the back side of Long Island Sunday a voice came on the VHF and announced that "Long Island Breeze" would be serving brunch by the pool "today", showers were open as were the washing machines. We had been in Thompson Bay in January and there was no such thing. We thought it was a bored cruiser joking wishfully in the anchorage. But low and behold on our trip to town today we passed the newly opened Long Island Breeze! Of course it wasn't open on Monday's... We stopped at the gas station to see if the attendant's Sister-in-Law still had her hairdressing business. Yes, indeed. She called her right up and I had an appointment twenty minutes later. Freshly coiffed (me) and air-conditioned (Roger) we headed to Harding's Supply to do some provisioning in case the wind didn't allow it over the next few days. There seems to be an egg crisis in the Bahamas. First at the Last Chance on Rum and now at Harding's Supply there are NO EGGS to be had. Of course it gets me off the hook for a variety of baking tasks, but still, the occasional egg breakfast would be nice.
On our way back to the boat I recognized the name on a catamaran that we passed. It was John & Mary on Kittywake. I had spent my Christmas dinner with them amongst others. We stopped and chatted briefly until large rumbling clouds appeared on the horizon and we made our way quickly home.