Awakened at 0630 on a Sunday morning by fuel tanker delivery tothe Carribean Marine Research Center.
Yikes!! No update since February in George Town. We’ve been around the Exumas since then. Little Farmers Cay. Black Point Settlement. Lee Stocking Island. George Town, again. Emerald Bay, again. Black Point Settlement, again. Big Majors Spot. Bell Island. And, back to Big Majors.
Since the Photiades visit (took weeks for my liver to recover), we headed to Emerald Bay Marina for fuel and water and laundry and groceries. Had a real Klondike Bar, which was like a frozen fantasy after months without ice cream. Emerald Bay was quite a reunion with plenty of boats we have come to know and love. Great snorkeling in Exuma Sound and at Sandals Beach with Messenger and Ivy from Three Belles, included.
Then off to Black Point up the Exuma chain. Our transit back to the bank side from Exuma Sound was through 3 to 4 foot breaking waves at 29 to 39 knots of wind against the outgoing tide. Once inside, it was great Bahamas bank sailing, but for our catching a 3+ foot Barracuda which I was happy to shake off the hook before his teeth made contact with my fingers.
Dinghy racing in George Town.
Dolphins were feeding in Black Point Harbor on Saturday (March 12) when I tuned in to Chris Parker’s 0630 weather broadcast on the SSB. A week of continued Easterlies predicted. Great day for a bike ride to the “Castle” and White Point where there is a beautiful beach and a quiet anchorage. Great views of the Sound and the Bank from the ridges and the two are no more than 500 yards apart. Also ran in to friends of George and Sue Nostrand from Vermont who happened to be guests aboard an anchored trawler. Small world, Black Point.
Sunday’s fishing expedition (as you all have probably heard by now) was more adventure than anticipated. Having caught a large Gar and tossed out a large Barracuda and a Needlefish, I beached the dinghy to clean my catch. After filleting the Gar I tossed the big knife (yeah, the big, sharp knife) in to the bucket which held the fish remains to be disposed of. I clearly said to myself “That’s a bad place for the knife. It will go overboard when you clean the bucket”. Sure enough. It did.
The dilemma was this. Retrieve the knife amongst the fish guts at the ocean floor (without snorkel mask), or get a mask and retrieve it properly assuming that I could find the spot again. Expediency won out. I dove. I squinted through my unprotected contacts. I grabbed the knife handle. I shot skyward through the water. The knife blade shot skyward through the dinghy.
Just a scratch, I tell myself. As I climb in the dinghy, I look for signs of a hole. None. I start the engine and the dinghy’s bow goes up. As does the sound of bubbling water. Uh, oh….
The new dilemma. Head to the boat to remove the motor and hoist the dinghy on deck before it sinks? A long shot. I head back to the beach. Luckily, I have a radio. Necessary since, even though I have an emergency patch kit, I have no pump to re-inflate my destroyed boat. I call for Tess to find a Good Samaritan to bring me a pump, “in about an hour”.
Sure enough, Bob from Shazza arrives with my pump and a gracious lunch which Tess prepared in anticipation of not seeing me for a while. Bob and I drank the beer. Though my patch held till I made it back to Endurance, it was clearly a temporary solution. I needed a real patch adhesive. Luckily, Painkiller, in its continuing battle with a leaky dinghy had a storehouse of patching products. Over the next two days, with dinghy on deck, a (hopefully) permanent fix was made. An expensive fishing lesson. And the Gar went overboard as too wormy to be appetizing.
Effects of a bad day fishing. Emergency Scotch Supply finally broken into....
Eastern Daylight Time. What a shock and surprise. Does that mean it’s Spring up there where you guys are? Here, it was $20 for a two pound lobster tail (perfect on the grill), and the green flash of the sunset on our first day of EDT. Give us a call when the crocuses are up. Two’Fer Tuesdays at Sampson Cay Marina. A calm clear morning at Thunderball Grotto. Lunch on the deck at Taste ‘n Sea. Great sailing in 15 knots on the beam on the Bahamas Bank. An afternoon at Rachel’s Bubble Bath. We can get used to this whole idea of Springtime.
Man and dogs kayaking at Black Rock.
Now, snug again at Big Majors Spot, we are hunkered in for a 12 hour front passage and await Paula’s visit on Wednesday. Chris Parker has promised perfect weather into next weekend. We are planning a last hurrah through the Exumas. Then Nassau. Then we head for home. Via the Abacos? Florida? Charleston? Norfolk?
We’ll let you know, when we know. See you all soon.