lagoonWe weathered a front passing through the past few days.  The wind kicked up Thursday night and blew over 20 knots through Friday and into Saturday.  It was so rough on Friday that we didn’t leave the boat.  Bailey was a real trooper and took care of his business (quickly!) on deck.  I passed the time reading  and working on puzzles (crossword and Sudoku)  In my Sudoku book, I’ve done all of the easy and moderate puzzles and am struggling with the ‘demanding’ ones. sh

clear-waterOn Saturday, we were happy to get off the boat and take a hike with Joe.  Mike and Angie had a problem with their generator and he was buried in a locker taking it apart.  We headed over to the other side of the island to see the blow hole.  It made an eerie moaning sound as the water pushed into the rocks.  The water only shoots up through the holes at high tide.  Joe has been studying the geology of the Bahamas and pointed out the many types of rocks and how they were formed.  Hiking back to the other side, we found a beautiful, calm beach.  Skip led the way as we waded in the water from beach to beach, avoiding the rocky climbs on the paths.  In the evening, cruisers gathered on the beach to do what they do best–eat, drink and talk!

waterspoutYesterday (Sunday), Angie and Mike invited us to join them on a ‘short’ hike.  We dinghied to the dock where we waited out a brief shower before heading out.  While sitting on the deck of the park office, we saw a large ray swim by and a small nurse shark.  As we made our way across the island, Skip glanced back and saw an unusual cloud forming–a waterspout!  We watched as it slowly changed shape and colors as it dropped to land just outside of the lagoon where our boats were moored.  What an amazing sight!  I’ve never seen a waterspout and was glad that we were far away although Mike claims that they aren’t dangerous, just uncomfortable.  He says that a waterspount can lift small fish out of the water while a tornado can lift cows off of land!  Still, I wouldn’t like to be close enough to see those flying fish!

The hike turned out to be much longer than we originally thought.  We traipsed across remote beaches on the Exuma Sound side of the island and found bits of coral, beautiful shells and even a rare sea bean — a pod that comes all the way from Africa.  It’s sad to see all of the bits of plastic that wash ashore.  I found some spectacular shells but left them be–they ask that people do not take items from the beaches.  We also found a large block of raw latex that is used to make rubber.   A ship from WWII sank with a full load and these blocks are still washing up.  Skip saw some in the museum in Hopetown.  Mike informed the Park office of our find and they plan to pick up this block for their museum.

The ‘short hike’ turned out to be much longer than we thought.  As we followed the trails that cross over the island going up and down rocky paths, we realized that between the five of us, we had water but only Mike and Angie had food–2 whole granola bars!  They graciously shared them with us.  I was hoping that we would find a hamburger stand at the end of the trek but it was not to be…

We finally made it back to the dinghies after over 4 hours and we were starving and tired!  After a quick lunch and rest, I took Bailey to shore for a little ‘run’ time.  Later in the evening, Joe invited us over for a barbequed pork dinner.  His friends, Jenny and Charlie on “Lady” joined us.  We had fun listening to their stories about their travels from Texas to the Bahamas.

Last night was blissfully quiet.  I woke up in the middle of the night and sat out in the cockpit for a while looking at all of the stars and listening to the thundering waves crashing on the other side of the island.  Morning was also sunny and quiet.  As I was trying to decide which swimsuit to put on, a few drops of rain fell through the hatch.  While still trying to decide whether it was enough to close the hatches, a burst of rain and wind hit us like a wall.  I quickly went out to remove some items that were drying on the lifelines.  As I stepped into the cockpit, my foot slipped and I fell, jamming my second toe–ouch!  Right now, I’m icing it and keeping it up.  I feel really stupid falling like that and hope it won’t take long to heal.  No hikes today! 

The weather is supposed to turn ugly again later today and into early Wednesday as 2 cold fronts move through.  I’m still glad that we’re safely moored in the harbor and don’t have to worry about the anchor.  Our friends Ed and Tina on Merlin are now in Marsh Harbor and expect to continue down here once the weather clears.  We’ll probably head further South later in the week and make a trip to Staniel Cay for water, fuel and food supplies.   So far, all of our supplies are holding up well.  They only items we lack are fresh vegetables and fruit.

We’re heading to the beach with our friends for lunch and a little ‘shore time’ before hunkering down for another blow…