We enjoyed a lovely lunch in Duncan Town and Sheila’s Fisherman’s Lounge and ice cream at Maxine’s. I can develop a real craving for ice cream just thinking about it! We walked back to the dinghies and started to head back along the long channel towards Hog Cay. Joe went flying past us so we just followed him. Turns out, he went the wrong way and we all got stuck in the mud. He sure looked like he knew where he was going!!
On Friday we sailed under jib only about 20 miles back to Raccoon Cay. We anchored in the next bay north of where we were before called Spanish Wells. It was much more protected in there and just enough room for our 4 boats. While Skip napped I got in the dinghy and cleaned the sides of the boat. Our dark blue hull shows all of the salt we collect while sailing. We haven’t had any rain to help wash the salt off. I used salt water to rinse off the big chunks and wiped with a little white vinegar and water. It will look good for at least a day! I talked to Alan and found out that he made plans to fly into Staniel Cay on 3/31 to sail with us for a week. I’m really looking forward to showing him the sights and wonders of the Bahamas along with the vagabond lifestyle!
Joe hosted pizza night on his boat—always a winner. While having cocktails, we noticed an ominous looking squall cloud approaching. Ed and Skip jumped in a dinghy to go back and close hatches. While getting back on the boat, Skip lost his glasses overboard. It was only a matter of time before that happened and I’m amazed he lasted 6 months without losing them (although there were some close-calls.) Since the boat was swinging around in the wind we threw a wine bottle and a dinghy anchor overboard to mark the spot where the glasses fell over. The next morning Joe went snorkeling and found them. That’s something that would never happen on the Chesapeake. I guess all of the sacrifices we’ve made to Neptune (losing expensive items overboard) have finally paid off!!
Saturday morning was nice and calm so I organized a yoga session on the beach. I picked up Tina and Angie and we had a lovely time doing yoga and listening to the waves lapping on the sand. While doing the final stretch we noticed dark clouds forming overhead. I didn’t avoid getting wet on the trip back so I just used that opportunity to scrub the decks with fresh rain water!
Angie and Mike brought their charcoal grill ashore for a lunchtime cookout. We also burned our trash on the beach. An evening movie on Lady of Lorien was the perfect end to our day. Mike found ‘Tea with Mussolini’ which we had asked him about a while ago. Skip and I liked seeing the scenes filmed in Florence and Tuscany where we had vacationed 2 years ago. It’s a great movie (if you haven’t seen it.)
Sunday was a short motoring trip to Buena Vista Cay which is about 5 miles to the North of Raccoon Cay. Skip stayed on board while I hiked with the group to the other side of the island. Guess what was there? A rocky shore loaded with trash! The beach trash can be really interesting. I can’t believe how many shoes wash ashore. Where do they all come from? Some cruisers at Hog Cay told us about having ‘junkyard wars’ using beach trash. They split into teams and have to build something useful from found trash. Sounds like fun! Someone also told me something strange about finding plastic doll parts (which I’ve seen.) She said that they put the arms and legs in bonfires—creepy!
Ed, Tina, Joe and I snorkeled on a small reef near the anchorage. It was the best one yet. The coral was so healthy and teeming with fish. I saw a rather large barracuda but he wasn’t very interested in me, thank goodness!
We left Buena Vista on Monday for Flamingo Cay. It was the best sail so far! We went around 30 miles with the wind on the beam—perfect! Exploring Flamingo Cay by dinghy was lots of fun. We went inside a small cave that was lit from light streaming in through holes in the roof. I snorkeled over to some nice small reefs near the boat. Later, Skip and I looked at the reefs from the dinghy using our ‘look bucket’—a clear-bottomed bucket that Skip made so we can check to make sure our anchor is set.
Before leaving Flamingo Cay on Tuesday morning we hiked to the top of the hill overlooking the anchorage. There is actually a working navigation light at the top. We figured it must be the only working one in the Bahamas! We tried to sail to Water Cay but the wind was too light and right on the nose. As we anchored at the North end I saw a large black shape moving very quickly through the bay. It was a 5-6 foot shark! None of us snorkeled there…
It was so calm and beautiful all afternoon. This is the kind of weather I ordered—not all this wind and rough seas! Joe provided a ‘farewell’ dinner on Onward as he is heading up to Staniel Cay to meet up with his son. After dinner, Ed showed us how to play Texas Hold-Em. I’m not very good at poker (must be too ‘readable’) although I did win one hand.
The wind picked up at night and the anchorage was rather uncomfortable. I didn’t sleep much. It wasn’t just rocking but more of a spiraling movement that was not fun. The V-berth is the worst place to be with that motion. I finally dragged my pillow and blanket up to the cockpit and fell asleep up there. It’s not very comfortable but at least it’s more balanced.
We left the Jumentos after 2 weeks of exploring the pristine islands and beautiful clear waters. I definitely want to come back and see more. We all appreciated the advice that George and Julie (Seaquel) provided. Going all the way South and then working our way back North was the best way to see the Jumentos. We motored the entire way back to Thompson Bay on Long Island. The wind was coming directly East (on the nose) and the waves weren’t too bad. It does get tiresome after a while. When we turned out of the Comer channel towards Long Island we saw a waterspout off to the left of us. I could see the water spray on the surface and the funnel way up in the clouds. It was neat to see and I was glad it wasn’t close to us!
On the way over, Lady of Lorien called on the radio to say that they had oil in their bilge. After some anxious moments while Angie sailed the boat and Mike investigated, he found the leak originated from the engine dip stick. He was lucky to have noticed the oil pressure dropping before the engine seized due to lack of oil. He changed the oil and they were soon underway again while we stayed close by in case they needed help. It’s never a dull moment on a boat!
We’re currently hanging out at Long Island Breeze–having lunch and doing laundry. There are only 3 washers and each cruiser has about 4 loads. It could take all day (but what else do we have to do??!!)