Sampson Cay marina was a nice break from our travels. We motored into the wind and waves from Shroud Cay and entered the narrow channel to the marina. They put us on the last dock with all of the tenders to the large yachts. We were the only ‘stick’ there amongst all of the mega-yachts. It’s spring break week so there are many chartered yachts out of Florida here. They pull into marinas and anchorages and dig out all of their ‘toys’—mainly jet skis.
While entering the marina a 72 foot yacht called “That’s Amore” flew past us with a huge wake. I yelled at them on the radio but they were oblivious to good seamanship. When we left the marina on Wednesday, they waked us again on the way out!!
We enjoyed a delicious lunch at the restaurant. I had the cracked conch and Skip tried the cheeseburger (what else??!!) Alan and I walked to the beach nearest the marina where the tide was so low we could walk across the lagoon to the other side. Alan also took a kayak out (my arms were still too tired from our previous kayak adventure!) We went to the bar for happy hour in the evening. After our first round of Goombay Smashes, Skip ordered a second one. The bar tender came over with a drink and an egg timer. He challenged Skip to drink it within 1 minute and he would get another one free. Always up for a free drink, Skip guzzled his drink. He shared the free one with me as he feeling OKAY by then!
We had a calm, quiet night on the boat (except for the yacht running his generator all night). The wind picked up over night and the boats on the outside were rocking and rolling. I was so glad Skip had the foresight to get us a reservation early!! We were concerned about the weather but also getting Alan back to the airport on Staniel Cay by Wednesday morning. With strong winds from the southwest, anchoring near Staniel would be tricky and uncomfortable. After reading that Sampson Cay had transportation to the airport for $50, we took the less anxious route and decided to stay there—an excellent move on our part!
Tuesday morning we enjoyed breakfast at the restaurant and while Alan got caught up on his iPhone, Skip and I washed the boat. Even at $.50 a gallon for water, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have a clean boat for the first time since Marsh Harbor in early January. Since we were also plugged into electricity, I vacuumed the inside (another luxury!)
It was cloudy and windy but we still hiked the short trails on Sampson Cay to find all 7 of their beaches. Alan and I played another round of Scrabble. I need to get my ‘fix’ because Skip does not like to play.
We saw Alan off on the boat to Staniel Cay early Wednesday morning. I had a great time with him. I don’t think we’ve spent that much time together since we were kids. He was an easy, low maintenance guest. I still can’t believe how he could sleep through the awful conditions at Shroud Cay and he can read even when the boat is pounding into the waves. He made a good dent in our food stores (he doesn’t like it when I say how much he eats;-) but we’ll stock up again soon.
While it’s a nice diversion to have guests, it’s also nice when they leave and we have the boat back to ourselves. I did a few quick loads of laundry and we left by noon for Cambridge Cay. We were so glad we made it there as it is a beautiful spot. The moorings are ‘first come, first served’ and we got the last available mooring ball. Both Merlin and Onward were already there. They picked me up to show me the snorkeling spots which were amazing. I really need to get a wet suit as it was cold getting out of the water!
We hosted a cheeseburger night on Moondance under a brilliant sunset and full moon. It was so quiet that when I went outside in the middle of the night I could see the full shadow of the boat on the bottom of the water—amazing! (I think I’m running out of adjectives for describing the Bahamas!)
On Thursday, we followed Ed, Tina and Joe in our dinghy over to the beach on Cambridge Cay. We walked along a long stretch of pristine beach and then took a nice hike to the other side to view the Exuma Sound coastline and Bell Mountain.
In the afternoon, I took stock of our remaining food supplies. Tina had suggested that it’s a good time to note what I need more or less of for future trips. Since I was able to empty a few food boxes, I took the opportunity to stow some clothes away (which I brought way too much of!)
Merlin left for Warderick Wells that afternoon. Joe invited us for dinner along with his friends John and Pam from Compass Rose. We left Cambridge Cay on Friday morning and motor-sailed up the Exuma Sound to the north anchorage in Warderick Wells where we reunited with Lady of Lorien. Seaquel was also there. Julie and George were volunteering at the Park for a while. We had everyone over to Moondance for happy hour in the evening.
We’re now making plans to head north to the Abacos on Monday. Both Merlin and Onward left the Park on Saturday to visit some northern Exuma islands while we are staying here to enjoy the Easter gathering on Sunday. The weather looks good for a 2 or 3 day trip along the coast of Eleuthra and back to the Abacos. Hopefully, my next update will be from the Abacos!