Calabash Bay

We crossed from Black Point to Calabash Bay on the northern tip of Long Island on Saturday (2/20). It was a smooth crossing with enough wind for motor sailing with the main up. A small dolphin crossed under our bow as we arrived–a nice welcome! Calabash is just beautiful in settled weather. We anchored near the beach where we could hear the surf all night long. The first night was a bit rolly. Sunday we awoke to calm, flat water and bright blue skies with wispy clouds. It was a little tricky getting ashore in the dinghy but we managed to do it without getting too wet. Bailey loves running the beach and fetching his stick (still the same one we keep in the dinghy–all the way from the Chesapeake Bay!)

Later in the morning we picked up Mike and Angie and headed to the Cape Santa Maria resort for lunch. Approaching the resort we crossed crystal clear shallow ‘swimming pool’ water to arrive on the white sand beach. Sitting on the patio drinking a Goombay Smash I had to ask ‘what did we do to deserve this?’ Sometimes it seems like a dream and soon I’ll wake up and have to go back to work (more like a nightmare!)

Enjoying lunch at Cape Santa Maria Resort

After a wonderful lunch of ahi tuna salad and grouper fingers (we shared), we roamed the beach and took a refreshing swim before heading back to the boats. The evening was calm and quiet after the sun set in a fiery glow. Skip claims to have seen the green flash. Me, not-so-much.

The trip to Long Island this morning was thankfully short and all motoring into the wind. Another cold front is approaching the Bahamas this afternoon bringing strong winds clocking around from the southeast. It’s protected here in everything but southwest and west winds. I hope it passes through quickly!

To backtrack on our adventures since I last blogged, we left the south anchorage in Exuma Park on Thursday (2/18). The day before I rode with Joe around to the office to use the internet. It was a long, wet, bumpy ride and we were both freezing by the time we got there. I couldn’t find a warm place to sit by the office but still got some internet in (fingers numb and teeth chattering.) I was disappointed when my time ran out after just 1 1/2 hours. I think a large download in the background clobbered all my time (limited to 100 mgs) I still couldn’t get any photos uploaded. Anyway, we were too cold to stay much longer. The ride back was better as we were heading with the wind.

Trap tag --traceable trash!

On one of our beach walks along Exuma Sound, Skip found another red plastic trap tag with identifying numbers from the Fl Dept of the Environment. I found one last year and blogged about it. A man from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Fish and Wildlife Research Institute found my blog post and was interested in my find. The tag is dated 1997-98. He uses the location where I found it to study the drift of trash in the sea. I contacted him regarding our new find and he tracked it to a crawfish trap that was licensed in the Florida Keys. It’s been floating around for over ten years! I’ll be on the lookout for any other traceable trash!

Thursday morning as we were preparing to leave I was down below when Bailey started barking hysterically (not a ‘boat going by’ kind of bark.) As I stuck my head up I saw a whitish sea bird flying alongside our boat and land on top of our dodger. Before I could hold Bailey back (and grab my camera) he rushed on deck with teeth bared and chased the bird away. He also must have scared the sh$# out of him all over the side of the dodger! The bird landed on Onward’s davits and sat there for the longest time. Joe took some nice close up photos. Mike later identified it as being a roseate spoonbill. Joe was going to keep him as a mascot but he eventually flew away.

We left the south anchorage and motored south on the Exuma Sound to the cut just below Staniel Cay. We had planned to go to the docks to pick up our new outboard but it was too windy and the docks were closed. Besides, they were out of diesel fuel until next month! We anchored near the rocks and went to plan B. Joe came over and towed us ashore in our dinghy. It was a rough, wet ride. We also picked up Mike and Angie who really wanted to go ashore for lunch and shopping but found it too unsafe to launch their dinghy. Anyway, we managed to get ashore and have a nice lunch at the yacht club. Skip had to make sure the bacon cheeseburgers still merit his highest rating.

After lunch, we walked to the Isle’s store where we had to pay the owner for freight before taking our motor. As we passed the government dock, there was our new motor sitting in its large cardboard box. The workers at the store didn’t know where the owners were so we set out on a mission to find one of them. We asked everyone we passed if they know where either Vivian or Berke were. It’s such a small place, how hard could it be to find them?! We eventually found Vivian and she very graciously asked for $15 to cover the cost of shipping. $15!!! I thought it was going to cost at least $100! Can you think of a place where you can have something shipped that cost over $2K and have it sit on the dock unguarded until you pick it up and pay just $15 for shipping? What a great place!!

Skip went to the dock to start unpacking it while Joe and I went back to get the dinghies. It was a little hairy getting underway with him trying to tow our dinghy and his motor cutting out. Luckily, the wind died out some and the trip over wasn’t too bad. We were originally going to lower it from the dock but decided to beach the dinghy and carry it down–a much better plan. It started right up!! There are special rules for the break-in period. We ran it at idle for 10 minutes before leaving. We can’t run at full throttle on a continuous basis until we burn in at least 10 hours of use. No problem–it runs like a charm! We’re both so relieved to once again have reliable transportation.

On Friday we headed down to Black Point to take care of over 2 weeks of laundry. The island was eerily empty. We found out from Ida at the laundry that a local man had died and everyone went to Nassau for his funeral. She was practically running the place. Since Lorraine wasn’t serving food and her internet wasn’t working we went to the wifi cafe across the street where we had wifi for a short time and a truly atrocious lunch (cold cheeseburgers and garlic tasting fries.)

Behold the power of the electric winch

Joe is meeting Ed and Tina (Merlin) on 3/2 in Staniel Cay so he decided to stay in the Exumas. We said our farewells and hope to catch up with them sometime during their visit in March. As we prepared to leave Black Point we decided to use the electric winch to pull up the dinghy with its heavier motor. Skip operated the winch and we were both looking at the dinghy coming up, not the winch. Well, the line wrapped and the metal cap snapped. We were just talking about using the electric winch and the need to stop when something doesn’t sound right. Anyway, the top was broken. Luckily, the winch on our cabin top is the same size and we hardly use it. Skip switched the top and ordered a new one (Rick and Eva–another package is coming!!)

We were so happy to hear Valerie and Graham from Bonnie Lass on the radio. They’re here in Thompson Bay and we’re looking forward to catching up. They left the Chesapeake just a few days before us in October and we’ve been hop scotching them ever since! Rumor has it that Tryphena is serving dinner tomorrow at the Thompson Bay Club–can’t wait to see if her Bahamian food is as delicious as it was last year.