I’ve been lax in posting…having too much fun! We’re currently docked at the Sampson Cay marina after a wonderful week with guests Rick and Eva. To backtrack, we spent a few days anchored off of Peace and Plenty in Georgetown. The Bahamian Heritage festival kicked off last Thursday with delicious Bahamian food and lively music. We had lunch there with a group of other cruisers. When the women separated from the men we had a lively discussion about food including the age-old question: Do you prefer mayonnaise or miracle whip? Guess you had to be there because it was pretty funny!
We went Friday night to hear some Rake n’ Scrape music. Unfortunately, the really good groups didn’t start until after 11pm when we were starting to fade. I wish I knew the name of the act that came on because they were great. Here’s Skip hugging the big bottle of Kalik–the lady selling beer tickets wouldn’t give him one until he pronounced it right. It’s pronounced ‘click’ for the sound made by cow bells. The current wifi service I’m using advises users to take a sip of Kalik between pressing enter so it will seem like you have lightening speed!
After topping off our water tanks on Saturday we decided to pull up anchor and move to Sanddollar beach to join our friends on Bonnie Lass. Nothing is open on Sunday in Georgetown so a change of scenery was inviting. We took a hike to the beach in the afternoon with Val and Graham (Bonnie Lass) and Susan and Rick (C Language). Susan and Rick had just returned from the Jumentos after staying there a month. She took pity on me since we didn’t make it there this year and gave me some hamburger beans!
We attended our first ARG (Alcohol Research Group) meeting on the beach that evening. We had heard the announcements on the cruiser’s net and were intrigued. The rules stated: Bring your research beverage of choice, bring an appetizer to share, Your well-behaved children or pets, No bad people allowed! As the sun set we enjoyed meeting other cruisers whom we had either heard on the radio or anchored nearby for the past week. Our friend Dave on Persephone was there and we also met Bob and Sarah on another Sabre 38 called Windscape II. Earlier that day we had an opportunity to see all of the improvements Dave made on his Sabre 402. We got some great ideas from him.
We were invited over to Windscape II for cocktails on Sunday night along with Dave. It was an Exumas Sabre club meeting! It was really interesting to see all of the improvements Bob made on their Sabre 38 MII. He redid the interior with beautiful woodwork and cabinetry. He also completely replace the sole with removeable floor boards (wish we had access to the bilge like that!) Bentley the yellow lab was an excellent host!
Monday was the big day for arrival of our guests. We went back over to the other side of the harbor and anchored in Kidd Cove. It was a little closer to the dinghy dock and less exposed to the wind chop. We topped off with water, fuel and groceries in the morning. After lunch we did laundry and more groceries (the fresh produce was still being unloaded from the boat that arrived.) Rick and Eva arrived right on time and called us from Peace and Plenty where they were staying for the night. We joined them for drinks at the bar. The bartender made us some potent Goombay Smashes! (Guess they call him the Dr of Livation for a good reason!!
We said our farewells to Georgetown on Tuesday morning and headed north through the cut and out into Exuma Sound. The wind was a little close for sailing so we motor-sailed up to Cave Cay cut and anchored off Galliat Cay where a small beach beckoned. It was still a little chilly for swimming but that didn’t stop Eva! For dinner, we grilled buffalo hamburgers for dinner that our guests brought all the way from Maryland! We enjoyed dark and stormies (rum and ginger beer) and watched a beautiful sunset with just enough haze to keep us from seeing the green flash (maybe not enough rum??)
Leaving the next morning we had a perfect sailing day up to Cambridge Cay. It was great having Rick on board to share his sail-trimming expertise. Rick and Eva sail the same boat as ours in the Chesapeake Bay except theirs has a beautiful claret red hull. Picking up a mooring in Cambridge Cay was easy with extra help! We took the dinghy ashore and hiked to the beach on the Exuma Sound where you can walk along the cliffs and enjoy the view of the coastline.
We decided to jump off the stern of the boat for a swim and almost got swept away by the current! The water is crystal clear–like a swimming pool. For dinner we made Ginger Wine chicken–one of Eva’s specialities!
Thursday morning we explored the island by dinghy. Our first stop was a small island with a large sand bar on one side and a rocky shelf on the other with many conch shells embedded in the rocks. Making our way through very shallow water we found the most beautiful beach with a deep blue ‘swimming hole’ right next to the shore.
A short hike took us to the other side where the waves were much stronger. After lunch we dinghied north to the snorkeling spot called the ‘aquarium’. Eva watched the dinghy while Rick and I snorkeled around the reef. It was just as beautiful as last year with so many colorful fish that swim right up to you (I think they’re used to being fed!)
Right next to the snorkeling spot is a private island said to be owned by Johnny Depp. There were 2 huge yachts anchored nearby and we watched as a small seaplane landed and ferried people out to one of the yachts–maybe rich and famous people?? Coming back to the boat we found a neat little hidden cove that lead to a wide expanse of sand surrounded by mangroves. The area probably gets filled when the wind drives water in the right direction. Lady of Lorien arrived in the afternoon and Mike and Angie joined us for a grilled lobster dinner on Moondance. The tails that we bought on Long Island were so big that we had enough left for a lobster salad lunch the next day!
We left Cambridge Cay on Friday and sailed to Warderick Wells. Originally we were assigned a mooring at Emerald Rock but lucked out and got one in the North mooring field. With some westerly winds predicted, it was much more protected in there. Once again we had a beautiful sail. I’m so glad that Rick and Eva brought such perfect weather with them! We went ashore and after checking in took a nice swim off the beach. We were invited for dinner on Lady of Lorien where Angie served her fabulous lasagna.
We spent the next morning at one of the spectacular beaches along Emerald bay. Skip brought his beach chair and settled in the shade while Rick took me snorkeling around Emerald Rock (I love having a snorkeling buddy!) We saw a huge grouper along with so many colorful fish.
In the afternoon we hiked up to Boo Boo hill to see the view and make sure our sign was still there. I also spent a while trying to call Sampson Cay to make a reservation. It’s one of the only places where I can get a phone signal! We decided to put into the marina instead of anchor near Staniel Cay since a strong front was predicted on Monday when Rick and Eva were scheduled to leave.
Exuma Park sponsors a bonfire beach party every Saturday night. We had planned to go but the wind picked up and none of us were up to a wet dinghy ride so we stayed on board. For dinner we tried out Julie’s Thai fish recipe using the grouper we bought in Long Island (not the one we saw at the reef today!) It was delicious!
Sunday morning was a wet, bouncy slog south to Sampson Cay. We weren’t able to sail because we were directly on the wind. At least Rick helped us get our first reef point set! Sampson Cay marina is very protected and the shuttle takes people over to the airport at Staniel Cay. It’s our first marina stay since we left the Abacos 2 months ago! What a luxury to have shore power, water and showers! We had both lunch and dinner at the restaurant. The beach nearby is almost dry at low tide and you can walk across to the other side.
We were so sad to see Rick and Eva off on Monday morning. I was originally worried about having guests on board for a week but it worked out great. I really enjoyed having Rick help with the sailing. He even put our zincs on and went up the mast to replace the light. It was so much fun having some ‘girl time’ with Eva. She’s an excellent cook and great fun to be around. We hope they decide to visit us again!