The New Year’s bash at Staniel Cay was a lot of fun.  Events were happening all week, including a regatta race between 2 Bahamian sloops and a cruiser’s regatta.   We went ashore Thursday night for the free drinks and dinner at the yacht club.  It was madness as cruisers, vacationers and locals made a full court press for free food.  I was in a crush of people trying to get to the food table.  I could see it just a few feet ahead of me but it took me about 20 minutes to get a plate!  The food was delicious and the second batch of rum punch actually had rum in it!

During the day on New Year’s Eve we stayed aboard and watched the classic Bahamian sloops race.  I wish I had better photos but it was blowing out there and we didn’t want to bounce around in the dinghy.  Al and Arlene (Blue Heaven) came by and joined us for a while.
Bahamian sloops racing
Classic Bahamian sloops racing. The boats aren’t very big but they have a high mast and a long boom. The sails were reefed for the breezy conditions.  The crew hikes out on the sides when the boat heels in the wind–much like a Chesapeake Bay log canoe

Later in the afternoon Joe (Onward) went ashore to meet Chris Parker and his partner Michael who flew in from Florida.  We listen to Chris every morning as he broadcasts the weather forecast on the SSB radio.   I was excited to meet a ‘cruising celebrity.’  We enjoyed drinks with them at the yacht club and a delicious buffet meal of roasted turkey and ham (courtesy of Pig Majors??)   We didn’t last until midnight.  I didn’t even hear the fireworks!
Dinner with Chris Parker on New Year's Eve
Dinner with Chris Parker

New Year’s day was relaxing and quiet.  Joe invited us over for breakfast and made his specialty omelets.  We walked around town, saw their airplane and had lunch at the yacht club.  Skip can’t get enough of those bacon cheeseburgers!

When Michael and Chris left on Sunday morning they flew over the anchorage and I got a great photo of them flying over Onward.
Michael and Chris fly away behind Onward

With nice warm, calm weather we motor sailed south about 8 miles to Black Point.  Most businesses were closed so we enjoyed a long walk on the beach.  I found some sea glass and one sea bean!

I figured many of the people on the boats that pulled into the anchorage would make a mad dash to the laundry first thing on Monday morning so we planned on waiting until the afternoon.  It was a good idea as they didn’t have power for most of the morning!

I took a long walk on the beach while Skip worked on the head (again!!)  On the way back I stopped by the laundry to check on the crowds and it was still very busy.  I got a much-needed haircut from Ida before heading back to the boat for lunch.  In the afternoon we managed to do 3 loads of laundry (clean sheets are da bomb!!) and got a little wifi time at Lorraine’s cafe.

We had dinner at Lorraine’s where you feel like you’re eating in Mom’s kitchen.  She cooks delicious local food and side dishes.  Skip’s favorite is Bahamian baked macaroni.

Today we motored back to Staniel Cay where we refilled the fuel and water tanks.  We made the rounds of the little grocery stores but they didn’t have much left.  We wanted to stay until the mail boat arrives with fresh food but a front is coming through on Thursday so we need to move to a more sheltered spot.  If we can’t get into the north mooring field at Exuma Park, we’ll duck in somewhere!

We anchored in the same spot as last week and Joe took me snorkeling at Thunderball grotto.  Low-slack tide is the best time to snorkel there as the current can be very strong.  I swam with all of the beautiful reef fish and tried out my new underwater camera.  The fish swarmed around me as I fed them  some stale granola.  I think they’re well-trained by tourists!
Hungry fish

Light peeking in