I found a few groceries in the Sampson Cay store—bananas at only $1.85 a pound! I also had just enough quarters to do one load of laundry but decided to wait a few days until we get to Black Point.
One load of laundry!
One load of laundry!

The girls took Bailey for a walk in the morning to the beach. Have you ever seen such a happy dog?
Sampson Cay
Melanie, Angie and Ellen at Sampson Cay

Happy dog at the beach
Happy dog at the beach

The usual suspects met Ellen and Hank (La Belle Helene) at the Sampson Cay restaurant for lunch to celebrate Ellen’s birthday. Entertainment included a poem from Mary (Merry Sea) that included all of the boat names in Exuma Park when we first met them. The restaurant staff also provided entertainment as they came out of the kitchen banging pots and singing Happy Birthday.
Sampson Cay
Mary (Merry Sea) recites her poem
Sampson Cay
Birthday celebration for Ellen
Sampson Cay
The staff sings Happy Birthday

We waved goodbye to La Belle Helene as we left the anchorage Wednesday morning. They turned north to head back to the Abacos while we turned south towards Black Point for a much needed laundry day.

While in Black Point we were slowly coming to terms with a ‘stench’ problem on the boat coming somewhere from our waste holding tank system. We emptied the locker and checked all of the hoses. Mike came over and also lent his diagnostic skills to the problem. The O-ring on the inspection port was old so it may be the problem. Skip cleaned it up and reinstalled it. Later, he also removed the tank gauge and cleaned up the gasket and resealed the device. I thought the problem was solved but we’re still catching a whiff when the boat is rocking. We’re not sure what else to do but we’re open to any suggestions!

With clean sheets (ahhhhh!) we were ready to move to Little Farmers Cay for the weekend. It’s the annual 5 F’s festival (First Friday in February at Farmer’s Festival.) We’ve wanted to attend the past 2 years but the weather was too bad to anchor there. We pulled in close to land and anchored just off the end of the runway. Turns out we were too close (they could see our mast from the runway) so we had to move about 50ft.

In the evening we enjoyed a wonderful lamb tagine dinner aboard Lady of Lorien. Angie is a wonderful cook and this meal was outstanding. We played some rounds of Farkel until cruiser’s midnight (around 9 pm!)

Coming ashore on Friday we walked around the town and watched the first Class C Bahamian sloop race from the airport. The town is small and the people are very welcoming. This is the 25th annual festival and it’s also a homecoming for people who have moved off the island, mainly to Nassau. The excitement grew as the mail boat came in with all of the relatives and friends.
Little Farmers Cay
Class C race boat – usually crewed by 4 or 5 men
Little Farmers Cay
Watching the race from the runway

The pavilion near the airport had a brand new barbecue grill along with enormous loud speakers for the music. I love Rake n Scrape music (it’s much better than reggae) but it was so loud I could hardly hear myself think. We waited patiently as the food was prepared. We were originally told that it would be around an hour. Turned out to be 2 (island time!) I got really hungry and cranky so we went back to the boat and got Bailey along with some snacks. Bailey liked getting off the boat but he didn’t care too much for the loud music. I kept feeding him scraps of my chicken and delicious ribs to keep him happy.

On Saturday the wind settled down making it easy for us to take the dinghy out to watch the races. It was really fun seeing the start and chasing the boats to the finish line. The guys hike way out on boards and we were told that there weren’t many rules (like hollering ‘starboard’) that standard racers follow. After the first race we joined an impromptu dinghy raft up and floated along with about 15 other dinghies until the next race started.

Class C races
Just after the start
Class C races
Crossing tacks
Hanging out in our dinghy
Hanging out in the dinghy
An impromptu dinghy raftup
Dinghy raft up

Class C races
Guys hiked out on the boards

After the races we went around to the town to find lunch. When we arrived, the Exuma school band played for the gathering. It was pretty neat to hear them play our favorite Rake N Scrape song, ‘Shake it Up’!

Exuma school band
Exuma school band
We shared a plate of cracked conch at Ocean Cabin before heading back to the boat. We decided to move up to White Point to be closer to the beach. It was fun being at the festival but we had had enough of crowds.

We sailed about 4 miles north in light winds with just the headsail out and anchored off the beach. After a walk ashore and giving Bailey a chance to run I made one of our favorite meals–Thai fish…recipe courtesy of Julie Turner! It’s pretty simple:

Thai Fish (Julie’s recipe)

Fish (catfish, orange roughy, shrimp)
1 can Coconut milk – lite
2 tbsp hot red curry paste
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 splenda
Fresh basil
Snow peas, broccoli, carrots, snap peas or grape tomatoes (or any vegetables)

• Combine coconut milk through splenda and simmer.
• Add basil, fish and vegetables. Cook until done
• Serve over rice or rice noodles

We played a few games of Quiddler (another favorite) while Mike and Skip enjoyed the last of our single malt scotch.
Bailey wading at White Point beach
Bailey paddles along the shore at White Point
This morning (Sunday) we awoke early to the dreaded ‘washing machine’ effect. The boat was sloshing around in the waves making it very uncomfortable for sleeping (or doing anything else.) We got underway as soon as possible and are now comfortable anchored off Sampson Cay where I’m enjoying finally getting wifi time!

I talked to Jen yesterday and was sad to hear that their dog is very sick and they may not be able to fly here to sail with us next Friday. We’re going to talk again on Wednesday to check the status. If they can’t come next week, we’re hoping that Jackson will get better soon and they can still vacation with us later in February or March.

We’re waiting to hear the weather report tomorrow to decide our next stop.  We would like to go back to Cambridge Cay and hang out there for a while.  The only downside is that we won’t have wifi access in paradise!

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