We’re still at the marina in Emerald Bay waiting for more settled weather to arrive.   Sunday was the worst day so far–high winds and stormy seas.

I wouldn’t want to be sailing today!

We thought we were on the side of the marina that has less surge…not so much…  We’re tied down good but the boat still surges back and forth.  I guess it could be worse–we could be jockeying for position in the Georgetown anchorages with over 200 other boats!

The winds were really lively when we walked out to the point at the marina entrance.  We couldn’t believe that a catamaran was actually sailing North and entering the channel!   It was a big boat (47 ft) and they made it safely into the entrance after surfing in with the waves.  Unfortunately, one of their engines failed after they were in the harbor and they may have to return to Florida to get it fixed.

Catamaran entering the marina
The winds calmed down enough on Monday for us to enjoy a Valentine’s day lunch at the pool restaurant in the Grand Isle’s resort nearby.  We tried to purchase pool passes but they weren’t letting any marina guests use the pool.  Apparently, they used to allow it but the privilege was abused–darn those mooching cruisers!

Yesterday morning we washed the boat with fresh water for the first time  since we left Florida.   She really needed it!  I find keeping the boat clean both inside and out is one of the biggest challenges while cruising in the Bahamas and paying for water.

Last night I made Ginger Wine chicken for the Onwards and Heather and Chris from Legacy.   Heather brought brownies–yummy!

We rented a car today with Joe and Melanie and drove down to the southern end of Great Exuma.  We crossed over to Little Exuma island using the one lane bridge that replaced the ferry from years ago.  Close to the last town on Little Exuma called Williams Town we visited the ruins of a loyalist plantation.  I recently finished reading “Wind from the Carolinas” by Robert Wilder which described how the loyalists settled in the Exumas after the Revolutionary war.    Now when I see the plantation ruins I can imagine what life was like when people tried to settle in the Bahamas. They tried unsuccessfully to raise cotton and live like they did in the Carolinas.

Loyalist plantation ruins — so overgrown it was difficult to get a picture

Agave plant — they used to make sisal from these plants until synthetic products took over the market

Unmarked loyalist tomb

Just north of Williams Town we stopped at a roadside restaurant called Santini’s Grill Pit where we had the best meal so far in the Exumas. The lobster was cooked tempura style and served on a plate heaped with rice and beans, corn, sautéed onion and coleslaw. It was amazing! The cook told us about serving many famous people. Her favorites are Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. Her food was even written up in the New York Times!

Melanie, Joe and I at Santini’s
Delicious lobster meal

On the way back north we stopped at the salt beacon–a tall column that looks totally misplaced in the Bahamas. It marks the place where ships used to pick up salt harvested from the large inland salt pond nearby.

Salt Pillar
We traveled through Georgetown and stopped so Joe could deliver his boxes to the school. We also did some shopping at the market and at a new wholesale shop. I was excited to find Coke Zero–my favorite! After visiting Georgetown and seeing the throngs of cruisers, we’re not anxious to spend much time there.

The weather still doesn’t look good for leaving here so we’re making plans to entertain our friends Rick and Eva on land. They arrive Friday night and leave on Monday. We reserved a car so we will have plenty of options. Even with the windy weather, it’s still warm and sunny and there are plenty of beaches to explore!