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March 25th, 2010
Things are getting done for the South Eleuthera Island Homecoming. Banners are now up and excitement is growing. In the mean time we are relaxing and being tourists.
The other day we went for a little walk (about 1.5 miles) with Norm and Barbara (S/V Blown Away) to a little beachside cafe called Coco's. Family run and very nice people. Food was standard with one little twist. If you order a Cracked Conch sandwich, mention that you would like the catsup left off. Coco's also has a Conch Stand across the road from the Cafe and that keeps him jumping from one customer to the other (and literally running across the road to the beachside conch stand whenever someone places an order for Conch Salad). Conch Salad is made from fresh raw conch, hot peppers, lime or sour orange juice, green peppers, onions, tomatoes, etc. all chopped up together - it's refreshing, spicy and very tasty. CoCo has a small pound in the shallow water filled with live conch. You couldn't have a fresher salad.
Along the way to Coco's, we stopped at a cave we had heard about. We followed a path that started at the Ocean Hole.
We don't know how deep this one is but it was wonderful to see. Following the path around the hole and up a hill, we found a ladder we climbed down and entered the cave. Interesting cave with roots growing from above to its floor. Lots of sunlight coming through holes in the ceiling so it was bright enough to see all the sleeping bats overhead.
This island has a few of the same type stores that the States do and it gave us a chance to get our propane tank filled and get some fresh vegetables, eggs, bread, etc.. Although we found out about one of the local cafe chefs named Devon, who gets to work early and bakes bread. It is so good that everything he bakes is gone by noon so get there early. We bought a loaf of onion and thyme bread for $4.00 and Nancy made us a pastrami sandwich which was wonderful. Devon's other specialty bread is Coconut Raisin. Walking back from the cafe we looked down one dirt road and saw our boat. Look close, enlarge the picture, lighting is bad but there is Solitaire.
This afternoon, we went for a walk around town and just happened to end up at Grandmas' Goodies, a former bakery run by the Great-Great Granddaughter that is now an ice cream and candy shop. We each had an ice cream cone as an appetizer for lunch, which followed at Sammy's Cafe. There were two long tables of high school kids having lunch. What a difference from most US high school students - these kids couldn't have been more polite - no foul language, low cut clothing, cell phones or texting. After lunch, we dinghied south along the coast to a Blue Hole. The water turns from pale turquoise to deep royal blue - very stunning. Tonight Nancy is cooking a beef stew. Besides our frozen meats we also carry canned meats. One variety is Roast Beef. This is all cooked meat and just needs to be added to the brew and heated up. So with the fresh vegetables that we just got, some onion, garlic and who knows what else, it is really smelling great in the boat. I will have to stop writing now and put things away so I will be ready to enjoy this great smelling meal when it is done.
March 20th, 2010
Off to another adventure. We crossed the Exuma Sound and are now on Eleuthera Island. Actually Rock Sound settlement on the island. We will be staying here for the South Eleuthera Island Homecoming. Three days of food, music and dancing in the streets. The Queens Highway is blocked off for the events and anyone driving north or south have to take a detour through town.
Crossing the sound was an uneventful day. So boring that Snap slept most of the way on my foot. I couldn't move it for hours but the buzzing feeling in my toes made me finally move. We have always liked this part of the Bahamas and now there is a new treat in the harbor. Wi-Fi from Dingle Motors that can be picked up throughout this huge harbor. The harbor is so big we move from east side to west side depending on the wind direction and speed. The other night we had west winds of about 20 knots; tucked into the Northwest corner of the Bay, we were practically calm all night. After some of the anchorages we've had this year, it's a real treat not to rock and roll all night.
Last night a group of boaters, including the crews from: Solitaire, Cookie Monster, Blown Away, First Edition, Greta, Macada and Mr. Mac ventured to the other side of the island for dinner at Rosie's Nort'side Restaurant. Its written as they speak it. Rosie's is a must-stop for us each time we visit Rock Sound. The little restaurant is perched on a cliff above the Atlantic Ocean and features great food in addition to the spectacular views. Again a wonderful time getting together with old friends. We had been with all the boats but one this winter and had a lot of catching up to do.
Our stay here will be about two weeks and then we will slowly be heading north. We will be looking at coming back to the states in about 2 months plus or minus weather.
March 15th, 2010
We are at Little Farmers Cay again. We had a strong cold front come in and we decided that the best place to be was on a mooring ball protected on all sides by islands and shallow water. Jim and Beth on S/V Mad Cap are with us and we have been having a ball exploring with them. Such great people. Yesterday we went to a sand bar several miles away on the Bahama Banks side of Little Farmers. Even though we've cruised this area for three years, we did not know about before. Talking to locals, they told us about the sand bar and said it was a great place to find shells, so we took off in our dinghies. It is underwater at high tide so it was a low tide that was needed and a wind that would not create waves that would make the ride unbearable. We got the right conditions one day and headed off with Jim and Beth (S/V Mad Cap) and Wayne and Pat (S/V Kolibrie). Parking the boats on the sand we headed down the bar looking for some shells.
The good shells are found on beaches that seldom see anybody and a sand bar that is underwater most of the time is one of the best places. We stayed there about 2 hours walking along the 2 mile sand bar. Each of us found some beautiful shells (and tons of sand dollars). After having some chocolate chip cookies that Nancy had baked that morning we headed back to our mooring for a sundown party about Wayne and Pat's sailboat "Kolibrie". It is a Bayfield manufactured boat just like "Mad Cap". Its a Bayfield convention here.
Just a little picture of Beth loving her hero.
We will leave Little Farmers Cay tomorrow heading north then across the sound to Eleuthera Island.
March 6th, 2010
Some final views from Long Island. These photos are taken at the Bahama Breeze Resort. It is a new and small resort that is really catering to the cruising boats. They have the morning radio net that gives out island information and what is happening for the day. They offer laundry facilities, swimming pool, showers, garbage collection, free Wi-Fi, floating dinghy dock and wonderful meals to the cruising boats. Great place to gather and tell lies.. We left Long Island at 9:00 pm with a weather window back to the Exumas. Traveling all night with a full moon we arrived back at Big Majors Spot in the Exhumas at 2:00 pm. A 17 hour trip that was uneventful.
At anchor, Snap had to strut the deck with tail high telling the world that he was the Captain of the Vessel. But it is another story while underway. He sleeps the whole time. One interesting thing that Snap does is to immediately come to the helm area when we get underway and stays there until the anchor goes down. He did leave for a drink of water and a bite to eat the last crossing but didn't spend more than 3 minutes doing that and it was back to the helm. He is still fighting with his older sister and I had to break up a big cat fight this morning.
As we were pulling into the Big Majors area we heard a familiar call on the radio. It was Jim and Beth (S/V Madcap) from Halifax. They had taken a year off from cruising as Jim finally retired. They stopped by after we put the anchor down and the next day we met them ashore with David and Paula (S/V Misty Seas, also from Halifax) This place has the best BLT's in the Bahamas also Wi-Fi ($10.00 for 24 hours or 200 gig whichever comes first). So we completed 3 tasks at one sitting (visiting, eating and emailing) After lunch we walked the island with David and Paula and got some bread and eggs at a local store. The walk was a good way to work off lunch.. We took this picture outside the restaurant at "Happy People Marina" that is closed. It is still listed in the cruising guides but has not been open for at least 3 years as the two sisters fight over the will.
Last night we had a beach party with other boats in the anchorage. It gives us the opportunity to get together with old friends and meet new cruisers. This party included, Madcap, First Edition, Flextime, Celebrian, Windswept IV, Ramha, Solitaire and Independencia.
Boat name of the week heard over the SSB "Uff Dah".
Last weeks boat name heard over the SSB "Yoo-hoo".