Hello all from Staniel Cay,
A lot has happened since my last message and I will try to bring you up to date. You may remember that I mentioned free drinks and food at the yacht club the night of the last message. Well…….
We went for the free rum and food and then they announced the skippers meeting for Nassau Race Week. Murray went ” just to see what’s happening”. He returned with a big grin, a bag of goodies and a pennant to affix to our backstay. We’re racing!! But, the laundry, groceries, Jeremy & Cynthia arrive on Sat, the boat’s too heavy….. I had lots of reasons not to race, but we raced anyhow.
Racing started Friday with very little wind. And this overloaded cruising boat just left the rest of the fleet behind and nipped over the line in first place for the cruising division. There was too little wind, so the second race was called off. More free rum at the yacht club that night. Great music and dancing! For the races on Sat, the wind was also very light and everyone had decided to stay tight to Windswept IV. But, Murray shook them off and was once more first across the start line. The rest of the race was a repeat of the day before, light wind and we just drifted into first place. Again, the second race was canceled for lack of wind. Jeremy and Cynthia arrived at midnight on Sat and we announced that we would be racing again on Sunday. So, up early and out on the race course again. A little more wind this time. Murray made his usual great start and we held them all off for another first place finish. The race committee called for another race. This time we were boxed in at the start and couldn’t get clear air on the first leg. We made up as much time as possible but finished in third place in that race.
The awards banquet was held at the Nassau Yacht Club ( where the PSSS club burgee has a place of honour in the bar ) with more free rum. Windswept IV won first place in the cruising division and the prize was a piece of Bahamian art. It is a four foot long carved and painted barracuda! It is actually very lovely and we are quite proud of it. The race organizer wants us to try to return for next year’s racing. Also, if anyone wants to bring your boat across to race, they have a great deal on shipping from Florida – I think it only cost $150. Jeremy has set up a weblink with the Yacht Club from our site, so you can get more info there.
The rest of Jeremy & Cynthia’s visit was great weather and good snorkeling. We took them to Allen’s Cay to see the iguana, and then to Norman’s. We fished and shelled and walked and read. Even played some dominos. Murray got his first lobster with Jeremy’s help. He shot it three times, but it got away each time. Finally Jeremy grabbed it! Not a huge meal between four people but we each had a taste. Back in Nassau, we took them on a tour of the aquarium at Atlantis. That was an incredible couple of hours! Shopping downtown was a bore for the guys, but Cynthia and I had a ball looking at the diamonds and emeralds and also expensive clothes.
Jeremy & Cynthia stayed 10 days but the time flew by. The big news is that wedding bells are ringing for those two. More details as they become available.
Andy Wright and his friend Margo joined us for a few days and we sailed to some of the anchorages close to Nassau. Rose Island was particularly lovely. After treating us to a great dinner out, they flew off again.
Alone again, we cleaned, shopped, did laundry and joined up with some old friends. Tundra and MarNel IV arrived . We all met in Highborne Cay in the Exumas. Diving, fishing and lots of rum drinks were shared.
Now, we have moved south to Staniel Cay. Many reunions with old friends – Just Ducky, Jimson, Shady Lady, Blue Snail, Sumac, Annual Hope. And many more new ones to meet. I think that I will organize a cocktail party on the beach tonight………
We have our repaired autohelm meeting us here on Sat and then we will turn northward. To Royal Island, Spanish Wells and then the Abacos. Mary Ann Leverton will meet us in Marsh Harbour this month. By mid April, we must head for Florida.
So, that’s what’s happening here – lots of fish, lots of rum and good friends to share it with.
Hope all is well with everyone up north. Spring can’t be too far away. Time to order bottom paint and start working on the boats.
Hugs to all,
Heather & Murray
Murray & Heather Rand aboard Windswept IV