Winds and Beach Parties

Well, for the last week or more we have been trying/planning to head to the north. Can you guess from which direction the wind has been blowing? Yes, from the north! That whole time. Prevailing winds are from the east and southeast which make it very easy to go to the north usually. But not right now or for the next three more days either. Eventually it will have to switch around and we will make a dash. As time passes, planned ports of call get deleted from the itinerary but there is always another year. Maybe.

So we are stuck here with beautiful blue skies, warm water and enough wind to charge the batteries. How can we complain?

A couple of days ago, I decided to organize a beach party. It is the easiest thing to do. Just make a couple of announcements on the radio, citing time and place. Then, people show up, with their own drinks and snacks to share with everyone. How easy is that! And it was great fun. Everyone was getting tired of the wind blowing and looking for any excuse to get off their boats ( 40 – 50 people showed up ). We met old friends and made some new ones, exchanging boat cards to bolster slipping memory cells.

Recently we went ashore on Fowl Cay, a private island that is an exclusive resort. Libby Brown, the woman who owns it along with her husband Stuart, has written a book about her life and the challenges/choices she faced. The last part of the book is about the difficulties of building and operating a resort in the Bahamas and is very revealing. Both Murray and I had read “Making Waves”, having borrowed it from friends. We enjoyed it so much that we wanted to purchase our own copy. Libby met us at the dock, showed us around the cay and through their home. The island/resort has been recently sold to Sandals Resorts and we all hope that they don’t over-develop this bit of paradise. If any of you are interested in her book, Jeremy has put a link on the website.

So, now the water tanks are full of water made with wind power, the frig is full of fresh veggies from the mail boat on Wed, and the freezer is full of fish and lobster. ( Most of the fish and all of the lobster, Murray shoots with a spear . Occasionally, he does get fish by hook and line.) Freshly washed clothes are drying in the breeze and we ate homemade whole wheat bread for breakfast. ( In fact, I cobbled up the recipe myself, as one recipe made too much and the other, not quite enough. It was great when it rose nicely and tasted good.) But, the tide will soon be perfect for another dive and there are grouper dying to come north with us. With the new freezer ( Engel), we are hopefully bringing north enough fish to share with our friends and family.

We did go for a snorkel this morning on a couple of small reefs. There was nothing there to eat but lots of lovely fish to watch. There were many bright neon blue chromis swimming above the reef, flashing in the sunlight. The striped sargeant majors vied for space with the queen angels. The queen angelfish is especially lovely, with kissy lips, a golden yellow tail, blue and yellow scales and her whole body is outlined in neon blue. The French angels are not so pretty, being black, with yellow highlights. Then the small butterfly fish flit by, with their Zorro masks and yellow tails and fins. Lots of blue and yellow grunts in different sizes flow past in their schools. Juvenile groupers of different types gave us hope for next year’s hunting. All in all, a lovely morning in the water.

Our plans? Well, we may head north tomorrow, if the wind co-operates. Then on to Eleuthera for a stop in Spanish Wells to visit friends and get more provisions. The Berry Islands will be our last stop before Florida. Hopefully, we will be at the marina by early April as I have a huge sewing project and want to get started this spring. Early May will find us in Ontario.

Hugs to all and we will be seeing you soon. Murray & Heather