Hello everyone,

We have done a lot of moving since I last wrote to you. On Feb 28th, we motorsailed to George Town and anchored near “the big city”. Contact was made with the Port Stanley boats and a get-together arranged for later that day. It was great to catch up with all of them and hear of their adventures during their voyage from Lake Erie to the Bahamas.

As another cold front was expected, we departed George Town the next morning, after some computer gliches, and sailed northward to Rat Cay, eventually anchoring all alone in Children’s Bay. The front came through during the night but no one could drag down on us when their anchor let go! In the morning, the Research Centre on Lee Stocking Island announced a tour at 1 pm so we made our way through the shallows and anchored nearby. The tour was very informative and the first time we had seen the Centre in all of our years in the islands. It is a facility where researchers can do projects on subjects related to the ocean. Most of the studies are done in the summer months when the professors have time available from their teaching schedules.

On Mar 3rd, we departed Lee Stocking ( after a collision with a shallow reef! ) and sailed north in the Exuma Sound with all fishing lines deployed. No luck though! Galliot Cut gave us a good entry onto the shallow banks and we continued on north and anchored in Little Bay, just south of Black Point. Friends joined us for cocktails and Randy & Lori from Solemate III stayed for an impromptu dinner party. Murray sailed the boat off the anchor in the morning while I gathered up the laundry and we dropped anchored before 0800 in front of the Rock Side Laundry. Ida made us very welcome, as usual, and my clothes were soon clean and sweet smelling. Lorraine’s Cafe was the next stop where we checked our e-mails and banking using her free wireless. By 2:30, we had hauled the anchor and sailed on, towards Staniel Cay and the Big Major Spot anchorage.

We stayed put for one whole day and caught up on the news with Doug & Connie from High Stepper. We had hardly seen them this winter but made plans to meet in the summer on a road trip.

By March 6th, we were off again, sailing north to Norman’s Cay and then on to Highborne Cay the next day to meet up with Bob & Jane on Flextime. Early the next morning at first light, a small fleet set out for the Fleeming Channel and the top of Eleuthera. Some boats went to Royal Island to continue on to Abaco the next day. Flextime and W4 opted to visit Spanish Wells where we picked up a mooring.

Walking the island streets the next day was an eye-opener for Bob & Jane as this community is so different from the other Bahamian towns that they have visited. The locals are extremely house-proud as is shown by their well-tended, well painted homes. The flowers are incredible and we took many photos. Our friend Wayne Perry ( Little Woody ) is a guide and he led us out to the ocean through the intricate opening in the reef just after dawn. We waved goodbye and set our sails for Abaco.

The ocean was quite flat with a long swell. But, there wasn’t enough wind to sail so the motor went on. We made water and charged everything we could think of as we motored for 8 hrs. The cut at Little Harbour was rolling from the ocean swell but both boats made the transit safely and anchored near Lynyard Cay.

Today we snorkeled at Sandy Cay in the morning and took the dinghies to Pete’s Pub in the afternoon as it was a lovely sunny day. Tomorrow we will head on towards Hopetown to see the sights there.

Flextime also wants to return to the US about the end of this month so the two vessels will travel together for the crossing again.

So, we are only a couple of weeks from the States and access to wireless and telephone service more easily. Then on to the marina to store the boat to return to Canada. And that is a whole other story as the marina pier has been closed. Doing the prep work for storage is going to be difficult or rather, a challenge yet to be solved.

See you sooner than you think!!

Heather & Murray