January Winds

Hello everyone,

It has been almost three weeks since my last report and we have been hiding here and there from the high winds. But, finally it did get warm enough to go into the water and we have snorkeled several times in the last two weeks. In fact, it got sooo hot one day, that we were jumping in, just to cool off. There have been rain storms and rainbows, thunder ( but no lightning, thank goodness ) and the rest of the winter madness.

Beach litter, the nice kindAlong with the crews from High Stepper, Blue Jacket, Next Exit and Its About Time, we joined along with the folks from O’Brien’s Landing and the Sandcastle for a huge spaghetti dinner at the castle. It was a great time with everyone contributing to the potluck. From there, some of the vessels went south to the Jumentos while we did laundry and then hid from another cold front.

High Stepper was experiencing trouble with their outboard motor and finally decided to go to George Town, Great Exuma to buy a new one. We sailed on down to Black Point and met Next Exit anchored near the castle again. Time for another get together, this time at O’Brien’s Landing, on their deck which overlooks the bay. All of the crews of the vessels at anchor came in and another great time was had by all. The next few days were going to be very windy so we planned some shore excursions with beach walks high on the list for the next morning. After a tour of the progress that Peg and Frank O’Brien have made with their home, Jean invited all to the Sandcastle in the afternoon for a tour there and for me to demonstrate how to make flour tortillas. All in all, a wonderful way to spend a windy day.

The next few days blew even harder and some of the vessels used the north wind to travel further south. We headed to the village of Black Point and Ida’s laundry facility ” Rockside Laundry”. It is the cleanest coin laundry that I have ever seen and Ida is a dear. Once all was fresh smelling, we stopped for a Kalik ( Bahamian beer ) and free internet at one of the restaurants. A chance to check the bank balance and pay a bill or two, yeah!

Murray had been asked to install a new transmission for Becky and Kevin on Mirabelle, who were anchored in Pipe Creek. They had been there since late November, awaiting the arrival of this transmission and unable to move. The word was passed down that the part was close by, so off to Pipe Creek we sailed and anchored by “The Mice”. The transmission was successfully installed but cold fronts were expected, so it was time for us to stay put and enjoy new snorkel spots. My underwater camera has been just great and I will post some photos on the website when we next have access to wifi.

Messenger, Scott and Lisa from Port Dover, caught up to us while we waited in Pipe Creek. You might remember that Messenger is the boat that Murray and I worked on this summer to get them ready for a one year cruise. Right now they have two children aboard, Aiden, 14, and Elizabeth , 11. Their oldest son, Reg, 16, will join them in George Town in February. In Pipe Creek we lead them on a couple of shore adventures, the first in the shallow water, finding sand dollars. Yesterday we headed for a beach walk, but got more than bargained for when crossing a sand flat that became a mud bog quickly due to recent rains. Your foot would sink ankle deep into this sticky, stinky muck and then, you tried to pull it out and take another step. And lose your shoe. Yuck! It was awful but the beach walk was interesting. And then we had to head back and cross the bog again. Each person carried a rock or palm fronds to try to create a more solid surface to step onto. It did help and crossing was slightly easier this time.

Today, we sailed on south slightly, back to Big Major Spot. Two more fronts are expected this week and we will need to take shelter once more. When they clear out, we hope to re-stock with fresh produce from the grocery here, do laundry and check the internet once again in Black Point and then head to the Jumentos for about a month. High Stepper will meet us there.

Our long range plans still include a visit to Cuba sometime in March. But, cruisers’ plans are all written in sand at the low tide level.

Hugs to all,
Heather & Murray

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