Wednesday, April 29, 2015


POSITION: 23 38.29N 75 54.75W

On March 4th it was finally time to head south for our second try. Two days earlier we had left Pirate Beach and when rounding Harvey Cay we ran head long into four foot seas and moderate winds from the south. Enough of this crap so we just turned around and went back to Staniel Cay Yacht Club. Since it was Joan’s birthday anyway, this was a good chance for us all to give her a little party and some relaxation (what… more?) around the pool for a couple days.

FINALLY, the winds turned to the south east on the 6th so it was time to go. It was only a short seventeen miles to our first anchorage at Musha Cay where we were still sheltered on the west side of the banks. Besides, by the time we arrived passing Cave Cay Cut in early afternoon, the rage was in full swing with a minimum 7-8 foot seas in the Cut so we just kept on going past.

Musha Cay is a private island owned by David Copperfield. His large house is well hidden on the hilltop among a lot of palm trees and other growth. The beach that we anchored off was beautiful, lush and provided a very tropical setting as you can see.

We anchored parallel to the beach. Each boat anchored and we rafted up to each other. Since the current would be changing directions during the night we ran out our spare anchor as a stern anchor so that we didn’t end up on the beach before we woke up in the morning.

The sand flats to the south of us provided great protection from the waves and actually deflected the current out around us enough that we weren’t bothered by it.

On Saturday morning March the 7th the weather outside was a lot calmer so we got up early and departed the protection of the Bahamas Bank and out into Exuma Sound where we were open to the Atlantic Ocean. Cave Cay Cut was calm as the tide was now slack.
We now had a twenty five mile run down to Emerald Bay.
Once out on the sound it was pretty good. However, for the first two hours were pretty bumpy but after that the seas calmed down to about two and a half feet so it was pretty comfortable.
Time to put out the fishing rods!! We got a pretty good strike and the line ran off the reel at lightning speed, but by the time Ron could get to the rod to set the hook the fish had spit it out. Oh well, we saved the fishery once again.

You see all kinds of odd things when you cruise. Here we passed what looked like a nice power boat but it had a mast and boom on each end. They were actually flying a small spinnaker...
Take a look at this one. There’s still hope for the power boaters out there.


Over the past few years we’ve avoided the Marina at Emerald Bay because we were told that it was a very tight entrance and it was rolly at the docks. Well, were we in for a surprise. The entrance was a little tight… for a 200 foot mega yacht, but once inside we were directed to the west channel to tie along the wall on the floating docks. PERFECT! What a well protected place this is.

The floating cement docks were easy to tie to and were high enough that it made boarding very easy. We call this the Canadian Dock because all the sailboats along here are Canadian.


Now for the best part….. The docks along the wall are the 50 cent docks. That’s fifty cents per foot per night or for us a mere $22.50 per night. They have no water or electricity but we can live with that. If you wanted all that then you could tie up at the $2.75 per foot docks.
Along with a dock you got FREE WiFi, FREE laundry, FREE showers, FREE crew lounge and FREE transportation to the nearest liquor store. What else could you ask for? There was a three night minimum stay.

On the way up to the office we passed by these beauties. 

The crew lounge was beautifully fitted out. 50 inch TV, Air conditioned, Library, Pool table room, bar and dining room. This place really is top notch.

Our first night there and it was time for the Monday night “Happier Hour”. The bar was loaded with food and rum punch all courtesy of the marina as a thank you to the cruisers for coming here.

LOOK AT THIS STUFF!! ALL FREE TO BOOT!! About 70 folks arrived.
Remember, we only paid fifty cents a foot. Thank you so much Emerald Bay Marina.

After two days of “boat maintenance” it was time to rent a car and do some exploring. We also needed groceries as Ron’s sister and brother-in-law are arriving next week. Our first day took us to George Town for a whirlwind tour (because we would be coming back the next day) and Jon needed to get his propane tank filled. After a brief two times around the town we headed south to Williams Town where we would be south of the “Tropic of Cancer” and to celebrate with a great lobster lunch and a cold beer at Santana’s Bar & Grill. 
                                         Just look at the colour of the water …. mmmmmmm!

Next store was Mom’s Bakery where we loaded up on fresh breads and desserts. I think we bought one of everything.


On the way back north to George Town we passed the Salt Marker which looked like a pillar from the Parthenon in Greece. It was constructed in the late 18th century by a John Darrell, a Loyalist who spotted the salt marshes while on a whaling trip.
There is an old, rusty original cannon mounted beside the marker to alert salt ships when they were nearby.
Just north of Williams Town on the Kings Highway we came across this very narrow one way bridge. In the middle of it was a huge single gear that is accompanied by a long wooden handle. This is used to raise the single section like a bascule bridge in order to allow a boat to pass under the bridge. I guess the captain has to swim ashore to open turn the manual gear.
For those of you who think that this is a lush furtile land, may I show you the hardship they endure trying to grow their crops on solid coral with a slight bit of soil covering it…. With little or no water, the corn in this field won’t yield much but it’s enough to survive.
The original plantation owners attempted to grow cotton as an industry but the soil conditions did not make for any growing conditions. Occasionally you see the odd cotton plant alongside the road.

A lot of boats are still in George Town because the wind hasn’t dropped below 25-35 knots in over three weeks to provide a suitable window to head further south to the Caribbean Islands.
Here you can see the mail boat making its way down to Georgetown against the high seas.
I have no idea why this is loading sideways.... but the water is still beautiful.

After a couple beers, hot sun, and beside tranquil waters, some people will do just about anything. We just couldn’t find a minister to renew our vows. At least we dressed alike.
So it was back to the metropolis of Georgetown then on to Emerald Bay we go to finish our day.

Friday March 13th, 2015 Still at Emerald Bay
This is day 6 at the Marina at Emerald Bay. The wind blew last night from 30-40 knots and didn’t let up for a minute. When I looked outside this morning the seas were rolling past the entrance like Hawaiian surfing waves. Guess we’ll be staying here for a few days yet.

March 12th, 2015 George Town – Stocking Island
Since Jon & Joan had never been out to volleyball beach on the other side of George Town Harbour, on day two of our car rental we decided to take a day off (again) and drive down to George Town where we would take the water taxi across to Chat’n Chill beach…… where you “chat for free but pay to chill” as the sign says. This is the most popular beach in the Bahamas for cruisers and every year in February the harbour sees in influx of some 400 plus boats for the annual George Town Cruisers Regatta. The harbour was full again this year.
Times are always good at the Chat 'n Chill beach bar on Elizabeth Island off George Town.
The ferry took us around to the back of Volleyball beach in the tranquil waters and pure white sand found here.
Jan  & Joan were the first two ashore.
The daily volleyball games were being played by the cruisers.
The usual distance to home signs are found on the pole.


As well as souvenirs placed on the wall of the Chat ‘n Chill bar.

This one is for Trish, our friend from the other side of the pond. Well enough of this.  It’s time to get back to Emerald Bay and start preparing the boat to head north to Little Farmers Cay.


Monday, April 20, 2015

March 3rd – Still At Big Majors Spot

March 3rd – Still At Big Majors Spot

Big Majors Spot is about a mile north of Staniel Cay, but as you all have followed our adventures for the last three years you know exactly where it we are.The weather down here has finally settled in to what it should be. Easterly winds at 15 – 20 knots with lots of sun and hot temperatures in the 80F range. Unfortunately, easterly winds bring big seas on the ocean side so everyone is stuck on the banks, so to speak and Georgetown is getting harder to get to. Friends of ours from NS came up from Georgetown the other day and even though the sea state was suppose to be 3-4 feet they had approximately 8 feet for the whole day.
So, here we sit at anchor in a beautiful, well protected anchorage, with three beaches close by…….. well need I go on?
So, I’ll give you a brief update on our activities since the last update.
The view from Pirate Beach gives you an idea just how popular this place is. Most of these boats are Canadian. Everyone is totally relaxed, including Sophie the dog on the front of the paddle board. Wind Warrior is just ahead of the paddler.

 Jan is looking great in her new duds and has been feeling much better lately.

We started our day out with a good feed of fresh coconut bread French toast ……. Mmmmmmmmmm!!!!

Just about a quarter mile north of our anchorage is the famous Fowl Cay Resort. It must be a well kept secret because we’ve never in four years seen anybody there. We met someone on the beach the other day who went there for supper and the cost was US $140 per person. No wonder there’s nobody there. I’d hate to see the cost of the little cottages.
Since we’ve been sitting here for a while, every few days we take a run into Staniel Cay Yacht Club for a pool day. A nice soaking in fresh water is always welcome.

Yesterday, our friends Jon & Joan, on board “Jessie Gray” and Jan & I decided it was time to do some dinghy exploring. We were heading north through the little cut just right of the Fowl Cay Resort (World Famous) and headed north about 5 miles passed the islands of Sampson Cay, Over Yonder Cay with its huge wind generators and up into Pipe Creek where we passed between The Rat (Rat Cay) and the Mice before turning south at Little Pipe Cay to head back home. The whole trip took about 2 hours.
Our first passing was through Sampson Cay. The pure white sand bars and shallow passages made it fun in the dinghies.
John and Joan went on ahead of us for a short while then followed us because we had the chart.

Sampson Cay was our next stop. The Cay was bought out by a private individual who decided to close the marina and resort which is really a shame. What a waste of a beautiful area. You can see the white sand that makes it so beautiful.
As we made our approach you could see the beauty of this place and the tranquil setting.
Why would somebody just close off such a beautiful place to other people. I can understand not wanting to run the marina but they are attempting to keep everyone away from there and have put up huge “Private Island-No Trespassing” signs everywhere.
As we proceeded north, the next Cay was Over Yonder Cay. There are a couple huge mansions, a private marina and three huge windmills on this Cay.
By the way….. I’m going to put a map of our route at the end so that you have to go back and read all this again……. Hehehe.
After passing Over Yonder Cay, we passed between Rat Cay and the Mice stopping to chat with some folks who were anchored there, before rounding the north point and heading home passed the lighthouse. You know Jan and her lighthouses!

But first you have to see the vastness of Pipe Creek with its many sand banks and small navigable channels. On the chart it looks very small.

What a great day it was……. Do you see any clouds??
After getting back to Big Majors it was beach time and a nice cool swim in the 84F waters…… hehehe. Ron & Jon took the cameras and got a few great shots. How Ron ever  found this little cave is a miracle.
 These pre-historic looking creatures are found on the coral. I don’t know if they're living or not.
So, with every great picture there comes a price. Ron decided to walk up a coral pathway behind Pirate Beach to see if he can’t get some more nice pics. There wasn’t much up there. So on the way back down, not wanting to cut his bare feet to shreds he is concentrating on is footing….. All of a sudden BANG!!! as he walks straight into a branch and cuts his forehead along with the swelling. Now I know how my mom (Ron’s) felt each time she walked into a door.

Back on the boat the hot sun was beaming in so Ron decided to try out his new sun-shade that he made last summer. It fits and does the trick.



Talk to you soon everyone.

Ron & Jan