Most of the days spent in Little Harbour Cay from Dec 19 to Dec 24 were spent relaxing. We didn’t have much internet, but enough to get our a few emails before the internet went away. actually, I didn’t expect any but way in the distance we could see the Batelco tower with diffuse light shining upward in the dark sky we had at night before the almost full moon rose.
Thursday, Dec 19
We took the dinghy to land and walked on a rough path to the east side of the island hoping to get some shells and “beans” from Africa but none were to be seen. We went towards the cut out I to the sound with the dinghy, but I was getting splashed from a combo of the incoming tide and the 11-12kt easterly winds. After lunch of reheated pork dish, I polished the pressure cooker, tea pot and sink with SS polish and metal wax as especially the pressure cooker was getting rusty.
I made Bahamian oat bread in the afternoon while Phil napped and then we took it to Jo and Mark’s boat Truant for happy hour. Merydei and Ken from SV. Quick Sticks rounded out the guest list. Jo and Mark had just finished eat dinner so there wasn’t other food besides the banana bread I brought.
I’ve been able to get Chris Park on SSB 4045 very well out here most of the time until it gets close to 730am when his speech gets garbled. I’ve been able to get Chris Park on SSB 4045 very well out here most of the time until it gets close to 730am when his speech gets garbled.
Friday, Dec 20
This morning I was able to have very slow internet on the iPad through the data plan I have, but not enough to do banking online. SV Charisma arrived and Jo did the happy dance on his arrival. He said that there was 1.5′ under his keel at half tide going the back route from Cabbage Cay up to little Harbour Cay. Phil changed the zinc on the prop shaft, having a much easier time with the clear Bahamian waters. It was last changed in St. Augustine by the diver so we wonder why it’s getting used up faster. While Phil was working on that, I started working on inputting the pattern for Katie’s sweater into Knit Companion app then started knitting the body.
Our big adventure for the day was taking 2 dinghies over to the Blue hole on Hoffman Cay a little north of here. Jo rode with us while Mark, Marydei and Ken rode with Bill in his bigger dinghy. Once we found the beach and the path, it didn’t take long to reach the Blue hole. Many people jump in from the top of the rocks, but we went down the hairpin turn path and all jumped in to swim. The water is warm and VERY salty making floating easy. There were ferns in the area to crawl out, which I didn’t like. I was able to get a group photo using my gorilla pod both looking in under the overhang and from up top with the water in the background. After back at the boat later in the afternoon, Bill invited us all over for potluck dinner to use up some of the beef he had to cook when he had refrigeration problems, now fixed. He was fancy using bone China plates for the layered Mexican Dip I made. We had an enjoyable time but it was very dark going back to Changes as we had forgotten to put on the mast light so as difficult to see her. We use MV Out Post’s lights to guide us initially until we could make out our darker shape in the darkness.
Saturday December 21
Phil went to burn trash at a fire pit the next cay north while I made Tuscan Lentil Salad for this evening. The wind is to be clocking to the SE so we raised anchor and moved closer to shore for more protection.
About noon, we shared dinghies again going down to Chester’s by Cabbage Cay going over the flats that were just high enough to get over with the dinghy. Our return trip will be longer in the deeper water. Chester’s is a bar/restaurant in a pink building on the hill. In order to eat here, you need to give Chester your order 3 hrs before you want to eat so that he can get your order. We decided to have a farewell dinner on Monday late afternoon. Phil and I were concern about the timing as we all need to get the dinghy on deck so that we can leave early enough going to Nassau. After some discussion, Bill agreed to pick us up in his dinghy and scheduled it for 4pm instead of the original 5pm. I’ve been doing real good drinking water and no colas, so had a diet Coke at Chester’s.
This evening, we had cocktails at Quick Sticks, a Bristol 29.9 sailboat. Marydei has pretty little dishes for serving the different foods. This time we remembered the mast light and the red lights from the galley and chart table, so no problems getting back.
After Phil went to bed, I worked on setting up the entire front row chart for Katie’s sweater. It took forever as the program was slow, but I got it done.
Sunday, December 22
This will be our last day here in Little Harbour Cay. Tomorrow as close to high tide as we can convince Bill to leave we will go the inner route to Cabbage Cay to stage going to Nassau on Tuesday. He says that he know the route and that there should be plenty of water for our draft going at 1pm though high tide is 12 noon.
While Phil was sleeping in, I swept the cabin sole and picked up in preparation to having cocktails on Changes tonight unless MV Out Post invites everyone to their boat. The guys are going hunting for lobster at a rock that Bill says has several lobster there. We can’t wait for high tide being dark at that time, so they left at 1030am for slack tide. While they were going, I worked on the first three rows. It’s a little complicated getting the pattern set and the markers in place so that it goes more easily.
Sooner than I expected, the men arrived back with no lobster. Too bad. It was too rough in the cut for the dinghy and diving and they couldn’t find the lobster rock even though Mark dived down looking for it. There use to be a lot of fish in the Berry Islands until some commercial fisherman fish them out. It’s too bad as that’s one of the reasons why we wanted to come here.
We had cocktails on our boat tonight with my contribution being potato skins filled with bacon, cheese and sour cream for dipping. Jo brought a flat bread that she made with hummus and I now have the recipe for. Marydei brought a delicious onion dip with cream cheese and crackers. Everyone made it an early night as had prepartions for leaving tomorrow for staging the boats to leave for Nassau.
I knitted some more while Phil read. About 10pm, I couldn’t take being sticky any longer so heated up some water from the 2.5 gal Sunshower. It wasn’t enough for a warm shower only enough to be not cold, but at least I was clean. This trip it’s been hotter than our last one and I find myself wearing the sun dresses. We have less rain so the boat is more covered with salt so when touching the boat, my fingers are covered with crystals of salt making my fingers sticky. We haven’t had rain to wash off the boat so about this time it bothers me a lot. Small things like being clean before going to bed make a big difference in how well I sleep and comfort.
Monday, December 23
Happy Birthday Mom!
The morning was spent for me knitting, for Phil doing odd jobs and reading. Phil put duck tape on the noodle floats for the dinghy painter line. We’ll see how long that lasts. the line has been cutting through the foam so I hope they will stay on longer. We have extra noodles, but I want to use them for swimming.
After lunch, it was time to raise anchor and follow SV Charisma out to Cabbage Cay. Everything started well, but as time progressed, we were farther and farther away from the channel the charts said for us to take and also from the waypoint that Outpost had given us to stay in the deep water. Phil kept to the left of Charisma’s track but all of a sudden, we hit bottom and got stuck but good. We had SSE winds and 2′ seas pushing us onto the shallow area. Everyone else passed us by with promises to come back to help us with their dinghies. Phil kept his cool like usual and kept the engine at full speed ahead. I’m thinking we’re stuck and continuing to run the engine isn’t going to help! But he kept at it and finally we were able to get off. Turns out later Phil said that the waves lifted us up just enough that we were able to get off the shoal little by little and into deeper water.
The excitement was over for us, but the SV Truant’s engine overheated! Fortunately they were in plenty of water and Charisma and Quick Sticks stayed with them and helped them to get moving. Phil at first didn’t hear the radio hearing their update and kept going. We were so frazzled from our situation that we just wanted to get anchored in a place that wasn’t so rocky and rolly. We evaluated Cabbage Cay but the waves were too high with the long fetch so continued south to High Cay just south of the cut which was close to a private harbor. Eventually the winds died as predicted and it was much calmer. Fortunately Charisma had an extra hose that worked and after a long time all three made it to Cabbage Cay and soon after they had calmer water.
When we first anchored about 2pm, the waves were high enough that we couldn’t make it to Chester’s, so radioed on Ch 68 our cancellation. We waited until 4pm, then put the dinghy up on the bow. I feel bad that we couldn’t go but on reflection, it was the only decision we could make at the time given the circumstances. Hind sight is 20/20
I started preparing supper using the rest of the fish to make chowder, but first I had to scale the fish. I went to the stern so I didn’t get scales in the cockpit and and plop the fish slipped out of my hand and dropped into the water. I wasn’t willing to give up, so got my swimsuit on and with goggles and fins to dive down for it. Well Phil thought I was nuts! and maybe I was. Unfortunately, I couldn’t dive down to get it!! As the sun was setting, I used very warm water from the Sunshower and had a shower standing next to the mast. It was VERY nice to have truly warm water and not the “just not cold” water from my shower the previous night.