Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cat Island, Bahamas to Florida

Vero Beach Municipal Marina
Vero Beach, Florida
27 39.65N 80 22.27W

We have had a busy 3+ weeks of travel since our last blog on April 20th sailing (for the most part) from the central Bahamas to Florida. We visited Fernandez Bay and Bennett's Harbor on Cat Island; Half Moon Bay on Little San Salvador; three stops on the island of Eleuthera at Rock Sound, Hatchet Bay and Royal Island. We then crossed Northeast Providence Channel to Great Stirrup Cay in the Berry Islands and the next day crossed Northwest Providence Channel to Lucaya, Grand Bahamas. This past Friday 5/10 we crossed the Gulf Stream to West Palm Beach and are now on a mooring ball in Vero Beach as we continue up the east coast.

Little San Salvador is a small, private island between Cat Island and Eleuthera which is owned by Carnival Cruise Lines. Almost daily around 8am a huge cruise liner anchors right off the island and ferries passengers ashore for an "out island" experience. The galleon like building is the food and beverage area. The colorful houses are beach cabanas. We were lucky not to have a ship in port the afternoon we arrived but one did approach the next morning as we were leaving. 

The water clarity in the anchorage was one of the most beautiful we have visited throughout the Bahamas.

Royal Island is another private island that is in the process of development. As with many other prospective developments throughout the islands the construction seems to be at a standstill. This is our third time visiting here and nothing has changed. We did go ashore though for the first time to explore. Although the island is private the caretakers don't seem to mind cruisers going ashore near the ruins of an old estate. This photo was taken from the terrace leading up to the ruins. These Bougainvilleas were just beautiful. 

The ruins were very interesting with a main house and several outbuildings. It must have been quite a place in its heyday. We weren't able to find must history on the estate other than it was built somewhere around the 1930's with additions and upgrades up into the 1970's. The floors in most of the building are ceramic tile.

Halfway across the Gulf Stream and out of Bahamian waters - time to take down the Bahamian courtesy flag. Not much left of it!!!

Remember those two messages in bottles we found washed up on beaches in Eleuthera this season? Well we added our own message and redeployed the bottle in the axis of the Gulf Stream where the current is strongest. We're hoping the Gulf Stream will carry it across the Atlantic where it will be found.

It looks like our luck has finally changed in the fishing department. We had a very productive day while crossing. First was a small Black Fin tuna. A short time later we hooked something took the line with a ZING!!!! Then it gave us a little show...doing a tail walk out of the water. We were shocked to see we had a 5' White Marlin on the line. Before we could grab the camera the fish broke the line which was good because we wouldn't have wanted to land him on the transom. Our fishing luck continued as we brought aboard this Mahi.