Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Exumas to New Providence Island

West Bay, New Providence Island
25 01.62 N 77 32.77 W

A reminder to our blog followers: This blog is updated on an infrequent basis. Please follow us on our Facebook page by doing a web search for 'Cruising Onboard Carina Facebook'

We returned to Georgetown from the Jumentos in mid-March to meet Kathy's son Michael. This was Mike's 3rd year visiting us and he likes to start his vacation at Chat & Chill with a Goombay Smash.

We were invited to a small and intimate beach wedding held at "Flip Flop Beach" on 3/17/14.

We will have fond memories of Mike & Mel's unique wedding experience.

After Michael's vacation with us ended, we were itching to get out of Georgetown for awhile. We sailed up to the north end of Great Exuma Island. Carina is anchored in the background, off White Bay Cay.

View from atop Perry Peak on Lee Stocking Island, the highest point of land in the Exuma island chain at 123'. Our anchorage at Williams Bay is in background.
We arrived back in Georgetown for our next guests. Mark's son Ian and daughter-in-law Katie flew all the way from Boise, Idaho for a week vacation.

Walking the expansive sand bars off Man-O-War Cay.

Afternoon cocktails and Mexican Train Dominoes.

We remained in Georgetown through most of the 61st annual Family Island Regattas, held during the last week of April before heading northbound.

Anchored off the northwest side of Pipe Cay.
While in Pipe Cay, Mark got word of the death of his aunt and the imminent death of his mother. Kathy stayed with the boat and cats at the Atlantis Resort Marina on Paradise Island in Nassau while Mark flew back to CT for 9 days, for what turned out to be 2 funerals.

After leaving Nassau we sailed 15 miles around to the west side of the island of New Providence. We spent 10 days anchored in West Bay with a number of other boats sitting out strong winds, squalls, then more strong winds until we had the right wind angle and seas to sail on to the Berry Islands.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Jumentos Cays & Ragged Islands

A reminder to our blog followers: This blog is updated on an infrequent basis. Please follow us on our Facebook page by doing a web search for 'Cruising Onboard Carina Facebook'

We departed Georgetown in mid-January after a two week stay. Here we're motoring across the gin-clear White Cay Banks on a windless day enroute from Georgetown, Great Exuma to Thompson Bay, Long Island.

We spent a few days in Salt Pond/ Thompson Bay before sailing west across the Comer Channel to Bailey Cay on the "South Side" of Great Exuma. From there we sailed south to Flamingo Cay in the small chain of islands known as the Jumentos. Here, Kathy is standing on a sand spit off Double Breasted Cay, while Carina was anchored off in the distance all by herself.

Cleaning our day's catch of Conchs on a nearby beach. It's not as messy as cleaning back on the boat....
.... and cleaning conch or fish off the boat just provides food to encourage the sharks to hang around the boat more than they already do. This is a 6' Lemon Shark that liked to visit us with a few other of his "friends".

Maxine Wilson, who runs the market in Duncan Town, hosts the annual Valentine's Party. It is held at a beach side picnic pavilion on nearby Hog Cay that was erected by cruisers and locals over the years. Maxine provides all the food and drinks.  

35 Cruising boats arrived for this year's festivities. Here, cruisers as well as the local Ragged Islander's participated in an auction with goods donated by all the cruisers. $2000 was raised for the Duncan Town school children.

It's been two years since we last saw 74 year old Edward Lochart who lives alone with his dogs, goats and chickens on nearby Buenavista Cay.

One day, while beach combing for sea glass and sea beans on a small barrier island off Ragged Island, Kathy came upon this small tube with a flotation collar and wire antenna. It is a fish tag that (use to) emits GPS signal and collects other data. We emailed notice of our recovery back to the manufacturer listed on the tag, Wildlife Computers.com, along with the special ID #. We subsequently were contacted by a researcher at the Hopkins Marine Station, in Pacific Grove, CA. with some interesting info and return shipping instructions for further data recovery. "This particular tag was deployed on an Atlantic Bluefin Tuna in Canada during the fall of 2010. It only stayed on the fish about a 100 days before popping off about 1000km northeast of the Bahamas." It must have spent a few years in the North Atlantic currents before washing up on the rocky shoreline of Adeline Cay.

While we were in the Ragged Islands, this 30'ish foot long sailing vessel filled with 58 Haitians refugees was stopped by Bahamian Defence Force offshore while attempting to enter Bahamas. They were stopped and then flown from Ragged Island to Nassau for eventual return back to Haiti. The boat was left anchored off Percy's place on Southside Bay.

Crew of one of the multiple work skiffs that belong to the Long Island fishing vessel "Summer Crab" came into the Buenavista Cay anchorage one evening around sunset. They had been out on the banks fishing for several weeks. They were in great need for some rum and beers and we were in great need of some lobster tails. Everyone was happy!

Under sail approaching Hog Cay Cut. We had 3 excellent days of sailing with winds and seas aft of the beam. Sailing from Hog Cay (in the Jumentos) to Buenavista Cay; Then on to Water Cay on day 2; and from Water Cay through Hog Cay Cut (in the Exumas) arriving back in Georgetown March 5th. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Florida to Bahamas

Georgetown, Exumas, Bahamas
23 31.81 N 075 46.03 W

We spent the month of November working our way south along the Florida east coast stopping to visit friends along the way.

We stopped in Satellite Beach for a week to visit Rich & Carol Wellman (who recently traded in their Manta cat Great Catsby for an RV).  Jim & Lori of Kismet along with Jim & Bentley of Salty Paws, were both anchored near by and joined us on Carina for dinner.

Our next stop was Delray Beach to visit our friends Mattie & Ed Sears. They had sold their Manta cat Piscataqua this summer and offered us their former dock while we visited and provisioned.

Mattie lent us her little Fiat for two days of major provisioning. 6 months supply of cat food, kitty litter, paper goods, food and booze.

South Beach Miami

Dolphin escort along the Florida coast (our spinnaker furling lines in foreground)
 We spent the first two weeks of December in the Key Biscayne and Key Largo area while waiting for a favorable weather window to cross the gulf stream to the Bahamas. That window arrived on Sunday Dec 15th. We had a fantastic sail across the stream and continued overnight on the Great Bahama Banks and Tongue of the Ocean, arriving in Nassau the following morning.

Anchored at Hawksbill Cay. We only spent one day 1 day in Nassau before continuing on to Norman's Cay and then onto Hawksbill Cay where we spent nearly a week exploring and sitting out strong winds.

Kathy with the cruising couples of Glory Days, Serenity and Sequence at Hawksbill Cay
The underwater sculpture "The Musician" lies in about 15' depth water off the lower SW side of Rudder Cut Cay. ( N23 52.162 - W 76 14.162) It is a life size replica of a grand piano and a mermaid  commissioned by David Copperfield (who happens to own the group of islands - Musha Cay, Lansing Cay and Rudder Cut Cay). http://www.underwatersculpture.com/projects/copperfield/ 
Anchored at Williams Bay, Lee Stocking Island

We arrived in Georgetown on the island of Great Exuma on Dec. 30. Our friend Ted Bowen and his son Sean flew in to visit us for the New Years.

Another memorable meal

Sunset over Elizabeth Harbor, Georgetown from the Monument