Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Leaving the Exumas

Hello everyone. We have made it to Spanish Wells, North Eleuthera. the last 3 weeks have been lots of fun and we have been getting some great sailing in. We plan on leaving to cross to the Abacos on Thursday if the weather continues to behave as predicted.

This blog will cover the final days traveling the Exumas as I have already uploaded the photos. Once we get to the Abacos I will post our adventures on the Island of Eleuthera and Spanish Wells.

When you last saw us we were waiting out a blow in Little Farmers Cay. A beautiful spot with some of the most friendly locals we have met so far. We ended up there for 4 days.

Anchored between Great Guana Cay and Little Farmers,
great protection against the predicted winds (that never really showed up!)
This picture was taken on a walk to JR's to see his wood carving.

beach walk, this is an abandoned home built by a squatter on government property who has since been chased away.

JR's place of business, a lovely man with great talent and pride in his work.
While we were out walking we were invited to a family "Fish Fry" that was being held down at the docks. We had such a wonderful time eating and visiting.
Fish, dumplings, conch salad, mhh mhh GOOD!
Krista and I still had some school supplies on board that we have been waiting to find the just the right home, Little Farmers was it. We passed along two full bags to Deborah who was going to make sure it got to the school. They were very appreciative.

preparing the conch

Al thoroughly enjoying his fried fish
In my bag of goodies a also had leftover Canadian tattoos from Canada Day. The youngsters in the crowd were thrilled to have Krista and I help put them on.
So much fun.

We were not having any luck searching out local snorkel sites when we happened by a local fish boat heading out to go diving for lobster. They told us to follow them.pointing out areas for us to check out and let them know if we spotted any lobster. No lobster for any of us but some great snorkeling.
We broke down and purchased some lobster off of Don's buddy that came in later that day. Delicious, but it would have been nice to get one ourselves-or at least seen one!!

Roosevelt is the owner of Farmers Cay Yacht Club, him and his wife were wonderful hosts. Good food and prices, he made a mean Rum punch and  loved to share stories and pictures of his Island and family. This day he was giving us a lesson on breaking into the coconut to get the flesh out and passing along a recipe to cook it down for making pastries. Al and Phil had no problem getting the meat out but i need to get another lesson on cooking it, didn't quite figure it out but would love to try again.

Our next stop was Black Point again to get up on laundry and pick up some groceries.  We ended up two nights at anchor in the bay and managed to go for a walk to a part of the Island we hadn't gotten to before. This is a picture of a "blowhole", ocean water from sea caves creating vertical shafts in the rock where water and air are released.
I also managed to clean the water line of the boat on a beautiful afternoon. I did this while swimming, snorkel and mask also helped out. I was back in the boat for less than 1 minute when a general announcement came over the radio. "All those anchored in Black Point Bay be aware a 8 foot Hammerhead shark has been spotted at the government dock, swimming not advised"! Even after the fact it was a very eerie feeling. Of coarse we got in the dingy and went to get a look, sure enough there she was swimming right along shore. I wouldn't let Al get to close but you could see very clearly what it was.  

Yet another cold front with high winds had been predicted for the nest few days with a west component to the winds. The one nice thing about the winds and heading north is all the great sailing days we are getting in, awesome not to have to run the engine. We left Black Point as it is very exposed and headed into Pipe Creek, just north of Staniel Cay. A beautiful anchorage that we missed on our way down. Very shallow but great holding and protection form most directions. We stayed for another 4 nights. Exploring by foot and dingy.
Haven is the centre vessel

view of the sound side

one of my favorite little private Islands, Pipe Creek 
Heading back into the Exuma Land and Sea Park, we anchored behind O'Brien Cay, just north of Cambridge Cay to go snorkeling on the "Sea Aquarium". A must see for anyone visiting this area of the world, the best site for snorkeling that we have come across. My pictures don't do it justice but it's the best we could do.

Next stopped, Shroud Cay. One night at anchor so we could take a trip up the mangroves on hightide the next morning. Known for high numbers of Seabirds and marine life we were told it's a must see. Unfortunately we did't get to see many birds, but a beautiful ride through the rock cut and mangroves bringing us out onto the sound side and a very lovely beach.

view looking back into cut

view from cut, looking out into the sound

my first attempt at baking bread, I chose the pressure cooker method. It weighed about 8 pounds and was barely edible!
Nancy aboard Angel Eyes has passed on her recipe for the same method so I will try again, I can't let this defeat me.
In the afternoon we moved over to Norman's Island to stage ourselves for leaving to Eleuthera. Krista and Phil were also looking forward to meeting up with friends of theirs from back home, Rick and Doreen aboard Breathless who have travelled to Bahamas 18 times. We had a lovely night sharing food, drink and stories. It was a pleasure to have finally met the famous duo who have been an incredible source of information to so many fellow cruisers who we have met along the way and in turn we also benefited. Some squalls were predicted that night and when we woke in the morning the spiralling winds were causing a bit of grief in the anchorage, were not all suppose to be facing each other!

So one of our  final pictures of Haven in the Exumas. What an amazing place. The clear waters, warm friendly people, the sailing, the incredible colours of the water, snorkeling, meeting new friends, oh did I mention the water!!
anchored off Shroud Cay

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