Sunday, March 21, 2010

A bit of Island Hopping

I think the last place I left you followers were in Marsh Harbor where we had Dirk’s mom onboard for a visit. Well her vacation has ended and after many goodbyes to all the new friends she met while here we took her to the airport on the 13th. With a few delays her plane finally made it in about an hour late and in just enough time for her to make her connecting flight to London from Nassau. We had a wonderful time while she was here and we hope she returned home with some very fond memories. We just wish Mother Nature had showed us some better weather, but what can you do. Here is Anke with Judith and Erik from Bravo on the left & Ellie and Jim from FinniRish on the Right.

With all this bad weather we have been going a bit stir crazy wanting to get off the boat and do some snorkeling, diving, exploring, or just relaxing in a nice anchorage, so we decided to head out to Treasure Cay on the 16th. While parked in the Marina for so long we met Erik & Judy a Canadian couple on their boat Bravo, so Bravo, FinniRish and we all headed out together. If you recall when we first made our initial crossing to the Bahamas our Buddy Boat FinniRish had engine problems and had to be towed in. Well they thought all was well but on the way to Treasure their engine quit again. The fuel filter was changed and we continued on. Soon after they called back on the radio saying they were getting a bit of water in and shut it down to have a look. Turns out it was just a faulty hose clamp so once it was changed we were once again pointed in the right direction. We made it into Treasure Cay, threw out the anchor and we all headed to FinniRish for sun downers. The next day was supposed to be nice so Dirk and I wanted to head to Green Turtle which meant crossing the whale once again. The only problem we had was a majorly sick kitty on our hands. Once the 3 p’s , ( puke, pee, & poo) were distributed randomly about the floor and cockpit I think Butters finally threw in the white towel and surrendered. Either that or he was finally empty…..Ellie & Jim on FinniRish decided to stay behind as they didn’t want to take any chances of engine failure in the whale and Bravo decided to stay behind with them. We however had the urge to get moving and see some of the areas that had to be missed on the way to Marsh Harbor due to our tight schedule. The entrance into White Sound is very narrow and I would hate to meet a large boat in it. We elected to get a mooring ball and hunted about looking for one that wasn’t being blocked by some inconsiderate boater that has anchored. Come on now….If you see a mooring ball, why on earth would you throw your anchor line out 20 feet from it? Guess some people have no clue. We found a mooring and got tied up and settled in as it was suppose to start blowing steady in the night which of course it was right on schedule. The next day we threw the bikes into the dinghy and hauled them to the dinghy dock as we wanted to take a ride into New Plymouth for a look around. We have had several people tell us that we needed to see New Plymouth due to the charm of the town. Not to knock the town, it was indeed charming and sweet with its roads just wide enough for a golf cart to get down but most of the pastel colored homes were in disrepair and at the least needed someone to pull a few weeds. My favorite still has to be Hope Town because of how clean and up kept everything seemed to be. We did hit a few areas on the beach on the ride back to White Sound and ended up having lunch at the Green Turtle Club. I thought I was getting off cheap for lunch having a wonderful BLT on Bahamian bread with a side order of coleslaw that made you feel you got your money’s worth until we decided to split a dessert. $7.95 for BLT and coleslaw, $7.95 for a slice of chocolate mousse. Shouldn’t complain though I guess, we splurged but somehow I feel that the mileage I put on my bike today was for nothing. There’s always tomorrow to work it off. Here is a bit of beach we explored on the way back to White Sound

On Saturday we decided it was time to shake that mooring ball off and set off for some new scenery so we headed out to Manjack Cay and anchored in the bay between Manjack and Crab Cay. There were several other boats there but it seemed like a nice place to be so after setting the anchor we took off in the dinghy to explore. We headed to the Atlantic side where there was a nice beach for me to do some beachcombing and plenty of rock formations for Dirk to hunt around. We ended up staying for a while and when Dirk returned empty handed to shore he was enthused that he had seen so much beautiful sea life even though he missed snagging dinner. We made our way back slowly through the little harbor behind Crab Cay as the tide was now settling on the low side. At one point we both had to exit the dinghy and drag it behind us. Once we hit deeper water again I hopped back in and Dirk tied himself off so he could slowly swim back to the boat with me in tow while he checked out the sea life on the bottom. The only thing that was abundant was sea urchins and sea biscuits and it was unreal to see how many dead ones were in one area, sometimes there were up to ten. So I got Dirk to retrieve some sea biscuits and we headed back to the boat where Dirk did the task of cleaning the bottom.
Here is one of the sea biscuits Dirk retrieved for me. My hand in the pic to show the size.

Here is a Star fish, AKA Cushion Star. They are all over the place and yes we put it back in the water. I don't believe in killing something just to have a trophy.

It’s been a while since the bottom has been cleaned so it’s nice to have that done. He also tackled the bottom of the dinghy which has become green with algae. That evening the winds picked up as predicted and it was a very rolly evening with us up every so often checking the anchor alarm making sure we weren’t slipping back into that limestone rock wall that makes up so much of the Bahamas. The next morning we pulled anchor and headed back to Green Turtle opting to stay in Black Sound this time. The winds coming down were sometimes clocked at 23 knots right off the nose so it wasn’t bad but as we entered Black Sound it seemed they were funneling down the length which made picking up the mooring ball quiet the challenge but it got done none the less. We will be here for a couple days before we head back to Marsh Harbor where depending on winds and weather we will decided our next course of action.

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