Friday, March 11, 2011


We had arrived in Spanish Wells on the 23rd of February and picked up one of the two remaining mooring balls that Bandit the Harbor master had available. Apparently he was a hot commodity as daily the radio would buzz with people hoping to perhaps be the first to grab one if someone would leave. Each morning just like clockwork Bandit would come by at 7::30 and knock on your boat to collect the night’s fees of $15.00. He would usually chat a bit and Dirk chatted about fishing & lobster trying to pull some local fishing knowledge out of him. Not much luck was had but he would keep trying. We finally decided to be smart and pay him for a day in advance; perhaps we could sleep in tomorrow. The next morning, rap, rap, rap, “Good Morning” I peeked out the port hole and said “Didn’t we pay you for two days yesterday?” He agreed we had but “He just thought we would be awake so he stopped by to talk” At this point we had been on the mooring for 5 days and perhaps he felt we had earned some information as he let Dirk in on some spots to lobster. Enough said….Before Bandit was finished making his rounds Dirk had the dinghy loaded and was ready to go. A couple hours later we returned to the boat with 4 lobsters. One of which was the 2nd largest caught by Dirk. Thanks Bandit…. 3 spiny lobster, 1 slipper lobster, and 1 conch was the days haul

While in Spanish Wells we met two new cruising couples, Dan & Ruth from s/v Evensong a beautiful large Catamaran and Chris & Irina from m/v Auriga, a huge trawler. The first evening we met Evensong and got to know each other over sun downers in their very large cockpit. The following evening Auriga came in so we had both couples over to Tybee Time and her cozy cockpit. Evensong provided a fresh conch salad, Auriga a nice chilled bean soup and of course Dirk made up a large batch of conch fritters. One really great thing I like about cruising is the fact you can meet a total stranger, yet feel comfortable enough to invite them for cocktails usually all within a few minutes after meeting them. Everyone has a different story to tell yet at this time we are all writing on the same page. It doesn’t matter how big and fancy ones boat is, how much money one may or may not have but the willingness to learn from each other as we all have the same desire. To grab life and squeeze every last bit of living you can get from it. Have I mentioned before, I love this life?

On Monday the 28th we decided it was time to go so we slipped off the mooring, stopped at Pinder’s market for fuel & water and then we were off. As we pulled away from the dock one of our bumpers came off the lifeline and slipped into the water. Dangit, not so easy just to swing the boat around and pick it up so Dirk slowed back, I took the helm as he jumped into the dinghy, untied it, put the motor down and sped off to retrieve it as I puttered on down the harbor. Soon enough he was back with the bumper on board, Ah….that’s about $40.00 bucks he just saved us. We headed down to current cut and anchored by the beach along with 3 other boats to wait on tide change so we would have the least amount of trouble getting through the cut. It’s not called current cut for no reason. If you don’t time it correctly you can get yourself into trouble as the current sweeping through there can rip. Power boats have an easier time as they have the ability to power through if the current is against them. Sailboats on the other hand just don’t have the ability so we have to wait. Once we made it to the other side we made tracks to Hatchet Bay. We really enjoyed this place last year and the government has about 10 free mooring balls to tie up to as holding in the “pond” as they call it is less than desirable. You may have to provide your own rope as ours came only with the mooring ball and a shackle on top. As Dirk lay on the front of the boat next to the anchor, line in hand, I maneuvered the boat to the ball as he reached down and fed the line through. Wow, first try…As soon as we tied up the boat next to us s/v Katarina who had been travelling with us told us dinner was at six as they had caught a snapper on the trip today. Like I said before, what a great life. At six, us and the other boat that had made the trip to Hatchet all met for sun downers and a wonderful dinner of snapper on the grill, and rosemary potatoes. After a couple bottles of wine we all said our goodbyes and headed home. Sleep came easy as it had been a long day. The two other boats took off the next day to head further south but we elected to stay for a couple more days and wait out the weather we had coming. I knew there was someplace to do laundry and a small market to replenish our fresh veggies at so it would be a productive stop. Last year here for us also scored us lots of pretty sea glass so of course we had to hit the beach. Its quiet a hike across the island down a semi paved road that turns into a dirt road, past the animals grazing at large, which then turns into a path which then turns into, well you get the idea, its a long hike.
We found several nice pieces but it wasn't the jack pot of a beach as it was last year. Oh well, I still scored some nice ones. As we headed back to the dinghy we stopped by Francis & Gina's place, The Front Porch to have a beer. We had met the couple last year and they were great so we wanted to stop in and say hello again this year. They remembered Dirk, said he had that face...We decided to make reservations for dinner the following evening as they will cook whatever it is you want or you can order from a standard menu. We arrived at 6:30 electing to sit on the porch overlooking the bay where a nice table had been set for us. Apparently we were the only dinner patrons for the night, nice....We started off with a Kalik (beer of the Bahamas) while our dinner was being prepared. Dirk had ordered the T-bone and I the chicken. Francis asked how I wanted it prepared and I said " just do what you do". Our salads came out and as everyone that cruises the Bahamas knows, you don't get much fresh produce and greens here. I don't know how, but the salad was made up of several greens and tasted so incredibly fresh. Some of which we saw him picking fresh from his small herb garden. Dinner was served along with incredible broccoli and carrots and to die for rosemary potatoes. Dirk's steak was cooked raw to perfection like he likes it and my plate arrived with an entire half of chicken spilling over the sides. Doesn't look like I will be going hungry tonight. Everything was so incredible we couldn't or didn't want to speak as we were too busy enjoying every bite. After our plates were cleaned we elected to indulge and have dessert which for the evening was homemade cheesecake ice cream atop a homemade mango glaze and covered in a berry reduction sauce. Ummmmm Ummmmm Ummmm we think we are in heaven. All in all we both agreed that this was a five star meal and the best we had ever had. Kudos to Francis & Gina from The Front Porch, if you are ever on Eleuthera it will be well worth the trip to see them. You will not be let down.
The Front Porch from our bow
After six days we decided it was time to make the 15 mile run down to Governors Harbour. Last year when we were here it took us about an hour to anchor the boat as you may find a sandy spot but to get your hook to set is another story. Even the cruising guides note the poor holding as there is about 4 inches of sand covering what they call marl? which is a hard surface your anchor will just slide around on. Not good if you have any notable winds. There are moorings in the anchorage which are government owned but chances of locating them due to nothing being above water is slim to none. As Dirk was in the Dinghy with the looky bucket searching for the concrete block under the water he spied a floating bottle and went to investigate. Lo & Behold someone had attached a bottle to the line thus giving us a way to pick it up without having to dive under to place a line ourselves. Later that evening we are on the Internet and a fellow boater who is now in George Town asked us if the buoy he attached to the mooring was still there. Ha, lucky us, Thanks Chris. We were the only boat besides the locals in the harbor so it made for a quiet evening. The only sounds waking us were the roosters in the early morning hours. The following morning found us making our way to Rock Sound where we were to stage for the crossing to the Exumas the following morning. It was a calm afternoon as we pulled in, the water looking like glass. Dirk headed into town to score some last minute veggies and some fuel for the crossing. Later he came back and said he spotted a restaurant and we would go in for a bite to eat. We got cleaned up and headed into the dinghy dock not having any problems finding a seat as we were the only patrons we selected a table overlooking the harbor and had a wonderful meal along with some Kalik's.

Here is a shot taken from our dining table

Tybee Time against the sunset as we headed home.

The next morning we headed out to Highborne Cay Exuma and that reader is where I will leave off until I am lucky enough to get working Internet once again.

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