Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Week 17: Jan. 23-28, 2013 (Day 113-119)

Week 17:

Wed. Jan 23, 2013—Day 113:
Destination:  Georgetown
Winds:  E 15-20K                      Seas:  1-2 ft.
Weather:  cloudy, a rain shower—I not very often have had to leave out the word sun

Monument Beach, Stocking Island on a good day
A rain shower at 0400 hrs. had us scrambling to close hatches & ports & cockpit enclosure; slept lightly afterwards.  Chris talked of the cold front from the Abacos reaching Central & Southern Bahamas today on his SSB broadcast, with strong northerly winds continuing through Fri. afternoon; well it started earlier after the morning rain & gusted & howled throughout the day.  Day 3 of yoga & started to feeling more comfortable with the moves.  Graeme did an engine oil change in my absence.  We started finding new storage homes to clear the aft cabin for our guests.  Joe Frost (Gemini) arrived in Georgetown yesterday afternoon & contacted us this am.  He was having dinghy engine problems, brought it to Minns this am & this aft Graeme dinghied him to town from his boat anchored at Monument Beach.  They both arrived back here wet to the gills.  We had sometime catching up with his news.  Otherwise it was a day of reading in the cockpit, watching boats around us at anchor & the weather, just too wet of a day to be out running around in the dinghy.  There was only a single conch blower heard when the sun set behind the landmass with a brief time of red evening sky.  The east wind continued to blow & howl, the wind generator worked overtime  the night was quite bright because of the ¾ moon in a partially clear sky with stars.

Thurs. Jan. 24, 2013—Day 114:
Destination:  Georgetown
Winds:  E to NE then NE to NNE 12-20K with frequent bursts of over 20K            Seas:  1-2 ft.
Weather:  partly sunny & cloudy

Atlantic Shore of Stocking Island 
Not encouraging weather report for several more days per SSB & later confirmed on Wind Alert.  Another yoga morning with great attendance despite the wind conditions.  Only minimal housecleaning but Graeme requested a haircut (#2).  Then early in the afternoon we dinghied to town; surprisingly a dry ride across the harbour surfing on the waves.  The waves increased closer to Kidd Cove.  I bought only a minimum of groceries at Exuma Markets, a very brief time checking emails at Eddies, checked the Corner Laundromat hours (M- Sat. 0830-1630 hrs.), another case of beer & bank withdrawal for Graeme at Scotiabank.  We saw Joe being towed into Lake Victoria to Minns; ? fuel pump.  ‘Moma Cal’ moved to Exuma Docking Marina ($2.00 per ft., electricity $20.00 per day) as they were awaiting the arrival of family guests this evening.  Then it was a VERY wet dinghy ride home.  ‘Kathrian’ invited us over for some socializing as we really had not seem much of them for a few days.  And not such a wet ride over or back, but the temps dropped after sunset.  A minimal red sky tonight but a bright night sky due to a near full moon despite the clouds.

Fri. Jan. 25, 2013—Day 115:
Destination:  Georgetown
Winds:  ENE to E 13-18K, gusts 20K+               Seas: 1-2 ft.
Weather:  mostly cloudy unfortunately with a few sunny periods in the afternoon, H=87F & L=66F

Yoga Classes on Volley Ball Beach by this sign
We didn’t lose much sleep despite the high winds howling with the occasional very brief periods of no howling & light winds; in fact we woke up unusually late & caught Chris already in progress.   A large number of us attended yoga; it was quite cool on the beach & the dinghy ride there & back was amazingly dry.  Doug’s family guests arrived & happy campers there.  Joe’s dinghy engine problems continued despite all the new replacement parts & labour at Minns (expensive); he tried to purchase a new Suzuki 6hp 4 stroke engine from the marine past Red Shanks yesterday but the credit card machine was not working; with persistence today the transaction was approved so the purchase was made.  Graeme followed Joe from his boat at Monument Beach to town & didn’t the old engine quit just as he was approaching the dock.  In the meantime with the change of wind direction + the trawler to our port put out a 2nd anchor 1-2 days ago , we were no longer swinging similarly & coming too close for my liking.  I contacted Graeme to get back here ASAP as I could not do anything on my own & I could not hail the trawler on VHF.  He was drenched on arrival & assured me all was O.K.  Then suddenly the occupants of the trawler came outside.  They were very amiable & understood my concern & said they would readjust their anchors; by evening with the wind clocking from ENE to E we were now directly in front of them & over their anchor.  No social tonight but we met ‘Kathrian’, ‘Sea Camp’, E2Motion’ & ‘Slow Flight’ at Chat’n Chill & Joe arrived as well.  Unfortunately it was too far, too lumpy & too wet a ride to attend the Department of Tourism Appreciation Party at Peace & Plenty.  Quite cool tonight & a somewhat wet ride home.  I never saw a decrease in winds this aft as Chris predicted.  I phoned Mom tonight. No red sky; bright night with a very near full moon & stars visible in the clear patches of sky between the cloud patches.

Sat. Jan. 26, 2013—Day 116:
Destination:  Georgetown
Winds:  E 12-20K                               Seas:  1-2 ft.
Weather:  sunny & cloudy periods

Some of the boats anchoring off Stocking Island
The winds & seas calmed down a bit during the night.  I woke at 0400 hrs. & had the full moon shining in the starboard deck window + a large anchor light from the trawler behind us shining in the companionway.  SSB & Cruisers Net at 0630 hrs. & 0800 hrs. respectively.  Yoga at 0900 hrs., then with the laundry sorted & organized, computer in backpack bagged & garbage we set off for shore.  3 washers ($2.50 ea) & 2 dryers ($4.00 ea X 40 min.)—Total= $19.50.  I was able to do a little work on emails at Eddies between loads, then we attended St. Theresa’s Catholic Church fund raising BBQ lunch ($10.00 ea) for steak/chicken huge backed potato, corn & salad with Joe, Ted & Ginnie (Fire Cracker—Saga 43); ‘Kathrian’ & ‘Sea Camp’ finished as we arrived.  We introduced our lunch guests to Shop Rite & purchased long life milk, then a round of beers at Bikini Bottoms.  A VERY wet dinghy ride home but only the pillowcases, the bottom of the laundry trolley & the bottom outside of my backpack got a little wet.  We were a bear for punishment—we donned our wet foul weather gear back on & met the ‘Moma Cal’ clan & Joe at Chat ’n Chill & fed & played with the rays again.  Once home we both showered.  We did not take note of the sunset sky, but officially it was full moon tonight, therefore it was very bright, fleeting clouds + stars.

Sun. Jan. 27, 2013—Day 117:
Destination:  Georgetown
Winds:  E 10-20K                                   Seas:  1 ft.
Weather:  sunny & blue sky

Beach Worship
A sleep in morning & a glorious sunny day.  Net at 0800 hrs. & Beach Worship at 0930 hrs.; so well attended again this Sunday & just as warm & welcoming.  Thank you Chip, Elena & John for the ride there & back & your warm hugs.  A number of boats were changing their location today.  SCT Barber Shop set up shop for a brief time; just simple clean up jobs for Joe & Jack’s hair in the neck area below their hairlines & Graeme showed Jack how to trim his beard with the electric trimmer.  We sited turtles swimming around the boat just before we were off in our dinghies with Joe to Sand Dollar Beach.  No sand dollars but we hiked the Cliff Path, Sally’s Path & Lavender Path to the caves & blow holes X 2 hrs.; not the blow holes of Warderick Wells.  Then to Volleyball Beach where there was lots of people & activity.  We met the NSC gang & others for some socializing.  We got home just before sundown.  The chop was slightly less this evening & there was a magnificent red sky.  By darkness the winds were blowing & howling 15-20K, so the wind generator was having a hay day.  In fact between the sun & solar panels & the 15-20K for most of these winter days & the wind generator,  Graeme has been very pleased with the charge of the batteries.  Nevertheless we are careful & conservative.  A starry night with a bright moon.

Mon. Jan. 28, 2013—Day 118:
Destination:  Georgetown
Winds:  E 15+K to ESE 10-12K                         Seas:  1 ft. with 2 ft. rollers, calming to < 1 ft. chop
Weather:  sunny & blue sky

The Ottawa Gang (except one)
As usual the day began with SSB at 0630 hrs., followed by breakfast & the Net at 0800 hrs.  And after a day of rest it was back to yoga at 0900 hrs. while Graeme changed a fan belt that we dug out from the back of the garage; it was nearly totally destroyed.  I spent the rest of the morning removing stuff from the aft cabin for our guests.   Just after noon we dinghied down to Monument Beach; 9 of us hiked Isis Path, Nev’s Trail to Nev’s Beach (long, no sea glass, no beans & only tiny shells); I detoured up the Slide to the Monument & back to the beach.  At the private homes we turned around & hiked Marie’s Path to Intrepid Path (steep) to the Monument—a spectacular view, then back to the dinghies, where we stood in the water chatting & watching 3 boats arriving.  Could one be ‘Second Option’?  Joe & Ginnie & Ted met Terri & Bill at Staniel Cay.  All the bars were closed till 1800 hrs. today as it was election day in the Bahamas, even Double D here on Monument Beach.  Joe & I dinghied out to see if the center cockpit Hunter that anchored off Monument was ‘Second Option’, but it was not.  To ‘Firecracker’ (Saga 43) & given a tour—lovely.  To ‘Gemini’ for a black & stormy & a few nibblies until the sun had set behind the cloud & landmass.  Joe started the conch blowers in this part of the anchorage.  We declined supper but were sent home with homemade cookies, the seas had calmed so the ride was not a wet one as expected.  Another magnificent red sky, then a diminishing full moon & clear starry night sky.

Tues. Jan. 29, 2013— Day 119:
Destination:  Georgetown
Winds:  E 15K with gusts to 20K                          Seas:  1-2 ft. with 2 ft. rollers
Weather:  sunny

Mike McGoldrick & Josh Rausson--Azeroth
The persistent windy conditions were getting a bit depressing.  At least there were no westerlies predicted & not losing any sleep, but we would like to move on once our guests arrive tomorrow & after Super Bowl Sunday.  I have enjoyed yoga; at least it was an hour of stretches & relaxation & not thinking about being wet & salty & tracking salt on & into the boat.  We had a good dry ride into town mid am, refilling 2 jerry cans of water, garbage, few groceries & emails, some of relieved & happy news & not so happy news about friends.  The ride home mid afternoon was quite the opposite.  The dinghy was filling with salt water as we hit waves upon waves that cascaded in.  Groceries & backpack with laptop were covered with plastic within plastic.  As Graeme drove facing forwards I sat with my back to the bow & continuously sponged water from the dinghy floor; the waves won.  The aft cabin was completely cleaned & freed of “stuff” & fresh linens laid out.  Arrangements were made for a social at Chat ‘n Chill; Joe joined us, ‘E 2 Motion’ & even Mike & Josh, who had returned from a few days in Rudder Cut Cay, Little Darby, Williams Cay & Childrens Bay Cay area, catching a mahi mahi nearing Conch Cut, but ‘Moma Cal’ never showed.  I missed the sunset.  It seemed slightly less windy driving home.  A darker night as the moon was rising later & less full, so the stars were more brilliant in the clear night sky.                                                       

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Week 16: Jan. 16-22, 2013 (Day 106-112)

Week 16:

Wed. Jan. 16, 2013—Day 106:
Destination:  Little Farmers Cay to Rudders Cut Cay
Departure:  0940 hrs.                          Arrival:  1145 hrs.                           Distance:  approx. 9 NM
Winds:  E 12-16K; SE 13-18K after sunset                       Seas:  1-2 ft. chop
Weather:  cloud rain showers cloud with sunny breaks mainly sunny

Musha Cay
Piano & Mermaid at Rudder Cay
I woke at about 0200 hrs. as the sea state had changed & became a little bouncy; also I started calculating when low tide was next & if we would touch bottom this time, but fortunately not.  There was a change in the weather forecast especially for those waiting to cross from Florida & in the Abacos on SSB this morning.  We planned our departure to coincide with a rising tide as we were taking a shallow VPR (visual piloting rule) route to our destination today.  A great 30 min. sail with the jenny on a close reach (5.7-6.3K) via the deep route from the anchorage to Big Farmers waypoint, then we had to turn east or port toward Galliot Cay so had to roll the sail in. Then we turned to starboard past Big Galliot Cay to Cave Cay.  We had a good view of the sea state on the Sound as we crossed Galliot Cut; very doable & tempting!  But we really wanted to see the many very small Exuma Cays that I have only read about even though most are private.  Cay (a narrow but marked channel into the marina—hurricane hole) then Musha Cay, absolutely stunning waters & palm community with resorts & homes, all private.  We completed our VPR route at Rudder Cut Cay, also impressive with it’s beaches & caves but also private, anchoring in the 2nd anchorage in 12 ft. water & 100 ft. chain.  The passage today was done on a rising near high tide & the least depth we saw was 10 ft.  It was a good thing we arrived when we did as now 9 boats were anchored in the vicinity.  ‘Moma Cal’ invited us for drinks & nibbles at 1230 hrs.; lots of chatter & laughs & book exchanges.  The crew from ‘Truansea’ dinghied over from Little Darby anchorage where many of “the gang” were anchored—no more room; they mentioned a very neat snorkeling treasure close by.  So before it got too late Jack, Bud & I grabbed our snorkeling gear & cameras & checked out this special snorkeling site.  Low & behold, we found a stainless steel baby grand piano & bench & mermaid just offshore not far from Rudder Cay Cut!  How cool!  A quick shower then to ‘Sea Camp’ for Happy Hour & watching the sunset which was obscured by clouds, but a good orangey sky did follow.  A well defined ¼ moon, some cloud, lots of clear sky & stars+++ were visible tonight.

Noon Hour Happy Hour 

Thurs. Jan. 17, 2013—Day 107:
Destination:  Rudder Cut Cay to Williams Cay
Departure:  0915 hrs.                      Arrival:  1145 hrs.                              Distance:  approx. 9 NM
Winds:  SE to S to E 8-11K                 Seas:  0 to minimum waves, 2-3 ft. swells with occasional 4 ft.
Weather:  sun heavy dark clouds sprinkle of rain cloud with some sun rain X 2 min. mostly sun with some cloud

Rays at Childrens Cay
The winds through the night had calmed by morning; a bright start to the day.  SSB received at 0630 hrs. but very interrupted reception from Blue Yonder; SE winds were predicted to moderate today as well as the sea & even more tomorrow.  ‘Moma Cal’, ‘Kathrian’ & ourselves decided to give a departure a try, but ‘Sea Camp’ decided to wait until tomorrow instead & meet up with us in Georgetown tomorrow.  We put a general call out & received favourable feedback from ‘Hey Jude’ out on Exuma Sound.  It was a rising tide, therefore a 3K current against us going out Rudder Cut, but very doable & not uncomfortable.  Out on Exuma Sound there were no to minimal waves & just 1-3 ft. swells with an occasional 4 footer.  We were able to motorsail with a 10-11K wind for a short time until the wind dropped & shifted on our nose as weather & clouds came & went.  The first rain cloud passed to our west, but there was a good shower in the anchorage we had left according to Bud.  In the distance we saw a squall like cloud, which for the most part also passed us to the west; there was no wind in it, just very calm & 2 min. of rain as we approached Adderley Cut.  Also there was a dark cloud at our stern to the north & this current cloud appeared to be moving also whence we came.  It was quite a gentle passage in past the awash rocks at Adderley Cut & good depths.  Some sailboats were anchored off Leaf Cay to starboard.  We motored to port around & past the Caribbean Marine Research Center on Lee Stocking Island & could hear the sound of birds singing, a sound I have not heard in a while; we understand the research center may be closed due to lack of funds, but mooring balls still in place.  Instead we moved down the lovely shoreline with it’s sandy beaches  here & there & anchored in near 9 ft water & 80 ft. chain.  Graeme lowered the dinghy & topped up the boat’s diesel tank (shy of 2 gal.).  We explored the south end of Williams Cay, across the shallow, gorgeous, unbelieveably clear & unimaginable pristine colour of aqua water between Wiilimas & Childrens Bay Cays, where we saw large groups of rays, near 20 in total; we visited ‘Fair Winds’ anchored here; Louiselle even trimmed the back of my hair.  On our return trip we ventured up a dredged basin of a perspective marina on Childrens Bay Cay, travelled along it’s west shoreline & the west shores of Williams Cay, making a close pass of a couple of sandy beaches.  We were invited onto ‘Valda IV’  (Tom & Mary), a 34 ft. catamaran.   ‘Sweet Chariot Too’ hosted Happy Hour & yes, we saw our 2nd green flash at sunset!  A glorious red sky, calm+++, clear night sky & stars+++.

Jack cleaning coconuts

Fri. Jan. 18, 2013—Day 108:   
Destination:  Williams Cay to Stocking Island-Georgetown
Departure:  0850 hrs.                    Arrival:  1350 hrs.                              Distance:  approx. 25.1 NM
Winds:  N 1-3K, increased to 4-6K, then NE 10-12K + gusts by evening   Seas:  gentle rollers only
Weather:  warm+++, brilliant sun & only clouds in the periphery 

Amazing blue of  Exuma Sound
I can’t remember such calmness during the night & in the am.  It has been so long, I would have to refer to my records.  Looking through the wide open hatch during the night & predawn, the stars & milky way were spectacular.  The sound of birds in the early morning hours was so delightful; large fish, probably a ray jumped out of the waterclose by shore twice, although I was not quick enough to see but just heard the splash & saw the rippled water.  Calm weather conditions were forecasted for today with increase  winds by the evening.  A flotilla of boats were heard leaving Rudder Cut Cay & Little Darby Cay; in contact with ‘Truansea’ & ‘Sea Camp’.  On a rising tide we slowly motored W & S of Windsock Cay (8ft.), SW of Childrens Bay Cay (20 ft.) between Rat Cay & Pigeon Cay (24 ft.).  There was a 1-2K current against us motoring out of Rat Cay Cut that was calm, no breaking waves & no waves in Exuma Sound, only long gentle rollers + a long flotilla of boats ahead & especially behind us.  ‘Moma Cal’ & ‘Kathrian’ peeled off & filled their boats with fuel & water in Emerald Bay Marina ($1.00/ ft. with free WiFi & laundry); perfect sea conditions to enter their cut.  The N winds increased just shy of the Conch Cay waypoint, the turn in point to the route into Elizabeth Harbour.  We first set anchor in Kidd Cove, right by Georgetown but the water depth was only 7.4 ft. at high tide & no northerly protection.  We reanchored X 2 in 18 ft. & 100ft. chain off Black Point, between Volleyball Beach & Sand Dollar Beach off Stocking Island across from Georgetown.  Once the dinghy was set we crossed Elizabeth Harbour for Georgetown where we met some catamaran friends from Staniel Cay & browsed through Exuma Markets, liquor stores, hardware store & topped my Bahamian phone with $50.00 worth of minutes.  The north winds had increased to 10-12K with increasing consistent gusts of 15K.  An enjoyable time & dinner was spent with Cherry & Doug & others were frequently have travelled with.  I missed the sunset but the night sky was mostly clear with ½ moon & stars galore.

Sat. Jan. 19, 2013—Day 109:
Destination:  Stocking Island-Georgetown
Winds:  NE to E 8-10K                            Seas:  <1 ft.
Weather:  partly cloudy, partly sunny, comfortable temps

It was SSB at 0630 hrs. & Georgetown Cruisers Net on VHF 72 at 0800 hrs.  Herman on ‘White Wing‘ was emcee.  At 0745 hrs. he made an announcement on VHF 16 & 68 re the net at 0800 hrs.  He announced to many of us newcomers that VHF 68 is the usual channel of hailing boats in Georgetown.  This year I found the net more businesslike & succinct than in the past, only lasting 30 min.  Slowly we readied ourselves to going ashore with 2 empty water jerry cans, after Graeme had emptied them into the boat tank, shopping list, computer, garbage, & money.  First task was filling the jerry cans of free water, compliments of Exuma Markets & left them in the dinghy. Graeme went to the Scotiabank ATM.  Haircut  for me at Tranees ($15.00), then we browsed through shops & the straw market, & looked for internet as far as Peace & Plenty, whose WiFi cost $5.00 X 1 hour; no internet at the library (hours M-S 1000 to 1200 hrs.). Pett’s Place was closed but sign indicated internet was $5.00 X 1st hour + $3.00 per additional hour, no internet at Exuma Markets (secured now).  Jack discovered internet at the Medical Clinic & Cherry had access anchored in Kidd Cove.  We walked to Eddies Restaurant; good internet (Edgewater) & had a late lunch.  While Graeme browsed through his emails after I was done with mine & posted my blog minus pictures, I did some grocery shopping next door at the Shop Rite, a more local’s store.  A slightly wet dinghy ride home at 1600 hrs.  Then we both just read in the cockpit until sunset until the lighting was too dark.  One cannot see a complete sunset at Georgetown as it is located on the east side of Great Exuma Island.  But there were a few conch blowers in the anchorages & a lovely red sky. Tonight the ½ moon was bright & the skies were lightly but partly cloudy that cleared later in the night & stars.

Sun. Jan. 19, 2013—Day 109:
Destination:  Stocking Island-Georgetown
Winds:  E to SE 8K                        Seas:  <1 ft.
Weather:  sun & blue sky

Only Georgetown Cruisers Net at 0800 hrs. was available to us.  I attended the Beach Worship (non denominational) at 0930 hrs. at Volleyball Beach; terrific, warm & interactive; special intentions for Linda MacDonald & Kelly Buckley.  A social took place afterwards.  In the meantime Graeme did some dinghy exploring down to Hamburger & Monument Beaches.  Then together we did a dinghy tour of the hurricane holes #1, 2 & 3 of Stocking Island & St. Francis Marina & Resort; met tourists from Constance Bay.  After lunch we dinghied across Elizabeth Harbour to return a loaned book to Josh, ‘Azeroth’ & into Georgetown for water, gas & email, just sitting outside Pett’s Place.  Mid afternoon we dinghied to Chat ’n Chills for their Sunday pig roast ($20.00) & the 1st NFL playoff game between Atlanta & San Francisco.  A red sky after sunset, a sudden onset of a dark rain cloud with only sprinkles, then clear skies with ½ moon & stars. 

Mon. Jan. 21, 2013—Day 111:

Destination:  Georgetown
Winds:  E-SE-S-SW-E 5K                          Seas:  <1 ft.
Weather:  glorious sunny day with brief rain shower about noon

Flat calm during the night & upon rising.  Chris’ forecast for the day proved to be correct—light & variable.  We listened at the Net as well.  Several attended yoga on Volleyball Beach at 0900 hrs.; the instructor & program was very good.  Graeme in the meantime went to town for ?.  I had to take a dip into the lovely water after yoga as the sand from the beach was sticking to me.  Other adventures of the day included getting another island book from Josh (Azeroth), buying fresh fruit at Exuma Markets, dropping an empty propane tank at Forbes for next day pick up, a visit to the Department of Tourism, Batelco office & internet at Eddies.  We had a sudden onset of rain shower about noon; this was the 1st time we left the hatches open but it seemed that it may not have rained in the anchorage but only in town as everything was dry.  We took a long dinghy exploring trip along the NE shore of Rolle Cay, in & around Crab Cay, under the lovely Crab Cay Bridge & around George Devine Cay & Red Shanks anchorage; in so doing we were also looking for a new, better & less expensive laundromat we were told about in the vicinity than Corner Laundromat in town but were unsuccessful.  A spectacular sunset sky tonight.  We invited Cherry & Doug over for just a simple spaghetti dinner; a great evening with old friends.  And we were still up after 2200 hrs.  An equally spectacular night sky; flat calm, stars+++ & 2/3 moon.

Tues. Jan. 22, 2013—Day 112:
Destination:  Georgetown
Winds:  S to SW then by evening W                         Seas:  calm
Weather:  sunny, occasional cloud, warm & comfortable temps

I guess we will be in Georgetown for a while longer; (1) guests are arriving Jan. 30th, & (2) weather on SSB, NOAA, Nassau Net, & Wind Alert were predicting a strong & lengthy cold front with northerly winds arriving later today.  Crusiers Net surprisingly has continued to be streamlined & concise.  Yoga on Volleyball Beach with good attendance at 0900 hrs.—back & joint class, followed by another skinny dip sea bath to get rid of sand.  Then across the pond to town for water, a can of gas, a short internet session including lunch at Eddies & to pick up the refilled propane tank at Forbes ($15.00); new propane place in town with wait & fill service not far from Palm Bay Resort & “very reasonable prices”.  Graeme saw a shark under the dinghy as we were scooting across the harbour; the water was flat calm.  We explored more by dinghy in the afternoon-- to hurricane hole #1 (2 houseboats), to the lagoon with private homes around the perimeter, beached the dinghy & walked up the hill to the main beach—miles of glorious white sand both of the baby powder nature & coarser, tons of tiny shells, gently crashing waves & so few people, then to Volleyball Beach where the conch shack is set up.  Here we touched & photographed friendly rays that would swim up to you & brush against you, eat conch from your hand; they felt like soft suede.  Mike McGoldrich arrived at evening time as a guest on ‘Azeroth’, so Josh hosted a social on his cat; we all brought nibblies & we got to sample some of the mackerel he caught & coconut curry rice.  There was a red sky & clouds after sunset; a clear star filled night sky & 2/3 moon.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Week 15: Jan. 9-15, 2013 (Day 99-105)

Week 15:

Wed. Jan 9, 2013—Day 99:
Destination:  Black Point
Winds:  E 15-25K with gusts especially after sunset upper 20’s           Seas:  near 1 ft. chop
Weather:  mix of sun & cloud, warm & less humid        

The Girls at Work

And the Boys Concept of Work

The easterly winds kicked up sometime during the night, but it was interesting that there were cyclical, brief periods of much calmer winds then back to the howling gusts.  The winds remained strong with white crested chop all day, maybe slight moderation in the afternoon, but increased significantly after sunset.  Also of interest was the little number of boats who called into Chris Parker after his synopsis & forecasted weather yesterday & today; I guess most boats were staying put for this prolonged blow till next week.  About 1100 hrs. we dinghied to shore & connected up to the net for some emails but finally posted pictures on my blog for the last 4 weeks, a very time consuming job.  Now I see that since I have increased the prose to the template of my blog, pictures etc. are not set up as attractively as I have in draft; another project when I get back to Ottawa.  Cherry was at Lorraine’s doing real work & laundry, & Jack & Donna did projects on board before coming to shore to do internet & laundry.  I was glad Jack checked our Wind Alert as I had forgotten to do so.  Later in the afternoon once the day’s projects were done we collected at De Shamons for a drink, then continued Happy Hour till 2000 hrs. on ‘Kathrian’.  The wind was quite fierce & perhaps it appeared so because the night was so black, which added to the eeriness.  No moon, amazing stars & howling winds.

Thurs. Jan. 10, 2013—Day 100:

Winds:  E 15K & gusts to 20K                               Seas:  white crested 1 ft. chop & rollers
Weather:  mostly sunny, few clouds, warm

Terrible, scratchy reception by Chris this morning & very late broadcast as well.  While the tide was high we went ashore to fill 2 jerry cans of water from the town spigot, emptying 1-1/2 cans into the boat tank & to shore again to refill 1 jerry can.  Late morning we arrived at De Shamons & got Graeme set up to do emails while I walked X 1-1/2 hrs. to the north end of the island & checked the beach for sea beans on the return route.  We sat & talked to Jackie & Roger (‘Audacious’) over the lunch hour.  The mailboat was in Staniel Cay this am & finally arrived here at about 1400 hrs.  There was a line up at Atterley’s; people had been waiting an hour while they were still unloading supplies from the mailboat.  We went home for lunch then returned 1-1/2 hrs. later for some fresh veggies & fruit; NEAR NO SUPPLIES LEFT!  To say the least, I was very disappointed; no butter, no ground beef, no bananas, poor pick of apples & tomatoes only.  I drowned my sorrow at Happy Hour at Scorpios with their 2 for 1 rum punches.  Kidding, only partly but shared conversation with treasured old friends & new friends.  We had a quick but substantial supper at home despite the late hour & too much rum.  Another dark night but amazing clear sky of stars+++.

Fri.  Jan. 11, 2013—Day 101:
Destination:  ancora Black Point
Winds:  E 15-20K                                              Seas:  1 ft. chop & rollers
Weather:  partly sunny & cloudy

Excellent SSB reception this am; what a difference a day makes.  And the best news was the improving/ moderating easterly wind conditions over the coming few days & week.  This was all supported by the weather report from ‘Blue Yonder’.  Extreme high & extreme low tides were observed today.  After breakfast it was a morning of cleaning the main cabin above the floor level, washing the cockpit cushions & cockpit & changing the bed linen.  As a departure day appears to be in sight, the laundry was organized & it was off to Rockside Laundromat late am; 3 loads of washing & 2 loads of drying ($17.50) + internet + charging cell phones, toothbrush & iPod.  Unfortunately the laundry was still damp after the drying cycle & required it to be spread throughout the boat.  An impromptu social lunch was held with Cherry & Doug.  Jack & Donna had relocated their boat to a more eastern, more protected part of Black Point.  Happy Hour again at Scorpios, but I was better behaved tonight.  We met friends of Dave & Wendy McConnell of Winnipeg (‘Sa’ Yes’).  Although another dark night with no moon, the stars in the clear sky were phenomenal.

Sat. Jan. 12, 2013—Day 102:
Destination:  Black Point—I sound like a broken record
Winds:  E 13-17K                        Seas:  1 ft. chop
Weather:  mostly cloudy but frequent sunny periods

Wow, another morning with good SSB reception & with news of improving, moderating trade winds.  There was a possibility of leaving tomorrow but most likely Mon.  The propane tank in use since Nov. 23 ran empty at breakfast.  We topped up the boat water tank with 1-1/4 jerry cans, washing the cockpit floor with some fresh water, then to shore to refill the jerry cans.  I purchased a raisin cinnamon bread, checked on a friend that required some medical attention at the Government Clinic, while Graeme added gas to the dinghy fuel tank, all in preparation of a departure soon.  Then the rest of the day was just relaxing & reading; one would have thought it was Sunday.  The mailboat returning to Nassau arrived near 1300 hrs. loading a car, empty propane tanks etc.  A Skipper’s Meeting was held at Lorraine’s to discuss our probable departure on Mon., slowly hop scotching down the chain to set ourselves up for the best day to go out into the Sound.  We saw less moderation of the winds although on Thurs. on Wind Alert than seen yesterday & this am.  Graeme & I watched a fabulous quarter final NFL game between Denver & Baltimore; Baltimore, the underdogs, won in the 2nd quarter of OT on a hail mary pass.  We dinghied home on a high tide on another dark night but stars galore above.

Sun. Jan. 13, 2013—Day 103:
Destination:  Black Point
Winds:  fresh E to ENE 10-15K during the day & NE at night     Seas:  1 ft. chop
Weather:  mainly sunny especially in the am with a few cloudy periods in the pm

No weather report this am as Blue Yonder’s source unavailable.  This was truly a Sunday, a day of rest; the only cleaning was that of the head.  I had a near 2 hr. walk out Kings Highway, past sections of corn gardens, to the beach on the Sound side, then onto Little Harbour on the Bank side.  On the Sound beach, 4-5 ft. white crested waves were crashing against rocks & shore; I combed the beach for sea glass, shells or beans but none.  There was only 1 sailboat & 1 trawler in Little Harbour; waters were very tranquil, no chop, powdery white sand & a boarded up windows on a building overlooking this harbour with a sign saying O’Briens Landing.  When I returned to the boat lots of boats had departed.  After lunch I laid on the deck reading while Graeme went to Lorraine’s to watch the 1st of today’s quarter final NFL games between Atlanta & Seattle; at half time he picked me up.  There were lots of people taking in Lorraine’s buffet supper ($15.00) + 2nd playoff game between New England & Houston.  I will surely miss this tomorrow.  Another dark night dinghing home, excellent conditions for star gazing.

Mon. Jan. 14, 2013—Day 104:
Destination:  Black Point to White Point, south beach
Departure:  1030 hrs.                           Arrival:  1210 hrs.                            Distance:
Winds:  E 11-14K until nighttime, then 15+k                           Seas:  minimal
Weather:  mostly sunny & some clouds 

SSB was good, except when a rude, ?? person was transmitting /downloading data, whatever on the same frequency on top of Chris; the winds are moderating over the coming days.  I went ashore with Cherry & Doug, laundry for them & to purchase more phone time minutes, but the office only open Tues. & Thurs.  So I skyped Mom instead with a great connection, emails & charged my laptop.  Jack & Donna did laundry & land showers ($4.00 X 8 mins.).  Many, many boats left yesterday but especially today & a new batch were arriving; good for the community.  I actually remembered how to up anchor.  Farewell Black Point!  It was a good motor sail with the jenny only at 5.5K; I suggested to continue sailing for a while before anchoring at White Point.  The anchor was set in sand, 11 ft. of water & 80 ft. of chain.  Then it was time to explore the white, sandy beach shoreline that has been so alluring in the past; the approach was ripply sand then grass to water’s edge that looked like a sopping wet shag rug on the falling tide; both semisoft & powdery white sand with 2 distinct rows of tons of tiny shells.  We discovered a huge falcon’s nest & a resident falcon.  A special sunset tonight; a definite green flash!  A red sky followed, increased E winds.  Lights from Little Farmers Cay were visible.  A dark night, no moon & partly cloudy sky with stars seen occasionally.

Tues. Jan. 15, 2013—Day 105:
Destination:  White Point (south beach) to Little Farmers Cay
Departure:  0945 hrs.                          Arrival:  1110 hrs.                           Distance:  approx. 6.5 NM
Winds:  E 10-18K                                  Seas:  minimal to 1 ft.
Weather:  partly sunny, some heavy dark clouds at times

The east trade winds remained in the 15K range all through the night & decreased a few knots after sunrise.  Weather was received both from SSB & Blue Yonder.  Jack was once again making bread before he departed; little did we know some was for ‘Moma Cal’ & us—can’t wait to try tomorrow morning!  We rolled the jenny out & motor sailed on a beam to close reach at 5.5-5.7K.  Dark threatening squall like clouds were in the vicinity of Little Farmers Cay; thankfully they moved off to the west before we got there.  We anchored on the west side of the cay, in line with the Batelco tower in 10 ft. water (at the time) & 80 ft. of chain, but with a current effect.  Once the dinghy was launched & motor was lowered down & fastened in place, ‘Moma Cal’, ‘Kathrian’, ‘Sea Camp’ & ourselves went ashore.  After a walk about from the west shore over the hill passed St. Mary’s Baptist Church (doors open for us to view—beautiful), along Little Harbour & up over another hilly road passed Little Farmers Cay All Age School, the Batelco Multipurpose Center & back to the starting point, we had lunch at Brenda’s Place, as all the windows were still boarded closed at Ocean Cabin.  After lunch we climbed up to Ocean Cabin now that the windows were open, but there was a $10.00 fee for internet.  Brenda & Tasha secretly told us that we could get internet at the school.  While the others had a drink or 2, Jack & I walked to the school, acquired the security key for internet access from the male teacher who asked us to share it with other cruisers as he knew the importance of communicating with family & the need for weather; how understanding is that!  The children were just finishing school; they stopped & very politely talked with us, answered out questions & let us take their picture in their uniforms & new backpacks they had received for Christmas; so precious!  Oh, & Wind Alert was predicting very favourable weather especially from Fri. through Tues.  We had to hurry back to the dinghies because a large black rain cloud was quickly advancing in our direction; it past mostly to the east in a northerly direction, so in the end we only had a brief shower.  It was now low tide & the dinghies were high & dry.  Also the water depth where we were anchored was only 5’6”!  A clouded sunset & calm, but the winds increased once it was dark & the anchorage became a little bouncy.  It was not as dark tonight, as a sliver of moon was visible + stars in a partially clouded sky.

FYI:  Little Farmers Cay was settled 165 years ago by freed slaves from Exuma.  It is 1-1/4 mi. long & 7/8 mi. wide.  The smaller bay is Little Harbour & the larger Big Harbour, separated by a piece of land called The Point.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Week 14: Jan 2-8, 2013 (Day 92-98)

Week 14:

Wed. Jan 2, 2013—Day 92:
Destination:  Staniel Cay to Black Point
Departure: 0820 hrs.                               Arrival:  1020 hrs.                                  Distance:  9.59 NM
Winds:  light & inmeasureable direction                                  Seas:  flat calm
Weather:  mostly sun & few clouds to brilliant wall to wall sun all pm

Black Point

It became flat calm during the night & the surroundings appeared like there was a light fog when the sun rose.  Good reception & good weather forecast by Chris on SSB X 1 week here in the central & SE Bahamas, whereas another cold front was to move to the Abacos on the weekend; we got weather from ‘Blue Yonder’ as well.  It was so calm that we could see the sandy bottom, full chain length & anchor; it came up with ease.  With less than 3K of wind it was a motor ride X 2 hrs. & so calm we could clearly see the rippled sandy seas floor, few tufts of grass now & again & starfish the entire way.  I called Mom when we were near the south end of Staniel Cay, in full view of the Batelco tower but the reception was good sometimes & times when I could not hear anything at all.  We anchored in the bay NE of the docks in 10-11 ft. of water & 100 ft. of chain.  At noon with laundry all sorted & organized, we dinghied to Rockside Laundromat ( 0900-2000 hrs.), the best, cleanest & most efficient laundromat in most of the coastal USA & all of the Bahamas; they have their own & appeared to be new dock with concrete steps right to the building.  It was high tide which made landing & unloading much easier.  I used 3 washers & 2 dryers ($3.50 per load X 5 loads= $17.50).  While the laundry was running it’s courses, I downloaded pictures from my camera, caught up on writing yesterday’s blog & afterwards discovered with much surprise that I had internet & a good connection at that.  It was kind of a waste of a most gorgeous day to be doing laundry but you don’t waste opportunities like this.  After laundry was stored away it was back to shore to walk, see if there were any changes as we walked along the main street (Stella).  We did a walk through Adderley’s Friendly Store (opened till 2000hrs.) & found out that the mailboat normally comes on Wed. but because of the holidays this week there was a run on Fri.  We had an early supper at De Shamon’s (Dennis & Diane); a most delicious pizza—ate half & rest home of another meal.  No-see-ums & mosquitoes were annoying because it was dead calm.  Tonight there were several boats anchored in the large anchorage.  The water was like glass, the night was so tranquil, the sky clear& filled with the magnificent stars of the milky way & a late moon rose. 

Thurs. Jan. 3, 2013—Day 93: 
Lorraine's Cafe
Destination:  Black Point
Winds:  E, about 10K                                    Seas:  < 1 ft.
Weather:  cloudy with a few scattered very light rain showers in the am & by noonish sunshine & blue skies

Happy Hour at Scorpios
A dull start to the day.  A good reception of weather on SSB; Abacos predicted to get a cold front on the weekend, but not much in Central & SE Bahamas; a lot of easterly or variations of in the forecast & I felt this would be a great opportunity to sail to Little San Salvador, Cat Island & Conception Island, part of the Out Islands.  On the VHF we learnt that ‘Glory Days’ was in tow with ‘Amazing Grace’ in favourable weather across the Gulf Stream 7 the Straits of Florida with the ultimate destination as Fort Pierce.  It was a morning of serious housecleaning of the head & shower, the main salon floor + the mats & carpeting, then blog writing.  Graeme cleaned some of the grim on the dinghy pontoons.  There was a constant trickle of boats moving south, some anchoring in Black Point.  High tide was at 1132 hrs. so at 1100 hrs. we started dinghying to shore to refill our empty water jerry cans.  The job entailed bringing the 3 empty cans to shore, pulling the dinghy onshore, walking up the new stairs & across the street to the water spigot, hauling the cans back across the street, down the stairs, into the dinghy, refloating the dinghy & hauling the jerry cans onto the boat & empty in one of the two boat tanks X 3 trips (total of 2-1/2 hrs.).  The prize was lunch at Lorriane’s Café, buying a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread from Lorraine’s Mom & good internet.  Following all of this a large number of cruisers attended Happy Hour at Scorpios (Tues. Thurs. & Fri. 1600-1800 hrs.) with $3.00 beer, $2.00 wine, $5.00 liquor & 2 for 1 rum punches, free popcorn & complimentary conch fritters, oh I almost forgot, free mosquitoes.  We dinghied home in the dark at rising low tide with our appropriate lights.  I did not see sunset tonight or the setted sky afterwards.  But the view from our dinghy across the harbour was spectacular with a massive number of mast lights & more magnificent was the sky above & the indescribable beauty of the stars.

Fri. Jan. 4, 2013—Day 94:
Destination:  Black Point to Hetty’s Land, Great Guana Cay
Departure:  0950 hrs.                        Arrival:  1130 hrs.                                Distance:  7.73 NM
Winds:  ESE to SE 10-12K                                Seas:  <1 ft.
Weather:  sunny, blue skies & few clouds

We received weather on SSB; most with good reception & a little scratchy at the time of our specific location; some heavy winds forecasted Mon. afternoon through to Thurs.  Out Islands were a not for now.  Our plan was then to move for 1-2 days only short distances to see new locales, then likely come back to Black Point for the southerly wind blow.  At least for those 3-1/2 days we can get to land with all amenities at hand.  We heard Exuma Park at 0900 hrs. giving mooring ball assignments to ‘Moma Cal’ & ‘Kathrian’ & also ‘Ambition’ called with their departure.  We were unable to hail anyone of these boats until later in the day when ‘Ambition’ had moved onto Staniel Cay.  We motorsailed closehauled with the jenny at 5.5-5.7K  in a 10-12K ESE to SE wind & stood enough offshore to avoid an area of shallow coral heads & rocky bars as we slid down the western shore of Great Guana Cay passed Little Bay, Jack’s Cove & Bay, White Point into Hetty’s Land.  We dropped anchor in 11-12 ft. water & 100 ft. chain.  Some reading in the sun on the deck after lunch, then snorkeling over a coral head with ‘Fair Winds’, ‘Truansea’ & ‘Southern Bound’.  The guys were lucky in catching a couple of lobsters, crab, bar jack & lionfish. The coral head was not particularly colourful, but a lot of similar small fish & I forgot my underwater camera!  The anchorage was a little bouncy than what we expected from an east wind.  A cloud obscured the sun just at sunset but a lovely red sky followed & a dark night with some stars, some cloud & a late rising moon & only the mast lights of our 4 boats.

Sat. Jan. 5, 2013—Day 95:
Destination:  Hetty’s Land to Jack’s Bay Cove, Great Guana Cay then Black Point
Departure:  1040 hrs.                     Arrival:  1130 & 1520 hrs.                       Distance:  approx. 8 NM
Winds:  ESE to SE 10-16K, increased after sunset           Seas:  1 ft.
Weather:  mostly cloudy with sunny periods & plenty of blue sky in am; more sun in pm; H=82F & L=66F

Exuma Sound side of Hetty's Land

Shawn & his lobster
A slightly bouncy night, but nothing serious or uncomfortable around.  The usual morning routine, beginning with listening to SSB weather, then breakfast.  The SE winds were to pick up this aft, lay down tomorrow, then pipe up Mon. pm through Thurs., especially Tues. & Wed. (SE 20-30K).  I went to the beach with ‘Truansea’ for a couple of hours.  There were tons of live & dead sand dollars waiting to be gathered (low tide).  The group of us took a path marked with old nets, styrofoam float balls etc. from the beach to the east shore of Great Guana Cay being the Atlantic or Exuma Sound; there was a huge limestone rock formation, a small cave & debris+++ including a possible plane wreck.  Once back at the boat, some people went snorkeling & fishing.  We up anchored & motorsailed a few miles north on a broad reach with our jenny (5.7K) to Jack’s Bay Cove; shy to venture closer to the north side of White Point.  We hailed ‘Moma Cal’ making contact, but barely; in Warderick Wells today.  A few hours we spent on the deck reading until around 1400 hrs. when we saw a fleet of 4 boats northbound & looking as if they were heading to Black Point, our intended destination tomorrow or definitely Mon. afternoon; apparently Hetty’s Land got quite rolly.  We decided to take the opportunity to sail & get a good spot in Black Point now.  So it was another good sail, beam reach at 5.8-6.2K.  Soon we were anchored to the NE of the government docks in 12 ft. & 120 ft. of chain.  Another successful day of fishing for ‘Truansea’, ‘Fair Winds’ & ‘Southern Bound’, so a potluck dinner party was organized on ‘Eleohn’ (50 ft. trawler), where the wealth was shared, featuring lobster, crab, another whitefish, meatballs, white rice, rice salad, cabbage salad  & homemade dinner rolls.  Scrumptious & a good time was had by all!  And a big thank you to all for including us old foggies!  It was a slow dinghy ride home against a moderate ESE wind under a dark night sky filled with amazing stars+++.

Sun.  Jan. 6, 2013—Day 96:
Destination:  Black Point
Winds:  E to ESE 12-18K                                 Seas:  1 ft. or less
Weather:  warm, both sun & cloud

The east & southerly winds continued to increase from last evening through the night & were gusting this morning, creating whitecapped chop.  We spoke with Jack on the VHF but even on channel 68 the reception was less than good.  ‘Kathrian’ & ‘Moma Cal’ must have changed their plans, as later in the day we talked to them again & they had made their way to Big Majors, Staniel Cay & were going off in the dinghy to see the pigs.  The housecleaning task this morning was washing the cockpit cushions, cockpit & transom with soap & water.  About 1100 hrs. we picked Candy & Shawn (Southern Bound) up to go to shore as they were out of fuel for their dinghy; walks for Graeme & I but mine more intense.  I found the beach; the 4-6 ft. seas were rolling in quite strongly; it was low tide & I found a small heart bean & a hamburger bean, but no good sea glass.  Church services were in progress at 1100 hr., shops etc. were closed & one could hear singing through the open windows.  Lorraine’s Café opened at 1600 hrs. & were offering a buffet dinner by reservation this evening.  After lunch it was reading on the deck for me for a short period of time, then polishing the stainless, followed by more reading till sunset.  Later this evening I finished my current book titled “Artist on His Island” by Randolph Johnston, father of Pete of “Pete’s Pub” in Little Harbour, Great Abaco, lent to me by Josh from NSC, a friend of Peter Kitching.  The harbour has filled with even more boats this evening with only a few that left today.  I thought we would have the perfect sunset to observe a green flash, but   evening & Lynn was discharged from hospital late Fri.  According to Larry, Dorothy & Glenn are in Great Harbour, Berry Island & Bill & Betty are off to Marathon, Florida in a day or so.  We will need to check emails tomorrow to see where Terri & Bill are.  Another dark night because the moon rose so late & with the clear sky the stars were abundant & brilliant as are all the boats’ anchor lights.

Mon. Jan. 7, 2013—Day 97:
Destination:  Black Point, but just changed location closer to shore
Winds:  E to ESE 10 during day & 10-12K in evening                Seas:  calm
Weather:  mostly sunny with a some cloudy periods, very pleasant temps (80’sF)

Typically, we began the day with the weather forecast on SSB at 0630 hrs. (very good reception) & again with ‘Blue Yonder’ at 0800 hrs. during breakfast.  June is a wealth of knowledge; she still bothering him after a week.  It was to shore mid morning, meeting up with Christine & Mark & their sons, Logan & Cole & paying a visit to the school that had just reconvened today.  Miss Young met us, answered our many questions, allowed me to take a photo of her with some of the more senior students.  School hours= 0845-1500 hrs. All students wear a green tunic for girls & green shorts of pants for boys & yellow shits & both wear a green tie & shoes & socks; so cool!  Arrangements were made whereby tomorrow Christine will assist the 1 teacher for grades 4, 5 & 6 with English & Math, Mark will probably assist the 1 teacher for grades 1, 2 & 3 with science & the boys will join in grades 5 & 4.  Then all of us took a long hike along Kings Highway to the castle on Little Bay; residents in house.  On our dinghy ride back, we paid ‘Audacious’ a short visit & ‘Fair Winds’.  Ken & Shawn dinghied all the way to Staniel Cay for gas.  Over the lunch hour we watched a catamaran get ready to depart, then we relocated to that spot; 9 ft. water & 120 ft. chain.  Internet on shore at De Shamoon till 1700 hrs. Mailboat with supplies do to arrive on Wed. or Thurs.  A gorgeous setting sun, then clouds blanketed the sunset.  A pinky orange sky followed towards the west & dark rain like clouds to the WNW & E.  Stars were quite visible in the very dark night sky.

Tues. Jan. 8, 2013—Day 98:
Destination:  Black Point (24oN 76oW)
Winds:  more SE than E 10-15K with gusts to 20K         Seas:  1 ft. with whitecaps at times
Weather:  partly sunny & cloudy in am, heavy cloud over the noon hour with a small rain shower & slight clearing at sunset

SSB at 0630 hrs., breakfast  & ‘Blue Yonder’ at 0800 hrs.  We eavesdropped on VHF & heard the chatter between ‘Moma Cal’ & ‘Kathrian’, so we knew after fuelling up they were on there way here.  I actually did some isometric exercises this am on top of my usual stretches & back exercises.  Off to shore & got Graeme on the internet at Lorraine’s while I took a walking task to locate Sandra (pink house on west side of road with blue jeep in front) that has a vegetable she was in Nassau.  Will mailboat arrive tomorrow or Thurs.?  As soon as I returned, bought some bread from Lorraine’s mom & sat down to do my internet (hopefully add pics to my blog), the skies darkened +++.  We hurriedly dinghied backed home & low & behold ‘Moma Cal’ was anchored beside us & ‘Kathrian’ was approaching.  The much needed rain shower was only short lived.  A reunion was held on ‘Moma Cal’ until 1600 hrs.  & continued at the Happy Hour at Scorpios, followed by a pizza supper at De Shamon; Simon recognized Doug from a year ago having to supply the bar with Mount Gay Rum at Super Bowl as they had run out.  It had been 4+ mons. since we had seen Cherry & Doug.  Home in our dinghies on a falling tide at about 2000 hrs. on a very dark night with the skies filled with amazing stars & the anchorage ablaze with anchor lights.