Saturday, April 6, 2013

Bahama time mon

The sail from Bimini was exhilarating! We set out to cross the Great Banks on our own on Thursday morning. We weren't a mile out of Bimini Harbor before we were under full sail headed for a spit of a shoal in the middle of the Banks to anchor out for the night. The sails were full and Pura Vida was flying across the Banks. The depth instrument never toped past 12ft but no worries because the bottom is only sand and grass absent of coral heads and rocks.  Chris Parker our weather guru suggested we anchor there to avoid the freighters and to be somewhat protected from the blow that was coming through that night. And did it BLOW! Around midnight it was bucking like on of those horses in the front of your local grocery store. That is what it was like on the Banks. Anyway we were off at the crack of dawn and headed N/E >50 KM's to Great Harbor for Easter. Or so we thought. The wind had not clocked around to the southeast as predicted so onto plan B (we always have a plan B) and off to Chub Cay we sailed. Chub Cay is a bankrupt high end fishing harbor and resort that was once a dream of some big shot developer. The bank now manages it but that doesn't stop the top 1% from flying in on their Gulf Stream jets, landing on the 5K ft runway they built, jump on their 10 mil $ fishing yacht for a weekend of fishing. Not a nickel of their millions goes to the local community or the church. We attended a local Baptist Easter service that was lead by the local self appointed minister and his sister. A few hymns and improvised prayers and we were done. We did have a medical emergency during the service when one of the qazillionairs passed out in the middle of the service from low blood sugar levels. A few Baptist chants and a candy bar later and he was back on his feet.

Anyway, the wind finally clocked around and our anchorage at Chub Cay had become a washing machine in full washing mode so up went the anchor. That was the easy part. The next protected anchorage was 5KM upwind. Now on a normal day that would be no problem but that wasn't the case. The wind had picked up to 25/30 knts with 9 foot seas the New Providence Channel was angry. So our choice was to face it head on or..... well there was no "or" so we went steady and slow into the monster and snaked our way into Frazer Hog Cay and the Berry Island Club where we encountered Howard.

Chub Cay

He appeared he was in his late 60's and had the look of a man who had given up on the entrepreneurial spirit many years ago. But who could blame him since not one of his seven children had stayed behind to pick up where he had left off. We were guest at the Berry Island Club Bar & Grill on Frazer Hog Cay in central Bahama. Pura Vida was comfortably moored out in the picturesque harbor along with one other boat after getting us safely through a blow getting here. Cherie and I had gone ashore looking for the elusive "Hot Spot" and a cold refreshment. Howard didn't have much need of small talk or a credit card. Cash was all he wanted and after giving him his fee for the mooring, Wifi and laundry he jumped into his Ford duel cab and disappeared. He shut off his extra generator and drove his Ford P/U down the dirt road never to be seen again. There we were left alone to hold down the the Berry Island Club Bar & Grill with our wifi and a full bar. Had we been duped or did Howard not really give a damn what went one there. I guess we will never know. Welcome to the Bahamas mon.
Michael & Peter (owner of the Nassau Harbor Club Marina
We are now docked at the Nassau Harbor Club Marina in Nassau, Bahama spending a few extra days here than planned due to unsettled weather. So we'll be tourist for a few days. There we waited out the weather before heading South to Nassau where we are now waiting again for the unsettled weather to pass but as you can see we are waiting with all the other cruisers and enjoying cocktails at sunset.

Cruisers dock party around the swimming pool at sunset!
Paradise Island

Our next stop should be Highbourn Cay in the Exumas and plan "A" is to depart on Sunday, April 7th
in a light East wind. Chris say's the Bermuda high should finally establish itself next week allowing the normal east trade winds to settle in. This will allow us to make better sailing plans before we return to KC for Michelle's college graduation. This will be an emotional event for Cherie and I since Michelle is our baby. We are soooo proud of her we can't put any words to it.