Monday, April 13, 2009

The Exumas!!!

We finally made it to the Exumas and so far they are gorgeous! We are anchored in a little harbor between Allan's Cay and Leaf Cay at the northern tip of the Exumas along with about 12 other snailbots and trawlers - hopefully this will be the last of our "crowded anchorages"!!

Click here to see a Google map of our location.

We pulled in last night around 6:00 pm after waiting around in Nassau most of the day for the guy to come take a look at our watermaker (our watermaker is very important where we are headed in that it takes ocean water and desalinizes it so we can drink it and in the remote Exuma islands it is often hard to find "good" water and what there is, is expensive to get). Actually he came around 10:00 am and almost immediately pronounced (as Doug had predicted) that somehow the membrane was bad and he could sell us a new membrane but Doug would have to install it because he didn't have time before the four day Easter weekend. Fine - we'd take it!! But alas it was back at the shop so he'd have to go get it but had a job to do first - UGH! By 10:00 am Lucky Stars and Life's2Short had headed off to Allan's but September Song hung in there with us in Nassau - we had them blocked in, but they graciously offered to wait with us anyways!!

Guess we have to get used to "island time" and for the most part we have, but by 1:00 pm we still didn't have a membrane and the time was getting short for us to leave and get to Allan's that day since we had to cross the Yellow Banks with all its exposed coral heads which you really want to do during high sun for better visibility! Down here GPS is nice to have and very helpful, but visual piloting rules are required - you steer by sight because of all the coral and rocks!! Part of the place's charm!!

Finally around 1:45 the guy came down the dock with our membrane - Doug handed him an envelope with cash in return (looked a little like a friendly drug deal) and at 1:46 pm September Song and Gypsies lit up our engines and 10 minutes later we were heading East out of Nassau Harbor!! While Nassau was great to see and a lot of fun (mainly I think because of the friends we were there with), we were all very ready to head to the more natural and secluded islands of the Exumas! We had a great four hour steam across the banks and into Allan's Cay where we were met by Todd from Life's2Short in his dinghy who guided us into the anchorage. Always great to see a friendly face - let alone one who knows the waters - thanks Todd!

As I mentioned, the anchorage is pretty small and there were already plenty of boats but we managed to both find places to anchor (or so we thought). No sooner had we gotten beers out when the sailboat next to us yelled over to us that we were too close to him (UGH - snailbotters!!!!) He was on a charter boat and therefore not even a real snailbotter but boat etiquette demanded that we move, since he was there first. So Doug and I lifted anchor and moved back some until we felt comfortable dropping anchor again. Oh well - we were still in paradise so it's hard to complain! We dropped the dink to go check on our anchor with our "looky bucket" also called a "Bahamian TV" - it's really quite amazing (it is a "Homer" orange bucket from Home Depot with the bottom replaced with a piece of plexiglass) - you can put it in the water on the surface and see the bottom as clear as if you were diving with a mask!! Our anchor looked fine so we proceeded to the little beach on Leaf Cay to meet up with Life's2Short and Colleen (who had already abandoned ship with Todd in his dinghy) for a couple sundowners. Bob and Stephanie blew the conch shells as we watched a beautiful sunset over the anchorage - unfortunately we forgot the camera!!

Last night about 3:00 am, Doug came down after an anchor check telling me "you have to see this" - I got up to the most amazing sight! There was almost a full moon and it was reflecting into the gin clear water of the anchorage like a million diamonds were laying on the bottom of the sand! It was awesome - even worth being woken up at that ungodly time (only kidding, I was actually already awake) but it did make me realize yet again why we are living this life. It is the little experiences (with natural phenomenon (both good and bad), with people we didn't know before we started this journey who have become such good friends and with the locals) that are what this trip is all about!!!!

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