Wednesday, April 29, 2009

On to Staniel Cay and Club Thunderball!!

Well we finally got our motor mount fixed but the wind is still whipping (1 out of 2 isn't too bad!)! We didn't get the welded part back on Sunday as we had hoped but then again, we're in the Bahamas and it's island time mon! With a lot of people's help, we did get it back on Monday despite the continued whipping winds - does Mother Nature never get sick of blowing so hard??? We heard from Movin' On who contacted Burkey in Staniel Cay that Jeff the welder had finished the part but we had to pay for it, pick it up and get it up to Cambridge Cay in order for Doug and our friend Bob, from September Song who had stayed with us, to fix the motor mount and then align the engine. Impossible you might think given that we couldn't drive Gypsies all the way to Staniel with one engine in the 25 knot winds. But not here in the Bahamas among lots of friends who all jumped into action and caused the VHF radio to hum.....Movin' On jumped on the radio to see if they knew anyone who could bring the part to us; Life's2Short, who was anchored outside of Staniel, offered to pay for it but couldn't get their dinghy over to the yacht club because it was too rough; so Silver Boots flagged down the folks on No Agenda who we don't even know but who have a huge dinghy and they ferried our (or Life's2Short's) money in to the Yacht Club; so Jamal could go pick up and pay for our part. Then Life's2Short talked Jamal into riding our part all the way up to Cambridge (for a mere $40) - a bargain at any price!!! No sooner was the part on board Gypsies when Bob came over and he and Doug disappeared into the hole (aka the engine room) - after a little grunting and groaning the engine mount was back on and the alignment of the engine commenced! After several hours they emerged from the hole victorious - at least we thought so but the real test would come the next day when we ramped up the engines!! What an all around amazing display of friendship - without getting mushy, Doug and I are really grateful to everyone for their support and their help - you guys are all the best!!

That evening we hung out for one last night in Cambridge waiting for the winds to blow themselves out - no such luck.
Mooring Field at Cambridge Cay

The next morning we were awakened by the boat rooster

to a beautiful sunrise - things were looking up!!

We fired up the "big dogs" or the engines as Doug has taken to calling them and set off from the mooring ball for a test run. With baited breath we waited for a telltale vibration that would indicate the alignment wasn't quite right - we had a little at first but once I cranked the rpm's up to cruising speed the engine purred!!! Doug and Bob had performed miracles!! - they truly rock!!

Off we went to join the rest of the gang down in Big Major Spot (yes that's really the name of an island!) After a fun steam across waters 50 shades of blue, we tucked in behind the island to anchor hoping to block the majority of the still howling winds - when we took the corner around Sandy Cay we headed into 30 plus knots of wind!!! I'm still peeling my contacts off my eyeballs!! But as soon as we came into the lee of the island the winds and the waves died down and we snugged into our anchorage and were greeted by the "Gang" - what a great feeling. No sooner had we settled in when the radio hummed with plans for a DeFever gathering for lunch at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club that afternoon!!!

After about 2 1/2 weeks on islands with a cumulative population of about 25 (not counting the iguanas), Staniel Cay is a metropolis - OK not really, but it has more than a couple huts!! It actually has a post office and a couple stores (although they don't have much of anything until the Mailboat comes in each week bringing not just the mail but fresh bread and produce - it was supposed to come in today, but sorry mon, tomorrow - island time)! After a very wet dinghy ride over to Staniel (I looked like one of those sagging diaper that leak commercials since my shorts were soaked through - very attractive!!!), 16 of us had a spectacular and very islandy lunch at the Yacht Club - Gypsies, September Song, Tide Hiker, Rickshaw, Life's2Short, Lucky Stars and Silver Boots (who we had last seen at the DeFever Rendezvous at the end of February)!!

What a great reunion

- lots of laughs, a few drinks, great food and Silver Boots even brought a DeFever burgee for us all to write our boat names on and staple to the ceiling of the Yacht Club - Dan and Jim did the honors!

Not wanting the afternoon/evening to end, most of us continued on to Club Thunderball by dinghy where there was a pizza night - where there is pizza, cruisers gather (or at least this crew!). Now happy hour wasn't supposed to start until about 4:00 pm but we radioed ahead and told him that 14 of us were headed their way and would they consider opening the bar sooner - no problem mon! I love these islands!! We dinghied over to Club Thunderball, which is a great bar up on top of the hill overlooking the Thunderball grotto (of James Bond fame!!)

It is a very funky bar with some picnic tables overlooking the grotto and the ever present addictive ring toss game (a silver ring on a string that you swing and try to catch on a hook - OK it doesn't sound like much, but it truly is addicting!!!) Probably after way too much Kalik, we munched on pizza and pasta while the sun started to set over the cut behind the islands. As we looked on, the current in the cut was ripping (what's called a rage here)

so we decided it was better for us to head home...besides we were getting silly and the troll was having too much fun (sorry there are some things you just have to be here for!!)

Today we are sitting outside the Yacht Club catching up on email and blogs drinking cold Kaliks and listening to Bob Marley on the sounds system - life could be worse - much!!! Later this afternoon we plan on exploring the island and maybe catching up with some or all of the gang for happy hour sundowners!!! Tomorrow it's on to Pig Beach....stay tuned!!

Click here to see a Google map of our current location at Big Major Spot.

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