Adventures of Adirondack

Adventures of Adirondack

Sunday, March 22, 2015

More new crew onboard!

                                            Iron shore and pink sand beach


                                                                   Banyan tree

Beautiful beach and "Devil's Backbone" passage. This doesn't really look quite so fearsome with a wide angle lens and from ashore, but it scares many a mariner who wants to cross the top of Eleuthera Island to Harbour Island. Every cruising source told us to use a pilot to get through here and we did. For a mere $100, "Woody" came alongside, tied his skiff to Adirondack and expertly threaded our way through these reefs to get into the bay frequented by many a movie star, although we didn't recognize anyone. We got his services AND two loaves of excellent bread. This is where David joined us by air.

We spent some time there and went back that way without a pilot this time leading a couple other boats who are deeper than we are, as we had an electronic track and remembered the route pretty well. This photo was taken pretty close to the spot where a group of folks who were seeking religious freedom fled Bermuda in 1648 and wrecked their boat. Imagine wrecking your boat in a place like this about a million miles from England, Ireland or wherever? They came ashore and found Preacher's Cave where they lived for quite some time before moving on to the rest of Eleuthera. We have photos.

We continued south along the coast to Governor's Harbour where we rented quite the car to get to Rock Sound and pick up Adam. We then all went back up to Harbour Island so he could visit this very interesting place. I'm not sure I have to go there again.

We continued south to Davis Harbour where we spent a few days in a tired looking, but very friendly (and cheap) marina. Adirondack got waxed, which in and of itself is worth a blog entry! The boys got to go out scuba diving with a crew that lowered a "chumcicle" a frozen bucket of fish that attracts sharks. The divers sit on the bottom and watch the sharks circle about and eat. It sounded pretty cool, and when I figure out how, I'll add some photos.

This morning David had to fly home. We had made arrangements for a ride for him to the airport, confirmed multiple times. What could go wrong, right? At the appointed time, 0545, no ride. He was supposed to be at the airport at 0600. Some sportfisher guy drove by and parked at the end of the dock at 0600. I asked him for a ride and he took him there. David's original driver showed up at 0648, only 48 minutes late. Too close for comfort.  We just got a text from him and he reports being home safe.

He also reports that the water damage in our bedroom wall is fixed. Last month one of our sprinklers located behind a tall bookshelf leaked down into the condo below us, making a real mess down there and wrecking our wall. Our bill just came in at $800; I can't imagine what the bill for downstairs will be.

Tonight we are in a fancier spot called Cape Eleuthera, where we have real laundry and interesting things to do. And a really nice swimming pool, which we haven't seen in quite a while. And we still have Adam, who is a great help on the anchoring/docking/dishes crew.

Capt. Jeff

Saturday, March 14, 2015

New Crew Onboard!

        Jeff at the end of the dredged canal on Spanish Wells. He's not a famous person. What a beach!

 Pink Sand beach on Harbour Island, home of very rich and famous, right out in front of "Sip-Sip," where everyone in the know meets for lunch.  It's said you can't walk around here without bumping into a famous person. It was full of spring breakers and we couldn't even get on the waiting list. We probably did run into a famous person, but didn't know it......

                               "Pigly Wigly" grocery store with a surprisingly good selection. We rode a golf cart around for a day with friends. Better to ride than drive, as it' a bit hectic. I'm sure that's a famous person in that cart.

                                   Locals (but probably not famous) performing at our dock.
Another issue with our outboard. This is the Outboard Hospital that was recommended to us, the only facility on the Island. The famous ER outboard doctor rushed out all gowned up and fixed it. I couldn't understand anything but the price. But he fixed it!

We crossed from Little Harbour at the south end of the Abacos to the Eleuthera set of islands, kind of a different state in the Bahamas. We had never been here before which isn't a big deal, but the crossing was. The ocean is mostly 12,000 feet deep, compared to the banks which are around 6 - 10' deep and there are wind and waves out there, so we get frightened easily. Our jump was only about 50 miles, but it wasn't as flat as it could have been.

We pulled into a perfect anchorage called Royal Island where I explored some old ruins while Sally knit. (This happens a lot.) We moved down towards Spanish Wells and anchored there a few days and explored the town. It's very different than other locations. First, it's quite prosperous, contributing half of the Bahamian lobster output. And it has a very interesting economic model, quite socialistic in its own way, a product of religion and tradition that keeps young people gainfully employed, respected and on the island. We're impressed.

Then we moved to over to Harbour Island, playground for the rich and famous. Pretty cool, but I don't think we have to come back. Our outboard got filled up with junk again and had to be cleaned out again so we weren't able to go get David at the ferry dock as planned.

David came aboard on the 12th after flying to Nassau and then aboard a hopper to North Eleuthera. A short ferry ride brought him right to the dock! We checked out the town, walked the beaches and had a fabulous lunch where the locals dine. We know that folks here can easily spend over $100 for lunch and hotels are $500. Wow, time to hit the road!

Weather has been super, 80's in the daytime with too much sun, and then it drops into the 70's after dark. No bugs, yet, although we have heard stories.

Capt. Jeff

Monday, March 2, 2015

Minnesota Visitors - Escaping the Cold

We have had a wonderful time with visits from Jeff's sister, Cyndi, and her husband, Bill, and our neighbor Joanne. Today the poor things flew back to frigid MN to wait for Spring - the season in Minnesota when the cars go through the ice.

Cyndi and Bill flew to Nassau and on to Marsh Harbor after a harrowing morning drive through the icy Twin Cities roadways. They sure seemed glad to find us tied up at the dock on the north side of the harbor at the Marsh Harbor Marina, better known by its restaurant name, the Jib Room. We had arrived there early in the week to wait for them and ride out a weather low. Just as we came into the dock, one of the stern thruster hydraulic hoses blew, spewing pink oil into the water. We cleaned it up and found a wonderful boat electrician/mechanic, Andrew (the brother of the Jib Room cook), who helped get us all put back together again. He was able to do the repair without needing the boat hauled out, though we went through a lot of ATF flushing the water from the system.

We had a windy day on the dock and spent it exploring Marsh Harbor. That evening, there was a Junkanoo parade - a traditional Bahamian celebration with floats, wild costumes, and music provided by drums, cow bells, whistles, and a variety of brass instruments. There were only three groups participating, so it was a   v  e  r  y    s  l  o  w   parade, but the groups were loud and enthusiastic and the people watching was great.

The wind died down the next day and we cruised over to Hope Town, picked up the same mooring ball we had the week before, and showed them the cute town, beautiful red striped lighthouse which still lights its Fresnel lens every night, and lovely beach (and even some sea glass).

Next it was on to Man-O-War Cay to anchor out. We went snorkeling the next day with the local dive shop and two other couples. We went out to the site of the "Adirondack" (not our boat, but a Civil War ship that sank on the reef) to mostly see the canons still visible on the floor of the reef. We then went to Fowl Cay, which is now a national protected area, for some lovely coral and fish. We saw a large ray buried under the sand. It was a good morning and fun to explore and use the snorkel gear.

The wind was predicted to swing to the south, so we headed over to Treasure Cay and a harbor with good protection from south winds. It is a fancy resort with a pool which you can use if anchored outside for a small fee. We spent time on the beach, reported to be one of the 10 best in the world by National Geographic, and attended the Office of Tourism party for winter visitors, complete with dinner, a fashion show, and another Junkanoo performance. The next day was windy and we stayed at anchor and were met by Joanne, our Dry Dock neighbor, who had been at a trade show in Nassau and then flew to Marsh Harbor to check up on us.

When the wind abated and swung to the north, we headed over to Great Guana Cay and the dockage deal of 50 cents a foot at Orchid Bay Marina. We had a great snorkel off the beach at Nipper's, the local bar. Joanne ferried over from Marsh Harbor and met us there for lunch and beach time. We were able to show her the boat and Jeff happily gave her a dinghy ride before she caught her ferry back.

We headed back to Marsh Harbor the next day and finally found a place to dock to be in position to get Cyndi and Bill a taxi and back to the airport. Joanne joined us for drinks on the boat and then dinner. Then early Sunday morning, it was time for hugs and goodbyes as we sent them back to the frozen tundra. It was great fun to share our boat and time with them all, now we start to head south to Eleuthera and to see David and Adam by the middle of the month - Hurrah!!  Sally