From San Salvador, we sailed back to Conception, up to Cat Cay, stopping at Hawk’s Nest Marina for fuel and water. The water was the best we got since Nederland (as a certified water snob, my little town’s water is THE BEST!) Cat Cay was our kind of place. It is unadulterated, with the locals unaware or unaffected by tourists. We went into the Post Office to send some postcards and the postwoman asked if we had seen The Hermitage yet, one of the sights Cat Island is known for. No we hadn’t. But as it had just started to rain, we didn’t think we would make it. “You can take my jeep,” she said. “I don’t need it back until 4, when I get off work,” as she handed us the keys. She mentioned she had bananas in the back that she needed to deliver to Fernandez Bay, so we offered to take them for her. We got this warm, family feeling from all the locals on the island.That we were just an extension of their family.
After we went to the evening Rake and Scrape, with the “father” of Rake and Scrape, Pompey Bohog Johnson, we sailed up to Fernandez Bay. A quaint resort with perfect powdery, white sand beach and clear, blue water and an awesome beach bar taboot complete with every game one could play.
We stopped two nights in Little San Salvador, an island now owned by a cruise line. With the 3,000 people all aboard their island-boat just as we arrived, we had the whole island to ourselves. Amazing beaches, nice trails, clear water, great snorkelling. This was truly something out of a dream.
Heading north to Eleuthera, we experienced the homecoming party at Rock Sound. After all thaelocals activity with the thumping bass, we made our way to the ever so quiet Ten Bay, where we met the son of a boat builder in Maine. We found some great snorkelling and Dave came home with the booty for Easter Dinner, a huge crab.
Governor’s Harbor was our next stop, a really sweet town where you can find lures, swimsuits, clothes…. we have not seen stores like this in a loooong time! We hitched a ride to the Atlantic side to French Leave beach, the site of the old Club Med that got swept away in a hurricane. Pink Sands, wide long stunning beach. Ava met another 9 year old girl from Scotland and they spent hours making a Sand Castle “Estate” about 10 ft in diameter. Club Med should have hired these girls as their architects!
Airport Beach was our next stop, a sweet, quiet beach. A nice guy from Calgary gave us a lift to Pascal’s beach bar complete with Pina Coladas, gorgeous infinity pool and yet another stunning, wide, powdery, white sand beach on the Atlantic. I found my first Sea Bean. Well, that isn’t exactly true. Dave has always had more than perfect vision and has found more sea beans than any one person should find in a lifetime. So, as I scoured the beach, I got bored looking in the wrack and walked on the harder sand by the water (where, by the way, one does NOT find sea beans) and lo and behold, a sea bean! As I watched Dave walking quickly ahead trying to seem nonchalant. Sometimes you gotta take it any way you can get it, so I “found”, ahem, my first sea bean. (I did actually find two of my own further north in the Abacos). We headed to Egg Harbor, where I read about a wreck of a ship carrying bat guano from South America. Initially, the coral all died, but in a few years time, the coral and fish life came to life in an extraordinary way. We explored all over this area, found amazing beach finds and underwater beauty.
We made tracks to Tavern Cay in the Abacos, “sea biscuit beach”. And then to Marsh Harbor in the nick of time to pick up our good friends from Colorado, the birthday girl Carolee and daughter Isabel. We explored Hope Town and Elbow Cay, Man o’ War Cay, Great Guana Cay and the infamous “Nippers Beach Bar”, Treasure Cay and after 10 days they made their way back to Marsh Harbor to get their plane.
Ava got to experience her first Junkanoo… she was so excited she ended up leading the Junkanoo parade of all the local Bahamians!
Our last weather window to make it back to the USA was the last few days our visitors were with us. We discussed kidnapping them and using them as forced crew back to the States, but, alas, Carolee had some excuse called work as to why we couldn’t. We hooked up with our new buddy boat, Trustworthy, with 3 kids on board, and headed to Green Turtle Cay, found a marina with a pool for $21/night and booked the week for the upcoming unsettled weather.
It has been blowing intermittent stink, pouring intermittent downpours, but we are in a safe place called Black Sound. We are with Got the Fever, Vivens Aqua and Trustworthy, all with oodles of kids so their is plenty of diversion for kids and parents alike. The locals are super nice as are the cruisers. The weather continues to look pretty crappy for a crossing, and we are beginning to wonder if Mother Nature wants us to leave Whisper in the Bahamas for the summer. It is looking like we will be here for at least another 10 days. And although we have one foot out the door to get back and get hauled, etc, we are really enjoying the down time and company of the folks around us. Again, as the Gulf Stream crossing loomed over my head like a black cloud on the way over, it is looming over once again.