We are just over two months in the Bahamas and one month on our visa to go. We are coming up on our fourth week in Elizabeth Harbor and have just said good bye to our second visitor (happy trails Grandpa Chuck!). We are want to see Eleuthera and the Abacos. And it appears that today is a good day to travel. So buh-bye Georgetown.
Start: Anchorage off Honeymoon beach, Georgetown, Bahamas, 0754
End: Anchorage off of White Point, Great Guayana Cay, 1715
Total Distance: 49.7 nm
Average Speed: 5.3 kts
A quick story
Last night we spent the evening with the crew of S/V Argo. Argo is a Leopard 48 sailing catamaran. Similar to our catamaran in that it has two hulls, but that is where the similarities stop. It is brand new, kitted out with all the bells and whistles and is awesome. And the crew is pretty awesome as well. Family of four that is taking two years to sail across an ocean, though they are still discussing which one they want to cross. Jason and Lisa have two kids that are right at AJ’s age, so AJ got some kid time1 and Jan and I got some quality adult time on Tuesday night. All was good. We were drinking beer (moi) and wine (Jan) and talking. And the beer led to a good amount of discomfort on my part. I had to go to the bathroom.
I tried to hold out. I have an internal rule to not use another boat’s bathroom, but I finally gave in and asked for use of their head. AJ had already reported that they had an actual flush toilet. No filling the bowl and no manual pumping. Just push a button and WHOOSH, magically it disappears. I was shown the bathroom, but was not shown where the magic flush button was located. I had to find it for myself.
I found a lever down by the toilet seat. I could push it left or right; there were some symbols on the lever, but neither looked like ‘flush.’ But failing to see anything else, I pushed it left. Nothing.
I pushed it right and a strong stream of water (think small fire hose) squirted out from the toilet and straight into my crotch. I had found the bidet. In my surprise I continued to hold down the button for a good ten seconds. And now it looks like, perhaps in protest of using the modern flush toilet, I instead managed to pee myself.
I searched a bit more and found the flush button above and to the right of the toilet on the wall–push the button and all works well. But now I had to return to the table. With a very large, very obvious wet spot all over the front of my shorts and shirt. Obviously it is time to leave Georgetown. Stat.
Just kidding–we didn’t leave Georgetown because of the shame of the bidet incident. Nope. Really. It was just time to go. After almost a month in the harbor with tons of kid time and visitors (Mish family and Grandpa Chuck), we were tapped out with all the fun. Almost half of the boats that were in the harbor this time last week had already departed and more were leaving heading back to the states/Canada or down south to get out of the path of hurricanes. By this time next week the place will be almost empty.
So we decided that at the next good weather opportunity, we would starting making our way north.
A whirlwind 24 hours.
I probably need to catch you up at bit, since my last update was from three weeks ago. Our boat, which spent the majority of the time just off of Honeymoon Beach, was, on Tuesday morning, located just outside of Victoria Lake, next to Georgetown. We moved there on Monday (12 March) for two reasons. First, it would reduce the dinghy ride to get dad into Georgetown and then onward to the airport. And second, the wind had shifted from the east to the west and this offered some good protection from the waves. The wind would clock back to the north by the time we woke up on Tuesday morning, but we got a mostly calm, though really hot/humid, night of sleep.
We wake up bright and early and dad and I hop in the dinghy for the short and very wet ride into town. We are met by Rudy, our cab driver of the day, who took us to the airport and returned me to the dock. And then back to the boat. Where we had a discussion about our plans. The weather, which had appeared to be poor for movement until the weekend, was showing that tomorrow (Wednesday) could be a good day. Not a lot of wind (10 knots), but coming from the right way (north east) and very small waves (1 footers). Then we would sit for a day to wait out some north winds, but could leave for Eleuthera on Friday if the forecast held. Sounded like a plan.
Which means it is ‘go time.’ Laundry, which has been accumulating for weeks needs to be done, so Jan is hauled off to the laundromat to get that done. Water needs to be topped off, and AJ and I get that done. And groceries. Which we finish. By 2pm we are done with our ‘to-do’ list and we move our boat back to Honeymoon beach for our last night at anchorage. When we arrive, we see that there are only two other boats in the previously crowded anchorage. We will sleep well!
Lucky and I head to shore and he gets one last walk to the ocean side beach, we return and head off to meet S/V Argo for drinks/dinner on their boat.
Wednesday morning and the alarm goes off at 0545. It is shut off and we roll over and go back to bed for another hour. No rush today. Dog to the beach and we bring up the dinghy and have our first dinghy failure of the trip; the strap that connects the dinghy to the hoist slipped sending the dinghy crashing into the water. Not good, but we improved using a line we have available and though it took longer, the dinghy is back up and by 0800 we are ready to go.
We are not alone. There are five other boats that are in a pack heading out when we leave and another pack of boats heading south. The trip out is uneventful; the cut is as calm as can be expected and the waves are as advertised–small. We put the sails up and the wind is both closers to our direction and less than expected. We sail for about two hours at a whopping 3 knots then go ahead and turn on the engines to motor sail the rest of the day. We are not proud–we will motor if we want to go fast(er). It works–we get up over 5 knots and that is good enough!
And for the next six hours we run up the Atlantic side of the Exumas. We head for the Galliot Cut, just north of where we left a month ago. The tide is going in and the wind is blowing in as well–we should be good. There are some rollers, but not really big, especially compared to a couple of weeks ago. And at about 3pm, we lined up outside the cut. And holy cow did we smoke through, reaching over nine knots as we passed between the rocks! Then sails back up for a quick two mile run with the wind, and we turned north and motored to White Point on Great Guana Cay.
There are two sailboats and one mega yacht in our anchorage, but plenty of space for all. In front of us is a long, sandy beach ringed by dunes; perfect to stretch our legs after a long day on the boat. Then we sit on the front deck and enjoy the feeling of the breeze off the shore and the sight of the sun setting over the water. It is good to be moving once again.
1 Kid time included playing on their xbox. Which works even when they are not hooked up to shore power.