Sampson and S. Staniel Cay, Central Exumas, Bahamas

 

Mar 14-18, 2017

We woke up and were out of water, thanks to doing laundry.  It appears that we use about 10 gallons for every load with the Express Wash cycle. High winds are expected and we have to move. Quickly. We are now buddy boating with Sognare, until we need to depart ways, sometime in April.  We anchored up at 9:55 AM.  Nancy on Sognare likes to sleep in!  (Yeah, from Angie !  )   However, the departure was wicked.   The boat was bucking like a bronco, Angie had problems getting the anchor bridle unhooked,  and we departed in washing machine sea conditions.  The queazies came on quickly. Angie Bonine’d up too late.  Once we were out in the Exuma Sound, Mark was able to get the sails up, and things smoothed out a bit.  However, Angie was down for the count.

We tried to squeeze into Sampson Cay, outside of the marina with 2 other monohulls already anchored there.  It was tight.  Sognare went deep, and got worked over by the current running between the islands, and we had our aft stuck out into the Exuma Sound.  Neither boat slept well that night.  We anchored up at 9 AM to be at High Tide at the South Staniel Cay anchorage.   It is tricky to get into, and we didn’t know if the hurricanes changed any of the depths.  Craig on Sognare told us that Hurricane Matthew had shifted the sands around quite a bit from the previous year throughout the Bahamas.  We never had less than 10 feet below the keel while motoring in. We anchored in 6 ft of water. This is a great anchorage to ride out the 35 knot winds blowing from N-NE due to arrive. Our anchor spot became too shallow for comfort when the winds shifted and kicked up, so we moved about 100 feet further in.  Sognare woke up that morning and thought that either we or they had drug anchor.

Staniel S Anchorage
Staniel S Anchorage

We took a few very wet dinghy rides into town to look for some fresh produce, get our Bahamian wifi set up, and walk our trash to the town dump.  Mark actually took the dinghy out and went fishing! He caught a juvenile yellow fin grouper and released it.  Angie worked on cleaning the cockpit rust pits and stains.

She Be Clean!
She Be Clean! (Until the next round of rust pits show up 😦

Some fun projects included working on making mosaic turtle tiles for the master shower stall, and Mark installed LED rope lights around the engine compartments for much better lighting.

That's a Beaut!
That’s a Beaut!
The making of a Turtle
The making of a Turtle
Turtle Mosaics
Turtle Mosaics

He also had to rebuild our underwater fish attractor light.  The ends had corroded. He had to clean the gasket and solder the electrical (factory crimped)  fittings for the master shower drain pump power switch. He replaced the exterior marine speakers in the cockpit as well.  (This seems to be an annual boat maintenance item. No matter how expensive the “marine grade” speakers are, they only seem to last a year.)  He also went through and sorted his fishing gear, and actually threw out a rod or two that had rusted!

Under Pressure
Under Pressure

We had corned beef, cabbage, potatos and carrots in the pressure cooker for St Pattys Day! First time for the pressure cooker, so Angie was a bit nervous since we were having Sognare over for dinner, but it all turned out Great! (Once the gasket was cleaned and repositioned.)

Plotting, plotting, plotting
Plotting, plotting, plotting

While the winds are still blowing like stink, Mark is doing route planning, trying to figure out how we are going to get South, and Angie worked sewing projects, finally getting those bug screens made! Woot, Woot!

Salon Bug Screens!
Salon Bug Screens!

Outside of Staniel Cay Yacht Club is The Grotto, a great snorkel sight inside a cave that you need to access at Low Tide.  The fish life is amazing, due to being feed continuously from all of the tourist boats.  Angie was hoping to snorkel it again, but due to the winds and waves, it was not meant to be this time around.

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