Thursday, January 15, 2009
VISITORS FROM THE STATES
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We spent ten days working our way down the Exumas. We would find a beautiful bay to drop our anchor and spend the night, then the next morning we would sail ten miles or so to the next beautiful place. If we especially liked an anchorage, we would stay for more than one night.
Our younger son, Andy, was flying in to Staniel Cay from Seattle to spend Christmas with us. Our only goal was to arrive at Staniel Cay in time to greet his plane. We got there a couple of days in advance, so we would know our way around when he arrived.
Andy stayed on the boat with us for nine delightful days. The weather was beautiful (most of the time) and we enjoyed his visit. We all slept late, read books, partied on the beach with other cruisers, and Andy worked hard on his tan.
Christmas eve we moved the boat a few miles north to Sampson Cay and had a wonderful Christmas dinner at the Sampson Cay Yacht Club, then returned to Staniel Cay for the remainder of his visit.
The James Bond movie "Thunderball" was filmed at Staniel Cay and Andy and Phil snorkeled into Thunderball Grotto nearby.
Andy flew home a couple of days after Christmas, tanned and well-rested. We hated to see him leave.
Staniel Cay is about 50 miles north of George Town, so we decided to make the trip in one day rather than hopping from island to island. Along with two other boats, Rasi and Pascana, we departed Staniel around 9:00 a.m. and headed out into the deep water of Exuma Sound.
When we travel in deep water, we usually put out a trolling line to catch fish. Within an hour of leaving Staniel Cay, we had a bite. Phil grabbed the pole and began to bring in the fish, a large Mahi-Mahi that danced back and forth on the waves as he reeled it in.
We weren't really prepared for a catch so soon and while we were rushing around the boat getting ready, Mr. Mahi bit through the wire lead and was on his way, taking the lure with him.
Phil attached another lure, dropped the line back in the water, and within 15 minutes we had snagged a second Mahi-Mahi. We were ready for this one and Phil landed him.
The other two boats weren't as lucky with their fishing. After we pulled into George Town about 4:00 p.m. and all anchored, we invited our friends over to share the catch. We fed six people that night and had fish left over. It was delicious.
George Town is the most developed island in the Bahamas. Many cruisers come this far and spend the winter. The harbor is about 15 miles long with numerous places to anchor. There are probably 200 boats here now, with lots of activities organized by the cruisers. There is a well-stocked grocery store and several other retail shops.
Phil's sister, Mary Anna, flew in to George Town on January 5th and spent a week with us on Sunshine. The weather was perfect and we all enjoyed her visit. She met some of our cruising friends, we walked the beaches, and Mary Anna and Phil climbed the highest hill in the area, getting a beautiful view of Elizabeth Harbour.
That brings you up to date on our travels so far. We are planning to visit Long Island as soon as the weather permits, about 35 miles away. I hope we get there in time to watch the inauguration on Tuesday.