Loafing around and dodging fronts

Phil & Nikki Hoskins
Thu 27 Mar 2014 15:40
Weather is still strange as we move towards the end of March into a time when the winter fronts should start to ease further northwards and leave the Bahamas alone. But nobody has told the fronts they should be doing that. Low pressure systems also continue to occasionally form in the Gulf of Mexico reaching storm force by the time they get to Cape Hatteras some six hundred miles north of us. So winter has yet to yield to spring and we have stayed in George Town moving each day depending on the wind direction. We have to run the engines to keep the batteries charged in any case so we just pull up the anchor and motor to a new spot.
One of those new spots is Goat Cay, a small bay protected by a thin peninsula jutting out into the harbour. How we never tried this place before in the numerous times we've sat in George Town harbour is beyond us. As the wedding party were anchored here prior to the ceremony (see last blog) we came in too as it's just a short motor across the harbour to the 'wedding beach'. Goat Cay is worlds apart from the masses anchored out in Elizabeth Harbour and reminds us of a small cala in the Balearic Islands with a nice tree fringed beach interrupted by rocky landscape. It does, however, come with a caveat - it's rolly when the trades are blowing as you are quite close to the open sea, but it's good for frontal systems when the wind is clocking from southeast through west or in light and variable conditions.
Goat Cay beach .....                                                                        and the 'Admiral' under the casuarina trees  
                                                     from the beach - where the sea meets the sky - 'Ajaya' far left!
Due to Elizabeth Harbours popularity it's guaranteed that you will know at least one or two or even eight or ten other cruising boats from other locations on your travels. It's been nice to catch up with some old friends from years ago. However, March brings about a mass exodus with the boat count apparently now down below 200. Yes, somebody motors around the harbour counting us all ! But numbers may swell again in a few weeks as the Family Island Regatta draws in local racing yachts from around the Bahamas. Many cruisers offer to play the part of human ballast in the over canvassed A Class racing.  As much weight as possible i.e people, are strung out on poles and planks on the windward side of the boat to keep the boat upright and sailing fast. It gets pretty rough out there on the course as competition is fierce so we'll give that a miss thank you very much.
Another dangerous activity closer to home is bread making. "Surely not" they cry.  It is if you happen to drop the finished loaf on your foot assuming you have managed to avoid a rotator cuff injury just extracting it from the oven.  That was the first of two loaves that recently exited the oven with all the characteristics of a house brick and the density of lead. Not to be thwarted in her bakery endeavours the next mix was in the bowl before the first had even cooled or been bravely sampled. Result second time around ...perfection, although it did have quite an overhang in the tray having risen with vigour and aplomb during the latter stages. Did we eat the first loaf? Not on your nelly. The two of us gingerly lifted the thing to the galley portlight after dark, heaved it through the aperture and waited for the large splash as it hit the water where it probably sank like a stone sending any unfortunate crustaceans scuttling for cover.
The deadly brick is in the foreground whilst the second attempt in the background developed a lot of overhang for some reason but tasted great.
When bread making is not on daily orders and the weather is too inclement to take a dinghy ride ashore 'arts and crafts' then take over. Something has to be made out of all the seaglass we have been avidly collecting over the past few seasons. Here are the two latest creations to emerge from the 'Admiral's' seaglass box, with every piece being exactly as found on a beach somewhere we have visited.....
An ambitious decoration of a plastic cup previously containing sachets of a juice mix, and very happy smiley looking dolphins leaping from the sea in pursuit of small blue fishes!