Staniel Cay

Ambler Isle
V and S
Sun 16 Jan 2011 18:58
We tucked Amber Isle up close to shore in the large  western anchorage at Big Majors Spot, the island just north of Staniel Cay.  The wind was very light out of the east. This first day we simply enjoyed the natural beauty of this place.  The island has some height and acts as a wind and wave block.  It is also home to mountain goats, iguanas, pigs, cats, and chickens.  A besotted rooster starts crowing every morning at 5:00am and pretty much goes all day.   Land mammals are very rare in the Bahamas. (Maybe they were eaten?) There is a fancy little Fowl Cay Resort at the north boundary of the anchorage, a few rental cottages.  The restaurant seats 25 and dinner is a flat price of $100 per person.  This includes drinks and appetizers, full course dinner and dessert.  They are booked full most days.  If you don't like the choice of two specials, you get grilled chicken breast.  There were a few familiar boats here from prior visits.  On Tuesday we took a dinghy trip to Sampson Cay, another pricey little resort and marina.  Dockage is $2.75 per foot, plus $60-100 per day for electric.  Water is metered, and the once free Wi-Fi now costs $10 per day.  We tied the dinghy to the dock and went into the marina store to see what veggies we might find.  It is a small, but well stocked store.  Nothing is marked with a price.  If you want it, just buy it.  We bought a quart of half and half for $5.50, a 6-pack of frozen bagels for $5.35, and a dozen large eggs for $3.50.  Happy to have found some items, we continued on to the Staniel Cay.  Staniel Cay is a fairly large settlement by Bahama standards, maybe 500 people.  It has a school, a post office, three grocery stores, and of course the marina.  First stop was the Batelco office.  Seems our phone company gal in Nassau told us incorrectly that calls to the U.S. were now only $.25 per minute.  They are, but not from a cell phone.  From a cell phone they are $.71 per minute.  So we bought another prepaid card anyway.  The Pink Store had nothing we needed.  On to the Blue store, where we found some oranges, apples, and plantains.  The plantains came with free advice on how to cook them. But our favorite store is the Isle General.  She carries the most vegetables and we were not disappointed.  Valt also found his favorite Bahamian ice cream in coconut.  Last stop was the Staniel Cay Yacht Club/ freight service department to see if our parts arrived.  The yacht club owns WaterMakers Inc, in Ft. Lauderdale and since they fly guests and supplies in regularly to Staniel Cay, they also fly freight packages.  We order something, have it shipped to WaterMakers Ft. Lauderdale.  They put it on the plane, we pick it up at the yacht club.  Simple?  Yes, but not always in a timely manner.  No, they had not arrived.  Back aboard the boat, we put away our new goodies and prepared a dinner of Mahi Sandwiches, fried plantain, and cole slaw.  Next we watched the final episode of The Godfather.  The sea was flat calm.  Of course, this would not last.  A cold front was forecast to  pass thru Wednesday night and Thursday bringing NE winds up to 20k.  We hoped our protected little bay would be good.