The Bahamas

Graham Shaw
Thu 7 May 2009 17:39
We left Provo early morning for Mayaguana Island, our first port in the
Bahamas. The trip was pretty rough, blowing 26 knots on the beam, two reefs
in the main, which was not too bad just large waves hitting us on the beam,
wet weather gear out for the trip and a lot of steering around the big waves.
Took a big hit and did not have the vents shut on the window in the saloon,
so I spent the next hour mopping up all the sea water. Luckily I cooked the
day before (see Gareth - some of your good advice has sunk in). Nearing
the island we were over taken by the trimaran belonging to Renzo & Edith (
see picture, good action shot). Arrived at the island with a large squall
upon us - you could not see 10 meters in front of you, so kept on circling
until it cleared, we needed sun light to navigate through the reef, lucky for
us Renzo & Edith were in front so they led the way in! Nice place to stop,
sandy white beaches.

Following day another early start to Acklins Island, which was much more
pleasant, and believe it or not we managed to get there before Renzo and
Edith, I think they had a big lie in. Lovely anchorage, more white beaches
completely empty. Edith and Renzo caught a fish which they kindly cooked dinner for us.

We left the guys at Acklins Island and contiuned to Rum Cay, long day but
good weather, managed to get our Spinnaker up, only when another large
catamaran was catching us up - we thought we'd give them a run for their money.
We did hold them off for a while, then we got the spinnaker caught on the
spreader and managed to make the tear a little larger. We met up with the guys
later, as I took some pictures of their boat, which was a 50 ft Catana,
so I think we did well on our little 38ft. Nice guys they felt sorry for us
as we had drunk all our beer the night before, so brought us some over from
their vast store.

Another early start - I thought this was meant to be leisurely! The reason for
all the early start is to navigate the reefs in good sunlight, there seems
to be a lot of reefs. Off to Exumas. Back to busy anchorage. Nice place,
people really friendly, got to see a lot of the island as we had to go to the
airport to clear customs. A shame a lot of resorts being built but none of
them finished, all work stopped because of the economic climate. Sunday
evening we had a real treat of four
dophins playing around the boat at anchor for about a hour so I managed to
take some better photos for a change. I wish I was really brave I would
jump in the water, not sure as some time dophins will attack if felt
threatened. We left the following afternoon for Rat Cay, passed the
dophins on the way out, they came to say goodbye. We found a lovely spot,
anchorage all to ourselves

Staniel Cay was very pretty lots of boats here, with a marina. This spot
is famous for the filming of the James Bond movie Thunderball. We made a
trip to Thunderball Grotto, which we thought was a short walk- ah no, it's
no problem walking the only trouble is Lucas gives up half way usually and
then we have to alternately carry him ( he is not as light as he used to be).
Thankfully some one gave us a lift back on a golf cart. The next morning we went snorkeling
at Thunderball Cave, which is where the underwater scene was done for the
film. What a beautiful cave, loads of fish and coral, unfortunately there
was quite a current running through the cave so we were just able to look
from one side through, it would have been lovely to go through but we had to
wait for slack tide which would have been another few hours, another time we
will come back and do a proper dive through.

Off to Highborne Cay, the sailing was slow almost no wind so engines on.
Found a lovely spot off a sandy beach (yes, I know not another sandy beach,
with clear blue water!) We dinghied round to the other side of the island
where there again was another marina, with very large mega G & T Boats.
They were gutting mahi-mahi fish at the end of the quay, where there were about 6
Nurse sharks, Lemon Shark, Mantaray eating the left overs (always when you
do not have you camera). The sharks were particularly placid, I think they
are used to the feeding every night, what a beautiful sight. I
decided to walk back across the island, while Gray dinghied back. Lovely
island, it really felt like these islands we have visited in the Bahamas are
what all the Carribean use to be like before the developers moved in, or the
cruise ships came.

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