Staniel Cay

Sat 13 Mar 2010 00:28
Yesterday, as we were leaving Thomas Cay (in the Pipe Creek area) and making our way to to Staniel Cay, we were listening to a morning weather broadcast on the VHF radio, generously provided by June Rosen on the Blue Yonder from Staniel Cay. At the end of the weather announcements (and analysis), as we have learned from listening to other cruisers, we said, "Thank you from Sea Fever." The next thing we knew, someone hailed Sea Fever on the radio, asking if we were the boat from the Catskills. Turns out that Carol and Bob Ahlers from Albany, who had heard about us through the Shallow Water Sailors group, and happened to be in Staniel Cay for only a day--the same day we arrived. When we pulled up to the town beach, they just happened to be right there, and waved us in.

Last night we had a great fondue dinner on their boat. The girls are smitten by the catamaran. Carol and Bob are Celtic musicians, in addition to their many other talents, and they knew the music that the poem "Sea eFever" has been set to. They sang for us. What a sublime treat. Carol also baked brownies (on their boat--we are amazed by the fact that most other boats have ovens!). We think they departed today (in high winds) to go to Black Point. We hope they had a safe trip.

We anchored farther off the town beach last night. Not very protected, and the winds picked up to 30 knots. It was a rolly night, but nowhere near the one on SW Allens Cay. For the next few days, the winds are supposed to be up to 25k and shifting from SE to SW to NW. We left our anchorage in the morning to find shelter from the westerly winds. We put ourselves deep into an inlet near the Staniel Cay runway. A bit of an odd place. Lots of private homes, and no beach to speak of. A half sunken sailboat is nearby. This is also the spot where two Bahamian racing sloops are anchored.

After settling in here, we thoroughly explored Staniel by foot. We were able to walk to the dump and unload our garbage--a huge relief. Garbage disposal is always a challenge. Some marinas will take garbage for a fee, but only for marina guests. We can highly recommend Staniel Cay's dump. On the roads, it was far less windy than on the shores and it was a hot, long walk (not without complaints) rewarded by ice cream. There are 3 stores in Staniel. One is the Isles General Store, which also serves as the post office. We mailed postcards there today. Yesterday, we got provisions there--the supply boat had just come in (we stocked up on veggies and fruits, including oranges from California.) Two other stores are the Pink store and the Blue store. We got ice cream at the Blue store today, which is a cluster of bright blue houses, one of which is the store. Yesterday, we got fresh baked bread from a yellow house that had pigeon peas growing in the front yard and chickens running around.

We met another wonderful couple: Bill & Heidi on Act III, a 44' Kelly-Peterson--a solid around-the-world vessel. They visited Sea Fever yesterday with their friends Paul and Mary-Beth, because Bill was so curious about it. Today, when we were in town, we visited their boat at the Staniel Cay Yacht club slip where they are tied up for the night. The boat has a very ship-like and solid feeling. They are inspiring--they're beginning a two-plus-year trip in the Caribbean. Heidi knits and crochets and makes beautiful scrubbies, one of which she gave to us--it's the colors of the Bahamian flag. It's too nice to use on dishes.

We're here for the night, and probably will move elsewhere near Staniel tomorrow. We really want to snorkel Thunderball again, and maybe visit the pigs again. . . .