23:37.8N 75:44.9W Emerald Bay Marina

Madeleine and Martin
Fri 19 Apr 2013 02:05
Leaving Abrahams Bay, Mayaguana Island on Monday 8th April. Going through the reef seemed “easy”; nothing like being able to follow your own GPS track- if we got in we must be able to get out - and so it proved. We decided on an over night passage past Long Island 175 miles north to George Town, Great Exuma. Excellent sailing all the way and plenty of time to study the “interesting passage” through the Exuma reef and reflect on the oddity of crossing the Tropic of Cancer twice, once North, once South. In the event the shallow entry to George Town roads which had flinty eyed, polaroid Madeleine on the bow for an hour passed without difficulty. Anchored in Duck Bay opposite George Town and dinghied ashore to report in with Customs and Immigration. 1604 and Customs was open but really closed – “that door should have been locked” he said accusingly. Helpfully, he gave us the forms and sent us on our way for the ten minute walk to Immigration. Immigration was open and would be open until 1700 but wouldn’t deal with us because we had not completed our business with Customs! So we had a look round town, probably illegally as we had not been processed by anybody, and found George Town to be a bit seedy. Could it be that our brush with officialdom had coloured our view! Nothing daunted we were back the following day and with the help of a very scary Amazonian Customs Lady completed our legal entry to the Bahamas. Followed this with an excellent lunch at, and magic view from the balcony of, the Exuma Yacht Club no less. Amazing what a difference a day makes! Our bonhomie was not blown away by the second very wet dinghy ride back to September.
And then there seemed to be a succession of bad news; Maggie Thatcher had died which seemed like the end of an era; more seriously the local news was filled with reports of the Boston Marathon bombings – the FBI have sworn to “chase the perps to the ends of the earth”, let us hope that it does not take them too long; less seriously, except to the afflicted,  Mick and Nikki had reported in with a serious case of “Great Crested Iguana Whooping Flu Cough” – apparently only caught by posh sailors on British Airways! It is difficult to work out whether we are more or less affected by “bad news” from outside when we are sitting in paradise with warm breezes, abundant sunshine and stunning seascapes.
And so on to Emerald Bay a mere ten miles further North and another half empty marina. This one owned by Sandals, no less, of which more later.
But now a quote from her ladyship’s personal journal; “April 13th and the day of our 45th Wedding Anniversary dawned. “Breakfast in bed”, did I hear an indulgent murmur? Not a bit of it; today was the Day of the Big Deck Scrub. Now you may visualise a jolly whistling Jack Tar with a hose pipe and long handled deck brush, tootling about, swishing a bit of salt and a few biscuit crumbs away; Wrong! MJ was out of our bunk before sunrise to wet it all down (not our bunk silly, the deck) – “can you get the coffee, love?” Then he presented me with a bucket of soapy water, a scrubbing brush, a pan scrub and – wait for it – a tooth brush. I was to scrub the toe rail. Oh – and “Happy Anniversary”. Five hours went by. I offered to give September to the next person who passed by and said what a lovely boat..... I could see she was tempted, until she realised that I was only half way round.” All moaning aside we had decided it was time to put in some serious maintenance time and three days later the  whole boat was clean and polished and the toe rail was, of course, immaculate.
We rewarded (?) ourselves with a day at the Sandals resort next door. “All Inclusive” means pay a fortune and then eat and drink as much as you want. Very clever really because in this climate, in truth, you don’t want a lot. Nevertheless a day by, and in, the “Quiet Pool” ( as opposed to the big noisy one) was very relaxing. But everyday, no way; give me a scrubbing brush (almost) every time!
So, here we are packing up to fly home tomorrow. The freezer is defrosted, the fridge empty, the Barnum Bailey covers are on and the list of things to do in the morning before the taxi arrives is, as usual, impossible. As ever, we travel hopefully.
Err, have you seen my tooth brush?