A Funny Old Day 24.06.000 076.24.500

Suzie Too - Western Caribbean
David & Suzanne Chappell
Sun 29 Jan 2012 15:27
Like Forrest Gump’s mamma used to say, “Yuh never know what you’re goanna git”. We planned to leave Staniel Cay after fuelling up at 0800, except a small boat was berthed alongside overnight, we knew it had broken down as I had offered to tow in him in the night before as he drifted past us with his 2 x 300HP Yamaha’s not running. We waited for him to move, I drove in perfectly bringing the yacht right alongside with 17kts of wind and 3 kts of current, Suzanne threw the dock handlers the lines and they just held them as we slowly drifted off – Thanks guys!! Quite a struggle to bring the boat back in and we ended up winching her in using one of the electric winches.
We got away OK, as I wanted to go out to sea through the cut when the tide was flooding up onto the Exuma Bank to keep plenty of water over the rudder as we negotiated a narrow, shallow section between rocks. We had discussed with several cruisers places heading south and it was suggested we try Blackpoint, a mere 8M away. The sea was again lumpy and confused with 20kts on the nose and we motored south for an hour, in through Dotham Cut back up onto the bank and anchored in 6m of water, about 1 1/2M off the beach with our deep draft..
We had heard on the VHF that help was required at 1200 to help launch a couple of boats for a regatta and at about 1300 we headed ashore for Lorraine’s Cafe and lunch and were promptly enrolled into the boat launch gang, as everything of course runs on Island Time. What fun – must have been 15 cruisers and 10 locals, all pushing, shoving and shouting directions as we threw rollers under the keel crossed the road and down the bank into the sea – with the guy who had built a new one christening her with a bottle of something dodgy but fizzy.
We finally made it to Lorraine’s had a very late lunch and sat chatting with all the other cruisers – our main introduction being – “Do you know what their boat’s draft is? - 8’ 7”, can you believe it!” A great day, all the Bahamians seem so genuinely happy.