April 8 – 12, 2014
We decided to leave Chicken Harbor, as they sometimes call George Town, and head a little farther south to Long Island, Bahamas with our friends on Anthyllide. Since the island is southeast from George Town, we needed wind from the west to push us on down. Neither of us particularly like using $6 a gallon diesel fuel, so we waited for a cold front to clock the winds around and provide a nice southwest to northwest blow!
We quickly realized that one of the coolest Buddy Boating Benefits (BBB #1) is that you can get nice pics of your buddy’s boat and they can get cool pics of yours too!
About halfway into our sail, I was down below making lunch and JR said, “I need you to put down what you’re doing and come out and help.” I was all, “Huh?” because that’s not like him at all, but when I went out into the cockpit, there was a dark cloud over us and the wind and waves were doing weird stuff. Right about then, Kim called us on the VHF and told us a squall was on it’s way! Eeek! We’ve never been through a squall!
It wasn’t too bad. We pulled in the jib and left the main reefed. We kinda’ just rocked around in the waves for a bit, got a pretty darn good shower and tried like heck to tack the main. Really we really needed to gybe, but had troubles getting the sail in tight with so much wind on it and didn’t want to break anything, so we tried to go all the way into the wind to tack. We were pretty much just stalled, so we had to turn the engine on to get the boat to tack through the wind. By the time the squall was over, the wind had shifted from southwest to northwest. It was pretty cool to see the weather change that fast! Once anchored in Long Island, we chilled for a bit and later paid a visit to Anthyllide for a “first squall” celebration.
On our first full day in Long Island, the boys wanted to piddle around the boat and Kim and I wanted to play! So she hopped in her dink, scooped me up, and we went for a nice long walk. BBB #2: Someone else to play with if your hubby is busy :) I didn’t realize the power we had as two young ladies buzzing around an island together. We got lots of attention and lots of, “Are you on a boat together?” It was pretty funny, we were quite the an anomaly!
One of the many characteristics that JR and I truly love about Kim and Scott is their ability and desire to talk to strangers. Scott told us that for entertainment, they seek out strangers to chat with and listen to their stories. Not only is this a really inexpensive form of entertainment, it is a fascinating hobby. I tend to invent stories about people, but actually talking to them, questioning them, and listening to them, is a whole-heck-of-a-lot more interesting than anything I could dream up. This cruising life of ours has made it so that meeting new people everyday is normal and easy, but Scott and Kim have inspired us to take it a step further. Those two will talk to ANYONE and it has been awesome to tag along as they probe into the lives of strangers! BBB #3: Learn new, inexpensive forms of entertainment :)
Anyway… Kim and I needed somewhere to dock, so we skimmed over to a fisherman who was fiddling around on his fishing boat. His name was Roger and he welcomed us to tie up to his dock for a while (who would deny two hot chics in a dink?! ;) We chatted with him for about a half an hour and talked about fishing, lobster season, boat life, cruising, Long Island, and of course, the regatta! We had no idea then how serious those Long Islanders are about regatta. As we sit here in George Town now, Running Tide only a few points short of winning the whole thing, I kinda’ laugh at Roger’s humility. Once we left Roger, Kim and I took a LONG walk across the beach, through an overgrown trail, and then back through the town. We stopped at “The Breeze,” a cruiser friendly restaurant/resort and I paid $5 to take a nice, long, hot shower. Good times :)
The beaches in Long Island were some of the most beautiful we’ve seen. There always seems to be a path that will take you to the top of a hill for the most gorgeous view ever. But being that Long Island is a barrier island and it was one of the most littered beaches we’ve come across. Kim is a little more used to seeing odd flotsam and jetsam washed up on the beach, I’m still getting used to it. We spied all kinds of things, mostly plastics, that just don’t belong on a beautiful, white sandy beach. It was pretty sad and quite overwhelming.
A few days into our stay in Long Island, we decided to rent a car and hit the road. BBB #4: Shared rental car expenses! Since the island is only about 80 miles long, lots of folks recommended getting a car. The main road was paved and nice but we took more than one side trip down gravely roads to see some of Long Island’s charm. Here’s a slide show of our day. The highlights for us were Dean’s Blue Hole and ice cream :) Click the first pic for a slide show, but don’t forget to keep reading after the slide show, k?
After a few days anchored in Thompson Bay, we decided to head north to Callabash Bay in hopes of some good spear fishing opportunities! Scott got some AMAZING pics of Journey as we lazily sailed down wind. Anthyllide has mast steps and Scott’s got a great zoomy lens and a nice polarizing filter and since 10 knots true wind on the stern is insanely boring for Kim and Scott, he climbed his mast and started shooting. Please refer to BBB #1: Kick *ss pictures of your boat! We can’t wait to get back to the states and order new boat cards ;) Click the first pic for a slideshow but don’t forget to keep reading!
Calabash was lovely and we wasted no time scoping out the coral heads for fish. JR has been kinda’ disappointed in the fishing department for lack of opportunities. If you fish on The Banks, chances are you’ll score a barracuda, which neither of us are interested in doing. Many of the islands we visited were national parks, so you’re not allowed to fish there and even when we had the opportunity, JR wasn’t really sure where and how to spear. JR has hooked 3 Mahi during ocean voyages, but for the life of him, couldn’t seem to get them in the boat! So when Anthyllide mentioned spear fishing, JR was all about it. BBB #4: Learning how to spear fish :) Unfortunately the reefs were a bust and they didn’t really find anything big enough to spear, but JR got a nice lesson and I think he’s excited about a new fishing prospect!
Next stop, Conception Island!