On March 5, we had a beautiful downwind sail from Allens Cay to Normans Cay. Being there brought back memories of 2000 when I was there with Vonny on Wishbone, and 2003 when I sailed with Vonny and Ray and Tim on Wishbone, and Voy on Fairwind.
We walked through the abandoned marina and the garbage dump and along the airport to the restaurant that has replaced MacDuff’s. But there was no access to the restaurant, which was damaged in a hurricane (Sandy?) We walked past abandoned workshops and hangars with old planes, trucks and motors parked in them. Another day we walked almost to the top end of Normans Pond. Earthmoving equipment is ploughing through swamps and woods, pushing trees over and destroying habitat, but to what avail is not apparent. Lots of empty falling-down houses from pre Carlos Lehder drug smuggling days. The big trees are Norman Cay’s best feature. We climbed to the top a hill in a wooded area along the one road, and up onto a houseboat that Carlos and his gang had used as a lookout. We could see the water in every direction. Richard could not explain how the boat got there. Another long-ago hurricane?
At night, the drifts of bright stars lit up our anchorage, where all of the boats had lots of room. We could hear the wind roaring on the west side of the island, but we were in calm protected waters. We found conch on another walk through shallow water and Jim cooked tasty conch fritters.
On Lynda’s birthday we dinghied through all the shades of blue and green and sandy white, through mangroves, out into Exuma Sound and back into the Pond in the north end.
On March 8 we sailed to Pipe Creek and rafted together in a very protected spot between Rat Cay and the Mice, three little Cays. Another long dinghy right through even more outstanding colours that were still glowing in my head long after dark. Lots of uninhabited islands, but on one with a large mansion and a full contingent of security people, there were three large wind turbines, a sensible kind of development, but not repeated elsewhere in the islands we saw.
On March 10, we left early so we could make it out through the skinny water while the tide was still high. Next stop – Staniel Cay. Back to phones, internet, and a bar/restaurant. It is possible we overindulged on conchburgers and mahi mahi sandwiches. A woman on the beach who wants to sail bought the book. She hugged me the next day and told me it was really funny. More provisioning.
Richard was still struggling with back pain and taking Tylenol. We waited out another front at Staniel Cay, but it was comfortable once we found the right spot (not the north end of the Majors).
March 15, we took the inside ziggy-zaggy route to the Darbys, an unusual spot that both Richard and I had been to many times before. It was fun to rediscover it with Jim and Lynda, who has never seen the green mansion or the goat caves.
Then we took the ziggy-zaggy, even shallower route to Children’s Bay. Yesterday we went out into the ocean to come to George Town, and the end of our travelling for this year. But not the end of our cruising life. We plan to stay in Georgetown for two months of relaxation and fun.
From Sharon and Richard on Lucky.