Thursday, March 5, 2009

Island hopping.

We continue our trip south by hopping from one island to another along the Exumas chain and reached George Town. From there, we sailed East through Cape Santa-Maria, in Long Island, to Rum Cay. We’ve been lucky so far with the wind and were able to sail most of the way for the past two weeks. Especially the leg from Cape Santa-Maria to Rum Cay was quite exciting. Strong wind and decent waves made us wonder why people pay for rides in an amusement park when you can have a boat. Fortunately, having strong winds means going fast. The 37 miles trip was over in just a few hours and we were then safe and sheltered in Rum Cay where we plan to spend the next few days until the winds calm down a bit.

Each island has its own small town where we can walk or take a beer. Here you can see Danielle at Black Point where we stopped to wait for the wind to calm down. The place was very calm and pleasant. We stopped at Lorrain’s for a Bahamian meal. In this case it was breaded fish for Danielle and fried chicken for me. Bahamians really love frying oil! In George Town Danielle got acquainted with the local beer. Here you can see her trying to pose for an ad to promote the beer. Wouldn’t you be tempted by the beer with a babe like this on the picture? George Town is a bit bigger than the usual town we visited since Nassau and offers real grocery stores, hair salons where I got a good hair cut and hardware stores. We did some shopping but we mainly bought fresh food. Among other things we needed green onions but in George Town one was enough! It’s not in Canada that we grow green onions like that hey?

While Danielle drinks beer and go green onions hunting, I do some fishing. Nothing too complicated here. We caught two nice and delicious fishes just by letting a line in the water by the boat with a piece of chicken or fish on the hook. The two fishes you see here are the ones that let themselves being caught because in two days I lost three sets of hooks, leaders and floats that a certain underwater beast decided to take with it leaving me a sharply cut line. In George Town we bought stronger tackles and we’ll see who is going to have the last word. After all this is not spear fishes that are eating my hooks when there is less than ten feet of water in the bay! Of course, like all other sailors living on their boat, I had a lot of “Boat Repairs in Exotic Places”. Repairing the boat isn’t nice but with scenery like this it helps a bit. By the way, the problem here was just a small problem with the water pump of the genset that I fixed in a jiffy. After six month living aboard and maintaining the boat in working conditions I get a bit better.

Here are some pictures of George Town, the Mecca of sailors (especially the retired ones). From George Town the geography of the region makes navigation more serious and many people decide to stop here to spend the winter and come back home in spring. The first picture shows boats at anchors in George Town but the fact is that you don’t see even half of the boats that were there during our visit. A particular aspect of the harbor is that the water is milky instead of crystal clear like the rest of the Bahamas. One suggested to us that it was caused by what is “rejected” by all the boats in the area however I have some reservations about that theory. Although, 300-400 boats along with the city sewers, that are likely sent directly in the water with no treatments, that can make the water milky! In any cases, you can bet that the watermaker stayed OFF the whole time we were in George Town. Since the area is used seasonally by many retired people, the whole place looks like a camping site with activities such as beach volleyball or people just hang out with others to talk and have a drink.
Presently we are in Rum Cay and continue our route toward the Turks and Caicos where we hope to arrive in a week or two. Our next passage should be quite long and would likely require sailing overnight.