Saturday, January 27, 2007

catch up

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Saturday, January, 27, 2007, 14:25 UTC
Rose Island, Bahamas

Captain Notes: This is a catch- up entry since I have not been keeping up with the log. The first part took place over the two week holiday period.

Today is the last day of a nine day charter with two families; one family from Mexico City and one from Miami. The total number of guests is eleven with some local people stopping by bringing the number to seventeen on a few days.
What made it possible on Stray Cat is that theses families are the Architects of a number of celebrity's homes. (Johnny Dep, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, David Copperfield) They also supply cabinets and other furnishings for homes that are being built. The homes are located on four different islands here in the central Exuma Islands. Their relationship gave us access to unlimited fuel, food and housing.
This area is a spectacular scenic group of islands that are remote but made less so by private aircraft freight and passenger flights and numerous barge and island freighter delivery stops in support of a massive project.
The beauty of this location has attracted celebrities who are building homes from ten to thirty thousand square feet. Some of them house bowling allies, drive-in movies where you sit in period (antique) restored cars of the 100k and above variety.
All of this is very private and does not involve very many homes. A number of people I spoke to point with pride at the great lengths and expense that are gone to prevent visual and actual harm to the environment. I guess my only claim to fame in all of this is that I cooked on Faith Hills Barbeque; unfortunately she was not on the island.
I did however meet some very nice people (Tom and Susan) on Bock Cay who extended their hospitality to me and John Whaley who was my Chef and First Mate on this trip; what a tuff job he had and did very well.
One evening we had a barbeque on a beach and some islanders stopped by to join in. I met the island manager (Brenda Gadd) of a marine research center just a few islands south. There are several scientists studying corals and marine life etc., you can pull in to their anchorage where they have mooring balls to tie up to without charge. When their schedule permits they will give a walking tour of part of the island and research center.

After my guest departed for home I sailed up to Staniel Cay to pick up my friend Captain Mike and his lady friend Sandi she is his Chef/Mate. They run an eighty five foot motor yacht in Florida. There was a frontal passage due so we found shelter behind Big Majors spot for a few days. Mike helped me take care of some maintenance issues and Sandi can really cook. The first day a couple from one of the other boats came alongside in their dink and invited us to a pig roast on the beach and took up a ten dollar contribution saying we would need to bring a side dish.
They built a big barn fire on one of the two beaches there and about seventy people showed up. The food and rum were fine and being around a lot of men and woman sailors is always interesting. About an hour after everyone ate the stars disappeared and the heavens opened up with a down pour. A mad scramble for the dinks beached all over the shore created a bit of a traffic jam. The second beach is the home of wild pigs that will swim out to your dink as you approach; that's right pigs can swim in fact Mike and Sandi were playing with them on the shore that day. I suppose having the pig roast on their beach would just not be politically correct
The three of us took a leisurely sail up the chain stopping along the way at a few spots. The stop that was enjoyed the most was Compass Cay. You can tie-up at their dock in one of the most beautiful settings you can imagine. There is a small low dock that is really used for small boats but at low tide the Nurse Sharks lay there so you can pet them, their skin is ruff but they seem to enjoy being petted. Mike and Sandi swam with them; I did not, but I did get some good pictures of them so look for them on the web site in the next few weeks. Tucker is the owner of the island, cottages for rent and marina he always has a warm welcome for me. Tucker hosted a potluck on the dock and all the sailors there turned out with side dishes and drinks, it was a perfect night.
Mike and Sandi left for the states from Nassau, I bought food, dropped off the ships laundry and got a hair cut. In the morning I refueled than sailed seven miles to Rose Island for a few days of rest and boat cleaning.
My friends on the 40' Norseman "Dances With Dolphins" was anchored there so I dropped my hook and went over for drinks and dinner they are both extraordinary cooks; good food, good friends, alright.


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