Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Thanks for a Great Voyage

All the best to you both, and thanks again for a great voyage, Jim

11 March 2010
Up early with plans to sail up to Allen Cay to snorkel. 'Snapped photos of
a houseboat moored nearby, all of us wondering how it got there and how it
could "sail" through the seas. Sailed north on the jenny in a brisk wind.
Stopped at Sampson Cay for fuel and food, and then continued north. We
tried twice to anchor near Allen Cay, but the winds were to strong. We
reversed our course and set off south again for Highborne Cay-navigating a
very tricky channel to get there. We zigzagged through the coral heads
until we came to Swallowtail Bay where we anchored for the night. After a
feast of stir fry and a wonderful pasta dish, we went below to listen to a
howling wind. we felt very much sheltered in our cocoon for the night.
12 March 2010
The weather was somewhat threatening, as a storm was expected that night.
Needing fresh water from the marina on Highborne Cay, Captain Mark
skillfully maneuvered Stray Cat through a shallow cut in the coral reef to
the harbor on the opposite side of the island. We docked, took on water and
groceries and set sail toward Rose Island. We radioed ahead to Dancing with
Dolphins (Wes and Janice's cat), receiving confirmation of the storm, now
expected at dawn. The winds were gusting 15 to 20; we set both the jenny
and the main for a glorious sail! The winds abated a bit and then felt it
almost stop as we cruised through the cut into the sheltered lagoon of "the
donut" (their affectionate name for that end of Rose Island). Several of us
walked around the beginnings of a resort, currently on hold for a turn in
the economy. admiring the extensive bulkhead work. We returned to a
delicious dinner of marinated chicken, prepared by Seddon and barbecued by
Captain Mark. We could hear the wild wind beyond the trees that sheltered
13 March 2010
The front went through at dawn as predicted, with lots of rain, thunder and
lightning. In the morning, however, we went topside to blue sky. After
Marybeth's eggs and bacon, we reversed the cut at full speed to negotiate
the narrow route out into high seas--en route to Nassau and civilization. I
think we were all a little sad, if not resigned, at the thought of leaving
the out islands of paradise. We reached port mid-morning, and made plans for
a day in Nassau. Four of us set off over the high bridge to Paradise Island
to explore Atlantis, while Jim and Seddon who'd just been there at New Years
sought out the Straw Market. Buying an Adventure Pass at Atlantis, we set
out to explore the resort. It was a mob scene of activity, but it was huge
enough to contain it all. The aquarium was like no other -the fish, eels,
rays and sharks all swam in gigantic tanks set in caves and underwater
lagoons which meandered all over the property, interspersed with pools and
splashing waterfalls. It was amazing, we all felt that seeing a schematic of
handling all that water would be fascinating. We hiked back over the windy
bridge high above the harbor to return to the marina for showers. Jim and
Seddon returned from their day in Nassau that included Fort Charlotte and
conch fritters on the beach. We "dressed" for dinner at East Villa, a
restaurant virtually unknown to tourists, that Mark recommended, where we
enjoyed a true banquet of Chinese food. We taxied back to the boat for our
last night aboard Stray Cat.
14 March 2010
Because of daylight savings, we got up early-some rose at dawn-for a light
breakfast; lugged our duffel'sLate up from below. Farewell photos and hugs all
around. We'd had a wonderful charter, filled with many, many memories of a
week together, in the hands of our capable captain and mate.
Thanks so much, Mark and Marybeth!

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