Posts Tagged: ‘Nassau’

Final Sail?

June 25, 2015 Posted by Deb

We moved the boat back up the Exumas with the weather. After Staniel Cay we were faced with more days of west with a little west thrown in. With squalls looming and company aboard, we called for a mooring at the North mooring field in Warderick Wells (again). It seemed the whole fleet that exited Georgetown after the regatta was trying to do the same thing. Many of the boats calling in and requesting a mooring were Exuma Park sponsors and get special privileges so we were planning on some bumpy nights on the hook. Surprise, surprise … we left our radio on channel 9 even though there was little hope and Exuma Park hailed us and said there was a mooring ball for us.

Warderick Wells gave us great protection for the next three days from some nasty wind and rain. We sent Ray (our one-way guest from Georgetown to Florida) off on a hike on day two after an almost complete circumnavigation of the island on day one. In the middle of his hike the brunt of the front hit. He holed up under a rock and showed up several hours later on the park dock. He had good rain gear with him and weathered the storm quite comfortably. He travels light but prepared.

After three days we made a nasty, wet, and rough jump to Highborne because the wind was supposed to finally clock around to the northeast. It did the next morning and we immediately grabbed a northeast wind and good sunlight for a jump to Nassau and Palm Cay across the Yellow Banks. We don’t quite get the hype about the dreaded Yellow Banks. There are coral heads and wrecks to hit but you would have to really work at it.

PalmCayMarinaPalmCayDockChuckRayWe did limited biking and touring Nassau with the marina courtesy car. The idea of a courtesy car for Americans in a drive on the left country was a bit funny and the dents on the car would back us up on that. We could use the courtesy car for two hours a day so it was frantic.

Our stay in Nassau was basically waiting for weather and marking time. It looked like there would be no sailing out of Nassau for at least a week and the phrase “stir crazy” was being used.  We broke out and motored to Rose Island followed by a motor to Chub Cay.

Chub Cay

ChubCayOverhead

Our friends who did the Northwest Channel anchored off the marina beach at Chub Cay. We didn’t know a lot about the anchorage and made reservations at the marina. That was a mistake. The rates were $4.15 per foot per day, easily beating our old record of $2.75. Wow. We sucked it up for a day and ate at their restaurant, used the pool, and walked around a bit. Our tab for 24 hours was $350 and change. The marina mostly hosts fishing boats, many doing fishing charters. There is nothing else happening. We moved out to the anchorage and snorkeled the gorgeous reef off the marina entrance. Lots of wreck debris, too.

ChubCayPool

Back to the US of A

We picked Sunday for the best weather and left Chub Cay at 7:30 a.m. with a nice breeze and a pre-cursor to the trade winds finally filling in. We had a straight genacker run downwind in 8 to 15 kts across the banks and Gulf Stream and we pulled into Fort Lauderdale 23 hours later at 6:30 a.m. That is not bad for a light air, downwind run. We made all the bridges that shut down at 7:30 a.m. for rush hour traffic, taking the final one with eleven minutes to spare.

Ft. Lauderdale Again and LMC Again

LMC Captain's Lounge Canvas Projects to Beautify Neytiri

LMC Captain’s Lounge Canvas Projects to Beautify Neytiri

We pulled into LMC, this time on the outer docks because they were full. Our plan was to chill for a day and dink on over to Sonny’s Seafarers Church for a look at Neytiri’s home for the summer. We met Sonny and his wife Judy the next day and got chapter one of the legend of Sonny Irons. Wonderful guy but some bad news … our slot was still occupied and would not be available for another week. Oops. On a brighter note, we used the week to get a lot of decommissioning done, running around 12 hours a day of work on the boat.

Sonny Irons is a Lakota Indian who founded the Seafarers Church in Ft. Lauderdale. It’s the home of a bible college and a mini-marina for sailors to store boats in a “hurricane-safe” location up the New River. Sonny and his wife Judy raised their kids on an island in the Turks and Caicos and have an unbelievable repertoire of stories about life in the Caribbean islands. He’s been told the movie, Mosquito Coast, was written with his story in mind. Never a dull moment swapping stories with Sonny.

Waiting at Sonny's Dock

Waiting at Sonny’s Dock