Exumas Tour

Trip Start Jan 30, 2008
1
8
11
Trip End May 10, 2008


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Sunday, March 9, 2008

Hey there,
 
Sorry, haven't been around internet for a while! Currently, we are in Highborne Cay at a nice marina.   The furthest south we got was roughly 8 miles from here, Normans Cay, which was amazing.  We had to back track somewhat because we needed a good charge on our batteries, as well as some water.  I think we left off at Port Lucaya...so I'll begin with the journey from there to Nassau.  We left Lucaya, being there what seemed like an eternity around 11am on a bright sunny day.   Leaving the inlet we had entered a week before, we were amazed at how much it had changed from the violent washing machine we had known.  It was an extremely calm ride out, passing a dive boat and some catamarans tooling around the entrance way.  We threw a fishing line off the back as is customary before a long haul, yet still the sharp hook wielded nothing more than some green seaweed.  About an hour into the passage we decided to cut the engine and Really sail, hearing nothing more than salty ocean against Respite's hull.  Really relaxing.  The weather throughout was great.  A little wavy during the night, but everything seems to amplify when darkness takes over.  We must have seen twenty cruise liners leaving the Nassau area, almost in a huge lighted parade, with some cargo ships here and there.  We had learned the lesson of preparing the cabin for rough seas, so this time we made sure to bungee down cushions, stow books, cups, and spices, and secure our main storage area.  The cabin after this trip looked night and day from the Gulf cross, granted we didn't have crazy weather.  One incident that occurred while crossing was this huge rogue wave that crashed against and on top of the port side deck spilling water into the cockpit.  I was behind the dodger, they don't call it that for nothing, and was spared, but Michael on the other hand was not.   
                                During the day in Nassau, Michael and Austin went to Atlantis to ride the slides, etc and I simply just crashed on the couch exhausted.  I didn't really have any desire to do anything but finally sleep for an hour or two, but it was great because around 6pm time I took a cab over there to meet up with them for dinner.  They showed me the huge aquariums and we walked to marina docks staring at the huge motor yachts backed into their slips.  We had pizza from this Italian eatery...so good!  Jamaican Jerk Pizza!  We left the next morning early and who did we see while leaving....Local Knowledge!( My Granny's old sailboat.)  We were minding our own business cruising down the waterway on our way to the outlet, when this dinghy starts racing towards us!  I thought, shoot did we have to clear customs or something here? What's going on?  As the crazed man on the dingy got closer we noticed Local Knowledge painted on the side of the tender!  We talked to him for as long as we could being that we were in a narrow channel and told him that we we're going to meet up with our Granny and parents in Staniel Cay at the end of the month.  I think he said that was his plan too, so we'll just have to see.
                                 When crossing over to Allens Cay, our first spot in the Exumas, I really got the sense that we had Made It.  We were dipping the toe rail, blazing through this aqua green crystal clear water that we had been dreaming of since this idea came about.  This was it!  There was a whole fleet of sailboats heading to the Exumas, quite a sight and it was fun trying to trim the sails to get an edge on the boat next you. There were a couple spots where we had to dodge these huge coral heads that hide right beneath the water.  Michael likes the ride on the bow as spotter, I love to man the helm, and Austin likes to relax while relaying what Michael and I are saying to each other, so we kept those positions in these areas.    Allen's Cay was a little tricky to get into.  You squeeze through two areas of rocks and whip around the corner to find the shallow anchor spot having to dodge the other boats already there.  It took a lifetime to anchor since the bottom was really loose sand.  Michael ended up jumping in and pushing the anchor in the sand for it to bite.  Since it was so loose we decided to use two anchors just in case and man was it a good idea.  That night we had the strongest winds we've ever been in!  35-40 knot winds just screaming by.  The constant howling tested our nerves and didn't let you sleep for long..  During the night we had to wrap a line around the top of the bimini to keep it from blowing away.  Constantly you wake up from the rocking boat, thinking "I better check to make sure the anchor didn't slip."  So you stumble out of bed, climb up on deck, and use a flashlight to spot where everything is.  Thank goodness we stayed put, because having to re-anchor in the pitch black, with the wind and rain beating  against you would not have been fun.  The main attraction at Allen's Cay is the iguanas.  Now, when I heard that there were some neat looking iguanas that you could feed, I was thinking maybe a few.  When we pulled our dinghy up on the beach, no less than 45 iguanas sat there starring you down, wondering how long it would take for the lettuce in your hand to make it to their mouth.  They were pretty brave, coming within a foot to grab a piece of lettuce.  
                           The next stop was Highborne Cay, which has a great beach and is where we first encountered "trash fish."  Austin first saw these fish while swimming back to the boat after setting the anchor.  They were just resting right up under our hull and about 3 feet long.  Apparently they'll eat anything you throw overboard and some say good to eat.  Now I don't think we eat them but there pretty fun to mess with.  Norman's Cay is the furthest South we've made it and probably the best place we've been too.  We were there for 3 days before coming back to Highborne for water and a battery charge.  While at Normans, we hiked around the entire island, exploring some caves, walking on a land bridge accessible only at low tide, and visting the ruins of Carlos Lehders house.  Carlos in the 70's ran a huge drug operation from this island, taking advantage of the airstrip and isolation it offered.  If you've seen the movie "Blow" you know what I'm talking about.  After his operation was busted, his house, the workers houses, and dock were all left to decay.  Fun to explore!   We finished off the day by treating ourselves to a meal out at the only restaurant we've seen in a little while.  MaGruffs was the name of the place and man was it delicious.  Tomorrow we'll be heading off again making our way to Hawksbill Cay.  I know this one was long and we thank you for reading.  We will keep you posted as we have internet.  All the best,
 
Brayden, Michael, and Austin
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Comments

dionthego
dionthego on

Great report !!!!!!
You are doing a fine job with the reporting !!!!!So glad you met up with Frank (owner of Local knowledge) and I hope to see him when we get down there !!! Warren Webber , ' No Justice' is also planning on being there about that time too. He did the first survey on Respite, and saw her potential. His boat is registered in LaHave River, Nova Scotia, so someone else who may hail you !!!!!!!! See you soon,

trudypitcairn
trudypitcairn on

Fabulous!
Fabulous entry, you make it sound so completely wonderful! You have seen and done so much just this last week! You guys are amazing! Great you met Local Knowledge too!

westinlord
westinlord on

normans cay
that is were whats his mane from blow did his refueling on the way to derek forreals

lynngenzlinger
lynngenzlinger on

Hi Guys!
It is wonderful to read all about your latest adventures. You are creating memories for a lifetime. I will read your entry to Grandma when she comes for dinner next time. I know she will be happy to hear you are doing well. Keep up the good work.

Love,
Aunt Lynn

baucoin
baucoin on

amazing entry
That was an amazing entry guys - i got chill bumps when you described the hull cutting through that beautiful aqua water.
I think Michael just likes diving to the bottom to see whats down there whether the anchor really needs assistance or not...even if the waters 60 degrees, lol.

nosnarb
nosnarb on

wish I were younger!!
Di gave me your site,excellent,most interesting,and great photo's,keep up the good 'work!'
Should be on a boat soon myself,albeit somewhat smaller,(kayak,)regards,viv

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