Provisioning on the Exuma islands is not like at home where, if you need to shop, you just go to the mall. Here, people rely on boats and, to a lesser extent, planes. Several islands have runways used by commercial services, charter planes, and small personal planes. But mostly, they use their own small boats, or local ships. The mail boat comes weekly to many of the islands, delivering mail and fresh food and supplies and picking things up to go elsewhere. Here are pictures of the mail boat at Little Farmers Cay, and the boat that came out from the island to meet it. On the small boat were adults, children, dogs, and a refrigerator to go onto the mail boat. It was a little choppy that day, but the transfers were made and the ship got under way. Another day, a barge (see below) carrying building supplies came in. There’s no dock large enough for a ship, so it pulled right up to shore and lowered a ramp to offload its goods. We have it waaay too easy at home.
Friday, December 25, 2009
What a terrific place with terrific people. It’s a small island, which we walked all around in about an hour, and it’s beautiful, with unparalleled views of the ocean and surrounding shallows. One of the highlights was an afternoon spent at the Ocean Cabin Restaurant and Bar, run by Terry Bain, pictured here with Chris (the blue drink on the right is the O.C. special, very tasty). Terry is the consummate host, and a font of knowledge about the
We haven’t had good internet access lately, so I haven’t been able to post blogs. But we have been busy. From Big Majors Spot we sailed south through Exuma Sound to the Black Point settlement to deliver twelve boxes of school supplies, shown here in our cockpit, that we brought over from Florida as part of a Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) project. Then back to Staniel Cay to pick up parts for our 12-volt refrigeration system. Thankfully, we were able to resolve the issue of importing boat parts into the
See in the picture here, how you can see things so clearly? (OK, looking at it here it doesn't really look clear, but trust me, it is.) We took it while we were sailing in Exuma Sound, and we could see every rock and coral head on the bottom, even some fish. And yes, the water was 65 feet deep. Incredible!
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Do you recognize that as James Bond music? If so, perhaps you remember the scenes filmed in Thunderball Grotto in the Thunderball movie. The grotto is just off of Staniel Cay. It’s just a small island to look at from the outside, but if you go at low tide, you can swim or snorkel inside. Fantastic! It’s like the whole island is hollowed out into a chamber with holes at the top (see picture at right). Inside, the water is about ten feet deep, and there’s plenty of head room to take out your snorkel and look around (see picture at left). There are also fish galore, mostly sergeant majors looking to be fed (see previous blog as a warning), so they swarm all around you. I made the mistake of telling another woman snorkeling in the grotto that I had been bitten by a sergeant major, and she immediately freaked out, saying that they were looking her in the eye. Oops! And yes, we have a license to kill—fishing license, that is. But not here, as the grotto is a no-fishing zone.
During our walk on Waderick Wells, we came upon a cairn built by previous cruisers, who have carved, written, or painted the names of their boats on stones, driftwood, and other materials. One that immediately caught my attention was this one for Rising Tide out of
We stayed at the mooring field at Waderick Wells for several days. The first day, as I mentioned in the previous blog, was Thanksgiving, and we partook of a great potluck feast hosted by the park. As thanks, we volunteered the next day at the park. Our task was to clean up and fix various maladies on one of the park’s boats, as you can see Chris doing here. So we scrubbed and bolted and gel coated, and had a great time doing it – at least we felt useful. The park is a terrific place to stay a few days. On the beach they’ve got the skeleton of a 52-foot sperm whale that died nearby; when you look down from the park headquarters building, it’s rather startling, kind of like
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I know it’s a little late, but here’s our update on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving morning, we sailed down to Waderick Wells, which is where the headquarters for the