Jalan-Jalan Yacht

Bahamas once more for luck.

We said a fond farewell to Janet from the marina in Bahia on Saturday evening.  The plan had been to clear out and anchor in the bay until early dawn before heading away from Cuba. However there was a grumpy immigration oficer who was being officious and said if we were going we had to just go there and then.

It has been a fascinating experience to see some of Cuban life away from the cities and touristy areas. It really is stunning for scenery but equally breathtaking to see how people live in this particular society and remain happy with their lot. The impression we are left with is an industrious people who have not mananged to move with the times and thereby flourish /reach their potential. Overall an extremely humbling experience for us.

The weather was not ideal to depart, winds up to 35 knots and some pretty big swell was a bit of a challenge. However the moon was out and we had a swift passage across the gulf stream and on to the banks just as daybreak arrived.  We had quite a few large vessels to do deal with as we traversed the gulf but managed to avoid them all.   Arriving back in the Ragged Islands saw us back into extremely shallow waters once more. The plan had been just to drop the anchor and sleep but the day was quite stunning and conditions had settled to a steady 20 knots with fairly flat seas on the bank so we decided to keep going up the chain. Eventually dropped the anchor in Flamingo Bay  (no flamingoes to be seen)  and crashed.   Yesterday we were up early as a strong swell had started to run into the bay and we were rolling quite badly.  We knew the times of the tides were not good for getting through the cut at Hogs Cay so we decided to head the long way round.  An extra 20 miles but it was yet another gorgeous day for sailing. The wind on the beam, sun splitting the sky (black clouds behind us though) , turquoise water and all the sails up in 25 – 30 knots of wind. Fabulous.  Alas by the time we got the last 10 miles the wind had disappeared and the thunder/rain clouds were looking ominous.  We got into Sand Dollar Bay in Georgetown and dropped anchor as the heavens opened.  It lashed down most of the night but at least the boat got a good wash – it really needed it.  If you are wondering why we are back in the Bahamas it is mainly because it is a good jumping of spot for the trip down towards Antigua and also gives us a chance to reconnect with the world i.e. communicate.

Today has been fraught with issues. The loo pump has developed a leak phewy! The anchor motor appears to be knackered again.  This will be the third motor if it really is kaput – not sure we rate Simpson Lawrence any more.  Then the dinghy engine refused to fire.  I hitched into town and left John to it. Fortunately I was also able to hitch back out again.    On the other hand it has been great to see free enterprise in all its glory and be ripped of by local fruit and veg man!

 

 

This week is the Island Regatta week.  Local people come from various Cays/Islands and participate in some pretty competitive racing.  Course it is done on island time and you can’t have a regatta without constant partying. Dawn till dawn apparently.  Maybe it is as well that there are some northerly winds forecast and we shall make our way south towards the Carribean.