Saturday, May 09, 2009

Catching Up (We possted 2 blogs today)

Click here to see Rickshaw's location at Black Point Settlement

Click here to see Rickshaw's location at Little Farmer's Key

Since leaving Staniel Cay Marina, we went over to the Big Major Spot anchorage, about a mile from the marina, where our friends were. They have what is called the ‘Pig Beach’ over in that anchorage. Apparently, there are about 5 pigs that live on the beach and they wait for people to bring over their food scraps for them. We took the dingy over with all kinds of goodies; old lettuce, a few carrots, a few onions and some celery. They swam out to the boat and I threw them what I had, but they much preferred for us to get closer to shore and throw the stuff on the beach. Understandable!! We didn’t get a chance to snorkel the Thunderball Cave, because I can’t get in the water with this bad finger and so Rick stayed on the boat with me. That night we all dingied over to another small beach at the anchorage. We all brought appetizers and the plan was to have a bon fire and roast hot dogs. The fire was great fun but we were all so full that we passed on the hot dogs that night but had them for lunch the next day. Neither of us could remember the last time we hung around a camp fire but it was very cool.
We left the anchorage to make our way south to the Black Point settlement. What we call towns are called settlements here. Staniel Cay was one of the more populated settlements and Black Point was less so. We enjoyed the Black Point settlement. There is a popular local restaurant called Lorraine’s who is known for, among other great food, their wonderful coconut bread, which is made by Lorraine’s mother…and it is wonderful! We helped Todd and Brenda (on Life’s 2 Short) celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary with dinner at Lorraine’s. Below are pictures of Black Point.

Above, a craft fair and below Rick asked this little one if he could take her picture and she struck this pose for him. Cute.

The 'Laundermat'.
The local Post Office.

The next night we had another bon fire on one of the small beaches at Black Point. It was a little bitter sweet as the next day Gypsies in the Palace, Life’s 2 Short and September Song were leaving to go south to the biggest settlement in the Exumas called Georgetown. Neither Tide Hiker nor we wanted to go that far south. Vicki had all the makings for s’mores so we had a great evening telling stories and eating the gooey dessert.

We left with Tide Hiker the next day for a very small settlement called Farmer’s Cay about 10 miles south. It was an exciting trip into the little harbor. We may not have said this before, but there are absolutely no navigation marks in the Bahamas … the familiar red and white marks ubiquitous on U.S. waterways. You have to navigate carefully using the charts and “reading” the water color, to avoid the coral heads and rocky areas. For example, as we approached Farmer’s Cay from the west, the chart simply said to keep the “… white house on the summit of Dabba Hill on a bearing of 090 degrees, and take a 30 degree turn to starboard 150 feet from the rocks …” Not to be taken lightly.

Below Farmer's Cay restaurant sign and the local convenience store.

Anyway, Farmers Cay is a tiny speck of an island. It has a population of only 50 people. One of he main commercial establishments is Ocean Cabin, which is a combination bar, restaurant, convenience store, and keeper of a couple of mooring balls in the harbor. Rick and I stayed there 2 nights on one of the mooring balls then returned to Black Point to wait for Vicki and Norm on Tide Hiker. They decided to go further south to do some more snorkeling and seeing the sights. Rick and I wanted a few days to just kick back and do a lot of nothing!

We thoroughly enjoyed being lazy and doing a lot of reading. Yesterday we dingied into the town where I’m doing laundry at the “Laundermat”. You wouldn’t believe this laundry…they have at least 28 washers and dryers. This is better than most of the places we have stopped at in the states. It is interesting to try to get two big black trash bags full of laundry from the dingy onto the docks at low tide!

This morning we got rain!! We haven’t seen rain since March 1st in Florida. Since you have to pay for water down here that also means that the boat is covered with salt and pretty grimy. So, we got the boat washed thanks to Mother Nature.

Norm and Vicki returned to the anchorage about an hour ago so we are going to dingy in to dump our trash (another challenge here) and to try to see if the internet is working at Lorraines. Tomorrow, we will start heading back north and given good weather we hope to be able to leave for the US late next week. More on that later.

Below, Rick cleaning our conch shell.
Memories of Staniel Cay

The Pink Grocery Store (really)
The Blue Grocery Store and Lynnie and Stephanie with their new straw bags
The Bakery and the Baker
The Happy People Bar (which was never open)

The airport and Terminal A!

We rented a golf car for 3 hours and toured the island.