Wow, am I late with this post! I like to get them out on Thursday, but we have just been having too much fun and I just kept putting it off until today, Sunday, Feb. 17. Sorry about that! And in all reality, I don’t even know if I have enough cell coverage where we are today to get this posted, but I will try. We are currently enjoying a beautiful Sunday morning aboard Adventures Await with our good friends, Patti and Jason Flier, anchored off Rudder Cay. We have had a great time with them so far, and will fill you in below about their arrival and what we have been doing.
We had just an amazing time with our daughter, Kristi, with her five days with us. She arrived on Feb. 7 and left on Tuesday, Feb. 12, the same day Patti and Jason arrived. It was so cool to spend time with her and talk and share, as well as have a great time snorkeling, hiking and playing cards. The weather turned out to be ok, but unfortunately it was a rather windy weekend for the time she was here. It didn’t really prevent us from doing anything, but it was a bit annoying at times for it to be windy all the time. When I say it was windy, it wasn’t outrageous, but the winds were probably 15 – 18 knots most of the time with gusts into the lower 20’s, so you could definitely always feel wind.
The first night we moved over to the Sand Dollar beach area off Stocking Island, and it helped in protecting us from the NE to E wind. On Friday, Feb. 8, we went snorkeling on some coral heads near the beach and the colors and variety of fish we saw was incredible! We were only in 5 – 6 feet of water, but the fish were everywhere around the coral. We even saw a medium size turtle meandering around. That was cool! We went to a couple of different spots to snorkel as well and it was so fun to experience life under the water. We also had a great time that evening playing cards under the stars in the cockpit of the boat. A wonderful end to the day!
On Saturday we went for a long walk along the beach on the ocean (Exuma Sound) side of Stocking Island. Because of the east wind we were pretty unprotected on that side of the island (east side) so we could see and hear the power of the wind and waves as it washed ashore.
Because of the high winds continuing on Sunday, we found out that Beach Church was cancelled only when we got there to attend. Never really heard about churches being cancelled because of high winds and potential for rain before! On the way back we scoped out a spot to move the boat to as the winds were predicted to turn a bit more to the S for the next couple of days, and we would probably experience a surge in the swell if we stayed at Sand Dollar beach. So we picked up anchor and moved closer to the channel at Volleyball Beach, and think it was a good move. We really had to tuck ourselves in there as there were a lot of boats around, but it worked great and the anchor held well. That afternoon the sun came out again and once again we loaded the snorkel gear into the dinghy and headed out to find fish. What fun!
Monday, Feb. 11, was our last full day with Kristi, and we had another great day. It was still wind , but sunny and I think we went snorkeling (it’s so hard to remember back that far! J) and walked along the beach for a while. But mostly we just enjoyed being with Kristi! That evening, because Sharon’s birthday was coming up on Feb. 15, we connected via WhatsApp with Lisa and had a birthday party for Sharon. Kristi had brought gifts from the girls and Ryan and it was a special time. They gave her a book of star constellations, as we see a lot of stars, and a book of fish that we see as we snorkel. Great gifts!
That morning we did take the dinghy to Georgetown early to drop our laundry off, and to say we got wet coming back because of the wind and waves is an understatement! We were totally soaked despite wearing raincoats. In the early afternoon I went back to Georgetown, a trip of about a mile in the dinghy across the Georgetown channel, to pick up our laundry and fill our water jerry cans, and it’s a good thing I had everything completely wrapped in garbage bags as it was so wet. Oh well!
Tuesday, Feb. 12, saw us going with Kristi back to the airport while also welcoming Patti and Jason. Patti and Jason flew out of Grand Rapids and were delayed a bit in leaving because of snow and ice, but they were able to get out on time to make their connection in Miami. We later learned that Kristi’s flight to Boston after her connection in Miami was delayed a lot because of weather in Boston, and she didn’t arrive there until after 1:00 am. Poor girl! Hopefully the trip was worth the hassle in getting home!
It was great to welcome Patti and Jason and we quickly re-introduced them to their “room” aboard. They have the front berth and head, and Sharon and I both are staying in the rear berth, and as we have two heads (bathrooms) aboard we don’t have to share space. Thankfully the winds started to die down a bit and we had a great first night aboard with them. Prior to returning to our boat from Georgetown on our dinghy we stopped for provisions at the Exumas Market as we wanted to leave to head north right away the next morning. We then had a great afternoon talking, sharing and enjoying our time together until it was time for bed. Great evening!
Wednesday morning, Feb. 13, we were going to pull up anchor and head out, except that it was raining cats and dogs and a huge squall with high winds came through about 7:45 am. Boats were dragging on their anchors or becoming grounded as they were too near shore all around us, and it was crazy for a while. Because we were tucked into a spot with many other boats we were swinging on our anchor a little closer than we liked to another boat (maybe 25 – 30 feet), so we decided instead of leaving to head north that we would pull up our anchor and cross the Georgetown channel to Kidd’s Cove. As I wanted to fill our water jerry cans one more time it allowed us to be closer to Georgetown to take our dinghy ashore without getting soaked. Interestingly, after the squall came through the winds almost totally died, but we were still glad to be on that side of the channel as it rained most of the morning. We really had not seen that much rain in a long, long time. It had rained most of the night as well.
It eventually did stop raining late morning so Jason and I headed to Georgetown on the dinghy later that morning to fill the water jerry cans and stop at the market for Jason’s much-needed hot sauce – his favorite food accessory! But we also realized Sharon’s bag/purse was missing that contained her wallet with credit and debit cards, driver’s license and phone. Rats!! To make a huge, long story short, we connected with a courier service in Georgetown where I ended up having replacement credit cards sent to after canceling the old ones. We should receive them in the next couple of weeks or so. We decided to deal with the driver’s license later, as well as the phone.
Thursday morning, Feb. 14, we headed out from Georgetown and went north. The winds were only 4 – 6 knots from the south and we had a beautiful motor up to Lee Stocking Island, a trip of only about 26.7 miles. As we were heading north I received an email from a gentleman named Rob who found Sharon’s bag/purse on the dinghy dock on Tuesday! Apparently it must have been left on the dock when we left with Patti and Jason after picking them up, and stayed on the dock all day until Rob found it at 10 pm that night. Go figure! He had tried the phone number on our boat card Sharon had left in the bag, but of course I have a new phone number after having to switch my SIM card, so I never received it. He finally used the email address on the card, which is how he got a hold of me. Hallelujah! We will still, obviously, get the replacement credit cards, but she will now get her phone and driver’s license back. As we had left Georgetown already, he was going to drop the bag off to Bob and Diane, as he said he knew them as well, so when we return there in the next week and a half we will be able to pick it up from them. Cool! Happy Valentine’s Day, right?!
At about 1:10 pm that afternoon we dropped our anchor in a great little cove off Lee Stocking Island and set off in our dinghy to snorkel to see what we could see. Unfortunately, despite what we had been told about the area, we were not able to find any coral heads or fish, other than the occasional fish floating around, but it was still great fun to be out looking around. That evening we had a spectacular evening playing cards, star gazing and just having fun together.
Because of the length already, I am going to end this post here to at least keep on my chronology of a week at a time, and will pick up the story next week. Be sure to check back next week and I will share with you how we dove on and touched The Musician, the underwater statue of a grand piano and mermaid commissioned by David Copperfield just off his private island we are anchored by!