Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wednesday/Thursday, December 11-12, 2013

Wednesday 12/11
When we woke up this morning, all the other anchored boats were gone except us and a power cat which soon left Great Sale Cay.  Chuck went up to raise the anchor and the windlass wouldn't work.  Out came the tools and the broken wire was soon fixed. 

We were on our way to Spanish Cay shortly after 8 am!  Once I got us around the tip of Great Sale Cay and into the Barracuda Channel, I set the auto pilot and  sat back to enjoy the view.  Chuck continued to work on the deck and then with the main sail.  It was another relaxing day to be traveling amongst the islands. 

This is so enjoyable because the waters are very wide, unlike being on the ICW at times, and we didn't have to be constantly watching what was happening.  I think  Chuck and I both finished the books we were reading!

When I called Spanish Cay marina on the vhf radio for a dock, they also wanted to know if we needed to clear customs....yes we did. We were assisted with docking and had our choice of a port or starboard tie up and the custom's gal was waiting on the porch for us!  Now that's service!! Chuck expected this to be a big hassle, but it wasn't at all.  In fact, she let both of us off the boat which help expedite the process.  After filling out the forms and paying the $300, we were officially allowed into the Bahamas for 90 days....but Happy Hours II was allowed 1 year! So, down came the yellow quarantine flag and up went the Bahamian Courtesy flag.   From what I could make out, since there are no immigration officers on the island, the custom people take care of that also and they are only allowed to offer 90 days.  If we need to stay longer, we will have to apply for an extension a few days before our expiration is up.

Once that was finished, we checked out the water we were sitting in ....just awesome.  The color is so beautiful and the water is so clear.  We watched the tropical fish swimming around our boat and the dock pilings.  They were fun to watch!  When we walked around the marina docks, we noticed that the shore wasn't sand but coral formations. Very interesting.  When the water rushes in, it makes an unusual sound splashing under and against the coral. 

Spanish Cay marina boasts 81 slips but we were only the third boat on the docks....2 sailboats and 1 mega-mega yacht.   Talk about this being out of season.  It must be way out of season!  Chuck the dock master was cool to talk to.  He said he came from Alabama to fix a generator and never left.

After dark, there was a young man fishing on the dock.  Chuck struck up a conversation with him.  Then one of the guys from the sailboat came over to talk and he and the other 3 guys on the boat were from Germany.   Our friend Olli would have loved talking to them!   What a great night....we went to bed with all of the hatches open and no covers!  It was 82 degrees at 10 pm. 

Thursday, 12/12
We decided to stay today at Spanish Cay and explore this private island which is owned by a Texan, Don Davis.  This 3 mile island has only 1 road and it's a 1 laner!  For some reason, I don't think we'll need the map Chuck gave us.  I don't think we'll get lost!!

We headed first to the South Beach.  Walking the
road, it didn't take us long to get here and we passed 2 houses.   It wasn't what I would call a very nice beach.  The shore and into the water was nothing but coral and some of them were spiked.  This made it very difficult to walk on and I commented to Chuck that I wonder if the coral was cutting into the soles of our sandals!  What did amaze me about this area was it had so many conch shells laying everywhere.  They were old and washed out with holes in them.

Wrecker's Bar
We then went back to the road and walked north to the Barefoot Beach....barefeet...this must be a sandy beach.  Along the way, we found the Wreckers Bar...closed, the tennis courts....cracked, some private homes, and the 5000' jetway.  Barefoot Beach was okay...part coral and rock, part
sand....but still not my kind of beach.

Island owner's house
When we got near the jetway, we talked to a landscaper who was working at the owner of the island's house.  Of course, the Texan wasn't on the island at this time!  After talking, we  found a lovely beach which is called the Airport Beach....but unfortunately so had the sharks!!!!  We walked the beach looking for beach glass and found quite a lot.  Then since we were getting hot, we both decided to go and get cooled off.  While standing in about 3' of water, Chuck pointed out 2 large gar fish and then suddenly a shadow of a much larger fish was swimming into the shallows.  We both backed out into ankle deep water and watched.  One shark, then two, then  6.  Four were either large sand shark or bull shark.  We couldn't tell which. However, the other two which where much larger were black tip shark.  They were very distinctive.  Soon, there was quick movement of bait fish toward shore, then bluefish chasing the baitfish.  Now we knew why the shark were there!   The water is so clear that we could see everything going on in the fish world.
Airport Beach
Chuck looking for shark


We noticed the skies to the north were looking dark and threatening.  it definitely wasn't a squall coming in to shore.  However, we couldn't tell the direction that the storm was moving.  We decided by 1:00, we had too much excitement on our private island and needed to go back to the marina for a swim in the pool.....ahhhhh....once in, the water felt great. 

The rain finally poured for awhile.  We watched 3 sailboats motor toward the island but instead of coming in to take a dock, they anchored outside the marina.  The winds are to pick up to 20-30 kts and that's what's happening right now.   Hopefully the weather will cooperate and be nice enough tomorrow so we can move on.
Our only neighbor today
Looking out back

One dock to our boat

Front porch of marina looking toward our boat


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