The typical winter prevailing winds in the Exumas are easterly to ESE, except during a frontal passage when the wind clocks around over the course of a few days. But nine days and counting, of E to ESE is a new one on us and made for a large bundle of boats at Blackpoint; Big Major too presumably. 15kts or less would not be a problem but when the wind kicks up to 20kts and more, the waves dance up to 5-8ft and traveling south just plain rots.
We used the time to do all our laundry- visitors note that clean sheets will be available :-), caught up on the blog and other online stuff and waited, waited for the Captain C to bring in food to the market. One evening, while I was taking a shower (this mentioned to explain the lack of a photo) a local came by in his skiff loaded with…… lobster! Russ negotiated a reduced sticker price for three and before you could say “coconut bread” the tails were off and deveined, using an antenna.
SandiBeach moved over closer to us; mostly because we had more wind and fetch protection and we spent time swapping stories. We traded a piece of Russ’s famous herb focaccia bread for brownies and a small bag of Bahamian peas accompanied by how to make peas and rice.
Lorraine’s is more than an internet café, it’s the place to meet other cruisers and talk “whatever”. A couple of boats were cruising with kids and boy I sure give them credit; 4 people on a monohull. The kids attended school during their time at Blackpoint. All the students go home for the one hour lunch break; the school looks just big enough for classrooms and no more.
Thursday was the BIG day. At 12:45 the Captain C arrived and by 2pm at least 15 of us had gathered near Adderley’s waiting for the boxes to be brought in via pickup truck. The system is simple; there is no system! Once the boxes were in and opened up, we were invited in and controlled chaos ensued. Cruisers are reasonably polite adults- mostly. What fresh food didn’t I need? Consult a list? If did that, all the things I wanted would be scooped up by the time I read the darn thing. I was lucky, my take was good: 2 dzn eggs, a head of iceburg (when was the last time I bought that?), a bag of carrots and celery, one tomato, a large cucumber, two limes, 3 bananas and some staples from the shelves. All for $33 which I thought wasn’t too pricey. Lemons are not as common as limes, but hey we can make do. The next day we stopped in and nothing fresh remained except limes and tomatoes. Wow- if only the store had ordered twice as much.
Our big haul for the day was Mom’s bread. Lorraine’s mom bakes four kinds: coconut, wheat, cinnamon/raisin and banana. For $6/loaf it’s a deal. The loaves are large and relatively heavy. We scooped up a coconut and a cinn/raisin. The coconut is fabulous; the filling homemade by Mom who has to grate fresh coconut then boil it with a sweetener to make this distinctively Bahamian coconut paste used in breads and other pastries
. Our French toast the next morning was soooooooo delicious. I made the egg mixture with coconut rum and just a bit of nutmeg. Used cinn/raisin for French toast the day after and that was really good too. The bread’s consistency is perfect for awesome French toast.
Saturday was moving day; all of 4 miles, motoring so we could charge the batteries and make hot water for showers. Time to dump the holding tank too, not something you do in a harbor. Although we know that boats do it, so we seldom run the watermaker in a harbor. And now for the weather (WX) which was consuming way too much time and energy, but at least we had access to several sources, unlike last year. Around 8am on CH12 we hear the WX report from Staniel Cay. We also use Weather Underground, Wind Alert and the Bahamas Met office, which we get on the iPhone via apps when cell service is decent. Monday was looking like the best day, meaning best chance to sail in ENE winds and waves in Exuma Sound hopefully less than 5ft. This was a one day window in an otherwise very long stretch of “no-north”. The interesting aspect of “waiting for weather” is listening to the thoughts, ideas and wishes of other cruisers, most of whom are sailors, as we all judge the reports and figure out what’s best.
Sunday we enjoyed a brisk sail of nine miles down to Big Farmers Cay. The chart showed a good spot off a sandy beach- protected of course from SE winds-that was a mile away from Galliot Cut should we decide to leave Monday for George Town. Beach combing is always a top priority and this spot proved out better than it looked. We found lots of broken young conch shells and I gathered up all the really nice pink pieces. Found a creek at the far end of the beach, nearly dry at low with really interesting water marks left in the sand. Lots of good driftwood there too, most of which I left for someone else.
The evening’s big question was, “go or no go?” come Monday. It’ll be alright, come Monday I’ll be holding on tight. Sorry, got lost in a Buffett tune for a minute.