Calm Days Before the “Storm”: 9/24 – 10/7

Confident paddler- and yes the board needs more air

Confident paddler- and yes the board needs more air

Oh give me a home where the paddle boards roam and the waters are calm all day; Where seldom is heard, “Oh crap I fell in”, and the SeaDoos don’t come out and play.

Yes, we know a place like that; Harness Creek off the South River next to Quiet Waters Park. We’d anchored there for nearly a week 5 years ago for weather and to get Ms. Ortolan’s screecher repaired after Russ lost the race with s/v Pride of Baltimore off New Jersey. 🙂

And first off a few good boat pics as we headed down the Bay.

Time to clean

Time to clean. Too messy and LOUD to do at the dock.

We keep out of the channel, which is for the big ships, but at one point just before I took this shot, it sure looked like we’d be meeting up head on. The day was overcast and not very pleasant so we were surprised to find lots of local boats anchored in Harness Creek.

Perspective- 600ft vs 27ft

Perspective- 600ft vs 27ft. Prometheus Leader – probably a car carrier, left a negligible wake. Good boy

Sunday was sorta warm and quiet pleasant so why not practice? In the top part of the photo you can see the yellow rental kayaks, (SUPs too) at the floating dock. It’s where you can leave your dinghy to walk through the park.

Looking good!!

Looking good!!

The resident blue heron kept me busy but I missed a good in-flight shot.dsc04099-800x584

Monday brought breezy and a chance of showers but we bravely walked through the park headed for lunch at Main Ingredient, another great dining spot only one mile away.

Deer show no fear as we walk through Quiet Waters Park

Deer show no fear as we walk through Quiet Waters Park

Because Main Ingredient also caters, the dessert offerings are extensive and from our booth I could hear them calling out to us. The Andes (Mint) chocolate multi-layer cake served us for two dinner desserts.  We share. 🙂

Lunch at Main Ingredient. Tempting desserts taunted us from our booth

Lunch at Main Ingredient. Tempting desserts taunted us from our booth

Next stop Solomons, where we’d re-connect with our friends Mike & Ann of Traveling Soul, now also owners of a beautiful condo unit. Spot was more active than we usually have seen her, as she’s got more leg room (even though Traveling Soul is a large Defever motoryacht) and an attentive audience.

Spot is mezmerized by the garbage disposal

Spot is fascinated by the garbage disposal, but you should have seen her with the Soda Stream!

Do you know you can grow more romaine lettuce from the ends?  Ann told me you just do like in the photo below and soon you will have more for your money. Nice uh?

The lettuce whisperer

The lettuce whisperer: growing more from the bottom hearts

We were invited not only for dinner and Vodka & Tonics made with Ann’s magical formula homemade tonic, but to do a load of laundry. I know some of you can’t imagine how great that was, but it was pretty special.

My best new laundry helper

My best new laundry helper

We got to spend three nights at Calvert Marina (same place as this past June), but they were booked for the weekend due to the upcoming Krogen Rendezvous and a Defever Rendezvous after that. Rain was the word, especially Wednesday which of course was errand day. Ann took me to shop and we both got some things off our lists.

After leaving the dock we moved less than 1/8 mile up Back Creek to anchor. The wind was still honkin’ in the Bay although we felt little all tucked in, and rain came and went through Saturday evening. During our Solomons stay the wind display function on our wireless weather station crapped out. I don’t think you will be surprised to learn that the one year warranty recently passed.

The last hurrah of a line of scattered heavy rain. Was so narrow you could see brightness beyond.

 

Behind the trees and tall flag pole is Mike & Ann's Solomons Landing condo

Behind the trees and tall flag pole is Mike & Ann’s Solomons Landing condo complex.

Early on during our Solomons stay we began reading about Tropical Storm / Hurricane Matthew. The models disagreed, the spaghetti strands fanned out like octopus tentacles and we devised several plans, each based on severity and guestimate location of the storm as it headed up this way.

Top Rack was a planned stop for diesel and dining but they’d kick us out if a hurricane warning was in effect, so we had to cancel. I mean did we want to just assume we could find room at a protected marina close by? Not many choices for those.

One option was to head way up the Potomac as far in as possible; either find an acceptable anchorage or protected marina with floating docks.

One suggested marina could only offer us the outside of a T head, so even though it was a floating dock we declined and kept calling.

Then I came across Sunset Boating Center in Hampton, VA. Up the Hampton River and down a dead end canal, it met all our criteria.

We arrived on Monday Oct 3, well ahead of the very slow moving hurricane. The NE Bay winds were forecast to pick up mid week so why endure a rough trip when we can avoid it?

Never visited Hampton before, so a few days of settled weather allowed us to explore by dinghy and by land.

Sunset Boating Center- no frills lots of protection. Before removing cushions and closing bimini top

Sunset Boating Center- no frills lots of protection. Before removing cushions and closing bimini top

Over by the side street entrance sits the Barking Dog where we ate dinner. Casual atmosphere as you can see. Hot dogs, several types of sausage grinders are menu’s focus but they also make a fantastic crab cake-super thick and virtually all crab. Hush puppies were great too.

Fantastic friendly service at The Barking Dog

Fantastic friendly service at The Barking Dog. Our waitress was an 11 on a scale of 1 to 10!

Tuesday morning we walked approximately 1/2 mile to a nearby Food Lion. At the checkout the woman ahead of us pegged us for boaters (lugging a cooler bag) and offered us a ride back. She told us of a great dining spot downtown, “next to Goodys” with pizza, tapas and more. She even gave us her name and phone number should we need anything.

After stashing the groceries we head for downtown and well what do you know? we stumble (ya right) upon a doughnut place. If you dinghy up the Hampton River to Hampton Public Piers there’s a place to tie up and walk one block to downtown Hampton. The area is small but has many restaurants, a few gift shops, the Air & Space Museum Hampton History Museum, water access, tour boats and a restored carousel.

We easily scout out the dounut shop, but alas closed Tuesdays

We easily scout out the donut shop, but alas closed Tuesdays

Intersection of Queen & King

Intersection of Queen & King

We find Goodys and next door is Venture. (hidden behind the trees)  The posted cocktail menu was all we needed to lure us in. Priced to entice with Classic and Crafted Cocktails averaging $7, you can see below these were not eensy teensy drinks.

One size crafted pizzas made with their own dough, sandwiches, salads and seafood; tapas items served starting at 4pm. But what are Tots? Our waitress- phenomenal- plopped down this free sample. Cook potatoes and skins, add just the right amount of seasoning, spread in a jelly roll pan, chill, cut into small squares and fry em up fresh!!  Served with a side of spicy mayo, they were out of this world delicious. Some entrees are served with a side of Tots but you can also order them as an appetizer.

Venture's signature Tots- to die for

Venture’s signature Tots- to die for

Another great spot with a view! Excellent menu and cocktails too!!

Another great spot with a view!

 

This gorgeous restored carousel has a Connecticut connection

This gorgeous restored carousel has a Connecticut connection

 

Reminds me of the carousels at Quassy, Watch Hill and Greenport (especially)

Reminds me of the carousels at Quassy (CT), Watch Hill (RI) and Greenport (NY) (especially)

Each day small boats arrived to be hauled out and placed into rack storage. We had a front row view. The only other transient boat here was the blue sailboat you can see a bit of in the below photo.

Lifting up and into storage building

Lifting up and into storage building

Matthew was due to be at its closest to us sometime Saturday night-ish, and Friday’s weather was pleasant so why not one more trip into town? This time we walked and before ending up at Venture for an early dinner, we popped into the Hampton History Museum for a side of culture.

At this point any of our considered options would have been fine, even Top Rack but we were happy with Sunset as many days in a slip can add up those $$$$ and this place was “B2G1F” and only $1/night for 30amp power (only had 30amp). It’s a smaller boat place lacking nice scenery; even across the water is a huge barge. But the power was great; many places cause our ground fault warning to sound, the wi-fi worked well and we could easily get to downtown,groceries, pharmacies and yes, ok doughnuts!

Thank you to all who checked on us. 🙂   Next up; fun times during and after Matthew.

 

 

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Havre de Grace

Approaching Havre de Grace

Approaching Havre de Grace

We’d always zoomed through the upper Chesapeake and now it was time to explore a new place, Havre de Grace at the mouth of the Susquehanna River. The Susquehanna is what makes the Bay the Bay, providing over half of its fresh water. One of the oldest rivers in the WORLD, it flows for 464 miles from New York, to PA then into MD. The mouth is small near Havre de Grace and dams are used to control the water flow during rainy times and spring flooding.

But the question is- how do you pronounce Havre de Grace??  If you say Haevre de Grace (long A sound), with a French pronunciation of Havre, then you are technically accurate but you will not be mistaken for a local. According to Southern Living’s extensive research into the correct pronunciation of “southern” city names, the city’s name gets all run together with the “de” sounding like “t”. So you say it,  “Haverty Grace”.  Bet you feel better knowing this.

The town-sized city of less than 14,000 offers a walkable downtown area, a small maritime museum, a duck decoy museum, a boardwalk and the very popular Bomboys Ice Cream mega-parlor with their large fudge and candy shop right across the street. Yes to ice-cream, no to candy shop.

We choose Tidewater Marina because not only did they have fuel, they had room for us. Billy was fun at the gas dock and he found us an easy side tie dock in their basin furthest away from the “more active” rack storage small boat basin.

We exited (on foot) the marina (a gated secure fenced in place) and turned left to head toward the point where we’d spotted the little lighthouse. The Maritime museum was just my size and priced to entice, so in we went.

 

Havre de Grace's First Family -John & elizabeth Rodgers

Havre de Grace’s First Family -John & Elizabeth Rodgers. Looks like the house still stands.

We always wonder about the process of crabbing, fish-trapping, oystering and lobstering and how the various nets, traps, etc look below the surface. The below was informative and we learned something new. Retention is another thing. 🙂

A peek at "below the floats"

A peek at “below the floats” of gillnetting.

 

Benj- this one's for you

Benj- this one’s for you. Some may recall the 3 sheep Benj raised a few summers ago.

North Washington St is where the action is, if you can call it that. The Vineyard Wine Bar left no doubt that they were highly rated and it looked enticing, if not a skosh out of place in this town, er city. But well, you know us and if there’s donuts around we point in that direction. Golls Bakery; talk about old fashioned. More like out of the Twilight Zone of the 60s/70s era. Family owned and operated since 1930, the place looked like not much had changed in many years, including the prices.

Excellent tradional bakery in Havre de Grace

Excellent traditional bakery in Havre de Grace

We didn’t think much would be available at 4pm and the current owner’s nephew assured us Saturday morning would bring a huge assortment of temptations. With a nod to Terminator our “we’ll be back” must have been believable.

 

Clever name for a very interesting store

Clever name for a very interesting store

The Rodgers home survived the 1813 burning of Havre de Grace. Dating from 1787, this is the town's oldest documented structure.

The Rodgers home survived the 1813 burning of Havre de Grace. Dating from 1787, this is the town’s oldest documented structure.

We found the Rodgers home across from Laurrapin, our selected dinner spot on N.Washington. They wisely/kindly defined the word, and we both agreed while memorable, it didn’t quite reach the laurrapin-ness of Spoon River in Belhaven, NC.

 

Dinner- Farm to Fork Washington St

Dinner- Farm to Fork on N. Washington St

Appetizers and entrees were mostly reasonably priced as were the creative cocktails. As you can see we couldn’t resist a delectable dessert, or two. The cheesecake was not your run-of-the-mill kind, but a goat cheese cake. A bit of tang as expected and very tasty. I still remain a fan of the artery clogging heavy New York cheesecake. 🙂 Some day I will be able to make one again.

The flourless choc cake was akin to solidified hot fudge sauce- yummy

The flourless choc cake was akin to solidified hot fudge sauce- yummy

We spotted a sign at the small park next to Tidewater: Farmers Market Sat 9-12.  Lucky us, we seldom run across a market and this one was so convenient. Our morning just got better-the plan to raid the bakery was enhanced by a market opportunity.

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img_2858-800x600

 

And there we are, essentially next door.

How close can you get?

How close can you get?

The Vienna bread at $1.95 from Golls was a steal. Hearty and flavorful, with a soft crust, it made excellent french toast. The bacon/cheddar/chive scones and pasture eggs purchased at the market.

More doughnuts and raisin sweet rolls are missing

More doughnuts and raisin sweet rolls are missing from the photo

Stomachs full and the bread basket stocked, we headed out back into the Bay our bows pointing toward the South River, which can you believe is the next river south of Annapolis?

Vero Beach- still sticky 11/22- 12/1

DSC02867 (800x589)AND it remains a good place to meet old friends and make new. The trip on Sunday from Melbourne area- easy and few boats thanks to the crappy forecast that never quite came to fruition. Dolphins enjoying the bow wake of a trawler (ours is too puny) and a man-made water-spout added interest and helped keep the binoculars in working condition.DSC02878 (800x506)
The city marina gave us a good laugh and unbeknownst to them, a tip-off on who we’d find on mooring. I’ll give you a clue; she’s a boat near and dear to us.

Recognize this cat?

Recognize this cat?

The marina’s confusion (we tried hard to straighten them out) over which boat goes with which owner lasted even after we departed. 🙂 Respecting their request to be kept out of the lime-light (not even candle-light!) this will be the only mention. Due to his extensive experience with vinyl lettering, Russ applied Ms Ortolan’s new name. Feeling a bit sad that her name is now retired but we still have boat bags bearing her name. And no one was yet looking for us and finding new owners; who, happily are not only still talking to us but invited us out for pizza and catching up.

The week prior we placed orders with seven companies for things we needed for Twins. Tuesday was the mother load; all kinds of goodies from Defender, Quill (K-cups) and Amazon.

Our happy holiday loot from Defender

Our happy holiday loot from Defender

We met David and Barbara on PDQ34 Miss My Money, also heading to Stuart for the rendezvous and Jack and Diane on PDQ34 Airlia who live in the apartments overlooking the mooring field. Interesting to see that even PDQs built the same year have noticeable differences; so far we are very happy with ours. Barbara gave me a wonderful tour (owned the boat about 2 years) while David gave the “guy tour”. Love their shades; and because they are sleek and not puffy like the curtains we have, the interior appears larger. 🙂

A November stop at Vero Beach (aka Velcro Beach, Zero Beach (so mean)) means sharing Thanksgiving with 200 other cruisers, some you may even know. Ann and Mike of m/v Traveling Soul were forced to spend their few days in a slip because the city decreed that boats over 50 ft could no longer attach to a mooring, but three boats could still raft up! Lucky us, we remained alone on our ball way up in the north section.

Sugar Shack Donuts!!

Traveling Soul (the other TS) fed our donut desires with treats from a Cocoa Beach stop the prior day. You guys are THE best!

 

Some cats are cute all the time

Some cats are cute all the time. Ann treats Spot to time on deck (you can’t see her harness )

 

We get legal with the dinghy - boatnumber plate makes this easy

We get legal with the dinghy – boatnumberplate.com makes this easy

Goes without saying that we made several trips on the bus to Publix, did laundry, hit the VB Farmers Market on Saturday. This time we needed to visit the dentist; same one as two years ago. One block from a bus stop (free bus you may recall), less expensive than our CT dentist and Russ is happier with their methods. A win-win.

I love pleasant surprises, don’t you? We get to the bus stop after Publix with plenty of time to spare. The woman waiting (another cruiser) said she was watching the bags of groceries sitting in the corner for another couple who left them to pop into another store. Turns out we knew them- Deja Vu!! and guess who they’d just rafted to? She who shall not be named, that’s who.  I was so tickled when Helen & Joe told us that they recognized the boat but not the people.. where are Lori and Russ and what did you do with them? 🙂  We left the next day, but we know exactly where we will meet up with them ….. when we get there.

 

Yes Ma’am! Fine creek dining

Sunset off Daufuskie Island, looking toward Savannah

Sunset off Daufuskie Island, looking toward Savannah

We often joke about being in a creek for the night and how that is so budget friendly, because where do you spend money up a creek? Maybe if you need that paddle, but otherwise you stay aboard or take Fido to shore a few times assuming there’s a place to land the dinghy.

Since we have oodles of time to get to Myrtle Beach why not take things slow and see what new adventures can be stirred up? Preferably not of the running aground kind which sure would stir up the muddy bottom!

Hilton Head got the pass-by every trip and we looked at the situation again (marinas, location) and it still came up short. But the island that lies close by is Daufuskie Island and it had what we were looking for. After departing Jekyll Island we next stopped for the night in New TeaKettle Creek and after that was Breakfast Creek; we tried to act appropriately.

A high tide the other boats are easy to see

A high tide the other boats are easy to see

At low tide the boats disappear into the marsh grass

At low tide the boats disappear into the marsh grass

Friday would find us crossing the border (the Savannah River) into South Carolina and happy to have transited through Georgia without mishap. A bunch of other cruising boats who we’d been seeing (and hearing on the VHF) for the past week were feeling pretty good too. Unfortunately when you are 6’ draft boat you need to be darn lucky, use enough tide or have an up-to-date online cruising guide (like you know who).

Immediately after crossing the Savannah River one enters Fields Cut where you must hug or strongly favor the red marker at the southern entrance (the less tide the more hugging) and keep to that side before moving to center. Then when you are about to exit at the north you’d better hug and kiss the green side if you don’t have enough tide help. A 7 to 8 ft tide range is typical in these parts. The daymarks could be moved, but why do that when you can cause excitement and backups when a boat goes aground because they don’t know the special path? So stupid.

We decided to begin our day at 11 am which would allow us to run on one engine and transit Fields Cut at mid-rising tide. Our day would end around 4pm and when we looked for a good anchoring spot (a creek, small river) we found a spot in the New River just off the ICW and across from Daufuskie Landing. A reviewer mentioned taking your dinghy to the great floating docks and enjoying a meal at Marshside Mamas. Well if that wasn’t intriguing!

Shortly after we upped anchor, uh oh a boat had run aground at the north end of Fields Cut. Where the rivers bend and snake around too much, skinny cuts are created to bypass the long loops which allows you to move along north or south in a straighter line. Shoaling is a problem in many of these cuts and the situation has worsened measurably even since 2010. So this fearless monohull attempts to transit the cut on a falling tide. TowBoatUS is called and he has difficulty getting them off- over an hour. The Coast Guard sticks their nose in and several others sneak by on the green side with no problem, but with caution. One boat comes along and we hear this “Are all these boats aground?” No, just lining up to get by.

Marshside Mama’s, in business for 18 years is simply the coolest place with funky décor, mostly outside seating and happy wait staff. Our meals, oysters and drinks (their rum drink is the Marshside, of course) were outstanding and we’d have returned the next night in a heartbeat.

First, some island history

First, some island history

Side Two and some lady jumped into the shot

Side Two and some lady jumped into the shot

Guess you would call this the backside as we approached from the dock

Guess you would call this the backside as we approached from the dock

Oysters Fuskie- excellent. I think the greens are collards

Oysters Fuskie- excellent. I think the greens are collards

The menu board and Jen our waitress

The menu board and Jen our waitress

 

Russ selected the ribs and I had the Shrimp and Grits which was so fresh and deelish.

Our table and one other was on a tiny stage off the ground. A brush fire with ample smoke helped keep bugs away.

 

A LOVE-ly Meeting with S/V Makai

Moonrise as we dinghy in to the SCYC

Moonrise as we dinghy in to the SCYC

The weather goddess must have received roses, chocolates and jewels for Valentine’s Day as she happily calmed the winds and waves by late afternoon. A dry dinghy ride in to the SCYC was assured and we would have our “prepared by someone else” dinner treat.

To make our day even more special s/v Makai anchored off the YC which meant we’d finally get to meet her five-person, one dog, California, catamaran crew. S/v Makai is a blog follower who had some questions when the time came to make their dinghy chaps. Jackie is such a talented seamstress that she could make these monsters blindfolded! Eric told us that he’d found our blog when searching for East Coast cruising info.

The crew of s/v Makai knows how to pose for a fun photo!

The crew of s/v Makai knows how to pose for a fun photo!

We shared stories (there’s always much more than we each have in our respective blogs), met the fantastic home/boat-schooled trio and hung out in the bar area while they ate and we waited for the late dinner bell to ring.

A special first course and ladies received a rose and chocolates

A special first course and ladies received a rose and chocolates

Saturday was a fundraising event to benefit the library, the cay’s oldest building. Bake sale, flea market, raffle and lunch- right off the town beach. Cruisers, vacationers and private home owners made tracks for food.

Outside the library/oldest building on Staniel Cay

Outside the library/oldest building on Staniel Cay

A stop at Burke’s Blue Store yielded a few items on my grocery list and those coupled with what Isle’s General had; hey we’d be good for a few more days!

Burke's Blue Store at Staniel Cay

Burke’s Blue Store at Staniel Cay

Make that very good what with the treats we scored at the bake sale. One item I’d never heard of but will definitely add to my recipe collection, is cookie-brownies. Take brownie batter and put a scoop into a cupcake paper liner then plop a spoonful of chocolate chip dough in the middle and bake. These were delicious and all mine as they included walnuts 🙂

Cat Island: We check out New Bight

First let’s give you some Cat Island tidbits. Supposedly Cat is named after pirate Arthur Catt, or possibly after its large one-time population of feral cats. I’m going with the pirate guy version, not only because a pirate makes a better story, but then how do you explain Arthur’s Town, one of Cat’s few main settlements?  Arthur’s Town is the childhood home of Sir Sidney Poitier and if you are lucky you might run across his daughter who calls this settlement her home. Or, as one boat told us, you might have tea with his aunt and just miss him by a day.

Cat Island is 50 miles long, 150 sq miles, shaped like a boot (a pirate boot right?) and the 2000 census counted 1,650 residents. It is as you now know, the Bahamian island with the tallest hill, Mt. Alvernia.

Cat Island sits east of the south-central Exumas. Can see Conception Island in the bottom right-hand corner

Cat Island sits east of the south-central Exumas. Can see the northern tip of Long Island in the bottom right-hand corner

After The Hermitage we walked back toward the shore road, turned right (north) to walk past the small cluster of “take-aways”, the Bahamian version of road-side take outs, only these are typically colorful and often sell beer and mixed drinks. Counted about 6 or 7; only 3 open. These tiny take-aways are next to the regatta stand so I imagine that during New Bight’s annual sailing regatta (one of the best because the harbor is large and unobstructed) business is brisk.

Along the beach-side road are a bunch of colorful take-aways- and a phone booth

Along the beach-side road are a bunch of colorful take-aways- and a phone booth

Lula’s drew our attention and Lula herself was welcoming and made sure we came in to see what she offered. Impressive: cold drink, mixed drinks, beer, snacks and best of all baked goods. After a taste of her coconut pie (more like a tart with soft crust and a filling like Lorraine’s Mom uses for her bread), how could we not have it for our coconut-loving selves.

We sure were delighted to come across Lula's

We sure were delighted to come across Lula’s

Along the way our coconut-spying eyes found a likely suspect on the ground; plenty of liquid and heavy. Visions of Bateau Ortolan coconut bread danced in our heads.

In the middle of the beach were large spigot thingys for three hefty hoses to attach to.

Fuel hose receptacle on the beach in New Bight

Fuel hose receptacle on the beach in New Bight

A few yards up was the road and across the road were large fuel tanks. Not every settlement receives fuel and not all that do have enough depth at a dock to accommodate a fuel freighter. Those settlements with shallower harbors use this method: the freighter anchors out (past where you see us anchored) and long, very long hoses are run to shore and hooked up to these faucets.

Fuel freighter anchors off the beach and runs in long hoses

Fuel freighter anchors off the beach and runs in long hoses

The Church of the Holy Redeemer was along the way and in addition to the church itself, was a rectory building, what looked like a small carriage/garage, a storage structure and around back an outhouse (educated guess based on the seat inside).

Father Jerome's final church project

Father Jerome’s final church project

Beautiful interior with several tiny enclaves in the side walls and Bapistry a half-level down

Beautiful interior with several small cut-outs in the side walls and Bapistry a half-level down

Outhouse (?) no longer in use- thankfully

Outhouse (?) no longer in use- thankfully

As we climbed back aboard Ortolan, I heard a sound and then I got it- big groan- we’d (ok ME) left the propane switch on in the galley and the one hour warning voice was announcing “Propane left on, Warning, propane left on.” Darn. First time ever we’d left the boat and forgotten the switch.

Our afternoon foray involved landing at a beach closer to the market. Directions provided by an ActiveCaptain reviewer said to use the beach at the abandoned resort with the three ink buildings. A Twilight Zone setting complete with plastic chairs still inside, an outdoor bar with stools, curtains hanging and signs indicating Twin Palms Resort. Any minute the place could spring to life; the creepy feeling we were not alone sat heavy.

We head over to land Bunting at the abandoned resort

We head over to land Bunting at the abandoned resort

Our directions guided us to take the road with tiny wooden bridge across Musgrove Creek then turn left at the main road. At the creek we could see an arched entry that looked like- what else- another forsaken resort? A large sign at the main road told part of the story; those who wander by can create their own ending.

Looks impressive, but best we could see not much has happened since 2007

Looks impressive, but best we could see not much has happened since 2007

Perhaps more in New Bight than we’ve seen elsewhere- a close second being Long Island- are small concrete homes abandoned when a family member died which required that a new home be built.

A rare specimen with wall art- kinda Mexican farmer looking to me

A rare specimen with wall art- kinda Mexican farmer looking to me

In sharp contrast to those was a walled home a bit further out of New Bight central that prompted the words, “Bahamian mansion”. Workers were on-site as were several hens and a rooster.

Not too many homes owned by locals look like this

Not too many homes owned by locals look like this

The lawn looked like that low Bermuda grass stuff we’d been seeing around, which explains the lawnmower noticed earlier. Did you see it in the photo of Russ on the stone seats in the prior post?

The New Bight Market was as promised; clean and well-stocked. Good thing our supply of Bounty was ample; who would pay this price?

Curious to know who pays this price

Curious to know who pays this price

Cheapy brands are available for around $2/roll in a pinch in most markets. When Exuma Market had an unheard of two-week-long sale on paper towels at $1/roll we scooped up six to use as shop towels around the boat since the 10 from CT ran out the week before. Paper towels, Scotts Boat and RV toilet paper, K-cups, various protein bars, cans of cashews, real maple syrup, contact lens solution and all our supplements are provisions we don’t leave FL without a 4-month supply. I’d like to put tonic water into that same category because only Schweppes is available here and our taste buds prefer Canada Dry, Polar or any store brand to Schweppes, but we couldn’t find room for more than 50 bottles – just kidding.

Spacious and well-stocked New Bight Market

Spacious and well-stocked New Bight Market

Our weather today was sunny with a moderate breeze, wind out of the ESE and a high temp of 82F. Lovely. Saturday promised to be a great sailing-back-to-Exumas day. Always fuel conscious, we sure hoped so. We’d added about 20 gals of diesel in George Town before we left and didn’t plan to add more until Abacos.

George Town Parting Shots

Some call it chicken harbor, others offer this one, “a trailer park combined with junior high”- ooo- zing!  Hole One is the “fruit bowl” among the regulars; several of the house boats are named after fruits- cantaloupe, mango, etc. Some cruisers arrive and never travel further, others can’t wait to leave. With more to do here than you can spike a volleyball at, great provisioning and your choice of anchorages, Elizabeth Harbor is also a good jumping-off spot for Long Island, The Jumentos, Cat Island and Conception.

Regardless, the time has come our calendar says, to mosey along and visit the Bahama cays and islands we missed when we zoomed down here. Hard to believe we sailed in here on Dec 12, with less than 30 boats anchored. The latest count is 225, including a rare 190 ft yacht, Intuition II.

This used to be the Red Shanks Yacht Club- lined with conch shells instead of burgees and usable only at low tide

This used to be the Red Shanks Yacht Club- lined with conch shells instead of burgees and usable only at low tide

We explored the beach on the harbor side of Red Shanks. This is one determined tree.

We explored the beach on the harbor side of Red Shanks. This is one determined tree.

Had a run-in with a monohull!  Or maybe the photo just looks that way

Had a run-in with a monohull! Or maybe the photo just looks that way

We'd be leaving before friends Cort and Carolyn returned, so we hung with their newly delivered concrete blocks instead :-)

We’d be leaving before friends Cort and Carolyn returned, so we hung with their newly delivered concrete blocks instead 🙂

Inside the market- just like you might find at home. Happy mon!

Inside the market- just like you might find at home. Happy mon!

Prime Island picks up cruisers in their truck- too comfy will piss off the taxis

Prime Island picks up cruisers in their truck- too comfy will piss off the taxis

I scored some chocolate chip cookies with nuts- delicious!

I scored some chocolate chip cookies with nuts- delicious!

My final parting shot goes like this: The very day we’d heard the “trailer park/jr high” description a story was told to us from a different source that portrayed it with pathetic accuracy. Say the cruisers in the harbor have a bake sale to benefit the local school and cruisers are asked to bake and/or buy; no set prices (can’t be that organized with a setting of picnic tables under the casuarinas by Volley Ball Beach), just pay/donate what you’d like to give. And say someone who you ( the Mayor-ess of the harbor) knew (and this someone supplies you with sea treasures to hand out to your peeps) arranged with you ahead of time that they wanted to surprise their spouse with a hefty amount of the item you were baking.  Follow that?

Does it matter that much if the entire pie is purchased by someone, or if it’s sold among 5 different people? And if your cliquey friends helping out didn’t bake it, where do they get off telling the person how many slices can be bought and override an agreement? So petty and so what if not enough admiration is bestowed upon your creation before it gets sold off in chunks? Ok, I’m done.  See you on Cat Island.