Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Exumas

HighBourne Cay

Chad and Richard
Enjoying Cubans

While we have been somewhat delinquent getting this post out, the fact of the matter is we are in a part of the Bahamas that has not heard of cell phones or the web.  This, it is paradise.  The waters are clear as for as far as you can see, the skies are blue with temperatures consistently in the low 80’s. 
Tara and Kay

Nassau was a very interesting spot to experience but like many areas, it was poor and you needed to be careful where you travelled.  Stores buzzed you in and walking at night was not always a good choice.  In contrast, Paradise Island, home of the Atlantis Resort was a vacationland for the rich and non-Bohamian.  While an amazing structure and beautiful aquarium, it did serve to highlight the discrepancy between the life of those touring and those who were residents. 

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!  While in Nassau, Tara (Kay's daughter) and Chad became engaged. We are both very happy for them and know they will have a wonderful life together.   

Since leaving Nassau, we have been exploring the Exuma chain.  These islands include hundreds of small islands and cays (keys) and extend south for about 100 miles of this island country.  Our first cay was Highbourne.  While basically a remote out island, there was a small marina and restaurant there.  Christmas eve, we found ourselves at Zumas, eating outside under the stars.  The blackened Mahi Mahi was great as was the entire meal.  What a treat for Christmas Eve.  After a wonderful meal, we rode back to Atalanta as the skies opened up and a tropical rain fell.  Given the temps, it was just refreshing. 

Christmas day was also spend in Highbourne.  David and Rose Ann on Pyxis sailed down and joined us for our holiday dinner.  We met David and Rose Ann in Nassau and have really enjoyed getting to know them.  Rose Ann makes a great cherry pie that was a perfect end to a fine meal.  This was our first Christmas away from our kids and we greatly missed being with them.  Perhaps they will celebrate the next one with us in the Caribbean. 
Christmas Tree on Atalanta
We sailed from Highbourne Cay to Hawkbill Cay and met Pyxis there.  We were treated to a dingy tour of the island that that was spectacular.  The waters are pristine, the coral beautiful and the sand pure and white.  This island is rich with conch and lobsters but none can be taken as it is part of a national preserve.  There is a sand found here (Uli) that is unique in its texture and qualities.  It is hard to believe that we will ever find a more beautiful spot, bluer water, or greater solitude but we will keep on going south to see. 

We are now into day 130 of living onboard.  It seems like only yesterday that we started out.  Atalanta has been a good home and provided us with all that we need to be safe, comfortable, and content.  It is not only our shelter but our means for travel, and our home.  We have now travelled over two thousand miles on her, celebrated holidays, and experienced both fine and challenging weather.  She is providing for us well and has met all of our expectations. 

We visited Staniel Cay, as we move down the Exuma chain.  This is another remote island paradise that has unfortunately been polluted with super yachts.  While here we were unfortunately hit broadside while we were at anchor.  The damage was significant but will not interfere with our progress south.  The accident was was unfortunate and will require some attention once we arrive in the USVIs. 
The Swimming Pigs of Staniel Cay
While in Staniel Cay we snorkeled the Thunderball Caves.  This is where parts of the James Bond film Thunderball were filmed.  The fish and coral were spectacular and Kay did a GREAT job of swimming the caves. This is also home to the swimming pigs of Big Major Cay.  They literally swim out to your dingy and try to get in.  

Kay, Rose Ann and David
We are now in Black Point in the Exumas waiting for the winds to favor our trip south to Georgetown.  We now have to focus on making time to the east and south so that we will be able to reach our destination of the USVI by February.  We have to say good bye to our friends on Pyxis and hope to stay in touch for years to come.

All is well and we are having the time of our lives.  Thanks for following and stay in touch. 

1 comment:

  1. Dave and Roseann have been friends of ours for over 40 years, we like to say they are our oldest friends, but they take offense to that, especially Dave. They are wonderful friends, we visited them as we stayed at SCYC early in March. They have taught us so much about the sailing world. We use to each have Hobie Cats and taught all of our children how to sail. You will enjoy them for many years to come, they are dedicated friends. Good Luck and stay safe on your travels. Len and Marianne Palmer