April 4, 2016
The forecast at Black Point is for light winds while the front moves through and then the winds will pick up out of the north.
We head into town to rent a cart around 10:30. We stop at the laundromat to rent a cart but there is no one there. We are told that Ida left about 25 minutes ago and should be back shortly. We wait for a while and then I go down to the grocery store to see if they could rent us a golf cart. After a lot of waiting there, they tell me to talk to Ida. I give up and go back to the laundromat and wait. After an hour I go back to the grocery store and look for the owner. He tells me all his golf carts need batteries but he would make a few calls. Little did I know, he was calling Ida at the laundromat. He tells me that he had no luck, but tells me where Ida lives so I can hunt her down. I head back to the laundromat to tell Karen what I am doing to find that Ida has finally returned. It is now noon. Ida takes Karen over to her house and they pick up a golf cart. One must have significant patience to operate in the Bahamas.
We take our cart and drive around the town. We see a sign for a sale at Obrien's Landing and go looking for that location. We run far south as we dare on an unimproved road of mostly coral rock and stop at a high bluff to get a look around. We had the ocean to our back and we could see the white castle far down another dirt road and a pink house further down the road we are on.
We head for the castle but the road gets so bad we have to turn around and head back to town. It begins to rain pretty heavy. We try to stay dry as we travel back down the road. We head for the airport to pick up Travis. The rain quits as we arrive. We pull out our I-pads and work on the internet and wait.
About 45 minutes later we hear a plane coming in for a landing. Everyone in the terminal, all ten of us, stand up to watch the plane arrive. The pilot never touches down, he just passes over the runway and leaves. The attendant calls him on her radio and he says he was just making a pass and will come around and land shortly. A little while later he does just that and pulls up to the terminal house.
It is good to see Travis. We load his luggage onto the golf cart and then take him back to the boat. The winds are starting to build out of the west. There is about a one foot chop in the anchorage which makes a rough ride back to the boat. After we get Travis settled in we head back to the dinghy dock and tie off the dinghy. I put out an anchor to keep the dinghy off of the dock because of the chop in the anchorage.
We take the golf cart and show Travis the town. We ask a local for directions to O'briens Landing and with one false start, we turned around and asked again, we headed south out of town. The pink house we saw from the bluff was O'briens Landing. We arrive and find the winds are really howling. There are four boats anchored there and are really taking a beating.
Karen takes up a conversation with the lady there. Apparently they have sold out to a developer. She lost her husband about six months ago while they were visiting the states. Now this developer is going to put in a marina on their property. The permits are already in place. These people have been trying to get a permit to build a marina for ten years with no luck. Now this developer already has the permits in place? I wonder what his secret is?
We head back to town to have dinner. We check out Scorpios but the place is hot and there is no air conditioning. We head over to Lorrain's and the air conditioning is working fine. We order drinks and our meal. Within a few minutes we have both. Will wonders never cease? We are always waiting an hour for our meals at other establishments so we were pleasantly surprised to get our meal rather quickly.
We finish our meals and Lorraine's mother comes in and tells us we need to check our dinghy. I rush out over to the dock to see we now have three foot seas. The dinghy is OK but is getting knocked about quite a bit. I run back to Lorraine's, we pay our bill, and head back to the dinghy.
We lay out our plan for entering the dinghy so that no one gets hurt. The surf is now knocking the boards off of the deck of the dock. It is definitely time to leave. We all take great care getting into the dinghy and no one gets hurt. I pull us off the dock using the anchor, pull it up, and head back to the boat.
Again we all make a plan for exiting the dinghy. Karen gets off first and falls back into the dinghy but Travis helps push her back onto the boat. He exits next and then gives me the dinghy lift lines so that I can get the dinghy out of the water. I get on board and lift the dinghy up about a foot out of the water. That is not enough, so we pull it way up and secure the dinghy for the night. The winds die off at about 11:00 pm and we are able to sleep.
April 5, 2016
The winds are out of the north but the anchorage is still too lumpy. It is time to find another anchorage. We pull anchor and head to the north side of the anchorage to see if it is any better. It is not. We then continue north and head for Big Major Spot and Staniel Cay.
The winds are pretty much on our nose. We can barely make five knots. What should be a two hour ride takes about three hours bashing into the seas. We find a nice calm spot and drop our hook in about nine feet of water between two motor vessels. We immediately get harassed by these two. They tell us they have 150 feet of chain out and we are in their swing zone. What kind of idiot puts out 150 feet of chain in nine feet of water in a crowded anchorage? We are not in their swing plane but I relent and move to another location where there is a better breeze.
There is a very unusual catamaran parked next to us, so I hop in the dinghy and go take a look. The owners are out and after chatting for a while they invite me on board. This boat is highly unusual. It looks more like a spaceship than a sailboat. It is 52 feet long with a mast 64 feet above the water. The mast is in a foil shape and can be rotated independent of the boat. There is bridgework that the jib and main are attached to that rotate independent of the mast and the boom. The cabin is a module far above the water which is quite small for a 52 foot boat. The module is one room with a bed, saloon, galley and head. The cockpit is aft of the module. They can cruise at 18 knots unloaded and due to the unique construction can point very well for a catamaran.
After my tour of the catamaran Panta Rhei I head back to the boat to get Travis and Karen. We then head over to the pigs beach. We got to see the pigs swim to our dinghy and hand fed them scraps from our trash. They were well behaved compared to our last visit. We then headed over to Staniel Cay for some shopping and then went back to the boat to chill for the rest of the night.
April 6, 2016
We dropped the dinghy and headed over to the pigs beach to get rid of our vegetable scraps and get a few more pictures of the pigs. We then headed over to Thunderball Cave. We arrived about three hours before low tide so we were the only boat there. The ideal time to visit the cave is at low tide so we were a bit early and the water was pretty and moving well through the cave.
Travis and I went an entrance which is about five feet around and a foot under water at its highest spot. You swim everywhere in the cave because it is full of water at least eight feet deep. We explored the cave and took a bunch of pictures. We then went back to the dinghy to collect Karen and help her into the cave. She panicked a bit on the entry but was okay once she was in the cave.
The cave has several openings and enough light in it to see well in most of the rooms in the cave. There are fish galore within the cave to look at. We did have to fight the current running through the cave as we explored its many rooms. Travis and I went out of the back side of the cave which has a huge opening but had to fight the current to get back into the cave. After tiring of exploring the cave, we all swam back to the dinghy and headed over to the Staniel Cay Yacht Club for lunch.
We enjoyed our lunch and ate at the bar because we were still a bit wet. Nakita served us our lunch again who is Lorraine's daughter over in Blackpoint. After lunch we rode our dinghy out of the dinghy pen and headed back to the boat to chill for the rest of the day.