Laundry and Liesure

(Posted Thur Jan 28, 2010 from Georgetown, Great Exuma Island, Bahamas)

Tue Jan 12. After three weeks of hanging around Staniel Cay, we said our goodbyes and headed  for the little town of Black Point.  It’s a short trip – about 5 miles as the crow flys – but the sail is a bit farther.  We left mid-morning and joined a parade of boats moving on. 

What was the occassion?  Just a break after a couple of windy days.  Everyone finds a spot out of the wind and waves when the weather pipes up, so when it breaks people are ready to move on.

We had the wind ahead of the beam, but it was a nice breeze and we eased down the Exuma island chain.  Getting in and out of harbors can be a bit spooky depending on the depth and channels.  Black Point was a piece of cake.  It’s a bay open from NE to SE and plenty deep.  We sailed close and then motored into a spot on the outside of the anchored boats.

Why Black Point?  The two most frequent things mentioned about Black Point are Lorrain’s Cafe and the laundry.  Lorrain’s is so popular that cruisers call ahead on the VHF to make dinner reservations.  The real experienced ones put in their meal orders.

Mailboat leaving Black Point

We followed the crowd and made a reservation for our first night there.  By chance we ended up sharing a table with Bob and Penny from Pretty Penny, Clay and Rita K from Carleigh, William and Frances on Alexia, and Ed and Dee on Sea Fox X, most of whom we had met at Staniel Cay.

But before dinner we headed for the laundromat. Lorrains was a great time, but you can find food anywhere in the Bahamas. The laundromat is the wonder of the Exumas.  Neat, clean, and lots of machines made it easy to do all the laundry that had been building up since Nassau.  And to make life simpler, the other half of the building was a small general store.  But wait, there’s more!  Want some conch fritters or a haircut while waiting for your clothes to dry?  No Problem, mon, this is the place!

We hung out at Black Point for a couple days, but there was a forecast of strong wind out of the south and Black Point is pretty exposed in that direction, so on Friday, Jan 15, we pulled up the anchor and headed south as did most of the other boats on the anchorage.  The wind was on the nose so we tacked down the islands.

Galliot Cay

Most of the boats were headed for the Big Farmers Cay, Little Farmers Cay area.  There are places to anchor, mooring balls to rent and a couple small marinas.  The channel in looked a little tricky and it sounded like minor chaos with all the boats coming in.  And if we went there we still didn’t think we would get very good protection from the south, so we continued on to the next anchorage at Big Galliot, Little Galliot, Cave Cay area.

We anchored just a little out of the channel just north of Little Galliot Cay, so that when the wind went south we would be in the lee of the island.  Just to the west of us were Arita and Tree House, boats that had been anchored by us at Black Point.  A couple other boats anchored just west of Big Galliot.

We settled in and the wind came up as predicted.  We still felt quite a bit of wind, but we were pretty well protected from the chop.  We stayed another day and did some snorkeling and spearfishing.  That evening we were down below when I thought I heard someone blowing a conch shell.  I looked out in time to see the mailboat steam by Arita.  At first it looked like it would run the boat down, but there was room to spare.

Arita and Treehouse moved on the next day.  We considered heading down the islands on the inside, but it was pretty shallow and we missed high tide, so we moved across the little bay to the west side of Cave Cay.  We walked around the island some, but didn’t find much exciting to look at.

Leestocking Island

We were bored there so we sailed down to Leestocking Island, the home of the Perry Institue for Marine Science.  As we tacked down the coast our friends on Persephone and Osprey motored by.  They went into the cut and we took down sails and followed.  A small trawler motored behind us and then turned around and motored back and forth.  We later found out it was our friends on Scooter.  Pete had seen a large wahoo jump and was trolling back and forth trying to catch it.

We anchored near Osprey in a small bay by the research center.  Persephone stayed out farther because they draw a bit much for the depths indicated for the channel.  We were able to arrange for a tour of the facility.  It’s an interesting place, but unfortunatley their funding was cut back drastically a few years ago, so they have had to scale back their operations.

Looking at Exuma Sound from Perry's Peak

Tug and Barge islands viewed from Perry's Peak trail

Ospery and Persephone left the next day.  Jackie and I hiked up to Perry’s Peak – the highest point in the Exumas.  Later that day we moved the boat to nearby Norman’s Pond Cay. 

"Here fishy fishy fishy" Trolling while anchored

We dingied around intending to do some snorkeling and spearfishing and learned the following:

1) Just because a school of fish is in an area doesn’t mean they will still be there after you go back to the big boat to get your fishing pole.

2) You can’t spear a fish if you left the pole spear on the big boat.

3) You can successfully troll off an anchored boat by walking from one end to the other and then reeling in your lure.

Next – George Town

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2 Responses to “”

  1. Frank Dziuban Says:

    hope you are having a great time. well it is cold here but not to bad. Have fun and enjoyed the trip you are on. I pray to god everyday for you and eric to have a safe trip.

  2. Trish Says:

    The trip sounds great. We’ll be digging out of our record-breaking snow for the next few weeks. Wish we were there.

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