Waiting for Craig

4 March 2019   Georgetown to Elizabeth Island, Exumas
After breakfast, we nipped into town to buy a few more provisions and top up our SIM card.  Back on the boat, we pulled up the anchor and motored down to Elizabeth Island, where we anchored at 23°30.29N 075°43.75W in 7 metres on good holding sand and weed.  We went snorkelling on a reef just outside the anchorage, picking up one of the four yellow moorings.  The snorkelling was pretty, but a little too shallow for us.

We headed to the south end of Elizabeth Island where we found another couple of moorings in the channel north of Guana Cay.  The tide was approaching low water and the snorkelling was good, but I would imagine that the tide rips through the channel at mid-tide.

Glassy Calm in Elizabeth Island

We had a quiet afternoon.  This is a lovely, quiet anchorage, with only three boats at anchor.  It’s only about a mile away from the crowded anchorages off Stocking Island, there’s good protection from the north-west through to east, so I don’t know why there’s nobody here.  

5 March 2019   Elizabeth Island, Exumas
There’s a front due to pass over us tomorrow, but today was nice and calm with a 5-10 knots south wind.  We waited until mid-morning to get better light and then motored a few miles south to Fowl Cay, where we anchored at 23°29.57N 075°42.41W in 3 metres on good holding sand and weed.  

We hopped in the dinghy and picked up one of the many snorkelling moorings.  It was nice snorkelling in depths from 1 to 4 metres with some nice soft corals.  It’s a very popular place to go snorkelling, so there weren’t that many fish.

After lunch, we motored back to Elizabeth Island and picked a nice sandy patch to drop our anchor ready to wait out the forecast strong winds tomorrow.

6 March 2019   Elizabeth Island, Exumas
The sea was glassy calm this morning, but the wind gradually picked up during the day as the front swept over us.  By mid-afternoon, we had 20 knot winds from the north occasionally gusting higher.  Despite the strong winds, there was very little rain and it turned out to be a nice sunny day.

Front Berth ready for Guests

I took advantage of the light winds in the morning to clean the hull.  We’ve picked up a lot of small barnacles somewhere along the way, so I spent an hour snorkelling down to scrape the little buggers off.  Craig and Kristen arrive on the 8th, so Glenys spent most of the day tidying up and clearing a couple of lockers for them to use in the front cabin.

Glenys advertised a few things on the morning cruiser’s net and by lunch time had sold her ukulele and 6 metres of Sunbrella.  In the evening, Ross from “Kohina” came over for a beer or two.

7 March 2019   Elizabeth Island, Exumas
We had a nice peaceful night – it’s a great anchorage in these strong north east winds.  Nick from “Opus” came over after lunch and bought our dive compressor, but had changed his mind about buying the rest of our dive gear.  We had a quiet day pottering about tidying up ready for our son’s arrival tomorrow.

8 March 2019   Elizabeth Island to Stocking Island, Exumas
After breakfast, we motored north for a couple of miles back to Stocking Island to be closer to town.  We had a quick look at the Monument Beach anchorage, but it was full of boats, so we anchored off Honeymoon Beach, where we’d spotted a nice gap.  We dropped our anchor at 23°31.32N 075°45.74W in 5 metres, just off the small pretty beach.

Craig and Kristen

It was Glenys’ birthday today and as usual, there was no present from me, but her present will be the arrival of our son.  We dinghied across to Georgetown and picked up some provisions.  There were no cans of Kalik beer left in the liquor stores, so I’m glad that we’d bough three cases last week.  There should be more on Tuesday next week when the supply ship comes in. 

We hung around all day, waiting for Craig’s flight to arrive.  It was supposed to land at 18:40, but was delayed by an hour.  Unfortunately, the clouds built up during the afternoon and the wind picked up to 20 knots, so I was very nervous when I set off in the dark, dark night to dinghy the mile to Georgetown to pick them up. The journey to Georgetown  wasn’t too bad because I was going slightly down wind.  

Craig and Kristen arrived at 20:30 and had brought 2 suitcases and 2 rucksacks with them.  I made them put on their water proof jackets and put the rucksacks into large bin liners.  The dinghy was cram-packed full by the time that we’d all got in.  I had them squat down on the floor of the dinghy – they thought I was a bit crazy because it was very calm in the lagoon by the dinghy dock.

Once through the tunnel, we were heading directly into steep 2 foot wind waves and within one minute, we’d taken a huge wave over the bow and were wet through.  It was a rough 10 minute ride across to Stocking Island and more than a little scary in the pitch black night.  Fortunately, I had the anchor lights of the anchored fleet to guide me and we safely made it to the boat.

We had dinner and chatted until 22:30, by which time jet lag had hit them and we called it a day.

9 March 2019   Stocking Island, Exumas
We had a relaxed morning chatting while our guests recovered from their day of travelling.  After lunch, we went snorkelling.   We popped into the lagoons and tied up to one of the moorings at the “Blue Hole”, which is a small cave which extends underwater back about 20 metres.  It’s an interesting little place with lots of snappers lurking inside the cave.

Deserted beach on Stocking Island

Many people visit the cave and feed the fish with cooked rice, so they swarmed around us when Glenys through handfuls into the water.   We then dinghied along to Starfish Beach looking for any coral heads, but didn’t find anything interesting, so we went for a short walk on the pretty beach.  Glenys spotted one of the Starfishes which are a very bright red colour. 

We have a quiet evening on board.

10 March 2019   Stocking Island, Exumas
We went for a walk along the windward beach on Stocking Island, which was again deserted.  We headed north and then climbed a steep path up to the top of Monument Hill, where there is a great view of the island and the anchorages.  

Back on the beach, we tried to fly my power kite, which has been sitting in a locker on-board Alba for 8 years and has never been used.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the damn thing to fly – maybe I rigged it incorrectly or perhaps there was turbulence in the wind above the beach because it just kept collapsing on one side.  Hot and bothered in the beating sun, we gave up after an hour.

Suffering from heat-stroke, we staggered to the restaurant at the St Francis Resort and had lunch.  After a heavy meal, we spent the afternoon reading and snoozing.