Logan, Stella Blue, Princess Ding-a-ling and I are still calling Georgetown, Bahamas home these days. So much for this being a two week stop – we have been here since June 29th! We found ourselves in a tricky situation where we wanted to leave to head south/east as soon as the weather cooperated, but we had to buy plane tickets to head back to the states for a few days to attend a memorial service for Logan’s grandpa at the Naval Academy in Annapolis. One morning we just decided to bite the bullet and fly out of Georgetown (of course a weather window presented itself as soon as we made that commitment!). We just got back home yesterday and have once again set our sights on the weather. Now that August has arrived, we are really in the meat of hurricane season – the majority of the storms develop in August and September. Since we feel that this is a secure place to be if a major storm hits, we won’t leave until we can make the passage all the way to the Domincan Republic. There aren’t any secure “hurricane holes” between here and there, so we will be cautious and patient even though we are both feeling the urge to pick up anchor and get back into the unknown. In the meantime, we have been adventuring around – here are a few of the highlights:
Exploring Great Exuma by Land
The lure of “the best beach on the island” and “the best lobster” finally got the best of us and we rented a car to explore the island by land. We hopped in and Oops! I was on the wrong side – they had given us a right hand drive! Just when we thought we had gotten a handle on driving on the left! After a few hesitant turns, Logan had mastered the challenge and we headed all the way south/east to the end of the road. The Tropic of Cancer Beach really is the most beautiful beach I have seen. The crescent shape, white “powdered sugar” sand, perfect water gradient, and the isolation were….just the best. We headed to the famous lunch joint, Santana’s, only to find it closed. I smacked myself on the forehead for this one – it was MONDAY! All businesses are closed on Sundays and many are on Mondays during the slow season. Sigh – luckily we popped our heads in a bar across the street that advertised the best conch fitters (conch free frees to Logan) around. So we ended up having a few cold Kaliks and discussing island life with the lady running the joint who happened to be the sister of the lady who runs Santana’s. Small Island This was one of my favorite things we have done yet because we were so far off the beaten tourist path and really got a chance to see the island in a different light.
Conception Island & Cape Santa Maria
After a false start due to rough seas the week before, we used what would have been a weather window to move south to explore some islands in the “Far-Out Bahamas” – a term from our navigational charts. We made plans with our friends on Wings to take a 5 day trip to the protected Conception Island and to a resort on the northern tip of Long Island at Cape Santa Maria. It felt SO good to be out on the water again. Sails up, land out of sight, FREEDOM! We snorkeled, played with sea turtles, saw some caves, and shared happy hours. AND we made our first catch while trolling under sail power. This was a huge event for us since we have been working at it for so long. We got the strike and the line buzzed out. I leapt to the helm to slow the boat down while Logan fought the fish. Since we were under sail power alone this meant I had to turn up into the wind to kill our speed without stopping completely or accidentally tacking. This all happened as we were approaching the white cliffs on Long Island and were about to take down our sails, so land was close-ish AND our buddy boat was changing course to head around the cape. Luckily everything went smoothly and we brought the fish aboard and then got the sails down. If feels really good to have that under our belt. Next time we will hook something other than a darn barracuda….
Our short trip back to the states made us realize how much our life has changed living on a boat. When we arrived in Atlanta for our lay over, we both walked around like zombies. Everyone was moving so crazy fast and all the stores! Now, this was an airport where things tend to move quicker than normal, but it was still a bit of a culture shock. Then later driving around in Virginia, we got this strange sense of feeling foreign and familiar at the same time. Hanging out with Logan’s family was great, we definitely welcomed the cooler weather, and we had no complaints about A/C and hot showers. But it still felt so good to get back home to Stella Blue yesterday. This probably happened a while ago, but Stella Blue has become our home and we are happy to be back.