March 2012 – Bahamas
We have spent the last month thoroughly
enjoying the beauty of the Outer Islands of the Bahamas. Rivaling many islands of the South Pacific, the
remoteness and water clarity of the Bahamas surprised and thrilled us. We had never been to the Bahamas.
Although we had heard from many other cruisers that they were gorgeous and often on the favorite list of circumnavigators,
we were somewhat skeptical. We found it difficult to believe that islands so close to the US
could be so untouched. Well, we were definitely wrong and it was obvious from our first landing in Mayuguana
where the largest town had about 50 people, we had to go to the local bar owner’s living room to get on internet, and
the massive starfish that we could see perfectly 10 feet below us outnumbered the people in the town.
We were thrilled that Marc’s Dad, Fred, came to visit
us this month. We are so glad that we are close enough that he can visit us easily. Of
course, picking him up at the tiny airport on Aklin island and hitching a ride back to the boat was an adventure by itself.
We decided to do an overnight sail to Long Island, so Fred was our first passenger on a night
passage. What a trouper!
We also had the opportunity to get together with some cruising friends that we hadn’t seen in 3 years.
We first met John and Cyndi during the Carib 1500 when we were all first getting started. At that
time they were on a Moody Monohull named “Glass Slipper”. Since then they have cruised the
Med and the Caribbean, sold Glass Slipper and purchased a Lagoon Catamaran named “Cynergy”. Of
course, they will always be Glass Slipper to us and it was just wonderful to catch up with them. John is
also the author of the children’s novel, “Tommy Tiller and his dog Rudder” which is about a boy who sails
around the world with his family and dog. If you have a chance to read it, you may recognize some of the
main characters, especially in Chapter 9. (Note – pretty Mom named Jane) Caroline read the story
as John was writing it and provided some editing and suggestions. It’s a fun read!
We rented a car and toured Long Island which was is thought
to be Columbus’ second stop in the new World. Seeing Columbus bay where he had anchored and Columbus
point which now is home to a monument was a real treat. Since the cruisers joke about whether the bars
or the churches are in greater number on each of the islands…is it “libation” or “salvation”,
we decided to count them all and thank goodness the churches won 33 to 29.
After spending time with John and Cyndi and seeing the few sights on Long Island,
we headed to Georgetown on Great Exuma which is known to all cruisers as a cruiser haven. Unbeknownst to
us, we arrived on the last day of the big sailing regatta. There must have been 200+ boats in the anchorage
which was a little overwhelming after sailing on our own most of the time since we left St. Martin. So
we anchored as far away from the action as we could for one more night of peace before we faced the crowds on Volleyball Beach.