Silver Maple Blog

The Voyage Continues!

It is indeed, better in the Bahamas!

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Since our arrival in the Bahamas we have visited, West End, Great Sale Cay, Spanish Cay and are now in Green Turtle Cay enjoying the sunshine. It is lovely here! You’d never know its almost December…

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17th to MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19th — DAY 88 to 90 (West End to Great Sale Cay)

Saturday starts off with pouring rain, but clears by late morning with a spectacular rainbow. Since being in the Bahamas, we have seen many rainbows. An indication of the unsettled weather we have been having, unfortunately. But it turns out later to be a lovely day, so we enjoy Mimosa on the deck. Later we have cocktails with our friends Debbie and Dennis (with daughters, Tara and Tesse, and dog, Eli) on their boat ‘Promises Kept.’  We agree to depart together the next day and sail to Great Sale Cay.

Morning coffee in West End, Bahamas 
Rainbow as rain clears, next to ‘Promises Kept’ in Old Bahama Bay Marina at West End, Bahamas 

It’s a beautiful morning when we leave for Great Sale Cay, with ‘Promises Kept’ following close behind.  When we put up the sails, we pull away from them. Later Dennis is hailing us on the radio by the name ‘Silver Bullet’, and continues to call us that for the days following. Pretty funny.

‘Promises Kept’ following close behind as we leave West End

Sailing to Great Sale Cay with water the colour of a swimming pool

Leo enjoying the wind in his face

When we arrive at Great Sale Cay, the island looks pretty much dead. All the vegetation is brown from the salt water damage it received when hurricane Sandy went through. This seems to the case across what we’ve seen in the Bahamas so far. Very sad. But the anchorage at Great Sale Cay is quiet and a close dingy ride for Leo to go onshore.  He enjoys having Eli (dog on Promises Kept) to play with, although Eli seems mostly disinterested.

Settled in the anchorage at Great Sale Cay with ‘Promises Kept’ by sunset

Randy and Dennis with dogs, Leo and Eli on shore at Great Sale Cay

Rainbow at Great Sale Cay

Vegetation on the island at Great Sale Cay is brown from hurricane Sandy

We stay in Great Sale Cay the next day so we can try out the watermaker (which turns saltwater into drinking water for us). It works great! While Randy is working on that, Lee does some fishing (no fish). Later in the afternoon the rain and storms move back in. It is another rough night on the boat with waves and wind which seem to pick up every night and keep us awake.

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20th to WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21st— DAY 91 to 92 (Spanish Cay)

When we leave Great Sale Cay for Spanish Cay, it has stopped raining, but we can see the storms all around us. ‘Promises Kept’ have decided to stay for a few more days, so we head out on our own. At one point along the way, while Lee is below in the washroom, the wind and rain hit us full strength and it is pouring sideways into the cockpit. When she comes back up, it is a monsoon. We are soaked. Leo is disgusted. By the time we hit Spanish Cay, it has stopped raining but everything on the boat seems to be wet from rain and the waves.

Rainy weather as we head to Spanish Cay

Starting to dry out from the rain

More swimming pool water. Beautiful!

The marina at Spanish Cay was hit hard, not only by hurricane Sandy this year, but also, Irene, last year. The managers seem disheartened, and the place is just barely open. Most of the facilities are closed and the beach is a mess. We are the only ones at the marina. The island itself is lovely and we enjoy some walks and biking. After a couple of days though, it started to get a bit creepy being the only ones there so we head out.

Leo in Spanish Cay looking longingly as he waits to have some fun

On a bike ride around Spanish Cay

Beaches are devastated from the storm — what a shame!

Leo playing with his new friend, Hurricane (named because he was rescued as a puppy out of the water of hurricane Irene last year), at the marina in Spanish Cay

Silver Maple alone in Spanish Cay

Hurricane waits at the end of our dock for Leo to come and play

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22nd to SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24th— DAY 93 to 95 (Bluff House at Green Turtle Cay)

When we leave Spanish Cay, the wind is blowing up to 30 knots at the dock. But, we are determined to move on. With the help of the manager and a friend of his, and some excellent piloting from Randy, we are able to get out of the slip unscathed.

The trip from Spanish Cay to Green Turtle Cay is VERY wind and rough. It is so windy that we don’t bother putting up any sail. With the engine idling, we are still doing 6 knots because of the wind blowing us from behind. When we arrive three hours later in Green Turtle Cay, it is a relief to be safe in the marina at Bluff House.

Rough and windy trip to Green Turtle Cay from Spanish Cay

The marina at Bluff House is great. Nice restaurant and pool. The day we arrive is US Thanksgiving so we do turkey dinner at the restaurant. The next day we enjoy the pool and relax.

US Thanksgiving dinner at Bluff House Marina in Green Turtle Cay

The view of Silver Maple from the pool at Bluff House

Today, we are moving just across Green Turtle Cay to the Leeward Yacht Club, where our friends Peter and Caroline (from Oakville, ON) keep their boat. They arrive tomorrow and we plan to have dinner with them when they get in. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the Grey Cup (Canada’s answer to the Superbowl) will be televised, so we will have to check in online to see how its going. Go Argos!

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