Sunset at Port Nelson, Rum Cay.
I think I’m done trying to do yoga on the beach in the Bahamas. The no-see-ums were there, even if I didn’t see them at first. I left the beach in Calabash Bay with a new batch of itchy bites and a renewed fear of tiny bugs.
Lee and I had a nice stay at our Long Island anchorage despite some adverse conditions. On our first day, Lee brought the bikes ashore and we rattled our way down Galliot Cay’s dirt road to the main, paved road that runs Long Island’s length. We rode a little ways down that road in each direction, stopping at Pratt’s Convenience store for a cold drink and taking in the rural Bahamian landscape. The sparse settlements were made up of weathered concrete houses with various boats, animals, and sea debris in their yards.
Our friends were circumnavigating Galliot Cay in their sailing dinghy while Lee and I biked. On our way back, we met them at the Cape Santa Maria Resort (the cape was named after Columbus’ boat, which supposedly sank there). After some lounging in the shade and lunch for our friends, Lee and I headed back to our boat with our new machete, “The Ork Slayer” (a wedding gift). Lee went to work on his coconut stash on the beach and I watched our friends slowly make their way down the bay in their sailing dinghy.
It was past sunset by the time they got to Pirat so we towed them around the corner to their boat with the dinghy. We joined them for tea and a tour their awesome little boat and then drove back to our own for a late dinner. Driving back in the dinghy, I could see the bottom in detail below us – an even weirder sight at night than in the daytime.
The next morning’s weather forecast brought news of a front moving in that evening. Lee and I spent most of the morning trying to decide what to do. Should we stay where we were? Should we try to get into Joe’s sound where our friend’s were anchored? Should we move somewhere down Long Island? Should we try to sail to Rum Cay? We gradually eliminated all the options except staying put. Everyplace else we could get in to anchor would not be any more sheltered than our current spot and might have worse depth. The cut to get into Joe’s Sound was too shallow and we were worried about getting stuck when the swell came up and made the entrance even more perilous.
With the front moving closer, we spent most of the day close to the boat. We went for a pretty strenuous run in the morning. Lee brought the bikes back onboard. I baked bread, which is an all-day process when I forget to start it the night before. We planned to leave for Rum Cay the next day but were torn by the prospect of staying to spend one last day with our friends. It was a long, rough night as the front passed and brought wind and swells into our anchorage.
The next morning was just as rough but we decided to stay. Lee and I walked to the tip of Galliot Cay, where the sailing dinghy ferried everyone to a protected beach on Hog Cay. We all spent the day on the beach – playing cribbage, picnicking, swimming, and chatting, The two guys went on a quest for lobster but returned empty handed. I had a great time just hanging out on the beach with the girls. These particular boat friends lead fascinating lives and are quite inspiring.
The crews parted ways late that afternoon, as Lee and I needed to check on our boat and the conditions would make it tricky to gather for dinner. Hopefully we will see our friends again when we come back to Goerge town after the wedding. If not, there will be plenty of opportunities to visit in other places.
Yesterday morning Lee and I packed up and sailing out of our anchorage (fun!), bound for Run Cay. Sailing off the anchor isn’t as hard as it sounds most of the time and we want to start doing it more. It was an upwind sail to Rum Cay (or course) and we were out in the unprotected waters where ocean swells roll through the islands. With the solent a a reefed main we were occasionally under-powered but made it to Port Nelson, the anchorage at Rum Cay, with time for a quick run before dinner. It’s become kind of a joke that we only sail places when the passage will be upwind. We don’t do it that way on purpose. We just don’t wait around for downwind conditions.
Port Nelson is a large, open bay with a reef along one side. The town has a few restaurants and stores as well as picturesque little houses overlooking the beach. I managed to do yoga on deck this morning and it felt wonderful. Now I’m ready for a day of bread baking, exploring ashore, and hopefully some shopping at the Last Chance grocery store. My supply of absolutely heavenly papayas from George Town is almost exhausted, as are the fresh vegetables.