Finally we are at a place with solid wi-fi so I can upload some pictures!
As mentioned in our previous post we had a successful crossing and stayed in Great Harbour Cay Marina for several nights. One highlight was watching the super bowl projected onto a bedsheet and eating conch fritters.
For any long time followers of this blog, you may remember my dinners last year at Brown’s Garden and my exposé of Ronnie Brown. Well…Rhett and I got back to Brown’s Garden for a dinner. I was a bit nervous given my hyping of the event. However, after about two minutes at Brown’s Garden with Ronnie holding court and entertaining Rhett while he prepared conch salad, I knew all would be well.
We next sailed around the north end of the Berry Islands past the Stirrup Cays (cruise ship islands) and spend a couple days on a beautiful beach just north of Hawksnest Cay. The beach itself and the surrounding hills of Haine’s Bluff were beautiful hiking and exploring.
We then sailed another 10 or so miles south to Soldier Cay. Last year, Soldier Cay was the furthest south I got in the Berry Islands. From there, I sailed east to Eleuthera. It was fun departing Solder’s Cay and heading further south in the Berrys so that Rhett and I were both in new territory.
We anchored off Hoffman Cay for several nights and the blue hole and beach excursions were fantastic.
At Hoffman Cay, I had the chance to take Lil’ Dinghy on her maiden sail! Although we had rowed her a bit, we hadn’t been sailing in her at all. I’m happy to report that she passed her sea trial with flying colors. Here’s a video of that sail.
We had beautiful sunrises off Hazel’s bow at Hoffman Cay so we got in the habit of sitting on her foredeck with coffee and morning meditations at sunrise.
Next we sailed to Cabbage Cay and Frozen Cay. The wind was blowing around 20 knots and we had a spirited day of sailing into it, beating back and forth to make upwind distance. For those sailors in the group who have a little time on their hands, or perhaps are sick and tired of wintry weather, here is an 8 minute video of us sailing. For those without the patience to watch 8 minutes, here’s Rhett and I from the same camera angle. It’s been fun to play with my new GoPro and get some pictures like this I couldn’t get otherwise.
We tried to get into a shallow and tight anchorage off Cabbage Cay so that we could have a dinner at Flo’s Conch Bar, but we aborted the attempt when the approach looked too shallow for Hazel’s five foot draft. Also, the tide was ebbing (falling) so if we got stuck, we would have been stuck for a long time. We settled for a beautiful spot all to ourselves off Frozen Cay and a cockpit dinner of bean and rice tacos at sunset.
Finally, from Frozen Cay we sailed 15-20 miles the next day around the southern end of the Berry Islands to the resort of Chub Cay. I’m proud to say that Rhett piloted Hazel through the marina but then (much to her relief) the captain took over for the final docking. Nonetheless the dockhand Justin who helped with our lines insisted on calling her “Captain Rhett”.
Hazel is happy in the marina at Chub Cay and Rhett and I are enjoying several nights in one of the resort’s guest rooms. Tomorrow, we will probably check out of the room and stay on Hazel for a couple more nights and let some weather pass before heading to Nassau or the Exuma Islands.
If you haven’t had a chance and you are interested, from time-to-time you can check out our satellite tracking page. I can add text to it via satellite from anywhere and later add pictures when on wi-fi. The page defaults to a “Map” view (a wind map), it’s a bit easier to follow on satellite view (just click the “Satellite” button).
I hope everyone in the mainland is staying warm and getting water. Sounds crazy. Thanks as always for following along!
Fair winds and following seas—Hazel James standing by on 16.