Some Pampering After Our First Leg

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.

Rhett at Great Harbour Cay Marina hoisting our Bahamian courtesy flag
Here’s Hazel at her slip in the marina with bigger boats on either side of her

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.

Dan, Rhett and Ronnie

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.

Hawksnest Cay in the background
Panoramic shot of Haine’s Bluff to the right and Hawksnest Cay to the left
Panoramic from Haine’s Bluff

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.

Here’s me rowing Lil’ Dinghy to the blue hole on Hoffman Cay
Rhett contemplating life from the top of the blue hole
Here she is doing the same but from the bottom of the hole, at the water’s edge

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.

Sunrise on the foredeck
Ass in the sand, toes (almost) in the water, thanks to Lil’ Dinghy for getting us there!

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.

Sailing upwind in a good breeze

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.

Sunset at Frozen Cay

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.

Derelict lighthouse we passed on our sail to Chub Cay
View from our balcony at Chub Cay

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.

13 thoughts on “Some Pampering After Our First Leg

  1. Hey Dan. Ryan here on Mojo. We met you a year ago just south of great harbor cay. I was the guy that camped out on the island by my self and you took some photos of me kayaking back to Mojo. I hope you are doing well. We are getting ready to leave Miami to head to the Bahamas and should be in great harbor cay in a week. We how to bump into you in the Bahamas this year.

  2. Great report, Dan! So glad you guys are having such a good time — weather looks beautiful. Temps will be in single digits here in PA the next couple mornings. Loved both videos … wasn’t sure how the dinghy video was going to end up (recall some Sunfish crashes into Fairbanks’ dock). Will be looking forward to the next update. TB

  3. The sailing video with the sounds of the ocean was relaxing. That was a beautiful sunset. Thank you for sending the warmth of your voyage up North.

  4. Beautiful pictures Dan. You make me want to retire right now, buy a van and go adventuring. I can’t believe how blue the water is, and how many more shades of blue there are compared to what I previously thought.
    I never knew if you slept on your boat. It’s nice to know that you can do that! And that you have done that. Lots of dishes with conch, apparently. Very fun to read your posts. We are at the vet . So I better log off for now. Happy sailing!!

    1. Thanks so much for the note Cathy! Yeah, the shades of blue, turquoise, indigo, etc. in the water are pretty amazing. I hope you can get out and adventure!

  5. Glad both captains are having a great time! The video of sailing into 20 kt winds is a great display of how challenging it is out there. Looks like a blast.

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