Trip Report – Back up the Exumas

(Sorry for the lack of blog posts…we had pretty weak internet for the last few weeks in the Bahamas, we were busy with guests, and…well…guess I’m just lazy!  Will get you all caught up over the next few posts)

April 1 – 11, 2014

After leaving Georgetown, we wanted to stop again at Emerald Bay Marina for laundry and showers and shore power before heading north. We ended up there for almost a week due to the darn weather, but it gave us a chance to relax a bit after feeling “cruisers fatigue” from Georgetown. In fact, we had to have our first “do we want to do this anymore?” conversation, as we were both tired, frustrated by sh*t breaking, and worn out by outrunning or being stuck by the weather. We talked it through, and both decided to not make any rash decisions, to see if getting out of Georgetown would turn things around.

Once we had a break in the wind, we left with our friend Tony on “Inspiration” bound for Black Point. It was a great sailing day in the Exuma Sound – wind on the beam, sails up, engines off…and it immediately changed our spirits!

In Black Point we were sure to stop in to Scorpio’s to say hi to Zhivago and DJ, and we rented a golf cart for a few hours one day to do a bit of exploring with Gail and Dave from “Un-corked”. The electric battery on the cart meant we couldn’t go too far afield, but we did get to check out the cool blow hole there.

Next stop was Staniel for a few nights, as we weren’t sure how much propane we had left, and didn’t get a chance to fill it in Georgetown. It was nice to stop back for a night or two, but we were eager to get moving up to Cambridge Cay in the Exuma Land and Sea Park, as there was (another) front coming through and the mooring balls there had 360 degree protection.

Cambridge Cay was pretty cool. It is surrounded by a few privately owned cays, notably one belonging to the Aga Khan, as well as Johnny Depp (we saw neither of them). We had hoped to check out some of the great snorkeling there, but again, the darn winds foiled those plans – too darn choppy! We did make sure to get off the boat for a cruisers happy hour on a nearby sand bar, had Gail, Dave, and Tony over for supper, and got a hike to the top of the cay in. This is definitely on our list of stops next year.

Once the weather cleared, we decided to head up to Norman’s Cay and wait for a weather window to cross to Eleuthera. This was a spot we had to duck out of on our way south due to a front, so we wanted to explore it a bit more.

Norman’s was once the drug trafficking headquarters of Carlos Lehder, who was an associate of Johnny Depp’s character in the movie “Blow”. In the late 70’s and early 80’s, he took over the island, paid off the government to look the other way, and used small planes to move drugs into the US. Currently though, a good chunk of the island has been bought by developers who are busy widening the runway, renovating the resort, and dredging for a new marina. We were lucky enough to be there for the soft opening of MacDuff’s restaurant, a beautiful bar with good (if pricey) cheeseburgers, and super lucky they accepted US checks (their cc machine was not yet running, and we were, once again, low on cash!). We really enjoyed exploring the island and seeing all the work going on. It’s going to be great to stop back next year and see the progress!

Once again, though, it was time to get a move on – we had to make our way to Eleuthera to be sure we were there to pick up our friend Elaine.

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