Sunday, December 19, 2010

Frazier Hog Cay - Bahamas - Berry Islands

Friday, December 17
Distance Traveled:  9.1 nm
Total Distance:  2115.87 nm
Chub Cay Marina to Berry Islands
Frazer Hog Cay, Bahamas

This morning we woke to warm winds and blue skies.  We listened to Chris Parker and they are predicting a cold front to come through Saturday and Sunday with squalls.  We have decided since it’s so expensive here, to go to Frazer Hog Cay about 5 mi as the crow flies after we have checked in with Customs.  About 9am Phil called Tito, the harbormaster, and was instructed to come to the office for custom forms.  Phil brought them back and they were filled out.  Phil went back to the office and was taken by golf cart to the airport.  It took a while for him to come back so I worked on the update since I had internet connection.  It took a while as he had to wait until the passengers from 2 airplane had gone through customs, then it took 10 minutes.  We were given 120 days as we had asked for.  The big hubbub here is that the Nassau Government officials had said that cruisers can be given only 30 days and then have to request additional days before the 30 days expires, but this in not being applied evenly across the board (good thing for us).  On the Waterway Net, they are asking people to report how many days they received when they check in.

Changes anchored in Frazers Hog Cay, Bahamas
So as soon as Phil returned and checked out with the marina, we cast off the line @ 1141am.  The wind was SE 11-12 know with 1-2’ waves and white caps, so after I had made sure items were stowed down below, we put the head sail out at 1204pm.  We turned off the engine!!!  First time since sailing on the Pungo River in North Carolina.  It was 76F outside.  At 1225pm we tacked to port and were sailing at 5.5 – 6.5 knots upwind.  We weren’t able to make out rhumb line to enter the channel, so when we were close enough, we rolled in the head sail and motored in rather than tacking out again.  We anchored at 135pm at N25 25.719’ and W077 49.913’.  I did a mark this time on the GPS so we could tell if the anchor was dragging with the coming winds, but it seemed that the anchor was well set.  S/V It’s About Time hailed us when they heard us hailing the Berry Island Marina about the mooring balls and let us know they cost $25ea and didn’t include any services on land.

We anchored close S/V Whisper and Red C&C 30’ from Newfoundland.  This is the boat that we had heard on the radio earlier in the day talking about need to fix their forestay which had come loose earlier.  They had a temporary fix using a halyard and we learned that he made a permanent fix by the time we had arrived.  So here we are, 2 red C&C’s close to each other.  I learned later that they have been cruising 30 years on their C&C.  I don’t know how they do it with 4 less feet than us.  They are also hull 50 something.  We are also anchored close to S/V Nirvana Now, which is a couple Randy and Dawn that we had met at the sailors happy hour at the wine bar.  Dawn is a nurse and they came over to visit us in their dinghy.  Their daughter Jamie and her husband, Mike, as staying with them.

Skip and Katie
We put the dinghy in the water and then took a little ride.  We stopped by S/V Felix the Cat, at Prout 45’ cataraman, anchored not too far away to see what they may have to say about having Katie’s meds mailed to us.  Dave and Christine O’Neill invited us to a happy hour at 5pm along with other boaters, which we accepted.  There we met other cruisers:  Sally and Conrad of S/V It’s about Time, Jerry and Diane of S/V Babe, a cataraman, Marilyn and Vic Greeley of S/V Whisper, and Skip Edwards and Carol Lee of S/V Rhapsody.  Katie and Skip had a nice conversation about what she was going to do with her career and then talked about animals and animal behavior.
Conrad and Christine
  Skip told her about a Canadian Goose that he raised from an egg or just hatched and imprinted on him.  It was partially wild and got it’s own food but then would come back.  They finished their conversation with discussion the importance of trees to saving animals.
Dave O'Neill S/V Felix the Cat
There was some discussion about what would be best getting the last couple days of Katie’s medication and it was decided  to try seeing a doctor in Nassau and see if he/she would be willing to prescribe enough medication for the couple days to tide her over until she went home, explaining it’s in emergency situation.  The doctors and medications here in the Bahamas are much cheaper than in the states and there could be problems with getting the medications in here.  One couple had to include copies of the written prescriptions for each medication that was mailed in and it’s hard to tell if the Bahamian customs would open the envelope and delay the delivery of the medications.

Saturday, Dec 18
Frazers Hog Cay Bahamas

The cold front that was predicted came with winds from the S to SE 14-20+ knots with gusts to 30 knots.  We were bouncing around all day and into the night until all we wished was to be somewhere that we still.  Katie has balance problems, so it was especially challenging for her.  I made a big lunch of pork chops cooked with rice, tomatoes and sliced zucchini in the pressure cooker.  It tasted good, but it turned out with too much liquid.  After we had eaten, I added some couscous to soak up the extra liquid, which we’ll have another meal.  Katie made chocolate chip cookies in the afternoon and then later I fixed cream of ham and potato soup using the Peak Instant Milk powder.  It turned out a little bland so maybe will have more flavor when we have it next time.

It’s harder for me with communication as we haven’t been able to buy a Bahamian phone until we get to Nassau and we have to go into land to use the internet which is $10/60 min, but can’t there as the wind and waves are too bad.  There is about a mile between us and the next island from the direction the wind is coming.  I’m worried about not getting a response to my email to Nassau Yacht Haven.  I guess I need to get use to this.  Besides the cooking, we spent the rest of the time reading or knitting.  I was able to work more on Henry’s hat and got it knitted together in a tube.  Now to join the top and then knit the band.  Katie worked a little on her pair of socks she’s knitting.

Three boat arrived in the afternoon and anchored.  Wondered where they came from in weather like this.

Sunday, December 19
Frazers Hog Cay, Bahamas

The front passed sometime in the middle of the night as the winds calmed at 3am and the motion of the boat became almost still.  What a relief.  The rain had stopped so I was able to open the fore hatch.  Phil woke at 6am and I woke at 645am to sunny skies and 64F outside.  The winds had now clocked to the NW at 20 knots but as we’re fairly close to land, the motion of the boat is much better.  I made scrambled eggs in the Ziploc bags with toast for breakfast for Phil and I while we listened to the Waterway Net.  He tried to listen to the BASRA Bahamian Weather but couldn’t hear anything.  Maybe because it’s Sunday and Chris Parker doesn’t broadcast on Sundays.  We did get the weather on the Waterway Net and it looks like tomorrow the winds will be from the N 14-17 knots, so sounds like a good day to go to Nassau.

Phil did find a flying fish that landed in the cockpit last night.   Above is the photo of him pretending to eat it.  It was tossed overboard as it was already starting to smell.

While we were puttering around, 4 boats motored in to take mooring balls or anchor.  They were anchored across the way and were now not in protected waters.  One of them knows Vic from S/V Whisper and they are now settled.

Phil found a flying fish in the cockpit floor next to the gas tank for the dinghy.  We took photos and then tossed it in the ocean.  Phil and I also washed up as I had reached my limit.  Then Phil took the dinghy to the beach and found a beautiful conch shell.  Katie wants to see if we can drill a hole in the end so she can use it to blow in the sunset.  Chris from Felix the Cat has one that she also uses to blow the horn for the bridge openings. 

Today’s agenda is to go into land to check out the beach and get internet services and a impromptu Happy Hour is on the beach at 4pm.  We’ll have to bring out two beach chairs and something to eat.  Katie says that she can sit on a towel in the sand.  

View from internet table
Phil has dropped me off at Berry Island Club and I'm outside at a picnic table using the internet.
I heard that there are sand fleas here so have my feet off the ground.  Phil and Katie are at the beach.  The gentleman who came out to feed the dogs commented how were to get another couple days of bad weather and it's better to go to Nassau before this afternoon.  I'll tell Phil and see what he says.

Here is the weather forecast that I found for the Berry Islands:
Partly Sunny with Showers  High 84F/ 29C  Low:  66F/19C  Wind:  WSW 6m/24kph

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