Wednesday, March 24, 2010

SEA Update 6: Island hopping; arrival in San Salvador

From the 14th of March
On the 8th of March my friend Clint and I motored out of Nassau harbor, dropping my previous crewmember off on a dock we putted by. We sailed over 20ft deep water the 32 miles to Allen’s Cay in the Exumas, dropping anchor in a great little bay that fit my boat with no room for another. I put out the stern anchor as well to keep from hitting the cliff sides of the bay on either side of us. There were large iguanas to see and a lone palm tree on the little island. The next morning we departed for Conception Island, but realizing that we would arrive at night, I decided to stop at Cat Cay instead. This was my favorite island as of yet. We anchored off a beach with deep caves. Not far from where we landed we found a small shop with ice cream sandwiches and frozen hotdogs (dinner), which was a great treat since I have no refrigeration onboard. Traveling around the island was easy, as any local will stop when you put your thumb out, sometimes they stop and offer rides just because they see you walking. We enjoyed some snorkeling there and a dinner of grilled hot dogs and fresh bread which I made in the pressure cooker.
On the 12th we made our jump to Conception Island, an uninhabited beautiful island with excellent snorkeling. We were the only two souls there. During the passage there we hooked two Mahi-Mahi’s a two footer and a monster 4 footer, both which wriggled out of their lures not 5 feet from the stern!
With deteriorating weather and increasingly uncomfortable anchorage the next day, we decided to head on to San Salvador Island where Columbus made his first landing in 1492. We arrived last night (the 13th) after a very rainy sail and anchored the same spot where they think Columbus did, and dinghied in for some burgers, fries and Rum and cokes. This morning, after getting no sleep in the rough anchorage, we motored into the tiny marina. To my surprise, there are 3 boats here (basically all the boats here) from Charleston, SC, and it was great to talk to some people from home.
The winds in the Bahamas have been unusual lately, coming out of the NW, which has been in my favor. I’m thinking it may be a good idea to ride them on to the Dominican Republic before they change, though I have no crew as Clint flies home tomorrow. Single-handing may be just the ticket and good experience for me. The self-steering unit has been behaving very nicely over the last week, and there have been 24 hour periods where I barely had to adjust it. I finished the book my sister gave me about Joshua Slocam sailing around the world alone while my Aries kept the course for me, and started the book dad gave me about Cape Horn by Mortessier. Unfortunately internet is more and more difficult to come by, and my computer’s wireless has been acting up. There are no computer (or much else) stores on these islands, the locals just order what they want and pick it up from the Mail boat, it is quite a different life.

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