May 22 – 29
Our overnight passage from Chub Cay was rough for about a third of the time as we were into the waves with slop. Jack and Maddy kept separate overnight watches – congrats! We had the sails up briefly and, oh yeah, raised just before my night watch – again. Thunderstorms with considerable lightning strikes resulted in our maneuvering to avoid, and more bumps in the night.
The West End on Grand Bahamas is the closest point to the USA, about 55 miles, thus a first stopover for many boaters and a week-end excursion for Florida boaters. And our last stop outside the US on this two year spree.
The grounds and facilities at Old Bahama Bay are pristine. The sand flies or no-see-ums are not.
We saw manatees swimming in the marina waters several times, one drinking out of a water hose like it was nursing.
Apparently fresh water is like candy to them. A couple of nights the neighboring boat stirred up some entertainment by chumming the waters for sharks in the marina between the dock and the stern of their boat. Two then three very large reef and lemon sharks (does this constitute a shiver?) obliged, and repeated circled for a chomp of the bait.
Jack jumped into the action playing out the tantalizing grouper carcass. Maybe we will chum for the manatees, not near the sharks of course.
There’s not much here on the West End. Biking and the pool was about it. We considered renting a car for the tour around the island but never got around to it.
A weather buffer is factored into our passages for good reason. The potential tropical storm threatened to form between here and the US for several days, kicking up heavy seas and undesirable wind/wave direction. The incoming boats are reporting heavy seas. I think they finally assigned a name to it – Bonnie. Thus we were stuck in West End another few days – oh shucky darn.
The holiday cruising boats started appearing on Friday, causing us to have to relocate within the marina. Good news – sand fleas not in the new dock area; bad news – redocking and lots more boat/foot traffic. Saturday morning the marina was hopping with mostly smaller fishing boats that made the passage from Florida – it’s really time to go. The forecast is looking good for Sunday. We could have started out on Saturday afternoon behind the weather, but the seas, wind and Gulf Stream were all different directions i.e., slop, and the winds were still 30+ knots in front of us. So we decided be prudent and wait another day.
Unless something changes in the next hour or so, we are off to Charleston.