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Monday, April 30, 2007

16 APR thru 30 APR 07: Chub Cay, Berry Islands, Bahamas

GPS Position: 25°24’.630N: 77°54’.317W

Today, we stayed in Spanish Wells and toured St. Georges Cay and Russell Island. The weather is very windy and there is still a chance of rain today. We walked down to the main dock area and rented a golf cart and had a great day driving around the islands. It was really neat seeing all of the improvements that have been made in the past twenty years. Spanish Wells is like an oasis in the middle of the Bahamas where just about any modern convenience or item is available.

We then went looking for a guy we’d known when we lived here in the 80’s. We finally found Roy Pinder, who married a girl from Current, down by the docks. Roy went with us and showed us several tracts of land he owned and gave us some insight as to what’s planned for the area in the very near future. Then, he showed us a completely furnished, three-bedroom vacation home he owns and rents. It’s absolutely gorgeous (contact Roy_LindaPinder@hotmail.com for details.) After the land tour, it was back to the boat and making the boat ready to travel. Tomorrow, we’ll have to move the boat back to Current and it will probably be pretty early due to the tides.

Kim and I were up early on the 18th. I went up and paid our marina bill and then we made ready to go. We were off and running by 0800 hrs and caught the tide
perfectly. We were anchored off of North Beach by 1100 hrs and dinghied in to shore and made the short walk into Current. Kim was able to get her hair cut by Janice Symonette while I stayed and helped Perry with some projects. We had burgers on the grill for supper with homemade French fries. and then it was back to the boat after dark.

On the 20th, we got up early and went ashore. Perry loaned us his car and we drove in to the airport and went to Customs and Immigration to get our cruising permit extended. With that accomplished, we went to Three Island Dock and caught a ferry to Harbour Island. We went and saw the wild horses on the beach, Kim bought some “Androsia” material to make a quilt and we had a great lunch of hotdogs from a street vendor.

Back at Perry’s, we had dinner with the Neillys and Craig Weech. We discussed more politics and pre-election news and watched a political rally on TV. Theo, Perry’s son, was at the rally and we saw him on the TV. Following the rally, it was back on the boat and we were on board right at sunset.

The next several days were a blur of going into town each day, spending time with people and attending the various political rallies held by both parties. Bahamian politics if very emotional, but unlike the US, the campaigning only lasts about 30

days and then elections are held and the whole thing is over. But, while it lasts, it's very exciting and fun to listen to the speeches being made. One thig for sure, it makes no difference what country it is, a politician is a politician.

Today,the 24th, was a fun day. We went in around 1000 and talked Perry into going hunting for Sea Beans. We went toSurfers Beach, south of Gregory Town, walking the last 1.5 miles to get there. We then walked up and back down the 2.5 mile long beach, looking for beans and walked the 1.5 miles back to the car. It was really quite tiring, but we found a total of 12 sea beans of two different types and Perry found another seven.

The next day, we went hunting for sea beans again with Perry and Talliah. We think Perry has caught the seabean bug! We went to a beach just north of Governor's Harbour and were able to get all of the way to the beach by car.

We walked up and down the beach for about four hours, which, after yesterday’s walk, was a real challenge. We found 5 more hamburger beans, 10 more sea hearts and half a dozen, as yet, unidentified beans. The real prize was a double Coconut Bean (not to be confused with the coconut that you eat) that still had about 75% of the husk around it. They are very rare.

On the 28th, we let everyone know we'd be leaving in two days. Then, on the 29th, the weather turned perfect. We almost felt that we should leave today instead of waiting until tomorrow. But, we needed to make the rounds, and say good-bye to all of our friends. Back at Perry’s, we had lunch and then made homemade coconut ice cream. The local kids came out of the woodwork to get a taste and Perry didn’t disappoint them. We stayed as late as possible, but eventually had to leave, as we were pulling out for Chub Cay at 0600 tomorrow. Kim cried and the ride back to the boat was sadly quiet.

I got up early and left Kim in bed, because slipping the boat off of the mooring is not a big deal and didn’t require us both being awake. I started the main engine to allow it to warm up, turned on all of the navigation systems and got ready to go. We slipped the mooring at 0630 and started out of the cut. When we reached Grant’s Dock, I spied Perry on the dock waving a PLP flag and blowing his car horn. Kim had gotten out of bed when we started moving, so we both blew our conch horns in answer to Perry’s car horn. It was a pretty emotional departure.

The trip to Chub Cay was completely uneventful. There was a bit of chop after 0900, but mostly a smooth passage. We arrived in Chub Cay around 1530 hrs, took on 53 gallons of diesel and retired to our slip. After a bite to eat, we went out and walked the beaches until almost dark. We found no sea beans, but it was still a fun walk.

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