Aboard the Sailing Vessel

January 11, 2005

We have been anchored on the leeward side of Norman's Cay since late New Year's Day. Norman's Cay is the former hang-out of some notorious drug runners. The drug runners are gone but the beauty, charm and the ruins from the drug running days are still here.

There are a number of private homes on the island. A paved road, an old airfield, some caves, a bar and grill, and a number of reefs that are easy to explore with mask and snorkel.

We are pretty much protected from the wind and are enjoying the peaceful anchorage with fourteen other boats... all spread out affording good privacy.

The winds were pretty high for the first several days here.

Our sail from Nassau started out well. It went down hill about two-thirds of the way here.

We were pretty tried, because we celebrated New Year's eve aboard Shibumi with some friends from another boat. Then we went into downtown Nassau to see Junkanoo... we got back to the boat at 5:30 am. We untied our dock lines at 8:00 am, New Year's Day, for what we thought was an easy sail to Ship's Channel Cay. That is where we planned to meet up with Don and Mary on Dark & Stormy.

The wind made the run to Ship's Channel very sloppy. So we decided to follow the wind and see where it would take us. With the GPS we were confident that we would not get lost at sea. We always knew the direction to nearest land. The wind was a good angle to our bow and we were sailing along nicely. After awhile it became evident that we would have to turn to a more easterly heading to make any land before night fall. The easterly heading put the increasig wind and waves pretty close to head-on. The last 10 to 12 miles of the trip was quite rough. Rough weather and being tired really had us questioning our sanity for a while. It was insane to leave with so little rest. Anyway, that little jaunt put us in Norman's Cay which is several miles further south than Ship's Channel Cay. So we have out distanced the boats that left a day before we did. Right after we anchored we both hit the bed and were out for the rest of the evening.

Jill has caught a cold. It was probably a result of too much party and not enough rest. Aboard one of the boats in the anchorage with us is a doctor, Elizabeth, on her honeymoon from Charlotte. Elizabeth. examined Jill and said that she would get better on her own, but it could take three weeks or more without medication. She had a bronchial infection and three weeks is a long time.
There is an old airfield on Norman's Cay that was left behind by the drug runners, so, Jill took a charter flight to Nassau to get some drugs; legal drugs.
We checked with Blue Cross and they provided us with a list of their doctors in Nassau. Jill decided on the Doctor's Hospital. we used to walk passed it when we were staying in Nassau a little over a week ago. Anyway, One shot in the backside and three prescriptions later, Jill got off of the chartered air taxi, back in Norman's Cay, feeling tired but much better than she had in a week. By the way, Jill gives the medical personnel at the Nassau Doctor's Hospital very high marks for their professionalism and sincerity (I don't have spell check).

We explore a little bit of the island each day. There is a bar on the Cay that has satellite TV and free wireless Internet access. They have what is said to be the best hamburgers in the Bahamas. The burger is pretty good... but a little pricey.

Dark & Stormy and Brass Dragon did make it to Norman's Cay a few days ago. The winds have moderated quite a bit, but the two boats said they also were fighting the wind and the current as they turned east to come into the anchorage.

On the night of my birthday, January 5th, we had a birthday party aboard Shibumi. There were 12 people, couples from six boats counting ours. The following night was another birthday party, for Rick aboard "Breathless".

Jill says she is not partying for awhile... we have to get her back to full strength.

The last four days were beautiful. Wind about 15 knots out of the east. David took the dinghy out to a reef twice. The first day the current was too strong. Two guys did get in the water. David watched them stuggling with the current and decided to stay in the dinghy and just enjoy a boat ride along the shoreline. The next day, Ron from the sailing vessel Water Music, and David took Shibumi's dnghy out to the reef at slack tide. We enjoyed snorkeling over beautiful coral and marine life and just watching the colors of it all. Others though, were on the reef for serious business. They were there to spear fish. Don from Dark and Stormy got a lobster and a trigger fish. That was dinner for two nights.

Now that Jill is feeling better we will probably move on in a few days. But there is no rush... the next Cay that we want to see is just a few miles to the south, maybe a hour's sail from here. Ultimately, our destineation for this voyage is Georgetown, which is about 100 miles from here. That should take us a month or two. Again, there is no rush, and we have all winter.



Jill boarding charter flight to Nassau.

Shibumi, Dark & Stormy and Brass Dragon

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