Crossing the Great Bahama Bank was a fantastic experience. The bright blue water over the white sand was beautiful. We could easily see the bottom 15 feet below as well as all the sea grass, fish, sea turtles, starfish, and debris. After leaving the Bank, we turned into the Northwest Channel to go to Nassau. Jeff and Jean from Two Can Sail would be leaving us from there, catching a flight out the next day.
Jeff timed the trip perfectly. When we needed to pass reef or shallow areas, we made it after sunrise. We arrived at Nassau Yacht Haven Marina around 11:00 am and secured a slip for as long as we needed. After arriving, we had some final things to learn about the boat. Jeff and Jean demonstrated how to set up the whisker pole (a pole that extends the jib out beyond the side of the boat for direct down wind sailing. They shared their knowledge on weather forecasting and helped us set up the SSB (single sideband radio) to receive weather faxes. Unfortunately, none were broadcasted before they left and we didn’t get the fine tuning figured out. Dave has been researching and working on figuring it out. They also helped us to get the watermaker operational. Finally, we are making our own water! The watermaker desalinizes sea water and filters out impurities, leaving super clean drinkable water. This was important because there are not many places to fill up the water supply in the remote Bahama Islands and we wanted to be able to take our time. Without being self-sufficient for water, our supply would only last maybe 10 days. Jean also reviewed sailing routes with me and wrote out their tried and true stops and anchorages.
Since Jeff and Jean left, we ate dinner at the Fish Fry, browsed the Straw Market, rode the local bus, walked across the bridge to Paradise Island, and strolled through the elaborate Atlantis resort. Then, the fun and games were over and we got back to work. Dave removed a broken Y-valve that controls the head output to sea or to tank; a very dirty job but completed successfully. Great job, Dave! Mom and I spent hours at the marina laundry room washing up all the bedding, clothing, seat covers, towels – everything. This would be the last laundry facilities for quite some time. It is all by hand after this. Tonight, we need to remake our beds, put away all the laundry and hang the items that didn’t dry around the boat, and stow everything to prepare for an early morning departure to the Exumas tomorrow. We debated between Eleuthra or Exumas, but the wind decided it would be the Exumas. We literally go where the winds blow us! Some nasty westerly winds are due to hit on Monday, so we are going to try anchoring at Allens Cay, which looks very protected.
This is the last blog we will be able to post for a while, as we will not have any Internet access in these remote islands. We will keep writing them and post when we can. Honestly, we are hoping for a good 3-5 days in a quiet anchorage doing absolutely nothing to catch up on our rest. We are all exhausted. When does the boredom kick in? I haven’t even finished reading one book yet that I started way back in Palmetto! Dave is trying set up our satellite communications that will enable us to post small blurbs to his Facebook status page. Unfortunately, that is the only place he can post it. If you are not Facebook friends with him personally, but want to see the updates, send him a friend request: David Rowland. However, he will only be able to accept them next time we have Internet access.