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Posted by on Thursday, August 9, 2018 in Bahamas Anchorages, Beach, Eleuthera, YouTube Videos | 0 comments

Ten Bay Beach, Eleuthera

In the last post, I shared video 54, where it begins in Rock Sound and ends with us pulling up the anchor and heading to Ten Bay Beach. In this post I’ll tell you about that sail, and our time spent at Ten Bay Beach. You can watch video 55 here, where we hang out at Ten Bay Beach, and then make our way to Governors Harbour.

5.16.17 In the latter half of episode 54, it shows how we go about weighing anchor and sailing away without the assistance of the engine. It’s not all that hard to do, but requires a bit of forethought, and good communication between the anchor-upper (thats Ben), and the helms-woman (that’d be me). Also, Molly, “The Swabby” takes the helm. Yep – our little Molly can steer the Sandflea, with a little supervision, of course. Ah – they grow up so fast!

We anchor under-sail in Ten Bay Beach after a lovely sail. N 25*07.136 W 76*09.292

Ten Bay Beach is a beautiful secluded beach. There were so many little tiny shells. The only downside, is the time of they day we were there, there were also SO many biting no-see-ums.

Oh the many funny faces of Molly!

I found hundreds of little tiny shells on Ten Bay Beach. They were beautiful!

Keith gave me a lovely box of chocolates for Mother’s Day. Thanks Keith! They were yummy!

Also, there were so many cute starfish!

Another beautiful Eleuthera sunset!

5.17.17 Today we left Ten Bay beach for Governors Harbour. It was another beautiful sail, until the last 30ish minutes, where it began to rain on us. It wasn’t so bad and it kept us cool. We anchored in the harbor (in the rain) and get settled in. We went ashore to see if the immigration office is open because we only have 2 days until our visa’s run out.

We’ve been in touch with Keith’s sister in the immigration office via text and they have been really busy with the boats of Haitians that have landed on the island. She told us that another boat landed in South Eleuthera this morning, so the offices were closed today. She said not to worry if we’re a few days late, that it wouldn’t be a big deal.

There was a mama and baby dolphin that tagged along with us for much of the sail from Ten Bay to Governors Harbour.

We went ashore and took a quick look around Cupids Cay looking for the immigration office.

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Posted by on Thursday, August 9, 2018 in Bahamas Anchorages, Eleuthera, YouTube Videos | 0 comments

Rock Sound, Eleuthera fun!

Watch video 53 here & Video 54 here!

Sailing Totem and Sandflea crews unite to explore spider caves and ocean holes in Rock Sounds, Eleuthera.

The words “spider hole” does not typically describe a place that I would want to visit. However, if you get the chance, I highly recommend that you take the time to visit the local cave called The Spider Hole if you are in Rock Sound, Eleuthera – it’s actually quite lovely!

Also in Rock Sound is a wonderful Ocean Hole. Yes, I know – this Rock Sound place has many holes. Tis true, yes, it’s very… porous… and while there, at Rock Sound, we took it upon ourselves to explore them… the holes.

The Ocean Hole is a great place to swim. The water is a little warmer than the ocean water, so we found it to be very comfortable. There are also hundreds of fish that linger around the swimming area. They’re all very friendly and eager to eat any bits of snack food that may fall into the water.

So in this post we swim, we hike, we explore, and we have a fun time hanging out with our friends on 3 other sailboats – Totem, Benediction, and Liahona.

4.27.17 Tonight we had sundowners on Totem. We had a great time getting to know several families and cruisers anchored here in Rocksound. When we got back to the boat, Ben and I watched a movie.

4.28.17 Today we hung out on Totem for Mairen’s Birthday! We had such a great time! Molly and Ben swam with the kids and they made a cool fender swing.

4.29.17 Today we went to the ocean hole with Totem and 3 other boats. This beautiful Ocean Hole is said to be 600 feet deep!

Here is a paragraph written on the Official Site of the Bahamas website about the Ocean Hole: “This world-renowned blue hole, an inland ocean/swimming hole, is located on the southern edge of Rock Sound. People often drink and bathe in its brackish water, rumored to have healing powers. A seemingly bottomless natural limestone formation, it is said to have been explored by Jacques Cousteau. Ocean Hole is filled with tropical fish and turtles who will sidle up and greet visitors. The fish that live in Ocean Hole were caught and put there by local residents. There is no fishing allowed, but you can swim and feed the fishes. You can also see a variety of local bird species nesting in the hardwood trees.”

We had such a great time! Ben and I jumped in off the high cliff. Molly jumped in a lot. She is getting so brave! She had a great time with the kids! It was a wonderful day swimming and hanging out with everyone.

4.30.17 Today was another great day! Molly and I worked on making bracelets today. We went to lunch with Keith at a local ladies house. She had cooked peas and rice, stewed cabbage, ribs, bbq chicken, and cabbage slaw. It was so delicious! Then Keith drove us all over the island, all the way up to Governors Harbour. We went to French Leave Beach and got pink sand! Keith is such a great guy and we had a really good time hanging out with him and getting to know him.

5.1.17 Today was a lazy day on the boat. We did some school and just hung out. Molly and I finished our bracelets today.

5.2.17 Today we worked on Molly’s school work. Then we went to the grocery store and the hardware store to drop off our propane tank. Keith the AMAZING, paid for our groceries! What a great guy! He also got us a carton of ice cream! It was so much ice cream, we had a hard time eating all of it! We had pizza for dinner. This is the first homemade boat pizza. We were so hungry, I forgot to take a photo of our pizza! After dinner we went over to Totem. Behan is back from the boat show. We had such a great time! I asked her to sign my “Sailing with Kids” book. We really enjoyed our time with them. We also met Tom on SV Benediction, and the wonderful family on SV Liahona.

5.3.17 We did school again today. After lunch we went to the Spider Caves and the Boiling Hole with the Totem crew and Liahona Crew. It was a super cool cave! After that we hung out at The Blue Seahorse for a bit. We got back to the boat and Cynthia on Liahona gave us a bunch of coconut oil! Just in time too, because I just ran out. Behan on Totem gave us scoby to start making kombucha. She’s had her scoby for 5 years and got it in Australia! Behan and her family are leaving tomorrow.

5.4.17 Ben took the diggy down to the Airport to go to the immigrations office to renew our visas. He couldn’t do it because we all had to be there. We went to the grocery store today and we picked up our propane tank from the hardware store. Molly really enjoys jumping in off the boat.

5.5.17 We went down to the Blue Seahorse to use their internet today. We saw Cynthia, Johnny and Sara from Liahona there and they invited us over for sundowners tonight. Molly and Sara painted sand dollars with the girls at the Blue Seahorse today. Molly helped ben cut his hair. Ha!

5.6.17 We didn’t sleep very well last night. There was a lot of wind, a big wind shift, and a lot of rain. We woke up very late today. We went to lunch with Keith. It was really yummy! He invited us out again tomorrow. He also got us our first Bahamian coconut! There was such a beautiful sunset tonight!

5.7.17 Keith picked us up today and we went to Siblene and Ronalds house again. The food was so good, and so was the company! We met Keith’s sister and a lot of other great people. We also met a man named Laish Boyd and his lovely wife. He is the Bishop of the Diocese of the Bahamas and the Turks & Caicos. We really enjoyed getting to know Keith. We hope to be able to keep in touch with him and to be able to see him again.

5.8.17 to 5.11.17

These 4 days are all smashed together. We went to the laundromat to do our laundry, we did some school work, and we were pretty lazy just hanging out on the boat. Also, I was not feeling well. We met a lovely couple on another boat anchored nearby. They invited us to go swimming with them at the Ocean Hole, but since I wasn’t feeling too well, I stayed behind and Ben and Molly went with them. They had a good time. Ben also copied the fender swing Jamie on Totem made and made Molly her very own boom swing. She really loved that!

Photos Molly took while we were at the laundromat.

5.12.17 I was feeling a bit better today, so we decided to get off the boat for a bit. We went to the grocery store. At the grocery store we got cupcakes (Yippie!), asparagus, and stuff to make pizza again for dinner. Ben made some tea, and he made a nice little home for his scoby. Blowing the conch horn at sunset has quickly become one of Molly’s favorite things. It was another beautiful sunset, which, there is never a shortage of here in Rock Sound. We had a great day. Ben and I watched a movie tonight.

5.13.17 Keith picked us up for breakfast today. We went back to Barbies, where we had lunch once before. After that we went to a store, where I found some things I needed for Molly’s school.

Keith was telling us about a boat from Haiti that landed on the Southeast side of the island today. His sister is head of the immigration office for this area, so she had to go try and round up all the people that got off the boat. On our way through town, a lady asked us for a ride. After talking to her, Keith picked up that she was acting like one of the immigrants that came in off the boat. He called his sister and we told her we would give her a ride. We flagged down a police officer and handed her over. She really freaked out when Keith mentioned that he was going to take us back to our boat! It was a really crazy situation!

Tonight, Keith picked us up and we went to Tarpum Bay for Dinner. We had yummy burgers and fries. It was great spending more time with him!

5.14.17 It’s MOTHER’S Day! Today we hung out on the boat. I felt stressed and grumpy today, not how I wanted to feel for Mothers Day. Molly made me a really cute card. We watched Tangled as a family movie. Even though I wasn’t feeling top notch, it still turned out to be a pretty good day. This is the ONLY photo that was taken today! Haha! As you can see, Molly has her baby just “hanging out” back there behind me.

5.15.17 We are behind in school work, so we worked on that some today to try and get caught up. Keith brought us lunch and we ate it at the gazebo by the church. It was yummy turkey wraps. He told us that the lady we picked up on Saturday was actually legal and she has been here a while. He said she was pretending to be new to scope out the scene for others who most likely just arrived or will soon be arriving. She will send the information back to the people back home before they come.

We also went to the Blue Seahorse for internet. There was SO much rain today! We thought it had finally decided to stop, but we got caught in a huge downpour on our way back to the boat from the Blue Seahorse.

We’re sad to say we have to leave Rock Sound tomorrow. It’s been a great couple of weeks, but we must move on. Keith said he will drive up to Governors Harbour when we are there to hang out some more!

5.16.17 Video 54 Begins in Rock Sound and Ends with us sailing to Ten Bay Beach. I’ll include that sail in the next blog post.

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Posted by on Monday, August 6, 2018 in Bahamas Anchorages, Eleuthera, YouTube Videos | 0 comments

Sailing to Rocksound, Eleuthera and Exploring

Watch video 51 here and video 52 here!

We tried sailing from the Exumas to Eleuthera, but FAILED.

There are so many variables with sailing. So many things than can change for the better – or for the worst. Depending on the size of your boat and your experience level, the extent that these variables affect you can vary tremendously.

Take our crossing from Highborne, Exumas to Rock Sound, Eleuthera for example. We had been very patient indeed to wait for the wind to shift to a direction and strength that were favorable for us to sail to Eleuthera. Unfortunately, patience alone doesn’t guarantee you a reliable and comfortable passage.

We wanted wind from the South and for wave height of no more than 3-4 feet. We watched the weather until it seemed that our day had arrived. What did we get?

We got almost 0 wind and waves of 6-8 ft… and that’s how it goes.

So, when that kind of thing happens, you have 2 choices: 1) Press on. 2) Turn back.

We opted for choice #2.

All is not lost though. The following day, the conditions changed. Still, there was almost 0 wind, but at least the wave height had lowered tremendously to only 2-3 feet. Fine, we’ll take it! A motorboat ride it is.

The next day, we safely get our sailboat anchored in the protected harbor of Rock Sound in Eleuthera. You could weather most frontal systems here, but you would need to move around a bit to stay close to the weather shore.

It was strange arriving here after being in the Exumas for months. Eleuthera has tall trees and roads – with CARS! Seriously, it was a bit of a shock to see these things after going without seeing them for so long in the small cays of the Exumas.

So this post is a story of turning back, waiting, and ultimately making it to your destination even though the conditions we were waiting for never did actually materialize… and that, in large part, is cruising. We also settle into Eleuthera life. It’s good to be back around more convenient resources, that’s for sure!

4.24.17 We left for Eleuthera today. We got an hour out and had to turn around. The wind wasn’t right, the swell was huge, and we were very uncomfortable. We anchored back by SW Allens Cay. N 24*44.655 W 76*50.367

Ben and I watched a movie tonight.

Headed out early towards Eleuthera. Then we had to turn around. Molly entertains herself with Legos while underway.

After we got back to Allens Cay, Ben went for a snorkel. He found a lot of conch shells.

Also, do you think we anchored a bit shallow? Nah, me either.

4.25.17 We left for Eleuthera again this morning and guess what!? We made it! We anchored in Rocksound.

N 24*51.715 W 76*50.367

Also, guess who we anchored next to? Totem! Behan is in Annapolis for the boat show but she said we should still stop by to say hi. So we did. It was great to meet Jamie and the kids and we can’t wait for Behan to get back to meet her too.

Left for Eleuthera again today. It was a much better day! Also, there were dolphins!

We anchored next to Totem!! There was such a beautiful sunset tonight!

4.26.17 Today we went to the grocery store. It was so great! That grocery store was amazing! It had aisles, and a frozen food section, and a wall of cheese! Also, there was air conditioning!! The first AC we’ve felt since January! Wow it was great! At the store, we met a man named Keith who works there. We got to talking and he was asking me where we were from and when I told him Toccoa, he said “Aww, yes, I know Toccoa!” I was shocked! He lived in Atlanta for many years.

After we got groceries, we went to town. We walked around, went to the Blue Sea Horse for coffee and internet. Then we walked to the ocean hole. Ben jumped in and swam with some local kids. When we got back to the boat, we had yummy tacos for dinner! We had a great first day in Eleuthera, and can’t wait to spend more time here.

What an amazing grocery store!

Molly is just so happy to be here! After we get back from the grocery store, I do the inventory.

If you’re ever in Rocksound, Eleuthera, you should definitely check out The Blue Seahorse.

Ben jumped into the Ocean Hole with the local kids.

This kid LOVES tacos!

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Posted by on Thursday, August 2, 2018 in Bahamas Anchorages, Exuma Islands, YouTube Videos | 0 comments

Waiting on the Wind at Allens Cay

Watch Video 50 here!

“Allen’s Cay” is a group of 3 islands that are just North of Highborne Cay in the Exumas. Honestly, there’s not much here aside from the local group of iguanas that roam the island. Well, that’s not true – there’s also a beach shack and the ruins of an old Chic-Fil-A.

Well also check out that old Chic-Fil-A that I told you about. It’s amazing how quickly such a nice establishment can go to waste once abandoned. What a shame… these islands could use a spicy chicken sammich every once in a while.

There’s also a cool mini beach hut on the East side of the island. No idea how it got there, who built it, of what purpose it serves, but it’s so cool! You wouldn’t want to weather a hurricane there, or even sleep over night because of the mosquitos – but it’s PERFECT for a quick photo!

Finally, the reason we’re hanging out at Allen’s Cay in the first place is because we are waiting for the wind to change directions so that we can cross the Exuma Sound and make it over to Eleuthera. Well, until then, it’ll just be us, iguanas, ruins, Chic-Fil-A, and a beach hut.

4.20.17 Moved to Allens Cay and Leaf Cay today, just north of Highbourne Cay. N 24*44.818 W 76*50.270

There are a lot of iguanas here. Molly held class with her ponies today. Ben and I watched a movie tonight.

4.21.17 We went ashore today to see the iguanas and explore the island.

4.22.17 Moved to the North side of Highbourne Cay today to hide from some wind coming in.

N 24*43.629 W 76*49.328

4.23.17 We did some school today so we can sail to Eleuthera tomorrow. We watched Maleficent for family movie night.

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Posted by on Wednesday, August 1, 2018 in Bahamas Anchorages, Beach, Exuma Islands | 0 comments

Northern Exumas with friends

4.12.17 Rain today… and we cleaned out the composting toilet.

Moved to Normans Cay today. N 24*36.271 W 76*49.237

After we got to Normans, guess who showed up!? Honeymooner! We thought they’ed be in Cuba by now! After they got settled and had dinner they came over to catch up. They decided not to go to Cuba. They left Black Point today, heard us on the radio with Bali Ha’i and followed us here! There was a beautiful rainbow in the sky when we anchored.

Ben and I watched Star Wars episode 6 tonight.

4.13.17 Today we went to Lobster Cay with Bali Ha’i and Honeymooner. N 24*40.287 W 76*49.339

We did some school and then went snorkeling/fishing. After that we went back to the boat and prepared rice and the yellow snapper Ben caught. Sarah made the lobster and also cooked Jeff’s catch, and a lion fish. We all met on Honeymooner and had a great dinner. We really enjoyed hanging out together!

4.14.17 Moved to Highborne Cay today. N 24*42.572 W 76*49.567 We stayed on the boat tonight, there is another cold front coming in tonight.

4.15.17 Today we stayed on the boat. We made bread, did a load of dishes, read the Easter story in Molly’s Bible. It was a nice lazy Saturday! We had a delicious dinner too!

4.16.17 Today is Easter Sunday, and we went to shore. We got diesel fuel, then we went to the grocery store. After the grocery store we went to lunch at the Xuma restaurant with Jeff and Katina from Bali Ha’i. There are some beautiful flowers by the marina. After lunch we got ICE CREAM and took it back to the boat!! Ben and I watched Star Wars Episode 7.

4.17.17 We had a delicious breakfast this morning then we moved the boat a few hundred feet North.

N 24*43.119 W 76*49.818

This afternoon we went snorkeling with Honeymooner. Tonight we all got together on Bali Ha’i and had an amazing dinner! I made red beans and rice, Katina made chicken bites and bread, Sarah made sushi and potatoes. It was all so YUMMY! We really enjoyed spending time with all of them. We will miss them a lot when we all have to separate.

4.18.17 Today Andrew and Sarah on Honeymooner left for Nassau to start the trip back to the states. We cleaned up the boat and Jeff and Katina came over after dinner to hang out before they leave tomorrow. We will miss them and Honeymooner a lot!

4.19.17 Today Jeff and Katina left for Nassau to start their journey back to the states. After lunch Ben, Molly and I went to the beach. It was a nice relaxing afternoon. We came back to the boat and had tacos for dinner. We watched Brave and had a family movie night.

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