March 2: OK, I haven’t been blogging on any regular basis. Internet has been unreliable, even when the marina says they have it (free or not). But there have been some funny things that have happened as we have traveled these islands and this will spark the memories of those who have sailed here.
Story #1. We sailed from Nassau to Chub Cay in the southern Berry Islands and from there to Great Harbor in the north. This is all part of a route that will eventually return us to the U.S. I’ve not ever been into Great Harbor and years ago when Ed was there on a much smaller boat, there was a draw bridge over the man-made channel, cut through the rocky shoreline. He talked to many of the locals to find out just when the draw bridge had been taken out, but always got the answer, “Oh, that was a LONG time ago, mon.”
The opening to the cut is hard to spot and sailing friends had been in here a couple of weeks earlier and emailed us the directions they got from the helpful marina. Now, we do have chart-plotter, but local knowledge is always good. Jane wrote, “You must enter the man-made cut that is starboard to the two red and white towers on shore.” Sounds easy but I never could find any towers with or without binoculars. The water is shallow here and it was a tense passage. We knew were staying for a couple of days since the weather wasn’t so good for the long crossing to Grand Bahama Island. That’s OK, they have Wi-Fi and a restaurant.
Seems The Rat-Pack vacationed here and we hiked to the “ghostly remains” of the Old Sugar Loaf Lodge built with their money. There are a lot of ghostly remains in the
Bahamas. Abandoned building just remain until they fall down or a hurricane takes them down.
Well, as we registered at the marina, we were told, “no internet, no phones. Seems the old (red and white) communication tower was being replaced and after the new one was installed, while dismantling the old one, it fell on the new one taking it down as well. When will it be operational? “Maybe tomorrow.” Which in Bahamian-speak, means not today and most likely not anytime soon. Just to say, when we left on Wednesday, it was not up and the last word was “maybe Friday,” which means at least the next Monday. It’s just a Bahamian t’ing and you get used to it. Time moves at a different pace here.
Story #2. On Wednesday we arrive at Port Lucaya without prior reservations. Remember we couldn’t call from Great Harbor. We were not real worried, there are two marinas here. Once in radio range we called Port Lucaya Marina. Good thing, because we later learned Lucaya Yacht Club “is all down for now.” Seems it has been for months-years? and no one has any idea if or when it will be back in operation.
As I mentioned, this was a long, 10 hour crossing, wind and waves on the nose and under motor all the way. Meaning, our fuel was low. So I said we wanted to stop at the fuel dock before going to our slip. Answer: “Can’t pump diesel today.” No need to ask more, after all, we can get it on our way out. So when we registered at the marina office, Ed asked about the fuel problem we were told, “We all out.” Of course his next question was: “When will you have diesel?” Answer: “When da truck get here.” He have another stop before he come.”
Now it is Saturday and the truck did come and diesel is available. The weather has turned COLD. So now we wait on a weather window to first get to the West end of the island and then make the crossing to Lake Worth in Florida.
Jan and Ed on Sable