Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Little Harbour to Royal Island to Nassau to Allen's Cay to Staniel to Chickentown

2011 02 23
Emerald Bay Marina, South Great Exuma Island
The Entrance to Royal Island Harbour and Refuge

The title says it all.  I had a nice GoogleEarth show of the trip but I cannot load it with the current internet service so nothing to be done.

Little Harbour to Royal Island was a stellar trip.  Winds 25 knots plus off the stern quarter, waves 8 foot.  Arrived at Egg Island and Little Egg Island just at sunset, ran the narrow pass and hightailed it for the "Eye of the Needle" entrance to Royal Island.  Ten minutes later and we would have been too late which meant anchoring outside.  Not fatal by any means.

To the left is the entrance to Royal Island.

Next morning I rose, put on the sail cover and went back to bed.  Too much fun the day before.  Joe and Gina on Okemah Rose, traveling with us through the Abacos felt the same way  and nobody moved until cockpit party time.

 After a full day of 25 knotters and 8 to 10 footers the prospect of sailing way the next day was just too much for Joe.  You can see him here just looking at the anchor - getting it up was just more than he could manage.
 However after a day of rest Okemah Rose was full of zip.  Here you see Joe giving handsignals to his precious travelling companion Gina.

You cannot see it very clearly in the picture below but Gina, at the wheel, is giving Joe some hand signals back.  What was that Gina? "You're number 1, TEN times.

 Leaving was easy, daylight, no wind, no waves.

 Then it was on to Nassau, pictured below.

 We found our favourite anchorage just off the Atlantis hotel.  Boring by now but safe.  A quick tip here - for a safe anchorage in Nassau harbour do not follow the other boats who are all trying to get as close to shore as possible.  Bad idea as the bottom there is just 8 inches of sand over hard table rock.

Stay outside in 25 feet of water, almost in the channel.  We have endured big storms here and never had  a moment's concern.

 Here is our anchorage off the starboard beam - pictured is the Green Parrot Grill.  They have a dinghy dock for cruisers, garbage and the best burgers for 100 miles.  Also they provide free internet so even if you don't want a burger buy something to pay for the service cheapskate.

At Allens we played with the iguanas,

The little black blobs on the beach in the photo left are iguanas.  Found only on Allens and very protected.  To the right is a closeup.

 walked the beaches and stone outcroppings,

 and hunted for conch.

The conch in my hand is still home.  He is a juvenile, easily told by the absence of a lip on the shell.  This guy was left quite happy as you can see on the right.

At Allens we said goodbye to Okemah Rose and Joe and Gina.  We do not do farewells and far prefer the usual cruisers' remedy to maudlin sappy goodbyes - one of you gets up first and leaves.  There are no difficult goodbye's and you are always glad to see the other guy.

We set sail for Little Farmer's Cay ready for a long day.  This did not pan out for as we approached Staniel Cay our very old and good friends Gord and Lorrie aboard Mystic called on the radio and asked us to dinner.  It was bizarre.  We had not seen this indefatigable pair since November.  Gord heard us on SSB in the morning and sussed out when we would be in his VHF range.  It was an easy divert for a wonderful night shared with good friends.

Next morning Meredith was off at the crack of dawn, out the cut at Staniel Cay and sailing full out for Georgetown which we entered late in the day  setting our anchor just at the moment of sunset.  We slept well. 

The trip was interesting but I will bore you with those details another time.

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