A few gusty days in a row kept us at Spanish Cay. Sheltered by trees spared by Dorian, we relished a shady walk.
The grounds surrounding the marina were resplendent with mature Palm Trees, Royal Poincianas, Frangipani, Wild orchids, Bougainvillea and Hibiscus – a surprising contrast to neighboring islands that had few, if any, robust foliage post Dorian. We did not see any Spanish Moss.
SFYC Encounter – almost
When Rick and David made a mid-day trip to the bar, to imbibe in a Spanish Fly, they found this. Nicely done, SFYC Bahama cruise.
The Point House Restaurant
Back to the marina restaurant, the food was excellent (repeatable), and the atmosphere amusing, as demonstrated in the random wall posters.
Sweet attitude, Flying hair!
Air-conditioned game room, complete with a pool table (for Caryl).
It was a peaceful, easy evening, with only the sharks hanging out.
GREAT SALE CAY
By design, our final anchorage in the Bahamas was also the starting anchorage of our 2019 trip.
it was serene to sleep with open windows, enjoying a slight breeze all night long.
The clothes hanger in the tree is for Mija.
Thanks to the generosity of a fisherman docked next to us in Spanish Cay, we dined on the FRESHEST of tuna as we watched another glorious sunset! Thanks Capt Rick for the perfect sear on that tuna! And thanks, Gail, for the sushi lesson, now I understand it’s all about the rice – ours was beyond yummy because she added champagne vinegar! So sorry, there are no food photos.
Jonathan hung out, hopeful we would share. Scout’s feathered mascot seemed disappointed when the meager table scraps were from the salad.
WEST END, OLD BAHAMA BAY
Reversing our 2019 Bahama adventure, our final stop is West End. Entering the Bahamas required a Health Visa, with proof of negative COVID testing. Now, two full months later, COVID testing is not required. Hoping the world is getting healthier!!
West End (also referred to as “Settlement Point”) is the oldest town in the Bahamas. Only 55 nautical miles from the Florida coast, for most US boaters it is the first port of call in the Bahamas – unless you opt to be a contrarian (like us), and make it the final port of call.
The settlement achieved notoriety, and a significant economic boost, as a rum-running port during prohibition. Warehouses, distilleries, bars, and supply stores sprang up all over West End. After prohibition ended, the wisest entrepreneurs shifted to fishing and tourism industries.
The north side of the island has very shallow water, making it a popular destination for bonefishing (mostly catch and release).
For more than 60 years, cultural icon Israel Rolle, known as “Bonefish Folley” was a renowned fishing guide. Featured by National Geographic as a master of his trade, his clients included some familiar names – Dr Martin Luther King Jr, Richard Nixon, Prince Rainier of Monaco, Ernest Hemmingway, actor Robert Taylor, and actress Lana Turner. In 2012, the legendary Folley passed away just, before his 92nd birthday; more evidence that the Bahama lifestyle promotes longevity.
Just a few parting words for the repeatable Bahama experience.
The people: irrepressible in spirit, full of character, deeply rooted (the equivalent of old vines for wine), and generous – especially the fishermen.
The food: hearty portions, uniquely spiced, both sweet and savory, with a mouth watering blend of fabulous conch, fish, and rum drinks.
The islands: BLUE water, sandy beaches, pure clean air, well-fed flies (Bahamian and Spanish) followed by spectacular sunsets and starry nights.
One more thing worth repeating. The conch adventure was a true highlight. Nice try Grant J, while your comments were informative and amusing, there were two vessels, so our limit was 12. Exhale caught only 1 conch, while Tonto’s Reward caught 6. All were legal size. It is true 7 were consumed. Next time, Mimi’s Oasis, consider joining us – when you are ready for another boat, give Trevor a call!
MILESTONES AND CELEBRATIONS:
Anniversary: June 27 – Jamie and David celebrate 13 years
Canada Day: July 1 (enjoy the fireworks, Bushranger!)
Birthday: July 2, our grandson Leo will be 13!
NEXT STOP: Back in the USA – Fort Lauderdale, FL.
On Friday, June 25, at the first glimmer of light (for Dave Lubs) we will depart West End, Old Bahama Bay, to cross the Straits of Florida. At 7.5 knots, we estimate 10 hours on the water, weather permitting.
Both Capt. Rick and Capt. David have been closely watching the weather – causing us to adjust our departure plans. Unfortunately, Sally the Sea Keeper has not returned to work, so we are trying to minimize the rockin’ and rollin’. On Friday the prediction is less than two-foot seas. Real experience (a toppled refrigerator) reminds us that weather forecasts are Subject to Change (right Tim and June!). Once again, the life raft and life vests are nearby. Murphy’s Law.
Looking forward – my cousin John Gill will be joining us on Exhale very soon! Marty and Anders, we expect to arrive in Stuart by July 1 leaving July 5, weather permitting.