Friday, June 5, 2015

Schedules, plans, and reality


I don't wanna go home yet!


Just as one should never work a New York Times crossword puzzle in ink (although we do. That Hans is a wild and crazy guy), one should never expect plans and schedules to go off without a hitch while cruising. We just call it 'writing our plans in the sand'.

When we set out on this journey it was with the intention of working our way down to Georgetown, staying there for a couple of weeks or more, and then on our way back up the Exumas chain we would visit the cays that we previously missed.

Thanks to the worst weather the Bahamas has experienced in the last 30 years and the fact that our wind generator blew out in a huge storm, we never did reach Georgetown. It was in Staniel Cay, on Cinco de Mayo Wednesday, that Windy screamed her final breath. We arrived in Blackpoint on Thursday, and were so excited to be there and take advantage off all the good things Blackpoint has to offer that it wasn't until Saturday that we realized we hadn't called the wind generator company for a replacement. Hans dinghied ashore bright and early (something like noon) on Monday, skyped the company and just like that a new generator was on its way to us at no charge since it was still under warranty.

The replacement would be sent to Ft. Lauderdale and then flown via Watermaker's straight to Blackpoint. Normally, Watermaker's flies into Staniel but their air strip was being repaired so this was perfect for us. It would take about a week to get there and Hans decided we'd go ahead and jump down to Georgetown and pick it up on our way back. We waved goodbye to our friends, weighed anchor, and set out into choppy seas.

An hour later we waved hello to these same, but very puzzled friends when we re-anchored in nearly the same spot we'd been in that morning. The seas had been choppy and we would've had to motor the whole way to the next stop which was Farmer's Cay but we decided we didn't have to go and we really did like Blackpoint anyway so why not just wait there for the generator to be delivered. (A week later the generator arrived as promised but since we weren't personally at the air strip to receive it, it was sent by boat to Staniel!). During our remaining time in Blackpoint we discovered that Wilbur Beach, at low tide, was an absolute Sand Dollar Extravaganza. Finding a whole sand dollar and not just a piece of one, to me, is like winning the lottery. Wilbur and I both spotted the first one at the same time and we actually fought over it. "It's mine!" I shouted as I rudely shoved him aside. "It's mine! It's mine!" Wilbur snorted as he frantically dug his big pit bull nails into the sand. I won and immediately hid my prize behind my back. Wilbur loves anything that reeks of fish. Hans found the second one, and I was hooked. We spent our last two days on the beach at low tide and found a total of 15 sand dollars and a star fish. I gave a few of them away to our cruising friends before we departed to head back to Staniel and hopefully find our wind generator waiting for us.



Blackpoint became the final stopping point before parting ways for all of us who'd traveled together from Florida. Most of us were turning back but one couple continued on as they have a three year plan to sail the Caribbean.

We could have squeezed Georgetown in if we'd really wanted to. Originally, we'd intended to spend up to a month there but as it was we would have only had a few days. If I'd really liked it I would have hated to leave it so soon.

I do believe I said I'll never sail back to the Bahamas again but if we do then we'll have to leave earlier in the year and I'll have Georgetown to look forward to.

Wilbur, our VPR guide

(Visual Pilot Rules)





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