Norman’s Cay

Two days ago we arrived at Norman’s Key. We arrived in early afternoon and dove the sunken airplane here (video and pics coming soon).
In the evening, we met some Canadians aboard S/V Silver Fox (or Silver Fox II) who agreed to take our package to the post office when they got to Nassau! Thank you, wherever you folks are now, because there are two 5-year-old girls who were very happy to receive some homemade “mermaid necklaces” and beach treasures from Aunt Emily.
Yesterday was a big exploration day. We stopped at an island where there was a big concrete slab and the ruins of a small house, and looked at houses across the lake on Wax Cay. Then we found an area that dried at low tied, and walked all along a big deserted beach. On the way back, we met some Danes off S/V Capibara.
That afternoon, we ventured to a long open beach where we were the only ones around. We saw lots of plastic that had washed up on the shore, and inland from storms. We explored 3 caves and the new marina, then snorkeled the north tip of the “Whale’s Tail,” where we chased down a spotted eagle ray!
As the weather got worse, we headed back to the boat, where we spent the evennig playing Skip-Bo and watching The Life Aquatic.
Today is a rainy day. Clark flushed the dinghy motor by rinsing in vinegar. Then Clark joined Emily in watching JavaScript lectures. Then Emily made made purple soup, biscuits and cheesecake for dinner, and we played Skip-Bo. As it got darker, we kept casing seagulls off the boat.

Allen’s Cay

Today we left Ship Channel Cay and crossed a short distance to Allen’s Cay, home of hundreds of rock iguanas. We fed iguanas on two different beaches, and learned they have very sharp little teeth, and bad eyesight (ouch!).
Got up in the morning and climbed a small hill to look around. Fed iguanas again. Went to check out out a dive location and found a drift diving place. Went twice but GoPro died.
The following day, we returned to the drift dive location with our fully charged GoPro, and drifted 3x through a city of colorful fish. We saw a huge Nassau grouper, several Queen Angelfish, and a massive gray/blue triggerfish.
We got into the habit of saving our potato and carrot peelings for our iguana friends, and made the trip to the beach to feed them again in the evening. On the way back, Clark gave Emily dinghy drivers ed course on the water.
We wasted the next day swimming around the boat, visiting iguanas again, and looking through the guidebook for what do to next. We decided Norman’s Cay would be a great place to weather the next front.

Ship Channel Cay

After crossing yesterday, we woke up in Ship Channel Cay, and explored a small private island which seems to be used by Powerboat Adventures. We discovered a small path and climbed a trail to see the top, where we were rewarded with 360-degree views. We made our way to another beach where we found the remains of huge lobsters, and abandoned sleeping shack with tons of conch and beer bottles. Someone must have spent a good deal of time on this beach.

Inland, we found a freshwater pond and lots of trees with small orange fruit (we have yet to learn exactly what they are). We saw a stingray as we left.

When we got back to the boat, Clark took the thermostat out of the dinghy motor to work on it, and we both had a swim. Emily made plantain patties and leftover caned potroast for lunch. Then we played some music, Clark read a book, Emily jumped in the water again, and we saw a fish that we can’t yet identify (some sort of needlefish with royal blue, turquoise and silver horizontal bars, and a yellow tail).

We had steak, mashed potatoes and sautéed peppers for dinner. As night fell, we were bit by lots of no-see-ums so we re-anchored the boat farther from the beach. The water is calm, now and there is a little breeze.

Rose Island to Ship Channel Cay

We finally left Nassau! After Emily downloaded the bulk of her of Coursera video lectures using the local gas station’s high speed internet, and enjoyed a Starbucks frappaccino, we went to the post office to send a packages to some friends. Unfortunately, it was closed for Good Friday (and all of Easter week). But the long walk was not a total loss. We got to see the architecture, hills and explore a fort on the way home. We headed out to Rose Island.
When we arrived at Rose Island, it was crowded with motor yachts and jetskis, but most everyone left before nightfall. Our friends from Belgium (S/V Jabiroe) were there, but headed out shortly. We explored the beach a bit in the late afternon. It has been used as a charter destination party beach, and there was a tight rope and rope swing there, along with a makeshift volleyball court and a bar. We went to the beach at night with lots of bugspray, but still got lots of bites!
After we woke up in the morning, we explored “Gilligan’s Island,”a small island off of Rose Island where we found abandoned buildings, lots of seagull feathers and a fresh coconut. There were several small ruined buildings, including a conch or coconut stand, a bunk house, and a bath house.
Then we hung out at the boat today. This morning, we left at 7:30 am and sailed in rough seas with wind on the nose from Rose Island. We began with the intention of reaching Allen’s Cay, but decided to stop at Ship Channel Cay instead.

Nassau

On the 19th, we left about 11:00 for Nassau, land of cruise ships, and lots of city noise. After we arrived and anchored, we met a couple neighbors–Daniel, from Quebec aboard S/V Bésamé, and Italians Alfredo and Nocoletta aboard S/V Jancris. They invited us for wine another day. In the evening, we went to visit the aquarium inside of Atlantis resort. We had no trouble parking the dinghy on the dock before we went it, but on the way out, we got scolded by a guard on an ego trip, because apparently the resort is only for mega-yachts.
The following day, we hung out at the boat, did schoolwork, and went to have scotch and apple cake with the Italians on S/V Jancris in the evening. They have a very nice big boat, with 4 bathrooms! Alfredo writes for a sailing magazine. They sailed around the world on the Millennium Odyssey in 1999 and finished 3rd overall.
The next two days we spent hunkered down in the boat due to weather. Luckily the Sprint signal was quite strong, so Emily got to do some schoolwork.
Yesterday we went grocery shopping in Nassau, and took a longer walk to get better prices.
Made spring rolls with garden fresh ingredients. Had the Italians and Belgians over in the afternoon pm for wine and spring rolls, and played Carcassone. Then we had our last dinner in Nassau.