Thursday, April 26, 2007

Berry Islands

Hello Family & Friends

We arrived in Nassau Monday the 23rd and stayed in a marina for two nights $169 ouch! We are now in Bonds Cay in the Berry Islands there's a few weak cold fronts coming through in the next few days so we think we'll enjoy the Berry's for a week or two, I'm a bit excited to look around here it's been twenty years since I sailed these Islands.... Most of the Islands now seem to be privately own now like Alder Cay which was one of my favored stops, guess we'll just look from the dinghy. We will be taking lots of pictures for the website were slowly getting caught up with e-mail just to busy having fun.

Cheers Mike & Kim

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Warderwick Wells and Normans Cay

We are currently in Normans Cay. We left Little Farmer's Cay on Wednesday, April 18th and took a mooring ball in Warderick Wells. Warderick Wells is part of the Exuma National Park and you are not allowed to anchor. The water was beautiful and the island has lots of trails to walk. We found plantation ruins from the 1780's and a pirate's lair. The lair was where the pirates would hang out by the supply of fresh water from natural wells. There was a hiding place for their ship between Warderick Wells and Hog Cay. We also saw the endangered rodent, the Hutia, it is protected and indigenous to the island. They are nocturnal so we are lucky that we saw one at all. There were two of them and they were hanging out under some dead palm branches. They didn't seem particularly scared of us. We stayed at Warderick Wells for nights.

We left Warderick Wells on Saturday April 21st and arrived in Normans Cay. Yesterday when we arrived it was cold and overcast, we will go explore today then head out to Nassau early in the morning. We have lots of pictures to share with you when we get an internet connection.

Cheers Mike and Kim on Ka'imi

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Exuma Cays - Bahamas


We are currently at Little Farmer's Cay in the Exuma Cays tied up to a dock. If you've been watching the weather on the East Coast out of Florida you may have seen the bad weather and the cold front that came through. Well of course it came to the Bahamas too. We tried to find an anchorage with good coverage from the winds that would clock from South to Northwest and had good holding. The winds were predicted to reach possible Gale force. We had to backtrack south to find an anchorage. The good anchorages were crowded, the holding was bad or the current to strong. By mid day on Sunday we were trying to anchor in a spot that would be good coverage from the southwest to the northwest. There was about a 5 knot current going through the anchorage when we dropped. Our first spot was close to shore to avoid the current but the anchor wouldn't catch, too many rocks. The next spot we tried was great sand but right in the middle of the current. We dropped the anchor there and watched as our boat did circles around the anchor....NOT GOOD. We were very frustrated (and nervous)....we decided to check on the small little Marina and were relieved that they had a spot for us. So for the first time, because of weather, we are in a Marina. The only other Marina we've been in was in Venezuela and that was for safety reasons. Mike kissed the dock after we tied up and then he kissed me, and I didn't even care that he kissed the dock first, cause I was happy.

Farmer's Cay Yacht Club and Marina, isn't quite a marina, more like a dock. We were able to tie up to the outside and sat out the cold front is relative ease. The winds are up to 36 knots and still howling, but we are sitting pretty. There is a restuarant and some rooms for rent here, and we were able to take a shower in one of the rooms :))))))). We haven't eaten here yet, but plan to, they have Veggie Burgers (a big treat for Kim) and Cheeseburgers (a big treat for Mike). We plan to stay here a few days and check out the place.

When we left Georgetown earlier our first stop was Lee Stocking Island. It is a little island that has a Marina Research Centre. Our charts were not accurate and we almost hit bottom as we were trying to reach the anchorage. We settled for a deeper anchorage that was in the current. It is amazing the effects the current has your boat, and that combined with the wind - you gotta watch it. When I was swimming to the anchor to check it, I was barely making forward progress, I really had to swim hard. Going back to the boat was easy, I just floated:). We stayed overnight at Lee Stocking, then headed for Black Point anchorage on Great Guana Cay.

We had planned to stay at Black Point, check out the island, then head up north a bit more. This is when we learned the severness of the next cold front and knew we couldn't stay at this anchorage because it was open to the sea from the South to the Northwest. We would of got slammed. So we head out yesterday (Sunday) and were going to head back to Lee Stocking because we knew it would be protected and had good sand holding. When we left Black Point it was going on high tide, which means the water was coming into the Dotham Cut (a cut is the open area between islands where you can access the anchorages). This meant that the water from the ocean was coming in hard and strong as we were going out...our first mistake. The winds had been high and the seas outside were growing. We pounded out into 10 foot seas trying to avoid the coral and rocks on both sides. Once we're out we realize our mistake - if it was that hard getting out, it was going to be hard to get back in down the road. We hadn't considered the tide changes coming through the cuts (always a learning experience). We were going to try to go back through and take the inside route to find an achorage, but found that it was too rough. We went with the original plan to go to Lee Stocking. The winds kicked up to 25 knots and we were heading straight into them, which brought our speed down to 3-4 knots. We would not hit Lee Stocking until very late. We checked closer anchorages and timed the incoming tide (so as not to make the same mistake) and decided to try the Farmer's Cay. The Cut wasn't bad with high seas, but the current was strong so we were barely crawling through. Once inside is when we did the anchoring dance...and ended up on this very lovely dock. We will probably stay here two more nights, then the weather is supposed to settle (we've heard that before) and we will make a fast line to the States. The weather in the Bahama's has been our most trying, but it has given us some valuable lessons.

Cheers, safe, sound and dry......Mike and Kim on Ka'imi

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Georgetown Update

(The pictures come out very large - you can reduce the size -if using Microsoft Explorer- by going down to the bottom right corner. You will see the magnifying symbol and a number followed by a % sign. Click on the little down arrow and you can reduce the size of the photos)

We're still here in Georgetown. We had planned on leaving this morning but the weather is a little unstable up north where we are heading, so we will wait until tomorrow and see what happens. We have been spending a lot time waiting for weather here in the Bahamas. It's unfortunate because we may have to hurry through the islands so we can get to the States by mid May.
This is Lake Victoria, a small lake located just inside the bay. You can park your dinghy here to go to the grocery store and get fuel or go to a restaurant. Most of the businesses are located around the lake. One of the grocery stores is located under a local hall.
This is Eddy's Edgewater Cafe (yellow building with blue railing), we had breakfast here one morning. You could choose from the local dishes of boiled fish, tuna and grits or an American type breakfast with eggs. We had the egg sandwich. The small yellow building is where we purchased a Wi-Fi internet card for seven days at $15. The guy comes out of the building, hands you a card and takes your money - there was a dog behind a tarp that we couldn't see that was growling at us.
This is the Marina at Georgetown.
Some birds hanging out on the pier at the Marina.
A couple more view of the Georgetown anchorage.
Cheers Mike and Kim on Ka'imi

Friday, April 06, 2007

Georgetown, Great Exuma, Bahamas


We made it to Georgetown and are anchored in Elizabeth Bay on the island of Great Exuma in the Bahamas. Not much new since our last update but we do have internet so we thought we could download some pictures.

One incident did occur in Conception that we wanted to share that involved some marine life. We had just landed our dinghy on the beautiful beach and saw a huge dark spot in the water. We had seen the dark spot a couple times before and it was this big turtle who swims for awhile and then pokes his head up. We had not been able to get to him in the water soon enough to see him underwater, but he was so close this time we thought for sure we could catch a glimpse. Well, Kim thought she could. She grabbed her mask and snorkel and jumped in the water swimming after it. About 5 feet from the big dark spot she realizes its not a turtle but a SHARK. At that point she stands up in the water (3 feet deep) and starts running to shore. It is very difficult to run in the water - and Mike says Kim's knees were touching her chin. She still had the snorkel in her mouth and didn't stop until her feet were in the sand. Mike had this puzzled look on his face and says 'Why did you come back you were so close?' Kim takes out the snorkel and says "ITS A F#&%ING SHARK!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Mike had tears in his eyes from laughing so hard. We think it was a lemon shark and at least 6 feet more chasing shadows. It's not that the shark would of attacked, we've seen sharks in the water before when we have been snorkeling and even diving, but I never purposely went chasing one at it's dinner time (5:00 pm)...... We also saw large stingrays and very large barracudas in the anchorage. There were a couple of trunkfish that hung around the boat and every morning we fed them a hot dog bun - they loved it.

We arrived in Georgetown Thursday the 5th. We need to stock up on some groceries, do laundry, get propane, gas and diesel then wait out the new cold front coming in and then we'll decide what's next. Here are some pictures. The order of the pictures is reversed, we started in West Caicos and ended in Conception. We will try to add Georgetown pictures before we leave.


This is the beach at Conception Island at the bay where we were anchored. This spot is where Kim had a close encounter with the shark! This was the main beach that we went to but there were others all over the island.

It was a short walk across the island to get to another beach, then you could keep hiking and climbing.

There was a trail on the windward side that went to the other end of the island. Someone had put up ropes that you could climb. The views were spectacular and the beaches were all white powder. We had a blast climbing all the ropes, it was like an adult playground. There were also many reefs on the windward side.

We had to walk through some heavy bush to find this other beach. While on this beach we were buzzed by a helicopter, it was all black or dark green and no markings. We think is was a military helicopter, but we don't know where it was from.

There was a wreck on our anchorage beach that had been there a very long time. The pieces were stuck inside the rock, like the rock had formed over the wreck. There were loose pieces also and the picture is of the ships windlass (a windlass is the equipment that brings up the anchor chain). The chain was very large. The picture to the right is the windward side of the island.

Here's Ka'imi at anchor in Conception, all by herself. The anchorage ended up getting very crowded before we left for Georgetown.


This was our anchorage at Port Nelson, Rum Cay. We were here 13 days waiting out a cold front.

These are pictures of Sumner Point Marina, and the art works of the artist Bobby Sumner.

The turtle is going to an art show in New York City and was priced at $134,000.

An octopus and a mermaid in the making behind that.


The Customs Office on Beach Drive.

The Town well on Beach Drive.

The town church on Beach Drive.

We were on a mooring ball when we left West Caicos that was very close to the shore. They are dive moorings and we only stayed on it for a couple hours to get some rest before we headed out to Mayaguana. The sail nice, we got out the spinnaker again.

Wishing you a Happy Easter, Cheers Mike and Kim on Ka'imi

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