Beulah Belle and crew are relaxing still in the middle Exumas Cays. Last week we had two guests onboard that came from Sydney, Australia to have a look at DeFever boats. We picked up Bruce and Mandy at the Staniel Cay airport on Sunday morning and took them north onboard BB to Warderick Wells to stay in the Exumas Land and Sea Park. The weather wasn’t the best during the week with Bruce and Mandy, but doing the touristy stuff wasn’t why they wanted to come to The Bahamas and spend the week with Capt Mary and Engr Wally. These folks have been lived onboard their 43′ ketch for more than 10 years and the past few years they’ve been doing their homework, and now hope to buy a DeFever 44 to have a more comfortable boat to live on full-time; i.e. “the smallest boat that is big enough for them”. So, they arranged to go to the DeFever Rendezvous near Fort Myers, Florida to see all of the DeFever models in one place. As they were making their final arrangements while still in Australia, Bruce asked the DeFever group if anyone would be willing to give them a ride on a DeFever 44 some afternoon. Of course there were multiple offers from DeFever owners in the Fort Myers area that took care of this request, but Engr Wally sent a note to Australia that Bruce and Mandy accepted sight unseen – to spend a week with Beulah Belle and crew – to really get to know this model boat and how it would fit their cruising life-style. As we left the Aussies at the Staniel Cay airport this past Sunday we left great, new friends, and we think we satisfied their DeFever 44 curiousity fully to the point that they will likely purchase a DeFever 44 later this summer, and, we will meet them again while cruising up the east coast of the USA.
Our cruising schedule (sans the Aussies) from today forward totally depends on the weather, and we hope to cruise south to George Town, then Long Island, then Conception Island, then back to George Town to be there for the Family Island Regatta and watch Smashie sailing in the C class regatta (go back to the earlier blog update from Little Farmers). Today’s weather is fantastic – we brought the dinghy from north of Staniel Cay – between The Majors – about eight miles to Black Point so we could meet with the folks at the school again, and do laundry at Ida’s. All of the schools in the Exumas have fantastic kids attending up to 9th grade. After 9th grade they have to go to Nassau and stay with extended family or friends. We have helped introduce a math and science web-site called Khan Academy to Staniel Cay and Black Point schools, and hope to continue to support the schools with computers and / or iPads, and encourage the teachers to use the programs for tutoring and helping the kids get ready for their national exams.
Today’s weather forecast says we might be stuck in the area for more than a week as three fronts are headed our way with strong winds. BB is anchored in a good “hidey hole”, and we’ll take the dinghy out when a calm day lets us, but in order to go from Staniel to George Town we need at least two good days – a third low wind day would be good - we have to go out into the Atlantic in order to get into the bay between the islands at George Town. Capt. Mary has a shopping list that can only be satisfied by spending a day in George Town, and Engr Wally needs to make plans for how and where to moor or anchor in a good spot to watch the regatta races. Our travelling companions will likely be Vic and Gigi onboard Salty Turtle. We look forward to the improving weather here and to turning north to visit other outer islands on our way back to the USA likely in mid-May or early June.
Hope you enjoy the pics taken with Bruce and Mandy.
- While at Warderick Wells we had a finch and mockingbird visit us and partake in some cheddar cheese. The park rules said that we couldn’t feed the wildlife – how do you not let the critters come onboard and enjoy an afternoon of cheese and crackers and wine or rum and coke? Ok, we didn’t let them drink the wine nor the rum and coke.
- Aloha Friday, a 2002 DeFever 44, passing in review. Bruce and Mandy were able to visit this boat with Vic and Nancy onboard while we together at Warderick Wells.Our friend Gigi from Salty Turtle was our tour guide to take Bruce and Wally to see the Atlantic Ocean on Thomas Cay on a walkabout from Pipe Creek.
- Bruce coming back from his climb to see the Atlantic Ocean while on our walkabout at Pipe Creek.
- This is a portion of the trail from Pipe Creek to the Atlantic Ocean side of Thomas Cay. Note the manicured trail provided by fellow cruisers that includes a blue basket chandelier with a 1000 watt flood lamp.
- A blog update wouldn’t be right without a nice sunset picture. This one was taken while at Pipe Creek (another good hidey hole) onboard Salty Turtle a 1987 DeFever 44 while having evening cocktails with Vic and Gigi (Salty Turtle), and Ruth and Pierce (sailboaters), Bruce and Mandy (wannabe DeFever 44 owners), and Capt Mary and Engr Wally (Beulah Belle owners).
- On our last night together our gang headed for dinner at Staniel Cay Yacht Club. Instead of anchoring out on our last night with Bruce and Mandy we opted for the convenience of the Yacht Club with a social hour with more friends and an excellent meal. Sunday morning was getaway day for our visitors, and they were taken to the airport by the club courtesy golf cart. This may be an out-of-the-way place in The Bahamas, but we surely can treat our guests with style and comfort.This is our farewell photo with Bruce and Mandy taken at Staniel Cay Yacht Club. We have made good friends again, and surely hope to see them later this year somewhere along the east coast of the USA.