S/V Delilah

A Blog to track the wanderings of the S/V Delilah, a 37-foot Tayana sailboat.

Monday, April 30, 2007


Out of Everything

Sunday, April 29
Kidd Cove, Georgetown, Great Exuma Island, Bahamas
N 23 degrees, 31.705 minutes
W 075 degrees, 46.077 minutes

It took us a little longer than planned to get to Georgetown from Mayaguana, owing to the series of storms that locked us into the southern Bahamas for two weeks. Those two weeks, in company of Carapan, Indra, and Crossroads, were a lot of fun.

But the outer islands are distinctly lacking in a few comforts we need, mainly food (other than what we catch); reasonably priced, potable water; diesel; cooking propane; and gas for the dinghy engine. Georgetown has all of that in spades, in addition to WiFi on the boat (when it works) and a NEW computer for me, brought down by Crossroads's latest set of guests, and thanks to quick work by Claudia and Matthew!

Rum Cay (two islands ago) does have a terrific marina, but the prices were way out of our budget, so we just drifted by on fumes and rainwater for a few weeks. And since I've purchase enough canned food to last us for another trip around the Caribbean, were we to turn around now, we didn't starve. Far from it. One night on Rum Cay we made use of an abandoned 50-gallon drum and some picnic tables for a barbecue and bocce on the beach. The next day Jamie from Indra made friends with the owner of the nearby marina, and procured permission for a group of us to use, for free, the marina's outdoor, wood-fired pizza oven.

On the wild ride (20+ knots on the beam, 6-foot seas) up to (uninhabited parkland on) Conception Island from Rum Cay, Indra pulled in one of the biggest mahi mahi we have ever seen. After a relaxing afternoon of admiring the spectacular water around our boat and wandering along Conception's white-sand beach, we headed back to the boat for satay mahi mahi. While it was cooking, Dean and I sat in the cockpit and watched the sunset, and were treated to a green flash. Yes, the green flash is real, but we've only seen it a few times on this trip. Atmospheric conditions must be perfect, and since Conception itself is a perfect place, we've now seen the green flash twice from that anchorage.

The next day was very busy. I had to pack in an hour of beach combing in the morning before Dean and I suited up and dinghied up to the 2-mile-long reef that extends north of Conception. We saw very little of this great system, since we didn't stay in the water too long. All that fish and lobster and stuff swimming around the reef does seem to attract sharks. We saw a 4-foot reef shark within about 30 seconds of splashing in. He had seen us and was moving on, unconcerned. We did the same.

A few minutes later I came nose to nose with a very large barracuda. Now, barracuda don't normally attack humans unless you have a squirming lobster or bleeding fish in your hands, or unless you are wearing something shiny. I was clear there, but I still haven't gotten used to the way those fish sit motionless in the water and STARE. We moved along again.

That's when Dean spotted and pointed out the 8-foot reef shark. Again, that shark had obviously spotted us first. He was not concerned with us, but I was concerned with him, so our snorkel that day was over!

Deciding to pursue a more mild-mannered creature, Dean and I dinghied down to the salt marsh that makes up most of the interior of Conception. Along the shallows at the entrance to the marsh, we watched adolescent turtles cavorting. Later we learned that friends on Carapan, who stayed on Conception one more day, came upon the fresh tracks of a turtle that had swum up to our beach in the night and laid her eggs. I am guessing those baby turtles have a very short time, once they are hatched, to make it to the salt pond before they become prey to the predator fish that swim in the area, and may account for such a concentration of big fish right off the beach. Yikes.

Friday we left Conception for Georgetown, and we had another great sail most of the way. Early on Dean pulled in a fabulous bull mahi mahi (also called a dolphin or a dorado). It was big enough that we were able to share some of it with Crossroads, whose guests brought our computer down, and with John and Kit on Kittiwake, who have been holding a package for us here in Georgetown for 2 months. The package was mailed to us by Greg over a year ago, but it arrived after we headed south, and it has sat in the cruisers' mail bin at the local market for a whole year. Well, Greg, we got it now. Some of this stuff would have been EXTREMELY useful last year, had we waited for the mail.

Georgetown is a different place this time around. Most of the regular cruisers who sit here all winter and treat the place like a retirement day camp have left. This weekend Georgetown belonged to the Bahamians (as it truly does, of course), who hold an annual regatta in which each Bahamian island competes. The wooden sloops that compete in these races are gorgeous, and it's a lot of fun to watch the crew race out on the wooden boards they stick out the side of the boat for ballast. We had intended to arrive in Georgetown earlier in order to watch more of the races, but given how much reprovisioning we need to do, and our social calendar, and WiFi, and a new computer, I'm not sure that we'd have seen much sailing this week anyway.


Blogger Gregory Burd said...

I'm just glad you got the package finally. :) I hope you enjoy the books.


7:35 AM  

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