Staniel Cay, Part 1

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Someone who is not especially good at details, but not too shabby at helping you pick out the right wine to accompany your meal, did not screw the fresh water caps on the deck properly the last time they filled up the water tanks.  Two of the three tanks took on salt water as Echoes’ nose crashed through big waves in heavy seas contaminating the water.  Plus, we were almost out of store bought water as someone had been drinking it because of tummy issues.  Cerulean filled up some drinking water for us before she left Warderick Wells and Soul Divers filled up ten gallons of water that we carried to our boat in a jerry jug to top off the largest of three tanks.  But we needed to head to Staniel Cay where we could water up and provision.  Bad weather was coming and Staniel is a good place to hunker down.

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This is Staniel Cay’s racing sloop, Tida Wave

Staniel Cay is the second largest epicenter in the Exumas for cruisers.  There are three small grocery stores (think convenience store), laundry, cell service, a hardware store, an airport, fuel, water, the Staniel Cay Yacht Club with a fun restaurant and there are several must see attractions nearby.  There were nearly 100 boats within a mile radius from us waiting out the foul weather.  We found a protected anchorage, snuggled in between several boats and looked over to find Cerulean within our view.

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People petting and feeding the Nurse sharks at Staniel Cay Yacht Club

Previously, someone who is not especially good at details, but is not too shabby in the galley, did not give enough power to Echoes as they left autopilot to assist getting the sails down.  Someone else was up on deck tending to the sails as they dropped.  Auto lost his GPS signal because he did not have enough speed and waves tossed Echoes willy nilly.  The sail flogged horribly and the Dutchman monofilament broke along with a Dutchman sail puck that holds it in the sail.  These dutchy thingamabobs help in stacking the huge, heavy sail as it comes down.  Someone needed to do some sail repair work.  We also had been out of data and cell range for over a week so we had bills, emails and calls to make.  We settled in for a few days.  Also, weather was coming.

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We were working on emails during a stormy morning when the wind began its haunting howl and Echoes began testing B.P.’s hootspa.  The rain came down in sheets.  Captain Someoneisquiteimpressivesometimes let the rain wash the deck for a good long while, changed into his swimsuit and went up on deck with two winch handles and two clean hand towels.  He opened the two empty tank water caps (we used the tainted water for showers and dishes), wrapped the winch handles in the clean towels and laid them aft of the freshwater openings creating a dam.  He also got a free shower out of the deal.  Then he dried off and went back to his emails.  Thunder crashed and lightning hit so close that I shot out of my seat with a yelp of a sailorly nature.  We checked our tank levels after the storm blew through and the rain stopped.  Captain Raintamer filled both tanks to the brim accumulating fifty gallons of rainwater in less than forty minutes.

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B.P. had drug a bit.  You can’t blame the girl as Echoes was swinging hard in almost three hundred sixty degree spirograph patterns.  We were closer than we liked to be to a craggy,  hull busting shore.  It was a crowded anchorage so we did our best to reset B.P. but she was tired and uncooperative.  It is difficult to find the appropriate sandy bottom needed to set B.P., not crowd those around you and compensate for enough anchor chain to keep you safe in blows and not swing into your neighbor.  I think we set and reset B.P. eight times until we were finally satisfied.  Then we had a princess pleasing lunch with Christopher and Robin, got a tour of the island and made plans to snorkel with them the following day.

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Captain Samehatandclothesineverypicturefortwentyyears with Robin and Christopher of Cerulean

We woke up the following day to no power.  That means no fridge, no lights, no instruments, no charging cell phones, zip, zilch, zapped.  The solar panels were doing their thing but the solar panel regulator and charger were dead.  The lightning must have fried them and we wore down the batteries with the windless setting B.P. the day before.  We’ve heard many stories of lightning taking out all of the electrical and navigational equipment on boats so we were grateful for just this problem.  Long story short, Captain Resourceful ordered parts from the states to be second day aired to an airport hangar in Fort Lauderdale to then be flown to Staniel Cay airport.

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The terminal at the Staniel Cay Airport

Having that wrapped up, we went snorkeling with Cerulean’s humans.  Gorgeous Staniel Cay has been the set of several movies.  One of the most famous filmed here was a James Bond Movie, Thunderball.

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There is a scene in Thunderball where James Bond fights off bad guys while scuba diving in a grotto.  This cave/grotto is where we went snorkeling with Robin and Chris.  It was absolutely stunning.  It was also here where our trusty, heavy duty camera, which has provided you all of the previous pictures, gave up its life.  I truly hope someone who is not especially good with details, but not too shabby with coming up with Captain names, didn’t break it by hitting the wrong underwater setting.  Let’s go with the lightning.  And then tour boats came by a disturbing number flooding the water with hordes of swimmers leaving a suntan lotion sheen on the water.  I am quite unaccustomed to crowds after these months at sea.  Please exit my quiet Bahamas at once!

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Photo courtesy of Dr Googlesearch and Robert’s Island adventures

We enjoyed our time with Cerulean very much and bid them farewell as they ventured south.  About the time that Cerulean left, Soul Divers found their way to Staniel Cay.

 

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