Sailing Logs | February 2021

February 1st, 2021 – – – CHANGE OF PLANS & A NASTY FRONT

We went in for another small hike and island visit. John and Mo again stayed behind, and later on we ran in to them chatting with Cherry in the office. By early afternoon the four of us were back on the boat, preparing it for the nasty front that is hitting us this evening. The winds even started picking up earlier than predicted, reaching nearly 30 knots by 2pm. Once we removed some dodger panels, and secured items on deck, John and Mo asked to take the dinghy out to speak with a few of our boat neighbors. As it turns out, they have decided to make different plans for themselves since sailing to Grenada was no longer in the future. Their plan is to get to Georgetown as soon as they can so they can fly out for different jobs they’re hoping to land. One neighbor was heading for Georgetown once the front has passed, and since we we’re sticking around the park for a few more days, the couple agreed to take John and Mo along so they can catch a flight.

February 2nd, 2021 – – – NASTY FRONT

I hadn’t slept hardly any last night. The wind has just been howling, and I kept going up to check that we how we were doing on our mooring ball, that we weren’t any closer to the rock ledge less than 20 feet off our stern, and what the wind speed was. Highest I had seen it on one of my checks was 41 knots – an intense amount of wind. There were times when the current seems to take us one way, when suddenly a huge gust slammed us the opposite way, making the boat almost shutter to a halt. We all spent the day inside the boat. The water was so choppy outside, and the wind so strong, that there seemed no enjoyment would be had taking our dinghy out and spending the day on the island. There were of course still those out there tearing it up kite boarding.

February 3rd, 2021 – – – SAYING GOODBYE TO THE CREW

We woke up to John and Mo bringing their items up on deck. Soon enough it was time for them to head to the other boat, with their jugs full of water. I said my goodbyes while on deck and watched them leave as there was somehow no room for me in the dinghy. Before they departed Mo gave us a blank, unlined, leather book and requested us to give it to Cherry at the office. And just like that, the neighboring boat departed for Georgetown. After 9am, we decided to go in for a little hike, and hopefully we’d be able to see some water gushing from the blow holes. Since our map had been recently ruined in the water, I wanted to stop by the office to get a new map and give Cherry the book Mo left her. The office was closed, but a man called for Cherry on the radio and within 5 minutes she came running up. She seemed taken aback by the book, said thank you, albeit a little confused, and walked up to the office with me to get a map. We walked up to BooBoo Hill to get some service before completing our usual loop down to shady trail, over the bridge, and back to the office so we could score some snickers. Right as we were about to pay, we realized we forgot our wallets! Cherry said we could take it as long as we came back today to pay. Soon after, we came back to pay where I had a little chat with Cherry. Brian beaches the dinghy and stayed back while I walked up to the office. Someone was inside, and I waited for them to leave before entering myself. As they left, I realized it was Gary and Melanie, I had a quick chat with them before entering. I paid for the past candies, and bought 2 more snickers. I asked when her next day off was, remembering that the employees here work for weeks at a time, to which she replied tomorrow. She said she loved the schedule because it was like having one big vacation often. Cherry also told me of how the government only gives the parks a small portion of the money allocated for them, and that the rest is dependent on donations given to them. We talked for a while, of many things, and after some time we hear “stomp, stomp, stomp” and Brian fly’s in to the door way. “There you are! It’s been 20 minutes!”, he says almost frantic. I tell him it’s ok, I’ll be right down, and with that he runs back out. I turn to Cherry, who is laughing, and says to me “You better go after him and give him those snickers, I feel like I just watched a brand new snickers commercial for free!” We had a good laugh at that, a little more conversation, then I was on my way to the dinghy.

February 4th, 2021 – – – SEVERELY LOST ON AN ISLAND

Brian and I set out for a hike in the morning. We went to the office first so we could ask if there was any history of the ruins, wall, and salve dip that we saw listed on the map, which were all near each other on the island. There were new people in the office, unfortunately they didn’t know the history, but it turned out to be Lisa and Greg from Privateer. They are also moored and working in place of Cherry until someone else is able to work the office. We talked to them for a bit, and told them of our hiking plans. Lisa said the west side was very jagged and she would recommend just taking the dinghy there instead, but we were on a mission and wanted to see it through. We started our hike, on trail A which takes us to BooBoo Hill. We got our cell service fix and Brian took a time lapse of the view. About an hour later we continued our hike. We somehow missed tabebulia trail, later realizing because there is no sign on the east side for it, but somehow we ended up on the Exuma Sound Trail (a trail not even shown on the map) and walked all the way down the east side until we met the slave dip. Brian wasn’t happy for all of this walk, it was hot and he wasn’t happy with what time it was. I found the wall and started trying to find beryls trail, which on the map showed to be parallel with it, but we went on the wrong side of the wall – the trails on this end of the island are not well kept, nor well marked. We ended up going through a lot of poison wood by accident, I even tightly grabbed on to it’s branches and leaves several times for balance. We realized our error and switched to the other side of the wall. We found a sign for the ruins, which we followed, finding two small very old stone houses. Also near the ruins we could see how far away from the office we were (far, we may have exclaimed a few curse words at the site of it) and saw how low the sun was sitting. We were out of water, tired, and the paths in front of us looked rough. I panicked because I was worried of the future of this situation, thinking we’d be lost on the island in the dark with no lights, no water, no cell service, finding our way through jagged rocks and poison woods. We followed the cairns and had to back track several times until we finally came to the shady trail. By this point we knew where we were with confidence, but we were dehydrated and the trails seemed to last forever. It was like heaven making it to the dinghy on the dock. We met a man sitting atop of the packages that were waiting to be picked up by the mail boat. He was from Australia, and said he too wanted to hike the whole of the island tomorrow. We told him our story and a few pieces of advice before setting off. Back at home, we ate leftovers, drank very large jars of water, feasted on ramen noodles, showered, and went to sleep early.

February 5th, 2021 – – – LAST DAY IN THE PARK

We slept in hard this morning, and were sore from yesterday’s hike. We went to take a time lapse of the bridge, where we saw Lisa and Greg paddle through on kayaks. I tried to see if I found any interesting books for the book exchange; but I didn’t. Later that day we ship shaped the boat, preparing for our sail to Staniel Cay tomorrow.

February 6th, 2021 – – – SAILING TO STANIEL CAY

We left late this morning and sailed down from the park to Staniel Cay. It was such a short distance away, and had we gone straight to Staniel we would have needed to motor, so we took a big V shaped route instead so we could get some sailing in – what an amazing sail it was! When we arrived, we took the dinghy in to Staniel and had dinner at the bar with the best pina coladas I’ve ever had, and a mahi sandwich. This anchorage, by Big Majors, is not our favorite – there are a lot of boats and jet skis that zoom around even while people are swimming, making for a dangerous situation.


February 7th – 8th , 2021 – – – BOAT LIFE

Worked on the boat – videos and writing.

February 9th, 2021 – – – NEW FRIENDS

Today we met up with Derrick and Mallory, a couple we briefly met back in the Berry Islands. We were to meet on the boat, but we ended up running in to them at the restaurant earlier that afternoon. They came over to our boat later where we had a few drinks and a really nice time.

February 10th, 2021 – – – GROTTO

We went to the grotto this afternoon. I have been looking forward to swimming here since we before we set off on our adventure. It was just as beautiful as I hoped it would be. The water was crystal clear blue (with the exception of the times the groups of people on tour boats would come in and just frantically kick around, stirring up all the sand), and the marine life was fabulous. We swam in and out of tunnels for hours – I could have swam there all day.

February 11th, 2021 – – – PIG BUTT BITE

We finished the work with our video this morning, and set it up for a release tomorrow. Later in the afternoon, we met up with Derrick and Mallory again, this time at Pig Beach. These pigs were not at all what I imagined. What in my mind were cute round pink pigs were massive, fast, dirty, aggressive pigs.  Mallory, with a bag of pellets, was being terrifyingly chased by them and threw the food in their direction in hopes to distract them, it was admittedly a little hysterical. She did though get bit in the butt by one, but luckily it only got her clothing and not any skin. One of the pigs bored the other with its tusks fighting over food, and there was blood everywhere. In all honesty, and in my opinion, the pigs is a lie of an attraction, they seem sickly, and I have no interest in supporting it. Afterwards, the four of us went over to cruiser beach and talked until dark.

February 12th, 2021 – – – SHARK SWIM SURPRISE

Our video was released this morning, and we are disappointed to see how unwell it is doing. Coincidentally it is one of our best and favorite videos yet. To get our minds off its performance, we took our dinghy north to dive and see if we could spearfish, but there was nothing up there. Derrick and Mallory ended up meeting us there for some dives. We did see lots of marine life, but all juvenile size. I was swimming along the edge of a reef, and when I turned my head to the right, I was swimming next to a giant nurse shark. My instincts had me swimming away from it, on my back looking towards the shark. Soon enough I realized it was only a nurse shark, though it was twice my size in length!

February 13th, 2021 – – – GROCERIES IN STANIEL

We went in to Staniel for groceries. This was my first time experiencing a small-scale grocery store you often hear of on the islands. There are two stores here, respectively called the blue and pink store due to their paint color. They are in what looks like homes, not at all commercial in appearance. The inside is as large as a kitchen, and is mostly packed as high as the shelves can reach with dry goods. There is one fridge and a few small bins of fresh foods that disappear quick. We went to both the blue and pink tore. In the pink store, there were women speaking their Bahamian Creole, and ended their conversation with loud excitement as they traded chocolates with each other. We walked back to our dinghy through the town that had large towering trees, many dogs aimlessly walking about, and we studied the way they constructed their buildings as we walked by new construction.

February 14th, 2021 – – – BOAT LIFE

Hung out in the boat all day, working on videos and writing.

February 15th, 2021 – – – FILMING IN THE GROTTO

We went to the grotto again and I filmed for a little montage video idea I have. I can’t wait to finish editing this one and putting it out there.

February 16th, 2021 – – – SAIL TO BLACK POINT

We sailed in to black point today, and by that I mean we sailed in to the anchorage! This has been something Brian has wanted to do for so long. Once anchored, we went in to black point for lunch at Lorraine’s Café. The town is so quiet and still, kids riding down the streets on boards waving a polite hello to you, people sat around their yards making straw hats. The cashier at the local convenience store was outside in a lounge chair, listening to music and eating an orange, for what I could only assume to be because what else would she be doing? The town felt small and silent. At the restaurant, where we were the only patrons, I had a mahi sandwich with pan made Mac n Cheese. I hadn’t eaten all day and it was delicious. A man came in to the bar, who sat near our table, and he called himself Mr. Right. We began to chat, and he tells us he was a retired police officer, where we worked in Nassau. Now he is in his home town fixing up his parents’ old house. His wife still lives in Nassau, and he travels back and forth – in doing this he hopes to set up a better life for his grandkids. He showed us pictures of his grandkids and of himself in a police uniform. Later that night we had drinks on Aaron and Sam’s boat, the couple we met back in Warderick Wells. There were other people there as well: Steven and Helena, Greg and Kristen. I brought tea since I hadn’t had water all day, only beer! We talked for hours; it was a blast. At one point though I became very nauseous. Once back on the boat, as I was taking some bites of left overs, my stomach rang out with the sharpest pain I’ve ever felt. I couldn’t move. I didn’t know what to do. It went on for hours until I went to bed, and even then I had the hardest time sleeping.


February 17th – 19th, 2021 – – – TAKING IT EASY

The pain was still there in the morning, but started to subside by the afternoon. I’ve been on a liquid diet. Thinking it’s either an inflamed intestine, but more worried of it being appendicitis. Unfortunately, there is nothing here in forms of healthcare, and that’s scary. We were stuck in a front, and Brian has stayed here and sat around the house with me. I tried getting a tele doc appointment with doctors back in the states, but no one ever called. I couldn’t help but to feel guilty I was, with no intention of course, making this time in the Bahamas a real stressful time.

February 20th, 2021 – – – SAIL TO GEORGETOWN

Thankfully, my stomach hasn’t hurt as severely as the first night, though every now and then there is a “pang” of pain. Today I took it easy on our sail south to Georgetown. Luckily it was an easy and comfortable sail. There were many boats anchored in the harbor, at least near 200 – I couldn’t imagine how many there would be in a non-covid world. We anchored in the later afternoon near Sand Dollar Beach and took it easy the rest of the day.


February 21st, 2021 – – – YET ANOTHER FRONT

We made it to Georgetown just in time for another strong front to arrive. Today was spent inside the boat, again.

February 22nd, 2021 – – – CHECKING OUT STOCKING ISLAND

The end of the front was still here, but we are both tired of sitting inside the boat. We took our dinghy inland to check out the famous chat and chill, but it was kind of dead. Before heading back to the boat, we took our dinghy in to the cove and checked out the little blue hole they have by the rocks. Apparently, some time ago, a man wanted to know how far out the water in the blue hole went in to the ocean. He put a red dye inside and the exit for the water was over 2 miles offshore!

February 23rd, 2021 – – – DIVING FAIL

The front has let up, and today we tried to dive a nearby cay but the water was still so stirred up from that we couldn’t see anything. I for one was uncomfortable swimming in water I could barely see the ends of my arms in, right near a cut, so I opted for heading out of the water. We hung out under a thatch roofed hut on the cay before leaving back to our boat.

February 24th, 2021 – – – SANDOLLAR BEACH HIKES

This afternoon we went in to the island near our anchorage and were surprised to find a large fire bit and a wonderfully made art trail, lined with painted rocks and coconut mobiles, that crosses to the other side of the island where there lied an absolutely gorgeous beach. We walked around, sat on rocks and watched the waves roll in.

February 25th, 2021 – – – EXPLORING CRAB CAY

Worked in the morning and by the afternoon I had convinced Brian to explore crab cay with me. We saw the old fancy bridge and tried to find a way to get on the island to see the ruins, but we couldn’t seem to find a good place to leave our dinghy. Before we left, I convinced Brian once more to check out the mysterious river canal on the other side of the cay. Brian was a bit upset about the state of the water on the other side, but luckily the trip was worth it because the canal was an exceptional oddity to see. The water was the clearest in all of Georgetown, where we saw turtles and fish swimming below us, and the canal weaned itself in waves between massively tall stone walls.

February 26th, 2021 – – – WORK DAY

Today we stayed inside the boat. I worked on my writings and Brian took the day to relax.

February 27th, 2021 – – – FUN AT CHAT N CHILL

We sat inside the boat during most of the day, but later I convinced Brian to go to the beach by the monument anchorage where we walked around and saw some abandoned buildings. Then we went to the chat n chill where we met up with some friends and we ended up having a good time. We met a man named Craig who lived in Hawaii, and Gator, who ended up giving us a lift in his dinghy and taking us to ours, which with the incoming tide was now much to deep in the water to walk to.

February 28th, 2021 – – – PIG ROAST

Today was Aaron’s birthday, and the pig roast. Everyone met up at chat n chill. Brian and I tried our first plate of pig roast, which we ended up feeding to the stray cats because it was just so much food. Later a group of men came to the beach and the eldest, 70 years old, climbed up the rope swing. After seeing this, the men at our table now had bets on who could make it to the top. Brian was first, who made it halfway, and Aaron made it quickly straight to the top. It was fun and we had a lot of laughs, and I’m happy to report that no drunken man fell out of the tree that day.