|Skip & Eliza on the way to Farmer's Cay|
After overdosing on the beautiful views at Warderick Wells we sailed south toward Farmer's Cay. We made a stop at Black Point on Great Guana Cay on the way down where we ran into the New Hampshire kids, Michelle and Tyler on Alida. Eliza got to meet them and she and Michelle compared notes about their time at UNH – Michelle graduated a few years before Eliza. When we first met Alida in Bimini we discovered we had a few crazy links to each other. They began their trip in NH sailing in tandem with their friends on Sheliak (who’s sign you can see on the driftwood pile of boat names in a photo in the last blog) – the parents of one of the crew on Sheliak are great friends with friends of Cindy and Dan, Skip’s sister and brother-in-law. (Still with me?) Before we left on our trip we visited Cindy and Dan, who had said friends, Dean and Kathy, over to share stories of their experiences of sailing in the Bahamas. We didn’t put it all together until we saw a cruising guide on Alida, with Dean and Kathy’s last name on it. Not only that, but it turns out that the second member of Sheliak’s crew was Eliza’s advisor at UNH. Yikes. Small world.
If I haven’t lost you after that… here’s what else we’ve been doing. We spent some time in Black Point catching up online at Lorraines Restaurant, then walked on to a spot called the Garden of Eden. It’s the front yard of a local couple… and the driftwood sculptures they’ve been creating for more than 30 years. We met the wife of the couple that lives there and she gave me a plant by plant tour of the garden in back of the house. She had an incredible variety of plants growing up out of rocky surface and she told me the names of everything and how they’re all used.
|Clockwise from top L: Papaya tree, kitty in tamarind tree, pigeon peas, tamarind pods|
|Saralane anchored in Steve & Cindy's 'front yard'|
Eliza had to head home to Boston at the end of the weekend and Steve and Cindy gave her a lift to Nassau where they were picking up some friends arriving the same day for a visit.
|Our ride to the airport... Steve and Skip...|
|.... and Eliza|
|Cindy says "Eliza.. you can sit here!"|
|A little trouble getting the plane started|
|Steve says "No problem... we'll get her going!"|
|A picnic guest on a nearby coconut palm|
...and then over to nearby sand bar for a walk. The sand bar goes on beyond your view as you walk and isn’t connected (above water) to land on either end… just a beach in the middle of miles of clear blue water.
Before Tessa and Amy left we went for a sail on Saralane. Malcolm, another pilot friend, had flown down for a few days and came along too. It took us a little longer to get organized than we’d planned, which turned out to be a good thing. A really good thing. As we headed out the narrow cut to open water Steve heard someone yelling. When we spotted the swimmer in distress we pulled down the mainsail and turned the boat around to pick her up. She’d been snorkeling and spear fishing with friends and got caught in the strong current running out the cut. If we’d left earlier she might not have realized she was in trouble yet and she would likely have been pulled too far out to sea to be seen or heard by anyone inside. We got her aboard and returned her to her oblivious diving companions. (There’s a reason there’s a buddy system when you’re diving!) Regardless… it was a good ending rather than a potentially bad one.
|L to R: Steve (at the wheel), Amy, Skip and Cindy|
|L to R: Malcolm, Tessa and Steve (still enjoying the helm)|
|Apparently our dinghy can hold 6 people!|
|Everyone headed back to the house after sailing|
|Fenton & Skip admire each others hats|
I helped too… with a little guidance from the kids and Willa Mae’s partner Denzel. Everyone had fun and raised some money to help out too.
|A kumbaya moment with Cindy, Steve and their sisters... Bev and Barb who just arrived for a visit!|