Well, we pulled in the lines and decided to head to Long Island to explore. Long Island is an island in the Bahamas that is split by the Tropic of Cancer. Population of just under 3100 and the island is about 80 miles long - hence the name: Long Island. We made our way about 30 nautical miles from Emerald Bay to the Southeast and 7 hours later we were anchoring in Calabash Bay near Cape Santa Maria. Our anchoring spot was directly in front of the Cape Santa Maria Resort. The resort is lovely, but what beckons you to jump in the dinghy and take a ride to the beach is the beautiful, untouched, "silky sand" beach. I knew we were headed to something good as I was making my way to the bow to prepare to anchor and all I could see was beautiful sand and turquoise colored water. (By the way, have I told you how much I love our Rocna anchor! That baby keeps us rock solid at anchor and she’s awesome in mud, grass and sand!)
Sure enough, we set the anchor and launched the dinghy. We caught up with our friends on SV Seacilia and headed in for Happy hour at the resort with fresh conch fritters and drink specials. Our friends had caught a couple of beautiful lobsters that day and we were invited to a wonderful Paella dinner aboard but before the evenings festivities we spent a little time at the resort and enjoyed the beach.
We’ve been to a few beaches in our lives, in various parts of the world, but truly none like this. I understand why folks from around the world come to the Exumas, particularly Cape Santa Maria. The beach and water sports are unreal.
The next day we went for a snorkel and more Lobster hunting with our friends. We did get one more lobster that day which we enjoyed as a Truffled Lobster Mac’n Cheese - yes, we eat horrible on the boat n'es pas? Lucky for us we have friends who are foodies too! (Recipe will be posted in the Foodie Blog soon).
The highlight of the day was the chance encounter with a dolphin while Jeff and Evertt were snorkeling. This cheeky hung out for a while and you can check out the video on our Facebook page, posted it today.
We spent two beautiful nights in Calabash bay and then headed to Thompson Bay, which is in the middle of the island. We found a great anchor spot but it was further away from the dinghy dock than I appreciated and the dinghy dock was not easy to recognize. We had some surge and as normal, had a wet ride to and from. Dinghy = wet bum.
We rented a car and went about exploring the island. We made it to Dean’s Blue Hole and put our snorkel gear on to take a dip. This is the world’s second deepest underwater sinkhole (200 meters/600+ feet). You can sit in the shallows, get your gear on and then literally drop into the hole. You feel the warm water from the underground currents rushing up from the depths. Fish are few but colorful. The ledge is well defined, like jumping in and out of a pool but once you cross the edge and hover over the middle of the hole - you’re suspended over a true abyss. One of the cooler places we’ve ever explored.
We made reservations days in advance to have dinner at Chez Pierre - on the island. Very out of the way but he makes a lovely veal. The bar is on the honor system and he took me back in the kitchen to show me around and show me where the fridge for the mixers was located. He said: "Just come on back and pick out your soda, ginger ale, juice, whatever you want for your drinks and if you want wine, let me know and I’ll get you the bottle.” The restaurant has a very casual and home feel -screened in porch, book exchange, comfy tables and chairs and the smells that come from the kitchen…..perfect way to end the day.
The winds died down and the surge calmed down - which makes our time in the cockpit enjoyable. We made our way back to Emerald Bay after a week away. We had a chance to sail a bit on our trip back and the winds kicked up a bit more in the afternoon. We left Thompson Bay about 8:30 AM and arrived in Emerald Bay by 4:00 PM - just in time to enjoy our 16th Wedding anniversary dinner at the nearby Grand Isle Resort.
Today, we are enjoying Easter Sunday reading, cooking and sharing some laughs with our fellow boaters on the dock. We have meet a wonderful cast of characters and I learn something new everyday from them. Last night a new friend overhead Jeff ask a question about a catamaran’s gear,
“does your forestay reach your mast head?” and she turned to me with a sweet smile and said: “That sounds like yachtie personal problem...” We died laughing….yes, we have our own sometimes bizarre vocabulary in the sailing community, but once you’re under way - you get it.
We are looking forward to a visit from our friends in VA in about two weeks and we can’t wait to show them around and have them share this piece of heaven on earth with us.
Every day is a gift and should not be wasted. We feel blessed and fortunate to have come to this place, emotionally and geographically….The Bahamas are heavenly.