Monday, December 27, 2010

In Between the Mice and the Rat

We left with The Group bound for Normans, and made good enough time to get to Shroud with a significant contribution from Mooch. We were anxious to show Savage Son the mangroves, hoping to experience again our first visit with Ketch’n Dreams, Celebrian, and those folks whose name now escapes me who bought a boat on the internet, took a 3 day sailing course, and here they were, living the life and learning as they go. But, tides were not cooperating, and nightfall would shortly overtake us, so it was not to be. At least we go to wiggle our toes in the Exuma sand.

The next morning we peeked out a porthole and determined that Far Niente had taken off, as planned, to head to Georgetown, a rather long day’s motoring. We took an early departure and headed to Black Point so that we could collect our first batch of sea glass, and had a somewhat successful harvest, also scooping up two small (and uninhabited) helmets, one a reticulated cowry. We got back to the boat early enough to speed off to Big Majors, avoiding the planned trip the next day during which we would have been beating our brains out in 20 knots of headwind. Incidentally, we found out crazy-ass fast driving Jay and Di had made it all the way to Long Island. They would be able to share Christmas with their friend who seems to be winning the latest brawl in the proverbial battle with cancer.

With the timing of the tides, an approaching cold front, and a gaggle of boats chattering about heading to Pipe, we got another early start and made like velcro to My Destiny’s stern, reaping the benefits of their accurate software. Anywhere in the Bahamas with the exception of the Abacos, we are stuck with useless Navionics, the only Raymarine E Series compatible software--it’s like looking at a chart of Sandy Hook while trying to navigate Cape Cod. Pipe Creek is a great spot to get protection, but is fraught with shallows and reefs, so we were happy to tag along with the better informed. We joined up with Veranda, who was already neatly tucked in between Rat Cay and the Mice, while about a dozen other boats shared the usual Pipe anchorage and played dodge boat with each other.
While waiting for Christmas and the Cold Front, we joined a Pot Luck at the cruiser-constructed Pipe Cay Yacht Club, consisting of a crudely put together hut with flotsam and jetsam collected over the seasons, waded through the muck to access the sea glass beach, and walked the flats to collect sand dollars, seashells, and two very sharp objects which made camp in the bottom of my feet.

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