Friday, May 8, 2009

Our Southern-Most Exumas Cay

Subtitle: Un-reunited Again

Our DeFever Group partially split up after Staniel Cay. We said good bye to the Shipps, aboard Silver Boots and the Rohrs aboard Lucky Stars as they started the journey back north. September Song, Gypsies in the Palace, Rickshaw, Life’s 2 Short and Tide Hiker continued south to Black Point Settlement on Big Guana Cay. After a couple of days at Black Point, we said good-byes to September Song and Gypsies. They went to George Town. Life’s 2 Short, Rickshaw and Tide Hiker went to Little Farmer’s Cay. After a day there, Tide Hiker and Life’s 2 Short continued south to Lee Stocking Island—our southernmost Exumas cay. Rickshaw returned to Black Point to wait for us. We will not make it to George Town which is another 30 or so miles south. We’re OK with that because the last thing we need is a big town. We much prefer the smaller settlements.

Black Point Settlement
Black Point Settlement is the oldest traditional settlement in the Bahamas. It has 55 permanent residents, according to the cruise guides. Black Point has a huge, anchorage in plenty of water just off shore from the “government dock”. Black Point Settlement is also known for Lorraine’s café and bakery and internet and bar. What a one-stop treat. Lorraine’s mom makes delectable coconut bread that is well known throughout the cruising world. We ordered it and after toasting in the morning, discovered why. It has a coconut and brown sugary and secret ingredient swirl throughout that is to die for.

Todd and Brenda were celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary, so that was just what the group needed to hear to…….. PARTY!! Lorraine cooked up a plate of fresh grouper and beef ribs along with Bahamian mac and cheese, rice and beans and potato salad—for $18. Plus she baked a chocolate pineapple cake for Todd and Brenda which we all shared. Feasting again! Lorraine had no bartender, so she put a sheet of paper on the bar, said help yourself and mark down your drinks—Beers for $4 and mixed drinks for $5.

Black Point also has one of the most modern Laundromats. Or as it is spelled here—Laundermat! Our Laundromat owning friends in Delaware, will get a kick out of that! Aside from all the joking about the spelling, etc. we have discovered that the Bahamian’s are the friendliest, honest, helpful, kind, family-oriented people. We just love being with them and look forward to each and every person we meet.

We stayed another couple of days to recuperate and take advantage of the great beaches in the area—one of which was the scene for our second bonfire. Brenda is known to be the group’s pyromaniac—followed very closely by Doug aboard Gypsies. They love a big fire and there was lots of dry wood in the area to burn. This was the last night for all to be together, so it was good bye to September Song and Gypsies—until the next time.

Little Farmers Cay

Rickshaw, Life’s 2 Short and Tide Hiker cruised south to Little Farmers Cay—home to the famous Ocean Cabin Café and Bar. Terry Bain, the owner, also manages some mooring balls in the harbor which we used. Check out Terry’s sign on the front of the restaurant.

Life’s 2 Short met up with some friends there and we dined with Rick and Lynnie aboard Rickshaw. Lynnie cooked up a fantastic linguini with clams and a salad. Vicki made a “French silk Pie”. Needless to say—another feast. Then Vicki got her “Dancing with the Stars” addiction fixed since Rickshaw has a satellite TV system.
On Tuesday at slack tide, we departed for Lee Stocking Island and the Perry Marine Research Institute.

Lee Stocking Island
Little Farmers was a one-stopper for us. Rickshaw decided to stay another night and try the restaurant. But, we moved on to Lee Stocking Island—home of the Perry Marine Research Center. Life’s 2 Short went to Rudder Cay. Just after arriving on Tuesday, Vicki and Norm hiked to Perry’s Peak—the tallest point in the Exumas at a whopping 123 ft above sea level. Here are some shots from the peak.

We had a nice dinner outside on the cockpit. Norm grilled up some red potatoes, beans and salmon. We watched the sunset and blew the conch to put the sun to rest for the day. We danced to the 70’s music playing of the XM satellite radio and reveled in the peace. A wonderful respite.

The Marine Research Center here offers tours on Thursday’s, so we are waiting for today’s tour. On Wednesday, we snorkeled some of the coral reefs in the area. We got directions from the Research Center to dink over to the weather stick in the channel and tie up to a buoy there. We did that and saw some really nice coral heads and many different fish on a very shallow reef. We had to swim around some of the coral heads that were above the water surface. “Wicked cool”, as Tammy would say. There was a pretty strong surge there, so we swam against the current first.As we were getting out of the water on to the dinghy, Todd and Brenda were just rounded the bend on the channel on their way to our anchorage. They honked and we waved. After they got settled and we explored some more, we all ended up on Perry’s Beach for an afternoon of tanning, storytelling and cocktails. Vicki made a batch of margaritas including glasses with the salted rim. Ummmmmm! It was early to bed after dinner—again on the cockpit with the sunset; and this time, a symphony of conch horns from a few boats. Good night!

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