Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Exumas where every day is like Sunday

On days where we don't travel it feels like Sunday.  We still do home school in the mornings but then have the rest of the day to play, nap, hike, swim, or visit friends.
Allens Cay was exciting and since then we have not had any exciting weather.  That is a good thing.  
We had a nice sail down to Normans Cay where we didn't need the motor, just the nice offshore breeze. 
While at Normans we found a ton of conch in the pond.  We are still pretty much "conched" out from that feast.  My favorite way to prepare conch is conch fritters or cracked conch.  Deep fried goodness, yum.  Paul has been doing more spear fishing and was able to spear two lion fish.  After safely cleaning, it is actually good eating.
This was Nicholas's first time snorkeling around the plane crash just off shore.  He loved all the fish and seeing the plane.  

While we travel down the islands we are surrounded by other boat families.  This fulfills my need to socialize.  We spend time talking to other adults and the kids get to run around with other kids.

Our next stop was Shroud Cay where Paul and I each took turns having a peaceful kayak through the mangroves to Exuma sound.  I am still in awe of the color of the water.  This place also seemed like a good place to make water and do laundry.  The kids still love to do the plunger bucket method. 

The next place we stopped was the Exuma Land and Sea Park.  The wind has been predominately out of the SE so we have been motoring along on the inside of the island chain.  The north mooring field offers a nice place to rest and decent protection from the wind.  The park has a lot to offer so we did as much as we could in 24 hours.  First stop was snorkeling next to the park office.  The park is a no take zone so there is a lot of fish and sea life to see.  Next was Boo Boo Hill where we put our driftwood sign last year with Quinn.  The sign was still there and in decent shape so we took it back and put this years date on it.  The next day we hiked in to put our sign back then left the mooring by noon.  Whew!

Pipe Creek was our next stop where we found a nice sand bar near low tide.  the kids found a pool of water in the middle and had fun swimming back and forth through it.  They have both been sleeping really good at night, all that activity pays off.  Paul heard from another cruiser that Pipe Creek was a beautiful place and they stayed a month there.  I agree it was beautiful but we needed fresh fruits and vegetables.  So next stop Staniel Cay.  
We went to all three stores on the small cay and found them all pretty much empty of produce.  The mail boat comes every week and was due in from Nassau the next day.  In the meantime we went snorkeling in Thunderball Grotto.  This was a first for Nicholas to snorkel in a cave. What a trooper.
The next day the mail boat arrived, yea!  there was an announcement on the VHF that the Isle General Store would open at 1:00 PM.  This seems to be the main store for provisions in Staniel so we arrived 30 minutes early.  The doors finally opened at 1:25 and it was a mad dash for all the cruisers to get food.  Imagine over 20 people shopping in a store about 500 square feet.  We didn't need much so were third in line to pay.  Problem being it was so hot and the check out taking so long that the ice cream we promised the kids was melting.  Paul put the ice cream back in the freezer and waited until we were at the register to retrieve it.
Now that we had produce we motored the 5 miles to Black Point to enjoy the laundry facilities and to see the blow hole.
Today we are leaving Little Farmers Cay where the town is small but the people so nice. We bought an awesome wood carving of an owl from JR that the kids call "Feather".  We stopped at the general store where I wasn't sure if we should go in but decided to go ahead.  The store owner was sleeping on a small cot near the register.  She was sweet and introduced herself, said she didn't sleep well last night.  The restaurant on the island was closed but the owner opened up for us so we could have ice cream.  Only one flavor, rum raisin, and we all liked it and it was cheeper than most of the ice cream we have had in the US.

Next place is Lee Stocking Island.  The research center there we hear is closed but we will check it out anyway.  

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