We made it!
Day 22. Friday March 18.
We slipped out of the Cabbage Cay anchorage after Bella had her beach walk and headed south towards New Providence. We had some decent swells but they were well apart and the cruising was comfortable.
After a couple of hours we were surprised to hear Joi de Vivre (neighbors from back home) come over the radio hailing another boat. We cut in and surprised them. They were coming through the Tongue Of The Ocean from Chub Cay and heading for Nassau as we were coming down the east side of the Berrys and going through the cut east of Nassau to continue to Exuma. We listened as they hailed their marina and tied up!
We made the narrow Salt Cay channel and managed to safely stay out of the way of the many tourist boats bombing through. We passed by Porgee Rocks and over Yellow Bank with all of its coral heads, leaving Nassau behind. The water was now coral blues and greens. We still had a choppy sea but again the swells were well spaced apart and it was a comfortable ride all of the way to Norman’s Cay. We had considered anchoring off Highbourne Cay, but the owners of this private island are quite fussy about people coming onto their island who were not paying guests! So we passed on south.
We got nice and close into the beach at Normans, perfect for beach walks and to have lunch at MacDuffs restaurant. The last time we were at Normans there were just three boats anchored there, this time about 20! Also the airport on the island was very busy with private and chartered planes regularly coming in.
Day 23 and 24. Saturday March 19th and Sunday March 20th.
Sonas needed a good wash down outside and a good vacuumn and polish inside, so that is what we did Saturday morning. We then treated ourselves to lunch at MacDuffs restaurant. Twenty one dollars for a fish sandwich and 31 dollars for a Cobb salad! We made sure to clean our plate to make sure we got our money’s worth!
There was also a Bahamian Party going on at the beach with music, booze, food and plenty of loud music!
There had been a bit of a surge in the anchorage last night so we took the dinghy and visited with a boat that had anchored well to the north of us. We wanted to ask if they had surge there as well. As we approached the boat we were surprised to see the boat name – Sonas! On chatting with the owner we discovered that this was the Sonas that we saw at Saint Simon’s Marina last Summer. He had just bought her. We now know of three boats with the Sonas name. Us, this boat, and a sailboat we passed in the Chesapeake back in 2018.
On Sunday evening we tried to fly the drone for the first time to find that Norman’s Cay Airport was programmed into the firmware and we were forbidden to take off!
Day 25. Monday March 21.
We were leaving Normans today and heading south to Sian’s favorite anchorage in all of the Bahamas – Hawksbill Cay north anchorage. Since this was just a slow hours cruise we did not life the anchor until after 10am. On the way we passed a number of nice mega yachts one with a chopper that took off as we passed.
As we approached the anchorage we saw a large yacht named Huntress appear on the AIS. We knew that boat. This was the boat that prevented us from getting fuel in Stock Island (Key West) last spring. It had been tied up at the fuel dock and since it was 300 feet long, took up the whole dock!
As we got into the anchorage we saw that there were tables, umbrellas, chairs, kayaks, jet skis and all the paraphernalia that comes with mega yachts on the beach. We watched as the guests used the facility for a couple of hours, then the poor crew having to ship it all back to Huntress! They were still packing up when we took Bella on her afternoon walk and we commiserated with them.
Day 26. Tuesday March 22.
Today was just a day for chillaxing, doing some tidy-up on Sonas and taking walks on the beach. We also got out the snorkel gear for the first time and snorkeled the small but rich coral head at the north end of the anchorage. Afterwards we inflated one of the SUPs and went paddling off the beach. As Sian was paddling along the shoreline Bella ran after her looking like she wanted a go. So we loaded onto the SUP and she sat there like a queen as Sian did all the work.
This was our last day before Sian’s accident!