Saturday, February 28, 2015

Highborne Cay to Staniel Cay

We hung out in Highborne Cay for a couple days to let the winds die before deciding to head on down to Normans Cay. One of our favorite places in the Exumas for now. Unfortunately they have remodeled the restaurant to make it all new and updated when one of the charms of the place was the rustic atmosphere. They also raised hamburger prices from 15 to 25 bucks. Gee, no thanks. They have also redone and added to the runway to accommodate larger planes and have started digging up the island putting in a new marina that will be for larger yachts. We fear its paradise lost and it seems like a sad moment. Oh well, we still have this time here and here we shall stay to wait out yet another winter front. By now they are coming like clockwork and we are getting use to them. We planted our anchor right in front of Palm Tree Island to claim our spot.
Seemed like everyone else had the same idea as us and before long the anchorage had over 20 boats in it. Since it is a channel to the cut it makes for interesting times when tides change. Wind will come from one direction, current from another. Weird to look down and see your anchor behind your boat or laying right next to it. To top it off every boat handles it different and we saw some boats get a bit close to each other. On a day when the winds were not horrible Robert and Sheena on Almost there invited everyone out for a day of fishing on their Catamaran. He taxied us all to his boat for a wonderful pancake breakfast and after we all ate we headed out the cut. The lines were set and we all set out for a day of fun. Robert ended up with a small blackfin tuna, Steve caught a couple fish that were thrown back. Dirk kept getting hits on his line but kept losing the fish. It wasnt until later in the day that he realized the hook on his lure was missing. Hummmmmmm guess why he couldnt hook one.
Renegade sitting pretty at anchor
Relaxing on the back deck of s/v Almost There waiting on the fish to bite. Dirk is relaxing a bit too much
After going up and down the islands we finally called it a day and headed in. First though, we made one more stop as the guys had found a beautiful reef to snorkel and hunt the day before. Several of us stayed on board but the guys decided to see what they could see. All of them saw sharks, multiple, and not nurse sharks. Afterwards we headed back to the anchorage.
Returning from a hunting trip after getting run out of the water by sharks 
In the following days Arkuda, Almost There, and Blue Summit took off and we decided to stay put. We beach combed, Dirk hunted, and we sat sitting out weather to move south.
Dirk chasing around a spotted eagle ray trying to get video
Another lobster in the belly
One of the beautiful beaches
Look at that water
My sand dollar beach pic
Another great beach shot

On Palm Tree Island these baby conch are everywhere.
And one more pic
On the 19th we finally started making tracks south to Compass Cay where we met up with the group again, and then onto Big Majors to begin prepping the boat for guest. Laundry needed to be done and groceries needed restocking. Arkuda and Almost There left to head to Georgetown and Blue Summit and us headed to Staniel. On the way we caught a nice Mahi. I have never been able to catch a photo of one with colors such as this.
Nice Mahi, never seen one look this blue
Dirk filleted him and packed him away before we got into the cut. When we pulled in we saw our friend on M/V Pirate in the anchorage and headed into Pirate Beach for sundowners. Jim and Janie on Pirate started several years ago bringing picnic tables, chairs, BBQ grills and soon others followed. So the beach is outfitted very nicely with stuff that all cruisers are welcome to use. They even provided rakes and shovels to help keep the beach looking nice. Two years ago we placed our sign there and believe it or not our sign is still there.
Cant believe its still here
Jim did say that last year when he got there the sign was faded and on the ground so he and Janie fixed it up and rehung it for us.
Some of the regulars at Pirate Beach

Jim from Pirate with Steve and Kate from Blue Summit
Dirk and Jim catching up
Our time here was spent upping anchor to move between the islands to hide from West winds, cleaning up the boat, and moving back to Big Majors when the weather was decent. I did go check out the new Laundromat/Discount Liquor Store and spent a good portion of the day doing laundry. Its great that they have put a laundry mat there as you had to go to Blackpoint in the past. They only have a few washers, most of which were big loaders, ccommercial style and were $15.00 a load. I ended up spending about $50.00 on laundry. Whew.......But it was done, clean clothes were on board. After that it was last minute stuff and to wait on guest.

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