Thursday, March 30, 2017
After spending a quiet night in the lee of Highbourne Cay, in the company of a half-dozen other boats, we hauled up the anchor. This was the deepest we had set the anchor while we were in the Bahamas (17 ft at high tide), and I was encouraged that, although difficult, I was still able to haul it up by hand. 17 ft of 3/8" chain plus a 33 lb anchor is a LOT of weight to pull up!
And so, we turned towards New Providence in the North West and bid the Exumas a sad farewell as Highbourne Cay shrank into the distance.
|Goodby Exumas! :(|
Today's travel would be 32 miles to Palm Cay marina on the south side of the East end of New Providence Island. On the recommendations of several other cruisers, we decided to go there instead back to depressing, crime-ridden downtown Nassau. Prices in Palm Cay are comparable to where we previously stayed in Nassau, but the facilities are much nicer, well maintained, and the security is better. They even have a chain gate that they hoist across the narrow entrance channel at night!
|Chain Gate Across Entrance|
The marina is attached to a gated community, and the transient slips are only a sideline for them. But the excellent clubhouse restaurant, store, laundry, and showers are all available to transients. The only disadvantage to the place is that it is in the middle of nowhere. But they do have a loaner car which you can check out for 2 hours, and this would allow us to drive to the big grocery store next to Nassau Harbor for our re-provisioning.
|Clubhouse & Restaurant|
I must admit that we splurged a bit here, having lunch and dinner at the restaurant quite a number of times. We even got ice cream! What a treat!
Based on the weather, we planned a 3-day stay here which would allow for defrosting our freezer, getting our food provisioning done and getting in a few loads of laundry before starting out on the 3-day trip back to Bimini. While here, we noticed quite a bit of sea life in the marina, including a small barracuda and numerous spotted eagle rays.
|Small Barracuda hovering by the docks|
|Spotted Eagle Ray|
We drove the loaner car, a cute little Toyota called a "FunCargo", into Nassau and filled up on a bunch of ridiculously expensive groceries, and more stove fuel (alcohol). I hope the defrosting (badly needed) helps the freezer perform better than it has been, as we gambled on purchasing more than a weeks worth of frozen meats.
So now, the freezer & fridge are full, gas and water tanks are topped off, the laundry is clean, and we're ready to begin the 3-day trek across the Bahama Banks to Bimini. The first night we will anchor by Frasier's Hog Cay, next to Chub Cay, and the second night we will anchor out on the banks at Mackie Shoal, absolutely in the middle of nowhere!
Life is good.