Saturday, September 23, 2023

May 15-18, 2023 Spanish Wells snorkeling and sandbar

 5-15 Monday. We discussed our plans for the next couple weeks.  Weather can be an issue trying to get back to the States.  We decided to start heading north and watching the weather for an opportunity to cross the Gulf Stream.  We had to pass through the Current Cut today.  It’s always a guessing game as to what the tide is doing and when slack tide would be.  Low tide at Nassau was at 11:00.  Current Cut is supposed to be 90 minutes to 2 hours after Nassau, which would be 12:30-1:00.  We were at Current Cut at about 5:00pm, about mid way between low and high.  The current was against us.  We watched another sailboat go through ahead of us and decided to proceed.  We had been traveling at 7knots.  About a mile out from the cut, the current slowed us to about 5:5kn.  We kept dropping as we approached the cut to 4 then 3.  And we stayed at 3 knots as we passed through the cut.  Everything was fine, but if you can’t motor against the current, you will lose control of the steering of your boat.  
We anchored near Russel Island and made water that night.  When we run the engine, it heats our water.  So we had great showers.  Easily pleased.
5-16 Tuesday We planned to have a day in the water, but Dave didn’t sleep well.  So the day was spent doing domestic chores.  I was pretty bored that afternoon, so I took may snorkel gear and swam around our boat.  I found 2 sea urchins.  I wanted to replace the ones that I lost off of the stern deck in a wind storm a couple weeks ago.  After swimming, I used a “floatie” and relaxed on the water.  Dave hung a swinging chair off of our arch on the stern of the boat.  It was a beautiful evening with very calm waters.

live sea urchin with shells stuck to it

mangrove jellyfish-they look like a plant


5-17 Wednesday.  Today was our water day.  We loaded up the dinghy with snorkel gear, spearfishing gear and a picnic lunch including adult beverages.   I moved the 2 sea urchins of of the stern deck and into the cockpit for safe keeping.  I figured I would pack them up when I got back.  Dave decided to go back onto the boat to get gasoline for our outboard.  Well, in the process of getting gasoline, he crushed my sea urchins.  I guess it wasn’t meant to collect them this year.  
We took the dinghy to the north side of Royal island near the small Golding Island.  We had never snorkeled the south side of that island, so started there today.  There wasn’t much to see, but Dave found a beautiful conch. 

Then we moved to the north side of the island.  The reef here is so diverse.  We just love floating along with the dinghy as the current, or wind, takes us.
you can see the top of the coral at the surface of the water


 We moved to a sandbar between Royal and Golding islands.  We had our picnic and beverages.  Dave cleaned the conch while we were here.  It’s really slimy and he figured he could use the sand to help clean his hands.  He ended up using his textured diving gloves.  Nice job.  We had a great conch salad when we got back to the boat.  I am going to add this shell to my collection.


live conch, but too small to carry

live conch, small

helmet conch


you can see the track where the conch moved

Dave cleaning conch





5-18 Thursday .  I listened to our marine weather forecaster this morning on the Single Side Band radio at 6:30am.  It sound like there is a front moving south along the coast of the US and will be in Florida by Monday and then hang around most of the week.  We decided we better get back to the US while the getting is good.  We moved the boat closer to Spanish Wells, only about 3 miles, but a shorter dinghy ride.  
We took the dinghy in for a few errands.  We went to Pinder’s market to use their dock. We bought diesel fuel and a few groceries.  We also dropped off our garbage there.  After those errands were completed, we walked to Buddha’s for our favorite meal.  I had their pine burger that had grilled pineapple on it.  And Dave had their chicken wings.  Fun place and good food.

chicken coupe

Back at the boat, we made water.  I also cooked up some of the meats I had in the freezer, hamburger and Italian sausage.  You can’t enter the US with raw meat that is not in it’s original wrapping.  I remove the meat from their package and vacuum seal them.  This way they will be cooked and easier for me to make meals while traveling.

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