Friday, March 24, 2023

June 10-11, 2022 Great Harbour Marina, Berrys Islands, Bahamas

 6-10 Friday. The weather was expected to be from the south for the next 2 days.  There wasn’t much protection from the south, so we decided to go around to the west side of the island and get a slip at Great Harbour Marina.  We called ahead to be sure we could get a slip.  This was the first time we had ever gotten a slip in a marina in the Bahamas in the 5 years we have been coming here.  Before leaving, Dave pulled lines and fenders out of the aft port lazerette.  He found the anchor rode/chain for the dinghy.  He wouldn’t have had to make a new one back in March when we got here.  
When we raise the anchor, we start the engine and Dave directs me to the move towards the anchor.  It was so calm today that we had drifted right next to our anchor. 

orange buoy is our anchor

Dave brought up the anchor with the power windlass and away we went.  We left about noon.  We could have walked across the island to get to the marina, but it takes 3-4 hours to get around the north end of the island by boat.  We passed a cruise ship docked at an island that they own.  There is an entire amusement park on the beach.  That’s what most people see when they go to the Bahamas.  We were at the marina by 3:00pm.
We're the red arrow and the marina is the pink circle across the island we would walk to
another squall


we are the red arrow, the marina is the pink square on the right.  we had to turn left and go through a man made channel to get into the marina
transiting the channel

We had power and could turn on the air conditioning!!  On Friday nights, the marina has “Grill and Chill”.  We placed an order for our dinner at the marina office.  About 5:30, 2 ladies set up the food at the gazebo near the docks and filled orders.  They filled the orders according to the sign up list, not when you arrived to pick it up.  Seemed like an odd system. Since we just arrived this afternoon, we were towards the bottom of the list.  We had waited outside with lots of bugs, so didn’t feel like being social.  We took our meals back to the boat and ate in our air conditioned boat.  We each had BBQ ribs with 2 sides and conch chowder.  Very good. 

We spent the evening filling out forms online to check out of the Bahamas with Customs.  We have never had to do this in the past.  New since COVID 19.  
6-11  Saturday Today we made final preparations for crossing back to the US.  We printed out the customs paper and met the customs agent at the marina office with several other boaters.  He had just been on a cruise ship checking in passengers.  Since tomorrow is Sunday, he met with us today, but we have 24 hours to actually leave.   We walked to a local convenience store and gift shop to buy a few gifts.  We also bought 2 dozen farm fresh eggs from a local lady.  
On the boat, I was able to clean the floors with the shop vac in air conditioning since we had power.  Easily entertained.  Dave transferred fuel from our jerry cans on deck to the fuel tank.  We had passed the fuel dock yesterday as we came in.  It looked like it would have been tricky to dock our boat perpendicular to the current and in shallow water.  So we took the dinghy to the fuel dock to refill the jerry cans.  $8.00/ gallon for diesel!!   We also toured the bay where the marina is located.


Back at the boat, Dave stored the jerry cans on deck, removed the outboard off of the dingy (with my help), and stored the dinghy on the davits for the crossing.  The weight of the motor stresses the davits.  And if you had to abandon ship in the dinghy, you probably wouldn’t have enough fuel to motor to shore.  
I made an egg bake with our fresh farm eggs and Dave’s homemade bread to eat on our passage.  Plus I threw in whatever breakfast meats we still had on board and needed to eat before entering the US.  We may just go straight to Brunswick, GA from here, which would take about 3 days.  
On Saturdays at this marina, you can order pizza from a local business.  They delivered it right to your boat.  Our experience with Bahamian pizza hasn’t been the best.  This was very good and larger than we expected.  We had great leftovers for lunch tomorrow.  

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