Thursday, February 26, 2009

Making Progress South

Thursday morning the wind was still blowing 20-25 from the NNE - but we decided it was time to leave the pigs behind and head out.

It was a great day to sail and save fossil fuel as we made our way south to Little Farmer's Cay. We're anchored on the western side of the Cay. This Cay is a three and a half mile long island with about 55 residents. The cay was first settled in the Loyalist period by two brothers. It got its name because it used to be farmed - mostly fruit trees - but the trees were all destroyed in a hurricane in 1926. It is a very classic Exuma town with friendly, helpful people. We'll head into town tomorrow

The sail today was a blast. We hit 7.2 knots under a deeply reefed head-sail. We made the 22 or so miles in three and a half hours. It was a little wet as some waves crashed over the decks as the seas were still a bit choppy - but it was a fun sail.

Yesterday (Wednesday) we spent a bit of the day in Staniel Cay and had a belated birthday lunch (thanks mom) at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club. It was our first conch of the year. Conch (pronounced Konk) is a mollusk that lives in those large, beautiful, pink seashells. There are mounds of those shells all around the Bahamas. The shells are used as yard/street edging as well as they are made into conch horns - and often blown at sunset. The living conch are becoming harder and harder to find on
the bottom - as they have been over collected. You have to go deeper and deeper to find them. They are a treat - and are often served as a conch salad (raw conch marinated in a lime juice with onions, green peppers and some hot sauce); cracked conch which is deep fried conch (what we had yesterday) and sautéed conch (which requires some heavy beating of the mollusk to tenderize it). All are great treats. We hope before we leave the Bahamas to have it several more times (especially if Michael
can hunt some!)

We also bought some fresh out of the oven Bahamian bread. My attempt at bread wasn't exactly successful. It's edible - but pretty heavy. Better as toast with butter and jam! The bread we bought is tasty! Some locals tried to sell us a giant lobster (the spiny kind - not Maine style) for $20. It was HUGE! But we had just eaten out and were stuffed - so we passed.

Now we're comfortably sitting at anchor with the wind still blowing. There are seven boats out here - a Swiss boat, a French boat, French Canadians, and four US boats.

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