Sunday, May 20, 2012


Well, we're back.  (Phooey.)  Wind Dancer is now in Boot Key Harbor, Marathon Key, Fl, heading north tomorrow morning for an overnight sail to Fort Myers Beach.  We left George Town almost three weeks ago (how time flies!) and had a fabulous trip up the Exumas.  After sailing up the Sound (ocean side), we crossed over to the bank via Cave Cay Cut and spent our first evening anchored out at Black Point, just south of Staniel Cay, and met a delightful couple (Fred & Patti) on s/v Casa Mare.  After a couple of days at Black Point, we "buddy boated" with  Casa Mare northward through the Exumas, stopping off to anchor overnight at Big Majors Spot next to Staniel Cay (home of the cruiser-friendly, swimming pigs), then the Rocky Dundas (cool caves that you can snorkel into or dinghy into if the tide is really low), Compass Cay, Shroud Cay (remember the dinghy trip through the mangroves on our way down the Exumas in February when the tide went out and left us stranded?), Norman's Cay, and, finally, an overnight stay in Nassau at the Harbor Club Marina.  In Shroud Cay, we picked up another "buddy boat" (Jim & Carol on Windquest) and we three boats sailed from Nassau across the banks to Cat Cay, where we stayed at the Cat Cay Yacht Club before departing the next day for Miami.  After a couple of nights at the Miami Marina Bayside, we bid our buddy boats adieu and Wind Dancer sailed south for the Keys.  We anchored out overnight at Rodriguez Cay, awoke at 6:00a.m. to a squall with tons of lightning and, since our anchor was dragging, decided that we might as well get moving.  We sailed into Marathon later that day and are once again at Boot Key Harbor, doing some minor reprovisioning before heading to Fort Myers tomorrow.

Dear friends of ours, Daren & Nancy Tackis on s/v Flying Dogs, left Rockport, TX a few weeks ago, taking the ICW around the Gulf Coast en route to their eventual destination of Costa Rica.  They have spent the past couple of weeks in Pensacola, leaving there yesterday (Saturday) and we think the timing will be perfect for us to rendezvous in Fort Myers as they make their way down the Florida coast.  It will be great seeing them again!

Since it's been almost three weeks since our last blog, obviously the above is an abbreviated version of the  wonderful sailing, snorkeling, etc. that we have enjoyed.  However, since a picture is worth a thousand words (and since we owe you some anyway, as I recall), we're posting a jillion of them at the end of this so you can see some of the highlights of the last three weeks.  We have truly had an extraordinary trip and look forward to doing it again in the fall.  One of the greatest benefits of the cruising lifestyle is the friends you make at various stops along the way.  Al and I agree that we have made more friends during our three months in the Bahamas while cruising than we made during the previous 30 years of our marriage.  And we know we'll run into many of them again on future trips, where we'll make even more friends!  What a great thing to be able to look forward to!

That being said, we'll now post pics for you.  Thanks for following us for these many months. We hope you've enjoyed the ride.

Fair Winds from the Crew of Wind Dancer
Sue, Al, Sophie & Chelsea

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


This will be rather quick but wanted to let everyone know we’re alive and well.  We’re going to be leaving George Town tomorrow morning and sailing north, headed for the States.  We plan on taking our time and stopping off at places that we missed on our way down the Exuma chain of islands.  On the way down, we increased our efforts to reach George Town in order to address our broken refrigeration unit and the broken battery charger.  The refrigerator is once again working and the batteries are once again charging, so we’re eager to see some of the gorgeous places we missed.

However, we have had a GREAT time in George Town.  We ended up staying here long enough to be able to see the Family Island Regatta, the largest regatta in the Bahamas, and it was a sight to see.  All the entrants are Bahamian sloops, built by Bahamians to very strict standards.  The boats are classic wooden boats with enormous sail area (the sails are made of cotton canvas), the booms extending far out past the stern of the boat.  No winches are allowed to be used; it’s strictly “people power.”  The boats line up at the start by anchoring and then falling back.  When the start gun goes off, some of the crew works feverishly pulling up the anchor while others work on raising the jib and the mainsail, all by hand.  There are several classes of sloops, including a junior handling class, and the regatta lasts for a total of four days.  The cruisers, such as Al and myself, get in their dinghies and zip around the race course with the sloops and, boy, are they fast!  We have to have our motor maxed out to keep up with them!  We accidentally ended up having the best seat in the house between races.  Wind Dancer was on a mooring directly adjacent to Amazing Grace, the service boat for two of the most famous of the racing sloops:  Lady Muriel and Tida Wave.  Both sloops were kept at Amazing Grace at night and between races, so Al and I were able to view them and their crews “up close and personal.”  Beautiful hand-made boats.  In any case, Lady Muriel (my favorite) ended up taking first place overall in the regatta, with Tida Wave taking second place.  Both boats are from Staniel Cay so we’ll be able to see them again on our way back up the Exumas.

That’s about it for now.  Our weather window for the next few days looks great for sailing, so off we go.  We’ll keep you posted along the way as internet connections permit.  In the meantime, as always, wish you were here!  (We have an early start must cut this short and get to bed.  Photos will follow with the next blog.)

Fair Winds from the Crew of Wind Dancer
Sue, Al, Sophie & Chelsea