Wednesday 8 Jan, BHS day 9, Dunmore town: A day on Pink Sands Beach getting thoroughly sandblasted.
The day starts with a prearranged phone call from the very helpful Navionics support desk. Their software (Chart Installer) does not seem to activate the two recent charts we bought for the plotter. They get me fixed on that plus also explain how I can get sonar charts on both the iPad and Raymarine plotter. Overall, a very constructive call.
These sonar charts (made from other yachts uploading their depth soundings), are extremely useful in the Bahamian shallow waters. We can now see the “real” depth picture where we ran aground near Spanish Harbour. The sonar charts are quite different to the Navionics depths. Interestingly, when I switch the plotter from Navionics charts to the sonar charts I get a strong message “Not to be used for navigation”. I wonder why? I’m sure it’s just a legal “cover your arse” comment by Navionics. It’s clear the sonar data is more accurate, but I guess they don’t want to be accountable for data that is uploaded by unknown sources.
The wind is arriving this morning as predicted. Already up to 15kts from NE. Time to get the kiting gear out. Oana is still not really well. Very sluggish this morning and with a bad cough now. I try to persuade her we should just stay on board but she insists I don’t miss out on the kiting opportunity. So we set off ashore with first the dinghy then the golf cart crammed full of beach and kiting gear. On the beach we set camp next to Coral Sands resort, where we rent two sunbeds for $20. And I’m soon in the water.
Annoyingly, the wind is quite fickle for my setup. I have my small board and 12m kite. I should have bought the bigger board and/or my 17m kite. The result is that in the gusts I manage to stay upwind and do some jumps but in the lulls I end up downwind and have to walk the kite back along the beach. However, when it’s good, it’s a brilliant place for the sport. Deliciously skimming over sparkling turquoise water and patches of coral heads. And of course the view of the white beach and green island is quite something so see from the water. The vivid turquoise color of my kite dancing in the sky really completes the pleasure.
Soon, two other kiters join the fun, but they are also having the same issue, not being able to stay upwind. So one by one we give up and come ashore. I take Oana from her shaded sunbed, where she is wrapped for warmth in towels, to the Dunmore hotel restaurant where we have a very nice and long drawn out latte while observing the rather chic (and several obviously gay) guests. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful resort …. with interesting guests 🙂
Following our afternoon coffee we head back to our beach chairs. The wind seems no higher than this morning so after an hour, and getting rather chilly and thoroughly sandblasted, we pack up and head back to Cloudy Bay. On the aft deck we spend quite some time to de-sand everything. The fine white sand seems to have penetrated everything’s we had on the beach.
In the evening we go back ashore to seek out night life. Both marina bars are empty as are most other places. The Dunmore has a very nice atmosphere but all the people are currently dining. Not what we are looking for. We end up in Flow Room, a small bar next to the dock which does have a few people. We settle for a cocktail chatting to the others there. Very nice bar but it’s not long before everyone else leaves for an early night (something we said?). This is clearly not an island to come to for Jazzy night life! Or maybe it’s just very quiet following the holiday period. Either way, we are back on board Cloudy Bay by 9pm and after running the generator for an hour we have an early night ourselves, braced for even more wind tomorrow.