Sunday 9 Feb, BHS day 41: Lovely sail north, from Little Farmers Cay to Black Point, where the objective is to do laundry but we end up walking the island instead.
It was a very peaceful night with the cooling wind gently blowing from the east. It was also a night of a full moon. At midnight the shallow sea shone a wonderful light blue, as the bright moonlight lit up the white sand below. Quite magical.
In the morning, we plan to leave at 8:30 along with Mahina, to Black Point settlement, just 8 miles north. So as soon as we are up, we head over to Pearl of Penzance to say our goodbyes to Pete and Tracy over a morning cup of tea. Pete proudly shows us photos of two huge lobsters he caught and grilled yesterday. Then farewells. We’ve had a lovely time cruising together over the last 2 weeks.
Once back on Cloudy we immediately lift the anchor and follow Mahina out over the shallows and onto the bank. She will be our “white stick” today. Once safely in 4m of water we unfurl 3/4 of the mainsail and have breakfast sailing at 6kts on a shy starboard reach. Mahina puts out their full mainsail and also her solent foresail. It’s a lovely 15-18kts of wind on the beam and she is soon pulling away from us at quite a healthy rate. Oana and I don’t say anything to each other but we both instinctively gobble down breakfast, knowing “the race is on”! With Mahina steaming away at 8.3kts we have some catching up to do.
With breakfast cleared away our genoa is out and we are doing 9kts over the flat water. Pretty much as fast as Cloudy can go. Bit by bit we catch Mahina until we hang in their dirty wind while each boat takes photos of the other. Then we punch our way through their dirty wind and leave Mahina in our wake. Oana and I are silent, but grinning. We both love a good race! Well, Ian and Michelle have a good record of boat racing too, and it’s nice to be out there with them.
Closing on Black Point we furl away the main and let them catch us up. We need them in front again to “white stick” us into the shallow bay of Black Point settlement. As soon as they tell us “12ft water” we stop and search for our anchor spot, while they proceed further into the bay. By luck, we picked the perfect spot, the closest yacht to the dinghy dock. And we are anchored in 3.8m of water. That should be safe at low tide.
The anchorage is rather busy, lots of boats here. And we suspect most of them came from Little Farmers just like us, once the regatta has finished. Are they all here to do their laundry too? 😊
We planned for an admin day today, with focus on laundry. An hour later Ian and Michelle come on board, and we enthusiastically start with a break, treating them with our nice Nespresso coffee. Same as us, they are not exactly crazy about doing laundry either. Then we all proceed to the dock with our laundry. The best laundromat in the Exumas apparently. Only to find that it’s shut on Sundays! We should have realized.
So instead, we take a walk through the small settlement. The view over the anchorage is rather pretty, and as we walk towards the beach we realise that at low tide the sand bank seems to take one third of the bay, it is that wide. Then we walk to the rugged coast and beaches on the windward side, where there is an interesting arch in the coral limestone. The sea on this windward side is very agitated as the wind is building and our sunglasses are soon covered in a film of salt spray.
As we walk back through the village, the local men are all chatting next to their bar, on their day off. Apparently all the men on the island work here and there on other islands, such as Staniel Cay, leaving the women running the settlement during the week. We also chat to a few, congratulating them on winning the regatta yesterday – Crazy Partner, the winning boat, is from Black Point.
At the end of the village we sample the local rum punch at Emerald Sunset View bar, with a great view of the anchorage. Then we move to Lorraine’s café for dinner. This island seems to have zero tourism (other than the yachts) and for once in the Bahamas we get a meal and drinks for what seems a reasonable price.
We are back to Cloudy by 7:30pm, surprised by the wind strength. Forecast was 18kts but it’s now gusting over 27kts and Cloudy is yawing all over the place. While we have been away another yacht has anchored rather close to us right in the middle of the channel to the government dock. Some people really need a lesson in anchoring etiquette. That said, compared to the Mediterranean anchoring charades, it’s positively polite in the Caribbean.
We have 7GB of mobile data to use by tomorrow, so we upload the next edited video during the evening. Immediately after uploading there is yet another copyright claim. Despite us having a license for the drone music we use, some other organization keeps laying claims to it. Of course we dispute all such claims, but the crazy thing is that until the dispute is solved, YouTube automatically gives that claimant all our revenue and us zero! And the disputes are settled in 30days. It seems there is a huge load of scams out there, by claiming rights to anything and everything that people like us publish… and YouTube automates paying them in preference to such like us. Now, let it be said, our aim in uploading videos is not to make money, but still, this situation is seriously maddening – that others are able to make money out of our hard work. Ooph, sometimes it seems the modern world is just fully of unscrupulous people.