The Berry Islands, Feb 8th

We left at first light with Nancy Lu to Great Harbour on the North Berry Islands. We were able to sail for about 3 hours on this 16 hour trip. We arrived and anchored on the Bank 7 nautical miles from the Harbour at 23:00 hrs just outside the channel in 17 ft of water , to wait for daylight and high tide to cross shallow water to arrive at our final anchorage at Bullocks Harbour. After anchoring just off the channel Sue graciously offered to take the first anchor watch; and, her IPad served as a worthy companion to pass the time! Nina took over at 02:00 – 4:30 then Adrien decided we didn’t need to do an anchor watch! Shortly after first light we weighted anchor and went into the harbor anchoring at 07:00… then we took naps!! We dink’d in to Great Harbour and took a walk to the Airport, had lunch at the Tiki Hut across the street, then enjoyed a 3 mile walk along the gorgeous Hawks Nest Beach, picking shells, sand dollars and sea biskets. We also found a sea cucumber and watched it lay eggs. Back to Dolphin for relaxing cocktails and a beautiful sunset, then a delicious dinner.

Sunday we dink’d into Bullock Harbour and attended 11am Service at St Bartholomew Church. As we were singing the first of many Hymns, we noticed Dolphin sitting at her anchor out in the open bay. Sue took a photo, but complained about the red trash barrel in the foreground. Almost as if Dolphin heard the complaint, she soon started moving away from the barrel. Very soon she moved to the next window!!!! She was drifting!!! Now Nina and I had to make our excuses and leave the Service to rescue our retreating vessel . We rushed to the dinghy and raced out at full speed, climbed aboard , started the engine, retrieved the sliding anchor and motored into Great Harbour to take our reserved Slip. After securing Dolphin to the dock we waited for a cab, drove back to Bullocks Harbour. Stopped for a few minutes for groceries ( store was about to close) then to the church to pick up Sue. To our surprise, Service was still in process ! So we dismissed the cab, returned to our seats and participated in the remaining 20 minutes of the service! We got a ride back to Dolphin by a parishioner, Élan and his wife Ruth, changed and walked about the Marina dock, watched a gentlemen remove and clean a Conch, then we watched Nina learn to clean a Conch with his sharp fishing knife. Those suckers are slimy and slippery; thankfully she still has all her fingers! Shortly thereafter a Happy Hour started on the dock. It’s great to meet up with other boaters at this most relaxing time of day! Too tired to cook we took a very short walk to Rocky Hill Restaurant for a delicious dinner of cracked conch, fried and sautéed fish. Thanks for the treat Sue!

As Nemo fizzled out up North Sue decided she could delay her departure no longer. She grabbed a cab for an early morning flight to Nassau, then to BOS. It was sad to bid farewell. Sue is a fantastic First Mate, and great companion! After she left we had some breakfast, made small talk on the dock, and watched 2 Manatees hovering several slips away from us. Adrien enjoyed serving them fresh water ! Wow, what a great time seeing them rollover on their backs relishing the dripping fresh water!

We rented a small, decrepit Suzuki Jeep and explored the Island with Mark and Timmy(Dashound) from NancyLu. We visited the remains of the Rat Pack Resort and enjoyed a strong blow and beautiful view from the vista, explored a cave on the eastern rocky shore, and some beautiful beaches. Back to the Dock and we were invited by the crew of Sea Bear( Jack Nicklaus’ MegaYacht) for Dark and Stormy’s. After chatting with more Dock Mates and locals, we retired to Dolphin for a lite dinner and a relaxing evening drafting the Blog together .

Great Harbour Cay to Soldier Cay and Hoffman Cay
We refueled, filled the water tanks and left the dock at 08:30, met up with Nancy Lu at their outside anchorage and motored north around Stirrup Cay, close by some parasailors and a large cruise ship then motorsailed to SoldierCay. We anchored close to a beautiful beach and spent the afternoon exploring and snorkeling. The next day we did more exploring, met up with S/V Nemo ( Don and Judy who we had met at Great Hrbr Marina). Together with Nemo we left for Hoffman Cay, about 5 miles south. We said goodbye to Nancy Lu as they were headed East to Spanish Wells. At Hoffman Cay, just a few miles further south we explored a “Blue Hole ” met more interesting boaters and hosted “Happy Hour ” on Dolphin with S/V Hug from Norway and M/V Eider.

First view of Hawks Nest Beach

Adrien contemplates the cosmos!!

Beautiful walk at low tide. It reminds me of Chapin Beach in S. Dennis, MA
Adrien belongs here!

There is another Nina?

Manmade entrance to Great Harbor Cay Marine, very protected.

St Bartholomew’s Church service. The ladies come dressed to the nines! There are two keyboard players and a lead singer, and many hymns played throughout the mass. Everyone sings from the heart with vigor, but it’s hard to hear the melody or the words !!

Mom and young Manatee hang around the dock hoping for fresh water!

“Sea Bear”, Jack Nicholas’ yacht

Parting is such sweet sorrow!

View from the Rat Pack Resort ruins

Adrien learned how to open coconuts by smashing the crown of the shell on the concrete. He has a new pastime…. Finding ripe coconuts. He loved the coconut mike for his drinks, I love to crunch on the coconut meat! It’s become part of our daily diet!

Path to the cave

The shades of blue water are always stunning!

Fun exploring the cave.

Inside out

Captain and Chauffeur!

Sue’s picture of Dolphin from Church just before she drifted! She’s just to the left of the red can.

Soldier Cay , A view I would never tire of!

Cheers to a great day!

Hoffman Cay

A short walk up hill rocky path led us to the “Blue Hole”. Salt water, it rises and lowers with the tide and houses an abundance of fish. No one knows how deep it is!

Nina swims!

20130311-172044.jpgA Sun Downer on Dolphin with “Nemo”, “Eider” and “Hug” from Norway.

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