Staniel Cay, Exumas, Bahamas - The sailing yesterday couldn’t have been more perfect. We left Allen’s Cay (pronounced “Key”) early in the morning and sailed all day to arrive here in Staniel Cay. We never used the motor, and sailed all the way at 8-9 knots. Sebastian was in heaven and kept saying in Spanish, “we’re moving like a fire truck!” Apparently, that means we were going very, very fast. The water was smooth, sun shining… it was a 10!
Allen’s Cay was an amazing anchorage… there is no town or anything, just two islands full of iguanas. It seems it an extinct breed of iguana germane to Bahamas. As we approached one of the islands in our dinghy, the iguanas came out of the woodwork and onto the beach en masse to “greet” us. Quite intimidating as there were so many and it was unclear what their intentions were. I guess over time, man has altered their behavior by feeding these iguanas, so they are conditioned to come running out – for food – when they hear a motor approaching. It turns out they were harmless and actually more scared of you, than you of them. As soon as you approached them, they would scatter away. We all had fun playing with them.
Here on Staniel’s Cay, there is a population of 100 locals, two yacht clubs and what seems to be a lot of tourists. There are definitely a good number of sailboats at the anchorage where we are – about 20 – and yesterday after arriving we heard over the radio: “This is the Staniel Cay Yacht Club, alerting you that the Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers game is about to begin. We have a two-for-one happy hour, so come on over!” Who knew there would be such a good “marketing” strategy here… before we knew it, we saw many sailors board their dinghies and head for the yacht club. By the time we got there to check internet, there was a room full of drunk people yelling at the flat screen TV. It felt like a little bit of home right here in the middle of nowhere!!!
The other highlight of this Cay is that there is beach full of pigs that roam freely. We saw 2-3 when we dinghied past yesterday, and since we were in a hurry to make it to the club before dark, we said we would visit the beach and the piggies today! So, lo and behold, we went to the island today but … where were the pigs?! I was so excited to see them as we were told they like to swim in the water too… but to no avail. From there, we took a little dinghy ride and found a very cool cave that the kids ventured into…
So, life aboard continues. The kids are still finding creative ways to keep themselves busy. Not once have they said, “I’m bored.” I do have to admit that math is not a favorite subject and I keep trying to come up with creative ways myself to teach it (notice the math lesson using clothespins in the pictures below). There is a lot of pushback and negotiation involved whenever we start the math lesson, and I can honestly say, I do not enjoy teaching in that way.
We’ve gotten creative with the food preparation too! Benjie says he keeps craving some grilled chicken and Sofia misses the food from “The Old Neighborhood Grill” in Evanston. I am taking a break from preparing canned tuna, as we were very lucky to receive a box full of free vegetables from a local back in Morgan’s Bluff. We were thrilled… inside were two heads of huge cabbage, a huge squash, yucca (which they call “casawa”) and some bell peppers. Does anyone have a cabbage recipe to share? I would hate for it to go to waste. The extent of y knowledge of cooking with cabbage is a cabbage salad and also some stuffed cabbage—one of my mom’s recipes. (Speaking of my mom, today marks the first anniversary of her passing, so we plan on going into town to say some prayers at church in her honor.)
The weather has still been a little chilly. Even though the sun is shining, it is too cold to go swimming or snorkeling. Unfortunately, we don’t have wetsuits. The other day is rained like crazy and McGyver (Sebastian) rigged a little tube that emptied into a jug, to catch some of the water for us to drink. One full gallon!!! Sebas was very proud of himself, and the water was delicious!
The plan is to stay here a few days. Next Destination: Farmer’s Cay or perhaps all the way to Georgetown.
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FOUNTAINE PAJOT ATHENA 38 CATAMARAN FOR SALE – After our wonderful experience, BEGONIA is ready for its next sailing family – with or without children! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.