Monday, January 31, 2011

Now for Something Different...

Now For Something Different....

January 31, 2011

Nassau to Sampson Cay – 2011

1/11/2011: Nassau to Alan's Cays – 30nm

1/12/2011: Alan's Cays to Emerald Rock (Wardwick Wells) – 31nm

1/15/2011: Emerald Rock to Sampson Cay – 17nm

1/24/2011: Sampson Cay to Staniel Cay – 4nm

1/25/2011: Staniel Cay to Big Major Spot – 1nm

1/26/2011: Big Major Spot to Cambridge Cay – 15nn

1/29/2011: Cambridge Cay to Sampson Cay – 13nm

Total Miles To Date: 1095nm

We made landfall in my beloved Exumas at 2:00 PM on the 11th of January and dropped the hook just off Alan's Cays (actually 3 small Cays). I was home. The Exumas, their varied Cays, and their people make up (to me at least) one of the best places to cruise on this old earth.

The Exuma chain of Islands run like a string of conch pearls roughly North / South. With prevailing winds out of the East anchoring is simple – just snuggle up to the West side of a Cay and drop the hook. That leaves you with and nothing but the horizon between you and some of the most beautiful sunsets this old boy has ever seen. Every sunset and every sunrise is unique to the point it will take your breath away. While at Sampson we have seen 2 “green flashes” (yes they do exist – see photos), a double rainbow over “Gigi's Island” and more beautiful sunsets than you can imagine.

The people...Oh the people. Sampson Cay, Staniel Cay, Compass Cay, Black Point Settlement folk remind me of the “Old South.” You are welcomed like the prodigal son when they see you coming. Genuine smiles of kinship and, “I knew you come back Mon” or “I make chicken souse for you tomorrow for breakfast Mon.” I feel at home here as much as I do in North Carolina.

Then there is the peace of dawn over the Cays and what the morning light does to the clouds.... Which brings me to the “something different.” I decided

to take a shot a poetry. Like it or no here it is.

Caribbean Dawn

The sun clears the cay

and paints the new day

with brilliant reds, yellows,

and splashes of blue.

As clouds come ablaze with the

hues of morning gray-green

water stirs to life

with gifts of the sun.

The sun climbs the sky and

the waters of the banks shoulder

off their muted night cloak of gray.

Slowly at first a hint of green lights

the waters that yield to vivid transparent aqua.

The dark blue, emerald rimed,

waters of the deep shout,

You are safe here..Safe Here!”

The yellow-green of the skinny

water bathes the sight. Navigable

only by skiff, offering conch,

shelling, and other hidden treasures.

The midnight black of the coral shows

her heads so clear. “Don't tread on me,”

she says but adds, “Life here, Life here.”

Clouds shield sun's light

and lie water's faithful colors

hiding waters true nature

from the sailor sight.

Stay the course but be aware.

Magenta, gold, and bluebonnet clouds,

Coffee.. reflective coffee, and another

Caribbean dawn greets the Soul.

We are off tomorrow to deliver our school books to the All Age School at Black Point Settlement (and have pizza and visit friends). I expect Gigi will “have to” get a “do” at Ida's Laundromat and BeautyParlor before she will let us leave. Until next time.

Fairwinds and Rum Drinks,

Vic Copelan

PS – Then there was this one party at Sampson Cay Club for “absent shipmate” Shirley & Mac....

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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Ft.Lauderdale to Nassau - 1/5-6/2011

  • 1/5-6/2011 Middle River Ft. Lauderdale to Nassau - 169 nm / 28 hours.
Total Miles to Date: 981

We are in Nassau and will move over to the Exumas probably on Tuesday 11, 2011 after a mostly easy crossing. I say "mostly" because the first 6 hours were like being in a washing machine (take a look at the series of photos in the web photos album). The rest of the trip was drop dead beautiful. The banks were calm, the "Tongue of the Ocean" gave us a little sail with flat seas and we were in and tied up by 3:00 PM at Nassau Harbor Club.

Fairwinds and Rum Drinks,


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