Farewell, Merlady

Stopping once again at Darby Island, Brian and I introduced Mark to the mermaid. The guys played a duet on the piano to bid her farewell.

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Time for fishing!

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Ahhhh…I’m ready!

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The guys snorkeled between Little Darby Island and Darby Island in search of conch. No luck. They did see two turtles, one starfish, and one very large stingray. They returned to the coral patch where Brian had scouted a school of schoolmasters (in a previous post we thought these were yellow-tailed snappers, but decidedly they are schoolmasters). Fish for dinner tonight!

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Mark had his first lesson at fileting fish.

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At Darby Island we shared a very special bottle of wine. Mark gave us this 2005 bottle of French wine on our wedding day and it was well worth the wait!

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Mark’s Survival Guide to Cruising Lesson 3: The Ocean is Powerful

Sailing south from Black Point on the Exuma Banks, we continued along Great Guana Cay.

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This conspicuous castle is a private home just outside of Black Point.

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We anchored near The Crossing on Great Guana Cay. The island provided a barrier from northeast winds and we enjoyed the calm, sprawling space.

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On the Exuma Sound, however, we watched a spectacular show from The Crossing performed by wind and waves. Huge breakers were crashing into the coastline of Great Guana Cay. We marveled at the beauty in the waves, the rushing waterfalls and shallow pools they left behind, and their brilliant blue wave crests just before they broke.

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Quite a different scene compared to the serene Exuma Banks.

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We did some beach combing on Great Guana Cay before returning to the boat. We were in search of a cave that we never did find, although had we walked just a bit farther around the corner it may have been there. I found a heart-shaped bean; these travel the ocean all the way from Africa. Mark found a sand crab who came out to say hello after a bit of coaxing.

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That evening at sundown we witnessed a green flash!

Mark’s Survival Guide to Cruising Lesson 2: Clean Clothes & Good Beer Make Sailors Happy

Laundry was the primary reason we’d returned to Black Point; after a week of guests it had really piled up! I got an early start so that I could be the first arrival at the laundromat (this plan backfired because the laundromat wasn’t open yet when I arrived). Brian and Mark made plans with Scott to go kiteboarding. When the laundromat did open it was rapidly filled to the brim with cruisers. No worries…it’ll get done eventually…

When the guys returned from kiteboarding, we headed ashore to partake in a picnic fundraiser for the local school. They were serving delicious, Bahamian foods and proceeds would fund a class trip to Nassau where students would tour historical sites. Approaching the picnic line, we all had a rare sighting of Stout beer. Brian, Mark, and I all beamed from ear to ear! Scott directed us to Lorraine’s Cafe where we could purchase Strong Back Stout, a Bahamian brew. This Stout was simply amazing! We savored every sip! We dined on BB-Q ribs, BB-Q chicken, peas and rice, coleslaw, and potato salad.

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Laundry was finally finished and hanging on deck to dry during the last of the afternoon’s sunshine. Now, it was time to celebrate 30th birthday style! Brian, Mark, and I went to Scorpio’s Inn where we sampled grouper fingers and hot wings. The guys agreed these were the hottest wings they’d ever eaten!

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That evening we shared homemade birthday cake with Scott and Brittany aboard Asante. Thanks to my Grandjean men for stealthy baking! Brittany treated us to her homemade sangria and Scott shared his stash of IPA’s with Brian and Mark. We had a great time swapping stories until the wee hours of the morning. Thanks so much for a memorable birthday!