Eleuthera 52 mile sail

as good as sailing gets…..
IP32 Morning Grace and IP38 Moondance

Today was a day to sail across the Bight of Eleuthera. East winds at 20-25 gusting to 30. Course Northwest, sailing angle beam to broad reach. Waves 2-3 on the starboard stern quarter. The ride, smooth and comfortable. The autopilot sailing the entire leg holding the boat on the selected wind angle of 135 degrees, starboard reach. Boat speed ranged from 5-7 knots. We motored one hour in the am to charge up the battery bank, and we motored one hour at the end of the day to run into Current Cut. Island Packets are heavy yachts, but they really sail well in this kind of breeze. Running with our new boat buddies, IP32 MORNING GRACE and IP38 MOONDANCE, we all three had a dream sailing day and a safe passage through Current Cut. Tomorrow we will move 2 hours up to Spanish Wells where we will dock at Spanish Wells Yacht Haven. We need to wait out some unsettled weather, so we have selected to do that at a dock and enjoy the town. We are looking forward to this new destination!

Here are a few sailing photos of the 120 pictures I shot today!

IP32 Morning Grace at hull speed, beautiful sailing for Julie and Dixey

Island Spirit surfing at 7.34 knots in 25 knots

The chartplotter screen showing 7.0 SOG and the island of Eleuthera

The beautiful blue water and view from the cockpit.
The 135% jenny is furled to 110%

IP38 Moondance surfing the large swells. Great sailing, Nina and Bob

IP38 Moondance at hull speed, look at the stern wave


IP35 Island Spirit surfing waves with the water rushing by

The day ended with a beautiful sky off our sterns at anchor
IP38 Moondance at sunset

Another great day sailing the Bahamas. This life is so fun, exciting, adventurous and enjoyable. Yes, we live by the weather and we spend too much time working on weather, but planning ahead makes for better passages like today.

I published a video of this sailing, but it blew up my BTCbahamas data plan when I tried to upload it. So I bought more data. I will try again tomorrow…..Data down here is $30 for 2 GB for 30 days only! I have only used 2 GB since March 1, today starts my second 2 GB plan. Not bad for all the blogging, photos and emailing I have been doing this month.

Rock Sound Eleuthera

The waterfront building waiting for a rebuild….

While riding out the high winds from the gale up north and waiting to move on, Eleuthera is a great place to stay. Free water on the beach at a city tap, public pavilion for local events and cruiser gatherings, great grocery store, hardware store, service station and laundry with nice cafes and even a blue hole to explore. This harbor has a lot to offer the cruising sailor and it is easy to stay here. Now after 30 knot winds on anchor, we will sail the 20-25 knot winds northward through Current Cut and on to Spanish Wells. There we will need to ride out the next cold front on Saturday and Sunday. It has been a very windy winter and tough to move around at times. We are always looking for safe harbors…..

Note: We have not run into Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, who are hiding out here in Eleuthera. We think they are here at The Cove: http://www.thecoveeleuthera.com/

Here are some photos of Rock Sound, Eleuthera, Bahamas

Island Spirit off the docks on anchor

Do not break down here, because everything is expen$ive
Check this $78 bilge float switch!

Radeen showing where we are in Rock Sound

Good Friend Steve on IP38 SLOW FLIGHT. He makes great rum cake!

Good Friends John and Nina on IP40 Sunkissed

Buddy Boat IP38 Moondance Bob and Nina as we discover Sammy’s for brunch

WOW, look at this beautiful store! You don’t see this in Exumas

I love Island Architecture

Walking home with groceries. Imagine, no car for a year+

A good project house, this can be yours

A fixed up home for rent

Geno making fresh conch salad for us

Geno was proud of his salad, which we enjoyed with Julie and Dixey of  Buddy Boat IP32 Morning Grace

A sunset across Rock Sound, Eleuthera

Look, a gas station, hardware store and grocery store!

Radeen strikes a pose at the Ocean Hole, 600+ feet deep!

Sunset from anchor after the front passed by with 32 knots of wind

Next stop is a town new to us, SPANISH WELLS, on the northern tip of Eleuthera, where we will spend a few days exploring a prosperous fishing village. We have about 300 people a day visiting our blog and enjoying our trip. Thank you again for sailing along!

Sailing to Eleuthra

A beautiful am sail….

The sail from Cambridge Cay to Eleuthra is about a 45 mile leg, and usually a good sail. Today, we were expecting to motor the passage because the forecast was for light and variable winds. We departed at 0730 and raised sails in Cambridge Cay and found a beautiful 12-15 knot reaching wind on our port beam. So, we had a wonderful sail for about 3-4 hours until the winds moved NE and ended up light and 30 degrees off out port bow which we can not sail.

So we left the sails up and fired up the engine and motor sailed the rest of the way into Rock Sound where we dropped anchor. The winds are to build from the southwest tonight and blow 25-28 knots all day tomorrow, so we anchored off the western shore of this massive 1.5 mile by 3 mile harbor. If we want to run the tender to town, it would be a 1.5 mile run from this side of the harbor. So, we might just hang out here until the winds move NE. When that happens we will then pick up anchor and move the 1.5 miles to the other side of Rock Sound where we will be right off the town dock. There are about 15 boats anchored in here for the weather, and about 6 or maybe 7 are Island Packet Yachts. So, it looks like an IPY minivous!

Here are a few fun GoPro sailing photos taken today…

A very cool angle with the GoPro looking down the Main Sail to the deck

Sailing with the staysail and the full jib and main, making 6 knots

GoPro Camera out on the boat hook

Island Spirit sailing and running all on solar panels

Buddy Boat IP38 Moondance sailing full 
Blogging tools
As for our weather, THIS IS what it will do Tue and Wed, this is showing 25-30 knots of NW winds. This is WHY we anchored on the WEST side of the harbor.

Cambridge Cay Beauty

Look at this area with satellite….

This is truly the most beautiful seascape on earth….hands down. #1. The endless variety of colors of blue water, the beaches, the reefs, the mooring field, the Exuma Land and Sea Park management all make it a wonderland.

It is simply too beautiful! I can’t even get close to capturing the beauty in my photos. I tried to capture it by shooting over 300 photos in 2 days using filters, polarizing filters and even an underwater GoPro camera. Nothing captured the true scene. You need to add this spot to your Bucket List of destinations!

Here are my best 12 photos, of 300+ taken!

Johnny Depp is a SMART man to build here…
The SEA AQUARIUM is a wonderful snorkel site
Beaches, Beaches, Beaches, and no one on them!
Sea side where Bell Rock is located
Our fleet of 3, Island Spirit, Moon Dance, Morning Grace
Radeen with our beach umbrellas
Snorkeling one of the many reefs
Swimming back to the dinghy which is anchored in sand at Honeymoon Beach
Radeen explores the Sea Aquarium
Soft coral on the ledges at the Sea Aquarium
Elkhorn Coral formations at Tom’s Elkhorn Reef, south side, ocean side
Sea Aquarium as we swam the entire island

Study this location and turn on the satellite view then zoom in and look at all the reefs, beaches and beautiful waters…Tomorrow we make the run to Eleuthera and on to Abaco…

Black Point

Black Point Settlement is our identified southern most point, as we only have 3 weeks to explore these islands of the Exumas. This is the second largest settlement in the Exumas with 200 residents, Georgetown is the largest. Here at Black Point it is customary to visit Lorraine and her Mother. Lorraine opens her home for dinners and cooks the best meals and her Mother bakes the local breads. Rockside is the most impressive laundromat anywhere in the entire world. It is spotless and modern, with WiFi, Cable TV, a store, coffee and pastries. And then there is the view! 
No laundry has a view like this or a dinghy dock like this. This is the #1 laundry. So, while Radeen did 3 loads of laundry, I had the pleasure of rebuilding the head, you know, the toilet! Yes, stupid us, we had the Island Packet Factory rebuild all hoses, pumps and valves to the head, but did not tell them to replace the 4 year old toilet. Lucky for me, I had bought a new replacement head pump on our last day in Miami. The rebuild was easy, simply a matter of swapping out the pump assembly. 
While here at Black Point , we enjoyed our first meals out off the boat since leaving Miami 16 days ago. This was a real treat, especially after the yacht services and jobs. We enjoyed Scorpio’s for chicken BBQ with Bahamian mac ‘n cheese and Lorraine’s for lobster tails and rum punches.  It was a special treat to have Kathy and Dan of IP-440 Sea Star join us both evenings!
Sadly, with only 2 days here at Black Point, we will sail out and north up to Cambridge Cay, back into the Land and Sea Park. Cambridge Cay is reported to be many cruisers’ favorite place with great snorkeling and protection. 
Here are some Black Point photos
The well water pumps and front door view from the laundry

Our view from anchor at Black Point

The dinghy dock and our boat on anchor

The school house

Walking out of town

The one and only GARDEN of EDEN


Driftwood sculptures at the GARDEN of EDEN

The source of our connectivity, Batelco

Returning home with the laundry

Harbor water is so clean

Out to dinner with Julie and Dixey

Fun times at Scorpios

Out to dinner with Bob and Nina

The mailboat arrived and almost sunk our dinghies…..no joke….we had to run for it
Spare head pump…a last minute buy in Miami. Good decision!

How to take apart the head

Head removed, made it easier to rebuild

Swap out the new pump

Reinstall the head….all in about one hour

Life on a cruising boat is the best…..when all systems are running smoothly! Cruising = Fixing your Boat in Tropical Locations 🙂

Staniel Cay

Staniel Cay Harbor is great….

While anchored off Big Majors Spot Exuma Island, we ran the Yamaha 15 hp on our 10 foot AB dinghy back and forth to Staniel Cay Yacht Club for diesel fuel and Water. We jugged this fuel in 5 gallon containers and even when carrying 40 gallons of water, the dinghy would still plane and run at about 20 mph! Cruisers have always told us, you need a 15 hp Yamaha and a fast dinghy to cruise the lower islands and this was one day when it really did the job. If you anchor off Big Majors Spot with the swimming pigs, then it is 1 mile+ around the corner and across the bay to the yacht club and town. With a 25 mph tender, this run is quick and easy and dry! We ran into the Grotto to snorkel, we ran to town for a walk, we ran to the fuel dock for diesel and we ran back to the fuel dock for water. About 4 or 5 trip to town from the anchorage and it was no big deal because of the fast dinghy and high speeds we can run at. I agree, if you are going remote, you need a 10 foot+ dinghy and you need a 15 hp Yamaha 2 stroke outboard. It works very well. At about 2 pm, we picked up our anchors and set sail for a nice casual 10 mile broad reach south to Black Point.

Here are more photos of the Staniel Cay / Big Majors Spot area

A beautiful and well stocked store in Staniel Cay

Radeen at the PINK store, can you tell where the name came from?

The PINK store

Nina and Radeen at the BLUE store
Down by the harbor and boatyard

Check out our shadow on the sand under Island Spirit

I love taking these clear water shadow photos
We jugged 40 gallons of water and paid $0.40/gallon + a $4.00 tip ($20)

We jugged 9.2 gallons of diesel fuel

This is where we added fuel and water, while on anchor

Sailing with one of our new buddy boats, MORNING GRACE, heading for Black Point

Blue water under our keel

Shadows under the bow

The swimming pigs on the beach right off our boat

Reaching for Black Point in the late afternoon

The Pride of Staniel Cay, the TIDA WAVE
Joel painting the TIDA WAVE

Notice his brush, he is making the line PERFECT

Touching up the blue and the while line

TIDA WAVE on the beach at Staniel Cay Yacht Club, launching at low tide
They roll her back at low tide then let the high tide lift her

Radeen and Nina pose for a “PhotoBoy” shot at Staniel Cay Yacht Club

Joel is very proud of the community effort and the TIDA WAVE program

Staniel Cay is another must stop visit, it is a beautiful piece of paradise in the middle of the Exuma Islands.

Big Majors Spot

Proof of swimming pigs….

Yes, pigs CAN swim, and they do swim right out to greet you as you dinghy into the beach at Big Majors Spot. The locals placed these pigs here and now, today, we counted over 20 little piglets and about 4 large adults. Did I tell you I LOVE HAM?….so if you seen one hanging from our mast as we sail out, you will know why!

Inside the grotto and looking up

Besides the entertaining pigs on the sandy beach, there is the must-snorkel THUNDERBALL GROTTO which is accessible at low tide. With the tide down 2-3 feet, the undercut of the rocks open up and you can swim into the cave. The ceiling is open with several holes to the sky so the lighting is spectacular. It was even more special than last year. Very cool place to swim. The coral is also very colorful and the fish are well trained and approach you looking for free food. Some even nip at your hands. On the ocean side of the grotto, there is a low ledge that you can swim under into the bright blue light from sunlight over the cave. Over all, this grotto is a must do swim when at Big Majors and Staniel Cay. Here are the photos of the day. Enjoy.

Radeen is a PISCES….she loves to swim!

Exiting the grotto to sea

The coral is beautiful around the grotto

More fans and coral at the grotto

Brain coral and Radeen

Diving down and looking up at the surface shows the water clarity

Boat Buddy NINA strikes a pose 

A really cool trumpet fish with a BLUE nose

Motor Yacht “LAZY Z” has a three story, inflatable water slide!

Gateway 2000 Computer CEO/Owner, Ted Waitt’s yacht “PLAN B”

Check out the scale of “PLAN B”… amazing

Photographer on the beach, taking piglet pictures

Resting time for the adult pigs on the beach

Yacht crew feeding left overs to the hungry pigs

Cute baby pigs on the sand, we counted 20+

NOT MINE, but a local fisherman cleaning a Mahi Mahi

Nurse Sharks at the fish cleaning station with kids petting them

The beach nearStaniel Cay Yacht Club


The “CAR” doing about 20 en-route to the Grotto

Radeen ready to hit the snorkel site

The view from our boat at dinner time

Boat Buddies BOB and NINA take in the sunset from their Island Packet 38 MOONDANCE

Another wonderful day in the Exumas. Tomorrow we need to jug a little fuel, 10 gallons, and jug a little water, 50 gallons. Then we will sail 9 miles to Black Point Settlement for much needed laundry and dinner ashore!

Warderick Wells Last Day

The USA Flag off Warderick Wells….

Tomorrow we will depart Warderick Wells and move on south to Big Major and Staniel Cay Yacht Club where we may find some BTC Bahamas Cell towers and some connectivity. This has all been uploaded via satellite communications and at a very slow speeds and expensive fees…

Here are a few photos from today, we really love it here…We hope you enjoy the photos.

Our sandbar that dries at low tide, once again

Mooring Ball #15, right off the beach and the park office

It is fun to walk along the sand bar edge where it drops off to 30+ feet

Nearly a shear drop off, fun to swim off

We take the dinghy over and anchor it on the bar

Look how cool this is….our yacht in deep water and the tender on the sandbar

Another beautiful sunset

Thank you for enjoying the photos of the most beautiful place in the Bahamas, now on to find more beautiful places….

Warderick Wells Dayz

IP 38 Moondance and IP 32 Morning Grace at Boo Boo Hill
Why leave Warderick Wells? Why move on? Why not stay? Well, that is what we are saying, and staying we are. We will play here one more day to snorkel and hike and visit and relax with zero worries and safe living on a secure mooring ball in a safe harbor. Tough to beat for $15 per night and $15 for 100 megs of satellite Internet connectivity. Today we placed our name board on top of Boo Boo Hill, a cruiser tradition, Thanks to Dixey of IP32 MORNING GRACE, who carved and painted a cool custom made board.We know, we know, it is supposed to be drift wood, so we drifted this board in the water and it became drift wood! 
Hayden and Radeen on the reef

After our hike to the hill and the overlook, we hit the reef and went snorkeling again seeing giant lobsters, Nassau Grouper, and beautiful live coral. We baked two more loaves of bread to give a way, one loaf to a smaller boat with a young couple aboard and one loaf for the park office staff. They told me they have not had bread for two weeks so they were very happy to have a fresh baked loaf. What a joy to share. After swimming and enjoying the beach right off our beam about 100 yards, we used our solar shower which made the water almost too hot to take a shower. I am guessing the water was 110 degrees at least.  The evening was shared on our boat buddies boat, IP32, Morning Grace where Dixey and Julie hosted us for a very fun night of stories and visits. As it is said so many times about cruising, it is the people you meet while our cruising that make it so memorable. Add great people to a great location like this and you have a wonderful adventure!

 Photos of today
Beautiful Coral Reef

Crystal Clear Waters

Bob & Nina and Dixey & Julie post snorkeling

Radeen, the fish, loves to swim

Hayden, sharing bread with others

Looking good, these turned out great

The beach swim platform and our mooring ball #15

The view from the beach to our boat

Overlooking the Warderick Wells north harbor

Julie waves as she makes the final climb to Boo Boo Hill

Looking East to Exuma Sound

Park Office on the left, Island Spirit just over the trees on the right

Julie and Dixey with our sign board

Bob and Nina with our sign board

Radeen and Hayden with our sign board


Captain Dixey places our board on the historic hill

Bob and Nina arrive at the party

Selfie photo of Dixey, Radeen and Hayden on IP32 Morning Grace

The end of a another beautiful day
And then a full moon rose off our bow over the beach!
This is an example of a perfect day at Warderick Wells, Exuma Land and Sea Park, Bahamas. Thanks for sailing along.
Uploaded via a satellite Internet connection at a very, very slow pace.

Warderick Wells Fun

On Mooring Ball #15 right off the Park Office…

We can not imagine a more beautiful place to sail into and to spend a few days exploring. Warderick Wells in the Exuma Land and Sea Park is a world treasure like nothing else. The most clear water surrounded by coral reefs, tropic fish, sand bars that dry at low tides, hiking trails to overlooking ridges, no cell phone coverage, minimum Internet only via $atellite$ and no stores, no water, no electric, nothing. You may take nothing but pictures, you may not fish or lobster, you may not shell. You must take nothing, and leave nothing. No trash disposal, no docks, no town, restaurants and no bars. It is beautiful!

Today, we slept in on the security of a mooring ball, we baked bread to share, we went snorkeling on two coral reefs and one sunken ship. We walked the sand bar and we took hundreds of photos. Nothing can show the true beauty of Warderick Wells. We really love it here. THIS IS THE TRUE BAHAMAS….

The view of the North Mooring Field from the Park Office
You learn to navigate the Bahamas by the water colors. Darker is Deeper

Our boat on ball #15 with a swim platform towards the sandy beach
Hayden baking bread, our first loaves of homemade bread
Radeen with the DIVE flag as we snorkel the reefs
Hayden setting the anchor for diving
Swimming from the swim platform next to our boat, right off the beach
Radeen on the sandbar at low tide
Radeen takes a rest with the Island Spirit off in the distance

The clear waters and the shadow of the dinghy on the bottom

The view our our galley porthole looking at the swim platform and beach
Full Moon rising over Warderick Wells reflecting off Island Spirit

So, our first full day at Warderick Wells was a dream day. Relaxing, calm, adventurous, exciting, fun and costs $15…plus $15 for Internet….not a bad value for $30. We will stay here a few more days…..Thank you again for sailing along.

Go to Google Maps and search out Warderick Wells, Exumas, Bahamas, then look at the Satellite images of this place, it is so beautiful. If I had the bandwidth and connectivity I would give you a link.