January 31, 2022
We returned to Emerald Bay Marina on January 10; happy to get “home” to Slow Dancer and return to our adventure. Upon our return, we were required to take a two-day, post arrival COVID test to remain in the Bahamas. Dale had developed a bit of a cold (including minor aches, slightly elevated temperature, and some congestion) and we were concerned what the results of her test would indicate. But we both tested negative and, as far as the Bahamas was concerned, we were free to go on our way.
The next obstacle was a storm on its way. One thing we have learned about the Bahamas is that there is a storm waiting around every corner! We were still in the marina and, having another week available from our original month, why not be safe. We took advantage of the free laundry room at the marina, filled up at the fuel dock, walked to Sandals Resort and golf course next door and waited for the storm to hit.
The resort grounds are stunning! We walked the golf course, had lunch at the beach bar and walked around the marina.
Finally the day came to leave the marina and head to George Town to provision. There is no grocery store near the marina and we were longing for fresh food! The winds were blowing 14 knots and the seas were 3-4 feet, all coming right at us. Our biggest obstacle was to clear the breakwaters and head into deep water. Made it, but we did bounce a bit. A couple of hours in the oncoming waves and we turned into the cut to George Town. Wow! There are a lot more boats in here than when we left! This is quite a popular place!
Our goal was two days at anchor in George Town and we would head across Exuma Sound to Long Island, six hours away. We were looking forward to seeing a new island. After we shopped, we transported all of our groceries back to Slow Dancer aboard our dinghy that was tied to the dock behind the grocery store.
As we were getting Slow Dancer ready to leave for Long Island, we checked the weather. What? Another storm?! Ugh! This is the stormiest place! This one had winds in excess of 40 knots, but it wasn’t until Friday and this was Saturday. We debated going over and anchoring, but thought better of it when we saw that the winds would come from the west, right into the wide open bay. Better stay put. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t do some exploring!
We decided to do some snorkeling on a reef a mile or two away. So we loaded up our snorkel gear and took off!
We had a great time floating around the reef, pulling the dinghy with us. When we were done, we decided that it was time to get back into the dinghy. Oh, oh…..we forgot our new ladder. No problem, we used to get into “Tiny” without a ladder all of the time. Well, guess that’s why we called it Tiny, it was! This new dinghy was much taller and stiffer. No matter how much we tried, neither of us could scale the sides. We were in the middle of a small bay. The beach was quite a distance away. After 10 minutes or so of trying to get in, we decided to swim the mile or more to the beach and get in there. We passed another boat as we swam with our dinghy. They looked at us strangely, but no offer of help. Do other people swim with their dinghies?? We had heaved our gear aboard, so no fins or masks to help us go the distance. Finally our feet found sand and we were able to embark and launch “Go Fast” onward, a little tired, but on board. Lesson learned, ALWAYS take the ladder when snorkeling or swimming from the dinghy.
Saturday morning, 2:00 a.m., wham…..huge winds. We watched our anchor alarm as well as the other boats in our area. Thank goodness we were set well, 40+knot winds in the dark are no joke!
As I write this, we are sitting through our THIRD storm! This Saturday, February 5, looks better. Wish us luck escaping!