Highbourne Marina to Cave Cay - January 16, 2021
After the luxury of being dockside yesterday and having a beach day and a fantastic dinner ashore, this morning we were back to business. We attempted to get the required 5 day COVID test on Friday, but the resort told us our 5 day period was up on Saturday, and we could not test Friday. So we said OK, based on the date on our health visas, we thought we had to test Friday, but they said no. We will not do it on Friday. So we said we would come as soon as they opened on Saturday morning for the test and then shove off. On the way to take the tests Saturday Morning we got a nastygram from the Bahamian Ministry of Health saying we were out of compliance on our 5 day test (facepalm!) so we took the test and uploaded the (negative) result and hopefully we will not be in trouble. It wasn’t really too nasty - they even addressed us as “Dear” Sandy and Dirk.
In addition to the entry test and the 5 day test, we have to do a quick online survey every day, just 5 or 6 questions, so it’s really easy and quick. The survey is required for the length of your stay of 14 days, whichever is shorter. Masks are required any time we are ashore (there is a fine for not wearing a mask ashore). The protocols here are very doable, no quarantine required as long as the tests are all negative, so that’s really nice and makes for an easy transit through to the Virgin Islands.
Right after the test, we left the marina and we were planning to do a 10 hour sail to Hawks Nest, Cat Cay, but a plan is made to be changed, especially when it comes to sailing! Since we got a later start than we wanted due to the test, that had us coming in after dark, which is dangerous in these shallow, often rocky and coral head-filled waters. We were concerned about finding an anchorage in the dark, so Dirk contacted a marina to see if they could accommodate us for the night (Ugh! Another marina!!!) and their response was: “NO! It is NOT safe to come into our channel at night! It’s a narrow entrance! 6ft at low tide!” Sooo… that seemed pretty emphatic so we altered our plan and decided to anchor before dark at Cave Cay. Cave Cay is a beautiful private island, and we were hoping to explore, but by the time we got here it was a little windy and lightly raining so we decided to stay on the boat this time. So today, instead of the planned 10 hour sail to Hawk’s Nest on Cat Cay, we sailed about 7 hours today to Cave Cay and we will sail about 8.5 hours to Conception Island on the way to Rum Cay.
Thankfully we had a pretty uneventful motor sail on a broad reach, so the ride was very comfortable. It almost didn’t seem fair calling it a passage leg, but I am not complaining! We arrived with a little bit of light and had some time to relax before dinner. I put together a Spaghetti Pie (a simple but really SUPER delicious recipe and GREAT for passage) thinking I would bake it for tomorrow night’s dinner, but then couldn’t come up with anything else to make for tonight so into the oven it went! I hope the creative juices start to flow for tomorrow’s dinner. Actually I already have a plan in the works for tomorrow’s meal, and the leftover Spaghetti Pie will be our lunch with a little bit of salad on the side.
In the morning we will head out of here about 8AM and hope to arrive at Conception after another uneventful sail before dark and then the following day we will have just a short sail to Rum Cay where we will spend Monday evening through Thursday morning so Dirk can do his classes. During this time I will be working on answering business emails and doing other charter prep tasks as well as planning a few passage meals because on Thursday we will set sail on a 40 hour trip from the Bahamas to Luperon in the Dominican Republic. Hopefully conditions will be ok, but it can often be a pain to do elaborate meal prep at sea, so I am planning to have some stuff all prepped and ready to just throw in the oven so we can have some good meals to look forward to during this fairly long stint underway.
This is both of our first time in the DR, so if anyone has any intel on that cruising ground, please lay it on us. There is a big sailing community there in Luperon Harbor and I am looking forward to seeing it and hopefully meeting some fellow sailors (from a social distance). I sent in a request to join the Luperon Sailing community’s Facebook page just a little while ago. This is one of the favorite harbors of Ann Vanderhoof, author of one of my most favorite books, An Embarrassment of Mangoes. If you have any interest in reading books about the live-aboard sailing life, this is a GREAT one. I highly recommend it! So I have read a fair bit about Luperon and I am eager to see it first hand!