Thursday, February 3, 2011

Black Point Settlement on Great Guana Cay

Monday 31 January – Wednesday 2 February

After a short 2 hour trip we are anchored off Black Point Settlement by 2:30. This is a quiet non-touristy community on the 2nd largest Cay in the Exuma chain after Great Exuma, but only has this small settlement on the north tip of the Island. As with many of the Islands it is generational land, having been given to freed slaves and passed down over the years. A good majority of the young men work off Island, on one of the neighboring Cays. We are pleasantly surprised on how many of these small Islands & / or settlements are now using reverse osmosis (R/O) for water, making the best of the beautiful salt water they are surrounded by, not bad considering they have only had electricity for 16 years. There are 3 restaurants/bars that rely on the cruising community and offer free Wi-Fi in their locations to encourage patronage. We go into “town” to have a look around stopping at Lorraine's Cafe. We meet Beth & Scott from S/V Painkiller a name we had been hearing over the VHF radio since October in South Carolina. We were traveling along the same route even crossing over to the Abaco's around the same time, just never ran into them anywhere before now. We also meet Tess & Tony from S/V Endurance, and Stuart & Tony from S/V George E. It is funny how the cruising world works you sometimes know someones boat before you know them. Heading back to our boat we stop by S/V Quality Time to visit with Anne & Terry who we had met up at Warderick Wells. Tuesday morning we get some exercise as we hike out to the bluff at Dotham Cut. We go out via the “trail” along the west side beaches and rocks. Once again climbing over rocks feeling like we are walking on the moon. The contrast between the beautiful blue waters and the sand beaches and rock cliffs are an experience to behold. I let Steve know I am NOT going back via the rocks and we need to find the path that leads us to a road heading back to town. Well as with many of these Islands the paths are NOT so easy to find. We can see what looks like a path from up on the bluff, but once down in the foliage it can not be found. We wade through the flats (thankful it's low tide) to finally reach the gravel road that leads to the dirt road that finally leads to the paved road back to town. Three hours only 5 miles, I am exhausted. Stop by the grocery store to pick up a few fresh veggies as the mail boat was arriving as we left on our hike. Quick trip back to boat to get laundry & computers and back into town. Another way the town caters to cruisers is having a really nice, clean laundromat. Throw in a couple of loads & back to Lorraine's with our computers for lunch. Today is NOT a good internet day, as the signal keeps dropping, so finally we just give it up. It is a community of very trusting and kind people. Both at Lorraine's and the laundromat, that also has a small store attached, the owners will leave you to help yourself. At the laundromat, Ida will leave and tell you that if anyone needs anything she will be upstairs. At Lorraine's, the beers & soft drinks are in a cooler and you let her know how many you had. If you do not like the way she makes your drink, you can go behind the bar and fix it yourself. Later we join Tess & Tony on Endurance, with Beth & Scott and Stu and Tony for sundowners and a pot luck dinner. Enjoy a beautiful sunset with great food, drinks and conversation into the evening. Wednesday Tess calls up on the radio to follow up on a conversation from the night before to see if we all still want to walk over to the “Garden of Eden”. The 8 of us meet at the government dock at 9:15, for a short walk along paved roads to what has been named the “Garden of Eden”. The property is a huge patch of mostly flattened limestone with the the front having all different driftwood sculptures, and the back having all different fruit trees growing up from holes in the limestone. Willie the artist is not home but Betty is and explains all the different trees & plants to us. Another unique Island adventure. On the way back we stop by Regatta Point a small cove with a nice park pavilion and dock, probably used for Island events. Walk back to town, Steve and I head back to our boat as we will be leaving this afternoon to head down to Little Farmers Cay, there is plenty of 6' anchorage but limited anchorage space in deeper water so we want to get there early to find a place to anchor before all the other boats start coming in on Thursday for the weekend festival. We are underway by noon heading out into the sound where we are in 100'+ water most of the way down, so have a relaxing trip down.

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