Alas, the windlass motor fix did not last more than a few times. It stuck on one time and never worked after that. Yes, we're done trying to fix it. Darrell is getting in shape by hoisting the anchor!
We left George Town after a nice visit with Celtic Rover (a boat couple we have been friends with since our Caribbean cruising days in 2012-14). We were on a mission to get back to Farmers Cay by their 5F festival and we made it. About 100 cruising vessels descended on this island paradise. The regatta was well worth getting back for - lots of pictures and video on my Facebook page.
Darrell made a visit to a couple of lobster spots before we left and was rewarded with at least two nice meals! It was hard to leave such a lovely island and her warm welcoming people.
Since we promised folks in Key Largo that we would come back and work by March 1, it was time to begin the journey towards the keys. We stopped at Black Point just a few miles north of Farmers for a couple of days. After that, we decided to sail on by Exuma Land and Sea Park because there is no cellular service there. Next stop Norman Cay!
We knew that a couple of folks on S/V Ragnarok were at Norman Cay. We had met CJ and Erik in Key Largo in our anchorage at Tarpon Basin. They are on their first trip to the Bahamas and we wanted to hear about their trip so far. Darrell took them fishing one morning (turned into Day) and got to enlighten them on how to catch and clean lobster, lion fish, and conch. It was a bountiful catch!! Erik caught one of the biggest lobsters we've ever been around.
We're a little jealous that they are starting off on a journey similar to our Caribbean cruise! We enjoyed our time with them and will live vicariously through their travels. But alas, we still have a deadline of March 1 to be back in Key Largo and supplies on board are starting to dwindle.
Next stop Nassau. We had a lovely beam reach for just over 1/2 day sail to make the harbor. The bonus is that we stay at a marina so there is no anchoring!! Yay! So, it is the 11 th of February and we are in a pickle -- do we use the good weather window that we have for making tracks back to FL or do we make plans and buy stuff to get us through another couple of weeks. The good news is that through this last portion of the travels, Darrell's mom was hospitalized and released. She is fine now but there has been a constant worry that one or both of us might need to make a trip back to Amarillo. Hence worries over always having cell coverage.....
On the return trip, we stopped again at Morgan's Bluff. These people are good competition for my favorite place in the Bahamas! We had a great 7 hour sail in "robust" seas.
We had a local giving us a sales pitch for coming back for their regatta in July. It is VERY tempting!! Prices are reasonable here and the people are lovely!!
So.....with an excellent wind and weather prediction for westbound travel we left. Starting out, we had lighter winds than expected. We turned onto the banks with the wind to our stern and began making good way towards Florida. We reached the edge of the Great Bahama Banks about 10PM. Within 24 hours, we were at the entrance of Angelfish Creek. We anchored by Pumpkin Cay near Ocean Reef for a couple hours of sleep before continuing the last 17 miles to Tarpon Basin. Ahhhh, home at last!