May 25 — Treasure Cay, Day 1 of Debbie & Karen’s Visit

Treasure Cay Marina seemed to cater more to the power boat fishing crowd and less to grotty yachties like us.

It rained on us for three days straight. In the morning when it would slack off we would dinghy into Harbor View Marina under damp grey skies to do laundry. On our return trip we would carefully wrap our clean dry clothes in plastic bags, then place them inside a large duffle bag. We would rest the duffle on a tarp covering the backside of the dinghy. The tarp was intended to help hold the dinghy together, stemming the flow of water into it. The tarp didn’t really work well for this, but was a great place to carry stuff so it wouldn’t get soaked in what used to be the bottom of the boat, now a wading pool.

Dinghy repairs: Greg glued the gap back together then strapped a peice of pvc pipe over it in the hopes that it would help hold it together better.
On Thursday May 24, we did our final two loads of laundry. All of our dirty clothes we had been saving up for the last month, as well as all of our guest bedding which had become mildewed in the V-berth compartment, were now clean. As soon as we got back to Blue Wing and carried all of our fresh laundry below it started to pour again. We still needed to do one last grocery store run.

Our friends Debbie and Karen were coming the next day. We had purchased a lot of the non-perishable groceries earlier in the week, but we still needed to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, bread, and other items for their visit. We waited for the rain to slack off. It poured down. We waited some more. Finally, we stopped waiting. We dinghied to shore as the skies continued to let loose an unwelcome shower.

Thankfully, Friday morning it wasn’t raining. We left Marsh Harbor about 8:00 am for Treasure Cay where we would meet Debbie and Karen at the Treasure Cay Beach Resort and Marina.

Greg and Debbie share a snack and a drink aboard Blue Wing before we head to the beach. Photo by Karen Russian

Although the trip was about 12 nautical miles from waypoint to waypoint, the wind wasn’t in our favor and the sail took us about 4 ½ hours. We arrived later than we planned and had much to do before our guests arrived. The first thing on my list was a shower. The last time I had taken a ‘real’ shower was at Davis Marina in Eleuthera over a month ago. The showers at this marina do not get high marks. I couldn’t get any hot water out of the first one I tried. The second one had hot water, but no water pressure. Luckily the last shower had both hot water and enough pressure to scrub off the grime.

Karen and Greg enjoy a cocktail on the beach.

We don’t stay in marinas often because of the expense, but it sure is nice to have a hot shower – when the showers actually work, as they should. Marinas are also nice for easy access to land and usually have little boat roll. We hadn’t ever connected to shore power before due to the extra cost, but have relied, instead, as we usually do, on our battery bank charged by our solar panel and wind generator. It is great to generate our own power, but we tend to have to be conservative with it in order not to run the battery bank down, so plugging into the shore power at the Treasure Cay Marina seemed like a luxury as we charged the computer and ran the food processor at will with no worries of draining the batteries. One of the downsides of marinas is that they tend to be hot. They are usually fairly well protected and get little breeze. Fortunately, we thought ahead about this and bought a box fan we could run off of shore power. We really needed it, too. It was hot below deck.

Debbie in her favorite part of the Bahamas, the water. Photo by Karen Russian
Overall, despite the conveniences, we would rather anchor out than stay in a marina. I think Blue Wing prefers it too, especially after the next night’s marina stay. Stay tuned for more blog posts to hear about that one.

While I was showering Greg set to repairing the dinghy, in the hopes of having, once again, merely a leaky dinghy as opposed to a wading pool. He also filled the boat up with fresh water. Treasure Cay charges a flat fee of $7 for water. This was a bargain for us since we were on empty. It became an even better bargain after we filled the water tanks up the second time.

Once back aboard Blue Wing I started cooking. I made a quinoa black bean salad, a pasta salad with artichoke hearts, kalamata olives and pimentos in a balsamic vinegar, sundried tomato, pine nut dressing, and hummus. Sometime during all of this cooking our first boat issue of the week occurred. The water stopped flowing.

Greg will tell you about this:

In Hot Water

When you have guests on a boat you should have fresh water. A little hot water would be a nice bonus. So, for kicks, when we arrived at Treasure Cay Marina, I cut on the water heater.

I also filled the 58-gallon water tanks. The hose that came with our boat is short. It works fine if you back the boat into the slip, but we came in bow first. So I made trips back and forth with our jerry can until the tanks were full.

While we were spiffing up the boat and cooking, a hose became disconnected from the water heater. There was no clamp on the hose. The connection was probably fine until the heat softened it. The water from the hose drained into the bilge, where it was pumped out the stern of the boat. Since the water pressure was low, the water pump kept running until all the fresh H2O was out of the tanks.

I didn’t figure all this out until Debbie and Karen were here and the hardware store was closed. So we spent the night without running water on the boat. Just a minor hardship in a marina, and a hose clamp purchased the next morning fixed the problem. But not great way to boost the confidence of our guests.

Me again:

Duwan making fresh salsa in the galley. Photo by Karen Russian
Luckily we have spare water in gallon jugs on board, so I was able to finish my cooking and as Greg said we were able to fix the problem the next day. Unfortunately this is not the last problem we have had with the water, but fortunately the last major inconvenience we had with it during Debbie and Karen’s visit.

After Greg was done with his chores, he went to take a shower. I was waiting for a text message from Debbie to let me know when they arrived, but I was getting anxious. Debbie and Karen are two of our closest friends in Cabbagetown and our very first guests on Blue Wing. I was very excited for them to be here. I have experienced some pretty bad homesickness during this journey and was thrilled that a little bit of home was coming to us. I poked my head out of the boat and looked across the marina. I saw two women. I jumped onto the dock and set out towards them. I soon saw that they weren’t my friends, but as I continued in that direction, there they were, the real Debbie and Karen!

After we got everyone settled in on the boat, cooked a few four tortillas, had a quick snack, and received our presents from Cabbagetown (A Cabbagetown t-shirt from Bertha and cookies from Karin – thanks both of you!) we headed to the beach to watch the sunset. Debbie went straight for the water. The sun was blazing as it dropped below the horizon. All the colors on the beach turned warm and soft. The Bahamas glowed in all of its beauty.

Back on Blue Wing we ate fish and tofu fajitas with freshly made tortillas, salsa, refried beans and guacamole. We could hear a band playing, karaoke, or perhaps just people just singing loudly along with the band up at the marina bar, but everyone was too exhausted to go check it out. After a lot of catching up, we all tucked into bed. I listened to the music booming over the docks and through the forward hatch and thankfully, finally feel asleep after a group karaoke version of “Don’t Stop Believing.” What a wonderful sentiment to end the day with, even if Journey really isn’t my thing.

The sun sets over Treaure Cay.

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