Cat Island


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Published: June 17th 2017
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Geo: 24.3546, -75.4816

From GGT we hopped over to Cat Island to meet up with Bliss II again. We left the Conch Cay Cut (top of Georgetown Harbour) and arrived at Hawk's Nest Point (bottom end of Cat Island) nine hours later. It was a good day of sailing, even though the seas were a bit rough there was a good wind that allowed us to carve nicely through the waves.

Once on Cat Island, we spent the first night anchored just east of Hawk's Nest Point. On day two we moved to New Bight to meet Bliss II. New Bight is the 'new' main town on Cat Island and is this island's regatta site. There are several restaurants and bars, a large hardware / grocery store, and everything that we could possibly need. Here, together with Rita and Dave from Bliss II, we climbed to the top of Mount Alvernia - the highest point in the Bahamas - where we explored "the hermitage". (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Alvernia)

Then we tried to hitchhike to the grocery store (because it was too hot to walk) and the first vehicle to come along was a taxi!!! Good, because we got a ride...bad, because the idea was to 'hitch' a ride...not pay for one! LOL

Up at the grocery store we met a local man, Christopher, whom the guys talked to for some time. He was one of the community "elders" and also a farmer. (Yes!!! Cat Island grows a lot of fruits and veggies and actually exports them!!!!) The guys made a deal with Christopher to show us around the island - including his and his brother's farms. This turned out to be the next day's adventure!

In Christopher's pickup truck, we travelled to the northern tip of the island and back. It turned out to be a great way for us to decide were we were going to sail to over the next few days. The girls rode in the front, while Christopher was kind enough to set up chairs in the back for the boys! They had a wild ride back there and loved every second of it! What Christopher showed us was that the northern end of the island is way less inhabited than it once was. There are MANY old stone homes in ruins, abandoned houses, church ruins, schools that have been closed and docks that have been weathered to pilings only. One small town has been almost completely abandoned except for a couple of original families that have remained.

Christopher also drove us down back roads that tourists would not normally see. He brought us into the farming areas. The farming they do here far surpasses any of the efforts made on the other islands of the Bahamas. By the end of the day we were stocked up with two types of mangoes, watermelon, little bananas, pineapples, and limes in abundance. We ate more fruit in one week than we've probably had in three months! All of it was tastier and juicier than any fruit I've ever tasted. One cannot starve on Cat Island! We were so impressed by their techniques (pot hole farming - they plant into large holes and add soil) and the quality of their crops!

After three days in New Bight, we sailed to Arthur's Town which used to be the main town on Cat Island, but was now a very sleepy place. Then we moved up to Orange Creek which was just as sleepy!!!

While in Arthur's Town the wind switched to the SSE and it made for a VERY ROLLY anchorage. Both boats found it to be quite uncomfortable and we had one day where we couldn't even leave the boats. We chatted on the radio, and agreed to move the next day. So we moved up to Orange Creek where we figured we'd have a bit of relief, but once in Orange Creek the wind turned South and we were rolling again like mad!

As an aside: Bliss II is also a C&C 38, just a bit different than our Landfall. In all of this pitching and rolling, we ended up talking about our masts and the lines and wires that run inside of them. Both boats are in the same situation where they do not have conduits within the masts and the lines and wires therefore clang each time the boat sways from side to side or front to back. We can pull all of the outside lines away from the mast with bungee cords, etc. to keep them quiet, but we can't access the inside ones. My 'affectionate' name for our mast is "The Rainstick" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainstick). This is the ONLY complaint I have about our boat and at some point, I hope that my Darling Captain Tony will come up with a plan to quieten our Rainstick. 😉

Anyways, now you can understand why this made for several nights of very little sleep!! So on Canada Day, with the wind still blowing, both boats upped anchor without even contacting one another and we both moved south to Bennett's Harbour which retraced our steps but put Tony and I at a better staging spot for our next jump to Eleuthera. Here, we were somewhat sheltered from the wind and waves, but there was still a surge. It was a huge relief in terms of the pitching and rolling, but it still kept the lines and wires in the mast clanging. I was almost at my wit's end for our last two nights on Cat Island!!! Nevertheless, we celebrated Canada by changing our Canadian Flag and we did enjoy the local folks that we met.

We had discussed visiting Little San Salvador with Bliss II, but the consensus was that they wanted to get back to GGT and we wanted to get moving to Eleuthera, so it was at Bennett's Harbour that we parted ways. It was really nice to have a Buddy Boat for a little while...especially in the latter part of our travels together to Long and Cat Islands - such remote areas during the "off season" when there are absolutely no other boats around!! Hopefully we will meet up with Dave and Rita again in the future! (We met Bliss II at Black Point Settlement around mid-May and travelled with them from Blk Pt to Farmer's Cay, to GGT where we stayed May 22 - June 8th, and then to Long Is. for a week, and then to Cat for a week - parting ways on July 2)

Tony and I then did a 12 hour passage (mostly sailing, but some motoring once we were approaching East End Point - the southern tip) of Eleuthera. Long, but great day on the water! The best part is...Rock Sound, Eleuthera is a very sheltered harbour and the boat is as still as though we are on jack stands on the hard. Just like 'Terra Firma' people!!! Absolute SILENCE!!! 😊


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21st June 2016

Hi Liza, there is a technique for anchoring when the waves are on your beam. next time i run into you at the club, EYC, remind me and I'll explain how to get the waves back on your bow for a more restful motion. And sleep!
21st June 2016

Hi Liza, there is a technique for anchoring when the waves are on your beam. next time i run into you at the club, EYC, remind me and I'll explain how to get the waves back on your bow for a more restful motion. And sleep! for your clanging
mast, you'll need to pull all the wiring out of the mast. the trick to a quiet night is to zip tie the wiring into a "sausage" , with LOOONG zip ties, just don't cut them. the extra length on the ties acts as a bumper to stop the wiring from moving around. use lots and then put a few more so that they stick out all around. Then feed it back in and enjoy the silence. Almost. Because for the halliards I don"t have a solution.

Tot: 0.07s; Tpl: 0.013s; cc: 10; qc: 29; dbt: 0.0274s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (10.17.0.13); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.1mb