22 June 2015

Crazy Cats, Coconut Bread & Coconut Beach | Spanish Cay & Manjack Cay, Bahamas

We love the folks on this boat. They sure are some crazy cats. I'm talking about the people on board, not the three cats that live there with them (although they're a little crazy in their own way). 

We had met Charlie and Jane from S/V Wild Blue at Indiantown Marina and we ran into them again at Spanish Cay, where we hoping to clear into the Bahamas. It was a surprise to see them. We thought they were a day ahead of us, but there they were, anchored right outside the breakwater of the marina. We dropped our hook right behind them. There was no way we were going to dock at the marina - $108 plus tax and not including water. No thanks. I'll take fabulously free anchoring any day. 

Scott took the dinghy and went to check about clearing in at the marina. Turns out that if you aren't staying at the marina, there is an additional $50 charge to clear in at Spanish Cay. Ah, yeah, I don't think so. I'd rather invest my $50 in more worthwhile causes - like groceries. So we decided to keep flying our Q flag for a few days longer and clear in at Green Turtle Cay. 

While we weren't willing to fork over $108, if you do have some spare change in your pocket, then Spanish Cay looks like a nice place to spend it (keep in mind the charges are per foot, your costs may be higher). The owners and staff are friendly, there are three adorable dogs who will slobber all over you, they have free Wi-Fi (and you have no idea how important this is until you spend some time in the Bahamas!), the bar looks nice and, most importantly, they sell coconut bread. 

Have you ever had coconut bread? I knew very little about the Bahamas before we left, but the one thing I read about constantly was the coconut bread. Scott picked up a loaf and the stories are true, it is delicious. Turn it into French toast, cover it in maple syrup (or the faux Aunt Jemima version) and you have a winner. Scott loved it so much that we ate it pretty much every morning we were in the Bahamas. I'd like to think it was a testament to my cooking skills, but you really can't mess up fried bread that you then drown in a giant puddle of maple flavored sugar syrup.

Although we didn't end up clearing-in at Spanish Cay, we anchored there overnight. I'm not sure what we ended up doing that night. Oh, wait, I remember. We were with Charlie and Jane, so I'm pretty sure we had a few beers on one of our boats. We ended up having a number of beers, rums, rum liqueurs and wine with Charlie and Jane on both of our boats during our time in the Bahamas, so I can't be sure whose boat we were on that night. But one thing I am sure about, it was a fun night. Because Charlie and Jane are fabulously fun. So fabulously fun that we ended up heading to Manjack Cay the next day with them.

Manjack Cay is an uninhabited island with a few anchorages you can drop the hook at. Of course, we picked the one that is reported to have difficult holding - Coconut Tree Beach. If we had read our guidebook, we might have known this. We didn't. 

Charlie and Jane had reached Manjack before we did and were sitting out on their deck sipping on their beers when we arrived. It's always good to have some entertainment when you drinking beer - maybe listening to some music, watching the sun go down or laughing at folks dragging anchor. Those folks would be us. Just in case you were wondering.

We all hung out at Manjack for a couple of nights - drank some beer, worked on boat things and went snorkeling. Now, I know what all the fuss about the Bahamas is - the water is warm and there's pretty fish to look at!

LOGBOOK NOTES | Friday 15 May - Sunday 17 May 2015

Total Nautical Miles - 56
Total Time - 7 hours 40 mins (15 May) & 4 hours (16 May)
Anchorages - Spanish Cay (outside marina breakwater) & Manjack Cay (Coconut Tree Beach)
Price of Coconut Bread - $6 (at Spanish Cay)
Days in the Bahamas Flying the Q Flag - 5 

Next time on the blog...we finally clear in at Green Turtle Cay. Hands down, my favorite inhabited island in the Abacos. The Goombay Smash may have something to do with it.

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  1. Sounds like pretty bays. I have never been to the Bahamas. I also must have missed it, what is the Q flag?

    1. Sorry, it was in the previous post. I should have explained it in this one. The Q stands for quarantine. It is a yellow flag you have to fly until you clear into a country. Then you replace the Q flag with a courtesy flag of the country you're cruising in.

  2. Beautiful photos! It's good to hear the details of your adventures, especially the ins and outs of anchoring, clearing into a country, and the costs associated with marinas. The practical aspects of cruising are very interesting to me, since I want to do it someday.

    Was it $108 per night, or did that cover a longer period of time? That's awfully steep if it's a nightly rate.

    What is the make of S/V Wild Blue?

    1. S/V Wild Blue is a Gozzard. Beautiful boat - inside and out! The $108 was per night and I couldn't agree more that it is awfully steep. But, thankfully, anchoring is free!

  3. Do you know what ingredients are in the coconut bread? I make one here but not sure if it has more or less the same ingredients. I will have to try frying it up but we will use REAL maple syrup nothing beats the real thing! ;-)


    1. I'm not sure what is in the coconut bread. I think it is just a basic white bread with grated coconut added. We had other types of Bahamian bread - white, wheat and raisin. They were all on the sweet side, so maybe more sugar added to the coconut bread dough than you average North American loaf of bread?

      And of course you guys would use real maple syrup - you're Canadians! I imagine using the fake stuff is grounds for having your citizenship revoked :-)

    2. I just wondered if it had wheat flour in it or not but unfortunately for us it sounds like it does. The coconut bread that I can make is actually made with coconut flour. I still might make some and then make some french toast out of it, it sounds yummy.

      We couldn't possibly use that fake stuff anymore, we would rather have honey or jam if we can't get the real thing! ;-)

    3. Now that sounds good - bread made from coconut flour!

  4. Coconut bread. MMMM. OK, I have that out of my system. Don't blame you one bit for avoiding the high priced marina. Feels a little like price gouging to make you pay extra to clear in, when that's a government requirement. Definitely time to move on to another place! Well great. I can't get the coconut bread out of my head now.

    1. Try French toast made with coconut bread just once and you will never get it out of your system ever again :-)

  5. Here is a recipe for Coconut Bread from Bimini...


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