01 September 2017

From "Holy Crap!" To "Ahh...So Relaxing" In One Day | Cat Island & Half Moon Cay, Bahamas

Usually living and cruising on a sailboat is fun. Anchored off of a tropical island and sipping sundowners in the cockpit - what's not to enjoy?

But it isn't always like that. There are the days when it sucks. That's usually when something breaks. Those kind of days happen more often than you'd think.

Then there are the days when you scream, "Holy crap!" That's usually when you're afraid you're going to crash onto some rocks, lose your boat and everything in it, and then spend many hours on the phone trying to find out exactly how good your insurance is. Fortunately, those kind of days are quite rare.

We had had a pleasant night anchored in Fernandez Bay on Cat Island and sipping sundowners in the cockpit. Pretty view, huh?

We woke up early to the sound of howling wind (40+ knots) as a storm cell passed overhead. We rushed up on deck to find that our boat had turned 180 degrees and was pushing us towards a dodgy looking lee shore. Big breaking waves kept crashing into Tickety Boo as we tried to get the engine started.

Of course we couldn't get the engine started, which made me say, "Holy crap!" again. It wasn't really a surprise considering our battery bank doesn't hold a charge very well and it was too early for our solar panels to have kicked in (plus we have some questions about the effectiveness of our glow plugs). So we turned to our trusty Honda generator to start the engine, which isn't exactly a quick process.

Finally, we got the engine going and got the heck out of there. We thought about heading to Arthur's Town or anchoring elsewhere, but the weather conspired against us. So we said goodbye to Cat Island and headed off to Half Moon Cay instead.

Once we got there and dropped the hook, we sat down in the cockpit, took in the views and said, "Aah...so relaxing."

I bet you'd find it relaxing too. It's one of those cruise ship islands, where they drop off the punters for the day to enjoy the beach. The place is really called Little San Salvador Island, but the cruise line renamed it Half Moon Cay. I guess that sounds more tropical or sexier or something.

The cruise ship left around 5:00 PM and then we had the beach all to ourselves.

Somebody made a sandcastle that kind of looks like a cruise ship. I think a giant sand turtle is about to eat it.

There are colorful cabanas scattered along the beach.

There's even a pirate ship with a pretty cool looking bar inside. Captain Morgan's, of course.

They've got a little village with a "traditional" straw market and other little shops.

Just because the cruise ship left, doesn't mean there still isn't work for the folks who keep this place running to do.

Look how happy Tickety Boo looks in a peaceful anchorage, untroubled by storms and scary looking rocks that she might crash into.


Cruising Log | Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Early morning nightmare when a storm cell passed over us and pinned us onto a dodgy looking lee shore. Anchor finally up at 6:30 AM. Thought about going to Arthur's Town, but wind much higher than forecast and from wrong direction. Checked out another anchorage, but it didn't look great. The sun came out, so decided to push on to Little San Salvador. Picked our way through the coral and rocks and dropped the hook at 2:00 PM. Cruise ship in port, but left at 5:00 PM. Went ashore for a peaceful walk. Nautical miles = 38. Engine = 7 hours 30 mins. Spending = nil.

Have you ever been on a cruise? What was your favorite part? Ever experienced a storm that made you fear for your life or property?

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  1. That would be such a scary moment.

    Pretty port. I love the colors. I've been on a cruise and those ships always dock in the most colorful ports.

    1. I loved the colorful buildings too. Makes things seem more festive.

  2. I'm glad you had that generator with you are that may not have turned out so well. Exciting times.

    I love your getaway island. Especially when the Carnival Cruise ship left. Just saying.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. ☺

    1. We're so happy we had a generator too. Great piece of equipment to have on board.

  3. I can't imagine anything worse than that kind of cruise! Too crowded.

    1. We've been on a couple of cruises (super cheap last minute deals in Europe) and enjoyed them. They can be really crowded though, but I guess that's what you sign up for.

  4. That beach is beautiful, no matter what you call it.

    Nope, we've never been on a cruise. We ALMOST went on an Alaskan cruise for one of our anniversaries... 35th or 40th, can't remember... but we backed out when we got a phone call asking us what time we wanted to eat our dinner meals. Later, some friends assured us that we wouldn't have been "tied" to eating at that time, but still, that phone call rubbed us the wrong way. We decided we were "too young" to be moved from place to place with a bunch of people like a herd of cattle. Your kinda travel is more appealing to me than being part of a big crowd and following a specific itinerary. We'd rather go where the spirit moves us.

    1. I think an Alaskan cruise would be so cool! I'd love to see that part of the world one day. I think there are different kinds of cruise lines that cater to different kinds of demographics. Some are much more formal than others. I prefer our way of travel too :-)

  5. No large cruises for us, except our own. After having worked in the tourist industry for over 20 years. I have no wish to be a part of those crowds. Some people might never see any other parts of the world unless they go, so good for them. Glad you were able to get someplace safe.

    1. It's probably a good way to get a taste of lots of different places and then maybe you can go back to a place you really enjoyed and spend more time there.

  6. I love reading about your adventures! I hope you found a laundromat soon after this!

    1. It was actually quite a while before we found a laundromat. I'm afraid we didn't smell all that great for a while :-)


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