Sunday, March 29, 2015

What Next?

The stunning waters of Georgetown - but where shall we go now?
We have spent the last three months in and around the Exumas in the Bahamas, entertaining and enjoying the company of various family members who were escaping the cold for some warm and balmy weather. Its been great, but now we on our own again its time to think about where we want to go and what we want to do with what's left of sailing season, and where we will spend the forth coming hurricane season. And its been a tough call. We have been so undecided we even tossed a coin. As much as we like sailing, we also like being in one place for a while. We have ruled out the east Caribbean for the time being, as it is a home away from home for us - we can always go back there and within the boundaries of our small minds (as that is the biggest boundary we ever really face) it is the easiest (mentally, though not necessarily from a sailing point of view) we know it, we are familiar with it....but in many ways it would be like going home and we are not quite ready for that yet.
So, where else? Well we toyed with the San Blas and Panama again (don't forget we have already visited these places) but have been put off by the high clearance fees etc. And I guess we just don't want to go there right now. 
Our two main choices seem to be either:
Guatemala via Cuba. This has been incredibly tempting. Although we did stay in Marina Hemingway in Cuba a few years ago, we have yet to see the south coast and the outer island's. We 'd spend a while visiting there before pit stopping in Jamaica to arrive in the Rio Dulce, Guatemala at the beginning of June. We hurricane'd in Guatemala in 2007 and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The culture is so vibrant and colourful - a world away from where we are now and the countryside is stunning. It all seems so easy but for some reason we hesitate with this choice - for a multitude of reasons - all so small but combined enough to dissuade us.

Our other preference is to go back to the United States.
This option is attractive for several reasons. Firstly we saw very little of it last hurricane season having been tied up working on the boat for three months in a boatyard. Sim wants a repeat of the boatyard experience for the other half of the boat that we didn't manage to attack last time. But he's promised it doesn't have to be this year. So it would be fun to explore the states at our own pace without hurrying. I can't deny how attractive it is to have first world things at our finger tips without paying through the nose like we do in the islands. Visiting the quaint towns of the Chesapeake, maybe making our way up to New York. Plus there is the possibility of land travel (taking the cat with us) if we were to buy a cheap vehicle.

So we toy we all the possibilities, Cuba and back to Bahamas then United States for H season, or Cuba to Isla Mujeres (Mexican island) down to Belize and Guatemala or up to Florida. We could hurricane in Luperon in the Dominican Republic or make Salinas our base in Puerto Rico. We could go down to the ABC's (that we passed briefly through many years a go). Or (while it is still sailing season) we could enjoy the beautiful waters of the Bahamas.
Sometimes in life we have no choices at all and sometimes too many. Where will we go and what will we do? 
Our plan for today, written in sand at low tide, is to leave Georgetown on Tuesday and head north up the Exumas then cross over to Eluthera when we get favourable weather. But this may change as we are as fickle as the wind - isn't that the beauty of this life we lead?

In the mean time this is what we have been up to over the last week:
   Sundowners and a dinghy raft up with the crews of Khaya Moya, Hunda, Panache, Gem, Gretta May and Island Khaya. 
                                           -photo from Khaya Moya

We have started to see the first of the waterspouts the humid summer months bring
can you see it forming in the clouds?

We went snorkeling again with the crews of Khaya Moya, Hunda and Panache
at the spot just between Stocking Island and Elizabeth island.

A filefish

Honeycombe Cowfish hiding in the coral

Queen Angelfish

Big Barracuda

Its not all sunny days!

Sim and I go for an explore in the dinghy

Sim exploring the site of the abandoned marina at Crab Cay
 and the derelict machinery left behind 

An old dredger rusting away

On Crab Cay we find a tiny little beach all to ourselves

This cool guy is a Spotted Seahare the likes of which I have never seen before 
spotted at the dinghy dock of all places in town!

Its hard to tear ourselves away from this!

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