Our first stop was Ft Lauderdale.
Istaboa's been kind to us on this trip, however there were (as always) some minor fixes needing to be done and we can always count on Craig at Hogan Marine to knock 'em out quickly — so Bahia Mar was our first stop. We did a little technical work there at the marina and caught up with old friends — then to take advantage of flat seas, we eased north.
Now, temporally home at Old Port Cove and continuing on with those fixes: the cook range needs attention, this time of year the ACs can always stand a flush , and some technical stuff.
We've been experimenting with a new powerful onboard cellular network and it's feasibility in the islands and offshore. Heading to Ft Lauderdale from Cat Cay we saw Verizon Wireless at about 15 miles out from the US coast and connected at 12. Not too bad. This same system hooked us up well at Great Harbour, Highbourne, Nassau, and Cat Cay where we enjoyed fast and relatively expensive internet most of the time. (It is Batelco)
This trip has been both interesting and entertaining. Compass, for the most part, was peaceful little Compass, though while there we observed the most chaotic 4th of July we've ever experienced at any marina. It seems the marina was double booked and all the boats showed up at the same time.
Needless to say many unhappy folks, mostly mega-yachts, who thought they had reservations, were turned away. Forced to anchor wherever, the radio was buzzing with heated exchanges, expletives, then finally resignation as the long boats faded into a stunning Exuma sunset... later the real fireworks started — Literally.
"Freedom", a very large yacht we've known for sometime eased in and tied up. As soon as they were secure the crew started unloading fireworks. That night, to the delight of those with a slip at the marina, a massive fireworks display took place.
Compass is like a third-world fishbowl. The haves, the havealots, and the havemores, all spend time together enjoying Compass's simple and primitive beauty. However, all that comes without any modern conveniences other than electricity and water; no restaurants, no store, no bars here, but if you ever wanted to swim with sharks...
The young man to the left is Jamal, son of Tucker Rolle. Everybody likes Jamal.
Our old friend, Tucker.
This man is not only a legend in the Exumas, he's known and loved by many all over the world. When the rich and powerful, famous and infamous come to the Exumas they make it a point to stop by Compass Cay to spend time with Tucker.
Tuck's a quiet reserved man who can be hard to get to know, though once he learns to trust you, all agree, he's a hell of a nice guy. His island is your island if you respect it. With that respect, you will become family.
Highbourne, a nice resort, is a good way to start the inevitable process of re-acclimating to civilization. It's a remote little island, although there is a little grocery, a restaurant, and a few killer beaches.
Next stop, Nassau with all the trappings of a large city. We like Nassau, in many ways it reminds us of Memphis.
I'll stop here for now, there's several more photos to post. So more later.
No, not done yet. We'll start heading north soon — not sure where that will take us — as far as we want.