Cambridge to Black Point via Staniel (and Super Bowl)

We left Cambridge Cay heading for Staniel Cay, which was a relatively easy run. We had nice conditions, with winds from the south at less than 10 knots, and 1-2 foot seas. Ted was keen to get out of the Park so he could fish, but although we had lines in the water as soon as we passed the Park boundary, there was no activity.

The entrance to Staniel Cay was tricky with rocks and lots of current, and some skinny water to avoid. We looked at anchoring between Little and Big Majors, but there were two catamarans taking the best spots. We cruised up to the Yacht Club but the marina was small and mostly taken up by a superyacht. We returned to the original anchorage and dropped the hook, launched the dinghy and explored a bit more. Staniel Cay is best known for two things – the Thunder ball grotto which you can snorkel into, featured in the James Bond movie of the same name, and the swimming pigs that live on the beach at Big Majors. These disgusting animals swim out to dinghies chasing food which cruisers feed to them. They are huge, aggressive and scary and I’d rather swim with sharks. They are however a massive attraction for everyone else.

On returning to Southern Star, one of the catamarans started to pull up anchor, so we did the same and moved to a better location. A few days later we were to meet the couple on Celestial who kindly vacated their spot for us.

We spent two nights at Staniel, took a run to the beach, did some snorkeling for lobster (no luck), went into the village for a few provisions, trash dump and refueled the dinghy, then picked up anchor and continued south for a short run to Black Point.

Black Point turned out to be a destination of choice for boats from Canada, most of them French. There were a large number of boats in the bay, which had plenty of room. We launched the dinghy again and headed into the village for a walk. It is sad to see the windward beaches so strewn with trash – Ted took some photos and we are thinking about what we can do to play our part in reducing this impact on these beautiful coastlines.

Our walk turned into a bit of a marathon, we were trying to get to Dotham Cut, where a bluff would give an amazing view of a very deep and narrow channel with massive current. But somewhere we took a wrong turn and in the end gave up and plodded back to the dinghy dock.

The next day our friends on Sea Turtle anchored in the bay and told us that the predicted northeasterly winds would not be comfortable at Black Point, so they would be moving to Little Bay. Houmana was also going to be there. The winds were still southerly, but as we were already rolling a bit at Black Point, we followed Sea Turtle around the corner. It was a beautiful bay, far less crowded with only three of us, but in the existing southerly wind it was miserable until the wind turned as predicted in the middle of night. By early morning, we were glad we had moved and by the time we were having coffee, there were another 10 boats around us, who had moved at first light from Black Point. They didn’t stay long though and a few nights later we were alone in the anchorage.

This was my favourite place so far – two beautiful beaches with sand like talcum powder, great protection from the north and east winds, a castle structure on a point which gave a great visual range for watching the anchor, and very few other boats. We stayed several days here, only moving back one day to Black Point to get internet access. It was here that we met Celestial, the catamaran who pulled up anchor at Staniel Cay. They were the only other boat in the bay with us for a couple of days. We enjoyed the quiet bay, and clear waters, taking the opportunity to put the hookah rig together and to do Southern Star’s bottom, and check her anodes. The bottom is big- much larger than Defiant’s and took about 5 hours to do all. We did this over two days.

We had been in touch with Mark and Jennifer on Starlet, N46, who had passaged with Southern Star across the Atlantic and Caribbean last year. They are embarking on a journey which will take them through the Canal and down through the Pacific, pretty much where we intend to travel in the next few years.

Starlet was organizing a gathering of Nordhavns at Black Point for Super bowl Sunday, including Sea Turtle and L’Adagio. We met up on L’Adagio Sunday morning for smoothies followed by beers, and had the tour of Laust and Monika’s gorgeous N76.

The dinghy dock was full by the time we pulled in at 5.30pm. We wandered up to Scorpio where we had booked a table for 8 people. I had hoped that Houmana would be joining us as he is a big Patriots fan, but they had moved back to watch the game at Staniel Cay Yacht Club. In hindsight, we should have followed…

I took my laptop, iPad and iPhone in to take advantage of free Wi-Fi to download files to do some work for AMP. I spent ages trying to connect but turned out the internet was patchy at best, plus one of the files I needed was so huge it wouldn’t download when I finally did get access at half time.

Our group at Scorpio was international – two from US, two from Canada, two from Denmark, two from NZ and one from UK. Sadly I was the only real football fan, with my Tom Brady No.12 tee shirt, and as the first half progressed, I grew increasingly quiet watching Atlanta Falcons pile on the points with only a 3 point penalty by the Patriots.

Worse was to follow, another Falcon touchdown early in the third quarter putting them 28-3 ahead. Then the satellite feed for the game failed and despite some brief attempts to reconnect, with everyone leaving the bar, the staff gave up in the end. Our group had long since split up, everyone except Ted and me returning to their boats.

We wandered back towards the dinghy and found another local bar which had the game on, by which time the score was 28-9. We were standing with a crowd and I suggested we stay for one more drive by Patriots, but we didn’t.

In the time it took us to walk away from that bar, back to the dinghy and onto the boat to look at the score on nfl.com the Patriots had closed to 28-21 and we almost climbed back in the dinghy to return to shore. While contemplating that, the Patriots scored again and the game went to overtime. When the Patriots won the coin toss for the overtime quarter, I knew they’d win. I was devastated that I had missed seeing Tom Brady’s greatest ever game, and even our non-football friends were sad for me.

 

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