Home Away from Home

Our next stop heading south was the anchorage at Black Point on the northern end of Great Guana Cay. It is the second most populated settlement in the Exumas after George Town, home to about 250 residents. The anchorage itself is quite roomy, we counted thirty-five boats on the busiest night during our stay. Strong northeast winds were in the forecast, so this spot would provide us with the protection we needed. Although we couldn’t get tucked up close to the beach, waves did not have the opportunity to build and rock us around because of the shallow sandbar that extended far out from the beach.

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We hadn’t made it to shore before a squall hit the area. Lasting only twenty minutes, the dark clouds encroached upon us, dropped some heavy rain, and cleared up in time for sunset. I was looking forward to checking out the laundry facility; we had heard that it is the best in the Exumas. The next morning, we arrived at the laundry facility with two loads to do…we also brought along our laptop, iPad, and cell phones hoping to connect to the free Wi-Fi. We learned that the laundromat also sells basic marine supplies, snacks, and T-shirts. The shaded pavilion just outside the laundromat seemed to be a cruiser’s hangout. We met several cruiser couples and families and made plans to meet for Happy Hour at Scorpio’s that evening. We chatted and surfed the net while we waited for our laundry…all with a great view of the anchorage.

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That night and the next night were spent at Scorpio’s enjoying 2 for 1 Rum Punches, sharing stories and experiences with other cruisers. On Saturday, cruisers met again for the cruiser dinner at Lorraine’s café. We had a great time hanging out with our new friends and enjoying hamburgers, hotdogs, wings, fries, rum punch, vodka lemonade…all you can eat/drink…for only $20 per person! It was dark out by the time we left Lorraine’s, but rather than heading back to Salty Tails, we decided to entertain an offer from another boat in the anchorage. Along with Jess and Brent from SV Seaduction, we headed over to Beacon Won in our dinghies. After tying up amongst several other dinghies, we climbed aboard. Captain Bruce built the nearly 70-foot vessel himself five years ago. The sailboat is used to charter youth groups, educational trips, and mission trips, etc. We toured this fascinating vessel and explored everything from the galley, helm, engine room, and sleeping accommodations and then swapped stories on the stern upper deck. Finally, we headed back to the boat to settle in for the windiest night.

After the weekend concluded, we were really starting to feel at home. The friendly people of Black Point were warm and welcoming. We often found ourselves stopped in the street talking with the locals about the island, our plans, sailing, the upcoming regatta in George Town…just like old friends. Even the kids of Black Point share the adults’ charming qualities. Dressed in their green school uniforms, they always waved, smiled, and said hi on their way to or from school. And on weekends, boys and girls often played near the water or on the docks, fearless of the nurse sharks swimming nearby. The settlement was much more laid back and quiet compared to Staniel Cay, no mega yachts here. The settlement offers free RO water (reverse osmosis) for cruisers, just another example of their great hospitality. We had plans to leave early in the next week, but we ended up staying for a total of 15 nights! The next week was spent exploring the town, completing maintenance jobs, and hanging out with friends. Between the awesome cruiser community and the locals, we definitely recommend Black Point!

Since we had tried out the two restaurants, we of course, had to try out the third: Deshamons. I tried the conch burger, Troy had a hamburger…both excellent! That afternoon, we stopped by the home of Lorraine’s Mom. She baked and sold the most delectable homemade bread, renowned around the Exumas. We enjoyed eating pieces of the coconut bread on our walk back to the dinghy dock. I froze a few pieces in effort to make it last longer!

A day or two later, the mailboat arrived. When you read mailboat, think floating semi-truck, for size comparison. Because the Exumas are far from Nassau, island communities receive their goods via mailboats that come approximately three times per month. When the mailboat arrives, everyone comes out to unload. Trucks, golf carts, and helpful hands work into the night unloading and sorting goods and supplies. I even spotted a little guy walk away with a new pet bunny! I was just as excited, the next day we rode over and loaded up on fresh fruits and veggies from Adderley’s Friendly store.

Nearing the end of our time in Black Point, we decided to take a dinghy ride north to Gaulin Cay to visit the caves and iguanas. We crossed over Dotham cut, which was still pretty churned up from the strong winds that had been blowing through. We drug the dinghy ashore and enjoyed the beach to ourselves. Afterwards, on our way back to the boat, we explored the mangroves just inside the cut and discovered a beached sailboat. The last registration sticker dated 2015, but the harsh saltwater had taken its toll, making it appear the boat had been there for quite some time.

After some planning, we decided that our next stop would be Little Farmers Cay, just at the southern end of Great Guana, 10 miles south. We were sad to leave; Black Point has made a special place in our hearts…we will be back!

 

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