Rum Cay: January 6-8, 2007

We left Georgetown 1/6/07 at about the same time as several sailboats.  Chatted with them via VHF, and found we were all planning to head to Conception Cay.  We soon left them behind, and just before they were out of radio range they reported that they were giving up on Conception.   The wind was coming almost directly from that direction, and they simply weren't making good enough time to arrive with enough daylight to maneuver in among the coral heads that guard the anchorage at Conception, and so they were diverting to the closer and more-favorably situated Long Island.   Meanwhile, we were making such good time that we decided that as we rounded the corner at Cape Santa Maria at the top of Long, instead of making the slight adjustment to head to Conception, we would turn more sharply and head to the more distant -- by 14 miles -- Rum Cay.   The seas got rougher around that corner,  but the big waves were generally far enough apart that we could avoid burying our nose or crashing on the back side.  The guide books said that the anchorage at Rum Cay would be pretty rolly in SE winds, but we hoped that the south component of the existing mostly-easterly winds was sufficiently small that we would be all right.  We arrived in plenty of time to find what we thought was a cozy anchorage.  Dropped the anchor and congratulated ourselves on not going into the marina.   Of course, you know what happened.  Just as soon as it got too dark for us to navigate through the coral heads to the marina, the wind shifted and/or strengthened, the rollers began hitting us from the forward quarter, and our round-bottomed home began to rock and roll.  We survived the night, although Barb had trouble sleeping.  The experience had two immediate consequences:  we resolved to purchase as soon as possible -- damn the cost -- a good set of at-anchor flopper stoppers, and we tucked into Sumner Point Marina the next morning  just as soon as the light was sufficient for the shuffle.

We discovered that getting into the marina took some dodging of coral heads and that not all the markers for getting into the marina were in place.  A red float was in a strange position near one of the marina markers, so we understood it to mean keep the red float on the right.  Wrong!  It was supposed to signify a green marker.  Fortunately, we came in at high tide, and so made it over the bar that the red (green marker) float was warning us about.  The marina will, if requested, come out to lead a boat in.  For first timers like us, that might have been be an excellent idea.  We found at Sumner Point a very interesting place to spend some time.   The owner, Bobby Little, has taught himself to sculpt.  The grounds are scattered with his work, both finished and in progress.   Their restaurant is splendidly decorated with his stuff and other compatible work.  The place is very elegant, but also very informal and relaxed.  There are many cats about --  lounging in the comfy chairs or sitting on the tables.  One of the cats -- Red by name -- is especially friendly.   She greeted us loudly as we explored the grounds and its art works.  Bobby later told us that Red has a very strong habit of jumping aboard vessels.   This has resulted in her taking unintended trips when boat owners had not realized she was aboard when they left.   Bobby said that sometimes the boats came back, and sometimes they just continued on, but waited until they found a vessel heading toward Rum Cay and then put her aboard that vessel.

Also, Sumner Point Marina has free wi-fi!  The restaurant has a glowing reputation for the quality of their offerings, but alas, the chef had decided the day before to take a quick vacation before their busy season began.   It certainly wasn't busy when we got there -- we were the only guests in the marina.   (Just before dusk an expensive sport fish arrived, however.)  Bobby and Patty used to do the cooking, and so they offered to cook whatever we might want, but we decided to decline and eat our fresh mahi-mahi aboard our ever-so-delightfully-stable-when-tied-to-a-dock home.

But before all of that happened, we saw some of the island.  First, Chuck at about noon took a run toward the west, and then later we both took a bike ride through the small town of Port Nelson and then north out to the Rum Cay airport.  The terminal there was quite the interesting place.  (See the photo, below.) 

The wind seemed to be dying down as we returned, but then picked up again later that evening.   We went to bed not knowing if/when we would depart.  As this is written, on the morning of 1/8/07, conditions look favorable for a departure late this morning.   Destination:  Provo, over 200 nautical miles southeast of here.   With a probable stop-over at Mayaguana, we should arrive in Provo by Wednesday morning, 1/10/07.

On the way from Georgetown to Rum Island, we hooked a big mahi-mahi

We were fortunate to land him

He set a Tusen Takk II record: 55 inches

The office at Sumner Point Marina, Rum Island

Distance signs from Rum Cay

Even Savannah was included

The beach shower at Sumner Point

Red, the stowaway cat. See text for details

"Terminal" at Rum Cay airport

Anglican Church in Port Nelson

Barb at beach near Port Nelson cemeteries

The grounds at Sumner Point are sprinkled with the sculptures made by Bobby, the owner of the marina

Some are permanent residents

See the quarried blocks across the way?

A small sculpture of a fish -- tucked away on the grounds

Propped up now on a gate, but destined to be sold in FL

On the other side of the gate -- also to be sold

Another piece on the grounds

And another

And another

And another


A piece inside the restuarant/lounge of Sumner Point

A piece destined to be sold to Gloria Estafon -- not yet finished

Gorgeous wall (or floor) tile with embedded sections of queen conk

Flag courtesy of ITA's Flags of All Countries used with permission.