Doc advised going deep sea fishing a few days after a hard blow so the water could have time to clear up. We went on the Tongue of the Ocean and skirted the band where the shallow (50’) meets the deep (2,000+’). We aimed for 300-600’ depths also per Doc’s recommendation. We didn’t end up catching anything, but we were excited at the chance to only sail (no motor) the entire day! We tacked the sails and went 4-5 miles south near Nicholstown and Conch Sound and then back north passing the Golden Keys. Kyle’s goal was to sail all the way back to anchor in the bay. So that’s just what we did!
On Easter Sunday we were told the entire community would go to church, eat lunch and then go back to church (all stores and services would be closed as well). We had planned on leaving Andros the Monday after Easter, but due to the 4-day weekend it was determined for us that we would wait in order to finish our errands.
The new plan was to join the locals and hitchhike ourselves to church, but when we woke up Easter morning one kid was "not feeling well." Then the next one caught the feeling and within 15 minutes all three kids were experiencing nausea for the first time. .. it was as if it were contagious!
It may seem weird that we hadn’t even mentioned the concept of motion sickness to the kids. Our thoughts were that if we didn’t speak it (or even entertain it) it might not ever happen! I mean, we had been out on the boat for 31 days straight without any issue! The most interesting fact is that some of our anchorages on the ICW were even more rolly... and the night on The Bank was pure insanity, but they slept right through all that prior rolliness without suffering any nausea!
So after tending to the nausea and all that came with it, we decided to get the kids to dry land. We ended up at a beach where we met a Minnesotan family who was on their second Andros vacation. The family approached us on the beach and we instantly clicked—maybe it was that midwestern tie? We discovered they were from a small town near Sandstone, Minnesota where we had conducted ice climbing excursions several years back. As their kids played with ours, we learned so much about Andros, and the Bahamas in general and flying via personal aircraft (their preferred method of travel). One of our kids needed to use the facilities so we went in the house. Noah saw their bathtub and said "Mommy. I. Need. A. Bath." So the kids jumped in the bathtub for a rinse-down. Then as we talked airplanes with Luke, Jill miraculously came up with a seven course dinner. We joined them for the meal before making a nighttime dinghy passage back to our boat.
They also introduced us to a woman who they referred to as Grandma Diane.
Diane was born in the Netherlands, raised in Saint Augustine and retired on Andros 20+ years ago. She was a sailor her entire life which obviously made a huge impression on us. We immediately respected the woman who had endured a ridiculous number of sailing adventures and hurricanes. She said Hugo was the straw that broke the camel's back in her marriage and Matthew nearly killed her. For nearly two years she's been putting her house and rental cottages back together and digging her belongings out of the bush. We were so excited about her cute B & B that we asked for her website so we could refer others. That's when we found out that her sketchy web developer had fallen off the face of the earth and left her in a lurch (highly invested into a site that was extremely out of date). So one afternoon we sat down and had a session with her. We established a new site on a do-it-yourself platform and walked her through the how-to. We then got her caught up on Instagram and outlined a list of a some basics for drawing customers to her location. Hopefully this is just the beginning of how we can work with her to bring more vacationers (and cruisers) to Knoll's Landing, Andros Island!
One night we scrounged up all the components for s’mores (some forgotten marshmallows & some borrowed marshmallows, Kyle’s stash of Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups and McVites Digestives) and a pack of hotdogs for a great bonfire on the edge of the bay.
We decided we would finally leave on Sunday, April 8th, so on the day prior, we left anchor and came to the harbor to refill water and give tours of our boat (from the fuel dock) to some friends.
After picking up our laundry, we ended up going on an amazing tour of the island with Diane, ate cracked conch at a tiny conch shop, witnessed the fishermen's sale after a long day on the water, met every ex-pat on Andros (and toured their ridiculously cute Sears-Roebuck homes) and visited the Conch Sound Ocean Blue Hole.
We loved meeting the ex-pats of the island. They essentially have a micro-culture of their own right in the heart of Nichollstown. The people were kind, lively and each had an amazing story—and adorable island home. The kids helped Karen from Canada water her garden as we visited and then she shared some of her homegrown produce with us!
We arrived back to the boat a little late—and stayed the night tied up at the fuel dock! Now back to the whole filling up with water thing... We got to the harbor and Kyle sent me to ask the huge yacht people (who were connected to the water source) if we could fill up from their tap. Let’s just say they were very territorial. The man stepped out just long enough to say he gets charged for the water and instructed me to “just tip” his helper. I wouldn’t have it and went back over and asked what they pay per gallon. They said $0.50/gal. Confused, I relayed that the water was advertised as “free” in our guidebook (and by EVERYONE else on the island) and that that was pricey for not being reverse osmosis. The conversation lightened and we discussed economic development of Morgan’s Bluff (which they were very opposed to). Hmm... wonder why? Free dockage for an 80’ yacht... nice airport around the corner to fly in their friends, cheap labor.... don’t get me started, haha.
We we’re thrilled to have FRESH basil and tomatoes!
Since we were baking bread the next day we made enough to share and incorporated some of the veggies into one batch.
Two boats from our marina in Saint Augustine came in which was a total delight!
We were so excited about the first people from our marina deciding to stop at Andros! We greeted them and their beautiful 44’ Leopard catamaran. They had had a rough night prior to their arrival so we agreed to catch up with them the next morning. Cliff, was working on a project and Kyle went over to see if he could help out. Once they finished, we showed them what we knew of the island and then they insisted we shower at their boat. So we took them up on that and spoiled ourselves! After we bathed the kids, Candace did some further spoiling—she had popcorn and a movie for them!
Next up came Sean. We met him at our marina in Saint Augustine during Hurricane Irma. We were on the same pier during the prep and the storm and kept in touch ever since. He had already been on his Bahamas trip for a couple months and was headed back north.
An avid fisherman, Sean had set us up with a nice fishing rod, some handcrafted lures and a wealth of fishing knowledge before the trip. Once he arrived we showed him around and took him to a great spearing site right in front of Knoll's Landing.
The guys speared while the kids and I spent time with Diane. They returned just before the sun started to go down and didn't have much to say. I looked Sean in the eye and asked if he was okay. He sort of speechlessly nodded, "Yes." I was unsure as to what had occurred, but left it alone until we were back at the boat. That's when I found out he had been in a knife fight with a 6' bull shark!
Let's just say it took a couple of days for his nerves to calm. We enjoyed several dinners together (including his specialty: Lobster Casserole) and exchanged late-night stories of the sea.
Upon an opening weather window we said goodbye to Sean and the island of Andros.