Big Majors Spot- Selene Rendezvous

We hauled the anchor and headed south from Cambridge Cay Saturday morning, waiting until about 11 for some tide advantage through the south end of the anchorage. Our timing was good, we had an uneventful exit. Celebrate followed us so we could keep them apprised of any skinny water since they draw nearly a foot more than we. We arrived at Big Majors Spot after noon, and picked a spot among the Selene’s already there in anticipation of the start of the rendezvous.

Our arrival Saturday at Big Majors Spot was significant in that it marked the beginning of the Selene Rendezvous as well as the arrival of daughter Andrea and her friend David. They would join us for a week aboard, sharing in the rendezvous activities and getting some much-needed R&R. Other than a video clip we received at Christmas, it would be the first time Barb has seen Andrea walking since her accident September 5th, so the excitement is a double whammy with having family joining us for the time we’ll be with our Selene “family”.

We arrived in the anchorage to join two other 43 sistership “Solo’s”, Escapade and Live Wire II already present. Several other Selene’s were present, and the ranks swelled steadily through the day as we greeted some familiar faces and met some new! We made arrangements to borrow Celebrate’s larger 25 HP dinghy to make the run to the airport Sunday morning to retrieve our guests and their luggage. There is a dinghy passage to Isles’ general store where there is a spot to tie the dinghy off and just a short walk to the airstrip. Andrea’s flight was scheduled to arrive at 0930, so we got an early start for the 2+ mile trip into the airport. The flight was about 30 minutes late in arrival, but not unexpected- this is the Bahamas, and Bahamas time moves at its own pace. There just isn’t much sense of urgency about well, much of anything in the Bahamas. There was a tearful excitement as Andrea & David stepped down the boarding ladder and we welcomed them to the Bahamas. Kevin Frawley of Selene Florida was also aboard their flight, he picked them out before they boarded the flight and asked if they were heading to the Rendezvous and Maerin as he had met us at the Lauderdale TrawlerFest a few weeks prior.

We made the 2 mile run back to the anchorage and got settled in, returned the fast dinghy, and headed for a slow tour of the anchorage and a stop-off at the pig beach for an enthusiastic reception by the swimming pigs. Some small fry were also there, but stayed back in the shade. We discovered them lounging in the shade of the palms behind the beach, and Andrea hypnotized one of the piggies with an ear and tummy rub. He laid down and rolled to his side as she rubbed, groaning and grunting his appreciation for the attention as he fell in to a trance-like relaxation there on the sand. His bigger cousins were primarily interested in food, and can be a bit agressive if they think they can “cow” you into giving up some food. They respond to an assertive stance, and will back off if you stand your ground. But they DO swim, and it always is fun to see and hear the show.

The Selene Rendezvous officially commenced Sunday evening with a beach gathering at the north end of the Big Majors anchorage. There were a total of 16 Selene’s represented, and additional folks as guests aboard and from abroad gathered for snacks and drinks on the beach. The red glow of the sunset gave way to the glow of a bonfire as the evening waned and folks began making their way back to their boats. The anchorage was full, and as we motored our way back to the boat, the twinkle of anchor lights melded with the countless stars in the Bahama sky as the fleet enjoyed a calm night at anchor.

Monday morning came with clear skies and light winds, great for beach activities. The Selene fleet women met on the beach for yoga, and in the afternoon we headed for the grotto for some snorkeling. Our timing was a bit late as the current was already running, making it difficult to swim through the entrance even with fins. There are plenty of opportunities to snorkel outside the grotto where the current eddies. It’s enjoyable to simply float along and watch the display below. Color abounds with coral in every shade imaginable. The brightly colored fish are brilliant when in direct sunlight, and will get very close if you are still enough. David and I headed to Staniel Cay to hang out at the outdoor bar for some Bahamas-style internet access. Me to catch up on some blogging, and David to actually do some work as a condition of his being able to take vacation time off! We returned to Maerin in time to clean up and make the slow trip back for the evening Selene Rendezvous activities.

As evening came, the Selene group gathered at Staniel Cay Yacht Club for a cocktail party hosted by Selene Annapolis. There was lots of activity there by the docks as always. We enjoyed watching the fishing guys cleaning some of the daily catch of snapper, grouper, mahi (dolphin), conch and lobster. Some fried conch was on the menu for the cocktail party, and were very tasty. Nurse sharks hang by the cleaning table, anxious to clean up the cast-offs from cleaning.

Tuesday morning the group moved to Compass Cay marina, most of which was given over to dockage of Selene’s. Some boats stayed anchored outside, we opted for a marina stay, and our slip was at the focal point of the activity. The slip required sliding past a large yacht, not a problem except for the lack of water. We tried once and couldn’t get past the shallow spot, so we made a temporary tie on the dock then moved in when the tide had come up. The crew of the big yacht was concerned as we were only inches away as we moved past, but the absence of influence of current or wind made the maneuver relatively simple, just slow and easy did it!

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