Steps from our marina is the Androsia Factory in Andros Town (not really a town). It is a Batik that has been made here in the Bahamas since 1973, and is the top export of Andros island. At our wedding we used Androsia fabric on our tables. So, Amelia was very excited to see more of the beautiful fabric in person.
Here is the official website on how the fabric is made: http://www.androsia.com/Factory.html
In the waxing room, hundreds of different designs hang on the walls and line the floors. They are hand-carved foam with wire and very intricate.
A lot of them are custom for different resorts, companies and restaurants all over the world.
The floor and everything around was covered in wax. While we stood there looking at all the designs, a couple came in with an employee and he started a demonstration. Soon, they were creating their own Batik. We asked if we cold join in. Even though we weren’t from a certain hotel he let Amelia make two panels of Batik.
The stamps are dipped in melted wax and then held down on the fabric for three seconds. It is hard not to get drops of wax everywhere!
There is also a writing utensil that holds wax. Amelia used it to draw and write on the fabric. Cursive came in really handy. (Still hard not to drip wax everywhere!)
When the designs were complete we headed to the dye room and picked out Periwinkle on the color chart. (Amelia had to compromise on a color and the other woman referenced this as her children’s favorite color so really Amelia had no choice. But the color turned out really nice!)
The fabric is dyed in these bins for about two hours, then they are washed many times at a high temperature to get rid of the wax.
Finally, the beautiful fabric is hung out to dry in the back of the factory!!
At the store, you can see the results of the various patterns and colors.
The next day, we picked up our Androsia that Amelia had created. What a great keepsake from our trip to Fresh Creek, Andros.
Fresh Creek has been a nice place to spend time. We walked a path out to an old lighthouse and climbed the rickety ladder to the top.
We also took our dinghy Raptor for a ride up Fresh Creek and came across a large mangrove stand on the South shore about thirty feet high. As we approached, we noticed someone had strung up parachutes and a cargo net to make it a play fort. What a comfortable hammock cargo netting makes!
Despite the lack of anchorages, Andros has been a nice surprise for us. It may have been different if we hadn’t stumbled upon the Batik lesson and Mangrove Fort, but Fresh Creek was by far our favorite stop in Andros, and you can see why.
Our current Velocir plan is to sail north tomorrow to Morgan’s Bluff, located on the north end of Andros. Then a calm weather window is coming and we plan to make it back to the States. It took us 80 days to get down here, and we want to get back to Annapolis in 45 days. Here we go!
We traversed the east coast of Andros another full day from South Bight to North Bight. Still wide-open anchorages with no protection but nice beaches on-shore. And still no fish!!
We kept going north, headed for the town of Fresh Creek. Velocir started inside the reef, motoring up through the shallows now that the wind had shifted unfavorably. We kept getting bites on our spoon lure but they escaped each time. Grant reeled it in to see that the hook was so rusted and dull it had actually broken off on one side, so he replaced it with a new hook.
Before the inshore route got too shallow, Velocir headed outside the reef. Here our other lure, a 6 inch green fish for Mahi Mahi, comes into play. Just off Green Cay (a different one than we’d just visited) we got a bite!!
Grant struggled with all his strength to reel it in. It was Amelia’s turn on the reel, but with the fight this Mahi was putting up she didn’t volunteer to trade jobs. It took about 20 minutes of hard work to get the fish in. As soon as it was alongside, Amelia gaffed it perfectly and brought it aboard.
It was a beautiful male Mahi Mahi. You can tell because the head is more blunt than the female.
We entered Fresh Creek’s narrow channel a few hours later. It is a larger town (comparatively) and has an old lighthouse, Androsia factory and beaches. According to our chart, guidebooks and other blogs, there are three mooring balls in the harbor. Anchoring is not possible due to the scoured bottom and very heavy current.
We went past the marina towards the mooring balls. Two were taken by a trimaran that is permanently there. The other one was free, so we slowly motored towards it….and ran aground. It was low tide, so we would be okay. But we were so tired from the past few days we worked as hard as we could to get unstuck.
After various tactics probably totaling 30 minutes, Grant jumped in the water and rotated Velocir 180 degrees. He could see from the contour of the sand that if he moved Velocir about 5 inches over she would be free. Amelia shifted the weight of the boat by moving forward and aft as Grant rotated the boat. (Only possible on a boat Velocir’s size!) He then grabbed the pulpit, pulling himself into the boat and shouted “go.” Amelia knew he was now safely out of the water and put Velocir in gear. We were free! (On the upside, we are now intimately familiar with our depth sounder’s readings. 3.3 is AGROUND. 3.5 is AFLOAT Good to know….)
Between reeling in the fish and pushing Velocir off the sand, Grant was sore all over. It was time to dish out some money for the only marina, Lighthouse Yacht Club- something we have only done one night our entire trip. What a relief! Protection from the sea, steps away from land, internet, showers and free ice. Not a bargain, but not a choice.