07/10/2011, At Anchor off the SCYC...
I've had it...I'm sanding the rust stripes off the hull, cleaning the stainless and scraping the 6" long grass that loves our waterline sans the ablative bottom paint.
We said that when it wasn't exciting to wake up to the awesome beauty and appreciate every moment of this adventure, it was time to go home. That is not the reason we are going home. Ran outta money and the boat is getting cramped. We...I mean I am sick of trying to polish a "t---" that really needs to be painted...10 years ago.
In her defense, she's done everything we've asked of her, handled more than we ever could, and never complains...I could learn from Altair.
Now we're really tired...but Altair is gleaming...almost! She still needs to be painted desperately...but we'll just whisper that and she IS doing a great job of getting us home safely!
07/10/2011, At anchor off the SCYC and North Staniel!
We were actually in sinc today...it's rare..but true. He needs to work on maintenance, fluid checks, deck fill for the diesel and silicone PIA...so I need to give him some space and go ashore.
Perfect opportunity for me to take a hike...literally! I haven't had the opportunity since Culebra and I'm jonesing for exercise!
Dudley got his wish and so did I. I hiked North Staniel for 2.5 hours, got seriously overheated, but I loved it! Dudley got the boat fluids checked out and topped off the diesel after the laborious task of peeling the silicone off the deck fill! He hasn't had the chance to install the new deck fill so we eliminate the chance of water in the fuel.
Again...another fantastic photo op, and very hard to pick just one for this, but here it is. Just can't get enough of the flora, fauna, vistas and the spectacular Caribbean sea.
07/09/2011, Lee Stocking to Staniel Cay...
I really wanted to take this route to get on the bank...it's breathtaking! I know I sound like a broken record...but I'm not kidding.
Entering the cut as planned on a incoming tide was still hairy, for me. The chartplotter lays everything out for us clearly, but when you approach there is always that question, "hmmmmm' does this look right?"
It was a remarkable leg, wanting to get on the bank at last and we thought about stopping at Little Farmers. "We just cannot stop everywhere we want with our deadline we've chosen", says my captain of reason.
There are just too many exquisite shots to pick one for this post. We motor sailed, sad to say, past Rudder Cay, Musha, Cave, Galliot, Big Farmers, Li'l Farmers, Great Guana Gaulin, Bitter Guana, Harvery and finally here to Staniel, all scattered along the cystal clear turquoise waters know only here in the Bahama Bank. Even the Tobago Cays fail to compete with the beautiful, shallow water found only here.
It took us almost 9 hours, but again...only a 40 mile day passage which is a nice change from the overnight and 24 - 96 hour passages of late.
We are also back on the Bahama bank and down the home stretch of our last leg. This photo taken at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club where we felt like islanders, spoke volumes about our journey today....Floating Interest...for real!
07/07/2011, Georgetown to Lee Stocking!
The first thing we needed to do was cut the umbilical cord. No way were we planning to stay in Georgetown for 10 days...but it's hard with extended family holding on like Kudzu to the entire flora of the east coast of the US and possibly beyond.
The rain was a gift...we filled everything and had more water than we could hold. Shucks, we just fetched water a couple of days ago and that's when it rains, when we are full up!
It was a monsoon...we couldn't see the bow of the boat...so we didn't leave until 11a. New destination...Lee Stocking Island.
Have always wanted to check this out: The Caribbean Marine Research Center. We started to call to set the stage "May we take one of your moorings"? No answer. We really wanted to make an appointment for a tour to explore and learn as much as possible of their mission and success to date. We tried until well after we actually took a mooring, dinner was cooked, eaten and showers behind us...the sun was well below the horizon and still no response! Maybe tomorrow! Very exciting!
We only traveled 25 miles and still have 300nm to go. This 5 miles per hour is seriously hampering our desire to get home by Dudley's birthday on the 23rd.
It was hairy entering the cut and then had to hug the coast all the way in and around the the north end of the island...He's my expert eyes on the bow!
07/06/2011, Windward Coast Hike...
That sunset was quite the blazing, brilliant, bling spectacle last night! We had a hangover this morning, but could not leave Georgetown until we walked the beach on the windward coast of Stocking Island. I lost my prescription glasses during all the fun, but managed to get that shot and see perfectly or the camera did for me!
This day is very special first because it's tradition and second, when we reach this pivotal point in our journey whether it's our final destination or a passing fancy...we must walk this beach!
My man is amazing and I will never stop with the accolades! I'm proud to be by his side and he never ceases to amaze me.
07/05/2011, Stocking Island, Georgetown, Exuma
Here are our top best reasons to bop over to the Chat and Chill before leaving Chicken Harbor:
25. All the work on the boat is done (for now) and we can VEGGGGGG!
24. Watching the sunrise which just seems better in the Bahamas and on the water.
23. Getting a haircut on any spot along hole #1 or the famous Sand Dollar Beach.
22. Laughing so hard TRYING to play volleyball.
21. Wading in a neon adarondack chair you've plunged into the surf...
20. Strolling, climbing and balancing our way around hole #1 to peek into hole zero!
19. Drink an icecold Kalik beer (Bahamian brew) that costs too much anytime of day just because you're here.
18. Pick a wildflower from KB's (Kenneth Bowe) property for your loverkins.
17. Gaze mindlessly or thoughtfully, depending on how much rum you drank at the sunsets which are lengendary.
16. Eat great fresh seafood or bbq'd anything from the hands of Ulrich the Grillmaster.
15. Sit for hours chatting with KB about the old days.
14. Sitting for more hours with KB to Chat about the new days!
13. Drinking too much rum on the sand.
12. Take as long as you want building teeny sand sculptures...or not. Just playing in KB's sand box.
11. People watch.
10. Drink more ice cold Kalik beer with someone new, since my first mate doesn't drink beer.
9. Try to remember if you've sat under every cassarina or almond tree over the years.
8. Beaching the dink after too long away...and the feeling you have when you tromp up the beach to the bar...indescribably comforting!
7. Depending on the time of year, seeing if you recognize anyone.
6. Reading the shirts and banners hung high above our heads in the rafters...
5. Deciphering the madness scribbled in the guestbooks.
4. Gawking at babes sitting, playing v-ball or walking by.
3. Drolling over the hunky guys doing whatever.
2. Family regatta action and Cruising Regatta craziness spilling over here in April.
And the all time best and number one reason to come to the Chat and Chill:
1. Beaching the dink and walking to the windward side of Stocking for the historic hike along the stromatolite, ancient reef formations still being studied to this day, and making it up to the monument... then coming back to the Chat and Chill for an ice cold Kalik.
Thanks KB for all the memories, since l998, and he's keeping on keepin' on! Check out the Chat and Chill on Facebook!