07/24/2011, Bimini, Big Game Club Marina!
We really enjoyed our stay here in Bimini! It's like we were on vacation from our vacation. NOT. Cruising is a lifestyle that just plain is not for everyone and we're tired.
We are getting so close to home! So much to do when we get there...me tinks we're stalling! We are so not looking forward to driving. A car. Walking on land is a problem and I'm scared.
I need a job! Altair needs a face lift and a new owner! I will get a car so I can get a job! We're gonna be busy!
In the meantime...hiking, eating and being immersed in the fever of sport fishers that took over the place from Miami this past weekend gave this place a heartbeat and us a diversion.
It won't be long now before we are back in the USA and the sweet, slow pace of the Bahamas and the Caribbean will be replaced with mahem and the almighty compulsion for the dollar. Yeiks!
07/23/2011, Slip D-15, Good Sloop Altair, Big Game Club Marina!
Thanks so much to everyone who has helped to make Dudley's birthday memorable. He feels very loved with all the support about his amazing stamina for an 80 year old monster. He is truly an outstandingly magnificent man on so many levels and I'm so proud to be his woman!
We slept like a rock, akin to one from the Baths at Virgin Gorda! Didn't wake up til 8:30 this morning...we needed it very much and it's his birthday!
We took off for breakfast at Captain Bob's and then this is what he wanted for his birthday. To check out this yacht.
Well, if wishes were fishes we'd be swimming with schools of 'em.
Here's the only thing, other than relaxing, that he wanted to do for his birthday today. This schooner is the only other sailing vessel at this marina which was packed with weekend with fishing boats and yachts! They started arriving late last night, but this beauty is Dudley's dream or one of them.
She's a replica of L. Francis Herreshoff''s Ticonderoga. This schooner is called Mistral. To quote Herreshoff: " I've drooled over those drawings for more than 20 years, wondering how she'd feel under my feet in a fresh breeze and feisty sea. I sensed she'd be a spirited and friendly boat, a partner for a lifetime". Can you see why he's a magician yacht designer?
We chatted with the Captain, met the newest and third owner of this artistically, historically crafted ship and my camera battery held out long enough to capture a glimpse of one of many of Dudley's wishes for his birthday and every day. All wishes that start with a bigger, better, newer vessel to carry him on yet another journey like the one that's just about to close for us.
I love you honey and I wish with all my heart to be able to give you that!
Happy Birthday dear, sweet, wonderful man...who's all mine, totally mine...eat your hearts out!
We took a slip at Bimini's Big Game Club Marina! We are desperate for a stand up, hot and cold, full running shower; jonesing for some comfort food; and needing to change fluids, check filters and top off the diesel for all the motoring we've been doing and probably will do to get home! Sad but true!
We are so close, yet so far! I asked Dudley if he wanted to get everything done today and play tomorrow on his Birthday! Dudley Do Right says "get the work done before we play", so we did!
We were very tired...never sleep well on these overnights...but it all got done! I even splurged on fresh water, @ $.40 p/g, to scrub the cockpit cushions and cursed the boat while scrubbing the deck and cockpit too. She's clean...just needs a paint job darn it!
We treated ourselves to 'brunch" at the Big Game Bar and Grill...then again after the dip in the pool, after sundowners, after finding out where the grocery store, chandlery (hah), and the home made icecream are and had dinner there too.
It's good to be back "home", or what feels like our playground and back yard.
Then we crashed...
07/21/2011, Rose Island, East of Nassau!
We had a heck of a time setting the anchor...Dudley dove it and tried to help dig it in deeper but the bottom was a little grassy and hard. He wasn't very happy about it...but we decided to stay put! It's just an overnight, after all.
What we did get done was the new alternator belt installed. Yep, we had one that Dudley thought was too small! I said, "let's just try it! He said he will never doubt my positive outlook and optimism again. It was a struggle but we are back in action.
Don't know what this TS Brett is about, but we discussed what we would do in the event of 'bad weather' in the middle of the night! I set the anchor alarm on the Ray Marine chartplotter which went off the first blow at 2am! Dudley didn't hear it...but when I set the portable Garmin, he suggested I go to bed with it and he would stay up a bit! We were both on edge to say the least.
Not much sleep, neither one of us, and a 30 hour leg ahead of us...just great!
We took off at 8a just like we planned...just not sure if we will go to Chub Cay or onto Bimini. It's a slog no matter how you look at it in the Tongue of the ocean to boot! So much for the shallow Bahama Bank and won't see it again until we reach the NW Channel Light which makes for a very nervous captain. Dudley says that it's an important way point, and it's usually not there!
This beauty, full on from Nassau clear across to us here at Rose Island and landing right into Altair's waiting deck or so it seems. No pot of gold today, but we'll look at this vibrant rainbow as a good luck charm, just the same.
07/20/2011, Yellow Bank toward Rose Island, off Nassau!
We got a voice weather report from Highborne Cay..."Tropical Storm Brett would influence the northern Bahamas this morning...". What? Tropical Storm who? Where?
Great...no internet, no SSB report, no problem, right?
We did have some squalls that influenced our short leg to Rose, but that translates to "sailing"! They were short lived, but we enjoyed it for the little while we threw up the canvas each time, just after we gulped and looked at each other with a guery attached: "leave up the rags or strike 'em?"
Then I spotted these very special mammals...about 6 total, with a baby sticking close to 'mom' playing in our bow wake. A huge treat since we haven't see them of any of their relatives in a very long time.
Sorry for the inferior pix...just had to share our good fortune with our guests this morning.
07/19/2011, Next to Highborne...so far away!
We couldn't leave Highborne Cay Marina fast enough. The prices were outta this world and we were like a fish out of water among these mega yachts. Oriole Cookies were $10.00; showers, back in the boondocks and mosquito infested, were timed at 4 minutes and cost $4 each; just to name a few atrocities about this 'exclusive' privately owned marina.
This place called Allens is a breath of fresh air! Just nature, crystal clear torquoise water, flora, fauna and the reefs.
We saw the famous or infamous, depending on your outlook, iguanas with a face only a mother could love; we met a life long cruiser with her daughter and two grandsons visiting from the US, on SV Island Gal; met Harry and his crew on 'Bout Time' who sold us some conch; watched the tourists arrive on two go fast boats filled to the limit with folks checking out those ancient looking reptiles; and then explored some possible sites to snorkel when the tide goes slack three hours from now.
This is what we found...a very verdant, healthy, vibrant, shallow reef, stuffed with fish. Dudley was worried it was "Shark Thirty", which it was at 5:30pm, but it was gorgeous and I positively did not want to get out of the water.