23 September 2017 | Musket Cove, Fiji
23 April 2017 | Port Antonio, Jamaica
15 April 2017 | Port Antonio, Jamaica
08 April 2017 | Port Antonio, Jamaica
06 April 2017 | Port Antonio, Jamaica
01 April 2017 | Georgetown, Bahamas
31 March 2017 | Georgetown, Bahamas
26 March 2017 | Lee Stocking Cay, Exumas
20 March 2017 | White Point, Exumas
17 March 2017 | Staniel Cay
02 March 2017 | Governor's Harbour, Eleuthera
24 February 2017 | Little Harbour, Abacos
16 February 2017 | Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas
14 February 2017 | West End, Bahamas
11 February 2017 | West End, Bahamas
10 February 2017 | Offshore South Carolina
09 February 2017 | Old Bahama Bay Marina
06 February 2017
05 February 2017
04 February 2017 | Charleston, SC

It's Good To Be Back

23 September 2017 | Musket Cove, Fiji
Michael
It's good to be back.
It's good to be back.

Tammy and I are in Fiji aboard "Moon Dancer," a Tayana 55 based out of Florida. I met the owner, Dr. Phil Kellett, online. He was looking for crew to sail to The Marshall Islands, a 2,000nm sail across the equator and safely out of the southern hemisphere for cyclone season. We exchanged several emails, and, well, here we are.

Tammy will stay two weeks, just enjoying Fiji and helping out with some of the pre-passage boat chores - a very kind offer of the owner. Thanks, Phil! We have no itinerary for the Fiji cruise. Fiji is an archipelago of some 300 islands, so there's no shortage of possibilities. Yesterday we sailed 10nm from Nadi here to Musket Cove, a delightful anchorage with two beachside resorts. Cabanas on stilts and beach massages. Yes, it's touristy, but who cares? I smoked a cigar beneath a coconut tree while Tammy got a spa treatment. So much for drinking kava with tribal chiefs!

We're both getting our sea legs back and learning our way around Moon Dancer. It'll be a sad day when Tammy leaves. I hope to be in Myrtle Beach in early/mid November.

It's good to be back.

How Tammy Buys Bananas

23 April 2017 | Port Antonio, Jamaica
Michael
Life on the hook in Jamaica is, well, different. We love Clive, who lives in the mangroves at the harbor's edge. When it's not raining, he paddles to a nearby deserted island, picks bananas and mangos, then sells them to the boaters. As you can see, he can drive a hard bargain!

UPDATE: We are still in Port Antonio, Jamaica. We are waiting on weather to depart for Providence, Columbia, probably later this week.

Our Jamaican Life

15 April 2017 | Port Antonio, Jamaica
Michael
We have settled into a Jamaican rhythm here in Port Antonio. When we go ashore, we greet people by name. We end sentences with mon, not because it's cute, because that's how they talk. We go to the market for the day's shopping. We walk. We experiment with Jamaican produce and recipes on our own stove. We have our favorite ice cream parlor, coffee shop, restaurant, grocery, market. We consume so much data on our phones, they now know us by name at the phone company. Our wallets are filled with Jamaican money, and we recognize and make change easily with their strange array of coins. We've learned a few words of Patwan, their strange English dialect, e.g. "How are you?" equals "Wahgwan?" (What's going on?).

Today was market day, and we returned with a great haul. We particularly love the papayas, which are almost creamy and are great in smoothies. Also among our loot is soursop, mango, coconut, peppers, pineapple and much more.

Our plans may be best described as "fluid." We arrived here on our way to Cartegna, Columbia. We are now looking at the jungles, gorges and rivers of Guatamala with stops in the Caymans and Roatan, Honduras. But that could well change again.

While in the Bahamas, a cruiser noted our slow progress through the islands and commented that we were "circumnavigating 100 yards at a time."

Well, okay.

A Few Words About The Ganja

08 April 2017 | Port Antonio, Jamaica
Michael
On a busy street corner here in Port Antonio, Jamaica, the raft captain was giving us his excursion pitch, showing us his credentials, including an official looking license. I had a hard time getting past the marijuana roach tucked in the corner of his mouth. On another occasion we were in the market buying produce, and ganja sellers approached me with the ease of someone selling mangoes.

In a nearby park, we met a lovely man (pictured here), who showed us a few local fruits and vegetables he had gathered himself. He let us taste a Star Apple, smell the lemon grass and take home some large Bay Leaves that were the most aromatic I have ever smelled. Then, just as naturally, he moved on to the ganja.

Marijuana, or ganja as it is called here, isn't just here and there; it's omnipresent. Technically, small quantities are subject to a $5 fine, but for practical purposes it is legal. And it makes perfect sense. Alcohol, the vice of the first-world, is expensive and difficult - even dangerous - to produce yourself. Ganja can be grown with a few seeds, rain and sunlight, raw materials in abundance here.

As for Tammy and I? While we are all for walking in another man's shoes, we really don't need to take on yet another vice at this point in our lives. I'll stay with my cigars and scotch; Tammy with her wine.

A Caribbean Kiss

06 April 2017 | Port Antonio, Jamaica
Michael
We had just come through the Windward Passage, the northern door to the Caribbean Sea between Cuba and Haiti when a wall of water rose beside us, curled and broke directly over me flooding the cockpit with two inches of water. A Caribbean Kiss. Welcome to El Caribe!

It was the start of our third morning underway. Up to that point, we had a dream sail from Georgetown, Bahamas. We motored the first 18 hours in light winds, making all of our difficult easting right away. Then the trades filled in, we turned south, killed the engine and we sailed the rest of the way. In the Caribbean Sea - after our "Caribbean Kiss" - we quickly put the big waves astern and poled out the genoa. We ran in the manner nearly all the way to Jamaica. Fast and comfortable tradewind sailing. We arrived on Tuesday afternoon, cleared in after visits from four different sets of authorities - health and quarantine, customs, coast guard and immigration. The Q flag came down; up went the Jamaican courtesy flag. We were here!

We are now trying to learn our way around Port Antonio, Jamaica. This small town with a first-class harbor is known as being one of the safest cities in the country. We are told that we can walk the streets at night without worry.

Yesterday we hired a car and saw some of the sights. The highlight was Reach Falls, a lovely waterfall where we could swim, climb rocks upstream from pool to pool. There was even a cave behind the waterfall. Very fun!
We tried a few local specialities - goat curry and jerk pork - which were delicious.

Today we did chores, got a SIM card for our phone, bought fresh produce in the market and moved off the dock into the anchorage. The mooring includes access to marina facilities - swimming pool, showers, laundry, bar & restaurant, dinghy dock and 24-hour security. This setup suits us, and we will probably use this harbor as our base of operations for exploring Jamaica.
More Pics:
Tammy at Blue Lagoon
Tammy hiking to Reach Falls
Swimming at Reach Falls
Port Antonio Market

Sailing to Jamaica, Mon

01 April 2017 | Georgetown, Bahamas
Michael
We are underway this morning from Georgetown to Port Antonio, Jamaica. Our plan is to go non-stop, about 4-5 days. This will be our longest sail together, just the two of us.

Our route is shown here. Our tracker will be on, so feel free to follow us! Just click the little link (not the map) called, "TRACK US." It's at the bottom left. Or just click here.
Hailing Port: Myrtle Beach, SC
Crew: The Hetzers: Tammy & Michael
About: Email: michael (at) webhenmedia (dot) com
Home Page: http://www.sothishappened.me
Social:
Album: BVI Aboard Aquila | So This Happened
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