free as a bird

19 April 2014 | Warderick Wells Exumas
19 April 2014 | Warderick Wells Exumas
31 March 2014 | Nassau Harbour Club Marina
01 March 2014 | Boot Key, Marathon, FL
19 April 2011 | Warderick Wells Exumas
02 April 2011 | George Town Exuma
11 March 2011 | Warderick Wells
30 April 2010 | Nassau Bahamas
15 April 2010 | Rock Sound Harbor, Eleuthera
31 March 2010 | Thompson Bay, Long Island, Bahamas
20 March 2010 | Thompson Bay, Long Island, Bahamas
15 March 2010 | Georgetown Bahamas
27 February 2010 | Nassau Bahamas
19 February 2010 | Marathon, FL
25 January 2010 | Useppa Island
18 January 2010 | Shell Island, Panama City, FL
29 April 2009 | Georgetown
14 April 2009 | Georgetown Bahamas
03 April 2009 | Warderick Wells-Exuma Park
24 March 2009 | Nassau, Bahamas

Cruisin' 2014

19 April 2014 | Warderick Wells Exumas
Gail/Partly Cloudy Wind: ESE 17-20+
Our friends arrived on time. We were so glad to see them. And on the same afternoon, our buddy boat, FinnIrish arrived in Nassau. They had been towed to Chub Cay and stayed there several days, maybe a week, until they could fix their engine. We were glad to see them able to move again.
We had planned to leave the next morning for the Exumas, work our way to Staniel Cay, then back up and across to Nassau with two days to catch the NCAA final game and visit Atlantis. Of course, right before we left the weather forecast changed. The wind and waves were going to pick up earlier than previously forecasted. So, we left as planned on Wednesday. It was a fairly bumpy ride, but not uncomfortable. We sailed for almost ten hours to Warderick Wells. It is so difficult to determine the best spot in the Exumas, it is all so beautiful. But if our trip was going to be cut short, I wanted them to see the waters of Warderick Wells. We picked up a mooring ball and enjoyed a lovely evening watching the sunset. We played so much Canasta while they were here, I believe we played that night after the sun set. I do remember that is was a nice evening for sleeping, just the right breeze to keep the air circulating in the boat.
The next morning, we went to the North Field, one of the most beautiful spots on earth, in my opinion. It was so chilly, we needed long-sleeved shirts or jackets. It was a little too chilly to snorkel without wet suits, so we snorkeled with the see-through bucket. Since we could not pick up the weather there, we decided to move north to Norman’s Cay. At Norman’s there is a tower close enough for Frank to keep an eye on the weather. We grilled rib eyes and enjoyed the evening sunset and cool breezes. Because there wasn’t another boat near us, it creates a feeling of solitude and peace. It was a lovely evening.
The next morning, they went to shore. I picked up a bug and wasn’t too chipper. After they returned, we looked at the weather. We seemed to have two days to get back, today with some wind, the next day with no wind. We chose to head back that day with a little bit of wind. Jeff sailed us back to Nassau, like he had done that many times. Because I was laying down, the three of them played Canasta in the cockpit underway. That should confirm that the wind was very light.
We docked and headed to the showers. Something happened to the water pressure and the shower was a drizzle. It took longer, but we managed to get clean. That was a local experience for them. When you cruise the Bahamas, showers can be a challenge sometimes. The pressure was fixed a few days, three showers later. In the Bahamas you deal with what you got.
We were disappointed that they were going to spend so many days in Nassau instead of the other islands. They went to the straw market, bought nice souvenirs. One was a hand carved ballerina that was gorgeous. Becky got her rum cakes. They had a nice lunch at a Greek restaurant. I stayed behind to rest in hopes of knocking out that bug sooner.
We spent some days relaxing in the sun, playing a lot of Canasta, some four-handed, some six-handed with our buddy boat folks, watching NCAA basketball. Boy was it getting exciting. Jeff is from Kentucky and their daughter graduated from University of Florida. Well, Jeff didn’t expect Kentucky to make it that far in the tournament, so he committed to pull for Florida. With each Kentucky game, it appeared that Jeff may be in a dilemma. It appeared we could be looking at a Florida/Kentucky showdown. Well, all the games were really good, but shockingly Florida lost to Connecticut. Then Kentucky lost to Connecticut. Our boat was really rocking during the final four and final games. We just advised the boats around us that we were watching basketball, we weren’t fighting!
We made our trip over to Atlantis. Even though we have been several times, we enjoy watching first-timers enjoy the aquarium. We have described it in the past, but it is new every time you see it. They had recently been to the Chihully museum in Seattle. Atlantis has a lot of his glasswork on display. Some of it is so large, it is mesmerizing. Okay, Frank did play a little Three Card Poker, hit a straight flush among other smaller, yet profitable hands and cashed in winnings of about $500-600 for a short time.
It came time to have to say goodby to our friends. They left with great souvenirs, shells, sea glass and beautiful memories of the Bahama waters. Like I’ve always said, you can see it in pictures and videos, but you have to come to the Bahamas to see it yourself. It can’t be captured.
They were our first visitors on the boat. We were very comfortable with them. I felt bad because I couldn’t be the hostess I’d planned, but they just pitched in like they were here all the time. We look forward to having them again.
We were in Nassau several more days before we were able to move. We did leave and sailed back to Warderick Wells. We scooted out a couple of days before forecasted high winds. We moved into the protected area of the North Field. We will be here for Easter pot luck at the Rangers’ house. It’s a very nice place to be. It has also reminded us of Jeff and Becky’s reaction to the beauty.
Until next time, remember the significance of Easter. It is the most important day of the year!

Cruisin' 2014

19 April 2014 | Warderick Wells Exumas
Gail/Partly Cloudy Wind: ESE 17-20+
Our friends arrived on time. We were so glad to see them. And on the same afternoon, our buddy boat, FinnIrish arrived in Nassau. They had been towed to Chub Cay and stayed there several days, maybe a week, until they could fix their engine. We were glad to see them able to move again.
We had planned to leave the next morning for the Exumas, work our way to Staniel Cay, then back up and across to Nassau with two days to catch the NCAA final game and visit Atlantis. Of course, right before we left the weather forecast changed. The wind and waves were going to pick up earlier than previously forecasted. So, we left as planned on Wednesday. It was a fairly bumpy ride, but not uncomfortable. We sailed for almost ten hours to Warderick Wells. It is so difficult to determine the best spot in the Exumas, it is all so beautiful. But if our trip was going to be cut short, I wanted them to see the waters of Warderick Wells. We picked up a mooring ball and enjoyed a lovely evening watching the sunset. We played so much Canasta while they were here, I believe we played that night after the sun set. I do remember that is was a nice evening for sleeping, just the right breeze to keep the air circulating in the boat.
The next morning, we went to the North Field, one of the most beautiful spots on earth, in my opinion. It was so chilly, we needed long-sleeved shirts or jackets. It was a little too chilly to snorkel without wet suits, so we snorkeled with the see-through bucket. Since we could not pick up the weather there, we decided to move north to Norman’s Cay. At Norman’s there is a tower close enough for Frank to keep an eye on the weather. We grilled rib eyes and enjoyed the evening sunset and cool breezes. Because there wasn’t another boat near us, it creates a feeling of solitude and peace. It was a lovely evening.
The next morning, they went to shore. I picked up a bug and wasn’t too chipper. After they returned, we looked at the weather. We seemed to have two days to get back, today with some wind, the next day with no wind. We chose to head back that day with a little bit of wind. Jeff sailed us back to Nassau, like he had done that many times. Because I was laying down, the three of them played Canasta in the cockpit underway. That should confirm that the wind was very light.
We docked and headed to the showers. Something happened to the water pressure and the shower was a drizzle. It took longer, but we managed to get clean. That was a local experience for them. When you cruise the Bahamas, showers can be a challenge sometimes. The pressure was fixed a few days, three showers later. In the Bahamas you deal with what you got.
We were disappointed that they were going to spend so many days in Nassau instead of the other islands. They went to the straw market, bought nice souvenirs. One was a hand carved ballerina that was gorgeous. Becky got her rum cakes. They had a nice lunch at a Greek restaurant. I stayed behind to rest in hopes of knocking out that bug sooner.
We spent some days relaxing in the sun, playing a lot of Canasta, some four-handed, some six-handed with our buddy boat folks, watching NCAA basketball. Boy was it getting exciting. Jeff is from Kentucky and their daughter graduated from University of Florida. Well, Jeff didn’t expect Kentucky to make it that far in the tournament, so he committed to pull for Florida. With each Kentucky game, it appeared that Jeff may be in a dilemma. It appeared we could be looking at a Florida/Kentucky showdown. Well, all the games were really good, but shockingly Florida lost to Connecticut. Then Kentucky lost to Connecticut. Our boat was really rocking during the final four and final games. We just advised the boats around us that we were watching basketball, we weren’t fighting!
We made our trip over to Atlantis. Even though we have been several times, we enjoy watching first-timers enjoy the aquarium. We have described it in the past, but it is new every time you see it. They had recently been to the Chihully museum in Seattle. Atlantis has a lot of his glasswork on display. Some of it is so large, it is mesmerizing. Okay, Frank did play a little Three Card Poker, hit a straight flush among other smaller, yet profitable hands and cashed in winnings of about $500-600 for a short time.
It came time to have to say goodby to our friends. They left with great souvenirs, shells, sea glass and beautiful memories of the Bahama waters. Like I’ve always said, you can see it in pictures and videos, but you have to come to the Bahamas to see it yourself. It can’t be captured.
They were our first visitors on the boat. We were very comfortable with them. I felt bad because I couldn’t be the hostess I’d planned, but they just pitched in like they were here all the time. We look forward to having them again.
We were in Nassau several more days before we were able to move. We did leave and sailed back to Warderick Wells. We scooted out a couple of days before forecasted high winds. We moved into the protected area of the North Field. We will be here for Easter pot luck at the Rangers’ house. It’s a very nice place to be. It has also reminded us of Jeff and Becky’s reaction to the beauty.
Until next time, remember the significance of Easter. It is the most important day of the year!

Cruisin' 2014

31 March 2014 | Nassau Harbour Club Marina
Gail/Mostly Sunny/Winds E10-15
Been a while since my last blog. We were having so much fun in Bimini, blogging took a back seat. I mentioned that there might not be new things to write about since we enjoy going to a lot of the same places. As we approached Bimini, I had forgotten the color of the water. It took away my breath as if I were seeing it for the first time. Google “Bimini Blue Pics,” then multiply that by ten and it is still not as beautiful as actually seeing the water. You can see down many feet to the bottom through that blue water like nowhere else.

There was a good weather window to move on to Nassau three days after we got there. We chose to wait and enjoy the visit in Bimini. It has our favorite beaches for sea glass and collectible shells. We went to the beach almost every day. We love the small marina and the people. We got to know other boats. We played Canasta with two other couples.

There are a lot of sharks. There is a shark research lab. (Later in the laundry room in Nassau, I read an article on the effort Bimini was putting forth to respect, instead of fearing, sharks). We saw several, many swimming under the boat. I continued to have a respect for them by staying out of the water. One afternoon we saw a very large spotted eagle sting ray swimming out from under our boat. That was the most beautiful animal we saw. I also saw one leap out of the water in the distance, spinning like a Frisbee.

The marinas are on the east side of North Bimini. Off the west side is an area that is flat at low tide. It is nice seeing the birds standing on the flats. We love birds, especially herons and egrets. Didn’t see herons, but there were lovely white egrets, pelicans, seagulls, etc.

The local fishermen come by our boat selling lobster tail, fish and cleaned conch. We bought lobster tails twice. I like conch, but don’t cook it, so we passed on the conch.

When we finally left this past Sunday to cross to Nassau, we decided to anchor out on the banks and continue crossing Monday. There was no moon when the sun set. It was the darkest, blackest anchorage I have ever seen. No city glow in the distance. The stars looked so low, you felt you could reach up and touch them. We were sailing with one other boat. When we pulled our anchors early Monday, the other boat had an engine belt problem. Frank launched our dinghy and went to help. It appears there was a water pump problem that they couldn’t fix. They made arrangements for a tow to the closest island with a marina. We pulled up anchor two hours later than planned. We had a really lovely motor sail. It would have been a nice sail only day, but since we started later than planned, we had to scoot on to get there before dark. That is such a nice stretch of our trip because the water is so deep, it has a deep Mediterranean blue, almost lapis color. It is called the tongue of the ocean. Occasionally, when the sun hits it just right, you can see purple water. When I read that in the past, I thought it certainly couldn’t really be purple, but it is. We were fortunate that the sun was just right this trip and we saw the purple water in the afternoon. It is unforgettable.

We, of course, had reservations at Nassau Harbour Club. While we were docking, Frank looked up to throw one of his lines to a dock-hand. Then he noticed it was our dear friend from Dreamketcher. We sailed with them in 2011. We hadn’t seen them since then. It was a head-jerking shocked look on Frank’s face when he noticed it was Dave. We have picked up right where we left off. We play the Chicken foot option to Mexican Train dominoes. We have gone to Atlantis to eat pizza and see the aquarium. The aquarium never gets old. It is still as breathtakingly beautiful as always. It is bigger than life.
We have our dear friends from Niceville arriving Tuesday, April 1, so we will wait in the marina until then. The wind has been blowing quite a bit, we likely wouldn’t have moved yet anyway. So we will keep playing dominos, eating good food, reading good books, catching good basketball, and provisioning the boat to move to the Exumas. (P.S. Our buddy boat that had to be towed is expected to arrive here Sunday/Monday. They met and graduated from the University of Akron. Not everything is negative for them, basketball is quite exciting!)

And on a serious note, while we were in Bimini, we lost one of our dearest friends Fred Hurlburt. He loved to sail. He loved life and oh how he did live it. He coached basketball for several schools. He was affectionately known as “coach.” He touched and molded many people’s lives. He had such a passion for playing Canasta with us, as he was with most everything he did. We loved him dearly and he will be missed. When we sail we think how much he would love being here with us. God blessed all who will miss Fred for having known him.

Until next time…..
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Album: | free as a bird