We have arrived in the Abacos with our arrival to Black Sound , not White Sound where the Americanized marinas are and far from the settlement
We were lucky to get on a mooring inside a well protected bay right next to New Plymouth , the settlement of about 450 people .
I did not like our location and the fact we were unable to access land thru the property.
Sooo, the next morning I ventured down to the Other Shore Marina and talked to the dockmaster Kevin who happens to be the lead guitar in a band called Gully Roosters , we toured the property and he showed me all the amenities , for a sawbuck a night , oh yea .........
This is a beautiful location , we toured the settlement , a pastel painting come alive and found some wonderful folks , this is it...... we are in Paradise and we are so grateful to find it , we shall stay here for some time so we can meet the folks explore the beaches , emmerse ourselves in the local flavor once again and enjoy ourselves ,
Talk to ya all soon
We met an old gentleman by the name of Vertrum Lowe, one of the original families of Green Turtle Cay who is a master model ship builder, he has a shop here and it was so facinating!! Took a lot of pictures and also learned that his brother is a famous artist and has his works of art in the local museum, we will be going there soon as well as visiting the local beaches. Dave is right, this place is beautiful and truly a bit of paradise. We'll write more later as well as add some terrific pictures of this Island. Enjoy!!
Pushed off the dock at exactly low tide at 7:30 a.m., West End, and as expected, moderate winds from the North. After turning to starboard at Memory Rock, the winds gradually increased to 30-31 knots.
We were driving through a wind driven short period, 4 to 5 foot chop on a broad reach off the port quarter. It was about an 11 hour ride, covering 52-53 miles, concluding at Great Sale Cay. A huge anchorage with good protection from the N, NNE, NE, E winds. We were able to tuck up inside with our shallow draft. Five boats spent the night. The next day was spent forecast to blow and blow from the N - NE cold front (Feb 12)
So we decided to hang out and give ourselves a chance to preview the many Cays ahead on our route. We yawed back and forth all night but we slept with Lynda's new splicing and whipping.
Saturday night had the wind calming so we decided to pull the anchor and head for Spanish Cay. As soon as we left the harbor, the wind pipes up and we had to head into its teeth for six miles. But then.....we had a beam reach, 20-28 knots and we were kickin ass!!! We drove 42.9 miles and pulled into Spanish Cay at 3 to 3:30. We had a couple of hours late driving through a strong flood tide.
We had talked to Spanish Cay on our new BTC (Ba-tel-co) cell phone earlier in the day and they knew we were coming. When we get there I couldn't raise a soul on the radio, a 72-slip marina is empty. Suddenly, we have a dock hand hailing us, we put her in a slip, I bought some fuel, then the dock hand and another person drove out of the marina!! I walked around the beautiful grounds and everything was locked except the bar/restaurant. I walked inside, Big Screen is on loud with the "Godfather" playing. There are pool tables, shuffle board, darts and a ping pong table. Garth Brooks is on the speakers inside and outside at the swimming pool/jacuzzi and what a view --- nobody, no bodies!!!
HELLO! HELLO!! I walked back inside, found the showers, then returned to the boat and brought Lynda up to show her what I had found. Then a young lady appeared, Coretta - HELLO! Ok, ok, we need to check in, get the internet and maybe a burger, ok? And a tall tonic and lime!! I needed to go back to the boat and returned a short time later and found nobody!! No bodies!! HELLO! LYYYNNNDDDAAA!!! LLLLYYYNNNDDDDAA!!! I looked all over for Lynda then went back to the boat, did some shores and later came back to shower. I found Lynda with our cold drinks, Coretta and another fella. "Where were you guys?" We were right there, in another room checking in and never heard you calling for us!! I said "No....no...oh well, and went and took a shower.
We had a really great burger and went back to the boat and found no internet. So I took the computer and went up to the restaurant but everything was already locked up so I took a stool and spent two hours on the vanity in the men's room searching all the placed we wanted to go. I came back to the boat and slept like an old man.....real good!!
02/09/2011, West End / Grand Bahama Island
Threw off the lines at 6:30 Wednesday Morn and hauled across the Channel .
was supposed to be 10 to 15K , clocking from NE to E TO SE. seas 4 to 6 .
all correct except 17-28 k all but a couple hours of a broad reach.
Without that we would not have rolled in here just before dark.
APPROX. 75 MILES
We shall check the weather and move on asap out on the little Bahama Bank .
I am excited , more uncharted locations for Daddy Oh and Mammasan.
Oh , oh yea , Jack too.
Saw hundreds of flyin fish today along with dolphin playing off the bow .
About 1/2 way across we noticed we were taking on water at about 5 gallons every 20 minutes .
So while Captain Lynda was at the helm bragging about 7.3 knots Daddy-oh was searching for a leak to no avail.
After we tied her up the leak stopped , not the stuffing box and not any thru hull I had looked at and that was all except the ones behind the new bulkhead hatch I installed in the after berth .
While Captain Lynda worked hard ahead of an approaching storm splicing a new rode / anchor chain connection due to the beating it took at Little Harbour Cay
I removed all our supplies from our storage locker ( after berth ) opened the hatch and found the hose / thru hull connection for the bilge pump to have a broken clamp. so the water was coming in
at the connection and some of the water I was pumping out was coming in .It's all good .........now .
I was grateful to find and fix it as I thought the leak was coming from the bow .
I enlisted 3 guys earlier, included myself and we all stood on the bow pulpit while the bob stay to hull connection was submerged , Lynda who was below found no leak , AARRRRRR !!
This is a great little Marina , and as I write a thunder storm has been passing thru , earlier I threw on the bathing suit and washed the boat while it poured , Ha . It's all clean..
Had chicken and rice pilaf for dinner and My gal is watching tv.
Met a couple German fellas, Tom and Martin on a 80's Hunter that they bought recently , this is all new to them though one of them , Tom , has sailed .
I was over talkin' to them earlier in the wind and rain , we are all going the same way .
Also an older couple , on a S&S 47' , our dream boat , built in the 80's , just draws to much for Florida and Bahamas .
out of here Friday morning , weather looks good .
Hi Everyone! We just got an email from our friends on the sailing vessel, Bacon, (The Bacon Boys!) They sent us a lot of pictures of our time together on Devils' Cay beach party, hiking Hoffmans' and Little Harbor Cay before the big blow. They even had pictures of the rescue boat that pulled us off the sand in Little Harbor. We enjoyed them very much, and hope you do as well. Thank you James and Jordi!! We're glad you made it home safely to Quebec!! Keep in touch!!
02/05/2011, Bimini, Bahamas
Have been Back in Bimini for 1 week Sunday.
The time spent here at Christmas was cold and seems so long ago. The weather is warmer now and the faces are smiling and numerous . We are in need of rest and relaxation and are getting it now . The staff here at the Big Game Club are wonderful and so accomodating , we were initially on a end tie with no power cords ( using our cell and genset ) now in a slip with internet on the boat , A/C , pretty sweet .One night comped by Mr. Hank the Manager .
Will be watching the super bowl from the upstairs bar and restaurant on any one of a dozen BIG screens .
Had a real good breakfast at Capt. Bobs this AM, mmmm good , got stuffed .
The history of this island is Huge , many familiar and famous names have spent time here or close by on Cat Cay ,
We visited the local museum today and spent much time reading and recording the place in pictures .
The Island is probably best known for Ernest Hemingway , writer, fisherman his friends , a wealthy lot of who's who's who lived
it up in the 30,s . I am including many photos to address those to which I speak .
We will stay here till we decide to move , simple as that , no constraints !
The folks that live here describe where we have been ( the Berry Islands ) as desolate , Ha , tell me about it , this place looks like an International Port of Call this time around . The first time through I thought I was in a time warp , " It's all about perspective Baby ".
Out here in the Bahamas , what you see on the chart is not what you generally see upon arrival , channel markers are often gone , or at best incomplete , so an already anxious moment can become quite tense unless someone responds to a radio call , so mishaps are numerous and we have had a few , but nothing we could not handle , yet we have seen others go aground hard and we heard another boat calling for help that ended up on the rock , very sad indeed .
There is a American enclave at the North end of Bimini where as you might guess caters to very high end yachts , more like small ships with crew , I get a magazine called U.S. Boat , a super boat mag , I have seen at least one boat from that mag go by here .
There is 90' yacht on the end tie , 1 crewmember told me the boat burns 5800.00 in fuel every 8 hours under way , Whoa!!!
Have not been down there as we wish to emmerse ourselves in the Bahamian culture .
There are huge Eagle Rays paired up and swimming about the marina and every once in a while they jump out of the water , 6'x8' with 12' tails , incredible , Jack keeps lookin over the side to see and bark at them ,
Speaking of Jack , he has been pretty good yet he has his moments when he is a pain in the ASS !,
There is a Ebb and Flood currrent around 4 knots , so if he falls off he's gonna need to swim to shore .
And he has fallen off the boat before at marinas.
Getting into a slip and getting back out will surely test your boat handling skills , we have seen some ugly scenes with boats bouncing off dock poles , even the big Testosterone filled 60' 1000 HP sport fishin machines .
There are many birds here , Frigates among them , so majestic. By the way George , Good News , only $ 45.00 p/day with electric and internet , water is .40 a gallon , how bout that Buddy ? So fill er up and come sit at a slip with your gal .
Ponce DeLeon was lookin for the fountain of youth which they claim to have here , yet Ponce never arrived in Bimini , he found Florida and Punta Gorda claims to have the fountain of youth .
Daddy Oh and Mamasan are gonna do some physical and spiritual healing here in Bimini where God is Great Mon , and you know I know that for sure , no doubt , my Faith is stronger than ever and my good God has got us covered always , always has .
To all of you that are in the cold snow bound locations , we only wish you could be here to enjoy this fine weather , and it is not season yet , not for a couple months .
We understand it get kinda crazy here mon , we will not be here !!
check out the photos and leave us some words to read .
Green Bay Baby , GREEN BAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!
and just 1 more word .
Jeff , Thanks Man............. so very very much for all your help , you were the bright sunshine that broke through the fog on a dreary , dreary day.
We pulled into the mooring field of the Berry Island Club on Saturday, January 8th. This place is the only business on this Island, but there are several private homes, one that is lived in year round. The owners are Irish and very interesting. Don and Estelle, who have built their own home. Let me tell you now that this home is a real bare bones place. It has doughboy pools around for water catch and operates with a generator and solar panels. Patrick would love this place!!
We have met many interesting people while staying here, I should add that we had to stay longer here due to the fact that we needed some motor parts as well as generator parts. One day when David was walking back from the airport to try to use the phone (which was broken) a F250 4x 4 stopped and asked him if he wanted a ride. The Berry Island's Club dog had followed him all the way. Dave got in the truck and the driver said "Hi, I'm Rick Murphy!" Dave said "Hey, I'm David" It turns out that Rick Murphy has a long running fishing show in the States and just happened to be getting ready to film another show with the President of Rappala Lures, who were also in the truck!!
The Rappala people had a great catch of Wahoo and decided to throw a party and everyone was invited!! The food was amazing, there was a DJ and lots of natives came as well. We danced and ate and had a wonderful time.
We also got the opportunity to meet the owner of the Berry Island Club, a multi-millionaire named Jim Greer from Texas. An interesting 82 year old man who gets around really well.
We had the opportunity to go lobster fishing, at least Dave did, and they only got one, but it was real good! We also have bought Conch for a $1 a piece and I've mastered the famous Conch Salad that is eaten often here. We have also bought Grouper and Grey Snapper, all for next to nothing!! We sure are eating well, but Dave and I have been losing weight, can't understand that!! Clothes are starting to get baggy!! I'm not complaining.
On January 29th, we finally got all our parts and essential supplies flown in from Tropic Air of Ft. Lauderdale, and we dropped the mooring line and headed back out across the Banks towards Bimini. This was all due to the wonderful friends we have in Florida, Bob and Dot, their Son, Jeff and his family, put together a care package for us as well as got us some essential stove fuel and was next to impossible to get from anywhere around Frazier's Hog Cay. We tried to get it from Nassau, you should be able to get anything there, but to no avail. Thank you so much Bob and Dot for having the kind of son anyone would be proud of. Jeff and his family made it possible for us to continue on in comfort. Kirsten even packed some goodies in for Jack (Devil Dog!!) Dave now calls him Inspector Click Toes (like clouseau) all you hear in the morning is Jack's toe nails hitting the deck...click, click and click!! HAHAHAHA
We sailed/motored until 11:30 that night, and the next day, Sunday, the 30th, we got into Bimini at around 2:30. It took us 3 days to get tto the Berrys from Bimini, and a little over 1 to get back....go figure!!
We may stay here for the Superbowl and leave shortly after depending on the weather. We will be heading up to Hens and Chickens, then to Freeport, Grand Bahama, then to West End and on over to the Abacos. More later, I hope all of you are doing well, staying warm and happy..