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The Baars' Adventure Aboard EIRA
Menno, Valerie, Daniel, John and their dog Daisy are off to explore the Caribbean Islands for two years-no-make that three years!
Loving Long Island
02/05/2008, Thompson Bay, Long Island

Long Island is located in the southern Bahamas just south of the Exuma Cays. It extends 75 miles form Cape Santa Maria in the north to South Point and nowhere is more than 4 miles wide. Unlike the majority of the islands which have rocky sandy soil Long Island has fertile soil and the "pothole" method of farming is used. The farmers dig potholes in the soil and grow corn, bananas, pineapple and other fruit. The Loyalists settled the island in the 1790's when they fled from the victorious Patriots in the American Revolution. They were successful in growing cotton and raising stock however with the abolition of slavery the plantations were abandoned.

Today Long Island has a population of 5000 and is a friendly island which we have had fun exploring. We spent our first two weeks on the windward side of the island in Little Harbour and Clarence Town then sailed north around the very looong island to Santa Maria and onto Salt Pond, an anchorage half way down the island on the leeward side. We are anchored with 10 other boats and this is the most boats we have seen since we left the Virgin Islands! We have enjoyed our solitude over the last month and a half however it is nice to have neighbours again. Daniel made the comment the other day, "Dad is social again!" he was on the beach with Daisy on their morning walk and was busy making new friends (he has quite a few empty spaces on his friend card). And believe it or not but we actually went to a Super Bowl party! There is a nice small bar, Parrots in Paradise which was showing the game. There must have been 30 people there! wow! John was thrilled because his team, the Giants won!

John catches half a Tuna!
01/25/2008, Passage to Long Island

We spent 9 glorious days in Mayaguana enjoying the snorkeling, hunting, beach combing and solitude. We indulged in a smorgasbord of seafood which we collected on our daily hunting outings! The beach was covered in sea beans and hamburgers and we must have a kilo of them. Sea beans and hamburgers are beans which float across the ocean from Africa, they come from a tree which the name escapes me at the moment! What is it about walking on a beach, I always have to search for treasures! We wieghed anchor on Wednesday, the "norther" had blown through and the seas had calmed down, swells were 6 feet 9 sec out of the NE and winds were out of the SE, just right for a sail heading NW. It was an overnight sail to Long Island, 110 miles which took us 21 hours. We had an enormous full moon following us all night long. I remember making this sail south 2 years ago with m/v Dreamweaver, s/v Amanzi, Dalilah and Savvy. It was nice to have all the company and chat with friends in the wee hours of the morning. As ususal we had four fishing lines trailing behind EIRA. The Bahamian waters are proving to be quite fertile and zing out goes the line- it's John's turn at the reel. It's a mahi mahi and proceeds to give us a show by jumping out of the water and flashing all its vibrant colors of blues and greens. Menno took over the job of having to land the fish, it put up a good fight. ok- one in the box! By midmorning we get another strike on the rod and John jumps to the task of bringing this fish in. It's a yellow fin tuna! He is doing a great job of reeling in our dinner when suddenly we notice a big fat barracuda chasing after OUR tuna! John reels faster and the fish is next to the boat, Menno grabs the line ready to swing the tuna into the cockpit when "crunch" the barracuda chomps the tune in half! The nerve! The tuna was such a good size that the half the baracuda left for us was still enough for a full meal! It was delish!

Daniel and the Lobster
01/17/2008, Abrahams Bay, Mayaguana

We are thoroughly enjoying our time in Abrahams Bay tucked in behind the five mile reef. Our mornings are spent getting some good school work done and the afternoons we go out hunting. Yesterday Menno, Daniel and John went out with Smokey and Earl, two local Bahamian fiahermen. They came by EIRA and wanted to take the boys out to search for lobster and conch- great! It was a very successful venture and they came back with a couple dozen conch and two lobsters. Daniel shot his first lobster!! It was in a hole, he shot- and missed then it backed up into a big open dome area and he shot again and EUREKA he hit it just above the tail!

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