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Ho Ho HO!
70F and light rain
12/26/2009, Manjack Cay

I am happy to report that we survived the marathon trip to Marsh Harbour!

Things went somewhat according to plan, with a 9am water taxi pickup to Grand Abacos Island where we thankfully were met with a Honda CRV with right hand drive, which we proceeded to drive south the thirty miles to MH.

It was interesting to note the complete absence of ANY road signs. No speed limits, distances, highway names, absolutely nothing! Just a reasonable paved road heading south.

Marsh Harbour was busy preparing for Christmas with the shops full of special Christmas treats, and shoppers..... we loaded up our shopping carts with lots of stuff, as prices were less than half the going rate on the smaller islands.... propane tank was filled and we drove south across the island to Sandy Point, a rather disappointing spot which wasn't worth the effort of a two hour drive. Pine trees and scrub all the way there and back. We did manage to visit the Neem farm and purchase a wide variety of Neem oil products... more about that later!

Anne-Marie arrived on time (5:30pm) and we loaded her into the CRV and proceeded north in the dark, hoping to find the ferry terminal to return to Green Turtle Cay.

A white knuckle drive with lots of other oncoming traffic (high beams, no beams, bicycles, pedestrians, trucks, dead cars, etc.) and after a couple of attempts we found the unmarked road to the small dock, used the VHF to ask to charter a special ferry ($100) and got picked up and delivered to our boat in Black Sound which we had carefully left with bumpers, Christmas lights, and anchor lights on. Safe and sound, daughter intact, and everyone rather exhausted from the days events. I fear my age is starting to show....

An early morning rising in GTC, with some last minute shopping (Anne-Marie was purchasing postcards and was very impressed with the Bacardi rum at $6/litre, and lobster tails at $10/pound), and then we catch high-tide for a wonderful sail north in 20 knot winds on a beam reach all the way.... quiet and a lovely start to our daughter's holiday to arrive at Manjack to deliver our purchases, organize the Christmas responsibilites, and invite some cruisers over for dinner and a game of Rummikub...... we set the anchor alarms (yes, two) as the wind is quite strong, and Louise (and AM) inspected the anchor with their snorkel equipment and were not complete satisfied with the situation.

We watch the sun rise at 7am this morning, fresh ground coffee, poached eggs, fresh pineapple juice, and a lovely view of the natural harbour..... blue skies and lots of sunshine!

I hope everyone is ready for a wonderful Christmas!

glen

The arrival!
Overcast and cool - 70F
12/22/2009, Marsh Harbour

So today is the day!

We have arranged a water taxi to pick us up on the boat and ferry us across the Sea of Abacos ( a fifteen minute ride) to Treasure Cay where we have arranged a rental car to allow us to drive south 30 miles to Marsh Harbour, the capital of the Abacos, and third largest city (town) in the Bahamas with a population of 5000.

We have canvased our large group of friends for any requests they might have to purchase things in the BIG city..... an impressive list has developed, as prices are usually 30-50% less in MH than in GTC. We are also taking propane tanks and large wheeled duffel bags to manage our purchases.

As the cost of a taxi from the MH airport to the Treasure Cay ferry terminal is $80, it becomes more cost effective to simply rent an automobile ($60) for the day and do some shopping at the same time. We plan on driving down to the southern tip of the island (another 60 miles), visiting Sandy Point on the west coast for lunch, visit an organic farm and bee-keeper, and then return to MH for the arrival of Anne-Marie at 5pm, followed by a drive north, and another specially chartered ferry ride across the Sea of Abacos ( the last regular ferry leaves at 5pm) to return to our boat in Black Sound in the dark.

Driving should be interesting as I will be renting an american car (left hand steering) and will be driving on the left side of the road. Given my extensive experience with my MGTF at the lake, where I have a right-hand drive car on the right side of the road, this should simply be the inverse! I am considering using a mirror and facing backwards to keep things simple..... I hope Louise and I survive the experience. Fortunately there is only one traffic light in the Abacos, and one round-about...... we shall see!

Another wonderful stroll through New Plymouth last evening, the quiet beauty and simplicity of the place is overwhelming...... we're far from the maddening crowd...

Hope the boat is still here when we return!

glen

12/23/2009 | Jean Jaffe
Hope the pick-up went ok. We are picking up Sarah from the airport tonight, tho it shouldn't be as complicated as yours! Have a great Christmas, Jean & Henry
A quiet Monday
Overcast and cool - 70F
12/21/2009, New Plymouth, GTC

A rather relaxing day in the Bahamas getting ready for our first guest, our beautiful daughter, Anne-Marie.

Given the impending arrival I have been asked to finish up my instrument installation and clean up my mess so that we can re-assemble the rear cabin and make the bed.... so it goes.....

Another three hours twisted into uncomfortable small spaces, I can report that the task has been successfully completed. I never want to see that nest of wires again! let alone try to crimp them together by the light of an LED flashlight rolling about randomly with the waves.... it's over! Done! ( I hope).

Two loads of laundry, a quiet walk on the beach, some phone calls to Canada when the satellite passed by, and good internet access so that I can participate in the FARM redesign with our daughter Michelle.

Everything in the farmhouse is now straight, level and dry.... so now the redesign of the entire interior needs to be undertaken, together with the design of the building sub-systems (electrical, plumbing and heating).

I received a photo from our neighbour at Heart Lake which I have posted to remind me why I am here.....

Cheers!

glen

12/21/2009 | Judy McIntyre
Greetings from Ottawa! We're just back from 10 glorious days, diving in Cozumel! Lots of sharks, morays, eagle rays and more! Good to be home and we're bracing for the fun and festivities of Christmas! Enjoy your holidays! Merry Christmas! Judy and Jm

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