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Birthday Celebration!
west winds 40-50kph
01/30/2009, Hope Town, Abacos

We've spent the past few days exploring the island on the bicycles and meeting lots of the local folks.

We cycled to the very south end of the island and met some works building a $25M mansion for a movie star at the southern tip of the island. The main house is 30,000 sq.ft. with several out buildings and a private marina for the floating toys..... I should have been in the movies!

I spent a lovely morning visiting the local museum, followed by an afternoon visiting Winer Malone, the local boatbuilder (80+ years old) who is still building lovely 16' sailing dinghies with hand tools in the shed behind his house. He's just announced he is stopping taking orders until the current backlog has been eliminated. A wonderful gentleman with wonderful handtools. He doesn't even steam or bend the wood, preferring to find the correct trees with the appropriate curves.

Louise is in the ocean daily, snorkelling along the reefs, looking for beach glass.......we saw a pretty 3'+ barracuda yesterday which worried her sonewhat.... she removed her jewellery so she didn't look like bait.

We visited the famous lighthouse again, and I was able to help Jeffery ( the lighthouse keeper) to light the lattern. The Kerosene lattern is about twice the size of a standard coleman lattern c/w delicate mantles which last 4-6 weeks. The mechanical elegance and simplicity is wonderful and reminds me of the old sawmill at Lac-en-Coeur.

The winds have picked up and are blowing from the west today, and expected to swing North tomorrow bring more cold winds from Canada, so we'll relax a couple of more days then see where the wind blows us!

glen

All the way to Hopetown, Elbow Cay
Sunny and warm!
01/26/2009, Hopetown Harbour

Well, we've had a rather exciting weekend.

we rose early friday morning in GTC, , collected the laundry off the clothesline, and headed out of Black Sound at high tide so we could clear the sandbar.

A three work wait for the ferry to arrive with our propane tanks, then off we go to start sailing south, past Noname Cay, around Whale Cay, and down the west side of Great Guana Cay to the tiny port of Settlement, where we anchored outside and went ashore to explore the small town and cross over the cay to the Atlantic side where we enjoyed an oceanview bar called Nippers, and Louise and Ginny had a long stroll on the beach.

Saturday was a nice sunny day, and we continued south past Marsh Harbour and sailed directly to Hopetown on Elbow Cay, a VERY picturesque small village founded in 1785 and famous for it's beautiful lighthouse which was built in 1863 by the British.

It is still fully operational, works on an brass kerosene lattern, hand wound ever two hours, and visible for 20 miles.

The weather has improved so we've spent lots of time swimming, snorkelling, cycling, and sampling the fine restaurants within walking distance of the harbour.

With the sunshine, the solar panels are working to fully maintain the battery banks and the water maker is working daily to provide 3 gallons in two hours, which is all we need for the four of us.

Our lovely guests ( Bill and Ginny) are catching a water taxi tomorrow morning to Marsh harbour, then a flight to Nassua, and after a wild night at the casino, back to Ottawa on Wednesday.

They have been wonderful company and enjoyed the sunshine and sailing. Bill's even wondering about the possibility of getting into boating..........

01/29/2009 | Pauline
Heureuse de voir qu'il fait beau. Je suis jalouse. Tous va bien. Merci pour les telephones. Bye bye Pauline
Moving On
still cool and overcast
01/22/2009, GTC, Bahamas

Well the strong winds have dropped off abit, so we're getting ready to sail south tomorrow.

Laundry has been done, new food supplies purchased, we'll fill up the water tanks this afternoon, and put all of the bikes on board.

Our propane tanks didn't arrive on the ferry (by mistake) but are promised for tomorrow morning at 11am (we shall see).

There may be a narrow weather wind to sail south around Whale Cay tomorrow, and then we'll be back inside with lots of choices of anchorages and a variety of different settlements to explore.

Tonight is another dinner of crab claws which we'll introduce to Bill and Ginny.

The cloudy weather over the past three days has resulted in my batteries dropping back into the -100Ah level, so I am hoping for sunshine soon so that the solar panels can do their thing!

01/23/2009 | Keith
Sounds like you are having fun ... not like the grey skies(no pun intended!) I can see from my office window with a light snow coming down. Just about to head off to Maxwells so I will drink your health with the "boys" again over lunch ... best wishes to all ...... Keith
01/23/2009 | Beth and Jim
Just checked in and wish I'd done so much sooner. Did you meet the folks on Ripple? If you are still there, say hi from madcap. Glad you enjoyed GTC and Black Sound. We loved our time there last year. And wasn't Junkanoo incredible? Good luck around the Whale and have fun exploring all the great spots in the next part of the Abacos.

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