Happiness is being on the Water

20 March 2017 | Salt Pond, Long Island, Bahamas
14 March 2017 | George Town, Bahamas
23 February 2017 | George Town, 🇧🇸
08 February 2017 | Shroud Cay, Wardrick Wells, Cambridge, Staniel Cay, Black Point
01 February 2017 | Allan's Cay, Leaf Cay
30 January 2017 | Nassau
11 November 2016 | Wapoo Creek, Charleston, SC
28 October 2016 | Donna and Jerry's House, Oriental, NC
21 October 2016 | Deltaville, Va.
24 September 2016 | Worton Creek
23 September 2016 | Cape May
19 September 2016 | NYC
17 September 2016 | Haverstraw Bay
12 September 2016 | Niskayuna, NY
08 September 2016 | Sylvan Beach
31 August 2016 | Chaumont Bay
31 May 2016 | Chaumont Bay, Chaumont, NY
03 May 2016 | Oriental, NC
07 April 2016 | Marsh Harbour

Long Island, Bahamas

20 March 2017 | Salt Pond, Long Island, Bahamas
Sunny, winds 15-18 Gusts 20 NE
We are now in Long Island, Bahamas. The Island is 80 miles long and four miles wide. To get a full blow feel for the island and to see the sites, one needs to rent a car. So, that is exactly what we did on Friday, March 17. Since our friends, Donna and Jerry from Blue Jacket have been here many times, they offered to be our tour guides. MaryBeth and Joe from Sapphire came along as well. We started our tour in Salt Pond. This is where we have our sailboats anchored, which is the prettiest harbour on the island. Next we drove to Clarence Town on the southeastern side of the island. We saw many beautiful and historical sites starting with the beautiful twin churches located on the top of a hill. The twin 40 foot towers are well-known landmarks on the island for helping boaters find their way into the islands harbour. Then we moved along to see “Deans Blue Hole” which is the world’s deepest known salt water blue hole. It is 663 feet deep and enclosed on three sides by a natural rock amphitheater and on the fourth side by a turquoise lagoon and powder white beach. We just happened to be there the same timed as William Trubridge from New Zealand who broke his own free diving world record in that very hole. He and four other divers came to practice for an upcoming competition this April. He is a very nice guy that lived on a yacht for ten years and the sea was his playground.
We saw many other sites that day, such the Columbus Monument. It was the third island Christopher Columbus and his crew landed on in the Bahamas in 1492 prior to reaching America. We also visited several marinas and resorts. We had lunch at Anita’s take away and met more fellow cruisers. It was a fun packed day.

The following morning, we went to the farmer’s market where we bought fresh homemade breads, fruits and vegetables. In the afternoon, we went exploring in a cave located on the shore line just up from where our boat was anchored. It was really cool with bats hanging from the ceilings, and stalactites and stalagmites forming on the ceiling and floor of the cave. I should also mention that it was very dark in there as well. My nice friend Joe made sure he scared me by throwing some small pebbles over my head. Others have placed small plastic skeletons around the cave as well. I must admit it was just a little eerie even without the theatrics.

Last night we took our dinghy to “Tiny’s Hurricane Hole” where we did some laundry and had drinks with other cruisers and local folks. It is a new beach bar and grill with a thatched roof patio. We had a great time.

This evening we are going to a happy hour bonfire with other cruisers anchored in the harbour. The plan is to leave in the morning and move to Calabash Bay which is on the northern end of the island. From there we will go further north to Cat Island. I am looking forward to more adventures that I can share with my friends and family.

Jumentos to the Raggeds Back to George Town

14 March 2017 | George Town, Bahamas
Sunny, Winds SW, 20 K
It has been a while since I have had internet service, so I apologize for this long winded blog entry.

On Saturday, February 25, we left George Town Bahamas to fulfill our goal of going to the Jumentos Cays and Ragged Islands. We got up at 5:00 AM, pulled anchor at 6:00 and along with Blue Jacket, 2 Outrageous and Grace V. headed to Water Cay which is the beginning of the Jumentos Cays. Unfortunately, there was no wind, so we had to motor. It was a long 10-hour day. I was so excited, I didn’t mind that we had to motor the entire trip. The clarity of the water was unbelievable. I counted 15 starfish that were laying on the bottom of the ocean floor. While standing on the bow of the boat, I saw two ocean tigger fish, a school of snappers, and a large grouper swim by. We arrived at Water Cay in the Jumentos at 4:20 PM along with Grace V, Blue Jacket and 2 Outrageous where we anchored the boat and took a long-awaited swim to cool off. Our friends from Grace V surprised us with some fresh buns that they baked during the day long trip. The buns were a treat that we enjoyed with our dinner that evening.

The following morning, we left the banks and went out into the sound as we headed to Hog Cay in the Ragged Islands. We motor sailed from Water Cay to the Nurse Channel. Once we entered the channel, we turned off the engine and enjoyed sailing the remainder of the day to our anchorage at Hog Cay. The next morning, we went scavenger hunting on the ocean side of the Cay. There are many treasures that make their way to the shoreline for cruisers to find. Amongst these treasures are “Sea Beans”. Sea Beans come from trees and vines that grow along tropical shores and rain forests all over the world. The seeds fall from the plants into rivers and creeks that flow into the ocean and make their way to beaches thousands of miles away. I was so happy to find my first sea bean. It was just sitting there on the beach waiting for me to pick it up. My friend Donna from Blue Jacket is what I call “A Sea Bean Magnet”. She found at least 15 beans that day. Me, I found 6 and that was okay. I have been looking for these beans for months, and now I am finally started to find them. There are many types of these beans. The types that I have found on Hog Cay are: the heart bean, the pearl and the hamburger bean. In my research of sea beans, the beans I found originate in the Caribbean, Central America and South America. Another treasure I found on the beach is a green heavy ball, used as a float for commercial fishing nets. I used the float to make a sign to hang in the Hog Cay Yacht Club. The so-called Yacht Club consists of a thatched roof hut on the shore line of the beach. It is a nice hut used by cruisers and locals for special occasions such as Valentine’s day parties that are put on by the local Bahamians, to simple potluck dinners or sundowners. We simply love it here. Thank you to those who developed this special place.

On March 1, Ron put a reef in the main and headed out into the 20-23 knot winds for a spirited sail to Ragged Island. After we dropped the hook we had lunch and then headed into the island community of Duncan Town with our friends Jerry and Donna from the S/V Blue Jacket. It appears everyone in the town knew Jerry and Donna. After a 40 minute walk up a long hill we stopped at a local bar and met LaToya. Of course, Donna and Jerry knew the owner of the bar who is LaToya’s mom, Shelia. Next it was on to the little gift store “Gifted Hands” where we met Marjorie, then to the local food market where we met the sweet owner Maxine. Our last stop was to the town’s Administrative Office where Donna and Jerry were greeted with a hearty hug and we were introduced to Charlene. Here we were brought up to speed on all of the goings on at Ragged Island. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming. After heading back to our boats we went over to Blue Jacket for a wonderful dinner and a game of “Sequence”. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.

The next day we took the dinghy to a beautiful patch of coral and did some conch hunting. To call it hunting is a bit of a stretch, it is more like gathering. After the “gathering” we headed back to shore and Jerry taught Ron the fine art of conch cleaning. Imagine holding onto the insides of a greased giant snail and trimming away all of the nonedible parts. Once all that is done, you beat the meat with a tenderizing mallet until the meat is almost transparent. You then drag it through beaten eggs, flour and spices. Now it is ready to drop it into hot oil, fry it up and enjoy. It is called “Cracked Conch” and is simply incredible.

Later, in the day we headed back North to Hog Cay where we joined Grace V and 2 Outrageous. We also met another couple Gregg and Dahleen on S/V Xfill. While sitting out a cold front, we had many fun filled days of sundowners at the Yacht Club, snorkeling the beautiful coral heads and hiking and shell hunting on the pristine beaches. Our sundowners consisted of hanging out at the tiki hut enjoying pot luck dinners including a pizza party, sign making, playing games and ending each evening sitting in front of a warm bonfire.

On March 9, we continued working our way North to Racoon Cay along with Grace V, 2 Outrageous and Blue Jacket. Ron was invited to go lobster hunting with friends of Jerry and Donna’s. Their names are Bob and Vickie from S/V First Look. I went snorkeling with the rest of the gang. That evening we were invited to sundowners on Blue Jacket along with First Look. It was interesting listening to their stories of how they first met and their 10 years plus of cruising experiences they shared while traveling together off and on.

The following day we went North to Flamingo Cay where Ron speared his first lobster. He was quite proud of himself. Of course, we had a lobster and steak dinner to celebrate. Oh, I must also mention that we saw our first “green Flash” in Flamingo Cay. The green flash is an optical phenomenon that you can see shortly after the sunsets. It happens when the sun is almost entirely below the horizon with the barest edge of the sun-the upper edge -still visible. For only a second that upper rim of the sun will appear green in color just as the sun disappears into the water. Ron and I saw it for the first time after over a year of looking for it. And, now we are true believers.

I must say that while in the Jumentos, I am getting quite a collection of shells, sand dollars, sea beans and sea biscuits. Ron is getting concerned that we are running out of room on the boat for these ocean treasures. Most of my treasures will be shared with our grandsons Ethan and Eli.

Is it now March 13 and we had to say “good bye” to the Jumentos and head back to George Town to do some much needed laundry, refill the water tanks, replenish our fresh foods store and fuel up for future passages. We are not sure if we will start heading further North to the Abacos Islands or go south east to Long Island, Bahamas. Time will tell.

In the meantime, we hope our friends and family are doing well. We miss you!

Continuing Our Journey South to George Town, Bahamas

23 February 2017 | George Town, 🇧🇸
Sunny, Winds 20-25 SW
My last blog entry was back when we were in Black Point here in the Exuma Islands. Since then we have continued to move south. On February 9, we left the main anchorage in Black Point and moved to an anchorage just south of the Island to Little Bay. We were anchored there along with our friends from Grace V, Mar-a-Lago, Oopsea and Civil Twilight. We went to shore that evening and made a bonfire. Soon other cruisers came to shore and shared the warmth of the fire and took the opportunity to meet new friends.

A couple days later we left the anchorage and moved further south towards Musha Cay along with Grace V. It was a warm sunny day with the winds blowing from the East at about 17 knots. It only took a few hours before we found an anchorage in front of David Cooperfield’s place. Later that day, Tim and Karen from Grace V, led the way as we took the dinghies to an area off Rudder Cay where we were told that David Cooperfield sunk a piano. Taking advantage of Karen’s knowledge, we immediately found the dive sight. To our surprise, we found ourselves looking at a sculpture of a mermaid sitting at a grand piano in 15 feet of water. The mermaid is quite beautiful with lots of detail. The sight has become the home of a variety of fish and coral, making it a great snorkeling adventure.

The following day we pulled anchor at 8:00 along with Grace V. It was partly sunny, warm with winds NE at 13 knots. We timed it so that we would go through the Galliot cut during a flood tide making the passage as easy as possible. The waves were about 2 feet when we went through the cut. Once we made the turn and headed directly south the waves built up to 4 feet. We put up the main, the head sail and finally the staysail. We were moving along at a nice pace of 5.2 knots SOG. We arrived at the Lee Stocking cut about 30-40 minutes later than planned. Therefore, the tide was ebbing making our entrance just a little hairy. The boat sort of rocked from one side to the other a couple of times while we pushed our way safely into the cut. We anchored in front of the abandoned Research Center and immediately put the dinghy into the water and began exploring our new surroundings. Later that day Tim and Karen showed up with a huge lobster that Tim caught. We were lucky enough to be invited to their boat for dinner where we feasted on fresh lobster, steak, broccoli and potatoes. Thank you. Tim and Karen.

On Valentines day, we pulled anchor along with sailing vessels Grace V and Mar-a-Lago. The winds were light making the cut very easy to pass through. After a few hours of motor sailing, we finally made it to George Town where we anchored in the bay at Crab Cay. We chose Crab Cay so that we could sit out the next forecasted cold front that was to bring strong west winds. That evening we had sundowners on S/V Mar-a-Lago along with Grace V. To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we shared a bottle of champagne and feasted on a cream cheese appetizer that was in the shape of a heart. You can see from the pictures in the photo gallery of our blog, we have been to beach church where Ron sings in the choir, we have spent a couple of evenings in town enjoying the Rake and Scrape music performed by the local Bahamian bands, we enjoy playing volleyball on Volleyball Beach, hiking and running on the island trails and I have been learning new types of basket weaving.

We plan to continue enjoying ourselves here in George Town as we move from anchorage to anchorage depending on the direction of the wind. Our next adventures will be to go further south to Long Island and the Jumentos. If time allows, we will go to our final southern destination the Ragged Islands before heading back north to the Abacos Islands and eventually making our way back to the US.

Crusing the Begining of the Exuma Islands

08 February 2017 | Shroud Cay, Wardrick Wells, Cambridge, Staniel Cay, Black Point
Light Westerly winds this evening.
On Thursday, February 2, at 9:00 AM we pulled up our anchor along with three other sailing boats, Sapphire, Mar-a-Lago and Echo Beach and headed further south to Shroud Cay. It is a beautiful sunny day with winds blowing 9-11 knots out of the ENE. Our boat speed is about 6 knots. After a three-hour sail, we arrived at Shroud Cay, anchored the boat and then explored the mangroves in the dinghy. The pathway through the mangroves takes you over to the ocean side where there is a big whirlpool of water that swirls its way to the open ocean. The water a brilliant blue and the beach is covered with pristine white soft sand. This is one of our favorite spots in the Exuma Islands. That evening we had sun downers on S/V Echo Beach along with our friends from Sapphire and Mar-a-Logo. It was fun sharing the day's adventures with one another. The next day, Friday, we did more exploring and found a natural fresh water well, that we decided we probably would not drink. But, you could see where the settlers from times past must have used the well for drinking, bathing etc., as there was a manmade concrete wall around the opening.

On Saturday, the 4th we pulled anchor around 9:00 AM and headed south to Warderick Wells which is one of our favorite Exuma Park Islands. We hiked up to Boo Boo Hill where boaters make a sign out of drift wood that usually indicates the name of their boat, the captain and crew names along with the year they visited the Island. Then you place the sign on a big pile for visitors to see. I dug up our sign from last year and hauled it back to our boat to spruce it up a bit. Then I hauled it back up the hill the next day. In case you were wondering, Boo Boo Hill was named in honor of a boatload of missionaries that supposedly wrecked off Warderick Wells. There are also a couple of blow holes on Boo Boo Hill as well. The view of the ocean on the east side and the view of the banks on west side is spectacular. The next day we did some snorkeling and of course watched the super bowl game along with the other cruisers, the Bahamian Park Manager and the local island police. We had a grand time. Go Patriots!

On Monday, the 6th we moved on to Cambridge another one of our favorite Exuma Park Islands, where we went to Rachael's Bubble Bath. You walk up a creek to a shallow water hole where the ocean waves break over the rocks and into the hole. Which means if you are standing in the water hole, the waves break over you and tumble you underneath. It is a blast.

On Tuesday, we continued south to Staniel Cay where we snorkeled in the Thunderball Grotto aka Thunderball Cave. It is one of most exciting snorkeling adventures I have ever experienced as it in an underwater cave. Filming of several Hollywood films, such as Ron Howard's 'Splash', two James Bond movies, 'Thunderball' and 'Never Say Never Again' and also 'Into the Blue' took place in the cave. The sea life is amazing. We saw numerous varieties of fish and coral. Some snorkelers feed the fish, thus as soon as you enter the cave the fish swim up to you in hopes that you have a baggie full of oatmeal or some other type of food for them. We joined S/V Mar-a-Lago and Oopsea (Tom and Cindy) on the cruiser's beach for sundowners. A good time was had by all!
Today, Wednesday we find ourselves in Black Point where we had to get back to some reality and do some laundry, fill the water tanks with water and change the oil and oil filter. The plan is to enjoy a nice dinner at Lorraine's Café this evening in hopes that our daughter Erica face times us while they listen to our grandsons first band concert from McNamara Middle School.

We hope our blog updates find you all happy and healthy.

Allan's Cay

01 February 2017 | Allan's Cay, Leaf Cay
Partly sunny, winds NE 20-15
We left Nassau yesterday morning, filled the fuel tanks and headed south to Allan's Cay. As soon as we got here, which was around 2:00 PM, we dropped the dinghy and went to shore. I was so excited to see the iguanas because we did not get the chance to see them last year. When we pulled the dinghy onto the sandy beach the iguanas came scurrying over to us in hopes that we would feed them. However, I restrained myself and did not feed them. There is a sign on the island that clearly states not to feed them. We did some hiking around the surrounding islands and saw more iguanas. So I was able to satisfy my iguana fix.

We had sundowners on our boat with folks from sailing vessels, Sapphire, Mar-a-Lago and Echo Beach. It is always a treat to share stories with fellow cruisers.

We plan on moving to Shroud Cay tomorrow where we will explore the mangroves via dinghy.

Finally in the Bahamas

30 January 2017 | Nassau
Sunny, 70 degrees, NW Gusty Winds 15-20 MPH
Hello everyone, I know it has been a long time since I posted anything on the blog so it is time to play catchup. We are finally here in the Bahamas in Nassau Yacht Haven Marina after a month in Syracuse spending time with family and friends during the holiday season. The crossing from Lake Worth Florida over to Nassau was full of adventurous events. One of the events was our alternator stopped charging and our instrument gauges at the helm stopped working. Of course this took place during the pitch dark and while going by the north west channel light. All is good now. Ron was able to diagnose and fix the problem along with moral support from our friend Joe a.k.a. "Joey". The plan is to start moving further south tomorrow where we plan to spend the night at Allens Cay with the Iguanas.🦎
Vessel Name: Scheherazade
Vessel Make/Model: Passport 42'/ 1984
Hailing Port: Chaumont, NY
Crew: Ron and Deb Kurtz
Ron is a retired instrumental music teacher. He has been sailing since he was a young man (1970) on Lake Ontario in Henderson Harbor, NY. His dream has always been to own his own sailboat and anchor it in Henderson Harbor. Well, that dream has come true. [...]
Extra: The S/V Scheherazade's home port is Chaumont Bay in Chaumont, NY. Scheherazade is now on her way south for the 2nd time to the Bahamas for the winter months.
Scheherazade 's Photos - Main
Putting Mast up.
4 Photos
Created 19 September 2016
2nd Trip to the Bahamas
2 Photos | 10 Sub-Albums
Created 31 August 2016
This is our first trip to the Bahamas
14 Photos | 22 Sub-Albums
Created 12 September 2015