Happiness is being on the Water

09 February 2018 | Hog Cay
24 January 2018 | Duncan Town
09 January 2018 | George Town, Great Exuma Island
23 December 2017 | Black Point Settlement
19 December 2017 | Palm Beach Florida
06 December 2017 | Vero Beach City Marina
27 November 2017 | Merritt Island Cocoa Beach, Florida
23 November 2017 | Marineland, Florida
19 November 2017 | Marsh Island, St. John’s River near Jacksonsville, FL.
28 May 2017 | Oriental, NC
15 April 2017 | Allans-Pensacola
05 April 2017 | Lynyard Cay
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

Ragged Islands Back to Georgetown

09 February 2018 | Hog Cay
Today, Sunny, Breezy, Winds 15-20 ESE
We finally have good internet access here in Georgetown after spending the past couple of weeks in the Ragged Islands/Jumentos. My last blog entry was centered around the damage that hurricane Irma did to Duncan Town on Ragged Island. However, in spite of Hurricane Irma, we managed to have a wonderful time during our visit in the Jumentos.

We spent a week or so at Hog Cay where we did some lobster hunting, hiking, shelling, and meeting other cruisers during happy hours at the Hog Cay Yacht Club (a huge grass hut). Ron was pleased that his lobster hunting skills are improving. He got four lobsters on his first time out. Not to mention our friends Jerry and Jerry, the hunting duo got 12 lobsters. While the men were busy hunting my friend Karen, from S/V Persephone, and I had a nice time snorkeling as we watched all of the beautiful fish swim in and out of the coral heads.

After leaving Hog Cay we started moving back North and anchored at Double Breasted Cay along with Blue Jacket. They picked us up in their dinghy and we into shore to find a path that took us over to the ocean side of the Island. To our surprise, the sandy beaches were mostly blown away from Hurricane Irma leaving behind a lot of just plain rock. We were not able to do much shelling or sea bean hunting. However, I did manage to get a few hamburger beans and a really pretty orange float.

The following morning, we moved further North to Buena vista Cay. We took the dinghy and picked up our friend Jerry from Blue Jacket and went out looking for more lobster on the south side of the island. I went along to do some snorkeling. The coral heads were beautiful with lots of colorful fish. Ron got two more lobster and Jerry got two lobsters and a Hog fish. Then we moved over to the North side of the island and Jerry got another lobster. When we dropped Jerry off at his boat, his wife, Donna was very happy to hear that he speared a Hog fish. Hog fish is her favorite fish because it is very tasty.

The wind direction changed a little, so to get better protection, we moved back south to Racoon Cay. On our way we decided it was time to try to figure out what was going on with our VHF radio. It was not transmitting or receiving for more than a couple of miles. Once we got anchored in the bay Jerry from Persephone came over for a morning visit. He and Ron made a plan for the day. First, change the zincs, which are sacrificial anodes attached to underside of the boat's hull. Then, start working on the radio. Ron put on his scuba gear and went under the boat and changed two of our three zincs, the hull zinc and the shaft zinc. After that we ran Jerry up the mast to check out the radio antenna connection. It looked like the connection on the top of the wire needed to be replaced. Then they checked the wiring behind the inside panel. They replaced the power wire to the radio. The repair resulted in the radio working a little better. Thank you, Jerry. While at Racoon Cay we continued with our morning Beach Body on Demand 21 Day Fix exercises on one of the beautiful flat beaches. We also did some more lobster and Hog fish hunting. Later in the day I took my friend Karen's kayak out and walked on several of the beaches along the west side of the island.

On Sunday, February 4, we sadly said our goodbyes to Blue Jacket as we headed north to Water Cay along with our friends on Persephone. The winds were blowing ESE 14-18 making the waters a little rough but the sailing was great. When hailing other boats on the VHF, we realized our radio was still not transmitting and receiving very well. So, once we anchored in Water Cay, Jerry from Persephone came over to our boat and we hoisted him up the mast again to do some more diagnostic testing. The final diagnosis was that we need a new antenna. Our daughter Erica will be bringing us a new one when they visit us this month in Georgetown. Hopefully, this will solve the problem. Not having a good radio is a safety issue that we want addressed before we have to cross back to the US in April.

After leaving Water Cay we arrived in Georgetown on Monday, February 5th. We have been busy with grocery shopping, doing the laundry, cleaning the boat, exercising on shore, water aerobics, playing volley ball, basket weaving and having fun with other cruisers. The other night we participated in a 25-dinghy boat happy hour rafting. It was a lot of fun.

We will be here in Georgetown in the Exumas Islands for a few weeks. We are anxiously waiting for our daughter Erica, son-in-law Robert and the two grandsons Ethan and Eli to visit us on the 17th. We plan on being really busy having fun so you may not hear from us for a little while. Until next time, we hope this blog entry finds you all happy and in good health.

Hurrican Irma Destruction

24 January 2018 | Duncan Town
Today, Sunny, 80 degrees 10-15 E
After spending a couple of days in Long Island, Bahamas we worked our way 10 hours further south to Flamingo Cay. Once we put the sails away and buttoned things up, we went to bed early to be ready for another long day. Early the next morning we pulled up the anchor and began our passage further south. The light winds allowed us to sail close-hauled at 5-6 knots for the next 8 hours. Needless to say, it was a beautiful sail which took us to south bay on Ragged Island. Ragged Island is a small island (9 square miles) and is part of the Jumentos Cays and Ragged Island Chain.

Last year, when we anchored here in the bay, we took the long walk up the hill to Duncan Town, which is the only settlement in the entire Ragged Island chain. Once we got to the top of the hill we found ourselves in Duncan Town. As we walked through the town we enjoyed talking to the town folk, stopping for a cool drink at the local bar, visiting the Administrative Office and speaking to the office manager where we learned more about the town. We also walked past the cute colorful houses, the school, the clinic, the police station, a small gift shop and then we spent time with Maxine at the local grocery store. This small town and their welcoming residents left an impression that we have been sharing with our friends over the past year.

However, this year we returned to a much different island. The people are still warm and welcoming but their lives have been changed forever. Most of you may remember Hurricane Irma that hit the Bahamas and Florida this past September 2017. Duncan Town took a direct hit from this Category 5 hurricane. As we walked around it looked as though they had been hit by a bomb. There was debris everywhere. No home or building was left untouched by the hurricane. Many of the homes had no roof, windows or doors. Other homes were completely destroyed, with only rubble remaining on the foundation. Their school, health clinic, police station and administrative office were completely destroyed. It was heart breaking to see such devastation. The electric company and the phone company have worked to restore power and phone service. They are still working on their water system. Presently, with or without the government's assistance the Ragged Islanders are going to rebuild. They look at the hurricane destructions as an opportunity be rebuild things bigger and better. Many of the home owners are still not back on the island. They are waiting for things to get rebuilt and systems back up and running before they return. If you would like to help the islander get back on their feet, go to www.gofundme.com/raggedislands.

As for us, we have since left Duncan Town and are now slowly working our way back north up the Ragged Island Chain and the Jumentos Cays. We are presently in Hog Cay. Yesterday, we went lobster hunting and snorkeling. Ron was able to get four nice size lobsters. Our friends from Persephone and Blue Jack got 13 more. It was a successful hunt.

It looks like we will be here for a while. We will be sitting out a cold front coming in on Thursday night through the weekend into Monday. The front will bring with it very strong winds of 30 knots sustained with gusts of 40-50 knots. Internet is very weak here in the Jumentos, therefore, you may not here from us for a couple of weeks. We hope all is well with our family and friends as we think of you often.

We Made it to George Town

09 January 2018 | George Town, Great Exuma Island
Cloudy, Windy ESE 15 MPH
Lets see, the last time you heard from us we just arrived in the Bahamas and were on our way to Black Point Settlement on Great Guana Cay. Well, we made it there the day before Christmas, did some laundry and filled the water tanks. On Christmas morning, we FaceTimed Erica, Robert and the boys and watched them open their Christmas gifts. Later in the day we went to shore for Christmas dinner at Lorraine’s Restaurant with our friends Donna and Jerry on S/V Blue Jacket along with about 30 other cruisers. Donna and Jerry introduced us to a really nice couple, Doug and Jean. They built a house on Great Guana Cay several years ago. It actually looks like a sand castle. It was a thrill to be invited to the castle for a happy hour. This is a place we have seen from the water and have always wondered what it was like on the inside. It was beautiful.

After leaving the small bay at Great Guana Cay, we went back north to Staniel Cay and anchored off of Pig Beach. So, of course we went into shore and said hello to the pigs. It was sad to see that the older pigs were no longer there to greet us when we brought our dingy to shore. Many of the pigs died last year. There are several stories about how they died. Some say they died from lack of fresh water and from eating too much sand, others say that the pigs were killed. Even though it is sad that some of the pigs died, it is nice to see that the pigs are being taken care of. They now have a shelter for shade and fresh water to drink. In addition to visiting the pigs, we had the opportunity to snorkel inside the Thunderball Grotto, where we saw lots of fish and a couple of adorable turtles that I got to swim with.

After leaving Staniel Cay we sailed 20 miles south to Lee Stocking Island. There we spent the night before moving further south to Emerald Bay Marina on Great Exuma Island. This is where we spent New Years Eve while waiting out a cold front. During our four day stay we made new cruising friends and had lots of fun playing Mexican train and eating great pot luck dinners in the beautiful Marina Lounge.

Once the cold front blew through we moved on to George Town and are now anchored at Sand Dollar Beach at Stocking Island. For the past several days we have been riding out windy and rainy weather which is forecast to continue for the remainder of this week. I really am not complaining, at least we don’t find ourselves in below zero temperatures and we do not have to shovel any snow. Actually, it is nice to have the rain clean the salt off of the boat.

We hope that everyone is happy, healthy and staying warm.

First Christmas in the Bahamas

23 December 2017 | Black Point Settlement
Sunny, 80 Degrees, Winds NE, 6-10 Knots
We had an uneventful crossing from Lake Worth to Nassau. The winds were light and favorable, which meant we had to motor sail most of the time. However, we still managed to arrive a couple of hours faster than previous crossings. During my watch, I was startled by the cockpit being illuminated by strange lights. I looked over to my right and saw that a cruise ship was putting on a fireworks display. Prior to that I did hear something being announced over the radio, but was not able to understand what the captain was saying. In hindsight, I realize he was announcing the fireworks display. So I just relaxed and enjoyed the show. At different times during the night each of us had to alter our course to avoid oncoming ships. I personally felt good that I can now handle this type of situation without waking Ron. I must say we really love our new AIS Transceiver that we installed this past spring. Prior to that our VHF could only receive AIS signals but could not transmit. So now we not only see on coming ships, but they can see us as well. Ya gotta love technology.

Our stay at Nassau Harbour Club Marina was very short. We checked into customs, got our cruising permit and Battelco SIM cards. The SIM cards allow us to operate on the Bahamas phone and internet system. After spending a restful night, we left the dock and headed to our first stop at Shroud Cay in the Exumas. Now the fun begins.

Today we are sailing 30 miles to Black Point Settlement where we will be catching up with our friends Jerry and Donna on Blue Jacket to celebrate Christmas. We hope that all of our friends and family have a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Florida to Baldwinsville back to Florida

19 December 2017 | Palm Beach Florida
Sunny, 80 degrees, Calm Winds
We left Vero Beach, Florida back on December 5 and grabbed a mooring ball at Sunset Bay Marina in Stuart, Florida. While in Stuart, we had lots of fun getting together with other cruising friends. One of the nights we had a fantastic Happy Hour on Blue Jacket along with cruising boats Mighty Fine, Persephone, and Salty Paws. Jerry and Donna did a fantastic job at making everyone feel welcome. I really enjoy my time in Stuart. I had fun shopping with the ladies. I did a couple of long bike rides with Donna from Mighty Fine to TJMAXX, the consignment shops and to the Home Store.

When we got up on Saturday morning it was cold and rainy. However, that did not stop Donna, Karen and I from taking an Uber a few miles down the road to the Flea Market. Luckily our friend Ronni who lives in Stuart, rescued us and took us out to lunch at TooJays.

During our stay Ron and I had lunch with Ron and Vicky from M/V Twilight Traveller. Some of you know them when they sailed their Passport called Civil Twilight. We are anxious to see their new boat.

On Monday, we took the dinghy for a three mile trip down the river to Dale and Ronni’s place. Once we got there, they drove us to a Mexican restaurant, Rancho Chico’s for dinner. Karen and Jerry from Persephone were also with us. It was a fun time.

We got up early the following morning and headed to North Palm Beach, Florida. We arrived at Old Port Cove Marina in North Palm around lunchtime. It is a very nice marina with many motor yachts. My son-in-laws brother and daughter live near by in Jupiter, so they came over for dinner and we celebrated his daughter Nicoles birthday. It was nice catching up with them.

The following morning we flew to Syracuse to see our grandson, Eli in the musical Beauty and The Beast, Jr. This was a performance put on by the Syracuse Children’s theater. He did a fantastic job playing the part of Maurice who is Bell’s father. The next day we went to a tree farm and cut down their Christmas Tree. It was a perfect snowy, cold winter day. Once we got it home, we all worked together and covered it with lights and ornaments. We had so much fun. On Sunday, we baked and decorated Christmas cookies and my close friend Anna stopped by for a quick visit. It was so good to see her. On Monday, we had to say our sad goodbyes and head back to Florida to continue our trip to the Bahamas. Even though it was a short visit, we definitely had lots of quality time with our loved ones.

We arrived back in North Palm beach on Monday afternoon, did some last minute provisioning at Publix and this morning, Tuesday, we left North Palm Beach and are presently anchored just inside the Lake Worth Inlet. The plan is to leave very early in the morning, before sunrise, to begin our trip over to the Bahamas. We hope to be in Nassau on Thursday in the early afternoon. Ron and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy Happy New Year.

Vero Beach

06 December 2017 | Vero Beach City Marina
Today it is 86 Degrees, Sunny with Winds SE 7 MPH
We arrived in Vero Beach on Monday, November 27, around 2:45 PM and picked up a mooring ball where we saw this big pelican taking a siesta . While in Vero we took the bus shopping for groceries, boat supplies, and even did some Christmas shopping. After some studying of the bus routes, we found that bus number 1 to bus number 4 took us directly to the IG center where we played pickle ball with the Vero Beach pickle ball players. Donna and Jerry from Blue Jacket went too. We had a lot of fun, met some really nice people and had the opportunity to play with some awesome players. Ron was already an awesome player, but me, well, I think I am getting better each time I play. You know what they say, "Practice makes perfect". In my case that remains to be seen. No matter what, it is a great game and lots of fun. We enjoyed it so much that we actually stayed an extra day in Vero so that we could play a second time.

On Saturday, December 2, we went the Farmer's Market and that evening we watched the Vero Beach Christmas Parade with our friends from Blue Jacket and Persephone. They were 90 floats all lit up with colored lights. It was a nice evening.

During our visit we had the chance to eat at a couple of restaurants. One of our favorite places being Mr. Manatee's Casual Grill. Monday's are $5 hamburger night. So we took our dinghy's up the creek with three other cruising couples. Their boat names are Mighty Fine, Autumn Borne and Gelato. We had a great time getting to know each other while sharing cruising stories.

We decided it was time to move on so we left Vero Beach on Tuesday morning at 7:20 AM and arrived here in Stuart, Florida around 2:20 PM where we picked up a mooring ball at Sunset Marina. We are now ready for some new adventures. I am sure you are all busy getting ready for the holidays. We wish you lots of happiness and good health.
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 - Beginning the 2017-2018 Sailing Season to the Bahamas and Back
Photos 1 to 5 of 5 | Main
Scheherazade in front of Jerry and Donnas : Broad Creek, Oriental, NC
Sunset while out at sea
AIS showing two other boats out at sea with Scheherazade
Navel Vessel entering St. John’s River Inlet just ahead of Scheherazade
Saying farewell to Oriental, NC: Leaving the Luh’s dock heading south on November 14, 2017
Hermit Crab that was hanging around at the Yacht Club House
24 Photos
Created 9 February 2018
September 2017- Hurricane Irma Destruction in Duncan Town
13 Photos
Created 26 January 2018
8 Photos
Created 9 January 2018
Went back to Syracuse to see Eli in Beauty and the Beast for the December 15, 2017 production.
13 Photos
Created 19 December 2017
Good times in Vero
6 Photos
Created 6 December 2017
Went out to dinner with Gayle and Alan Lepore at Fishlips
4 Photos
Created 27 November 2017
6 Photos
Created 23 November 2017