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Great Lakes to The Bahamas
Who: Wayne & Pat
Port: Jackson
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Burgers :)
04/18/2009, Marsh Harbor

Marsh Harbor, Great Abaco Island

Well we ended up staying put here again today. The winds last night were 20-25 knots. After listening to the Cruiser's Net this morning - the weather, and wave conditions were not to our liking. We'd have been banging into the waves the entire way to Hope Town.

I checked my bread dough, and it didn't rise as well as last time and seemed a bit looser too, but I loaded it into the bread pans, watched it rise some more, and put it into the oven. Hey might as well see how badly I messed up the dough at this point! I'm wondering if the mixing of bread flour with regular floor (I ran out of bread flour) may have also contributed to my breads demise.

I've never had dough run out of the pan before - but that's what happened. (What happened!?!?!). The order of mixing and the late addition of the egg to the mix DO seem to make a difference. I had drops of bread "batter" all over the bottom of the oven and it smelled like burning toast throughout the boat. When I checked it later, both loaves had deflated . My nice poofy tops were flat, and on the one pan it had dripped so badly around the pan I had to cut the crust away from the lip of the pan to get the bread out. On a brighter note - we both agree - it still tastes good LOL.

We went back into town (our little tender guard was there to protect our dinghy- once again) to get another awesome burger at the Golden Grouper and took a side trip to the grocery store for more flour. This time they had bread flour! So the next batch I make, I'll not mix all-purpose with bread flour but will use one or the other exclusively.

We chatted with a guy that was making conch salad for people on the street about conchs and conch horns. He makes a living by taking tourists out snorkeling and conching. He also sets up a stand to make conch salad and sell conch shells. Seems strange when you can find the shells all over.

We'll have the left over turkey for dinner tonight but right now I'm enjoying a nice breeze in the cockpit, sipping black tea and listening to the laughing gulls. It feels about 70 out now and the gulls are soaring in circles above the boats. I'll go below when the conch horns blow


Peaceful Turkey day
04/17/2009, Marsh Harbor

Friday, April 17, 2009
Marsh Harbor Great Abaco

We plotted courses, and replotted, to correspond with tides to get into and out of shallow anchorages. After that, I made breakfast and we decided we'd wait until tomorrow to depart for Hope Town. The loyalists of the revolutionary war that wanted to stay part of England founded Hope Town. It's supposed to be a quaint little village with beautifully restored, historic homes. We want to visit the lighthouse there with the fresnel lens - one of the last remaining working ones. It has a kerosene lamp for the light source and its beam timing is like a pendulum clock - where you wind it and man it to keep it running. These types of lenses go back about 200 years and this technology, for then and now, is something else. It sends out a beam for about 20 miles. The lighthouse is red and white striped like a candy cane stripe and Wayne says it's the one they use for brochures, etc. so most people would recognize it.

Wayne spent the rest of the afternoon reading and I got out my bread starter to make bread during the evening, and put a turkey breast in the oven for dinner. I should not do to many different things in the galley at one time. My gravy never got made for the turkey. The bread dough got mixed in the wrong order, then I forgot to put in the egg until I was doing dinner dishes, and had to scramble to get that mixed in at the last minute. Dinner turned out nice and hopefully the bread will rise and be ready to bake in the morning...

It was a nice restful day - I enjoyed puttering with the charts and chart plotter and then puttering in the galley.


Delayed Cheeseburgers in Paradise
04/16/2009, Marsh Harbor anchorage Great Abacos

Thursday, April 16, 2009
Marsh Harbor, Great Abaco Cay

Well the engine maintenance took longer than expected yesterday and neither of us felt like dinghying into town so we stayed aboard and didn't celebrate Diana's birthday with Cheeseburgers in Paradise (we did that today). While working on the engine, we noticed Spirit pulling into the marina (love those guys - she has the most beautiful white hair and a wonderful tan that makes her stand out). They came by to say hi and to find out what our itinerary was and where we'd been, and to tell us about their travels and itinerary. It's similar to ours only they're planning on heading to the states this Sunday. We're still moseying around for another couple of weeks before heading back to the states.

Today we headed to town for those cheeseburgers, groceries and laundry. I'd heard that the "Golden Grouper" had the best cheeseburgers in the Abacos so we headed there (hey nothing but the best for Diana's birthday!). It's a small little place that locals and cruisers both pack into at lunch time. You'd definitely expect that they'd have seafood there (they do) but they also had good-looking club sandwiches and the burgers. I was not disappointed - the burgers were huge, juicy, loaded, tasty and reasonably priced at 5.95 (10.85 if you include a large portion of fries and slaw). Remember that scrawny 14.00 burger I had at Norman's Cay? I'd have probably paid 14.00 for this one and not been disappointed. The slaw and fries that accompanied the burger were good - this place gets a 4-conch horn blast from me (on a scale of 1-5 blasts).

After satisfying our hunger we hit the grocery store then paid our ransom to the boys guarding the dinghies at the dinghy dock. Um did I mention them yet? School is out here for spring break this week and there's a group of 3-4 boys at the dinghy dock where you tie up the dinghy to go to shore. They help you on and off, and help tie up. Then look at you expectantly for thanks or a tip... I would much rather see them here being entrepreneurs than off doing other things - so of course I tip them a buck for "guarding our dinghy"... Anyhow, they're sweet - I can see them from our boat - standing there all day waiting for the cruisers to come in and out from their boats - trying to make a buck (see picture).

After depositing our groceries and gathering up some laundry we headed over to Harbor Marine to do our laundry. It's closer - we can dinghy up to the marina, as opposed to going back to the dinghy dock and hauling our laundry ½ mile to the laundromat. It's 7.50/wash-load at the laundry, vs 8.00 per load (wash and dry) at the marina. Let's see haul it a ½ mile and back or tie up at the marina... We opted for the marina which was probably cheaper too once you add in the drier costs at the Laundromat. They have nice facilities and a pool at the marina (which we couldn't use because we weren't staying there).

Then back at the boat again. We were still semi-full from our Cheeseburger lunch so snacked instead of a dinner tonight. We still hear the conch horns issuing down the sun at sunset here. Time to turn on the anchor light.


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