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Lemons Way
The continuing adventures of a cruising sailor/family lawyer, his wife (also a lawyer), and their young children.
Fox Town, Abaco Bahamas
09/24/2008

I would have to say that the highlight of the Bahamas so far for me is the people. Yea, the water is clear to the bottom and the sea life is wonderful (we saw huge starfish at our last anchorage - we had to keep the dogs off of them - and sea turtles just swimming along in the water) and the colors of the sea of abaco are amazing when the light hits them. But the people have been so friendly and generous to us. Where I come from people, especially strangers, are kind of mean to each other. People don't connect with each other unless they've gotten to know each other for a long long time. Here people are much more willing to chat with visitors. I've learned so much about the culture of the Bahamas from the locals. As you can see from the picture, the dogs are a huge hit with the kids and they love walking them while we tour a new island.

An Internet Connection Again At Last
Variable
09/24/2008, Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas

After a week or more of cruising the Abacos, Bahamas from West End until here I finally found another internet connection. What a trip so far. I am fine, the dogs are fine, Jodi is fine although getting tired of living on the boat. The scenery is spectacular. The people have been so friendly and kind. It's not all fun and games cruising out here, but what an experience. I'll see if I can get this to post and then try and upload a few more pictures and blurbs.

Catching The Fading Light From The Beach
09/16/2008, West End, Bahamas

I'm presently in the screened sailboat typing with too much incandescent and florescent light but enjoying it nonetheless knowing that this cocoon is almost mozzie proof. Jodi brought a kick-ass oscillating 12 volt fan and I have a smaller but quieter fan and between the two fans and the screened in portholes, we are hopefully in for a quiet, comfortable, and bug free night. The sunset tonight was as beautiful as the one last night except that we experienced it from the beach. I spent most of this afternoon on Skype talking and video chatting with my parents, siblings, Aunt Rhoda, and Guy. Amazing how the internet connection here (at least 2000 feet from shore) is better than anything my verizon card could produce in the US, and for free. Tomorrow we head onto the banks and to our next destination, whatever that turns out to be.

The Marina Resort From Tropical Dreamer (Now Known As Tropical Reality)
09/16/2008, West End, Bahamas

After walking the dogs on the beach this morning we went to the marina to check it out and to call home to let my parents know we arrived safely. While there we each grabbed a clandestine hot shower which felt wonderful. Then we put the dogs inside the sailboat and headed out just the humans to walk to the local settlement. It was hot and humid and we soon tired. We caught a ride into "town" and had a great lunch at a local restaurant. West West End village isn't much to speak of. It seemed mostly run down and there wasn't a lot happening that we could see. We walked most of the way back to the marina and caught another ride with a boat owner before it became too arduous. Our plan is to enjoy the afternoon and evening here and then head out across the banks tomorrow morning. Don't know when I'll have an internet connection again but I'll update when I do - maybe once more before we leave tomorrow.

First Morning In Paradise
09/16/2008, West End, Bahamas

It was a bit hot and muggy last night and some mozzies found their way into TD even though we are hundreds of yards from shore. Screens tonight. The water, oh my goodness, it is everything they say and more. You can see right down to the bottom. You can see fish. Most incredibly, the colors. Blues, turquoises, light greens. My photos can't truly express this beauty. And the quiet and the warm breeze and the nice people... and the unsecured and surprisingly fast wireless internet that transmits this far from the marina, we are blessed.

Anchored And Enjoying The Sunset After A Long Day Of Crossing the Gulf Stream
Keith, nice, but hot, the breeze feels great
09/16/2008, West End, Bahamas

About 1/2 into the passage the seas calmed way down to mostly less than 2 feet and we cruised the remainder of the 11 hour voyage in relative comfort. No problems to speak of. People speak of the cobalt blue intensity of the gulf stream but you have to see it to understand it. So beautiful. We arrived with plenty of light and I went to clear customs while Jodi took the dogs to play on the beautiful beach. I cleared with ease and soon we were all back on the sailboat enjoying drinks and a spectacular sunset.

Sunrise On Passage To West End, Bahamas
nice
09/16/2008

I am writing from the anchorage outside the marina in West End, Bahamas. We arrived safely after a fairly pleasant crossing. It rained just as we were about to depart in the middle of the night so everything was wet and clammy as we made our final preparations. The waves got pretty large as we left the inlet and went to sea. The rolling of the sailboat made me a little nervous but I determined to press on and after about an hour the seas started to calm. This shot is about 2.5 hours into the journey as the sun came up over the Atlantic.

The Dingy, The Full Moon, Tropical Dreamer, And the Inlet
Keith, nice and cool breeze
09/14/2008

It's been quite nice on the boat since Jodi arrived. We had a great evening last night, a nice walk with the dogs this morning to Dunkin Donuts for coffee and breakfast, and a pleasant cruise to the Peanut Island Anchorage this morning. Over the course of the day we organized the provisions and gear, reviewed the charts, filled up with diesel, gasoline and water. We are presently anchored adjacent to the inlet where we will be heading out to sea tomorrow early morning. The weather looks good, the boat is as good as can be, and we are as ready as we're going to be. We will wake up early in the morning, take the dogs to the shore one more time by the light of the full moon, put the dingy up on deck, and head off for West End Bahamas. Wish us luck.

Aunt Marlene And I At The Dingy Landing
Nice (meaning hot and humid)
09/13/2008, North Lake Forth Worth, Florida

I arrived at the meeting point in front of the grocery store and my cousin and aunt were waiting. I jumped into the air conditioned car and we spent the afternoon provisioning and ended with lunch at the local BBQ joint. Aunt Marlene was great, schlepping with us to store after store to get all the things on my list. We had a really nice time together and I actually got teary eyed when it was time to depart. It was just so joyful to be with family after several months on my own. We loaded the dingy to the brim with bags of food and dog food and gear and headed to TD. Jodi was hooked as soon as we departed on the zodiac and it only got better as she enjoyed her first sunset at anchorage. It was great. We took the dogs together to shore in the darkness with only the full moon and a couple flashlights. While walking them we stepped into the air conditioned entrance to this shopping area and hung out there in comfort while this nice young girl gave the dogs a massage that made them melt in her arms. Then we dingied back to the boat and took dips in the relatively clear but night time dark water. It is something I wouldn't have done myself but after I saw Jodi do it I had to give it a try. It's almost as good as a hot fresh water shower. Very cooling. And when you get out the breeze really cools you off and it feels great. Going to have to make dips a regular part of the routine. Now I know why the dogs jump into the water every chance they get. We're still trying to figure out where Jodi will sleep but for tonight she's camped out with the cockpit pads and towels on the front deck in full view of this beautiful breezy evening. Another thing I would not have done but she claims to be extremely comfortable. So far so good. I had such a great time with Aunt Marlene and cousin Jodi and such a wonderful time sharing this cruising lifestyle with Jodi this first evening. I hope it continues to be great as we transition into this next phase of this adventure.

Dinging From The North Lake Fort Worth Landing
Keith, nice and breezy
09/13/2008

We had a cool, breezy, comfortable first night anchored in Lake Fort Worth. The wind gen has run since I got here in this great breeze. It doesn't put out much, maybe 15% of our power, but every bit helps. Even Jake wanted to sleep in the cabin with us last night when he usually prefers to sleep on deck. Caught a beautiful sunrise and took the dogs to shore for their morning constitutional. Along the way we met some other cruisers doing the same thing and wound up tagging along to breakfast at this great outdoor cafe that catered to the dogs with bowls of water. These were the sort of classic instantly friendly cruisers I've encountered all to infrequently on the ICW this summer. I'm on the phone today trying to coordinate things before we depart the country. So much still to do after all I've done. We'll do as much as possible but there's always something else that can be done before a cruise and at some point you just have to cast off the lines and go. It's looking like the best window is Monday morning but there is a little tropical activity, remnants of Josephine, that has reemerged southeast of the Bahamas and which is heading north, northwest. It may block our departure and if so we will probably head slowly south until as far as the Ft. Lauderdale inlet, which I read is as far timewise from West End, Great Bahama as West Palm due to the northward push from the gulf stream. We'll be taking it day by day from here. Once I depart, internet will be spotty so be prepared for far less frequent posts.

 

 
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