Bookmark and Share
Living Well Sailing

LIVING WELL and GRATITUDE moved from Rose Island on Saturday morning , Jan 26, 2013. We traveled a few hours North -East to a beautiful little harbor called Royal Harbor on Royal Island, just off of Eleuthera. This island is very similar to Allen's key with a 360* protected area except where the entrance to the harbor is located. We played in the dinghys', met some of the neighbors and enjoyed the piece and calm. ( after the last few nights of bouncing around in the waves we were happy for the calmness.)
Sunday afternoon we sailed to another island just off Eleuthera called SPANISH WELLS. It is a very different island from others we have visited.
It is more like a New England fishing village. This is the main fishing port in the Bahamas. It is extremely impressive because it is so organized and clean. the shops seem to specialize in their tasks and products and not duplicate what another shop is doing. The people are very well informed, educated, and helpful. We rented a golf cart for a day and toured the whole island and the neighboring island that is connected by a bridge (Russell Island). It is not as well organized or as clean (we even passed a Haitian refuge that looked like they had brought Haiti with them. It must be terrible to relocate).
Tuesday evening we were invited to a neighboring boat called MAGIC.
It was a 42 Afri-Cat power catamaran. A really spectacular big boat.
We had met them in Royal Harbor earlier in the week. A very nice couple named Will and Rita. (She served Fresh Lobster that Will had speared that day for a snack) your heart out!
On Wednesday we took the fast cat ferry from Spanish Wells to Dunmore- Town on the island of Harbour Island. Rita went with us for the day. Van and Loren, Rita and Steve and Myself. We rented another golf cart to see this island and had lunch at a very nice resort on a pink sand beach, Bahama Mama's and all. This trip was very interesting as we traveled through the Devil's Backbone. This is an area between the islands that has claimed many boats because of all the coral heads. A very dangerous area that we knew we would never try to cross with our boat. It was an interesting and curvy ride. We came back the same way and arrived back at Spanish Wells about 4:00, just in time to pick up our dinner...5 pounds of Stone crab claws. Dinner on LIVING WELL with Van and Loren. (YUM!).


We were on Bimini Sunday afternoon and evening, walking the path of Hemingway. We stayed at Blue waterMarina, which was his choice marina, and walked to the Big Game Club for a light dinner, which was his choice place to eat (and drink) while on the island. Of course much has changed since he was there, but his presence is still felt. (We were able to watch the Patriots get beat too!) We left early Monday morning and had a beautiful, calm day crossing the banks (only @17 feet deep). We dropped anchor on the banks just past Mackie Shoal and Davis light, near North Pass. It was a very calm and smooth night. Tuesday started out to be another smooth day as we started across the tongue of the ocean (the really deep ocean) but as we approached Nassau in the late afternoon, the wind started to kick up. As we were entering the harbor the wind had reached 33kts (Gale force is 35kts) so we were very happy to be in the harbor. We knew there was a strong front arriving, and our timing was very good. The yacht club that we usually stay in was full, so we took second choice, Nassau Yacht Haven, where we have stayed before. It has been fine. We kicked around town today, breakfast at Starbucks (wifi), Plaza shopping, visit to grocery store (old store gone, new Fresh Market replaced it, GREAT STORE). We walked to the first bridge for a late lunch at Potter's Key, under the bridge, where the locals bring their fresh catch and produce to sell. We shared a good lunch at TWIN Brothers..Cracked Lobster. We are staying a second night (Wednesday) as the winds are still high and we found Van and Lauren on Gratitude at the other marina with Sanity II. They are getting an alternator fixed and we may be traveling together when we leave here. I did a load of laundry and we tinkered at the boat this evening. Starbucks again for breakfast, quick trip through the grocery and we'll probably be off.
We left a trail of pistachio nut shells to follow to find our away home, but you know they don't float!

P. S. Met with Van and Laren for coffee. We are going out to Rose Island for the rest of today and tomorrow. They will join us tomorrow and we will stay over until Saturday Morning then both boats will move on to Eleuthera, a new island for us all.


We left Marathon yesterday morning shortly after 8:00. (we had to wait for the fuel dock to open). a funny thing happened while we were refueling. I looked at the cockpit and just happened to catch a glimpse of something furry going down the companionway ladder into the boat (long pause here for Ryder, kolie, Anelise and Elena to guess). I finished filling the water tank and then went searching all through the cabin. I finally met "Buster" as he was exiting the aft cabin, tail and head high like he owned the place. He has escaped on three other boats and almost made it to the bahamas one time. His new name is "Stow-a-way". (Purrrr).
So after this start the rest of the day went well. We traveled north with MIDORI as far as the channel 5 bridge when they chose to go on the "inside".
We stayed in Hawks Channel and came North to Rodrigues key, near Key Largo for the night. Brian and Lynn were going on to Dinner Key today . That is on Biscayne Bay at Coconut grove. We were off the anchorage at 4:30 this morning and headed to Bimini. It was a good day to get across even though it started a little bumpy. We even had company on the radio from other boats we met in Georgetown last year, so we were not alone. At one point we were called by GRATITUDE on the VHF. we were 2 hours out of Bimini and they were just leaving Bimini. We will probably catch up catch up with them before we reach Georgetown.
It is 5:30 and we are all through customs and immigration and tied to the Blue WATER MARINA dock enjoying the evening. Tomorrow we move on.


We have been very busy this week thinking we would leave Marathon on Thursday (today). However, Mother Nature had different plans. Steve has been busy putting a solar panel above the bimini on the aft deck. I have been doing the provisioning. We made contact with our friend Michael J Brennen who is on his boat JULIANNE down in KeyWest. We met him last year through Brian and Lynn (they met him in Virginia 7 years ago). He drove up to have diner with all of us on Tuesday and we went to Sparky's for 25 cent fresh peel and eat shrimp and wings. Then since he had a car, we ran errands to the far ends of the island. We really enjoy his company and his sense of humor.
People ask us what we do all day on the boat. The following is what we did on Wednesday:
6:00 Steve was up making coffee
6:30 Ma up for coffee and breakfast
7:00 gathered laundry, let down dinghy, loaded dinghy
8:30 left the boat for marina
8:45 Ma started laundry. Steve went after stainless steel bow arch (2 miles each way).
11:30 3 loads of laundry washed, dried, folded, packed in dinghy. Steve took things back to LIVING WELL and delivered them to the saloon (yes the spelling is correct, but pronounce it salon).
11:40 Ma walked to shopping area (1 mile+) did some shopping on the way.
1:30 Ma lunch @ McDonalds
2:00 Ma grocery shopping @ Public's
4:00 Ma cab back to marina w/ groceries, unpacked from cab to cart to dinghy. (Steve was there waiting to help). Then back to the boat.
4:15 Steve and Ma unloaded groceries from dinghy to boat then up top and down ladder to saloon. Steve had been working on the bow and solar panel and he had tools scattered EVERYWHERE! (along with the clean laundry that came back earlier).
4:25 Unpack and put groceries away, clean and organize cabin, make bed, take a breath, (Maybe even a quick nap). Answer call from Brian and Lynn.
5:30 Grab shower bags, dinghy into marina (in the rain) find an empty shower (12 to choose from), shower, walk to Hurricane for dinner. (1/4 mile).
6:00 dinner with Brian and Lynn
7:00 walk back to the marina (another1/4 mile)
7:15 dinghy back to LIVING WELL
8:OO BACK ON BOARD FOR THE NIGHT . Hoist dinghy up. Read, tinker, talk, play on computer, etc.
9:00 Lights out! (9:00 IS the sailors midnight) GOOD NIGHT1

TO Ft. Myers and beyond

On Tuesday Morning MIDORI and LIVING WELL both left the park. We stayed at a mooring field in the Matanzas Pass which is the river between Ft. Myers and Ft. Myers Beach . We had a good visit and dinner with Jack and Diana Toomey. They are the third couple we came down the East Coast with in 2007-8. They are living in a marina in Ft. Myers that we can't get our mast under a bridge to visit, so they came to us. Dinner at the BEACHED WHALE...yummmm! (Yes, Dawn and Lindsey, I had fried oysters without you!).
LIVING WELL and MIDORI left Early on Friday morning and ran south all day. It was a very good day to travel so we went farther than we had planned. 60+ miles to Pavilion key and anchored for the night. The next day we were up early and off on another good day to travel...even to sail. The wind picked up a bit late in the day and we were under mainsail and with the motor running as we went under/through 7 mile bridge near Marathon. I had just discussed with the ""Captain" the idea of taking down the sail and we had decided to leave it up. Good Call as just as we were directly under the bridge the motor died. We were able to sail right on through without a problem in a 23 knot wind. Without the sail we would have probably hit the bridge as we were "crabbing " our way through because of the wind. I took the helm, Steve ran below and talked sweet to the engine and when we tried to start her again she jumped right to life. The one filter he had not replaced this year was one of the diesel filters ( It was replaced today) and we think that was the problem. WE had an uneventful trip the rest of the way in to Marathon...Boot Key Harbor. Our friends Van and Lauren From GRATITUDE were beside us in their dinghy even before we were moored. Later that evening we all (Brian and Lynn too) went out for Pizza. That was yesterday. GRATITUDE left the harbor early this morning for the North {Rodriguez Key) for their jump to the Bahamas. Brian, Lynn, Steve and I went to the American Legion For the Best Breakfast in town this morning then walked on some errands (received our flu shots as the vaccine was not available in Charolette Harbor or Ft. Myers) and then spent the rest of the day catching up on the boat. We will be here for at least a week. Marathon is a really good place to be and a hard place to leave. It's like "commin home"....and Key West is just a 75 cent bus ride away!

Moving on

This was the first of many parties. WE had a progressive dinner where we had Appetizers on an assigned boat, then went to another boat for dinner and then back to the "HUT" for dessert. ( I had standing rib roast prepared on a was magnificent) On another night we were invited to the yard owners house in North Ft .Myers for a Lasagna Dinner (About 80 people in a huge log home with lots of beautiful Christmas Decorations, and even Santa attended). We had a breakfast on Christmas eve morning, then a dinner at night and another /breakfast Christmas Day and another dinner that night...whew! All we did was eat. Then came New Years with an appetizer party, sang Auld Lang Syne at 8:30 and went to bed at "Sailors Midnight " or 9:00 for you land lubbers.
We made a return trip to Bruce and Nancy's in Palmetto on Dec the 29th. Nancy had breakfast waiting, we met up with Mark and Trudy Litz , and Bruce took us all on a great boat ride out on the bay (to look at the Sunshine Bridge from the water), and we all went out to dinner. Steve and I went south that night to Siesta Key and stayed with Mark and Trudy at their vacation condo...Another THANKS, guys!
We finally left the boat Yard on Jan 6th . there was a Spaghetti dinner on the 5th and heaven forbid we should miss a party! So Early on Sunday the 6th we pulled out on to the canal and headed to the lake then to the Myakka river, through the locks and into salt water at high tide at 6:00 in the evening. We traveled about 6 miles after dark and dropped anchor. In the morning we found we were sitting on the bottom at low tide and we had to wait for the tide to come up before we could move. Then we headed to Cayo Costa State Park. We sat there the rest of Monday and did minor fix it jobs. MIDORI with Brian and Lynn came into the anchorage after dark, about 8:00. They left the boat yard about 8:00 in the morning, got through the locks, realized they had motor mount problems, went back through the locks, back to the boat yard, "got hauled", fixed the mounts, returned to the water, back through the locks and on to Cayo Costa. By the way, IT IS a big deal to go through the locks, and three times in one day is more than any relationship deserves.


We made a trip to Sarasota to take our dinghy up to be looked at for replacement. After much discussion with West Marine and Zodiac we were given a reasonably good offer for replacement, but we had not budgeted to do that this year, so we just have to wait and pray the old dinghy holds together for one more year. The tubes are still in great shape but the floor keeps trying to separate. The deal is still good for next year. WE spent the night at Bruce and Nancy Moremans in Palmetto. They have a very comfortable and cute place on Terra Cea Bay and are trusting enough to let us use it...Thanks guys.
WE worked very hard to get the boat in the water and the weather wasn't always the best, It was cool for about a week, 60's during the day, 40's at night which doesn't sound bad for Indiana, but when you are sitting on dry land up on stands in the air, in a thin, un-in-insulated fiberglass shell without heat it gets a bit nippy...think tent camping. ( and boy does the toilet seat get cold).
But not everything was work! We had time to Party too. Starting the week we arrived with a pitch-in at the boat yard "Hut". We even had entertainment. The yard manager ((Smitty) play drums in a good band called TIDAL WAVE and they gave a very good performance. We also had the Yard Dog Players do their thing. This is a husband and wife team that loves to perform. They get others to read poetry, sing songs, act in skits, etc. Think campfire skits without the campfire (the name of their boat is BULLSHIP, and their dinghy is CHICKEN SHIP)

Still in the yard
12/18/2012, CHBS

We left Bloomington just in time...just before the weather turned crummy on November 17. We had a good trip south and even stopped in Sarasota for a quick visit and lunch with my college best friend Pat Reily Foltz and her husband Steve from Madison , Wi. It was a very good but quick visit. Then on to the boat yard and quick unpacking . While Steve moved things outside I washed down the woodwork in our cabin, swept, and put clean sheets on the bed. Yea! We had a place to sleep.
The next few weeks kept us very busy getting the boat ready to go in the water. Lots of little projects. I re-sewed the bimini top for the cockpit and started a road cover for when we store the boat in the spring. Lynn (our Canadian travel partner) let me use her Sailrite machine for most of this, but Steve and I were in a Goodwill Store and he pointed out a machine (I didn't even see it because it was gunmetal gray and I was looking for a black one). It Looked pretty good so we bought it...$20.00 for a Pfaff 230, and it works. We may need to replace the motor sometime in the future, but it has been great so far.
One day while Steve was working, a big tawney colored cat walked behind the boat. You can just make it out behind the boat in the photo. (Cell cameras won't zoom and Steve did not want to get too close. We think it was a Florida panther, but it is hard to tell from the pictures he took. It was much bigger than a regular cat but not as big as we would expect a panther to be.

Back in the yard

We have returned South to the boat yard and are preparing Living Well for another season. More later.

04/24/2012, CHBS

Well, our daughter and grandaughters have departed and are safely back home, the boat has been hauled and washed, the cupboards stripped, the linens washed and vacuum packed, the rigging and sails and dinghy stowed, the insulation installed, and we are ready to close Living Well up for the summer. See you in the fall.

Newer ]  |  [ Older ]


Who: Cpt. Steve & Admiral Mary Ann
Port: Bloomington, IN USA
View Complete Profile »
Photo Albums
05 March 2010
18 Photos
13 February 2010
33 Photos
Powered by SailBlogs