03/02/2013, Elizabeth Harbor
It is hard to believe a week has passed already. The Regatta started on Monday with registration. I worked in the t-shirt booth all morning selling shirts, hats bags etc. then the dinghy parade was in the afternoon. the winning dinghy was from a boat called "POPEYE" and they dressed like Popeye and Olive oil (those readers under30 ask you parents). They won a bottle of wine, which over the next few hours was all consumed by Olive Oil. Popeye, being a gentleman, said she was resting on the boat because something she consumed didn't agree with her...she later said it was " the 24 ounce flu."
Tuesday was the set up and practice for the "No Talent show " for that evening. Steve helped with set up and I practiced a song to sing about a pig.
Then in the afternoon there was the pet parade, where the owners dressed their pets in costumes, walked them across the stage while a cute description was read about each animal and its talents. It is always interesting.
The talent show was pretty good, with some good skits , live music, and a game show called "cruisers Match Game". Lots of fun! and yes I did sing my song to much laughter and applause...just what I hoped for...check it out on my Facebook page (U-tube video). There was a dance after the show with lots of prizes, we won a bottle of wine in the door prize drawing and then skipped out to go over to the St. Frances to watch the IU game...ugh!
Wednesday was the poker run, in the 17 mph wind, in our dinghys. We started out at Big D's on the North end of the harbor (4 of clubs) , then crossed the harbor to the Palm Bay Resort, (8 of spades and free food), then south to Peace and Plenty Resort, (8 of hearts and more free food), then the Yacht Club (3 of spades) and back across the harbor to the St. Frances Resort ( 6 of hearts). So we ended with a pair of 8's and rum drinks on the patio. But it was a fun day
Thursday was a catch up day for us. Others were playing golf on the beach, but we had work to do. The dinghy was full before we even got into it. I had laundry to do and Steve needed to refresh the computer and haul fresh water and fuel (Not in the same containers} Then we needed to get food. That took most of the day.
Today is Friday and the 2nd best event of the regatta (volleyball is first...next week). Today was the "coconut challenge". Our team was called "3 roosters and a hen"...no " 3 roosters and a chick". In the first of three challenges we had to gather the coconuts from the ocean hole behind the beach in our dinghy. We collected 69 coconuts to be in 4th place. The next part was throwing 2 coconuts over the volleyball net into a bullseye target, we tied for 2nd in this event, and the last event was the best...one person (Steve) hands the coconuts to the thrower (Me) who throws the "Bombs" backwards over her head in the air and the other two team-mates (Tom and Al) catch it in a Black trash bag. What a BLAST. I'm not bragging, well, yes I am really, because I nailed it!!! Almost every "bomb" was right on target...my baggers said they didn't even have to move... so we placed 3rd in this event. Had to do a repeat of the second event because of the tie (which we lost), But we won 2nd over all and earned 2nd place flags and bottles of wine for each team member. A really great day. The wine count is now one white Zinfandel and 2 merlot.
Tomorrow is the Regatta race around Stocking Island. We will enjoy watching but are not racing, but after church on Sunday we will be in a Scavenger hunt. The fun never ends!
02/22/2013, Exumas, Bahamas
LIVING WELL has now been in George Town for one week. We "hunkered down" Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, but ventured out Monday-- morning to go to town to recharge our phone and afternoon for beach volleyball. Steve has been able to play every afternoon this week. We took the dinghy to the St.Frances Resort on Tuesday for the I. U. game. TOO BAD THE OFFICIALS WERE SO CRUMMY! But at least it came out right.
The one big change from last year is that we have T. V. reception here on the boat. It is the 3 major stations, so if the games are televised we have it covered! (except ESPN or BTN, then we go to St. Frances.)
Wed. evening we dinghyed down to Hamburger beach for grilled barbecued chicken, slaw, macaroni w/cheese, Texas toast and beverages. There was very good live music provided by the boaters, we had a big bon fire on the beach and just had a really good evening. A crowd of about 200.
Thursday I went in for "art on the beach". It is just a group of ladies who meet every week to dabble in paints. I enjoy trying, and always learn something new from the others. Some of them are really good artists. Not me! I just play.
There are about 286 boats in the harbor now and the regatta starts Monday.
02/17/2013, Great Exuma
Steve and I had walked to the Hermitage early in the morning on Valentines day to avoid the heat. Then back to the boat for drinks and showers before pulling anchor and heading over to Hawks Nest on the tip of Cat Island. This was about 1 hour and 30 minutes cut off the trip for the next day. We want to keep moving toward George Town on Great Exuma Island because there is a strong windy front headed our way and we need to get tucked in before it arrives late Saturday/early Sunday.
We had an uneventful day on the water, wind right on our nose all the way. so it was very good to reach Elizabeth Harbour along with 12 other boats about the same time. Everyone was headed in to get ready for the blow. We anchored in front of "Chat 'n Chill" which is the chike bar on Volleyball Beach. This is the very center of activity for the cruisers. We had a nice calm night Friday night...really the calm before the storm. It was still nice and calm on Saturday morning so we took the dinghy across the bay to George Town to refill the pantry and get fresh (RO) water for the tanks, and some of Julians Jerked chicken and ribs for dinner. Then back to the boat for the duration. The winds started about 4:00 and reached 27.5 before dark then subsided for a few hours only to return about midnight and blow the rest of the night and most of Sunday. The winds peaked at 29.9 knts. We didn't even venture out for Beach Church today. It is now 5:00 and we are settled in for the night. I have a pot of stew on the stove and we will finish our last episode of Boston Legal re-runs on CD tonight and hope for better weather tomorrow although the winds are supposed to blow on through until Tuesday. Dawn pointed out that our Blog needed to be tied in to face book for easier access, so we have done that and I hope it makes it easier to follow the adventures of LIVING WELL.
02/17/2013, New Bight, Cat Island, Bahama
Cat Island is probably the most depressed area we have visited and it probably has more to offer than most of the other islands.
John Cecil Hawes was born in England in 1876. He became an architect and then an Anglican Priest, known in the islands as FATHER JEROME. At various times during his life he was a wagon train driver, a muleskinner, a monk, a missionary, and a horse breeder. He was sent to the Bahamas after the devastating Hurricane of 1908 to help rebuild churches. He did buil
d churches all over the many islands. In 1937 he visited the highest hill in the Bahamas, Comer Hill, at New Bight on Cat Island. He chose this as the site for his retirement home, and a sight in town for a new church. His retirement home is called the Hermitage. THis diminutive monument is a masterpiece of architecture and craftsmanship, and reflects the sincere devotion this man had for his work and his religion. The trail up the mountain is steep and dangerous but it is worth the trip. the visiter travels through all 14 stations of the cross, with small shrines as reminders including a replica of Jesus' tomb with a roll-a-way stone..
At the top is this beautiful small church like building that was FatherJeromes's home. Very simple. Very spartan. A small chapel, a very small sleeping room, a kitchen, etc. Very impressive. People come from all parts of the world to make the trip to the top and sign the guest book...and there is no fee.
02/17/2013, Bahamas, mon!
Little San Salvador
Our next stop was the island of Little San Salvador. It is a very pretty island with a beautiful white sand beach . This island is owned by the Holland Cruise lines and this is where their ships anchor to let the guests have beach time. We were visiting at a time when there weren't any ships at anchor, so we were free to walk the beach and enjoy the site. Lots of beach cabanas and water toys. It was a very beautiful night so I chose to sleep in the cockpit. The weather was wonderful...the bed was not! In the morning we left for Cat Island.
Eleuthera; Rock Sound
Our next stop was Rock Sound. It is a fairly depressed area, but there was one very good restaurant, and a grocery store. We spent a lot of time on the deck of the restaurant...good inexpensive food too`. The big claim to fame here is the Ocean hole. It is a large black hole, salt water lake, on the island that is very deep and eventually meets the sea. We stayed in Rock sound three days. Our trip from Current Cut on down to Rock Sound have all been on the island of Eleuthera. Next on to Little San Salvador.
Eleuthera: Governors Harbor
Left Glass Window for Gregory Town to pick up a mooring since there is no good holding in Pitman Bay or nearby. When we arrived about 10:30 we could not find any indication of moorings and there was very little activity (no one) around. We went on to HatchetBay and Alicetown and found all the moorings occupied. Opted to proceed to Governors Harbour and spend a couple days and do laundry.
Arrived Governors Harbour to find only one mooring ball with a different version of Kon Tiki attached to it. Anchored in the Harbour with 3 others. Going ashore to explore the town, the shops, and the restuarants.
We found Governor's Harbour to be very pleasant. Nice people, good places to eat, shop, and do laundry. This town has the largest Library outside of Nassau. We had a visit from SANITY II while we were away from the boat, so we missed them. They are good friends of Van and Loren's. We stayed here two nights.
We are sailing alone now. Brian and Lynn are stuck at Bimini because of winds, and Van and Loren have had company for a week so they are still in Spanish Wells. Both MIDORI and GRATITUDE will be along when they can. In the mean while, we are just taking our time, watching the weather, and "gunk holing" from one island to the next.
02/05/2013, Glass Window, Eleuthera
Here is a photo from the boat of the Glass Window
Steve and I left Spanish Wells on Saturday about noon. We traveled back to Royal Harbor in hopes of watching the IU game Sat. night and then the SuperBowl on Sunday, ahh but the fickle fingerof fate had other plans. Everything was working great until the satellite receiver died. Nancy, you were right, this receiver is a piece of junk...the same one you tried to get to work last summer...it worked fine on the Bayliner...oh well.... no Superbowl, either.
When we were here at Royal Harbor last week we had an interesting visit from some of the native species. It was dinner time on Living Well and 4 very large brown moths flew on to the boat and down into the cabin They were probably attracted by the lights. Now I know my hands are small, but they were as big as my hands. They have a Latin name but the locals call them "money bats". They are really moths but they did act like a bat, with all the wing flapping. They are also called Black Witches
The noctuid moth Ascalapha odorata:
In the Bahamas, where they are locally known as Money Moths or Moneybats, the legend is that if they land on you, you will come into money, and similarly, in South Texas, if a Black Witch lands above your door and stays there for a while you will supposedly win the lottery. ANYONE CARE TO BUY ME A LOTTERY TICKET???
We left Royal Island before lunch today and headed toward the big island of Eleuthera. We traveled through a heavily currented area called Current Cut. The current was almost slack, within 30 minutes of high tide, but still ran 2knots of flood. Once through the narrows we had to make a sharp turn across the flow and around a coral head. We traveled for another 7 miles to the Glass Window. This is (was) a natural arch that allowed us to see through the island from the sound to the ocean. The road (the Queen's Highway) goes over the top on a man made bridge now because the natural land bridge was washed away. Steve and I dinghyed ashore for a-walk-about, visited the blow hole, and took lots of good pictures. Then back to the boat for very welcomed bare showers on the transom and dinner. (No other boats in sight!) Tomorrow we plan to go to Gregory Town.
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)...eat 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!).