Madcap Sailing

06 April 2016 | Riverside Marina, Ft. Pierce, Florida
23 March 2016 | Riverside Marina, Ft. Pierce, Florida
20 March 2016 | Vero Beach, Florida
16 March 2016 | Vero Beach, Florida
12 March 2016 | Key West, Florida, USA
07 March 2016
06 March 2016 | Key West, Florida, USA
06 March 2016 | Key West, Florida
05 March 2016 | Key West, Florida
04 March 2016 | Marquesas Keys, Florida, USA
03 March 2016 | Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida, USA
28 February 2016 | Puerto Isla Mujeres Marina, Mexico
27 February 2016 | Puerto Isla Mujeres Marina, Mexico
13 February 2016 | Teotihuacán, near Mexico City
12 February 2016 | Mexico City
11 February 2016 | Mexico City
07 February 2016 | Isla Mujeres, Mexico
05 February 2016 | Puerto Isla Mujeres Marina, Mexico

Meeting Locals

07 February 2010 | Frazer's Hog Cay, Berry Islands
Beth /80

We have had a nice time meeting locals and crusiers in and around the Berry Islands Club.

At the request of Rick (Sea Language) we tracked down Estelle and Don - former cruisers who live near here now. Estelle had hurt her foot, but after a trip to Nassau, is back home and healing nicely. As we took our leave after a very pleasant meeting, Don asked if we wanted some lemons and bitter oranges. I never turn down gifts like that so we followed him into his garden as he picked both Ponderosa lemons and the bitter oranges (used in conch salads) from the trees. The lemons are big and rough textured with a slightly sweeter taste. The oranges are - well - bitter! Both of them are excellent for marinating fish or pork or chicken.

Back at the boat, a local fisherman, Neville, came along and we bought some conch and lobster from him. We had to make that conch salad! As Neville sat in his lime green boat, cleaning the conch, he told us that although he came from Andros, he lives now on a little island up the way - one that he used to fly over and think, "I want to own one of those one day" and now he does! Neville has been around a bit I think. He talked of escorting Eisinger's children around when they come to visit Chub Cay, and of Mrs Bush (Sr) collecting shells in the area ... and also of his many children and "sugars" scattered through the islands! He gave us samples of his bush tonic - 21 gun salute. He promised Jim that the milky drink with 21 local herbs would do wonders for everything that might need a pick-up, but he decided to take a pass on that one!

The next day, Neville arrived back with a lovely conch shell and a tulip shell for me - gifts from his heart because he didn't have change for the $10 we gave him for the conch (he asked $8).

Lincoln, at the clubhouse, acts as chef along with being dockmaster and we made reservations for the four crews of boats in the mooring field to go in for lunch. Lys and Michael (m/v Lys), tony and Cat (s/v Cheyenne) Judi and Alain (Ramha) and Jim and I (Madcap) all trooped ashore for chicken or cracked conch served with peas'n'rice, corn, and potato salad. It was good basic Bahamian food - not highly seasoned or unusual or exciting, but a nice chance to support the business and get to know our neighbours a little better. We're all headed for the Bahamas (and Cheyenne is going on to Central America) so we'll probably meet again in some harbour.

Jim and I dinghied up along the Cay and took a walk on another beach. We found the most interesting creature - a Spotted Seahare - that looks kind of like a shell-less snail crossed with snakeskin! Very curious - but Jim looked it up in our guide to Reef Creatures - and there it was! I picked up an old grey coloured, grass-encrusted conch shell and turned it over to see the most glorious deep rose colour on the inside - like a sunrise in a shell. It was a reminder to look beyond the surface of things, and I brought it back to remind me of that as well as to admire it. (Now that's an essay waiting to happen!)

We had a good stay at the Berry Island Club. It is a good place to wait out weather - and the moorings are strong - especially since Alain and Jim have now tightened the shackles on most of the balls! Lincoln kept saying he'd take care of it, but we never saw him do it. He also said he'd get a diver to come and put a zinc anode on our prop shaft, but although we talked with a guy at the bar who was willing to do it, Lincoln never seemed to find time to go get him. Friends tried to come over from Chub Cay for lunch one day, but the staff here didn't seem interested in having that happen - ("No, we can't arrange transportation" and when they found their own, "No we're not serving lunch today!") It's too bad because it is a nice spot with excellent protection, and with a little more spirit and promotion, could be more enticing to cruisers.

We recommend it anyway as a good stopover for a day or a few! Just don't expect too much from the folks at the Club. Now the visiting locals are another story entirely and we'd urge you to look for Neville!
Comments
Vessel Name: Madcap
Vessel Make/Model: Bayfield 36
Hailing Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Crew: James D Bissell (Jim) and Elizabeth Lusby (Beth)
About: Beth and Jim have spent the last several winters sailing southern waters on s/v Madcap. They love Halifax in the summer, but plan to spend the winters exploring warmer places - currently the Guatemala, Belize, Honduras area.
Extra:
The Madcap crew left Ottawa in 2007 to go sailing in the Bahamas. After a highly successful year, they returned to Canada, settled in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and in the fall of 2009 they left to do it again! Journey #3 (2010/11) took them back to the Bahamas and then on to Cuba for several weeks [...]
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