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Mardi Gras on Mezzaluna
02/13/2013, Frazier's Hog Cay, Bahamas

We donned our masks and beads along with Keith and Ida to celebrate Mardi Gras with Howard in the morning at the Berry Islands Club. He rested his head on the bar while the four of us went online as we had access to internet. We did get him to pose for a picture with us before he turned off the electricity and headed out for the day.

After lunch aboard our boats the four of us traded the feather masks for snorkel masks, loaded our gear, buzzed over to the west side of the channel, and beached the dingy. It was a short swim to the coral heads where we found a magical underwater world with lots of big colorful reef fish, a nurse shark, a ray, and a spotted eel. Jeff shot some good footage with the GoPro camera and he's hoping to figure out how to get it on the blog.

When we had enough snorkeling, we launched the dingy from the beach and putted out to the sand flats on the other side of the channel. While walking in the shallows surrounded by deep water we spotted an abundance of starfish, found some beautiful shells, and just marveled at the clear water and endless shades of blue. To end our Mardi Gras celebration we collaborated on cooking with Cheers and then all imbibed some rum punch and dined on jambalaya, grilled broccoli, and chocolate cake with rum sauce aboard Mezzaluna.

For more photos of this little island paradise check out "Frazier's Hog Cay" album in the gallery.

Berry Islands Club
02/11/2013, Frazier's Hog Cay, Bahamas

We sailed from Bimini to Berry Islands Club on Fraziers Hog Cay, Bahamas on Friday along with our friends Keith and Ida aboard S/V Cheers. We anchored in the middle of the ocean on the Great Bahama Banks, where there is shallow ocean water as far as you can see in every direction, for several hours in the middle of the night so we would arrive at our destination in daylight. The wind has been blowing 20 - 30 knots for the past 2 days and we have been tied up to a mooring ball between islands. It let up this morning so we could get to shore at the Berry Islands Club, where Howard started the generator so we could access internet. Fraziers Hog Cay is separated from Chub Cay by a river and mangrove swamp. We are going for a 5 mile hike to Chub Cay and then back again today. Tomorrow we are going by dinghy around the island and up the river where we are told the bay and river are full of turtles and rays. We might even jump in and snorkel with them. No phone service for us yet, we will probably be getting that set up when we get to Nassau in the next week or so.

Hello Bimini
Katie, fabulous
02/06/2013, Browns Marina, Alice Town, North Bimini

Mezzaluna left Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, FL at 9:31 EST Tuesday headed for Morgans Bluff, Bahamas. Given the wind, wave, and weather conditions and forecasts at that time we were hoping for a mid afternoon arrival on Wednesday at Morgans Bluff on north Andros. While looking at the stars and steering northeast on the Atlantic the weather dictated a course change in the middle of the night and and we had a fast, fun ride north on the Gulf Stream to Bimini. We arrived safely in Alice Town, North Bimini after an uneventful motor crossing. Had a bit of a harry time getting into the slip at Browns Marina due to very strong currents but all ended well and we are securely tied up. Friends we met in Charleston and traveled through Florida with until just before Christmas are 4 slips away so they greeted us at the dock and we had breakfast together in the cockpit of Mezzaluna. We've had showers, are officially checked in, and our Bahamas flag is flying of the starboard spreader so now we are off to do a little exploring.

Good Bye Boot Key Harbor
02/04/2013, Marathon, Fl

The weather window is open and the boat is full of beer so if all goes well with Jeff's last minute work on commissioning the water maker we will be Bahamas bound by daybreak Tuesday morning.

Beamer has New Chaps
02/04/2013, Boot Key Harbor, Marathon FL

We have been hanging here in Marathon, Florida for nearly 6 weeks entertaining visitors from the north, working on boat projects, making new friends, and waiting, waiting, waiting to get winds from the right direction so we can scoot across the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas. With time on my hands and a designated sewing area available in the large work building it was time to pull out the Sail Rite sewing machine and get busy on a few projects. I've been collecting articles from sailing magazines and checking out dingy chaps on every dingy sporting a pair so I could make a stylish set for Beamer. Stashed in the aft cabin were the clear shower curtain needed to make a pattern, sunbrella fabric that I scored for more than half off at Sailors' Exchange in St. Augustine, and a few miscellaneous supplies. Jeff assisted with carting the heavy sewing machine and supplies back and forth from the boat to the workroom, designing the pattern, cutting out fabric pieces, ripping out stitching when redesigns were required, and biking to stores to pick up more items as needed to complete the project. Suggestions, ranging from good to ridiculous, along with ongoing encouragement were offered by other boaters checking out the projects in the work building. I kept the Sail Rite whirring for parts of seven grueling days in the sewing sweatshop, through design and redesign, so the dingy would be protected from the uv rays and have a longer life span. Finally, with Beamer dressed in classy sea foam green chaps, complete with oar and painter pockets, we popped Yueinglings , splashed a bit over the bow , and made a toast to celebrate work well done.
I said, "Absolutely NOT," when Jeff suggested I make coordinating sets of leather chaps for us wear in the dingy....

Boat Shoppers Visit Boot Key
01/21/2013, Boot Key Harbor, Marathon FL

We had a quick weekend visit from our friends Greg and Stephanie Moll when they found an internet listing for a boat they were interested in buying a few mooring balls away from us in Boot Key Harbor. After having Inspector Jeff take a look at the vessel to be sure it was in good enough shape to warrant a trip from Milwaukee they booked a flight to Ft. Lauderdale, rented a car and made the journey down the Keys to Marathon. Although they decided the boat wasn't quite what they were looking for after checking it out, fun was had by all as we sampled the local cuisine, jammed with the cruisers at the City Marina Tiki Hut, and basked in the sunny weather.

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