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Cruising with Osprey
Blowing the shell
03/18/2008

This is me blowing our Conch Shell at 7:18pm, i.e. sunset, today.

We have had an eventful day. The triumvirate, plus some dock neighbors (making 8 in all), caught the bus into Freeport and from there another bus to Port Lucaya. It was very interesting to see more of this island. The little town of West End is quite sad. It was always a rather poor town but then two hurricanes decimated the area in 2004 and the town has never recovered. There are many broken down shacks which are still lived in, the stores are little more than shacks themselves and have very little in the way of goods. Freeport is aspiring to become even more of a shipping port than it already is and would appear to be doing a bit better than West End although still not a very affluent community. Port Lucaya was a little different as this is a thriving tourist spot. The cruise ships dock here; there are many large hotels and several casinos as well as marinas. We explored the touristy bazaar which was fun. We all had lunch - at a Greek restaurant of all places - which was very good. Then we got the bus back to Freeport and hit the markets there. It was here that we found our Conch Shell - at a little market stall. It is a big shell and surprisingly heavy. The final spiral is cut off and by blowing in there a deep, resonant note is sounded. For some reason I am able to sound the shell quite well. Tom is only able to blow raspberries; apparently this is because he used to play the saxophone rather than the trumpet! We were pleasantly surprised by the supermarket which was well stocked and the prices were not as outrageous as we had been lead to expect. Even though we really didn't need anything we still managed to spend $40! We did buy two bottles of Rum which are dirt cheap. We were both very impressed by the warmth and friendliness of the Bahamiam people. Even though they are not a wealthy people they do seem to be very happy. At the end of the afternoon it was time to catch the bus back to Old Bahama Bay. We met Sam, the bus driver, as arranged and were delivered back to our respective boats in time for tea.

Tomorrow, we will be getting organized to leave here on Thursday. We have to fuel up, stow all the things that creep out of their storage spaces when we are in port, review the charts and decide on a rough itinerary for the next few hops. It looks as though we will be leaving together but after the first few stops I think we will end up going our separate ways as we all have different timelines for cruising. It has been a lot of fun sharing this part of the adventure with Wind Whisperer and Orion and I'm sure our paths will cross again in the future.

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03/18/2008 | Stuck in Indy
Glad to see you made it! The weather looks gorgeous. In the pic with your buddies, you both look truly happy and content.
Buddys on the dock
03/17/2008

Tom, Walt and Mary from "Orion", Terry and Barbara from "Wind Whisperer", Me

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03/18/2008 | Bruce
Break out the libations, congrats.....
Enjoy your stay............
Bruce
ps
Tom Whitehead sends greetings........
On the beach
03/17/2008

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03/18/2008 | dad
Lovely photograph, We can`t wait. I shall be making enquiries re the dock etc. as soon as I have paid my bill for the rent. I am needing a Bank No. to enable transfer. The horizon is now getting to be better placed. I think this photograph would also look well with the horizon on the bottom vertical third.
It is really nice to see a photograph of your buddy boat crews.
Love
Dad XXX
Old Bahama Bay
03/17/2008

As predicted another strong cold front blew through last night and we are kind of "stuck" here for now. The next step on our adventure is to cross the Little Bahama bank. It is about 59 miles to the next secure anchorage and we will have to cross shallow water with unmarked coral reefs to get there. To do this safely we need fairly calm weather so we can visually gauge the water depths - true eyeball navigation. The original threesome are still here along with several other sailboats that will wait with us for settled weather. We are having a great time. We can't think of a better place to be stranded. Besides the fact that it is a pleasant marina this place is also a fairly high end resort. There is an amazing beach with deck chairs, hammocks in the palm trees, an amazing pool, lovely showers, laundry etc. etc. After living on a mooring ball for the last six weeks we are all enjoying the luxury of being tied up to a dock. We went snorkeling yesterday - it was amazing - like swimming in a tropical aquarium, and that was just 30 yards off the beach - I can't wait till we get out to the reefs proper. Every evening the crew of the buddy boats all get together for happy hour on the dock. We bring nibbles to share and our own drinks - a very cheap way to keep ourselves entertained.

We have been doing boat maintenance in the mornings and kicking back and relaxing in the afternoons. Tom had to change the oil in the new transmission - it was due after 25 hours of motoring. We are very happy with the new transmission - it performed flawlessly for the crossing, and we are thrilled with the way the engine is running. It had to be realigned after the new transmission went in and the mechanic obviously did a great job as the engine is running smoother than ever

We may take a bus trip to Freeport tomorrow. We figure we may as well explore a bit if we are going to be here for a while. We are hoping to leave on Thursday - but we shall see - we are on island time now.

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