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S/Y Sanctuary (41' Soverel Cutter)
Join us (vicariously) as we fulfill our dream of cruising.
03/02/2010, Long Island, Bahamas

Another beautiful sight on the island was the churches, two of which were designed by Father Jerome, a monk who was also trained as an architect and designed several churches in the Bahamas. Here is one of two churches we visited in Clarencetown, on the south end of Long Island.

Exploring Long Island, Bahamas
03/02/2010, Long Island, Bahamas

Yesterday we rented a van with our friends on S/V Slow Dancing (Paul and Susan) and the four of us (five if you count their little dog Mickey) drove to the northern end of Long Island to view the Columbus monument. The islanders debate whether Columbus initially landed in San Salvador or here. Either way the day was beautiful and so is the monument. From there we worked out way south viewing the various sights on the island, enjoying the sights and a chance to meet local people and see their way of life. We ate lunch at a roadside eatery, viewed some famous churches and got the land view of several places we may visit later on Sanctuary. The highlight of the trip was Dean's Blue Hole, a blue hole that measures over 600 feet deep where Free Divers practice their hobby diving to record depths under a single breath. I only dove down about 20 feet, certainly not a record, but it was a wonderous sight to see, and made for one of many memorable sights on this island.

Visit to Long Island
02/28/2010, Thompson Bay, Long Island, Bahamas

We got just a bit too antsy sitting in Georgetown and took a nice weather opportunity to travel to Long Island to the East with our friends Paul & Susan on SV Slow Dancing. We would have preferred more wind to get us there but the sunshine and aquamarine waters dazzled us once again on the trip over. On our second day here we ventured ashore and walked the length of the settlement called Salt Pond enjoying the sights and meeting some locals. This picture shows how it's sometimes hard to distinguish the sea from the sky by their color. We sat out yet another cold front with high winds and rain here bobbing at anchor, but are still thankful we're not burrowing down to escape the cold and snow back home. However, we are looking forward to heading south to the Caribbean to escape this weather pattern.

Return to Georgetown
02/19/2010, Elizabeth Harbor off Georgetown

We've returned to Georgetown and greeted many old and new friends here. We just learned that our friends on "Just Imagine" have begun their crossing to the Bahamas and hope to see them within the next week or so. Until then we are re-provisioning and making some repairs, and perhaps will make a side trip to Long Island with other boats here. It's still too organized here for our liking, sort of like an adult Summer Camp, but it's good to be back anyway. This picture is of a cargo vessel that strayed too close to the reef and was stranded for a couple of days before being lifted off and towed back to the dock for repairs. The "mailboats" as they're generally called, bring much more than mail (cargo, supplies and passengers) to the various islands of the Bahamas and are a vital link with the outside world.

Back to the Exuma Park
02/13/2010, Cambridge Cay, Exumas

We spent several days on a mooring ball (anchored deep into the ground for better holding) while the Bahamas experienced some severe weather fronts with high winds and stormy conditions. In between the storms it wasn't too bad though and we did some hiking around the island as well as some great snorkeling nearby. Here we are posing by this incredible water. We NEVER get tired of looking out over the water and enjoying the beautiful colors of the ocean. We hear it's pretty cold and snowy back in the states. We wish you all could be here to enjoy this.

Haitian Refugees
02/07/2010, Little Farmer's Cay, Exumas

The weekend at Farmer's Cay was marked by an event of another sort when we heard some police activity on the radio. An old and heavily worn sailboat carrying over 60 Haitians was stopped by the Bahamian Defense Force vessels in the harbor. Word circulated that the boat had been at sea for over 4 days making it's way north from Haiti and while the fate of its passengers was not certain, it seemed certain that they had not eaten in some time. Not surprisingly the cruisers in the harbor sprang into action and began donating hot food and dry clothing for the people onboard as the police force worked to begin transporting them to Nassau for further disposition. I helped by running the dinghy around to numerous boats picking up donated items while Carrie prepared some food and a blanket for donation to the cause. While the boats moored at the local Yacht Club dock temporarily they had to get underway and we continued to pass food and donated clothing across to the passengers even as the boats moved out of the harbor. The Haitians were very thankful for all of the generous contributions and we wished them well on their journey to a better life.

Bahamian Sailboat Racers
02/06/2010, Little Famer's Cay, Exumas

During the Farmer's Cay Festival and several others around the islands the locals race what they call a Class C vessel that copies the design of working vessels formerly used by the islanders to fish and travel between the islands. Vessels from several Cays came to the island and raced on Friday afternoon from Black Point down to the north end of Little Farmer's Cay where they anchored to celebrate their race and meet old friends. The vessels are brightly painted and are an item of great pride for the community that they represent. They don't have the budgets that most racing fleets we're familiar with have but there enthusiasm and comraderie certainly match those at any racing location.

Farmer's Cay Festival
02/05/2010, Little Farmer's Cay, Exumas

Friday and Saturday we enjoyed the annual festival on Little Farmer's Cay in the Exumas. It's a simple event put on by this island with only 40-50 inhabitants, but we had an enjoyable time getting to know the locals and some other boaters. Our friends Jim and Stef on S/V Eagle are long time (30 year) visitors to Little Farmer's and known by everyone on the island. Stef worked with the school kids to have them decorate Sand Dollar shells and sell them to raise money for a ball field. Terry is the owner of Ocean Cabin, a pub and restaurant, organized some fun events for visitors and locals. Locals Ali and his wife Brenda run a bar and cafe and they were cooking up a storm all weekend. Class C boats from several islands were brought in to race but the weather limited that part of the activities. They are beautiful boats and a big part of many festivals around the islands.

Bocce Ball on the Beach
01/31/2010, Black Point, Exumas

We said farewell (not Goodbye) to Centime and Heart of Texas as they moved on this morning, but yesterday we had some more fun on the beach as we played Bocce Ball in the sand while the tide was out. Here is Pat from Centime making her toss while Sandy from Heart of Texas and Carrie look on. Our field of play had to shift as the tide moved back in but despite the challenge of the tides Carrie & Carl eeked out a victory in the Match of the Century (or maybe the Match of the Week). Anyway, we all had fun once again.

A Good Day Sailing
01/29/2010, On the Exuma Banks

We got underway this morning with S/V Centime and Rankin and Sandy from S/V Heart of Texas for a great day of sailing down the Exumas to Black Point on Great Guana Cay when Walt of Centime got this picture of us under sail. It's one of those photo opps you wish you could get framed for posterity, but we'll settle for having it on the Weblog. We've had some wonderful times with Centime and Heart of Texas under sail, at anchor, snorkeling, looking for the elusive Green Flash at sunset, having dinner together and playing dominoes. Travelling with Buddy Boats is lots of fun but both Centime and Heart of Texas will be moving down to Georgetown soon and we're not quite ready to return to Cruiserville just yet, but we look forward to seeing them all again soon.

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Cast Off the Lines
Who: Carl and Carrie Butler
Port: Fort Myers Beach, Florida
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