The Adventure Continues...

18 March 2013 | Provo, TCI
11 February 2013 | Provo, Turks and Caicos
07 February 2013 | Landrail Point, Crooked Island
05 February 2013 | Long Cay, Bight of Acklins
22 January 2013 | Snug Corner, Acklins Island
14 January 2013 | Sand Dollar Beach, Georgetown, Bahamas
15 December 2012 | Emerald Bay, Exumas
07 December 2012 | Marina at Emerald Bay, Georgetown, Exumas
03 December 2012 | Warderick Wells, Exuma
26 November 2012 | 25 04.8'N:77 20.9'W
22 November 2012 | New River, Ft. LaLa
04 November 2012 | Ortega River, JAX, FL
25 July 2012 | Jacksonville, FL
19 July 2012 | Jacksonville, FL
06 July 2012 | Ortega River Yacht Club
05 July 2012 | Ortega River Yacht Club
27 June 2012 | Ortega River, Jacksonville, FL
02 June 2012 | Titusville, FL
29 May 2012 | Vero Beach, Fl
25 May 2012 | Palm Beach Gardens, Fl

The 59th National Family Island Regatta

29 April 2012 | Elizabeth Harbor, Great Exuma, Bahamas
First, the Family Islands are the Out Islands of the Bahamas and exclude the more populated islands of Grand Bahamas (Freeport) and New Providence (Nassau). Fifty-nine years ago a “friendly” competition was established to bring together the best sailors from the islands to compete for title of the National Champion Sailors.

As the Governor General was recently quoted saying, “the event is an expression of the resilience and optimism of our people…” and “it is precisely because of the wonderful spirit of camaraderie and friendly competition engendered by the event that it thrives not only in good times but also when the winds may not be so favorable.” While all that is true, he obviously wasn’t focused on the large amount of betting going on or the rampnt partying.

Over the years the Regatta has evolved into a blow-out party, as only Bahamians can pull off. The four day event brings many people to the Georgetown, Exuma area and is a definite boost to the economy. A lot of preparation goes into it and the Bahamian equivalent of an Olympic Village seemingly springs up overnight. The plywood shacks provide Sky Juice (gin and coconut water…the national drink) 24 hours a day and souse and sheepshead soup for breakfast, guava duff, jerk chicken, ribs and other delectable tidbits. Music so loud you swear your ears will bleed plays late into each night and the people watching is absolutely world class and not to miss.

And then there are the races. There are essentially 3 classes of Bahamian Sloops racing: Class A (the largest boats), Class B and the Dinghy Class (which include classes C, D and E). The islands that can afford it work all year on handcrafting one or two boats and send their island’s winning sloop to the National Family Island Regatta. The races are pretty close to one-design and each boat is laid up by hand in the classic traditional style Bahamian Sloop. The boats are quite beautiful and are easily identified by their huge mainsail, hiking boards and shall we say, unique names. Several boat names caught our eyes like: Ruff Justice, Tida Wave, Lady Muriel, Aant Farm, Lady Sonia, Barbarian, Queen Drucilla and Lonesome Dove. All are current or past winners too.

The Regatta is over now and many cruising boats are preparing to pull out and go south, north or west. One downside to our life style is having to say goodby to old and new friends. Hopefully, we will get to seem many of them again in some other harbor.

A deep lo pressure system has been sitting over us most of the week bringing us much needed rain and not so much needed wind and waves. So we will probably hang out until the weather improves.

To see more photos just click on Photo Gallery. We are so glad we got the opportunity to see the Regatta for the second time.
Vessel Name: Straight from the Heart
Vessel Make/Model: Gulfstar Hirsh 45'
Hailing Port: Baltimore, MD
Crew: Maryann Timon & Don Mack
About: We purchased the 1987 Gulfstar in 2005 and have been upgrading her ever since. It hasn't been all work though, we managed to log in about 12,000 nm cruising the east coast, Maine and the Bahamas.
Extra: Additional crew: Velcro, the Prince of Barfness and our newest member, Kai the Bengal Kitten
Straight from the Heart's Photos - Main
Fun going to and enjoying Bambarra Beach
17 Photos
Created 21 February 2013
the 59th regatta in Georgetown
26 Photos
Created 29 April 2012
the Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge had tremendous Lily Pads
5 Photos
Created 22 November 2011
Lots of wildlife, wild sights and fun
10 Photos
Created 7 November 2011
Our best crew and companions
1 Photo
Created 26 September 2011
Boat pics
2 Photos
Created 8 August 2011

The crew and boat

Who: Maryann Timon & Don Mack
Port: Baltimore, MD