04/29/2013, 23 31'N:875 46'W, georgetown, bahamas
well, we've come as far south as we are going to, this season. we arrived in georgetown in the middle of the last race of the 2013 family regatta. each year, boats come from all over the bahamas for 5 days of racing and frivolity. we had hoped to arrive to see the whole weeks worth, but we all know how that goes...best laid plans and all.
just a few add ons to mart's last submission. on tuesday, the 23rd, we awoke to find our dinghy had gone walkabout. not having a dinghy presents all kinds of problems, but early in the morning, the most pressing issue is getting lily to land. mart untied the kayak and put it in the water. he got in and then called for lily. keep in mind, we had yet to introduce her to the kayak and its precarious state of balance, or lack of. but she is so trusting, that she hopped right on and together they made it to shore and back probably more dry than had they gone by dinghy. the other potential problem is that by the fish cleaning station, there can be between 5 and 12 sharks. you really don't want to go overboard and find yourself being the equivalent of eggs benedict. we later learned that they are nurse sharks who are so well fed on fish carci, humans aren't even on the menu. good news, the dinghy was found stuk on some rocks, somehow the lock did not hold, and a short trip to sampson cay brought it home safely. phew...
so, cait left the next day from the open air check in counter at the staniel cay airstrip. we stayed 2 more nights then did a quick 2 hours to little farmers cay. it was very important that we stop there, as we had planned, that word again, to meet some friends from stuart at the first friday in febuary festival in farmers cay. only 3 months late, but worth the stop. fewer than 70 people live there. there is a marina with a restaurant and bar, 2 convenient stores, mainly stocked with canned goods and the ocean cabin. a lovely restaurant and bar which houses 1 of 2 book exchanges. we swapped out 3 books for 2, had a beer and had the opportunity to join in a group sing of my beautiful farmers cay. after the sing along, mart, lily andi went for a walk and saw a woman putting a pin the tail on the donkey game on the side of her house. there was a happy birthday banner hanging by the window. d.j. was turning 3. we went back to the boat and i went through my stash of k id books. i chose 10, each one about animals and we went back to the party to deliver them. luckily the 11th child was only 3 months old and didn't know he didn't get his own. who knew out of 70 people there would be 11 kids?
and now we are in georgetown, the spot where many cruisers stop and spend the winter. this is as far south as they go. there is an amazing community of cruisers. seems like everyone knows everyone. we went to a pot luck last night.i i kind of overcompensated for our being the new kids and brought pepperont pizza, a big hit, banana bread with chocolate chips, which was a bigger hit. i did hear one comment that perhaps there weren't quite enough chips, and cantaloupe, which was a marginal hit. we met some nice peeps and as always, everyone helps to solve other people's boat problems.
not sure how long we will be in g'town, but you can be sure we will return to favorite spots and check out what we missed.
04/24/2013, Staniel Cay
It's been a while.
Caitlin (our daughter) flew in from Brooklyn, NY to Nassau to join us. We headed south and spent our first night off Normans's Cay (Susie, we were thinking of you!!). We tried to go to the Norman's Beach Club for lunch, unfortunately the club was closed for renovations. It looks interesting and when opened, it should be worth a visit. We played with Lily on the beach and did a little snorkeling on the small reef in front of the beach club. We then continued south to Shroud Cay, where we spent the next two days. Shroud is a really neat island. It's an island that is composed of Mangroves in the middle and there are small streams that run through the mangroves. We were able to take the dinghy and explore the interior of the island. The colors and clarity of the water was incredible.
We then headed to Staniel Cay, where Cait would catch a flight back to Nassau and make her connection to NYC. The trip down was in squalls and heavy rain. Cait was at the helm for a portion of the trip and for one particularly heavy downpour, she thought it was good fun.
We took a short dinghy ride to Big Majors Spot (an island) where we saw the swimming pigs. They really can swim and when they see a dinghy coming towards the beach, the come out for food. They can be a little aggressive and we kept a distance.
The water around Staniel Cay is is crystal clear, we went snorkeling at the Thunderball Grotto, which is where they filmed the James Bond movie. The fish were thick and not afraid of the snorkelers.
Cait proved to be about as easy a boat guest as we could have wished for. She was always up for seeing the sights and pitching in where ever she could to help out. She has set the bar pretty high for all those who will follow her.
We sadly put her on a plane this morning. That entails, taking a ten minute dinghy ride to a small dock, walking about 75 yards to a small outdoor pavillion with seats, where you wait for the twin prop plane to fly in. The dump off passengers with one engine still running, load up the next group and then they are off.
We will miss Cait,
04/18/2013, nassau, bahamas
the last post i wrote, somehow, didn't make it to the blog. so here i go. we spent 5 days on a mooring ball off the berry island club. we were in good company with jordan and erica, kathy and ned and richard who flew in to stalk the elusive bonefish. lily got an intestinal problem, glad to say that is all cleared up now...
we read alot, used the internet, chatted. all this due to waiting for the right wind and weather to sail to nassau. nassau wouldn't have been on the itinerary except for perscription refills and caitlin kelly! she arrives this afternoon. she vowed to come as soon as we set off. love a girl who is true to her word. we will spend one more night in the yacht haven marina. just did laundry, only 2$ a load. believe me, a deal.
tomorrow we are going to start down the exhuma island chain, making sure on tuesday we will have cait to a spot from which she can fly back to nassau to make her flight back to the states. starting to sound like an ex-pat.
sending prayers to everyone in boston. so horrific to think about the people killed and injured. we really, as a nation, need to rally together to regain the strength we once carried into the world arena. was relieved when i spoke to cait, at which point i knew nothing of what had happened. joe was in boston, as he is most weeks, working. brian and jeannie live there. all were safe. jeannie is on nights the next few weeks, so once tufts went on lockdown, i think due to a bomb threat, she stayed at home. brian, who has been spending the year doing research was called in. he is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon and they needed extra hands. i am so proud of him, in the midst of the trauma and terror, i know he put his head down and did his best work. cause that's the way he is.
the picture is of eshan. he is a neighbor here, on a sailboat with 2 sisters and a brother. not sure where mom and dad are. he was doing a little halyard swinging.
04/11/2013, The berry island club
It's official. The mind is going. I now need to write down what I wish to write in the blog so I don't forget to write it. The brain is on vacay...
Yesterday, we anchored off whale cay. Lovely little beach, warm water, perfect. We dinghied in after lunch. Mart and lily went for a hike on a sand road that went no where in particular. I laid in the water/sand and read my book. I found a cool shell, but the critter had died in it. So smelly, but I swished him around in the water til he fell out. Pretty gross, actually.
The weather has kinda gone south on us. Looks like we will be moored here off of Frazier hog cay at least till Saturday. Aside from it being tough to get lil off the dinghy onto the dock, which at low tide is about 4 feet higher than the dinghy, this is a good spot. Howard, the proprietor of the berry island club, couldn't have been more welcoming. The club has a bar, Howard is the tender and a restaurant. That's right, Howard is the chef. He told us this morning what was in the fridge. We chose grouper. We had delicious fried grouper, rice and beans, mixed veggies and cole slaw. Add to that, very cold sands beer. We have a winner. The buildings and docks here took a hard hit in a hurricane 2 years ago. It has been rebuilt and I highly recommend a stop by, if just for the cold beer!
So tomorrow we will do laundry, take lil to the beach around the point and wait for weather. Love having the interwebs to play on. Life is very very good...
04/10/2013, 25 35'N:877 43.880'W, devil's cay, bahamas
we spent 3 lovely days anchored off devil's cay. our neighbors, carlene (not kristine, sorry) and duane and paula and normand were full of interesting information for us. mart got some fishing tips, and a lesson in cleaning conch. the 5 of them trooped into the beach for that job. sadly, not really, i was in the shower when they stopped by to get us and i missed the whole put a hole in the shell, cut out the conch and hammer it till it is thin and ready for some delicious recipe. carlene said the hammering requires three bags to keep the conch from flying around. we had drinks twice and paula brought what has become for me so far the most interesting canape, a strong white cheddar with chocolate peices in it. had to work hard and concentrate to taste the choclate, but it added a certain something, for sure. carlene and duane had spent some time earlier in the day hunting conch and picked me up a little gift from the sea, a helmut. it is the size and shape as a conc h but so much prettier. when we get to internet in the next few days, we will have a bunch of pictures to post, so you'll see it then. thank you all so much for everything and maybe we will meet up further south.
on duane's recommendation, mart, lily and i hiked from the beach to the "blue hole". kind of a misnomer, as it isn't really blue but greenish brown. but very cool, nonetheless. lily beat us up the very narrow trail, and we heard her splash before we even saw it. she and i swam. put me way out of my comfort zone cause you couldn't see what was beneath you. i guess its about 70 feet deep, but, really, who measured it? the cavern surrounding it had some interesting formations. luckily neither of us ran into anything...we had been forewarned.
this morning marty listened to chris, the man, parker to get the latest weather, which sounded good for us to travel south down the berrys. but really, i cannot say it enough, it is really important to take one's time when doing anything on the boat. first i wacked my poor toe on the bulkhead and drew blood. then marty was rushing around on the front of the boat and tripped on something and almost went down. he then clocked me in the head with a propane tank...not an auspicious morning. just walking around is dangerous, for crying out loud.
anyway, going to frazier hog's key tomorrow to get dinghy gas, internet, laundry and a meal at the restaurant that comes highly recommended. haven't spent any money in 4 days, what do you expect?
04/08/2013, 25 35'N:877 43.880'W, devil's cay, bahamas
This is probably going to be boring to most, but this is what my day was like.
Started with a 6:25 AM alarm to get me up to listen to Chris Parker for weather. Everything we do is dictated by the weather, so we have to have it and react to whatever it gives us. Fortunately, the next few days should be great.
Weather ends at about 7:00 and then I put on coffe and dinghy lily in to the beach for her morning routine. Come back, feed Lily and have my coffee. Last night I tried to start the generator and it would not start, so that was my morning project. I went to bed thinking about this issue and we have alternatives for power and recharging the batteries, but the genny makes life easy. Big example , I got it fixed and I'm able to watch the Michigan Louisville game at anchor in the Bahamas. The Genny is a wonder.
You can see the beast in the picture. It's a Kubota diesel engine and the fuel line was seeping air into the fuel mix, which this baby will not tolelerate. I got luck and found it early in my process and was able to get her back and running again. It's a great way to start the day, solving a big problem.
Next, I was off to the beach, where I walked a couple of hundred yards though the shallow water and picked up about 5 conch. They are now hanging in a mesh bag off the back of the boat awaiting cleaning and prep.
I ran Lily in the dinghy back into the beach for a litlle run and swim then back to the boat for lunch.
Back in the dighy and out the cut into the ocean for a little fishing ( about 4 hours). I caught three fish. A 3 foot blue needlenose, something else, that was incredibly pretty, blue and orange and about 8 or 9 pounds, I had never seen anything like it, so I let those two go. I also caught a good size yellow trail snapper, that we had for our appetizer tonight. It was very good and we will definately be targeting that one again.
Back to the boat, clean the fish, try to read a little of my book and a short nap.
Cocktail time. I start the genertor (starts right up), then it's making water, about 100 gallons, which should last us about 4-5 days. The water maker is a reverse osmosis unit that makes about 15 gallons a hour. We also turn on the ice maker and we make about 10 punds of ice which will last about 3-4 days. We also top off chaging the batteries. The genny will be on for the next 5-6 hours for all of this and the game tonight. It will use about 2 gallons of diesel fuel during that time.
Then it's dinner time. We had hash and eggs. We watch what we have in the fridge and freezer and try to plan our meals for what is fresh and can consumed before going bad. Does'nt sound so hot, but we have to watch what we have, because the next trip to the market may not be for a few weeks.
Before it gets dark, I run Lilly back into the beach for her last bathroom run.
Now I'm watching the game, Lisa has gone to bed , I will follow shortly.
This is great game.
More to come.