21 February 2018
The resort staff is in high gear preparing for the high season. The thatch roofs on the beach huts have been replaced. The marina continues to upgrade their facilities with new decking on the docks, painted poles and new security cameras. Spinakers outdoor dining area that has not been used for years is getting a new roof, new deck stain and new furniture in preparation for the March 1 opening of the Boathouse Bistro. The lawns are manicured and mulched. The palm fronds have already been trimmed up. It had been quite entertaining to watch the men climb up the tall coconut palms to cut the lower fronds and coconuts with a machete. We always get a few coconuts while they are doing this. Carl bought a machete on our last trip here. It is the best tool for opening a coconut. I'm pretty sure it could be considered a weapon on board a boat. The Bahama Beach Club is sporting a new coat of conch pink paint. Although the high tourist season is just around the corner, it is nearing the end of the cruisers winter stay. Many boats have already left to start their journeys home. The marina is slowly emptying, except for some charter boats. Soon it will be filling up with sport fishing boats for upcoming billfish tournaments. We will stay until the end of March when we will start looking for good weather to cross the gulf stream to Florida. The department of tourism sponsored a party for winter residents at Cocos. There was a wine and beer bar and buffet of chicken wings, grouper fingers, bbq sliders, pasta and conch fritters. Chris Burner, a local celebrity, entertained us. We are savoring our time left with friends here.
Finding My Drishti
21 February 2018
I love starting the day with yoga and it doesn't get any better than yoga on the beach. I just started yoga classes a few years ago, when I retired. It seemed to be such a luxury to spend a whole hour on yoga. Retirement gives you a whole new perspective on time. I was already familiar with many of the poses because my Mother had given me a pocket guide to yoga when I was a teenager. I wish that I had started yoga classes earlier, but it seems that you are never too old to start yoga. I am inspired by people like Jack, in my class at home, who is 90. Yoga makes me aware of all of my senses. Now, in this class, I notice the sound of the waves crashing on the beach. The feel of the wind on my face. The smell of the ocean. Finding my drishti on the horizon across the Sea of Abaco. On my walk back from yoga class, I notice that the curly tails are getting fatter. The hummingbirds are frequenting the hibiscus and other tropical flowers. The birds are singing. The bougainvillea that has been carefully pruned back all winter is now beginning to bloom profusely. Sometimes there is a sea turtle waiting to greet me as I walk down the dock to the boat. Being here in this beautiful place awakens my creativity. I am constantly beach combing for the perfect coral piece for a necklace or matching shells for earrings. I have been busy creating jewelry and making plans for projects when I return to Urbanna. Yoga is an exercise of the body, mind and spirit. "Shanti shanti shanti". Peace peace peace. Now I am ready to start my day!
Island Hopping To Great Guana
11 February 2018
It has been perfect beach weather. Breezy with clear sunny skies. We have all been thinking about sailing away somewhere, but Diane is the one that initiated this trip. She sent me a message on Thursday night asking if we would like to join them on a hop over to Guana Cay. It didn't take long to make the decision to go. We stowed things away below in preparation. Friday morning we were up at 7 a.m. I was really excited to get out on the open water again. After breakfast, it took us a couple of hours to get everything ready topside. We left the dock at 10:00 a.m. with Monarch motoring behind us. As much as we wanted to sail, this would not be the day. We had wind.....15-20, but out of the South East meant "on the nose". So we motored across the Sea of Abaco to Great Guana Cay. Because Diane was a racing captain, and Monarch is a faster boat under sail or power, it wasn't long before Monarch passed us. It did feel good to be out on the water again. We arrived in Fishers Bay at noon. After a few attempts, we secured a mooring and put the dinghys in the water. It is a short dinghy ride to the beach. We pulled our anchors out, locked the boats together and started on a hike across the island to Nippers for lunch. The Nipper mobile (a golf cart with an extra row of seats) stopped to pick us up at the bottom of the road. I enjoyed the walk here before, but everyone is hungry and the Nipper mobile zips us to the other side in no time. Nippers is on a bluff over looking the Atlantic Ocean and the third largest barrier reef in the world. The view is breathtaking. We ordered some Sands radlers and Kaliks. After taking a few pictures we settled onto a picnic table for lunch. Diane had the lobster salad, Grant had his favorite cheeseburger in paradise and Carl and I had the grilled Grouper sandwich. We hung out at Nippers for a while. There is a pool and a gift shop of course. We watched as someone flew a large kite on the beach. When we were ready to go, the Nipper mobile took us back to Fishers Bay. We decided to stay on the island a little longer and ordered a few more drinks at Grabbers on the beach. We finally pulled ourselves away and headed back to the boat an hour before sundown. Grant and Diane joined us for dinner on Bay Breezin'. I made a deep dish pizza with meatballs and pepperoni. While the pizza cooked we had time to linger over another drink and watch the sunset. It was a great day in Great Guana Cay. A squall moved through just before sunrise. I got up to see the sun come up but it was still cloudy. We could hear the roosters crowing on the island. We had breakfast and at 8a.m. , someome from Dive Guana came to the boat to collect the money for the mooring. The skies were blue and the sun was out. We left our mooring at 11:00. Grant and Diane planned to leave later for Hopetown. The winds were 15-20 still out of the south east. We turned the motor off and sailed back to Treasure Cay doing 6 knots with just the head sail. We were back in our slip at 1:00. After lunch (and a nap) we had dinner with Sandra and Davido at Bahama Beach Club. It was nice to get off of our island for a while, but nice to be back home again too
11 February 2018
S/V Corsair, a 56' Bristol, arrived mid January. Carl and I raced the Key West Wreckers Race on this boat 3 years ago......small world. Corsair was next to us in Stock Island Marina. Tom, the owner then, invited us to join the crew for this race. We had a great day on the water with many different boats, including some big old schooners. Then we enjoyed the awards party afterwards at the Schooner Wharf restaurant. We took third place in the over 40 foot class. Even smaller world.......my daughter Heather had drinks on this boat when it stopped in St. Thomas a month earlier with a friend who knew the crew. Since Corsair arrived in Treasure Cay, we've met the new owners, Nancy and Mark, from Minnesota. We've enjoyed sundowners with them and other dockmates too. Originally from Australia, the owners of the power cat Southern Cross, across the dock from us, are from our neck of the woods. Charmaine and David's home port is in Lancaster, just across the Rappahanock from Urbanna. We joined MaryLou and Tom, Jan and Steve from Annapolis, Tim from New Bern, N.C. and Charmaine and David at A Touch of Class for dinner. The restaurant is located just outside of Treasure Cay and they sent a van to pick us up. How have we not heard about this place before?! The food and service was excellent. Known for their authentic Bahamian style food, Carl and I ordered Bahamian style grouper, which is smothered in tomatoes and onions. Delish! Johnnie cake and conch fritters were complimentary with our meal. Everyone brought their own bottle of wine. It was great! I can't wait to go back to try something else. Our friends, Karen and Ron, on S/V Compromise arrived in Treasure Cay a few days before the Super Bowl. We had fun catching up with them and showing them around. Grant and Diane joined us all for lunch at BBC. Karen and Ron stayed for the Super Bowl. We all went to Tipsys to watch the game. We ate lots of wings, Grants favorite, to celebrate his birthday!
11 February 2018
My oldest daughter, Heather, came for a visit in January. She was on her way home to St. Thomas. She has been off the island since Hurricaine Irma hit. It has been a difficult time for her. Having to leave the home she loves and the uncertainty of when she will be able to return. She made the best of the situation and found a job in Urbanna tending bar at a new restaurant, the Half Shell. She made lots of new friends and a little money to take back with her. She found out that the electricity had just come back on at her apartment a week before returning. She was fortunate that her apartment and car survived the storm. We had a great time together while she was here. I took her to my favorite spots. The weather wasn't perfect, but it didn't stop us. We spent time on the beach, sat in the hot tub, had lunch at Bahama Beach Club, and dinner at Coco's. Davido, Sandra, Grant and Diane joined us one night for karaoke at Tipsy's. Heather loves to sing karaoke. I loved having her here. It was just too short. She was anxious to get back home. She already had a job lined up when she got back. She is crewing on a catamaran again. This one is doing excursions for cruise ships. They are getting busier as tourists return. I am already planning my trip to visit her!
A Treasure Christmas
04 January 2018
January 2, 2018
A noise woke me up. It was the sound of the wind in the rigging. The boat was gently rocking. The water was lapping at the transom. The aproaching front was near. The boat rocked me back to sleep. I awoke again to the sounds of the boat creaking in resistance to the wind. The rain started softly, but quickly started coming in sheets. The boat was rocking side to side and the water was lapping all around. The rhythm of the boat rocked me to sleep once more. Later I awoke to heavy rain pounding the deck. The boat swaying side to side with more gusto. The cold front had arrived and we were in for a day or two of rain and gale force winds. The perfect time to curl up with my tablet and update the blog.
We had a "Gale party"on our dock last night. Our dock has filled up with boats coming in to find shelter from the approaching weather. It is always fun to meet some new sailors and share some stories. Everyone is in love with Treasure Cay. It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful beaches in the Bahamas. Some are staying at the marina as a base to see the Abacos. Others will be moving on to see the Abacos and beyond. Even with a little cloud cover, the sunset was still pretty.
A Treasure Christmas
We spent the first two weeks settling in. The first few days we stayed busy cleaning the boat, inside and out. We unfolded the bikes and took them off the boat. We visited the library and renewed our cards. We all went to the Christmas Cantata at the Community Church together. The music was beautiful. We had fun at the Christmas market, golf cart parade and tree lighting. The ladies in the community served food as a fund raiser to buy toys to give to the local children on Christmas day. They cooked baked chicken, peas and rice, lobster mac n cheese and slaw. It was all delicious. Whole cakes and pies were offered at a silent auction. Oh the food! We've also been frequenting our favorite spots for our favorite dishes. Cracked conch, grouper fingers, cheeseburgers and Florence's cinnamon buns and coconut bread! Splitting our time up between walking on the beach, riding bikes, sitting in the hot tub at Bahama Beach Club, sitting by the pool at the marina, and dinghy rides.
The weather has been absolutely beautiful. I've been enjoying long walks on the beach. At low tide, I love to walk out on the sandbar at sand dollar point. I've collected quite a few sand dollars already. One day there were lots of starfish left high and dry. I was busy moving them to deeper water. I don't know if they will live or not, but I just felt the need to try to save them. Two were as big as a dinner plates with bright orange markings. Steve and Anick arrived on SV/ Kestrel before Christmas. We enjoyed catching up with them about their travels. It was good to see them again. Steve loves to fish...for anything! He could not wait to get out in his dinghy to explore. The guys went out together to look for lobster. Carl showed them some spots where we have had luck finding them before. Steve went to work with his spear. They returned with 5 nice spiney lobsters or crayfish, as the locals call them. I broiled one to have with our dinner salad. Sweet and delicious! We had a girls day out too. Sandra, Anick, Diane, a visiting friend and I piled into a golf cart for our adventure. I gave them a tour of the neighborhood and showed them the greenways to the beach. We hopped out for a group photo. We continued back and through the gates at the entrance to Treasure Cay. Traveling around the "roundabouts", pulling over to the side to let cars pass and reminders from everyone for me to "stay to the left". Our first stop was Abaco Ceramics. We met the owner and she showed us her studio. We made a few purchases, packed up the cart and headed to Treasure Sands Club. We were a little early for lunch so we toured the indoor dining room where we all leaned in to smell the live Christmas tree. We then settled by the pool with a few pitchers of ice water. When our table was ready we moved to the outdoor tented dining room. The sun screens are opened remotely and the view envelopes us. We were lured out to the beach to take photos of the long dock with its pink painted pilings. The food was exquisitely presented and delicious. We had pina coladas for dessert! We spent the rest of the afternoon pool side. It was a fun girls day out!
Steve and Anick have gone out in their dinghy every day. They always return with lobsters, conch, fish and crabs. They shared a conch with us and I made cracked conch for the first time. It was tender and delicious. Anika gave us some of her conch, lobster and fish chowder...yum!
The Christmas candlelight service was just as moving as I remembered. This year two precious little Bahamian children sang a song about Jesus birthday. It was so sweet. We all took our lighted candles outside as we sang "Silent Night".
Christmas morning we saw Santa come in to the marina by boat. He handed stockings and toys out to all of the children there. We had a potluck dinner on Monarch. Anick brought black bean and cheese quesadillas appetizers (on homemade tortillas). Diane cooked a turkey, complete with dressing and gravy. Sandra made a corn casserole and brocolli salad, and I made sweet potato stacks and rosemary bread. It was a great dinner and a lot of fun!
Steve and Pat from S/V Patty Sue arrived before New Years Eve. We met them here two years ago. They have sold their sailboat and are looking for a motor yacht.They are staying for a month in a condo. It was great to see them again.
New Years Eve had many packages to choose from. Five course dinners, open bars, champagne toasts and music at Coco's and Spinakers. We decided on Tipsy Seagull for the countdown to the New Year. We arrived a few hours before to get a table by the pool. Grant, Diane, Steve and Pat joined us for a drink. We had a good seat for the fireworks. It was chilly and we all had to complain a little about that as we threw sweaters over our shoulders. A little after midnight we retreated to our boats to find the tide so low, it looked like the boats had sunk. I was sure that they were sitting on the bottom. The docks here are very high anyway. Getting on and off the boat can be a challenge. The tides are extreme now with the approaching full moon.