Taking Our Chances South

17 December 2014 | Green Cove Springs Marina, Fl
29 May 2014 | Toronto
11 May 2014 | Norfolk, Virginia
11 May 2014 | Indiantown Fl.
03 April 2014 | Stuart Florida
23 March 2014 | Marathon - Stuart Florida
18 March 2014 | Boot Key Marathon Florida
09 March 2014 | Boot Key Harboour, Marathon, Fl
19 February 2014 | Boot Key, Marathon Florida
09 February 2014 | Key Largo, Florida
08 February 2014 | South Beach, Miami Florida
27 January 2014 | West Palm Beach, Florida
23 January 2014 | West Palm Beach Florida
15 January 2014 | Stuart Florida
20 December 2013 | Green Turtle Cay to Ft Pierce Fl
16 December 2013 | Abaco Bight
11 December 2013 | Green Turtle Cay
04 December 2013 | Spanish Cay, Abacos, Bahamas
22 November 2013 | Stuart Florida
08 November 2013 | Ft Pierce Florida

The Big Turn...North

03 April 2013 | Black Point Settlement, Exumas
As usual. Sunny and hot 86F
There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

- Julius Caesar Act 4, scene 3, 218–224

When we arrived in Black Point Settlement yesterday, there to greet us was a small flock of a particular kind of bird; a different colored bird. Shaped the same as a small seagull, we are all accustomed to seeing. As they flew over the boat, the underside of their wings was an unusual shade of cerulean blue. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t get a picture of one while in flight. However later in the afternoon we saw them sitting on a dock nearby at Regatta Point. They looked pretty normal. When they spread their wings the blue shade on their underside was gone. Can you imagine water so clear and cerulean, that its color reflects off the underside of seagull’s wings? It nearly defines the beauty of this place.
Located approximately halfway up (or down!) the Exuma chain, this place reeks of paradise. I know that I have said that before, maybe about every place we have been, but this one so far ties for first place. Just another small community, of less than 300 polite and generous people, happy with their lot in life. Born into a place where the streets are safe, life is simple enough to understand, and help is just a neighbour away. No luxuries here, not only because they don’t need them; they already have the best that nature provides. Located in a bay where the water is so clear you would not hesitate, except for its saline content, to pick up a glass and drink it. There is nowhere in the whole harbour that you cannot make out every lump on the bottom, in water that is over ten feet deep. You become mesmerized by the shadow of your boat and dinghy on the bottom, the large black manta rays leisurely gliding along, suspended halfway to the surface. They have the same amount of urgency the people have here.
Looking out to the Bahama Banks from the deck at the ‘laundry-mat’ we become almost hypnotized by the water color against the background of the blue further out framed by the rock ledges and short beaches on three sides. Ok, so it is not just the ‘laundry-mat’, but mainly known as the best laundromat in the Exumas. It also is a small convenience store, with very little of a few things; some staples, some motor oil, metal cleaner, and WD40. While you are doing your laundry you can also get free WiFi but best of all if you sit on a chair with your back next to the window, between the washers and dryers, the owner will give you a haircut! This one person operation also rents guest rooms and cottages if you wish. She also does the cleaning and always takes time to chat everyone up, and pass out a few hugs.
We arrived here after leaving an anchorage at Lee Stocking Island which was just off the abandoned Perry Institute for the Study of Sea Life. John Perry Jr., the son of newspaper baron John Sr., who funded the Foundation, was a pioneer in a number of things; aviation, deep sea diving, and the promotion of environmental concerns. The organization he set up on the island was designed to be organic long before green became popular. It is a shame to see perfectly good buildings, ponds, tools and machinery being given over to the elements or probably soon to be pirates. Just walking around it appears that one day the funding dried up and everyone left the next morning, with just their personal belongings. Everything is left behind right down to the open box of cornflakes sitting on the table and the grapefruit juice in the fridge. Really sad to walk around and see the investment of millions of dollars, at the start of its deterioration. Hopefully something will happen to rescue it.
Just up from there we were able to take a short trip to Leaf Cay, which we had been trying to visit ever since we arrived in the area seven weeks ago. This is the home of pink iguanas, although the pictures will show you they are really not pink. A bit smaller than the iguanas on Allen’s Cay, north of here but just as anxious for handouts. We read in the literature we may see some peeking out from the underbrush but these guys were out in force. Had we brought the literature with us I’m sure they would have eaten it! A family from Calgary were already there when we arrived and their children were feeding them vegetables and the “king” iguana was allowing himself to be lightly stroked. We went around to the Atlantic side to look for sea beans but the swell was so high we felt we wouldn’t be able to leave if we managed to make it to the beach. Instead I trolled a line behind the dinghy and right away something grabbed it, jumped to the top of the water and decided it would prefer to stay in the Bahamas rather than my stomach. I had the darn thing on for a minute with a steady pull but should have given it a jerk to set the hook.
So with that I will end with a bittersweet story. On the way from Lee Stocking to here, at Black Point, I decided to throw out a couple of lures and let them trail behind. Within fifteen minutes I had a three foot Mahi –mahi (also known as a dolphin fish) hooked and in the cockpit with blood all over the place. Because it was flailing around I got the hook out and threw the lure back into the water so it wouldn’t get tangled in the flapping fish. Before I had the line out thirty feet I hooked another one. I could tell this was big compared to the one inside. I’m thinking I can’t have two fish flapping away in the cockpit so I will draw it up to the port side of the boat. After a few flips and rolls he came up alongside as peaceful as a four foot dolphin fish could be. You can imagine the excitement. Chrissie got the gaff ready but thought the hook was really set and this one is easy to get aboard. I gave it a yank with both hands and over lifeline he came. He also came alive doing two foot thrashes on the side deck spewing blood everywhere; all over the deck, the windows, canvas and worst of all Chrissie. I was just about to do a belly flop on it when it spit out or tore out the hook. Ever try to tackle a four foot flapping fish on a side deck of a boat? The fish won and left to go see Dr. Fish deep down, about his cut jaw. Damn, I could already see the picture Chrissie was taking of me with a bull mahi-mahi across my lap, the dorsal fin from head to tail and with the smaller one lying on top of it.
That was the fourth fish I hooked with that lure so to make the story more interesting, I continued with the stupidity. Thinking the line was tangled up on the life lines, it would take a miracle to unravel it. Not so. You know that if you had the misfortune of sliding down a cliff to your death that you might reach out and something would snag you? Not going to happen you reply. On a boat with so many lines and ropes something is always tangled and knotted at the very time you need it most. Well, this was not one of these times. The line that was still coiled on the Cuban Yo-yo that appeared to be tangled around the winch, a couple of stanchions and both of the life lines was not. As soon as I pulled the end of the line around the lifeline, the yo-yo fell in the water and took the rest of the line and my best lure. There it was...gone. Now after the air turned blue and red all around me, I realized I lost my prize fish, my best lure, my mind, and my temper within minutes of each other. To say the least I almost lost a wife as she threatened to divorce me or throw me overboard, if I didn’t stop screaming in the new language I just discovered.
It will take me years to recover from this but I’m doing it in Paradise. We did fillet the first one and although we didn’t take a picture of it, (still too upset) we did get four nice filleted steaks from it. I could post a picture of those!
Have a great day.
Vessel Name: CHANCES
Vessel Make/Model: Catalina 34' MK II
Hailing Port: Toronto
Crew: Captain Dennis
I am an adventurous and seasoned sailor. I have had this dream of being on vacation 24/7 x 365 for a number of years. In 1997 I set sail for Bonavista Nfld from Toronto via the Madeleine Islands and St Pierre Miquelon. [...]
Extra: Thinking of the Florida Keys. From there who knows.
CHANCES's Photos - Main
Chances in Green Cove Springs Marina preparing to head south for another season
15 Photos
Created 27 December 2014
Ocean Sailing as crew with Mike Benson bringing Soulstice II home from Florida to Toronto
12 Photos
Created 27 December 2014
Sailing back to Stuart from the Florida Keys
10 Photos
Created 25 December 2014
Daily "grind" in Boot Key
12 Photos
Created 18 March 2014
Boot Key, Marathon Fl.
12 Photos
Created 9 March 2014
Life in Boot Key and Marathon Fl
15 Photos
Created 19 February 2014
From Miami Beach into Key Largo
16 Photos
Created 16 February 2014
South Beach Miami Area
18 Photos
Created 8 February 2014
Leaving Palm Beach for Ft Lauderdale and Miami.
5 Photos
Created 27 January 2014
Life at anchor in West Palm Beach Florida
22 Photos
Created 24 January 2014
Leaving Stuart for the Keys
9 Photos
Created 15 January 2014
Leaving the Sea of Abacos
6 Photos
Created 4 January 2014
Marsh Harbour, Hopetown and Treasure Cay
16 Photos
Created 2 January 2014
The Sea of Abaco and Green Turtle Cay
15 Photos
Created 31 December 2013
Leaving Lake Worth Florida, Crossing the Gulf Stream to Spanish Cay
14 Photos
Created 24 December 2013
Waking Chances after a long summer's snooze
7 Photos
Created 10 November 2013
From Nassau north to Florida and home for the summer.
11 Photos
Created 1 May 2013
Moving from Exumas to Nassau
13 Photos
Created 16 April 2013
Lee Stocking Cay and Black Point Settlement
19 Photos
Created 3 April 2013
Photos of our fellow sailors from Toronto Hydroplane and Sailing Club
14 Photos
Created 23 March 2013
Shots of visiting family. George Town Exumas
17 Photos
Created 22 March 2013
Georgetown Great Exuma Island Bahamas
19 Photos
Created 15 March 2013
Georgetown, Great Exuma Island
26 Photos
Created 25 February 2013
Highborne, Hawksbill, Warderick Wells, Cambridge and Staniel Cays
11 Photos
Created 13 February 2013
Highborne Cay, Exumas
14 Photos
Created 4 February 2013
Nassau January 27th
16 Photos
Created 28 January 2013
All the Cays around the Berrys
14 Photos
Created 27 January 2013
Alicetown, Bimini Islands
7 Photos
Created 26 January 2013
Pictures from Southern Florida
13 Photos
Created 26 January 2013
From Toronto To Florida
70 Photos
Created 27 December 2012
Vero Beach to Ft Pierce
12 Photos
Created 12 December 2012
Travel through history
16 Photos
Created 2 December 2012
St Mary's Georgia for Thanksgiving and to Cumberland Island.
22 Photos
Created 29 November 2012
Gallery of scenery in Beaufort SC and the Georgia coastline.
27 Photos
Created 19 November 2012
Water path into Charleston South Carolina
22 Photos
Created 14 November 2012
Southern North Carolina
15 Photos
Created 8 November 2012
Elizabeth City North Carolina
9 Photos
Created 4 November 2012
Route through canal from Norfolk Virginia to Elizabeth City, North Carolina
26 Photos
Created 25 October 2012
St Michaels MD. Museum and landscape
20 Photos
Created 18 October 2012
Annapolis Boat show
28 Photos
Created 10 October 2012
Chesapeake City, Maryland. Interesting little town if you like nick-knacks and antiques
20 Photos
Created 30 September 2012
My Kind Of Town
22 Photos
Created 27 September 2012
14 Photos
Created 19 September 2012
From Waterford to Castleton
6 Photos
Created 13 September 2012
18 Photos
Created 7 September 2012
Pictures of demasting and Leroy on the canal
12 Photos
Created 30 August 2012
Preparing Chances to sail away, selling our home and moving aboard
7 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 28 April 2012

Life is good!

Who: Captain Dennis
Port: Toronto