31 May 2015 | Great Sale Cay Bahamas
29 May 2015 | Soldier Cay
28 May 2015 | Manjack Cay Abaco
27 May 2015 | Manjack Cay Abaco
27 May 2015 | Manjack Cay Abaco
26 May 2015 | Green Turtle Cay Abaco
24 May 2015 | No Name Cay
23 May 2015 | Treasure Cay Bahamas
Words of the day-Wowzer & Holy Shit
13 November 2015
Coming through the cut into the open ocean from Market Fish Cay I had the hand line out and immediately had a fish on. He was fighting me the whole time. I always put on gloves to pull the hand line in. I was wrapping the line around the wrap and I couldnÂ't budge another wrap around and the bars on the wrap were giving. Just holding the test line in my hands with my full body weight pulling backward. Whatever it was, it was not giving up easy. I was holding him letting him just fight it out, but it was a fight of wills one which I did not plan on losing. I told Ken he was going to snap my line and he said oh no way itÂ's 300 lb. test line. IÂ'm just yelling wowzer holy shit heÂ's a fighter. Then he seemed to be giving up so I just hand over fist pulled and tugged him in, holy shit! Still did not know what it was other than willful. Finally got him in and found I had only half of a barracuda and HOLY SHIT realized I had been fighting with a shark over it. Wowzer and holy shit no wonder I couldnÂ't get him in, I was doing battle with a shark over a barracuda. You can have him Mr. Shark and thank you for not taking the hook because I have no idea how that would have ended, not well for me anyway. Shark 1, Cathy 0, Ken corrected me Shark half, Cathy half and barracuda 0. Wowzer and Holy Shit thatÂ's the only words that would come out!
Arriving Nassau and coming through the shallow draft cut between Salt Cay and Paradise Island at low tide I did my usual bow riding to watch for any obstructions that might jump out and get us when I saw a shadow. With shark brain still ever present from the morning it wasnÂ't until it came just under my pulpit chair and looked up at me that I saw it was a dolphin instead. Drafting for just a moment and then off it went, just 4 ft. under MY feet. I wonder if they have trained dolphins here that come out to greet the new arrivals. Wowzer and lots of hand clapping with Ken wondering what all the commotion was about. Why was I clapping over all the jet skis zooming by when he got a glimpse and he knew.
Now we sit anchored south of Athol Island within the ring of bright lights of the famous Atlantis Resort and all I can think is holy shit it looks like weÂ're in Vegas.
12 November 2015
We have had 2 of the most amazing days. Left Great Harbour Marina after 3 nights waiting to see what Tropical Storm KateÂ's plans were, luckily she brought us nothing. Next stop was Market Fish Cay and Soldier Cay on the east side. Every anchorage from here on out would be new to us. So far everywhere weÂ'd been before. This was all new territory.
Coming out of the Harbour entrance we were surrounded by the most amazing colors of jewel tone blues. I just sat on the bow awe struck. Even with 50 foot depths you could see the bottom clearly. No winds, so we motored all the way, but it was so beautiful and calm we didnÂ't really care. If felt like a leisurely pace with no wind or swell. I put out 3 fishing lines, 2 handlines and 1 pole. Today was going to be my day I had told the customs agent I spoke with at the dock. As we got closer to our anchorage and about to give up I had a barracuda on, pulled in the line threw him back. Next I had a Wahoo, aka Dinner.
We pulled into a stunning anchorage off Solder Cay. Seemed appropriate on Veterans Day to be anchored here. We were the only boat for as far as you could see. We had it all to ourselves. Took the dinghy to the beach and found lots of sea glass and shells.
Having our sundowners while watching a beautiful sunset I see a splash out of the corner of my eye. Dolphins shooting into the air towards us. I stood up calling to them and shouting with joy. The were 2 adults and one very small one chasing their dinner but so close to us I forgot all about the sunset. My heart swelled with joy, I felt so blessed to be here experiencing all of this. My day was complete eating our freshly caught fish and watching a moonless, cloudless sky filled with more stars than I could ever imagine.
12 November 2015
The following day we took the dinghy approx. 3 miles down to the south side of the next Cay, Hoffmans Cay. There is a blue hole here, a small hike from the beach. You follow the narrow path through the bush and come out at the edge overlooking it. Straight down on all sides of the water, into a very deep hole that you cannot see the bottom of. We followed the path further down to the edge of the blue hole. We had brought our snorkel masks and although I was a bit apprehensive we both got in. Staying relatively close to the edge because I have to admit it was kind of creepy not being able to see down. I had come this far and by golly I was not going to walk away without bragging rights. Been there, done that and now own the bragging rights.
I practiced my dinghy driving on the way back and stopped between 2 Cays so Ken could try his Spear fishing. Lots of fish but nothing worth spearing. The current was pretty strong and I stayed close by motoring back and forth in the dinghy. We gave up and came back to the anchorage to find another boat had pulled in. A family fof 5 rom Vancouver BC just starting out on a 3 year adventure. They were in their kayaks and swimming around. As we were getting ready to lay in the shade on the trampoline, tired from our already full day, I see the father with his spear held high in the air. Looking though the binoculars I see itÂ's a lobster. We had been looking all day for lobster and here they were right in front of us, not on the side we had explored yesterday. Dang, weÂ're going in. We immediately find the shelf where the lobsters were hiding and Ken speared one and I swam back to the boat with the lobster on the end of the spear held way up in the air to not attract anything that might want to take it away from me. I had found a big conch also so with the conch in one hand and the spear in the air with the other I finally made it back to the boat. Deposited the lobster and conch and this time jumped in the dinghy and headed back being more prepared. Ken speared 3 more lobsters so 4 lobsters and conch for conch salad we were set. It just doesnÂ't get any fresher than that. They were fabulous off the grill dipped in butter. Another magical day and another star filled sky. I am so thankful to be able to be doing this. I know all days wonÂ't be like this, but the past 2 I will carry with me for a very long time.
Change Is In The Air
11 October 2015
Change is in the air. The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting cooler. The leaves are changing into different hues of autumn. You can feel it in the air.
This isnâ€™t the just the change or the shift I am feeling. Itâ€™s the shift of going from land dwelling to ocean dwelling. The shift in mindset of things that need to be accomplished before we leave and what needs to be done to prepare the boat for departure for parts unknown. Lists are being made and checked off.
One of the major shifts I feel this year is my attitude about said departure. In the past it has been giddy excitement of an upcoming vacation. This doesnâ€™t feel like a vacation anymore. Now donâ€™t get me wrong I am sooo looking forward to this departure, the change in lifestyle. Sol Searching is our second home, home on water. We are looking forward to going home and wherever our home takes us this year. Wherever? Our plans have switched and changed so many times based on life events and weather events that I am making the switch toâ€¦.. wherever. Doesnâ€™t mean we donâ€™t have plans or ideas they just become more fluid and we go with the flow. For me this shift is huge! Those of you who know me well, know control freak is my middle name followed by planning details down to a gnats ass. Iâ€™m working myself out of my comfort zone and thatâ€™s a good thing. You learn nothing by staying inside that comfortable little bubble. Itâ€™s only when you get outside of it does the world open up looking through new eyes and the adventure begins.
30 August 2015
If youâ€™ve wondered if weâ€™ve been boarded by pirates and kidnapped for ransom since Iâ€™ve not posted in so long. No, they would have found we were too expensive to keep and not worth much in return.Truth is we made it safely back to Florida and I will get back to posting how we got there, soon, I promise.
For now we are back to our land based home which let me tell you, I much prefer boat projects over home projects, which of late has been plenty. Water penetrated the roof over the patio, which is never a good thing. Being DIYers we were able to accomplish in a weeks time with 106 degree temps by just working a few hours a day. As soon as we put away the tools and sat to admire our work the neighbors fence next to our lake boat caught on fire. We were off to the races, hose reels flying, phone buttons pushing and yelling for the neighbors attention. Crisis adverted, fire out before much damage was done and before the fire depts. arrival. So fixing the roof may have lead to saving the boat. I'm going with that, looking for the silver lining.
A nasty wind storm passed through the valley wreaking havoc. Sitting at the table we heard a crack and witnessed our tree in the front yard falling away from us into the street in ever slow motion. It had split leaving part of the tree still standing. Wow that was close, the tree resting across our picket fence now broken but just feet from the neighbors cars. The fence and the tree were the only victims. Tears were shed as this tree brought us much shade and a lifetime of memories. It was over 45 years old and 65â€™ tall. At the same time it left us thankful that no one or nothing was hurt. Again crisis adverted. It left us with a mess, insurance claim filed and tree service called. Tree has to come down. Now we are forced into relandscaping the yard and since my motto is go big or go home I was again off to the races to make new flowerbeds and a proper place for a much smaller tree. One we wonâ€™t be battling the roots of. Now do you see why I havenâ€™t posted? Land life is busy.
Watching hurricane alley, it is hurricane season after all. There has been 4 named storms, the last one looking like it had potential to reach Florida where Sol Searching has been docked. The plan was if anything were to come close Ken would fly back and take down the mainsail and get more ropes and fenders out. We had already taken down the jib sail and had wrapped the mainsail with rope prior to our last departure. Thursday morning the marina called saying some high winds (precursor to Hurricane Erika) had damaged one of the docks there and our cat looked to be listing and we might want to check it out. Doesnâ€™t know, maybe itâ€™s a bilge pump issue. WTH? Ok that was it, Ken was booking a flight heading out that night. Turns out the boat was fine, maybe sitting a little stern heavy but not really listing. No water on board. Bilges and engine compartments dry. We had been totally freaking out, fearing the worst. Again crisis adverted and Hurricane Erika has dissipated into a tropical LO bringing in only rain and wind. Sol Searching is now tied in a spider web of lines to keep her from leaving the dock by herself. I think Ken is enjoying his alone time with his girl but I think she is being a bit of a tease. Take me out she is whispering in his ear.
Although we are enjoying time at home, time with family and sharing in their life events we're anxious to get back to boat life. Ken will fly home Thursday so we can celebrate middle daughters marriage. Then have some wine and a celebration for his Mothers 98th birthday. After that tickets are purchased for an October 12th departure. We canâ€™t wait to see what this season brings us, where weâ€™ll end up. We are being promised lots of family visits this season. We hope so.
So now I promise to get back to the tropical beach pictures and what we encountered on our trip back to stateside.
31 May 2015 | Great Sale Cay Bahamas
Great Sale Cay is a jump off point with secure anchorages on all sides, pick a side depending on which way the wind is blowing. We decided on the less used northwest side which will shave off an hour or so off of our crossing back. Our plan is to head back going across the Matanilla Shoal straight to Port Canaveral and go through the locks to the ICW and on to Titusville.
The anchorage was shallow getting into with coral heads. I stood on the bow directing in close to get out of the swells. This being our last night in the Bahamas we went for our last snorkel and we were so disappointed. Visibility was poor and neither of us saw a single fish, conch or anything. Found this odd since we saw local boats making their way here to fish and saw some free divers on the north end as we came around. Even the bottom was void of any life.
Another boat pulls in late in the day and as the sunset they blew their conch shell to signal the end to another day. Something soothing, mystical and spiritual about it. The end to another day and the end of our time here in the Bahamas for now. Thankful for our time here and all our experiences.