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Snorkeling

2017 March 28
by Lyn

We joined several others at a small reef near our anchorage and enjoyed snorkeling.  It was good to get into the water and swim around a bit.  We went at low tide and  apparently lots of other people had the same idea. The longer we were there, the more dinghies showed up. We spent almost as much time in the the dinghy meeting and talking to other cruisers as we did in the water.  But that’s the cruising life – it’s all about the people you meet along the way.

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But if not…

 

Long Island, Bahamas

2017 March 27
by Lyn

We finally made it to the tropics! Well, just barely. The Tropic of Cancer, the northern boundary of what is officially called the tropics, passes right through the middle of Long Island.  And it was definitely worth the effort.  It’s a beautiful, friendly and relaxing place.

Long Island sustained quite a bit of damage from hurricane Joaquin and they are still rebuilding. Some things won’t ever be rebuilt since they are just gone. We spent some time talking with locals who described the 36 hours the hurricane sat over the island. Not a pleasant memory! Hurricane Matthew then added to the work load this year.

But the people, like most Bahamians, are resilient and still very pleasant and welcoming. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and would love to come back!

 

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Sailing to Long Is from Georgetown.

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It was a perfect day!!

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This is a Long Is snowman…..made of rocks!

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Walking the beach with Ron and Kathy( Stormy Petrel) and Tom and Sue (Sandcastle).

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A doll with seaweed hair that washed up on the beach.

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Tourist office

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Library and museum still closed because of hurricane Matthew but learned things to see while here.

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A Bahamian building a boat for the Long Is regatta in April.

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Anglican Church in Clarence Town.

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Catholic Church just a couple blocks from the Anglican Church

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Inside Catholic Church.

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Learning about Clarence Town from a Bahamian working at the Catholic Church.

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Warning Blue Hole is deep!!

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Dean’s Blue Hole where the world free diving records are set. We met someone “warming up” with a 200′ free dive.

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Blue hole

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Greg swimming in Deans Blue Hole.

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Beach around Deans Blue Hole.

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Touring caves on Long Is with Leonard

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Caves on Long Is

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Adderley’s plantation ruins.

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Kitchen fireplace.

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Several buildings

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Looking at ruins.

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They built really short doors.

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Christopher Columbus landed here in 1492.

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Christopher Columbus monument

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View from monument

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Another view from the monument

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One more view from monument

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Sue from Sandcastle playing her guitar on the beach at Tiny’s in Long Is.

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Tiny’s….the place to relax on Long Is.

 

He quieted the sea with his power

 

Georgetown Exuma

2017 March 15
by Lyn

We tried to go from Eleuthera to Cat Island, but no such luck. If the winds were right to go there, they were wrong to stay there. If the wind was right to be there, it was on the nose so very difficult to get there. Oh well. So we headed across the Exuma Sound to the Exumas and worked our way down to Georgetown. From here, it’s a more favorable angle to head over to Long Island and then, perhaps, up to Cat. We’ll see.  The wind and the weather rule!

 

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Rays waiting for a handout under the fish cleaning station at Black Point.

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Paperbird at anchor in Black Point

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Yes, we had fresh Mahi for dinner our first night in Georgetown

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A good samaritan helped us across the harbor when our dinghy engine wouldn’t start (bad gas). God Bless you, John!

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Ron and Kathy, friends from Stormy Petrel, sailing by to say hello

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Ron & Kathy sailing back to their boat

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Sand Dollar Beach, our anchorage in Georgetown.

 

He quieted the sea with his power

Black Point Exuma

2017 March 4
by Lyn

We are now in Black Point in the Exumas. They are really friendly and the harbor is beautiful!

The challenge in the Exumas is finding a place to hide out from cold fronts. When the winds clock, there are very few spots that offer 360 protection. In this case, the winds are forecast to stay NE so we only had to find good protection from one direction. And Black Point offers great protection and very solid holding for the anchor. There are probably 25 boats here with the same idea. So here we all sit, while the wind blows 30 with higher gusts and supposed to be that way for 3 days! So it’s a good time to relax, read a book, and eat through some of  the snack provisions.

 

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School boys headed to band practice.

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Roosters are every where and crow at all hours of the day.

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The beautiful harbor!

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People watching…

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We walked to the blow hole. It was low tide so didn’t blow very high.

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Greg’s office view.

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Weather front coming in….a water spout formed….it stayed there for about 15 minutes. We definitely kept an eye on it!

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Weather coming our way!

 

He quieted the sea with his power

 

Rock Sound Eleuthera

2017 February 28
Comments Off on Rock Sound Eleuthera
by Lyn

The name of Eleuthera derives from eleutheria, meaning freedom. A group of religious colonists were shipwrecked on a reef now called Devils Backbone (ironic, huh?) and named the island Eleuthera. The more we dig, the more we learn the rich history of these islands.

As we have been able to move south along Eleuthera this week we are now enjoying Rock Sound. A beautiful waterfront and really friendly people. We pass Bahamians along the road when we are walking and say “hello” and they call out “have a wonderful day in Eleuthera”!

We met up with another cruising couple from a boat named Hold Fast who have been coming here for several years. We went to church with them on Sunday and then shared some great times together. Turns out we had met them briefly 2 years ago in Elizabeth City, NC. Since then we’ve followed their blog as they’ve worked with local church congregations and volunteered in the schools here and other settlements. Hopefully our wakes will cross again in the future!

 

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Rock Sound water front as seen from our boat. The church is supposed to be one of the most photographed churches in the islands.

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A view of Paperbird, our boat, from the dinghy dock in Rock Sound.

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An afternoon of praise and prayer of the youth in Rock Sound. In typical island fashion, the start time was listed as 3:00. The actual start time was a little after 4:00 and the music started about 6:00.

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Taken from the gazebo on the beach on the right side in the first picture.

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A nature preserve at the Ocean Hole in Rock Sound.

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700 islands, covering 5,400 square miles of land and 100,000 square miles of ocean….the Bahamas!

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Blackbeard is part of the Bahamian history…..

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The Ocean Hole inland in Rock Sound. The hole is a limestone formation at least 600 ft deep. Jacques Cousteau, who used to winter on Eleuthera, dove it and never found the bottom. Interestingly, it’s about a mile from the ocean, but rises and falls with the tide, so it is definitely connected by underground passages to the ocean.

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Whatcha see in there???

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Lots of fish!!

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No, not ice….drinking water being delivered. We are enjoying our water maker that we installed this year.

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This place has a profusion of color everywhere!

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Lunch at Sammy’s….with a produce stand out side.

 

He quieted the sea with His power

Heading south in the Bahamas

2017 February 24
by Lyn

We crossed from Vero Beach FL to the Bahamas and anchored off of Green Turtle Cay. If there’s a choice, we always prefer to eat at local places.  Sometimes the names are pretty interesting. Our first stop this year was 2 Shorty’s, a spot the postal office woman told us about. We spent some time in Marsh Harbor meeting up with cruisers and locals that we remembered from the last couple of years down here.

Two years ago, we happened to be in Man 0 War for their annual island-wide flea market. This year, the calendar worked in our favor again and we were able to enjoy it again. People come by ferry from all the islands around the Bahamas for the flea market. The proceeds go to help fund the local elementary school. With a usual population of only 300, Man o War sure puts on a great flea market with lots of food! We had a great time catching up with both cruisers and locals that we had met before.

After the flea market, we moved over by Mermaid reef and then down to Lynyard Cay to stage for leaving the Abacos and heading farther south. The next fair weather day we left Lynyard Cay and sailed to Royal Island, Eleuthera, continuing on to Hatchet Bay to ride out a nasty front that brought wind and rain along with some lightning that fortunately stayed far enough away to not be a threat.

Hatchet Bay is a fascinating anchorage. It used to be an deep inland lake separated from the ocean by a narrow rock wall. Someone blasted a slot in the wall to open up the lake as an anchorage. The intent was to use it for a shipping point for a ranching operation. Alas, that operation failed, but the anchorage remains and is now billed as “The world’s safest anchorage.” Not sure we agree since the bottom is deep and boats have a tendency to drag. But there were about a dozen boats here that all did fine in the blow.

 

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Sunrise off shore on our first day on the Bahama banks.

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Dinghy dock in Green Turtle where we checked in with customs.

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Green Turtle fire department.

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Lunch at a local spot….2 Shorty’s

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Watching an Abaco dinghy sail thru the Marsh Harbor anchorage.

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Abaco dinghy….Mighty Sparrow

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Afternoon snacks aboard Modaki with Joe and Yevone. Fun catching up with them.

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A luxury charter sail boat based out of Tilloo Cay  that drags all the “toys” with them when they go sailing.

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Phil and Kathy – this is for you…..cinnamon rolls at your favorite bakery in Marsh Harbor.

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Looking at the selection of books at the “library” in Man o War.

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Dinghy dock in Man o War.

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Taking a tour of the William H Albury in Man o War.

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Talking with David, owner of William H Albury, about the restoration he has done since last year.

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Watching the soldier crabs (hermit crabs) race at the Man o War flea market.

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Watching the Abaco Rage race across the Sea of Abaco back to Hope Town.

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Lunch at “Da Spot” in Hatchet Bay, Eleuthera. The rocks along the road were painted to look like snow!

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Watching the Liberty Clipper prepare to enter the narrow cut.

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Liberty Clipper (125 feet long) coming in the cut at Hatchet Bay, Eleuthera.

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The Liberty Clipper came in just before sunset at Hatchet Bay.

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Liberty Clipper out of Boston Mass….is a charter boat that sleeps 24 plus crew.

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Liberty Clipper anchored off our stern.

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Sunset in Hatchet Bay.

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Rain bow at sunset in Hatchet Bay.

 

He quieted the sea with His power

 

Man o War

2017 February 22
Comments Off on Man o War
by Greg Long

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Two years ago, we met David Wright, a local boat restorer. He had purchased a 1964 Abaco built schooner and brought it back from the Caymans.

As the story goes, the purchase price was to payoff the bar tab of the owner and the crew consisted of more pumps than people.

When we met David, he had just recaulked the hull to, in his words, keep the sea out. Last year we stopped by Man o War and spent some time catching up with David again. He told us the next step was to restore the topsides to keep the rain out.

This year’s progress report is that he has indeed glassed in the cabin tops and is ready to start on the interior. In the meantime, the owner of a large schooner that went on the rocks in Canada has decided to donate all the rigging to David’s restoration effort. Thats 2-1/2 tons of masts, spars, rigging and sails. So David is now raising funds to pay for the $12,000 shipping cost.

Maybe next year the William H Albury will be back in sailing trim!

 

But if not

Back in the Bahamas!!

2017 February 11
Comments Off on Back in the Bahamas!!
by Lyn

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We’re back in the beautiful Bahamas!! We forget how beautiful it is until we see the brilliant blue again!! We are back in the islands for the season. We are enjoying meeting new cruisers and catching up with friends from past years. When we get stronger wifi we’ll post more pictures.

 

He quieted the sea with his power

 

Dolphins

2017 January 20
Comments Off on Dolphins
by Lyn

The mooring field at Vero is actually very picturesque.  Quiet, well protected and full of dolphins! Early this morning we watched these dolphins swim past our boat. We see them often and never tire of watching them! Sorry Becca, we still haven’t seen any alligators or crocodiles but we are keeping an eye out for them.

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Blessed with another beautiful morning!

 

He quieted the sea with His power

Velcro…..I mean Vero Beach FL

2017 January 14
Comments Off on Velcro…..I mean Vero Beach FL
by Lyn

Vero Beach FL is known by cruisers as Velcro Beach because…..

The city marina has 57 mooring balls and they double and even triple boats on them so they are very rarely completely full. They have great facilities. Nice showers and laundry room. You can drop off your propane tank and pick it up full the next day and the dinghy dock has water at it to fill jugs so you can fill the water tanks on your boat. The beach is a 10 min walk from the marina but there is a FREE city bus that stops at the marina. So getting to the beach or grocery store or boat store or restaurants or really almost anywhere is easy. Thus it is called Velcro….lots of people get here and never leave for the winter. Oh and it is 75 to 80 degrees all winter!!!

We have found it a great place to sit out some windy weather and wait for parts to come in to fix our alternator/regulator. We went in to the office to get one of the parts that came in and couldn’t believe how much mail there was….the guys that work in there said they told the UPS driver they were building a boat one part at a time. It sure looked like it!

On Saturday there is a huge farmers market with everything from home made sausage to hand made wooden chairs and everything in between! We wandered past every tent just looking and enjoying the sunshine.  We crossed the street to see what the conditions looked like out on the ocean and the red flag was flying! Really rough seas out there….so it’s ok to stay velcroed here for a little longer!!

 

 

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Paperbird rafted with another boat on mooring ball #47. Our neighbor is adjusting his line.

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Weekly farmers market.

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Weekly farmers market.

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Sunset in Vero Beach FL

 

He quieted the sea with His power