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Rock Sound Eleuthera

2017 February 28
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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
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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
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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
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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

 

 

Christmas in Texas, part 3

2017 January 4
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by Lyn

The week after Christmas was filled with lots of play time with the grands. It got chilly and windy so we found some inside things to do.

 

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Building with Magna tiles.

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The Houston Police Dept opens their barns to the public, for a couple of hours, during the week. We took carrots to feed them.

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They will eat as long as you will stand there and feed them.

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They are used to being fed and will come at a trot when people are there.

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More carrots please.

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More play time!!

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Gramps and Zach.

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Zach

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Becca and Eliana

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Zach, 3….Eliana, 5….Becca, 8….Ryan, 18mos.

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Christmas at Galveston Beach.

 

He quieted the sea with His power

 

Christmas in Texas, Part 2

2017 January 4
by Lyn

Christmas weekend was spent at the hotel pool and the beach. We were also able to find a wonderful church for a candlelight Christmas Eve service.

 

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Beach time!!

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Eliana playing in the sand.

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Sun, sand and grandkids…..can’t get much better than this.

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Becca loves horses and loved to see them going down the beach too.

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Grands can have fun and giggle over the silliest things!

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Zach, 3 years old, learned to ride his bike WITHOUT training wheels!! His smile says it all!!

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It was chilly this day but we still walked the beach and collected shells.

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The crafts the grands made to decorate our hotel room wall for Christmas. We loved having it there!

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Everyone enjoyed the hotel pool…..it was heated!!

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Becca demonstrating her amazing swimming abilities!

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Eliana and Zach swimming with Gramps.

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Christmas morning with the grands at their RV.

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Opening stockings

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Face timing with cousins on Christmas day.

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Walking the beach after Christmas breakfast.

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Swimming on Christmas afternoon.

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Lots of digging in the sand.

 

He quieted the sea with His power

Galveston Texas

2017 January 4
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by Lyn

Texas for Christmas….not on our usual list of places to go.  But there were grandkids there we hadn’t seen for 6 months. So off to Texas we went. We spent 2 weeks there and took enough pictures that we will divide our visit into 3 posts.

Week 1: The first week we enjoyed the beach, reading, playing and a train museum.

 

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Your know you are in Texas when you see these!

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Bolivar Lighthouse…we took the Bolivar/Galveston  ferry over to Galveston. We can always find a way to be on the water!

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Galveston means we are at the beach!!

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Sea shell collecting!

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The water was almost warm enough – for the kids at least!

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Dinner by lantern. Fun time!

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Reading time with Gramps at night.

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The next day, reading time with Nana.

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The kids were sooo excited to get a Christmas tree….they didn’t care how small it was!! It fit perfectly in their RV.

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Building lots of cool things with Snap Circuits.

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Coloring, crafts and puzzles in the hotel.

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Dinner time in their RV when it got too chilly to eat outside.

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Visiting the rail road museum in Galveston.

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We had so much fun seeing all the trains.

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Zach was so excited to go into the BIG trains!

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Nana sitting in the museums train station waiting room.

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Playing with trains at the train museum – appropriate!

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Big paintings of trains too.

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Zach with the train mailbox – notice the jacket.

 

He quieted the sea with His power

 

 

 

New Orleans

2016 December 17
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by Lyn

Yes, New Orleans! I know it’s not one of the normal stops along the way for a sail boat but we are driving to Galveston TX to spend Christmas with our daughter and her family so why not stop in NOLA for a cafe au lair and a beignet (french doughnuts)!! It was a fun afternoon looking at beautiful architecture, street musicians and interesting shops. Yes, we walked along the water front and watched several barges go by and a cruise ship get underway. We never tire of watching boats on the water. The French Market was bustling and Cafe Du Monde ( the original Coffee shop from the 1860’s) was packed!  SO…..we enjoyed coffee and beignets and later for dinner we had crawfish étouffée.   Yummy cajun food!

And now we are off to Galveston TX for Christmas!!

 

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He quieted the sea with His power