Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Waiting on weather....

Plan B (again) with a new return route .... with the winds we have had I chickened out of the Eluethra/Bimini/Miami plan. The captain agreed to make me happy and we ended up getting to spend another week with Sue, John and Lucy. 
We left them in Hopetown waiting to head to the Exumas with Carol & Royce on 'Escargot'. We had a good day last Saturday and headed back around Whale Cay to Green Turtle. We are still here waiting for the winds to die down.  Hopefully this weekend will be the opportunity to come back to the states.  We are closely watching the weather. Once we leave Green Turtle we will be without Internet again.  Lots of traffic staging for this window so we should be able to get a weather update when we get to Great Sale Cay from another more technologically advanced boat!!  This trip has been a learning curve on communication in the Bahamas.  How did they do it before Internet and Cell Phones?....  (We are finding that out :-)

The Abacos......Clear turquoise water...white sand beaches....friendly skies...Kalik Beer...Cracked Conch...Rum Punch...Conch Fritters...Coconut Bread

It has been a memorable six weeks......

Heavy winds and heavy seas at Little Harbour

One of our very best days, Tahiti Beach

                                   Now THIS is what I have been waiting for!!!

 Lucy too,  getting into the Bahama Groove!

    Offerings from the Farmer's Market in Hopetown 

                                                      Oh no, I don't think so!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Life on a Rock

Here is our Route Map. The shortest jaunts would have been crisscrossing the Sea of Abaco but weather has dictated our every move so far.  We started last week going around the Whale and down to Marsh Harbour and then across and a little further southeast to Elbow Cay and Hopetown. It looks like the weather is going to start looking up so tomorrow we are heading to Man O War 
and then up to Guana where we will hopefully be able to anchor and make it to the Sunday free for all at Nippers. We were told in our first planning stage we HAD to go on Sunday. Obviously something special is in store if we can make it.  I am looking forward to being surprised.  After Guana (weather permitting) we will make a stop at Treasure Cay before heading back to Marsh Harbour for water and any needed provisions before heading south to Little Harbour and then Eluethra, The Berry Islands and Bimini where we will cross back over to the states south of Miami.  The time frame is still a little loose we are not in a rush.

We have had a great time in Hope Town and even Tuesday's down pours had an unexpected bright spot. While we hid inside reading and staying dry there were 5 young couples (that would be in age not 'at heart') on a rented Catamaran who were having a BALL! They had a French playlist of I would have to say it was Club musicand they were singing, shouting, and dancing up a storm on the aft deck. Then they would jump in the water, cool off and start all over again.  One of the girls aboard had a birthday and they all sang Happy Birthday in French. We really enjoyed it, it reminded us of all the fun we had when we were young and boating with our friends.

                                    On Monday we rented a golf cart to tour the Island 
                       The wind had started to kick up the Atlantic for this weeks bout of nasty weather.
                                                   Tahiti Beach on the south end of Elbow Cay
                    Lunch at Poppa Nasty's BBQ...and experience, hopefully not to be repeated.
                                       A better choice might have been'On Da Beach'......
                                    a bar and grill on the Atlantic...but  closed on Tuesday
                                                   One of the 'miles to' signs along the narrow highway
The Hope Town school...we found out that high school students take the ferry to Marsh Harbour .We talked to one man whose children were going to school in North Carolina where his wife is from. He told us that education in the Bahamas is not very good.  They only teach Bahamas history and when his A student kids got to N.C. they were way behind in everything. So he visits them every couple of months and the family spends the summer in Hopetown once the kids are out of school. 


                            Eight of the French Crew of Ten they were all smiles because Sue had taken pictures of them and offered to email them. Wish we would have thought to take some of their "party"!

Most of the houses we have seen on the Island are for rent. With price tags of thousands a week.
The man we talked to about the school was a property manager, a very good business to be in here.We asked who owned the houses and he told us mostly Americans with some Canadians and Europeans thrown in.

More of the beautiful foliage. A yellow Mandevilla with 4" blooms! The plants everywhere are so vibrantly colored it is a wonder when you figure they are growing on islands of rock that are covered in sand.

One of Hope Town's little critters a Leiocephalidae  (wow I could barely spell that let alone say it )
more commonly known as the 'Curly Tail Lizard '
native to the Carribean and ranging from 4 to inches.

                    A beautiful final resting place on a bluff looking out onto the Atlantic many of the graves were from the 1800's as far as we could tell. They were in pretty poor shape from the salt
                                                  and sand blasting over the century.

                               Poster child for the tropics.....A Coconut Palm against a vivid blue sky.

Even Princesses have to have baths......
this is one of the many indignities Bob the boat dog doesn't have to suffer!

It is the dawn of a new day and we are off to MAN O WAR for another beautiful day 
in 'da Bahamas!!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Alive and Well in the Bahamas

 Our trip from Green Turtle to Marsh Harbor and finally Hope Town began well with an easy trip around "the Whale", a short jaunt into the Atlantic where the Sea of Abaco is too shallow.  It is notoriously hard to get around but we waited in Green Turtle for 5 days to get a good 'weather window' (a term used often in cruising the Bahamas) and we had no problems.  (Well maybe I did put on my life jacket....better to be prepared!)

The weather was overcast, but calm when we reached Marsh Harbour, a little over a 2 hour trip from Green Turtle.
But as you can see from above the skies turned darker and we knew we were in for something.

We just didn't expect this!!  It was a 'minicane'....50 knot winds and sheets of rain for almost an hour.
anchors breaking loose, boats drifting, all with not much visibility. We sat on the bridge with the engines running
just waiting for our anchor to break loose too.  That is how hard the wind was blowing.  John, along with others said
they had never seen anything like it. I won't say it was fine because it wasn't it was a harrowing hour.  But our anchor held
and we didn't move for the next 3 days!  The rain continued on and off and the winds were in the 15-20 range.  

40 foot sailboat that broke loose, hit the boat next to us and ended up in the piling on shore. Evidently the owner had left his boat anchored while he took a trip to CALIFORNIA!!!
Three marinas within spitting distance and he leaves his boat anchored.....cretin!

We just didn't know we were in for three days of rain and wind.  The fronts just keep on a 'comin and it is hard to get off the boat.  We did make it to the large grocery store in Marsh Harbour, (the towns one redeeming factor as far as we were concerned) where the prices were more reasonable.  A gallon of milk was $4.50 but Planters Peanuts were still $8. a jar. It is weird how some products are about the same as US prices where others are two to three times more.  Ok, enough about food prices.....we are all over it aren't we!

We finally got a break in the wind Friday so headed out early for Hope Town. Two hours later we arrived in a different world.  For those of you familiar with St. Michaels, Md. this is the Abaco's St. Michaels. What a beautiful spot.  It has a very protected harbor with mooring balls and two marinas. We are on a mooring next to the million dollar boats in the marinas.  We have toured the town twice and hope the weather will allow us to rent a golf cart to tour Elbow Cay where Hope Town is located.
Since we are looking at a possible named or numbered tropical wave coming through in the next coupled of days we opted to stay here on a mooring for at least a week.

Hope Town....(so far)  just a trickle from my camera....when we get back maybe I will do a slide show

There are more houses for rent here than "local" occupied homes.  It seems almost
every house is 'for rent' at about 4 grand a week!!  But what a beautiful place to
spend your money and your vacation.

Beautiful Foliage Everywhere

This was in front of a cottage the sign says
Lizard Lodge....home of Mr. Curlycue.
The small lizards here all have curly tails. He was one lucky lizard his own cottage,
plane, golf cart and canon to ward off intruders....oops almost forgot the 'white picket fence'

The weekly supply boat bringing a little bit of everything.
Lucy is being a real trooper with all the walking tours we are taking!
We thought she needed a little 'play time'!

The Hope Town Lighthouse. Still manned the interesting info. in the link
below gives the history and details.

Yachy "Exit Strategy"....I think it means he got out when the gettin' was good and kept
most of his money....anyway she is a beauty the blue hulled boat in the foreground is the "tender".
We only have a dinghy they have a 30 maybe plus foot Intrepid with three 350hp Yamaha outboards.

Comrades in fun....Jann, Gary, John, Sue and LUCY!

No we did not forget Bob!  He is also enjoying the Bahamas but we have
to keep him out of sight of Lucy....she is in LOVE and we don't want to 
be responsible for puppy love now do we!

Editing and such must be ignored....I am getting this out at the bar drinking a Kalik so that I can use their must do what one must do!

Alive and well in the Bahamas