Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Back at Guana Cay!

We left Marsh Harbor this morning around 9 AM and arrived at Guana Cay around 10:30. We took a slip at Orchid Bay Marina for the weekend as we are going to be here for the Barefoot Man concert on Friday afternoon and Saturday night, and the wind is forecast to really blow for the next couple of days and the anchorage here is exposed to the west and there aren't that many mooring balls available. It is a nice marina, only $1 a foot, WiFi available,  pool, clean showers, and restrooms but no electric.  At least we will be tied up securely and not have to worry about dragging or someone dragging down on us. Right now the wind is steady at 25 mph and gusting to 29.

Friday, March 25, 2011


One of the local musical instruments in the Bahamas is a crosscut saw! They play "Rake & Scrape" music and accompany it by scraping a screwdriver across the teeth of the saw with a screwdriver while bending the saw. Here in marsh harbor there are many bars that have music, live bands, and food. Most of the islands here have at least one or two hangouts where cruisers all get together and tell each outher about thier ordeals and adventures. The difference between an ordeal and an adventure is time, when stressful things are happening to you and your boat they are an ordeal, but the next day or week when you are sitting in a bar or pub they turn out to be an adventure. We heard a great talk about this in Annapolis by Bob Bitchen from Lattitudes and Attitudes Magazine. We are going to go to one of the more popular hangouts Nippers, next week to see a concert by "The Barefoot Man". This is a very popular concert and the Island's population realy grows duirng the concert.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Things that work for me

Now 7 months into this life there are many things that I bought and am happy with-although I look around here and the boat looks like a commercial for the hoarders TV show.For the galley(I still say kitchen)I like my nesting pots and pans,Fagor Splendid pressure cooker,Lock and Lock storage containers(never leak),pizza stones that I found small size and 2 fit on bottom of oven and keep temperature of oven stable and make crisp mini pizzas,silicone bake ware including mini cupcake ones for Hors d'oeuvres, folding silicone colander and measuring cups and  Schott Zweisel wine glasses that have titanium in the glass for strength.My favorite thing is my Engel freezer-lower power draw and switches automatically between 12v and shore power.
For off season clothing storage I tried the plastic compression bags but they punctured during heavy seas so I found plastic lined canvas squares with zip tops in the Walmart camping section at home.For DVDs we removed them from cases and keep them in a case meant to store Cd's in the car-many stored in a small space.I bought a small DVD player so we can watch movies at night in the cockpit at anchor.We have a Kindle that I loaded up with free books before we left Florida.We also make use here of Buck a Book and trade these books at the marina book exchanges.We bought an Alfa wifi antenna from Amazon while in Fla. and use this plus Skype calls to keep up with family.St. Brenden`s Isle is a mail forwarding service that lets us scan in our mail and then decide to save it,send it or shred it-very reliable.
We purchased Divers Alert Insurance(D.A.N.) that will provide helicopter transport for medical emergencies that can`t be handled here,they also provide medical advice-arrange care and arrange for your partner to return to the states,not expensive for the peace of min it gives you.
My memory foam mattress,hyper vent material to get rid of condensation and Froli system that is a kind of innerspring system make sleeping comfy.Our Travesack system is a vee berth shaped giant sleeping bag that has Velcro in sheets and half the comforter is heavy for winter and half lighter for summer-just flip it over-makes for easy bed making.
Back in the states I stocked up on Purex Complete 3 in 1 laundry sheets-they take up little room and detergent and softener are pricey here.I use a Wonder Wheeler cart to haul laundry or heavy groceries-folds up and has balloon wheels that go everywhere.
Mike likes the Soda Stream soda maker-makes diet cola,root beer,cranapple drinks from water and no hauling all the cans to the boat.He has many things he added that we enjoy-especially the water maker when at anchor although water is available all over the Abacos it is nice not to haul it.He bought solar spotlights at Home Depot that we use on the deck and make nighttime entrances and exits easy.He uses home type water filters on the hose if we do take on marina water.He made a lee cloth for the port settee that was for sleeping when underway but also keeps computers and cameras safe when day sailing.We put on  Port visor window covers that mean I can leave a few windows open and keeps out all but heavy rain-I chose these for the head and galley windows.
Insulated bags to haul back groceries are important here and 12v fans mean I have yet to miss airconditioning.

Friday, March 18, 2011

St. Patricks celebration

Last month we joined the Royal Marsh Harbor Yacht Club,it gives us marina discounts in the Abacos as well as many club activities-and a great burgee for the halyard too.Yesterday we attended the clubs St. Patricks day party.For the cost of the corned beef dinner we got unlimited bar,dessert,entertainment and too much fun.We had 168 people in attendence and were pleasantly suprised to be seated with several of our Treasure Cay happy hour crew-a blast was had by all and Mike even won a contest for wearing the most green.We walked to the Marsh Harbor marina with Phil and Lorraine from Changes and took a cab back.Cabs are plentiful and very professional and clean here.They had singing and then lots of dance music-rock and roll-even Mike hit the dance floor once.If you think that you will be bored or lonely in the Abacos you will be pleasantly surprised how many friends that you make and the winter flies by.Today several people are leaving for the trek back to the states but we aren`t ready to leave yet.

Friday, March 11, 2011


We got off the dock and first stop was Orchid Bay on Guana.This was a peaceful bay with 2 small marinas and mooring balls,we were lucky to get a mooring ball then headed out to Nippers bar.The bar is oceanside with rolling waves and reefs up close,the water has the most incredible shades of blues and greens and it is wonderful to eat their lobster sandwich and sip their frozen rum punch with the roar of the ocean and relax.We enjoyed a second relaxing day at the mooring and walked the beaches then on to Hopetown.Again lucky to get a mooring ball outside of Hopetown Marina and enjoyed their showers.We have lots of fresh water thanks to the Spectra watermaker and tiny inside shower but mostly use the cockpit showers at night inside the enclosure so a marina shower to stay as long as you wish is a treat at times.At Hopetown this time we enjoyed one of the keylime pies from Vern at Verns Grocery and it was so delicious-tart and smooth and not too sweet with meringue topping.A trip up the 101 stairs winding to the top of the lighthouse helped burn some calories and we both were in awe of the scenery of seeing the ocean and the Bahama banks from above.There are several restaurants,shops and the most beautiful pastel cottages but not the beautiful beaches that I crave.We left for our Marsh Harbor dock the next day not because of the batteries-that held 12-13 volts this trip but because of predicted squalls.
I had a request about who we have met on out trip and there were so many but here are a few.First were Otis and Marti that we met weekly at the S.S.C.A. breakfasts in Annapolis.They are retired and have made several trips here on their Freedom 40 and gave us invaluable advice and friendship.They have stayed in the Abacos this year because of aging parent concerns and we have shared anchorages several times along with the weekly potlucks here.
Gary and Janet on Lee-Ann are from Bedford,Pa. and we met them in Deltaville while they were having sailboat engine repairs.They taught us how to play train dominos there one rainy day and we have caught up with them here where we relearned the domino game and enjoy their fun personalities.
At Palm Beach while waiting for a weather window to cross to here we met Barry and Vicki on Cantible a 43 foot Irwin catch.Vicki teaches college english classes near their home in Annapolis so that meant a plane trip in the middle of their winter to teach.Barry has a twinkle in his eyes and is so much fun,Vicki brings us knowledge from a long sailing background.
Vince and Linda on Fortnight are on a sailboat that they completed in their Canadian backyard.They are retired teachers who have traveled the world with student programs and offer good advice and companionship.
Scott and MaryLynne on Zingaro took over 20 years to build their boat in Thunder Bay Canada.Scott has retired from law enforcement and  his wife works as a physician near their home in the summer.Scott is a skilled McGyver type that will help with any boat issue and runs the nightly 5pm happy hour on his dock at Teasure Cay Marina.
Ed from Boston is also a crazy character that we met at Treasure Cay.He saved for many years for his new Valiant - Tir Na Nog.His wife doesn`t enjoy sailing and he needs a crew to return to the states in April.It is such a gorgeous boat and he is a fun Irishman,sure hope his wife grows to like sailing soon.
Richard and Judy on Partners in Paradise live on aTradewinds 47 trawler.We enjoyed their company on the I.C.W. at several ports but they had 2 powerboats wake them at a high rate of speed causing boat damage and when we met at Daytona Beach some  family issues meant no Bahamas this year.They are retired from the sheriffs dept. and they make everone they meet feel like family.I look forward to seeing them again.
Well that is just a few of the people we have met.Of course we have met a few jerks but very few.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Guana Cay to Hopetown

We vare now at Guana Cay, we got here two days ago and are now leaving for Hopetown this AM. We will spend at least a night there and then head back to Marsh Harbor. We will be there for the St Pat's party at Boat harbor. After that who knows.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

stuck to this dock

Plans to leave the Jib room dock this am are changed,thunderstorm risk this afternoon in our little boat means we play chickens and enjoy a rum punch and dominoes in the bar instead.Last night was a blast with the limbo man having a bunch of sorority sisters quite drunk making for an entertaining time.We have made so many friends here and are never bored.We are waiting for office hours Monday to see the cost of a bigger alternator to be shipped here,we have plenty of power while anchored except when the wind dies and overnight the batteries charge goes too low after a week on the hook.I must admit that I enjoy the dock life here and we can take a walk across the street to Mermaid reef for a close to shore reef with lots of friendly tropical fish that cruisers feed cereal so they bombard you as you approach. This area has many stores but the boat mechanical needs mostly need to be shipped FedEx and not cheap,we have many spares fortunately.The staff here at Marsh harbor marina are superb and the food at it`s bar The Jib Room is outstanding-they have a rib night with the best ribs ever-fall off the bone and so much food that they give you two plates-we have learned to share a meal now.Steak night is Sat. and is equally good.My plans of eating rice and canned meat are on hold as well as the eagerly anticipated weight loss.We are glad that we have purchased the Bahama Wimax monthly wifi-the signal is almost always good even on the hook further down islands.The FM radio stations are mostly religious stations with frequent very long obituaries for entertainment.The Sirius radio reception here is excellent thank goodness.It is hard to describe the beauty of the water and friendliness of the Bahamian people here and we wake up every day so happy that we have landed here.    Chris

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Marsh Harbor Junkanoo Feb 2011

We stayed for the Junkanoo on Saturday and had a great time. The Junkanoo started around 10pm and we stayed until around 1 in the morning. The costumes were something to see and we had a wonderful time. This was a much larger Junkanoo than the one we saw back at Green Turtle Cay on New Years.
  We were going to leave for Hopetown and Tahti Beach this morning but the weather forecast is for high winds the next couple of days, so we will just stay here until we have a better forecast. We are still having a great time, and will definitely be back in the Bahamas next year. We plan to spend the summer somewhere in the Chesapeake, but that could change also.