Saturday, March 29, 2008

Star Fish from Black Point


While swimming off the boat at Black Point, Beth found this perfectly Willow sized starfish, but unfortunately, it was alive. Since we shipped a live conch to Willow last month (unbeknownst to us), we have learned our lesson, and tossed her back into the sea. I also got a great picture of Beth and her Dad in their snorkel gear, but I was not permitted to post it. I may auction the opportunity to view it on e-Bay.

Beth got the tour of the Garden of Eden, the driftwood collection put together by Willie Rolle over 30 years, and previously featured I believe at this site. We then lunched at Lorraine's and walked my favorite beach where we found a hamburger bean for Beth. Beth just might be catching this shell addiction thing. Tomorrow, off to Sampson Cay where there are beautiful beaches and a great restaurant, both of which Beth will love.
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Friday, March 28, 2008

Beth Arrives at Staniel Cay

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After spending three days hanging on a mooring at Thunderball (where the movie of the same name, a 007 saga starring Sean Connery, was shot) while waiting out yet another blow, Beth arrived via Flamingo Air from Nassau. This is the best and most economical way to connect with us in the Exumas. Beth reported that the views coming from Nassau were amazing.

We were fortunate that slack low tide occurred shortly after Beth had unpacked on First Edition, so we quickly suited up and dinked over to Thunderball Cave, where the little fishies are in great abundance and while snorkelling, you provide breadcrumbs to them and they surround you. It was a great way to start Beth's visit.

We then dined at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club where we enjoyed mango daiquiries and a four course meal, all very good (nothing fried, a rarity in the Bahamas). We met a guy at the bar that we had met at Lake Worth before we left for the Bahamas and chatted about our electronics issues.

Tomorrow we head for Black Point with Beth where we will dine at Lorraine's and walk the sea glass beach.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hunting for Easter Treasures

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We understand our granddaughter had a marvelous time hunting for Easter eggs and I am surely sad that I could not share that event with her. But, I did get to go on a hunt of my own on Easter Sunday, and this picture shows the results of the search. (I have probably said this before, but walking the beach with Peter, as he diligently picks through the sea wrack searching for goodies, makes me pinch myself. Was he really a lawyer in a business suit working long hours, just a year ago?)

This is the second time we have had a great haul at Black Point (shhh!). I think we took 7 seabeans (unheard of! you will need a closeup of a hamburger bean to fully appreciate this, or maybe not if you are still working away at some high powered job). Check out the seaglass. BUT, look closely at the variegated seabiscuit. How I lusted after Christine's beauties, but this specimen is spectacular!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Typical Day in Paradise

It is Easter Morning, and since it is a Sunday, we did not need to arise at 6:30 to hear the weather report for the upcoming week as this one day the weatherman sleeps in. But, at 7 am Bahamas Sea and Air Rescue (BASRA) broadcasts a three day synopsis, so it was my turn to rise. While tuning the single side band to the BASRA station, it stopped changing channels and Peter is now below trying to determine what happened. This could be serious as the Bahamas without a single side band is like walking a balance beam blindfolded.

We arrived here at Black Point late afternoon Saturday after a slow slog from Rat Cay. The prior night we did not sleep as the waters were like a mixmaster, African effects continuing to dominate. But we needed to get here to do laundry, one of the other big deals in our lives. For those of you who followed our Sabbatical trip in 2005 you will recall my laundry exploits. At the laundromat in Black Point each wash load is $3, each dry load is $3 and this is a bargain, explaining our current location. While waiting for the wash we took up our next daily chore, finding out what we were going to eat. Visiting the "market" was not very productive. Unless you show up on the day the mailboat arrives (also carrying fresh fruits and vegetables) you are out of luck. This was one of those days. So we opted to eat out at Lorraine's where we had dined a few times before.

This brings up another daily chore: determining who you will party with that night. We ran into several cruisers, La Detante (Serge and Marie Claire), About Time (Sharon and Doug?), Peter and Susan, and Linda and her husband. Amazing that I could remember this much. We all sat together over dinner and shared tales.

When Peter fixes the daily thing that broke we will go for a several hour walk to try to minimize the effect of last night's rum and juice. (At Lorraines you make your own drinks from her bar and tell her how many you had at the end of the night.)
At Black Point over a two day period I filled a half gallon jug with sea glass and found five sea beans, quite a haul. So I am looking forward to this hike, but not quite as much as I am having the SSB repaired.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Greetings


To all of my Christian friends I send Easter greetings. Because it came so early this year, and without any fanfare here in the Bahamas, it snuck up on me and I did not have time to mail holiday greetings.

I took this picture at St. Peter's Church in Clarencetown on Long Island in the Bahamas. It was a beautiful little church, with a steeple we all could climb to get a wonderful panoramic view of the water and countryside.
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Big Seas from Africa

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On day two of our land tour we got to see what all the commotion over the seas was about. We had been hearing from our 6:30 am weather report that huge seas had developed as a result of some big gale off of Africa. This picture shows the waves breaking, scary but magnificent. As a result we were unable to snorkel, and the blue hole we visited was too murky to dive. The panoramic views were magnificent and we hiked up to the Columbus monument, screwing up our schedule so that we missed our final straw market opportunity.

This night we hosted Rob and Christine for a farewell dinner as they continue to Conception Island once the seas lay down and we head to Staniel Cay to pick up Beth. There's a chance we may hook up again in the Abacos, but one never can predict these things, so we said our tearful goodbyes to these wonderful new friends.

Roadies and the Rowdy Boys

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We rented a car with Rob and Christine to see the sites of Long Island: Cape Santa Maria where Columbus purportedly landed, the caves with huge stalactites and stalagmites (c for ceiling, g for ground), the beautiful beaches and snorkelling sites, the churches built by Father Jerome who once an Anglican, converted to Catholicism and then became a hermit, the straw markets. For those of you who admire/abhor my need to plan and organize, I have met my equal. Christine. For two days of touring Chrissy had picked out every spot and when we should arrive there, almost to the second. I just had to show up! More strangely, I was comfortable with this arrangement. I suppose a sign of a true friend.

After we picked up the car we picked up some Kalik, the native beer. The storekeeper encouraged us to drink and drive, no kidding. So when in Rome...Rob was very excited to see all the racing boats and eventually figured out that the Esso station guy explaining the boats to us was actually the reknowned builder who constructed the winners over several years.

We enjoyed Clarencetown and visited Enid Major's straw market where I picked up a lovely clutch purse for $18. We headed home to beat sunset and dined at the Long Island Breeze, a new restaurant with quite a flair. Open for two weeks, we showed up on a day that turned out to be quite busy and most of the food was gone. However the chef prepared us a lovely meal and Jackie, one of the owners, made her first cosmo. Not quite to Donna's standards, but after several months without one, good nonetheless.

Lynn's Big Birthday on Long Island

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On March 17 I celebrated a big birthday. Go ahead, pick a number.

365 days of the year as I am making the bed I ask Peter "Is it my birthday?" This question is posed because on my birthday Peter has promised to make the bed, which on a boat which is about the size of your closet, is a big deal. I keep hoping I can celebrate more than one birthday a year. He did it, although I could not bounce the proverbial quarter. He also gave me a promise of a lightning bolt charm for my bracelet which my sister in law Marge had crafted by her jeweler; this to be delivered by Beth next week. Dear friend Vickie sent a selection of magazines along with her daughter Amy and a key lime cookbook for my collection was left onboard during their visit.

We took a long walk on the beach at Long Island, which is south of the Exumas, and I found a sea bean, which is a great way to celebrate your birthday.

And even better way is to be hosted at a birthday dinner, complete with many beautiful seashells presented as a gift. Rob and Christine worked away all day to be sure this was a special night. We even were able to have fresh fish, which should not be unusual here in the land of fishies but is. We enjoyed Hogfish caught by a fisherman whose wife cut my hair later in the week. Thanks again Chrissy and Rob.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Bahamian Music Festival

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The final night of the Music Festival was Saturday the 15th and we met up with Rob and Christine from Celebrian and ran into Steve and Kim from Fine Lion. Tonight it was Bahamian music night with singing and dancing, a real party. This is a shot of the Junkanoo breakout float. The music was awesome, with lots of tiny little and big boys hauling oil drums from their necks playing incredible music. I really want bongos for my birthday but would settle for cowbells.

The next day we leave with Celebrian for Long Island, about an eight hour trip which in the Bahamas is a big deal. We long to leave Georgetown. Long Island is known as the friendly island where the natives are all industrious and not quite as laid back as the rest of the Bahamians. This is supposed to be a good thing but in our new life I am not sure why.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Good Bye to the Girls at Peace and Plenty

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The week went so fast with Amy and Lisa, who were great guests having observed all of our guest rules. We never even came close to running out of water or amperage. Although I think I will be cleaning long blonde hairs out of the boat for the rest of her lifetime, Peter and I really enjoyed having them onboard and watching them together, their reaction to the retired universe, and our lifestyle.

Since Amy was born my dear friend Vickie has shared her with me. And poor Len, her Dad. Vickie is letting me plan the eventual wedding with her. And I will pick the wine.

White Folks on Boats

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Friday night we attended a dinghy raft up on Free Bird, where the band White Folks on Boats performed its repertoire to be played at the Bahamian Music Festival. It was very cool, everyone brought their beverages and hors d'oeuvres which were passed to the surrounding dinghies. Once the band got hopping me got the opportunity to be foolish and dance and sing.

Afterwards we went for cocktails on Jennifer Ann, which is a boat built by a former customer of mine whom I met at a pot luck earlier in the trip. Ridg-U-Rack for any cohorts out there. Dave and Jennifer are great people and they built their own "house" boat, a power boat which is actually a floating condo. Their son Bill had just arrived and entertained us well. One of us fell overboard getting into the dink when leaving Jennifer Ann. That person is now referred to as the wet blind half girl for reasons only we will know.

The Hike at Monument Beach

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We hiked Monument to the ocean side where we shelled. Lots of sea urchins and little shells, enough to fill Amy's craving I think. The sites from Monument are amazing and the girls got lots of pictures and sun.

Sailing Back to Georgetown

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We had a great 12 knot breeze and flat seas so the girls did not ask for medication, had lots of suntanning, and a good time was had by all. We got in time to get to the Bahama Music and Cultural Festival, a 3 day affair. The first night was Gospel night, which was not as scary as it sounds. We had lots of good Bahamian food and Kaliks, the country's beer.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Spelunking at Rat Cay


Lisa, Amy, Peter and I joined up with Rob and Christine on Celebrian to enter the Regatta Scavenger Hunt. We had to locate a number of items and answer a myriad of questions, such as when does a spiny lobster mature? It was not easy finding a tennis racquet (we did, we dinked around the harbor asking boaters for things on our list, someone did have one), but some things like black knee socks and a souwester could be found aboard First Edition. After several hours of racing around we turned in our entry, and we lost. We lost badly.

The girls made a fine dinner one night and although I answered questions I refused their request to supervise. It was great to have the night off. One night we went in for rake and scrape at Eddies, and the natives were very enamored with our fair skinned beauties, fortunately Peter was a good supervisor on the dance floor.

We had basically had it with all the Regatta stuff and we decided to bail out of Gtown in search of snorkelling. A site had been recommended at Rat Cay, and we had a decent sail but with rollers. Both the girls benefitted from Stugeron and continued to bake their skin off along the way. Snorkelling was not great, but we did see some great starfish, had some good swims, "laid out", and had a dolphin visit. Our sail back today was glorious and was not accompanied by mal de mer. We shelled today on Hamburger Beach, and then went ashore for the Bahamian Music and Cultural Festival. More will follow on that event!
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Saturday, March 8, 2008

Images from Volleyball and Regatta

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Amy and Lisa arrive


Our guests arrived yesterday at Exuma Market and we dinked back to the boat for dinner aboard. These ladies know how to pack, only one duffel each, and a large suitcase containing all of our requests: tylenol, a coffee pot, Time and Newsweek, today's New York Times, our mail, two swimsuits, a new Tilley hat, slivered and sliced almonds, several pounds of coffee, pringles, our medications. It is great to have visitors bearing gifts from the States!

Today the girls slept in and after breakfast we explored by dink, then went to Volleyball Beach for the Pet Parade. Lisa and Amy were very excited for this event and cannot await to get back to school to tell everyone about it. It really was funny. Following this, we dined on ribs and chicken at the Chat N Chill, then went to Georgetown Cruisers Regatta opening night, a masquerade contest and a variety show. Some silly, some stupid, some acts really funny. Tomorrow it is expected to be very windy, we are scheduled for a scavenger hunt, and the girls are seeking sun.
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Monday, March 3, 2008

Sand Dollar Beach


Sand Dollar is the quiet beach of the three at Stocking Island across from Georgetown. We decided to check it out to see if we could find a good sunning, reading place for Amy and Lisa who join us Friday. So, with Debbie and Bill from Deborah Lee, Fran and John from Chautauqua, and Kim and Steve from Fine Lion, we hunted for seabeans and shells and had a good walk.
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Saturday, March 1, 2008

Peter Ate the Conch Worm

We had lunch today on Hamburger Beach but quickly moved over to Volleyball where it "was happening". Steve and Kim on Fine Lion convinced Peter, somehow, to eat this slimy six inch worm like thing that is part of a conch (yesterday he refused to try conch salad).

When I asked Peter, who has never eaten anything his mother did not serve him when he was 8 years old, why he ate it, he replied "peer pressure" and cracked up.

Who is this man?

An email subsequently received from friend John in response to this post:

"Please inform Peter that because of the conch worm incident he has been placed on double secret probation in the Picky Eaters Club. What's next, salad with arugula and strange cheese?"