Sunday, March 24, 2019

March 12, 2019 Nancy Sundstrom arrived/Alice's last night

This morning, we moved into Marsh Harbor.  After anchoring, a family with 2 kids stopped by to say hello.  We had met Chris, Margaret, Lilly and Miles on Magnolia while we were in Brunswick, GA.  It was so fun to hear of their adventures. 
Chris, Margaret, Lilly and Miles from Magnolia 423 Beneteau
I went to shore about 1:00 to pick up my friend, Nancy Sundstrom from Groton, SD.  She is going to spent some time with us on the boat.  I met her at the Conch Inn.  Our favorite taxi driver, Rinssor, picked her up at the airport.  We took her luggage to the boat and had lunch with Alice and Dave.  Since the weather was supposed to be bad tomorrow, Nancy and I headed back to shore to pick up groceries.  We went to the Bahamian Telephone company to get her a SIM card for her phone.  Then we walked to Maxwell’s grocery store.  We loaded up, so took a taxi back to the dinghy dock. 
Mary, Rinssor, Nancy
your chariot awaits
first dinghy ride
grocery run waiting for taxi and checking in with family
We unloaded the groceries onto the boat and headed back to shore to hit the liquor store.  We won’t be near another town for over a week.  And we had to stock up for St Patrick’s Day.  We forgot to take extra bags, but we were able to pack a case of beer and a bottle of Jamison into our back packs. 
where there's a will, there's a way
we can do this
On the way back, we found a ripe coconut on the road and brought it back to the boat.  Nancy and I got busy putting groceries away and making a spaghetti dinner for Alice’s last night.  During this time, a boater that we met a couple years ago stopped by.  Don Quackenbush was from Mexico, New York.  Alice was born and grew up there.  They knew a lot of common people and really enjoyed visiting.

Dave cleaned the coconut and it was perfect.
Alice had been craving a coconut the whole time she was here.
the coconut water was perfect
Nancy had to make her own bed in our "garage"

We had a great dinner together and spent the evening playing the dice game 5000 in the cockpit.  Fun last night.

March 11, 2019 Mermaid Reef near Marsh Harbour

We waited for high tide at noon to move the boat today.  This area is very shallow.  We headed over towards March Harbor, but anchored on the outside of the harbor.  We made fresh bread on our way over.

We anchored near a small coral reef called Mermaid Reef.  We took the dingy over to it and let Alice look over the side with the “lookie bucket”.  There were other snorkelers in the area, so we drifted and Dave swam along side moving the boat.  He also had his mask and snorkel, so he could direct the boat for Alice to see the fish.  She saw grouper, parrot fish, sargent majors, a barracuda and others, besides the coral formations.  Next best thing fo snorkeling. 


the bottom of the dinghy with the bucket out front
Alice taking over the helm
 We moved away from the reef to anchor for the night. 

March 10, 2019 Tahiti Beach on Elbow Cay

I took the dinghy back into Hopetown this morning for church.  The priest from March Harbor comes over on the ferry about 12:30.  Truman, a local parishioner, sets up everything for mass in the park.  There were about 12 people in attendance.  It’s always a nice service. 

We had lunch back at the boat.  I heated Dave’s grill bread with olive oil and spices and the left over chicken.  Then we had all the vegetables and tzatziki sauce to have chicken gyro sandwiches.  It took us a couple days before we were ready to eat all that garlic again. 

We moved the boat only about 2.5 miles south and anchored off Tahiti Beach on Elbow Cay.  We took the dinghy to the beach and enjoyed the nice afternoon.  We saw a tiki hut boat anchored off the beach selling drinks.  It even smelled like they were frying food.  We didn’t anchor near it because of the grease smell.  But also because of the people standing in the water with their drinks.  There weren’t any bathroom facilities in the area, so you can guess why they were standing in the water. 

on the shallow side of the sand bar. our dingy is behind Alice


at the end of the sand bar

deeper side where dinghies are anchored
We were beat after spending a day in the sun.  Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup were great comfort food to end the day.

March 8-9, 2019 Elbow Cay and Hopetown

We planned to leave early this morning for Elbow Cay and get fuel once we were there.  But some friends we met 3 years ago were March Harbor and heading to the bay we were anchored in.  So we decided to wait so we could see them again.  Dave took the jerry cans in the dinghy to a resort in the next bay, Orchid Bay Marina, to get fuel. 

While we waited, I polished Alice’s toenails.  I was about to start mine when our friends arrived.  We met Joe and Yvonne McTeer three years ago at an anchorage in the Abacos.  We spent several evenings together that year.  Yvonne and I became Facebook friends, but we hadn’t seen each other since then.  They came to our boat for about an hour.  It was so fun to see them again.  They enjoyed meeting Dave’s mom.  They could easily see where Dave gets his sense of humor.  Alice really enjoyed visiting with them, too.  So even though it was short and sweet, it was a really nice visit. 

Mary, Joe Mcteer, Alice, Dave, Yvonne McTeer
 We moved the boat to Elbow Cay and anchored near the light house.  We thought the wind was going to get stronger, so we considered getting a mooring ball, but had heard that there weren’t any available.  We checked with the Hopetown Marina, but they were also full.  Anchoring outside ended up being just fine.

I had made tzatziki sauce with yogurt, cucumber and garlic.  Dave made grill bread and grilled chicken.  Yummy dinner with salad.  We watched to lighthouse light up.  It is lit by kerosine and manned by volunteers all night.  First you see them draw back a curtain.  Then you see the glow of the kerosine lamp.  Then it starts the rotation of 5 flashes one second apart, then 3 seconds blank, then 5 flashes again.  Another must see in the Abacos.
Dave grilling chicken with Alice's company
Dave also made grilled bread

Since Hopetown is a small town, things close up on Sundays.  That determined which day would be shopping and which would be beach.  Dave dropped off Alice and me to do some shopping.  He refilled the jerry cans with fuel to have full cans on deck.  There are only a handful of gift shops and 2 grocery stores.  We stopped at a couple stores, but the electricity was off.  Someone said it there was a problem with trimming trees today.  I made it to one grocery store at 1:00, right when they closed.  I was hoping to get homemade key lime pie from Vernon’s.  I stuck my head in the door to see if they had any.  I was told they don’t even make them on Saturday, since they close early.  What a disappointment. 
trying to stay dry on the way into town


I went to the other grocery store and picked up a few items, including ice cream (for Alice, not me and Dave hee hee).  Back at the boat, we had a lazy afternoon.  Dave and I both swam off the boat and then showered. 

Dave grilled brats for dinner, which we ate outside in the cockpit to watch the light house light up again.  Alice and I spent the evening playing 5000 with dice in the cockpit.  Such nice weather.

March 7, 2019 Greeen Turtle and Great Guana Cay

I was up early this morning, so I made a loaf of banana bread with our over ripe bananas.  Then we headed back to Green Turtle Cay.  We were on shore by 10:00 am.  Pretty good for us.  Dave headed to the telephone office while Alice and I strolled through the little town and did a little shopping.  The weekly supply boat came in this morning.  It was quite a production.  The custom’s office set up a table right at the dock to distribute packages.  There is usually a duty to pay for goods shipped into the country. 


Dave with our boat in the background on the left
We left the anchorage by 11:30.  We headed south and detoured towards No Name Cay to see the swimming pigs.  We decided seeing them from the boat was just fine.  Next we had to go through the Whale Cut around Whale Cay to move further south.  The Sea of Abaco is too shallow to go straight south, so boats have to go outside of the island chain onto the Atlantic and back into the Sea of Abaco.  You have to have a good weather window to do this, because the seas can be very rough and push you into the rocks.  Today was fine.  There were 4-6 ft swells, but that was similar to what we had crossing over from Florida.  At one point, the swells hit the boat from the side.  So that rocking side to side isn’t fun, but the whole trip out and in only takes about an hour.  Again, Alice did fine.

We anchored in Fisher’s Bay at Great Guana Cay.  We wanted to go to Nippers, a restaurant on the ocean side.  We usually do a beach landing here, but were surprised to see a new dinghy dock.  There was a sign saying it was only for customers of Grabbers, the restaurant on this beach.  We tied up and thought we’d have a drink and an appetizer, then move on.  Dave helped Alice climb the ladder of the dinghy dock for the first time.  The water wasn’t rough, so it went pretty good. 

We weren’t getting any service, so Dave found someone and asked if we could leave our dinghy, but come back for sunset.  They were ok with that.  We had our VHF radio with us to call for a cart from Nippers to pick us up.  A golf cart takes you several blocks into town and up the hill to the far side of the island for tips only. 
fun to see hen and chicks
We take all of our guest in the Abacos to Nippers.  It has such a beautiful view of the ocean with rocks on the beach.  We had sandwiches, took photos, played the ring toss game, then headed back via golf cart.
Beautiful view at Nippers
Goombay punch used to make a run drink

Alice trying the ring toss game

for all my dental friends

friendly driver back to the beach
We had a beautiful sunset at Grabbers.  We had drinks and Dave ordered conch fritters for Alice to try, and we felt guilty leaving the dinghy there.  None of us were hungry, but we were able to eat them all.