Monday, May 29, 2017

May 26-29, 2017 Preparing for passage to Abacos

May 26 Friday
It was very warm last night.  On the mooring ball, you are tucked into a wide spot in the channel with trees on one side and town on the other.  So there isn’t much of a breeze through the boat.  Before we realized it, it was 10:30.  We had to be off of the mooring ball by 11:00 or pay for another day.  So we headed out lickity split.  We moved the boat to the outside of the channel.  We have a favorite spot to anchor with free wifi from somewhere on land.  We can pick it up with our wifi booster.  It gives us a good chance to get caught up on e-mails and my blog. 

We also did a couple loads of laundry by hand.  We were spoiled using the laundry in the cottage. 

Dave replaced the zinc on the end of the prop using our air compressor.  It makes it much easier than having to hold his breath and come up often.  The zinc on the shaft looked good.  Dave also lubed the prop, first time underwater.  There were steps that involved hanging on to little parts, so he had to mentally prepare for this.  All went fine.   

May 27 Saturday
We did one more load of laundry to catch up on everything.  This is the last load of guest bedding for quite some time. 

I spent most of the day at the table catching up on my blog while we have the free wifi.  Hanging clothes and bringing them in were a nice break. 

Dave spent some time checking out our underwater camera.  Water has leaked inside.  Dave did some checking online and this seems to be a complaint in the reviews.  Sounds like it would have to be sent in for repair.  So we’ll see deal with it when we’re back in the states.

May 28 Sunday
Spent the day researching future boat projects online.  We are starting to line up things that need to be done this summer.
I was able to use our free wifi and the Hangouts app to talk to both of my sisters over the last couple days.  Had to hear about Bev’s travels home.  Janice and I discussed summer plans.  Looking forward to seeing our families in August.

May 29 Monday, Memorial Day in the US
We decided to make one last trip into town today.  We have been waiting for some wind to sail north before leaving here.  We took a load of garbage in with us.  Spanish Wells is very accommodating to cruisers by not charging for garbage and having several places to take it. 

We went out for breakfast at the Anchor Snack Bar.  It is close to the dock, and good.  Then we picked up a few groceries at Pinder’s Supermarket and said good-bye to Greta again.

When we returned to the boat, Dave was washing out the cockpit and realized we were out of water.  We planned to make water tonight, but guess it will happen right now.  Since we had the power and wifi, I spent some time  researching our credit card expenses since the beginning of the year.  I track what we spend in cash and credit cards in a spread sheet.  I was way behind in that, too.  Hadn’t transferred from my phone app to the spreadsheet since January :((

Now we are going to move the boat to be in a good position to head north in the morning.  So we promise not to do anything exciting tonight and leave it out of the blog :)

Sunday, May 28, 2017

May 25, 2017 Errands in Spanish Wells

Today was errand day.  Dave took fuel jerry cans to shore to refuel.  He had a nice visit with Edmond Pinder.  We bought the Portland Pudgy from him.  He came back to the boat with the jerry cans and picked me up.  On his way back to the boat, a large barge was leaving the dock.  There were other boats trying to get around it in the short distance between the boat and the shore.  I guess that’s the equivalent of a traffic jam. 
This car ferry was busy everyday
Dave in the dinghy
little close for comfort
We went to our favorite burger place-Snack Vault, for lunch.  The people there are even remembering us.  Then we stopped by the Ponderosa gift shop.  We visited with Delroy.  He thanked us for sending all of our guests to his store.  We bought a present for Dave’s mom here.  Better not mention what it is in case she reads this blog. 

Our last stop was at Pinder’s Supermarket.  They definitely remember us now because of all the guests that used their ferry service.  Greta, at the till, keeps track of everyone for the shuttle service.  We only needed to pick up a few perishable items. 

Back at the boat, we had popcorn and a movie for our dinner, again. 

May 24, 2017 Kaye and Bev departure

We decided to load everyone in the dinghy and go to shore for breakfast.  The Anchor Snack Bar is close to the ferry dock.  I guess we haven’t eaten here with Bev and Kaye because they don’t serve alcohol :)

We had a great breakfast.  And it was relaxing to visit instead of cooking and cleaning, even though everyone was very helpful on the boat.  When we finished eating, Dave and I headed to the boat to pick up their luggage.  Dave dropped me off close enough to the restaurant to meet them and make sure they made it to the right ferry dock.  The restaurant was empty by the time I returned.  We gave Kaye a tour of some of the nautical art work on the walls.  I seem to see more when I have to explain the surroundings to my friends who are visually impaired than when I am by myself.  We also had a nice visit with the young women working there.  The restaurant has been in their family for 3 generations.  One was 21 and had been working there since she was 11. 
Kaye, Bev and Mary with coffee
sign at the Anchor Snack Bar

We said our good-bye’s at the ferry dock.  Pinder’s ferry and taxi service will take them to the airport.  It’s a pretty good service for $15 per person each way.  We really enjoyed having Bev and Kaye visit.  I think Bev may have enjoyed the cottage on land more than the boat life. 
Bev, Mary, Kaye saying good-bye
Bev, Mary, Kaye and new friend Crazy Roy
Bev and Kaye on the ferry to the mainland
We were pretty lazy for the remainder of the day.  We took the dinghy over to the shore on the main land where their ferry lands.  There were lots of storage units and cars parked there.  Pinder’s ferry, government ferries, and water taxis are constantly going over to the main land and back to Spanish Wells.  There was a liquor store there.  It was a little cheaper and had a bigger selection.  No liquor was allowed to be sold on the island of Spanish Wells until about 2 years ago.  So that changed their business.  Very friendly people. 

Popcorn and a movie for dinner.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

May 23, 2017 snorkel, sail, mooring ball, pizza

After another great breakfast in the cockpit, Bev and I took off for more snorkeling.  It was a little windier today, so Kaye stayed at the boat with Dave.  When we got around to the other side of the island, the water was calmer.  It took us a little longer to get to our destination because it was close to low tide.  Some of this area is really shallow. 

After snorkeling, we met Dave and Kaye on the west side of Egg Island.  Kaye was able to help Dave lift the anchor and move the boat.  Dave and I usually use hand signals, but Kaye was able to hear Dave give orders.  And she is comfortable sailing.  She is a member of the Toronto Blind Sailing Association with Chris and Silvia. 

We then spent the afternoon sailing on the north side of the islands.  We didn’t bother fishing today.  We just wanted Kaye to have fun sailing. 
Captain Kaye at the helm
We entered the Spanish Wells channel from the east again.  It was much easier without a squall.  We decided to pick up a mooring ball to make it easier to transfer Bev and Kaye back to the dock tomorrow.  Picked up the mooring ball on the first try.  Good job Dave. 
no one pays attention to the no wake signs

Mary and Kaye on the bow

Bev and Kaye checking out the mooring ball off the bow
While Bev and Kaye cleaned up the snorkeling gear, Dave and I started home made pizza.  Dave did all the assembling and baking so we could enjoy each other’s company on their last night.  The pizza was fantastic!!

After dinner, everyone showered, packed and checked flights.  Bev and Kaye decided to sleep outside again and loved it. 

May 22, 2017 snorkeling the wreck and dinner on the boat

 We had a relaxing morning on the boat with breakfast in the cockpit.  We moved the boat to the south end of Little Egg to anchor closer to the wreck we wanted to dive.  All 4 of us took the dinghy to the wreck.  The dingy moves pretty slow with 4 people in it. 

A Lebanese freighter, the Arimoroa MV carrying guano-based fertilizer wrecked in the 1970’s.  The ship was on fire and the only way the captain thought he could save his crew was to beach the ship on the nearest island, Little Egg Island.  All the crew were rescued, but the boat burned for 3 months.  The reef was poisoned by the fertilizer and was void of sea life.  But over the years, many fish have returned.  There are large schools of fish amidst the debris from the ship.  Part of the bow can be seen about water.  The remainder of the ship lies in about 25 feet of water. 

Kaye snorkeling the wreck


Bev and Kaye

shark about 25 feet below us

barracuda checking us out

Kaye, Mary and Bev

Bev with wreck behind her
Kaye driving the dingy
Before returning to the boat, we stopped at Little Egg Island to snorkel the shoreline.  There is a large osprey nest on the island.

Kaye being towed by Dave behind the dinghy to get out of the current

Dave patiently following us around
osprey nest on shore

When we returned to the boat, we all had showers on the stern of the boat.  We moved the boat to the south west side of Royal Island to position ourselves for snorkeling and sailing tomorrow.  We had the mutton snapper for dinner with a ginger, pineapple rice dish and salad. 
Kaye apres-snorkel
Bev apres-snorkel

Dave made up one of his run Sea Hag concoctions.  He puts some juices, coconut milk and ginger ale in a pitcher with rum.  Mighty tasty. 
Kaye, Bev and Mary enjoying Dave's rum punch
Dave, Kaye and Bev trying the canned quava
galley wenches Kaye and Bev

There was such a nice breeze on the water that Kaye wanted to sleep outside.  So Bev decided to join her in the cockpit.  We have had several people say they think it would be great to sleep outside, but they are the first ones to actually do it.  Luckily, it didn’t rain and there weren't any bugs. 

May 21, 2017 Moving to the sailboat

We bought home made Johnny Cake at the grocery store to have at the cottage for breakfast.  we needed to check out of the cottage, but we asked to use the golf cart to haul our luggage to the dock and to have lunch.

I picked up Dave at the dock and returned to the cottage to load up luggage.  We loaded it all in the dinghy and Dave ran it to the boat.  We wanted to go to the Vault Snack Bar for their hamburger, but they were closed.  So I quickly ran around the island to see what was open.  After I picked up Dave, Bev and Kaye, we decided to go to Eagles Landing.  We have only been there for breakfast.  But we liked their food and it was reasonably priced. 
no room for guests

We left the cart at Pinder’s supermarket for Sharon to pick up later.  This was our first adventure of getting everyone into the dinghy and onto the boat.  Went great.

We moved the boat to Meek’s Patch, an island about 2 miles away.  Bev, Kaye and I snorkeled to the shore, followed it aways, and back to the boat.  Kaye was very comfortable snorkeling and holding my hand.  I was surprised at what she actually could see.  But everything is 25% bigger underwater.  We also practiced getting into the dinghy after snorkeling.  We want to take the dingy a couple miles away from the boat to snorkel tomorrow.  Better to find out now if everyone can get into the dinghy.  Went fine.

Dave made an awesome lobster salad that we ate with garlic parmesan toast.  I chopped and he created.   We enjoyed a beautiful sunset from the cockpit.

May 20, 2017 Wreckers and lobster dinner at cottage

After breakfast, I met Dave at the dock to bring laundry to the cottage.  We also wanted to use the golf cart to do our last grocery shopping before leaving Spanish Wells.  There is a grocery store further north, but we wanted to pick up any heavy items while we had the cart.

Dave stopped on his way in to help a boat that had grounded.  Dave was surprised that he knew more options to try than they did.  Plus he liked trying them out on someone else’s boat.  A bigger fishing boat ended up helping them get free along with Dave's help.
Dave's in the dingy out front
Dave heeling the boat, but it wouldn't move

Dave dropped me off at the grocery store then took Bev and Kaye to the Beach.  He helped them get the kayaks to the beach from the trailer near the road.  After we finished with our shopping and loaded up the cart, we drove by a new little grocery store.  They were having a grand opening with free hotdogs and hamburgers.  We helped ourselves then picked up a couple things in their store, even though our golf cart was full.  Island Mart will be open until 8:00pm and on Sundays and holidays.  Nice to know.

I sent Dave back to the boat with all of the groceries.  He wanted to get back to something he was working on.  I went back to the beach and Bev and Kaye were kayaking, so I quickly changed at the cottage to join them at the beach.  When I returned, the kayaks were already back on the trailer and they were hungry.  So we hit the Island Mart again for their lunch. 

I have heard from a few sources that a guy named Bernard will sell his fresh catch of fish every day at 3:00.  We wanted some fish for the boat, so Kaye and I took off for his place on the dock to see if he was around.  We parked the golf cart by his place a little before 3:00 and thought we’d wait awhile to see if he showed up.  Pretty soon Avery came by, saw us and stopped.  He said he didn’t see Bernard’s boat, but he lived nearby.  So he took off to check on him.  Pretty soon he came back with Bernard and went on his way.

Bernard explained that he didn’t fish on Saturdays, but he had some frozen fish.  We were fine with that since we didn’t want to eat it until Monday or Tuesday anyway.  He also apologized about his selection.  Someone had just bought about $100 worth of fish from him yesterday.  He had one mutton snapper for $23 and several porgy for $20.  The packages looked like they had 4 good sized filets each.  I knew mutton snapper was good.  And we had never had porgy (supposed to be like grouper), so we took one of each.

As we were leaving, I saw a stack of cleaned conch shells.  I asked if Kaye could check one out.  Then he went into some great explanations about conch.  When the eggs are laid, there is a sticky film over them.  The sand sticks to that and that’s how they start their shell.  The shell grows with them.  Then when the lip is formed, you can harvest them.  And the older they are, the thicker the lip will be.  In the winter, they bury themselves in the sand and a red covering comes over the opening of the shell.  Very interesting man.

We found out that the bar, Wreckers, at the Yacht Haven marina had a happy hour.  It was the one bar we hadn’t been to.  So we headed there to enjoy a couple gin and tonics for $3.00.  Bev noticed a sign on their board for specials advertising a case of beer for $35.  Usually it is about $50.  We asked, it was for Coor’s Light only.  (maybe it wasn’t selling in the bar)  We were fine with that.  So a staff person carried it to our golf cart for us.  We figured we would need a few beers on the boat. 
Mary, Kaye and Bev at Wreckers/Yacht Haven marina
stocking up, the blind leading the blind

Back at the cottage, we cooked our lobster.  We boiled then for 4 minutes each.  We also tried a local sweet potato called baratas.  It was more like a russet potato than a sweet potato.  We rounded off the meal with a salad and wine.  Couldn’t have been better in a restaurant.  We each had 2 tails and had 6 to take to the boat. 
Kaye and Bev enjoying the lobster dinner
about a 6 inch tail
We’re heading to the boat tomorrow, so we spent the rest of the evening packing and posting on Facebook while we had good wifi.