Saturday, August 14, 2010

The AfterLife

Well folks, summer is now over for Judie and me. The time has come to leave our precious Life behind (at least for this year) and move on to whatever AfterLife there might be waiting for us. We've now put the boat into dry storage in a boat yard in the Bahamas. It'll sit there until next summer.

Here's a photo of the boat in the place that'll be her home until next June.

The thin stands that you see supporting the boat are just temporary. The people at the boat yard are going to custom make a "cradle" to support the boat more securely in case a hurricane blows through there.

The next picture (below) shows how they lifted her up out of the water and put her on those stands. That big frame with crane-like lifting arms is called a "Travel Lift". The people put some heavy duty straps under the boat, attached them to the arms of the travel lift, lifted the boat out of the water and then drove it over to where the stands were waiting.

Judie and I are now in Florida. We're taking a few days of vacation from our vacation and then we'll head home to Utah after that. Here's a picture of the balcony of our hotel room. We've found that those lounge chairs are a great place to relax, catch up on some blogging, and just enjoy the ocean breeze.

Maybe Judie and I will do a "cleanup blog entry" or two after this present entry, in order to fill you in on some details that we left out of previous blogs, or maybe this will be our last entry for this year. I don't know.

It's been a nice summer. I hope all of you had good summers too.
Best wishes,

More Ramblings from Green Turtle Cay

Joy Ride

The golf cart gave us the freedom to explore most of the island. Durring our travels we discovered many dead ends. However, if you are persistent enough and go down enough roads you just might end up at a pretty little beach and have it all to yourself.

Wasn't Us

Docking a 42 foot sailboat has its challenges, especially when the" crew" is inexperienced. While it is true that we've left our "mark" on the Bahamas, I promise that it was not us who mangled this dock.

I suspect it was the ferry fleeing in the background.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!


While we were wandering back to the dinghy I notice two dogs hanging out. It was a warm day and one of the dogs decided that a cool swim would be in order. Right into the sea he went. Soon all you could see was his nose and his tail. When he came out he saw me watching him and in three shakes of a puppy's tail he and his buddy were by our side.

They decided to escort us all the way back to the dinghy. It was a good thing too as there were fearsome creatures about the island and no one knows what might have happened to us without our canine escort.

Catching up


The Internet service we purchased for our time in the Bahamas seemed promising. Outer Island Internet, sounded REAL good. However, the this has to talk to the that and if the other has its back turned things just don't work out as planned. Needless to say we didn't always have Internet access.

We are in Florida now and the Internet gods do seem to be smiling upon us so I'll do a bit of catching up.

That's the best you got?

As we were leaving Marsh Harbour we saw a small squall and decided to motor out of its path. Seeing the puny boat trying to escape, it began the chase and soon caught up to us. It was awesome watching the line of the storm approach. It pelted our boat briefly and passed on its way. Doug looked to the heavens and asked, "That's the best you got?"

It wasn't. The storm came back with a vengeance. A waterfall fell from the bimini to the seat cushions, gushing from the down spout beneath the seat cushions to form a turbulent mass swirling about Doug's feet before descending through the drain on the cockpit floor.

It rained and rained and rained. Doug looked like a drowned rat at the helm and she who did not mock the gods found shelter under the dodger.

Eventually the rains ceased and we continued our outing.

Fishing on the ocean

We went out the Man-o-War cut leaving the Sea of Abaco behind to fish in the ocean. We pulled a line behind the boat but there was little chance of catching a fish. The winds were wonderful and it would have taken a very fast, suicidal fish to chase down the hook as we had the boat over 8 knots on occasion .

Green Turtle Cay

We picked up a mooring ball in the Black Sound Harbour near evening and were relaxing on deck when I heard a very distinctive sound. Very near the boat I saw a fin disappear beneath the water. Doug and I got to see a pod of dolphins coming into the harbour for the evening.


We took the dinghy over to the settlement of New Plymouth and rented a golf cart. We were on a quest to find the restaurant Pineapples. Following the signs we left the paved road and dodged pot holes when we could and bounced about the seat when we couldn't. Every time we were certain that we were on the wrong road, a pineapple shaped sign would appear encouraging us to continue.

We finally arrived. Plunked ourselves down at the bar and were promptly ignored. Eventually we were acknowledged. She brought us our cokes and took our order. Thoughtful lady that she was she BLASTED the music and Doug and I were driven from the dry comfort of the bar stool the the wet seat of a picnic table. We did eventually get our food, and I do mean eventually. If this is the way she treats clients, I never, ever want to get on her bad side!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sunrise in Marsh Harbour

I'm thinking this doesn't need words at all. Just a cup of coffee and a contented sigh.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

At Last... Some Underwater Photos

For the past several weeks I've been trying to find a way to describe to all of you how astoundingly beautiful the underwater scenery is here, but without success. I finally now have some photographs to share with you. However even they can't come close to capturing the incredible beauty that's underneath the waves here. But anyway, here they are...

This first one was taken in one of the many many caves that criss-cross the big reef in the Fowl Cay area. There are hundreds of thousands of tiny silver fish that make the cave their home. It's an amazing experience to swim through the middle of this school of fish, especially when it's in a cave or a big crevasse.

The next picture is a photo of me swimming through one of those schools of silver fishes. Obviously I didn't take the photo. In fact, I didn't take any of the photos you'll see in today's blog. I was with a dive tour company and the dive master had an underwater camera. (Judie will snorkel with me, but she's not quite willing yet to try scuba. Maybe I'll get her to do it next year... Or maybe not.)

And here's yet another one of me. This time (in the photo below, not the one above) I'm not in the cave. I'm just swimming through a coral area. The coral wasn't nearly as dense in this photo as it was in other places. Many of the places are composed of huge regions of densely packed corals of all different types. I really wish I could show you a picture of those, but the dive master didn't take any pictures there. So you'll just have to settle for this one. (I really need to get myself a good underwater camera. I've tried those cheapies that you use once and then throw away, but the pictures never come out good at all. )

By the way... in case anybody's curious... Yesterday Judie and I decided to return to the main metropolis here in Marsh Harbor. We had planned to go somewhere else, but the outboard motor on our dinghy died yet again so we changed our plans. We came back here (to the "big city") in order to have the outboard engine repaired. While we were here I decided to hook up with the dive tour company to do some more scuba diving while Judie just relaxed on our boat.

The outboard engine for the dinghy is now repaired, so tomorrow Judie and I will head off again. We're thinking to go out relatively far from the islands this time to do some deep-sea fishing (pulling a lure behind the boat while we sail along). However, we might not. We'll see what happens and we'll update you later.

Bye for now,

Friday, August 6, 2010

Wish you were here...

Dear Chester,

Wish you were here. You would love the sand and the ocean. The waves crash against the shore bringing fish with it. You would love chasing them as they wiggle furiously to get back to the deeper water. There are small crabs that hide in their shells and if you are quiet and hold still long enough they peep out and start crawling along the sand. You and I could have such a fun romp if only you were here.

But alas, you are not.

Meet Rover.

Ahahaha no worries Chester. You are the only dog for me, besides Rover didn't seem to like estrogen all that much. He was totally into testosterone, not that there's anything wrong with that. ;) Rover appeared on the beach and acted like he wanted to be with people, but did not want to get too close. Just sort of hang out with 'em. Make people think that he belongs so that no one runs him off the beach or out of the restaurant where he eventually showed up and mooched food off the young boys.

Curly Tailed Lizards

I think these guys are so cute. I am not alone.
Someone in Hope Town built them a lodge.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

More Hope Town Pics (even though we're no longer there)

We left Hope Town yesterday, but I wanted to post just a few more pictures from there. Before we left, we stopped at the bank to get some cash. Their schedule for when they're open was rather amusing. Here's a picture of the sign on their door.

While we were there we spent quite a bit of time at one of the beaches there that we really enjoyed. In addition to being very beautiful, there were also many very good snorkeling spots just a short distance out from the water's edge, and there was also an excellent restaurant right there to enjoy before or after swimming. Here's a picture of the beach so you can see what I mean about it being a very pretty place. Whoever owns that home on the rocky point there sure is lucky.

And finally, here's another picture of the harbor at Hope Town, with the light house in the background. (I didn't label our boat in the picture this time, but if you look at the docks at the base of the lighthouse you can just barely see it.)
Right now Judie and I are anchored at a different spot on the same island where Hope Town is. There's another incredibly beautiful beach here. It's called "Tahiti Beach. I'm guessing that it got that name because it's so very lush and green, with lots of palm trees and other green vegetation... more than is typical for beaches here. We dinghied in yesterday to do some snorkeling and exploring. I took some pictures but the light wasn't quite right to do justice to the place so I won't include those photos right now. Today I'll take some more when the lighting conditions are more suited to show off the beauty of the place.

Bye for now,

Monday, August 2, 2010

Hope Town (my version ;)

Dinghy Love

We cracked jokes about Barry the barracuda being in love with the dinghy but we did not realize that the love was returned. The dinghy unable to be with her own true love decided to commit suicide.

When we first pulled into Hope Town it slipped under the out flow spout for the air conditioner and tried to drown itself. Poor thing was almost full of water before we pulled it back from the brink of despair. We pointed out that there were some handsome looking fish to be had here too. Even though they don't have the bad boy reputation that Barry had the dinghy seems content and has not tried a second attempt.

Good News and Bad News

I've had an earache for the past several days. I could take the pain no longer and requested medical assistance in this matter since it was not going away.

Doug called the Hope Town Clinic
Bad News: Clinic is closed today because of the holiday
Worse News: Clinic will be closed all week as the nurse will be in Marsh Harbour
Best News: Nurse lives in Hope Town and was home for the holiday and agreed to meet us at the office. What a wonderful person!! I have a middle ear infection and she hooked me up with some drugs. Only three more days of pain. I am counting the hours.

Traffic Jam Bahama Style

Nope, we're not reminiscing about the three cars, we are talking about coming into Hope Town. To enter the harbour is a little tricky and when we came in not only had everyone in the Sea of Abaco decided to do the same thing, there were many people leaving too. Our slip was still encumbered with another boat and so Doug was out doing 'brodies' in this little harbour with all the moored boats, all the incoming traffic and all the out going traffic. You go Captain Doug.

Lobster Fest

August 1 is the first day of lobster season and we attended a Lobster Fest here at Hope Town. They had 'live' music. ahaha They had recorded music and two dudes at mikes singing along playing the maracas or banging on a saw. The music was jumping, but I couldn't help but smile as the guy was jamming to the music and making all these comments as if he were the dude on the recorded version.

Doug and I shared a Reef and Beef. A lobster and a steak. I know who else LOVES lobster. The freaking flies. She put the plates down and the flies descended. We got to eat a lovely dinner AND get our arm exercises all at the same time. Talk about a full service meal.
= )

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Hope Town

We're now on the island of Elbow Cay, tied up to a marina in a pretty little community called Hope Town. One of the attractions that draws tourists to Hope Town is the candy-striped lighthouse shown below. It's one of the very few lighthouses left in the world that still works the original way... using a kerosene lamp as the light source and using a rotating ring of lenses in order to make the light flash the correct pattern. (Each lighthouse is assigned a unique flash pattern. This lighthouse's pattern is to flash five times followed by a long pause, every fifteen seconds.) The rotating ring of lenses is driven by a hand-cranked system, kind of like a big clock. There's no electricity at all used at this lighthouse. It's very cool, if you're into that kind of stuff.

Here's a picture of the lighthouse that I took this morning while sitting on the back of our boat. I wanted to show you how picturesque our view is. It's just like a post card.

I'll also include a picture that I took yesterday when Judie and I climbed up to the top of the lighthouse. The picture below was taken looking back towards the boat so that you can see the harbor and the community. You'll notice that the marina is very small. It can only handle six boats. We had to radio ahead to reserve our slip.

While we were up at the top of the lighthouse I took a picture from inside the rotating ring of lenses. The lenses are a special design called Fresnel lenses, which won't mean much to non-physicists, but a physicist will look at them and say, "Cool", because they're different from a normal lens design.

There's a wick shown near the top of the photo which is where the kerosene burns like a big candle. It's so bright that with the help of the lenses it can be seen from seventeen miles out at sea.

Judie writes blog entries about the animals we encounter. I write about the technology. Between the two of us you get the complete story. If it were only one of us here, you'd only get half the story.

Great Guana Cay

What a drag

When we parked the boat at Great Guana the winds were so very calm. Doug dove on the anchor and it hadn't grabbed, but if a wind came up (South/South East generally) it was in a position to dig right in. However, the winds decided to come from the west and they came with a gusto. Doug poked his head up to check on things and the boat was making its way into shore. The anchor was dragging and so we had a few interesting moments while we tried to get the boat into safe water.

Traffic Jam

We were there to witness the traffic jam at Great Guana Cay. It was something to behold. Prior to this we'd only seen golf carts but to our amazement we saw not one but THREE vehicles of the auto variety and they were all jammed up. A delivery truck was causing the whole debacle. He was stopped at the bright pink cafe, that closes between 12-1 for lunch, and no one could get around him.

In Bahama horns are used to say hi. I'm not sure that we'll ever know what they do if they get annoyed at another driver.


The sunsets at Guana were gorgeous and we had a front row seat every night.


We just spent a couple of days basically relaxing by the pool, reading and enjoying the scenery.

Loud Family

On one of our 'relaxation' days were were out on the ocean side at Nippers enjoying the white sand beach and turquoise water when a boat loaded with people pulled up. These yahoos kept getting closer and closer and closer to the shore while the only one with IQ points, a kid about ten, kept saying, "reverse, reverse, reverse."

Doug and I kept trying to get out of his way and he kept creeping ever near us. I was afraid that the dude would actually FIND reverse and back the boat right over us. We obviously lived to tell the tale ;)

The unloading of the boat was a humorous affair. They are just throwing kids off the bow to swim to shore. Eventually an adult got in the water. Then the "GET MY GOGGLES" and other missed items were hollered for. They were so loud and obnoxious. The fumes from their engine taking every breath of fresh air to be had AND they were parking all their stuff by our belongings. It was time to get away from the Loud family, so Doug and I headed up to Nippers for a drink.

Eventually the boat disgorged all of its passengers and guess where they headed? Yep, to the table right in front of ours. We moved again and found some vacated lounge chairs by the pool near the shade. Ah peace.

Not for long. The Loud family descended on the pool. At least now they were some what entertaining. The kids all lined up on the ledge and began to jump into the pool. Uncle would say, "belly flop" and damned if these kids did not comply. It was a sight to behold. After uncle was done bruising their bellies the kids were content to jump into the pool and run up the steps to jump again. It was fun to watch.