Monday, April 15, 2013

A little more of Little Harbour

Since weather was in the air, but mainly because we really like it here we stayed an extra night in the quaint anchorage.  The weather did in fact get nasty for the last night but most of the weather went north (where we would have been) and we had a good light show with an inch of rain.  Nati was glad though as she received a very nice bath!

The slow quiet feeling of the area is just so nice.  It makes you slow down and not really push to do anything real fast.  We read, swam, ate and took walks.  One hike was an attempt to find a "blue" hole that people were talking about.  Well, we found it but we'll call it a green/blue hole.  It wasn't big but pretty interesting.  You can see the size. Not certain on the depth since we didn't try to get in but it was kind of like nature's fish aquarium.  A number of small juvenile fish were in the hole including a 8 inch barracuda!  This thing was in the middle of nowhere and we had a little bit of a challenge even finding it.  Good thing "Pandora" told us to look for the PVC poles!

            Now, that's some clear water!

On the way back we took a few more shots of the area........

Our own jungle!

The road to Pete's Pub

Nice view I'd say......

Another walk was down the beach looking for shells.  We did pretty well and Anne found a ton of sea glass.  On the other hand this big object still has us wondering about it.  Any guessers?

No sand on this beach!

Any thoughts on how it got there?

Beach moonscape

Just a side note......a quick shot of the local artists at happy hour, Kristin & Brett.  Also of some of their pieces for sale.  Best of luck, wish we had the $$!!

Kristin & Brett, Cheers!
Ok, time to get serious and get our butts back to Marsh Harbour.  We have VIP's coming to visit in just a couple of days!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Little Harbour - Abacos

Since we still had some time until the next round of visitors we decided to visit Little Harbour which was only 3 miles south of our anchorage.  On the morning vhf net we heard the foundry was going to do a "pour" in the afternoon and everyone says it's a "must see".  For once, everyone was absolutely correct!

Little Harbour

The road to the foundry, notice the "speed" bump  

Into the small, fully protected anchorage we went and picked up a mooring ball.  There is very little room to anchor and the few spaces were already taken.

We may have mentioned some of this a couple of years ago when we visited with Grey Hound but here goes anyways......

Randolph and Margot Johnston came to Little Harbour in the middle 50's with their family and founded an art colony.  Randolph, who died in 1992 was an internationally know artist renowned for his "lost wax casting in bronze".  His wife, Margot worked in ceramics.  Now the foundry, gallery and "Pete's Pub" is run by one of their sons, Pete.  For additional information click on:  Abaco life in Little Harbour.

Very life-like!

At the foundry entrance

In the middle of the afternoon a bunch of interested visitors went over to the foundry to take in the "pour".  What an experience!!  Here, standing in the foundry with flip flops and bare feet we see the entire pour process from only a few feet away.  To start in the beginning...........

1. A wax model is created from a mold they build right in the foundry.  Below is Kristen (an artist in her own right) refining a wax model of a hinge that someone has commissioned them to build.  Her husband, Brett is one of the artists on site that will be involved in the pouring process.

After the wax model is complete they then encase the model in a ceramic covering and it is moved to the drying area.  Once the covering is hard they then melt the wax out of the ceramic so that it then became the negative image of the model.  The next step involved heating the ceramic model in a kiln so when the bronze is poured in it would not crack.  The Bronze (94% brass and 6% other) is made in the foundry, heated to over 2,250 degrees and then put into the molds.

ceramic molds drying

The kiln is in the background

Richard and Brett looked like a couple of strange characters in the tropics when they put on the heat resistant suits but Richard said it made the cold beers that much better at the end of the day!

The actual pouring process was a dramatic event!  Molten bronze inside a carbon vat is raised out of the furnace by chains and let directed over to the molds that are sitting in sand.  They poured a number of molds and here we were less than 20 feet away!

Brett checking the temperature

pulling the vat out of the furnace

The first mold get some heat!

Almost complete

This does not appear to be an easy task!

A half an hour after the "pour" Brett took one of the castings out into the yard and opened it up.  Most of the ceramic chipped away and look who popped out!!

Brett & Richard

Mr Turtle!!
A perfect day in the foundry was followed by a great dinner in the Pub.  Now this is what the islands are all about!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Real Queen!

After the O'Connors left the Bahamas we decided to head south towards Little Harbor for a few days of swimming and doing nothing.  While swimming around the grasses at our anchorage I thought I had dinner in the form of a conch.  When I got it to Nati and we looked closer it was no Conch.  The pictures show a beautiful Queen Helmet.  For you tekkies it is a "Cassis Madagascariensis", a heavy shell with a low spire and glossy, triangular aperture shield.    It was about 9-10 inches long and it was "alive".  So that meant no shell for Dick & Anne but we took a few pictures before I dove down and sent it on it's way.

It's a wonder of how nature can make things mankind can only dream of......

Queen Helmet

close up view

Check out the shell!

B,S & T........Part 2

As in Bob, Steph and Teagan that is........

Off to Treasure Cay we go.  Teagan finds the bow on Nati a perfect place to hang out and the turtle pool scores big time.  Because the docks are so high in the marina we decide to spring for a dock to make the "getting off" easier for short little girls.  T didn't mind at all!
Our pool!

We are doing just fine!

Teagan helping inflate the pool

The beach at Treasure Cay is one of the nicest in the world, hands down.  The sand is super soft and the water was nice and warm.  Obviously it was liked a lot!!

Our own bathing beauty!

So she didn't like sand before, huh?

Going to get Dad wet some more!

The next day we decided to try Spoils Cay for some kite boarding.  We really didn't have enough wind to get Bob & Steph up but like dragging around the Sea of Abaco for a long time.  I'm glad I gave that sort of work up upon retirement.  I will just drive Dingh-go around......  We did manage to build "Swiss family Anderson/O'Connor on the beach though....

Nice hut!

Preparing the kite for action

Nice legs Teagan........

From Spoils Cay we motored a couple of miles to anchor in Fisher Bay on Great Guana Cay.  We hung on Nati for the night but the next day it was time for Nippers!!  The five of us dinked into Grabbers beach, anchored/tied off Dingh-go and walked to the ocean side.  The weather was warm and Bob & Steph got a chance to snorkel off the beach.  We also got a chance to do some pool time with Teagan and a bunch of other kids.  Then back to Grabbers for one more swim in their pool and one more splash around in the ocean before heading back to Nati for dinner.  A grand day!!  Teagan swam on two beaches and two pools in one day.  Does she ever get tired??

Don't I look fabulous in Dad's hat?

more pool time

At Nippers

Heading back to Nati

After a good night we decided to head back to Marsh Harbor to beat a front that is coming across.  We didn't want to get our guests wet in a rain storm.  Harbour View Marina worked very well again for us.

She likes her chocolate ice cream

Taking a break from the beach

Our goodbye till next time.......
We had a super time with everyone.  Teagan was really getting into Nati and Ding-ho and we expect she will be swimming by the time that Binnacle comes up this summer.  She is our Teagan - Rose - Fish - O'Connor!!!!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

O'Connors and more O'Connors have pulled into town!

Bob, Steph and Teagan are only an hour or so late on arrival.  But, when the airlines say it's mechanical we can forgive them.

Welcome to Marsh Harbour!

Nait at Harbour View Marina

Teagan's cabin
Look who is in town!

We meet the gang at Harbour View Marina.  It was a very good place to meet up and the staff were all friendly.  The pool was heated and Teagan liked that very much.  She is getting right into "island time".

Speaking of O'Connors.............we were coming into the dock and to our surprise, more friends!  Sea Knight, Tom and Ellen are almost right beside us.  They were pals from the Sackets Harbor days and they have a new beautiful boat.  How cool!

Sea Knight

Studying plans

From Marsh Harbour we head over to Hope Town for Easter.  We wanted to move Nati and give everyone a chance to see a lot of the islands around here.  So.......into the mooring field at Hope Town and now we are right under the "Cat-in-the-hat lighthouse"!!  Yep, Teagan has now renamed one of only two Fresnel equipped lighthouses in the world.  It seems appropriate to all of us.

Cat-in-the-hat light house

Hope Town dock

Coming down all by myself....Miss Independent!

Room with a view

The O'Connor mob

The next day is Easter.  We surprised Teagan with the local Easter Egg hunt scheduled for 10:30 in the morning at the local Cholera Cemetery from the 1800's.  It was a lot of fun and she scored big with the candy.  All the local kids and many children from the cottages and boats were on head.  The day was sunny and warm and fun was had by all.......

Easter Sunday

finding the stash!

still looking for the "goods"

Later in the day we had to relax at the local pool.  The rum drinks were perfect and Teagan liked the pool like always.

Our own bathing beauty!

Ok, now to push on to Treasure Cay.  We were hoping Bob & Steph could kiteboard on the beach but the winds didn't cooperate.  Instead Teagan had a beach day and she wore all of us out.  Now she demands swimming lessons for next year!

Stay tuned for part 2!!