Thursday, March 19, 2015

Monday, March 16, 2015

Hurray……we are in the Bahamas!

Sorry for the posting delay but arriving in the Berry Islands on a Friday afternoon was not the best for getting everything we needed.  But…'s the islands, mon so who cares??  Today, while sitting in Marsh Harbor we finally figured out the reconfiguring of the "hot spot" for the iPad mini and now we are able to get the computer up and running to update the blog.

We departed No Name Harbor on March 5th in the middle of the day since our destination was only a little over 100 miles and besides it gave the waves in the Gulf Stream a chance to simmer down after being blown crazy for a few days.  The initial part of the sail was bumpy and close to the wind but Nati did fine and off we go……..
"On the Bahamian Bank at night"

Yes, we had a full moon crossing and this time it was the "Full Crow" moon, also known as the worm moon and the sap moon.  Called thel Crow moon for the cawing crows that signal the end of winter.  Just a wonderful, bright and welcome sight as we come onto the Great Bahamian Bank and headed to the Berry Islands.  The winds dropped during the night so we motor-sailed into Great Harbor Cay Marina for the first time.  Actually it was our first time in the Berry Islands……..but it won't be the last!!

The cut to head into the harbor

Our welcoming committee

Nati at the dock

The marina

The marina itself is in a very protected harbor with no current and just a gentle breeze.  The docks are big concrete piers and Nati had a great home for 3 nights.  We got to check in with customs & immigrations right at the marina and "island time" was the name of the game!  Also at the marina was s/v Celest and before the dust settled we were off for swimming and hopefully fishing via a golf cart.  The fishing didn't materialize but the swimming felt so good.  Clear, warm water……do we sound like we miss Lake Ontario?

The cart is really a BMW!

Obey the law!

This hunting party means business

the motley crew

low tide

On the way back from the beach we decided to check out an old golfing resort that isn't in very good  shape.  We understand Marilyn Monroe and the "Rat Pack" were frequent visitors to the pub.

Somebody forgot to sweep this morning

huh……where are the lights?

You want what, when?

The second night we were able to participate in the islands Junkanoo party right at the marina.  What fun!  the music was great, we had a good conch dinner and it was your own fault if you didn't enjoy yourself.  Trust me……we did have fun!

Let the party begin

The Junkanoo parade

March on you guys….

Tremeko doing the cowbells…..awesome!

We were into the Junkanoo….

After 3 nights it was time to quite paying for a dock so off we sailed, over the north end of the Berrys, by a cruse ship "playground" (looking a little out of position in a land so beautiful) and raced two other boats to Soldier Cay for the night.  These two boats s/v Bamba Maru and s/v Crackertail stayed with us over the next few days and we played down the chain of small cays of the Berrys.

It's sad when the ship is bigger than the island

Bamba Maru
Next, we motored a few miles down on the "inside" of the chain to anchor at Hoffman's Cay.  This is a lovely bay and the swimming, once again was great.  s/v Celest was already there so we had a grand time with the 3 other boats and even had a "hot" hors d'oeuvres party on the beach.

Joanna being chased down by her dogs Marley and Basco

Sunset at Hoffman Cay

Paul started the fire with only 1 match!

Robie "nailed" dinner

Anne found a big welk

Conch horn discussions

Marley … a good boat guard

Anne, Andy and Joanna

Oh, did I mention fishing?


So far we have (I hope I don't jinx myself):
 - Barracudas  2
 - King Mackerel  1
 - Yellow tail snapper  1
 - Grunt  1
 - Blue runner (bait only)  1

We had a stretch of eating fresh seafood 7 dinners in a row!  Not all were caught by us but pretty close!!

We are chasing down sv Crackertail!

On Saturday the 14th we left Little Harbor Cay (our 3rd anchorage in the Berrys) with the high tide and did another "overnight" to the Abacos.  The winds built over the evening (15-19kts) and we actually worked at slowing Nati down since we didn't want to get to the channels in the Abacos in the dark.  It was a good chance to sail a brisk run in the dark and I mean DARK!  Dawn brought us to the North Bar entrance and mid-morning we came into the cut.  The seas were quite big and the pictures don't do justice but the water was deep in the channel.  Just don't miss it!

North Bar Cut

That brings us to where we are now…..we will hang out in the Abacos for a few weeks and see what happens.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

We think it is finally the time to head east!

Tomorrow isn't perfect but then again,  life isn't either.  But, if the wind gods behave and let us go then we'll head into the Gulf Stream and over to the Bahamas.  We have had a good time while in No Name Harbor and have run into a bunch of friends including:  s/v High ZZ's,  s/v Offline, s/v Gypsy Wind and s/v Celest  We even have lived though a "weekend" in No Name with the crazy weekend boaters of Miami!

65 feet……15 feet from our stern

Big enough?

Party central

Even rafting at the dock

Can you find Nati?
SRO at the "Boater's Grill"

There she is!

Dusk and they are still menacing for us!

The pictures above number over 50 boats at the dock or anchored.  Close anchoring is normal in here  but a 65 footer actually came around and we had to fend it off with a fender!  To think this boat was driven by a commercial captain!!  The restaurant had a long waiting line and I think the Coasties and police would just as soon close an eye to what goes on.  It was nutty but nobody died so what the heck??!!
Bob's new boat!!??

Some of us cruisers decided to have our own happy hour in the corner via our dinks.  5 of us tied off together and shared lies and other stories.  Even Wally's dog  (can't remember the name) had a snack when no one was looking.

A small part of our raft up

"Super crew Aduana says "OK, where are the leftovers?"

Our daily visitor……

So…..with luck the next post will be from another country.  We are hoping for a good sail and a view of the "magic water!"