Friday, April 24, 2015

Tax day has come & left again for another year……

OK, so it's a strange statement for a time of an update.  But, the last post was in early April, and right after BS&T left for parts much colder than the Bahamas we haven't done too much.  Actually Anne left 2 days after they departed and she continues to be up north.  We weren't too certain how long she would be gone but eventually it proved impossible to continue to stay in the Bahamas so off she flew.

After a couple of weeks we then decided it would be best if I got Nati back to the states to make the logistics easier for the coming few months.  We aren't sure what is in store for us but only time can address that.

We will wrap up the final days in the Abacos in this manner:

  • Once we decided that it would be best to slowly head west I took Nati across the Whale Passage to Green Turtle Cay.  The mooring in Black Sound are secure and I spent 6 nights there, first of all trying to find a good window to cross the Gulf Stream and secondly to check out the cay since it has been 4 years since we last stopped.  It was almost like old home week as many of our friends over the years were also doing the same thing so I got to see s/v Old Sam, s/v Sangaris, s/v One with the Wind, s/v Windward and s/v Maluka.  Some of us left earlier than others and I was trying to find a quiet window to cross as it was the first time I crossed by singlehanded.
    • One of the highlights of the stay was to have my lunch one day at the Cay's elementary school.  Susan (Old Sam) was subbing for the 4th grade teacher for two weeks so Don & I went over to Two Shorty's takeout and picked up our lunch and went to school.  It was fun to meet a number of the kids and see the insides of the classroom.  One computer for the whole room!  (sorry for now pictures….camera battery was dead)
s/v Maluka

Shorty's take out

Black Sound looking west

Black Sound looking east

  • On the 21st of April after debating pros and cons I dropped the mooring at 0740 and headed west.  I had motor sailing weather and elected not to put the mainsail up since there were squalls all around and I didn't want any fire drills.  I got to sail 20+ NM and then the wind (forecasted to turn west at 5kts) did in fact turn to the west.  Only now, with a good, big squall just to the south of me had wind out of the west at 25-28kts, straight on the nose!  Go figure!
    • After about 3 hours of that stuff it did lay down and the motor past "Center of the world" rock was uneventful.
Here comes the rain

Getting close

Washing Nati off good!

Center of the world rock

  • We were pass Great Sale Cay when the sun went down and it was a dark night.  Being on the Little Bahama Bank at night is not too bad.  Boat traffic is almost non existent and the water is an almost constant 15 feet deep.  If you touch bottom out there you have done something bad.
Sunset on the Bank

  • By 0300 the next morning Nati went off the bank and into the deep water of the Gulf Stream.  The forecasted wind was for NE going to SE at 10-12kts so I was looking forward to putting the sail back up.  NOT!  The wind stayed north and fortunately stayed light so the "stream" was only  bouncy and not unmanageable.  With about 20nm to go the breeze came up to 11kts and I finally got the sail up again and coming into the Ft Pierce inlet was calm, sunny and warm.
Ft Pierce in the distant

  • In summary……173nm in 29 hours.  Only had the sails up for 30-40 miles but the bottom line is Nati is now in a safe harbor and our logistics of getting back and forth from Syracuse are much easier.

When we know what is going on next I will, once again do an update.  For now we will take a couple of weeks off and deal with our short term future.  Thanks all……

Monday, April 6, 2015

A good week for the whole gang….

We are now one day post "the O'Connor" vacation in the Abacos and Nati is looking barren with no toys in the main cabin.  "T" came equipped with her entertainment and for a 6 year old, she can  keep all 4 of us jumping that is for sure.

Two pirates……

Our full moon before the ellipse that we missed
After Tahiti beach we motored over to Hope Town and grabbed a mooring in the harbor.  They make it much easier to get to shore and Teagan had decided that it was time for ice cream! It wasn't for us to say no!  One of the things she also wanted to do is swim in the nice pool at the Abaco Inn & Marina along with visiting the "Cat-in-the-hat" lighthouse.  We were able to do both and really enjoyed the pool.  We could sit there and take turns in the pool with her and when not doing that, there was always a Kalik beer or conch fritter to gobble down.

The first of 5 conch fritter going down!

Bobo…..big hat!

Getting ready to head up 101 steps to the top

Looking to the west

Looking out

Nati is front and center

The "Gang" outside the top if the Lighthouse
We had a lot of "firsts" during the week for Teagan:

  • conch fritters
  • mustard
  • look buckets
  • swimming off Nati
  • climbing all the way up and down the lighthouse by herself
  • fast dingh-go rides with Bob
  • face in the water
No wonder she went to bed fast and quick each night!

Swimming at Matt Lowe Cay

We stayed in Hope Town for 2 nights and then it was time to head back to Marsh Harbour.  We decided not to go directly there as the day was too perfect so we had an afternoon anchor stop in Matt Lowe Cay.  It is a lovely spot for a swim and to make fresh water so we didn't pull into the marina until 5pm.  From there it was a good last dinner at Wally's and an early night to hit the sack.

Sunday morning brought us another beautiful day but first we had to find all the notes the Easter Bunny left for Teagan.  At the end of the trail, look what she found ---

Thanks bunny!
We had a very great week!  Thanks for coming, Team O'Connor!!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Team O'Connor has pulled into town!

One of the reasons we have pulled into the Abacos at this time of the year is because Steph & Teagan have spring breaks and can only get away at certain times of the year.  Also, the chances of having fine weather beginning around the 1st of April is greater than earlier in the year.  The cold fronts are not as strong and the water (81degrees) is nice and warm.  So here are the "pirates"!!

Captain "T" and Crew Bobo

On the foredeck

A well deserved lunch break

Of course the day of their arrival is when the coolest and windiest day we have had in over a month but we made due and still got off the dock in fine fashion on Sunday.  Our goal was the eastern part of the Abacos and we have been able to pull it off.  We had moderate NW winds leaving Marsh Harbour, sailed north, went around the corner near Matt Lowe Cay and headed south.  When the winds picked up into the low 20's we were sailing downwind and had a good sail all the way to Little Harbor.  Two nights there gave us good swimming, a few Blasters (very strong but good!) at Pete's Pub, beach walking and even "Tiki-time on Monday sunset.  Teagan got to meet some other kids from the area and those hot dogs were very tasty.

Little Harbor Yacht Club

Beach fun

Swing fun

more of the gang

Tiki time at the hut

Tiki Time

Gabriele & Teagan

proof of Tiki Time

The "little trio" never wanted out of the water!

Teagan with her thank you card for Tiki Time

From Little Harbor we went just a short distance north to Buckaroon Bay for some more fun in the sun.  The next day our way to Tihiti Beach we did a pit stop at Sandy Cay (aka Dinosaur Island to Teagan ) for some snorkeling on the nice reef of the water park.

Sand Castle building

pictures from the reef

Staghorn coral

This brain coral was almost as large as mine!

Yep, our friendly SHARK!!

So now we are hanging at Tihiti Beach, Bob and T are in on the beach so Teagan can practice sand castle building and swimming and then its off to Hopetown & the Cat-in-the-hat lighthouse.

The beach is disappearing

Another castle!

T will just not leave the water!