Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Long Island Blues

Blue water as we sail for Long Island...
The farther into the Bahamas we sail, the more BLUE it all seems to be, the sky and the water, so we are calling this Long Island BLUES.....
Long Island is in the Far Bahamas, 48 miles east south east of George Town with several harbors. We chose the most popular harbor, mile wide Thompson Bay, for our arrival, and found only 15 other cruising sailboats on anchor. We plan to stay for the next cold front passing here in a few days with 25+ knot NW winds. After that passes, we will decide where to go next.

There it is again, our shadow on the sand 10 feet down....beautiful
Our primary target from here is the Abacos by April for our good friends Wendy and Craig to arrive. We have a month to get there and are excited see the Exumas, stopping at all the places we missed on the way south. For now, we will take in these beautiful blue waters and discover Long Island.

Here are some Long Island BLUES photos....
Using a GoPro camera on a boat hook (Blaine Style) to get these great shots!\

Radeen reading her 20,000th book.....librarians want to read them all :-)

Hayden sailing, Radeen reading, enjoying the blue waters
We are real lazy here, JIB ONLY....cruiser style
Sunset at anchor off Indian Point, Long Island, we are about a mile from town
So....we will explore Long Island tomorrow. Most likely, we will ride out the next cold front behind Indian Point for protection. Too much to discover....too little time....but, we will do out best :-) Thanks for traveling along with us....

This was UPLOADED from nearly off the GRID
Long Island, Bahamas

Monday, February 25, 2013

George Town Exuma Daze

Radeen looking out to sea from Monument Hill
The George Town Exuma Daze has been taking hold of our daily "grind!" You know, we wake to hear the weather via SSB and Chris Parker, then we tune into the local George Town Cruisers Net on 72 while making breakfast. After breakfast we do some boat chores and around 11 ish we hit the beach, climb a trail, swim, search for shells, dinghy to the fun spot CHAT n CHILL and Volleyball beach to hear a discussion or chat with some cruisers. Grab a cold KALIK Beer, walk some more beaches, swim a little, and by now, you are about exhausted!

When the DAZE has kicked into full tilt, you may need a nap, or a hammock, or a good book to read. By 1800 hrs it is sunset and time to test your conch blowing skills and alert all to the SUNSET. Dinner is shortly after that and maybe some boat visits with friends. The full moon rises as the sun sets and the night sets in. Cruisers call 2100 hrs "cruisers midnight" and if you can make it that long, you are doing well. Most of "us" hit the bunk around then and call it another great day.....

Hayden walking the beaches off Stocking Island

The view from atop Monument Hill and our anchorage

Radeen climbing the trail to Monument

Our boat at anchor in the center of the screen

Over looking the beach with a sailboat on the horizon

The steep trail we climbed up the hill to Monument Hill

A lone person combing the beach at low tide

Typical palm along the trail

Our "car" behind the boat with Monument Hill in the background

The crowd at CHAT n CHILL and Volleyball beach, it really is FUN

Back to the boat for SUNSET and conch horn time

Full Moon over our stern with Monument Hill in the back
George Town DAZE....can you see why so many cruisers get stuck here? There are currently 300 boats on anchor, it is regatta time, and there is something for everyone....

Friday, February 22, 2013

Radio Life in George Town

Bahama Hats to keep the sun it is HOT at 23 degrees N

Our day begins around 0630, as we take notes from our weather router Chris Parker’s broadcast on the SSB radio. Then we switch to the VHF radio to tune into the local cruiser’s net at 0800. This helpful radio net summarizes the weather, provides local businesses the opportunity to advertise events, and gives boaters here in the harbor a chance to ask questions, coordinate taxi rides, request help with boat issues, announce classes in everything from sign language to basket making to yoga, and to share news and social events.

The 33rd Annual George Town Cruisers’ Regatta begins on Monday, so there are many announcements regarding pet and dinghy parades, a conch blowing contest, two sailboat races and evening entertainment. At about 0845, individual boats start using the net to contact each other and we switch back to our SSB radio to check in our location with the Cruiseheimers’ Net and to hear where other boating friends are located.

Here are a few places and events we learned about from listening to the local cruiser’s net....

Fresh Conch Salad from Chat N Chill

A.J. makes the best conch salad on the beach

Relax at Big D's on Hamburger Beach and swing on a tree swing or take a chair to the water 

s/v ROMONE from Germany, celebrating their child Kim's first birthday

Our neighborhood off Volleyball Beach

The ocean beach beyond St. Francis Resort

The beach is crowded today, we thought we had it reserved...

More crowds at the beach !

Typical coquina rock on the beach

Taking the "car" to town across the harbor. 15 Yamaha on a 10 foot AB-RIB....perfect

Ocean waves on the beach rocks

A.J's pet sting ray waits for the conch trimmings.....go ahead and hand feed him

Radeen loves to walk the pink sand beaches of "da Bajamas"
We really need to move on beyond George Town and this harbor or else we may get totally stuck here! We  plan to press on and move EAST to Long Island and Conception Island, but not for at least one more day!

Gabor Vacation House

The Team: Hayden, Radeen, Jeff, Sharon, Peg, Art

Today was a wonderful change of pace - no boat jobs and fun with friends, old and new! Jeff and Sharon, IP 35 Lucille, picked us up via car and drove us to their rental house on the beach. The house is near Williamstown on Little Exuma Island, which is 20 miles south of George Town. The approach to their secluded hideaway was a final bumpy 1 mile offroad ride from Queen's Highway. Together with their friends, Art and Peg, we enjoyed swimming, snorkeling, walking the empty beach and sharing a delicious Mexican themed luncheon with plenty of beet and icy rum boat drinks.

THIS IS NOT a boat !
We were delighted to have "house" ammenitoies like ENDLESS ELECTRICITY, ENDLESS WATER, SOFAS, CHAIRS, ICE, BLENDERS, FREEZERS, and TV....what a different world living in a house is from living on 12 volt power. After a peaceful nap on a hammock and another trip to the beach, we enjoyed the massive SHOWER with lots of HOT WATER. Then Jeff cheerfully drove us back to the dinghy dock in town, another 40 miles roundtrip! Thank you, Jeff and Sharon, for hosting us at your vacation home, we really enjoyed the day!

Here are a few photos of all the fun...
Sharon and Jeff in "da car" with "da wheel" on "da wrong" side

Peg and Radeen on the beach, we have this entire beach to ourselves

Self portrait with the house on the hill

Sharon and Jeff with MOM, at Mom's Bakery....emmm emmm GOOD

Radeen and Hayden with MOM at Mom's Bakery

The beach view from the house!

The beach view from the house deck

Testing the camera underwater

Hayden and Radeen enjoying the beach and water off Jeff and Sharon's rental house

ahhhhh.....this beats SNOW anyday.....
Thank you Jeff and Sharon for the great day at the house and lunch. This was a great back to boat jobs: Today, jugging 5 gallon jugs of fuel across the harbor and looking at charts and weather for a run over to LONG ISLAND.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Stocking Island Beach Day 1

Radeen on the hood of our "car" parked on da beach
What day is it? Mon, Tue, Wed, Sat, Sun? We really don't know, honestly, we really never know what day it is anymore. One of my cruising buddies told me this would happen, and I said no is true, it does happen when you are out cruising. It no longer matters what day of the week it is, you simply just enjoy every day and every activity. Activities such as boat jobs, water collection, cleaning da salt off da boat, beach walks, swimming, walking the towns, reading, napping, visiting friends, watching sunsets, studying the night sky and more! These are the simple cruising activities that fill a day, and it actually is fun, very fun. It is peaceful, relaxing, and slow paced. Just keeping the boat maintained and running is job number one, after that you can do what ever you want.....and TODAY, we finally walked and enjoyed a beach off Stocking Island here in the George Town Harbor. We are beginning to see why there are 300 boats anchored here and why so many cruisers make this their winter destination. This place will be difficult to leave!

Here are a few photos of the day
(PS. Internet is $2.00 for 75 minutes and limited to 450mb! This is about it for today.) 

This is BIG D's where to go for ribs and burgers

Rest under the shade of a casarina tree on the beach

Finally....finally....we get to a beach....ahhhhh

Our "car" parked in a parking space

The road sign at Chat n Chill beach

Radeen walking the beach

Typical rock formation on the beach, this is sharp and jagged

Snails on the rocks and beautiful waves crashing into the rocks
Snails on the rocks at low tide in the sunshine

Shell collection, day 1
The approach to Chat n Chill and Volleyball Beach

Back to the boat, we enjoy the sunset off our stern

The moon rises over the starboard spreader with the Bahamas Flag
We will continue to explore the George Town area and plan to have many more beach days, hiking and discovering the bottom of the Exuma Chain.