Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Marsh Harbor and Hope Town, Abicos

Friday, March 11
Marsh Harbor

We heard about the earthquake this morning from Chris Parker in case there was anyone on the Pacific Side to warn of possible tsunami's.  This is terrible and can't imagine what the people of Japan are living through.  Today we're to have winds 320 degrees 20 kts with Gusts to 25 kts and  is supposed to be N at 17 kts in the morning and decrease to 12 kts by the end of the day.  There was lots of static from lightening strikes on the ham radio so wasn't able to hear BASRA weather this morning. 

As I look back from my log book I don't have anything written down excepting on the internet (a red letter day for me here :)  ) and that we wernt to Snappas Baf for Happy Hour at 5pm, but as I was typing other days on the blog, it all came back to me (hey isn't that a Celine Dion song?). When we were at the Jib Room, I ordered to get the Toe-up Socks for Everybody book on the internet, but haven't been able to download it.  I originally ordered in on the Nook and that was my big mistake.  Now won't be able to bet this book on my Nook until I get in the states I suppose.  I have it on my laptop, but it takes too much energy to have my computer on while knitting.  Oh well.

Today we rode the bikes over to Boat Harbor and dropped of the package with the hats I made for Glenn's daughters with Shade Mor who has guests that will take it back to the states and mail it for me on Monday.  We listened to the Royal Marsh Harbor Yacht Club meeting that's on ch 78 8am every M-W-F.  Then on the way back, we stopped at Java (you guess it, a coffee shop) and saw Randy from S/V Lipari there on his computer.  I got on my nook  and tried to download the book again.  No luck and we walked with him back to Harbor View Marina to see where the laundry room was.  Janet was finishing up their laundry so we had a chance to chat.  She had hurt her back and I'm glad to see that she's feeling much better.  We bought tokens for the washer and dryer ($4/ea) so that we can do laundry tomorrow.

After visiting with Janet and Randy, we continued biking through town all the way down to Home Fabrics where I picked up some more coordinating fabrics for the Bahamas Quilt I'm going to make.  I'm well over 100 signature squares and figure that they would have fabric that would match the Bahama Batik fabric more than at home.  We are starting to get use to riding the bike on the left (wrong side to us) and though there are a lot of cars here, it's not nearly as bad at in Nassau.  We must have ridden more than 3-4 mi all told today. 

So let me tell you about Happy Hours.  Snappas is really nice and casual.  They have their bar that is on pilings and looking through the cracks in the floor, you can see water.  It was cool and windy, so they have eisenglass windows above the half walls so keep out the breeze.  Later in the evening, they turned on the propane standing heaters and it was very cozy inside.  Once we got there, we saw our Canadian Friends that we met in Little Harbor at a table so we joined them.  They are a lot of fun so we enjoyed chatting.  The rum punches were free so Phil got two and boy were they strong.  I was feeling it when I had drank half of one.  Of course they were too sweet for Phil, so he got he bought a couple rum and tonics.  Alice was sitting next to Phil and across from me so it was great to get to know her.  They had free BBQ meatballs and teriyaki Chicken wings available and they were quickly eaten up.  The Canadian are going to Hopetown tomorrow, so hope that we see them again while we're in the Abicos. By 725pm we were back at the boat and by 845pm I was in bed and Phil followed an hour later (I heard the next day).

Saturday, March 12
Marsh Harbor

Last night it got down to 66F inside the boat.  That's the coolest it's been for a long time and we definitely used the quilt.  It's hard to believe that it's time to move the clocks back for daylight savings time.  Chris Parker will be on at 630am but will only have 30 min initially and then will be on again at 8pm.  I'm sure that we'll get enough information in the first 30 minutes.   The next week has wind predicted to be about 10kts +/- so we'll do some traveling this week.  The different island to see are no more than 15 mi away and many are less than that so we hope to get some sailing done instead of motor sailing.

To start of the day, we dropped of the 10# propane tank and then dingied over to Harborview Marina.  Today we washed 4 loads of laundry arriving at 830am.  The office doesn't open until 9am so good things we got the tokens yesterday.  We were the only ones there until I had the 4th load of clothes in the dryer (they have 3 washers and dryers).  While I was watching the clothes, Phil walked to Java and got some breakfast egg and ham crossants for us and then got 20 gals of water. After that he went to pick up the propane tank (fill was $15) and then picked me up at 1130am laundry all done.  Then he dropped me off at Curly Tails for me to use the internet and went back to the boat to wait my call on the radio. 

About 1230pm I called Phil, but wasn't able to hear anything  but static in response.  Not to worry, Phil came to bet me at 1pm - perfect timing.  I called Barnes and Noble and need to speak to the audit dept, which will have to wait until we get in the states.  I have a direct number, but at $.80 per minute, the waiting time adds up quickly.

We are having Jim and Linda from S/V Winsome over for supper today, so once back at the boat, it was time to get the boat chores done in preparation.  It sure doesn't take long for the sand and dirt to accumulate on the floor inside.  Wish that we had a teak grate to have in the bottom of the cockpit so the sand doesn't come inside the boat so easily. 

I fixed poached grouper fillets for supper with a mushroom white wine sauce.  I had to cook down the liquid the fish was cooked it and unfortunately the sauce got too thick though tasted good.  WE also have Bahamian peas and rice and dried cauliflower and fresh carrots.  Linda brought dessert and after chatting after dinner we had the dessert.  We had a great time and the grouper was very good.

Sunday, March 13
Marsh Harbor

No Chris Parker today and because of the time change (my clock changed but we forgot about it) we missed the Abico net program.  We aren't the only one as there were a few who called in at 915am thinking it was 815am wondering when the net was coming on.

This morning I made a loaf of the Artisan bread that had been refrigerated for 3 days.  During the resting and cooking time, I read.  About 10 am Winsome was leaving the harbor, pulled up close to us and we exchanged magazines and books.  They are planning on being back for the St. Patrick's day Party by Royal Marsh Harbor Yacht Club (RMHYC).

Today we're going over to the Jib Room taking the Sailrite sewing machine to see if I can help Diane and Phil on MV China Doll with some velcro fix on her shade panels.  We are also invited for an late lunch.  But before that, we dropped off the garbage and stopped by S/V FinniRish - They pronounce it like Finn Irish.  They are from Cinncinnati, OH so we had to stop and say hi.  We are going to visit them later for happy hour.

The company and dinner at China Doll was really good.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to fix the screen as they had the loopy side of the velcro instead of the hook side which was needed.  Tomorrow they'll go into town and get the hook velcro and in the meantime, I'll leave the sailrite sewing machine on their boat.  I don't know the type of motor boat they have, but it is very nice and roomy for a 36' boat.  Fore and aft cabin and a nice size galley and salon sitting area.  I believe it's 12' wide and very easy to live in.  Phil said they have one engine and a bow thruster.  Phil made clam pasta dish and Janet brought coleslaw.  Both were very good.

So about 430pm we arrive at FinniRish, earlier than we expected.  We had a nice time chatting and having appetizers.  Jim and Elli are actually between Cinncinnati and Columbus.  He's was a Public Defender and Elli had various jobs through the years but ended up in Hospital Administration the last 10+ years and they are now retired on their Catalina MKII 36'.  They usually go to the Chesapeake for the summer and then down south for the winter.  Just was it was starting to get dark and cooler, we left to go home.  I made myself a sandwich later in the day and spent the evening reading before bed.

Monday, March 14
Marsh Harbor to Hopetown, Abicos
Distance Traveled:  10.71 nm
Miles to get home:  266.19
Total Distance Traveled:  2969.63 nm

We are planning on going to Hopetown today, but have to wait until very near high tide in order to get into the harbor which is close to 4pm this afternoon.  So first Phil got out the folding bikes and we went into town so that we could get tickets for the St. Patrick's Day event by the RMHYC.  We talked to Mike  on Missing Link and they'd be happy for us to be their guest (nothing like inviting ourselves eh?)  On our way into the dinghy dock, we stopped by S/V Fair Spirit a 38' Irwin CC (Center Cockpit for the non-sailors) and talked to them about their boat.  They have a 4'6" draft, which is perfect for the Bahamas and it's not too big.  We weren't invited aboard to take a look at the interior, but I think it was because they had people still sleeping on board.  They feel like they have enough room for guests, except that the guests have to move their duffle bags from the V-berth to the settee when they sleep at night.  They did said they wish they had a 42' once and then that wouldn't happen.  But for us, I think it would be better and have more storage space.  Now I'd like to check online to see if there are any for sale at our price.  I can wish can't I?  

By 905am we were at the dinghy dock and putting together the folding bikes.  Saturday there was a black bahamian man with 2 kids that stayed at the dock helping people with their dinghies - grabbing the painter line and helping to get aboard.  He helped us and it was welcome as the harbor was very bouncy, but today when it was quiet, there were 2 youngsters around.  One helped us and I gave him a tip, but felt forced into it. 

We got to M/V More Attitude and were able to pay the $60 for the St. Patrick's Day party and had a chance to chat with Peggy.  Then time to get to a computer/office store with the goal of printing out some instructions so that I can start knitting some toe-up socks since I still can't get the book on the nook and I'm on the waiting list to download from the Library.  The first place, Office Dept, had printers, but no availability to insert CD and print from that but we had a referral to another place closer to the harbor.  This place worked, but we waiting while he inserted Microsoft Office 2007.  It was a little pricey but now I'm ready to be able to get started after I finish the hat I'm currently knitting.  We happened to see Mike and Chris Link so stopped to chat.  Worked out that we'll leave the dinghy at the Jib Room, walk to the party with them and then share a taxi to get home.

1130am we're all set and go over to the Jib Room marina and work on Diane's screen.  She was able to get 1.5' wide black hook velcro which is perfect.  She also worked out where she wanted the velcro, so an hour later, the whole project is completed and she's planning on getting a Sailrite too.  By 1230pm we're on our way back to Changes and immediately get starting getting ready to leave ( clean out the dinghy and took down the Farouck).

By 1pm Phil had started the engine and raised the main sail,  The wind is 110 degrees at 9-11kts, so we are planning on sailing today as much as possible.  114pm the anchor is raised and we are on our way.  By 130pm we're going upwind and the jib of out with the engine off.  We take this opportunity being out of a harbor to use the mascerator pump and I go down below to take a nap, asking Phil to wake me if he needs me.  5 tacks later, we're close to the Hopetown Channel and I am above in the cockpit to help.  321pm Phil starts the engine again, we roll up the head sail and lower the main sail and have picked up the mooring ball in the harbor at 343pm.  Good thing that we waited as long as we did because even though we're close to high tide, there was 0.5' under the keel at the skinniest point.

It's pretty here in the Harbour.  The mooring balls are very close together.  Some are white, others have red and green fenders on them as there are about 5 companies that have mooring balls in the harbor.  From 4- 515pm we take the dinghy around the harbor and don't see many people we know except S/V Walk About.  Phil did remind  earlier and after looking up in one of my little black books, I called Rocky whom we met at the St. Mary's Thanksgiving and left a message that we were here.  Turns out that he stopped by in his kayak and chatted with up at 530pm  He had stopped by Walkabout and it's a small world -he had sold them his boat and then came over to chat with us while I had spaghetti warming up in the ziploc bag. 

AFter supper, we tried the external wifi antenna and learned that the wifi signal here is so good that we don't need the external antenna.  Great!  Phil got on his Apple Computer and I was on mine - looking up the irwin 38's.  There is one in Fort Lauderdale and another in upper Michigan. 

Tuesday, March 15
Hopetown, Abicos

After listening to the weather reports, Phil started making bread.  I cooked up the fish head and bones from the grouper so that took up the morning.  About 1045am I invited  Bob and Jeanne from Walkabout for supper and they accepted, but Jeanne isn't going to eat the fish chowder.  Both of them had gotten Ciguatera poisoning from Hog fish Snapper that the ate in Spanish Wells.  She is still suffering some nerve pain and muscle weakness and is playing it safe so will bring some macaroni salad to share.  Check out the link above for more info.  That is why we bought a small Grouper (6#'s) and released the barracudas. 

After lunch of sandwiches made with the fresh bread (couldn't let it go to waste right?) we went into town and found a entrance to the beach on the Atlantic side. (insert photo)  There isn't much to pick up in the way of shells, but there is a lot of seaweed and we found what we think are jelly fish that were on the beach, most tangled in the seaweed.  (insert photo)  We walked over a mile down the beach with me looking for hamburger beads (didn't find any) and then after crossing over some rocks, turned left and found a path back to the main road.  I have to said that road is really a misnomer.  All the roads are one car width wide and most of the vehicles used in town are golf carts.  The "road" we came to was a dirt/sand road.  It was hot being sheltered from the breezes but was a pretty walk.  In front of some of the houses, there was a paved road, and then it turned into to sand/dirt road until we got very close to town.

They do have power lines here - first town that we saw and some of there were low enough for Phil to be able to touch.  We thought of our friends George and Phil, CEI linemen, and they could just work on the lines here from the ground except at the poles.  (insert photo)

Once we were in town, we stopped at a coffee shop for Phil's coffee and a rest after walking about 2 miles.  I downloaded a few free sample books on the Nook and then we took another street away from the harbor and found Bob and Jeanne finishing up an ice cream cone.  Vernon's grocery store was initially closed for lunch then after it opened Jeanne and I looked around.  It's small (what's new)but they had some wheat bran that I bought for Phil to add to the loaves of bread he makes for fiber.  About 240pm we started along to view the Wyannie Malone Historical Museum.  We were able to watch the last half of a video of the area and then toured the museum.  It's very interesting and worth the $3/ea for the entrance fee.  They usually close at 3pm but didn't mind staying until we were through at 320pm.  Back to the boat to get ready for our visitors.

Jeanne and Bob arrived at 420pm and we had a nice evening eating the fish chowder (was good they tell me), Phil's fresh bread, macaroni salad and apple crisp for dessert after we played a round of 10 Penny.  It's nice having it get dark later in the day as they sat in the cockpit with Phil while I finished up in the galley.  We had a great time and hope to see Walk About again soon as they're expecting to leave for Man-O-War Cay tomorrow.  We are planning on staying one more day so that we can climb the Hopetown Lighthouse and then leave early Thursday for Marsh Harbor.  Higher winds are predicted for Sunday thru Tuesday, so not sure if we'll stay in Marsh Harbor or go to Treasure Cay.

After our guests left, we read books with Phil going to bed at 930pm and I went to bed at 1145pm.

Wednesday, March 16
Hopetown, Abicos

It is a grey day today.  WE had 3 rain showers last night so most of the night the forward hatch was closed.  We are planning on going to the lighthouse today but have been having on and off showers.  What happened to the 30% chance of rain?  Phil and I can't remember the last time that we were in the boat because of rain - and not because of the wind.

We washed up with hot water this morning and have been using the time to read or be on the internet.  Phil checked online about the points in the US where we can check in for Customs.  Looks like it Fort Lauderdale, Cape Canaveral and the Cape Canaveral canal is closed for repairs not to open until late April.  The past 3-4 days, I am really ready to be back in the States.  We've been gone for 6 months now and I would like to be able to talk to family and friends on the phone and not have to think about it.  Would like ready access to internet and be able to download books to my Nook!  I'm not going to have us rush thru the Abicos as we might not be back here again, but I don't want to make our stay longer than it has to be either.  Oh we'll, will get through this too.  Phil is talking about getting a watermaker and then we'll need less tankage for water.  I think he thinks can fit in in the same space.  That would be nice - could really get washed up and while wouldn't waste the water, I wouldn't have to worry so much about it either.

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