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January 2009

Week One:

Our Xmas was great albeit Hannah and the girls were a bit under the weather. It was sad to say goodbye. We are amazed and delighted at how well Bobby and Hannah are managing the twins and we look forward to seeing them all in the summer. 

On January 1st. we flew back to the boat. Our flight from FL to Marsh Harbour was supposed to be at 3:10pm (we had it in writing) but we arrived really early so we went to see if there was an earlier flight. The agent told us we were on the 1:50pm and there was no other flight!! Hmmm.....thank goodness we showed up when we did. No explanation was given! We arrived at the dock around 4pm and our friends, Pat & Ray made supper for us. We had a great evening. On Friday Vanessa went to water aerobics then yoga class followed by a long walk to the grocery store. Andrew did "boat stuff"!

Andrew built a spice rack for the boat while we were in Maryland and now it's fitted it looks great and we can see spices with a quick glance, unlike before when each jar had to be lifted up to check what it was.

Saturday we went for a snorkel and took some photos with the underwater camera.

Ah, peace! It's Chloe.

Uncle Mathew and Kendall

Now I can see the spices.

Vanessa ready to co-pilot yet again.

Ft. Lauderdale and Lake Sylvia in the middle.

Van gets a break! We picked up a hitchhiker. Notice the GPS.

Fish at Mermaid Reef

Andrew has fun with the new camera.

OK...too much fun. That's a Big fish!

Ah, that's better.



Week Two:

We're now settling back into life aboard. It's so different and it's really easy to get out of the routine. Silly things like water usage and heads (toilets- for all you landlubbers). We have learned to be very frugal with water onboard.

Anyway, enough of that. We took a bike ride on Sunday to a place called Dundas town. It's  a small place and about 5 miles away. No sooner had we got there than Vanessa's bike got a puncture, so she was left to walk all the way home. It was not the best of places to hitchhike unfortunately. That was her exercise for the day!

The following day we were invited aboard the motor vessel "Tally Ho"  (yes, there's another one, although it's now called "Heave Ho" - read on- and they are on our dock too!) for a day of fishing. Ed and Shirley were very gracious hosts and there were 7 guests aboard. It took an hour or so to get out into the ocean in 200 ft of water. The seas were rolling 6 - 8 ft and the motion of the boat made most of us feel sick, but Andrew really was - great chum for our fishing!!! The Captain, Ed, also lost his breakfast!  We caught several grouper and Vanessa caught the biggest of the day. We had a couple of the guys filet the catch (whilst Andrew went to bed - poor boy) and of course we had grouper for dinner that night.

The weather has been great the past couple of days so we are making the most of it. Snorkeling, walking, swimming etc.

It's a busy week. Another sailboat joined our dock and on Wednesday wanted crew for the Hope Town sailboat race. Andrew volunteered and had a great time aboard Dan & Barbara's 50ft. Bavaria. Later in the day the RMHYC were invited to cocktails at one of the lovely homes on the Island. We had a super time.

Friends aboard "Tally Ho" (the trawler) going out for a day of fishing.

Grouper caught on the bottom, 200 ft down.

Wink, Vanessa and Wilma show off the days catch.

Andrew heads out as crew for a sailboat race.

The race crew, Dan, Gretchen, and Andrew - Kent was taking the picture.

Doug's party in the afternoon at his home "Slipaway".

Shirley enjoying the afternoon.

The music man played non stop and was excellent.

Dancing as the party got going.

Wilma doing a special jig.

Lois and Carl having fun.


Week Three:

It can't all be sun and fun! We are having a few hiccups.  The new camera we purchased for taking underwater photos had an accident. The weather has been great so we took the boat out for a little jaunt. The forecast was for gentle breezes so we didn't lash everything down and we forgot about the camera - well, it took a nasty fall in the not so gentle breeze and bruised itself. Oh expletive, oh expletive! After a couple of days of pushing buttons and researching on the web to no avail, we performed extensive microscopic surgery and (miracle of miracles) we were able to get it up and running again. Yea!

While we were out sailing on the sea of Abaco (in the gentle breeze) we heard the bilge pump going off constantly. Ah, now it's time for concern. It appears that we have a leak in the prop shaft. Not good news. We hastily (after having had a little snorkel) made tracks back to the marina. The water was pouring in and our engine compartment was in several inches of water. This is not a good omen, especially on a Friday night - no services available for the next couple of days. We decided to leave it alone until Monday and then try a few "fix-it" tricks. Sitting still in the dock and after cleaning out the waterlogged areas we were pleasantly surprised to find no more leaking. We powered the engine and still no leak. So for now we'll say a prayer or two and hope for the best!

Andrew has been busy cooking for this week's Chili cook-off. It's a "MAN" thing with the RMHYC and all the women are having fun watching the boys get their provisions and talk about their secret recipes.  The cook-off is now over and it was a lot of fun. I've never tasted so many varieties of chili: buzzard chili, squirrel chili, skid-mark chili, and more and more. One of the attendees, and the most noticeable by far, was Cathie Jung, the woman with the world's smallest waist, only 15 inches! She's in the Guinness Book of World records. I don't think she ate anything. It's an interesting world! (see picture)

Chefs Andrew & Carl enjoying a well deserved drink.

Aah, Buzzard Breath

Home brew

The winners of all categories: hot/spicy, medium, mild & unusual.

A full house for the feast.

Lois, Sue and Judy enjoying the evening.

Cathie Jung was there too.

Week Four:

Cold Cold Cold. This week has been very cold and raining. Temperatures at one time were in the 40's with a wind blowing. We have stayed inside the boat reading, knitting and doing some boat projects. We have also revised our budget and it's not a pretty picture. However, it had to be done and we will have to make some substantial changes.

We went to the Jib Room for a meal (probably the last supper!!) with about 20 other RMHYC members and we all had a great time. There was music and a limbo contest - well, not really a contest considering none of us are that limber any more, but it was fun. Later in the week the weather started to improve so we invited 6 other people to join us for a day sail. Great company and good food- and everybody that needed a nap got one ......... except Andrew.

At the Jib Room for Steak Night

Shirley,Ed,Mary and Paul

Vanessa is taken uner the limbo.

And then the bar is lowered.!!!

This is the way to arrive and leave the resort. Straight onto the beach.

Joan, Jim and Carl at the helm on a day sail.

Lois at the helm having fun.

Wink has to have his afternoon nap on the day sail.

After Wink, Lois has her power nap whilst underway.



Week Five:

We feel like the energizer bunny so far this week.......On Saturday we went out in Pat & Ray's trawler for the day. Andrew came very close to another "heave ho" event and is very pleased we decided not to buy a trawler. The rest of us had a ball, snorkeling and beachcombing at Sandy Cay. On Sunday Vanessa went fishing with 18 others on Wink's "trawler". Andrew decided not to go for fear of producing more chum than was necessary! It was a good day and we had strawberry grouper for dinner that night. Vanessa didn't catch one fish all day but managed to lose about three sets of tackle.

The weather has been good so far this week, so on Monday we took the boat out for an overnighter to Bakers Bay on Great Guana Cay. We had a really good (long) walk all around the top of the island where they are building a high end luxury complex. We hear that some famous names have already been to take a look at the plots which range from $2M to $12M. The resort at the far end was lovely, we were the only ones there.....shame there was a security guard on duty! Unfortunately the anchorage was not so lovely and we had an uncomfortable night bouncing around. On Tuesday we left for home (our marina) and a sound night's sleep.

Bright and early Wednesday morning we took a boat load of sailing "virgins" out for the day. We had a very pleasant sail and I think all enjoyed it, even though we got rained on for a while.

Thursday, and it's a trip to the fishing tackle store to replace all the lost gear. It was not cheap so I reckon the grouper cost us $18. Ah, but it was fun.  Pat had the store owner rig her Cuban reel for bottom fishing and now she's ready to catch dinner.

Do you know what a "Cuban Reel" is? No......well it's a bit like an oversized yoyo and you reel the fish in by hand. The Bahamians have done it this way very successfully for years and there's very little to it. It also takes up no space. Now Patty just catch a fish!

The weather report for the next week is pretty lousy (gale force winds and cool) so we'll be doing plenty of projects here at the dock.  First on the list is a glass bottomed bucket. Figure out what you can do with it!

Jim & John filleting the catch. Gail salivating over dinner!

Queen Trigger fish, caught by Jim. What teeth!

Guana Cay, Baker's Bay

Vanessa walks alone, oceanside Guana.

Sea of Abaco side of Guana.

Grabbing a free ride, Paul and Wink.

Shirley at the helm.

Ed, the sailing "virgin" takes the helm.

Mary and Paul at Paul's birthday bash in the Angler's Restaurant.