Saturday, November 30, 2013

Tribute to Tara

This is a tribute to Tara.  She died last night, in a horrible and painful death.  No, I am just kidding, but she deserves some additional thanks.  She says that she doesn't need the "thank you's", and the little compliments, but we will keep dishing them out because she works so hard.  We eat like kings, because she sweats it out next to a hot stove, in a boat without air conditioning, and sometimes without a breeze.  Our Thanksgiving seemed just like the ones at home (minus 20 to 30 people).  She found a small turkey breast to roast, mashed the potatoes, and even modified the stuffing packet from the store to match my mom's recipe.  There was also green beans, a salad, rolls, and cranberry salsa (a recipe from our sister in law Natalie, that makes the holidays).  Then, because we ate so much she made the strawberry, and blueberry shortcake the next morning just to top it off.  This isn't the only meal that she worked hard on.  Right now she is cooking breakfast as she does most days.  She has made many good meals from breakfast burritos, to eggs benedict, to french toast made with homemade bread.  Then finishes it off by hand washing the dishes.  She also keeps the boat clean and organized.  It seems that some days she is following us around cleaning up after us.  She also hand washes all the laundry.  That requires putting some fresh water in a tote, laundry soap, and then stomping it if we aren't sailing to do the agitation for us.  Then she wrings out the water, and hangs it all over the boat to dry.  She is the hardest worker here, and pulls more than her share of the duties.  Thanks again Tara!  Love, Preston.


We will have a day of good weather and then a day of windy weather.  On the good weather days we take the dingy out to different islands and go exploring.  The last island we went to had a fantastic beach and trails that take you from one side of the island to the other.  We swam a while then followed one of the trails around the island.  The next day was windy so we decided not to try and dingy anywhere.  Instead we did boat projects! YAY!!  Lucy got a much needed haircut, the water maker got new filters and a new membrane, we charged the batteries to 100%, did the laundry, and helped Stray Cat get their sail back up.  I think Lucy loves getting her hair cut, because she just lays there for the hour it takes me to buzz her.  She doesn't try to leave or fight me on the weird positions I put her in.  I found a tic on her the other day and decided her hair was too long.  As we headed over to Stray Cat to help them put their sail up that they hand sewed back together we should have realized that is was too windy to put a sail up.  After we hoisted Fred up to the top of his mast we started feeding the sail through the furling roller.  When the sail was about a quarter of the way up the it started flapping like crazy.  The higher and higher it went the more wind it would grab.  Debbie and I were trying our best to hold onto the sail as it was flailing about.  We were being thrashed all over the front of the boat.  Our hands were gripping as hard as we could and we were using our weight to try and hold the sail, but it had a mind of its own and it was going to throw us off the boat!  We finally gave up and rolled the jib in with still a foot to go.  It was pretty funny.  The other boaters around us were on their bows watching and I'm sure laughing as we were getting thrown about.  We went back today and got the sail all the way up and rolled in.
Georgetown itself is great little town.  I already told you how great their market is, but I have to tell you again because it is very far and in-between when we can find everything we need.  The hardware store is just as well stocked and we were able to find everything we needed there too!  It is different to see how Bahamians live compared to how Americans live.  The biggest thing we have noticed is that they have no where to put their garbage, so almost everything gets repurposed or is used until there is nothing left.  The ladies here weave the bark of the coconut trees into baskets, hats, and mats.  It is interesting to watch the intricuit braiding being weaved as the gossip circle gathers.
We went out dinner with Stray Cat the other night.  After searching for the only pizza place in town and fining out they were out of cheese, we ended up getting cheeseburgers at the yacht club.  It was a great night with great food.  We enjoy the company and conversation with Stray Cat and hope to follow their adventure as we move forward tomorrow and they stay here waiting for their son to visit.  Thanks again Stray Cat for being so generous and helping us along the way.

Friday, November 29, 2013

This is Not Sea World

A few days ago we were talking to some friends that had stopped by our boat to ask us about our SSB radio and this lone dolphin started circling our boat.  As we talked the dolphin swam slowly around our boat about 10 times.  After they left we grabbed the camera, and snorkel gear and eased ourselves in the water off the back of the boat.  He didn't seem spooked at all.  He actually preferred to swim with us!  We spent the next hour or so just playing with this dolphin.  We could swim up to about 3 feet from him before he would back off a little bit, but if we backed off he would come chase us to play some more.  We were having so much fun we swam over to our neighbors Stray Cat with dolphin in tow and they jumped in to swim with us too.  I don't think he was looking for food, but just some friends to swim with.  We went back to our boat and he followed again and started swimming circles around us again.  Preston decided he was going to dive in at him to see what he would do.  We both thought he would take off the second Preston hit the water.  Boy were we wrong.  We waited until the dolphin was close then Preston leaped off the boat made a big splash and the dolphin almost copied what Preston did.  As soon as Preston hit the water the dolphin would surface and make a splash.  So Preston jumped again and again and again!  I was running around the boat trying to get a good picture and Lucy was running the perimeter of the boat chasing the dolphin.  It was a really great experience.  Swimming with an untamed dolphin in the wild!

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Internet

Wow it is different to have the internet everyday.  We can check the weather, email, and FaceTime friends and family.  It is amazing how much easier the internet makes life.  It gives a certain comfort knowing what the weather will be everyday.  Preston has taken advantage and done some more stock trading.  We are very happy to be in Georgetown.  The area we are exploring is roughly 10 miles long by 2 miles wide filled with small, medium, and large islands.  Not only is Georgetown the largest town we have been to yet, but it has the best stocked market and the prices there are only double that of the USA instead of triple! This will be the last place we can stock the boat before we leave the bahamas and head to Turks & Caicos where we will wait for weather to make our passage south to the Virgin Islands.  For now we are relaxing and exploring the popular Elizabeth Harbor.  There are quite a few boats anchored here, many of which we have already shared an anchorage or two with as we made our way down the Exumas.  Right now the wind is blowing 20-30 knots from the east.  On a boat that is REALLY windy.  We hiked to a monument on Stocking Island the other day.  We climbed straight up the steep face and later found the trail to come down.  There is a bird that has made its nest on top and he didn't like us going up there very much.  There was a really cute bench up there that had hearts carved out all over it and it said "Engaged Here" and the hearts were filled in with names and dates.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Blog Comments

We love getting comments from everyone.  Usually we don't have a good enough internet connection to comment back, but we will try now that we are getting further south where the towns are getting bigger and the internet more frequent.  We usually always laugh out loud when we read them.  Thanks for following us on our adventure.

Passage to Georgetown


Great Guana Cay, to Little Farmers Cay, to Georgetown.  In the last couple days we went lobster hunting again, with none in sight for several miles. Went ashore to find some groceries, and internet a couple times, and moved ourselves roughly 50 miles. We kept running into a couple from another boat called “Stray Cat”.  They are a couple in their mid sixties, and seem to be learning as they go just as we are.  The stitching on their Jib completely tore out at the top of the sail.  Since we have a great industrial sewing machine (“Babe the Blue Ox”) on board to fix our own sails we offered up our services, and they accepted.  Debbie said it would be the greatest anniversary gift ever!  It was their 42nd anniversary that day, so Tara and I loaded up the 50lb beast of a machine, and went over to see if we could help.  After trying for 20-30 minutes and every thread just breaking as it went through, we gave up.  We were not able to help them out, but she told us she would make cookies for us anyway.  The next day we moved to Little Farmers Cay to get ready for an early morning pass so we could make it to Georgetown in the daylight, and Stray Cat asked if they could shadow us.  They anchored 75 yards away, and followed us out of the cut at 4:30 in the morning.  As the day went on we were sailing, but since Freddie is still hand sewing their sail back together with some really thick string, they had to motor.  The winds were a little inconsistent so they passed us by 9:00, and we tacked back and forth 80% of the day.  Anxious to get there, we dropped down the motors, and motor sailed the last leg.  With the entrance to Elizabeth Harbour close, a couple faster boats were passing us, so we gave them some room.  Only one passed, then it was time to head in.  I told Tara and Dan to reel in the fishing lines, so we can drop the sails and navigate through the coral, and reefs.  Just as Tara started to reel in one, the line took off.  Got one! She didn’t want to lose it so she told me to reel it in, just as Dan’s line took off.  We thought maybe one fish grabbed both lines. or maybe they were just tangled.  So Tara jumped on the wheel, clicked on autopilot (General Sherman), dropped the sails, took her bread out of the oven before it burned, then jumped back on the wheel to keep us away from the approaching boat, and reef lined shore.  It turns out we both had a fish on, and the lines were tangled.  With just a little maneuver they were untangled, and one of the 30+ pound Mahi Mahi was on board.  Dan ran up front to get the net so we could pull in the second one without killing it.  While he was up there, the first one flopped on deck, near the edge of the boat.  I grabbed it, and it slipped out of my hands, so Tara pulled it with the hook into our cockpit.  There was blood everywhere.  Dan returned with the net, and handed it to me while he finished reeling it in.  It was another Mahi. So once we got our hook back, took a couple pictures, then released it.  We told our friends on Stray Cat if we catch a fish they were invited over for dinner.  So as we pulled into the packed anchorage, we decided to squeeze in next to them.  Tara called them on the VHF radio to ask them what time they wanted to eat dinner.  They brought over some rice and beans to go with the catch of the day, and Tara’s freshly baked bread.  Then we finally got those cookies for dessert.

 Old mast used as a power pole
Updating the blog anywhere we can get internet
 This is one of the "treasures" taken from the Exuma Park
 Stretching class is held on the trampoline from 1:00-2:00 daily



 Blood Bath