Sunday, May 31, 2009

Some More Pics

Shuttle Launch Station

Light house...obv

In a little Creek





Suicide Stairs
(thats seriously what they're called)

A Fireman Got Married

Day 266

Today was a short 30mile stint. We left the creek and headed north although most of the time we were heading east or west. Georgia’s section of the waterway twists and turns and most of the time we’re either heading east or west. We were at Isle Of Hope around 1ish but had to stand off for quite a while before entering the marina. We chose to stop early today because while in Fort Pierce Papa ordered a new chart plotter and had it shipped here.
Once we were in and settled we decided to head into Savannah to tour around. We got on an Ole Savannah tour bus and actually had a nice I enjoy some history but I’ve been on some really boring tours... but it was fun. We got off the bus by the river and looked through shops, had a great supper and shopped some more =]. By the time we were back onboard we were tired and flaked out in front of the tv! lol



We saw soo many dolphins. More than we’ve seen on this whole trip and many of the pods had a few babies. We traveled all day and anchored in Kilkenny Creek for the night. Not long after we anchored a storm moved in and we had a nice lightening show...all night -_-.


Friday, May 29, 2009

Day 265

We were going to get an early start today but it was foggy so we were forced to stay put. Papa worked on the engine, changing the oil and fuel filters. By the time we were underway it was noon. On the way we had to pass a government navy dock and saw patrol boat circling for quite a while before we saw a submarine tied alongside the wall. We crossed into Georgia and went past Cumberland Island. Papa was the first to notice a small herd of the wild horses. We pulled in at the Jekyll Island marina for the night and made good use of the facilities. It was such a hot day so it didn’t take long before we were up enjoying the pool. Tomorrow we’re hoping to be able to get an early start and get several miles behind us.


Day 264

I wanted to get internet in the morn as soon as the office was open so even though we weren’t leaving early I didn’t get to sleep in. We were underway before noon and made it to Fernandina Beach by 4. We picked up a mooring just before it started to pour. When the rain cleared we headed into town and walked about the little shops and picked up some grocery items. Travelling the ICW doesn’t really give me many good blog topics =[.


Day 263

It was another long day. We made it to Jacksonville Beach and took a dock for the night. Umm I can’t really think of anything eventful that happened today =/. We got in just before it started it rain and Papa decided he was cooking tonight so we went to a restaurant not very far away for supper.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Day 262

..Ok maybe we weren’t as spry and ready to get moving in the morning as we though... we planned on leaving at first light, but who needs plans? At 7am Grama woke up and was hollering for me to get my...butt... out of bed and by 7:15 we were well underway.

It was a long day and there were a few stressful moments with the amount of traffic since it was the last day of the holiday weekend. And you can’t have a long day on the ICW without going hard aground. Those are just rules. If you travel the ICW you need to be prepared for:
1) Power-boaters who think it’s funny to see how fast they can pass you and how much wake they can create.
2) You need to be ready to dodge tons of crab pots.
3) You need to be ready for the invasion of a million freaken horse flies that cover every inch of canvas onboard.
4) And most of all you need patience. This is for when you think you’re done for the night after more than 10 hours underway and are looking for an anchorage... then you go so hard aground that there is nothing you can do to get off. You try lowering the dingy off the foredeck and putting the motor on and trying to pull the boat off...and push the boat off...and then call Tow Boat US to come save the day. Then when all that is done and your finally free you get to travel another hour to find the narrowest anchorage that unless desperate (since the sun was setting and a storm fast approaching we qualified for desperate) it is said no one anchors there anymore. It is now that everyone onboard needs extreme patience to get the hook down without killing each other.

Traveling the Inter Coastal Waterway is not for the faint of heart lmao. I’m alive to type this out at 10:31pm so I think all in all it was an ok day. We travelled 70miles (statured not nautical unfortunately) so now we only have 809.2miles left in the ICW (Norfolk, VA is the end of the ICW).

Just reading over this I realize how sarcastic and pissy it makes me sound lol. I would never say I’m not sarcastic or pissy (Grama calls me pissy all the time) but tonight’s turned out to be a nice night, hot as hell, but nice. We’re all in good moods and feel like we’ve accomplished something today, but looking back...well when I think about all the things I ‘endured’ it really amounts to nothing other than constant annoyances, mainly due to the amount of people and I don’t remember it driving me so over the edge on our way down. The Bahamas had been isolated...the exumas atleast... and now the constant buzz of people is exciting yes but there is no more peaceful nights with no unnatural noise, there is no more turquoise water, no more watching for starfish and sharks, no more Bahamas time and (don’t let papa read this or he will be dancing around saying ‘I told you so!’ lol) I kinda miss it. I feel like a horse that’s headed back for the barn, pulling at the bit and traveling as fast as we can, and I’m dying to get home...but I’ve made up my mind that at some point I have to go back to the Bahamas, step back out of the busy rush north Americans live for and get back on Island time =]


Day 261

This morning started out slow with coffee in the club house/ Mike’s workshop. Eventually after several goodbyes we headed out with Southern Cross. It was a nice day up the ICW and uneventful. I think from now on my posts are going to be short and basically just stating from where to where every day. Sinn Fein has made it as far north as they are going and today as we pulled into Titus Ville it really hit home that this is the end of the road for Southern Cross. We have been told that Ab and Karen might be in Belhaven NC (the place with the human foetuses in formaldehyde and we had our first crab dinner). Vertigo is thought to be a bit north of there. So we have a few lone days ahead of us. We toyed with the idea of staying, borrowing a car from friends we made in the Bahamas, and checking out the Cape Canaveral Space Center. I thought it would be fun but we’re itching to get north and hopefully catch Wipp or Vert before they make it back to Port Stanley. Tomorrow we depart at first light and we plan to go till dusk...the long trek home has begun.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Day 260

Well last night after the blog I headed out to the camp fire and then headed back to Sinn Fein for a movie night with Maria.

This morning Maria and I were lazy. The boys were off to marine stores and the ladies were off shoping so we laid in bed watching movies. By the time we got up it was into the afternoon and Grams told me I needed to clean up my berth...lately I have just been spending the least amount of time I can on the boat and...well it looks like a hurricane went through the V berth...

At 6 we headed up for a dinner/club party and had sooooo much food! We talked and Maria convinced me to play ping pong with her and then it was time for smores!


Friday, May 22, 2009

Day 259

Today we had some nice weather and made it to Melbourne. Just as we were heading in the channel a big black storm cloud hovered overhead and we were worried about a big storm just as we were going to dock. Luckily the storm blew over and we got only a few drops of rain.

Melbourne is where Sinn Fein is being left for the summer and Kathy has continually told us how great it is...we weren’t too excited and planned to move tomorrow but now that we’re here and enjoying the people we’re going to stay another day if not a week lol.

We got off the boat and we’re invited to have a happy hour. It’s been fun and at the moment there’s a camp fire going that maria wants to drag me off to. It looks like it will be a late night with lots of laughs.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Day 258

We were suppose to leave this morning but with it down pouring and a ton of wind we decided to stay put on the dock. I can’t say we did anything of significance today but I hung out with Karen and Maria. Grama, Papa, Kathy and Larry took the car and went to Walmart and Kmart and Denis...I didn’t really see Denis today. We plan to leave tomorrow morn and hopefully the weather will be a little nicer.


Day 257

Sinn Fein made it here this morning! They have been down in Miami and are going to travel with us as far as Melbourne (a day away) where they will be leaving their boat. We hung out and got caught up and Maria and I did laundry lol. It was an uneventful day but we went out for pizza and this time the pizza place was open. It was fun and our group was loud and rowdy and we had a great time =].


Day 256

We’ve been in need of a girls day out so today Grama, Karen and I went shopping and to get haircuts! I have been dying for a haircut! We got our haircut in the morning and then headed to a very good Tai restaurant we went to back in Jan. It was great and once the rain cleared up a bit we headed from little shop to little shop.

I couldn’t tell you what the boys did all day but when we got back to the boat Papa was sitting down below playing with his Blackberry. I can’t wait to get back to Canada and to get my cell turned on! We watched tv tonight for the first time in I don’t know how long and enjoyed the free wifi =]. As much as I miss the natural beauty of the islands civilization feels nice!


Day 255

Today we had to deal with immigration and I was nervous about it. Who enjoys government offices? We rented a car and headed over. Surprisingly it painless and didn’t take very long. On the way back to the boat Grama and I went into a Publix... We aren’t use to the huge grocery stores anymore and kinda went overboard buying things we couldn’t get in the islands. Chips and fresh fruit and pop and non sweet bread and milk!

When we got back to the boat we had lunch and then Denis, Karen, Grama, Papa and I headed out shopping. We went to West Marine and got looking at condos all afternoon. We decided to go out for pizza tonight and at suppertime we headed to the Italian place we had seen. It was closed =[ but we went next door to a Greek restaurant =].


Day 254

We pulled out of the anchorage and were underway at 2am as we said. The moon was beautiful in the sky with Venus next to it. I couldn’t help but to think about Wendy from Say Yes =] Venus is her star. It was a long night and day.

We arrived and were docked in Fort Pierce Florida at 5:45pm...we got off the boats and Southern Cross and ourselves went out for dinner, had showers and headed to bed.


Day 253

It was a nice calm day. We once had a bit of rain but other than that I laid around reading. We saw fish muds, where the fish stir up the sand and it looks like a huge several hundred foot sandbar and in a little over 10 hours we were in and anchored. We talked to the other boats and agreed to leave at 2am to head across the Gulf stream... I put my bikini on and went for a swim. By the time we had supper and started to try to fall asleep it was maybe 4h before we were suppose to haul anchor and be leaving. I watched the clock and counted down the mins until we had to be up.


Day 252

This morning Toucan Dream came by after looking at the weather and called a weather meeting. It looks like the front will allow us a crossing very shortly but if we miss it we may be stuck for a few weeks. Lol stuck in paradise some might say... This trip has been amazing and an incredible experience and i wouldn’t trade it for the world...but it’s lonely and I’m looking forward to seeing my friends and family again. Physically this is paradise but you need the people you care about to truly make it paradise.

That said we headed out to Allens-Pensacola, a day sail and one day away from what will be our jump off point. We could be 2 days away from our destination I thought... I was soo excited...but then you think about all the responsibility and work back home lol...I’m going to miss the colour of the water, the amount of stars, the sea life, the little towns and times like Black Point and the mac and cheese!! I knew I would probably have only one more time to snorkel because we were suppose to have a layday tomorrow and then start to cross.

We made it to Pensacola and were anchored and invited over to Confluence. It was nice and we talked for a while before supper. When we got back to the boat we ate and then Grama and Papa headed over to after dinner martinis on Toucan Dream while I decided to skip and stay onboard and read.

When they came back I was told we’re doing a 10h sail to Mangrove Cay tomorrow and then crossing the next day so we should get to bed.

To be honest (as I’m typing this out after the fact) I really didn’t believe I would be in the states in 2 days... I thought we would get storm stead and I’d have more time to snorkel and explore and escape reality lol. Living in a world with limited news and isolated islands has its ups and downs but as much as I wanted to see people I enjoyed the beauty of the islands and had trouble leaving them.


Day 251

Today is some sort of deal day at a marina here where any food or drinks you buy will be credited to your dockage and they advertise you drinking your dockage away. So quite a few of us decided to head into the dock and do just that lol. Ourselves, Southern Cross, Sea Dancer and Toucan Dream decided to lay by the pool for the day and later have supper at the marina restaurant. It was fun and soo nice to lay by the pool (although I burnt =[. I was doing so well and I’m more tanned then I’ve ever been!). We talked about weather windows and when we might be able to cross to the states and what this tropical wave might do... We’re going to have quite a crossing party as boats began to talk and agree about crossing times. So far we have ourselves (obviously) and southern Cross, and then Sea Dancer, Southern Estate, Confluence, Toucan Dream and possibly another cat to make up our flotilla.


Day 250

We slept in this morning and eventually decided to go tour New Plymouth, the settlement on Green Turtle. We headed over in the dingy and on the way looked at a boat Bob asked Denis to check out. When we arrived we checked out several little shops and walked some of the town. The towns in the Abaco are huge cities compared to the towns farther south in the Exumas. It’s like trying to compare Shedden to London. The town was very cute and surprisingly there were no dirt roads. They had a museam and a memorial sculpture garden. We scouted out places to have lunch and went to 3 recommended places to find they were closed and eventually made it to a place called Macintosh. The food was incrediable and we were soo stuffed we didn’t even eat dinner when we finally got back to the boat. We agreed to go into a bar to hear a local musician around 9 but we could hear him from the boat and decided to stay onboard.

Hope Town

Me climbing the mast

And Climbing

Still Climbing

Woot finally at the top

taking pics x]

Green Turtle Cay

Well I've been up the mast and got pics so we had to get me sitting on the Keel

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Day 249

We were up in good time to have showers and get ready to head over to Green Turtle Cay. Once underway we only part way out the channel before Southern Cross’s engine died and they started to head back under sail. We turned around in case they needed assistance and once we were in the lee of the land there was too little wind to give them steerage and we towed them into the anchorage.

In no time we were underway again, Denis having patched up a leak in his diesel hose. The trip was short and we made it into the anchorage in good time...although we had some trouble getting the anchor to set. 1) the anchor doesn’t set well in weed, 2) no one was really communicating 3) our anchor caught a 6’ loose pipe on the bottom that we were unaware of until we pulled up the anchor after dragging it across the anchorage. Needless to say we were happy when we finally got it to set.

It was such a hot night and Grama made up some great stir fry but the cooking almost made the cabin unbearably hot! We went to sleep with the hatches open so of course it had to rain lol.


Day 248

This morning we felt lazy. Running the genny (a.k.a the generator or Grama’s red baby) and we had some light rain. Unfortunately the hatches in both the head and the aft cabin were open and we had a bit of water to clean up.

After lunch we headed into land and I had some more online time before talking to a guy I met and went spear I was nervous, someone being as accident prone as I shouldn’t swim with a spear! But it was fun. We went to a sunken barge and really didn’t see anything edible. We gave up on that location and headed towards a cove... not realizing that a large shallow patch ran quite a ways out before we could get back in and when the bottom came abruptly up we had to get the motor up and had a time using the oars to push against the waves and into deeper water (neither of us had shoes and the coral was too sharp to just get out and push it). Oh well we called it an adventure. Back in deeper water we still didn’t see any game fish and started to head back. We checked out a little island and found some creepy stuff (a stuffed duck and jars of god knows what). We decided to try one last spot (well he did because he had bragged that we would catch a few fish at the barge and had nothing) just outside of the channel he got out and looked around and when he said there were fish I got in. There were fish but here the water was murky and after a few boats came flying in the no wake channel we decided it was too dangerous to be in the water there and headed back.

Southern Cross invited us to supper and at 6 we were ready to head over when it started to rain. We thought oh well rain lasts like 5 mins so we waited...and waited and waited some more lol. Finally we got over there a half an hour later and Denis cooked up some great pork tenderloin and Karen did some sides and it was delicious.

I went to Blue Runner at 730ish and had to show Nick how to use a vacuum sealer lol and he tried to teach me to prepare the ballyhoo (a type of fish) to be used as bait. You had to poke the eyes out and literally squeeze the crap out of them and I told him he was nuts and went to post some stuff to the blog haha. When I got back we went to one of his friend’s boats and watched hockey! Lol I haven’t watched hockey since I was home for Christmas and went to a Knights game with my dad.


Day 247

Today started out great! I went and sat online for most of the morning lol. I miss talking to everyone and hearing about prom and my cousin was telling me about the dress she got...
In the afternoon the internet died and I had two guys come try to help me. We talked for quite a while and I was invited back to the Blue Runner for dinner. Grama and Papa liked the idea and quickly made plans for a romantic dinner alone lol. I couldn’t have giving her a better mothers day present.

Grams and I laid by the pool and kinda napped on and off until dinner time. They headed to the restaurant and I headed for dinner and we both had a fun evening.

When I got back onboard that evening I had to tell Grams and Papa about the Blue Runner. It’s a 61’ sport fisher that is quite impressive. When I first got onboard I think the first thing I noticed was a HUGE flat screen tv that at the push of a button disappeared into the cabinet below it. It had a large kitchen that i was completely jealous of, it had several rooms and 3 heads with glass showers. When you’re in the stern and open a door to go below there were two of the largest engines I have ever seen and was immediately thankful of our motor. These are probably more than 30x the size of ours and looking at one of the filters that weighs a little more than 40lbs ours seems simple. I mean on our motor Papa can easily change the oil and do most repairs on his own, on these it takes 2 people and quite a few hours to change the oil. I have a new appreciation for the Butt and if I were ever to get a large power boat it will be large enough to have mechanics to take care of any of that crap!


Monday, May 11, 2009

Day 246

Arrived in Treasure Cay. It was a short trip like all the others and we were nicely anchored in the afternoon. Tomorrows Mothers Day so when I found there was good internet here I quickly made use of it and made several skype calls home =]. At 9pm there was a band playing at a local bar and Grama and Papa went... I had alot to catch up on online =]


Day 245

We lazed around in the morning. Papa and Denis headed into town to go to the bank and pick up a few things at the grocery store. Grama and I sat in the cockpit and did nothing. We did see a turtle and when Grama started to throw bread crumbs overboard we had several schools of fish and one large mutton snapper swimming around the boat.

In the early afternoon we hauled up anchor and headed over to Man-O-War Cay. It was a very short trip (only 8 or 9 miles) and within no time we were in the harbour and tied to a mooring ball. We went ashore and did a walk about the island, had ice cream and Grams, Pops and Southern Cross enjoyed the pool.


Day 244

This morning the mechanic came aboard and confirmed our alternator was toast from the start. He said it was definitely faulty from the factory. So we called up the supplier we got the alternator from and he called the factory several times for us and then told us that he was getting nowhere with them and we should call the factory ourselves. We called and the manager answered right away and would not listen to the situation and cut papa short and told him to look in his warranty manual on pg25 and it clearly states that we would have to send our alternator back to them and wait for the factory to determine that it was faulty (although regardless of whether it was faulty from the start or not it’s less than 3 months old and is covered under warranty anyways!). They refused to even send an alternator, give us a time frame to send our alternator back and if they find its fine they could charge it to papas credit card.

We tried to explain that the belt that runs the alternator is also the belt that runs the cooling system in our engine and to remove it would make us immobile. The manager commented back that if we were any kind of sailors we would have spares. We said we did have a spare, we have two Power line alternators and they both died on us! Needless to say we did not get a new alternator shipped to us and looking at the weather forecast we can’t stay put here or else it will be several more weeks before we get a good window to cross back to the states. Grama and I wanted off of the boat. We took the dingy and headed over to Southern Cross, picked up Karen and headed into town lol.

When we got back to the boat we decided to have Karen and Denis over for dinner and we had a nice night. They only condition was no one was allowed to say alternator >_>


Day 243

This morning we decided it was calm enough and the fact that we haven’t had a wind instrument (tells wind speed and direction) since we left Nassau on day 156... basicaly that day Grama was mad and said she didn’t want to see any more 30 knot winds and the wind instrument quite working and we haven’t had it since. So I was going to go up the mast and see if there was any obstructions blocking the instrument from spinning and working and I took up some corrosion lock to try and see if that would help.

In going up the mast I have the bosun’s chair but it would be hard for papa to grind me all the way to the top so I have to literally climb the mast. By the time I got to the top I was exhausted! I played with the wind instrument for a while and applied a ton of corrosion block but it was still stiff and we think it has permanently seized and we’ll need to replace it when we get home. When we determined that I stopped and just looked around at the view. From here I could see over to the ocean, all of hope town and alot of boats lol. I said to Grama that I should have brought the camera up and she agreed so I told her to attach it to the spinnaker halyard and send it up...well there was another little problem with that, the spinnaker halyard doesn’t come to the top of the mast it goes to about 4’ down from the top. So I had to stretch and struggle mostly out of the bosun’s chair and grab it with my toes and hoist it doing so the straps on the bosun’s chair were moved to awkward spots and I no longer think I have a right boob but I did get some nice pictures.

By the time I was back on the deck we had to get ready to move to marsh harbour. We got everything ready to quickly go into the fuel dock before we were to head out and then we found out there was a long line up for the fuel dock and we had to sit and wait for quite a while. So we decided to run the engine so we would be ready to slip our lines and go...and the engine over heated and the alternator started to it did when we first put it on. Papa played with the engine but couldn’t find anything wrong or different but the alternator wouldn’t do its third step up and was making a squealing noise =/.

We finally got to the fuel dock and filled our diesel, gas and water tanks and then we headed to Marsh Harbour. It was an easy sail and we were in and anchored and off the boat in no time. We went looking for a mechanic and booked a guy to come out tomorrow morning.


Day 242

We walked Hope Town and shopped =]. We hit an ice cream place and when we decided that it was too hot going around town we headed over to the marina pool.

For supper it was dinner movie night at an inns bar. We sat outside under the stars and watched Australia. It was a good movie and with the blowing wind we had real sound effects.


Day 241

We sailed almost all the way to Hope Town. Today’s sail was how I envisioned the Bahamas. We only did about 3-4 knots but it was nice. We had several tacks and jibes but the boat was perfectly still and the water was a mill pond.

Getting into Hope Town we picked up a mooring ball and though wow this is crowded. It was getting later so we stayed onboard... Im not sure how I’m going to do when we get home because there was a bit of traffic noise and it bugged me..


Day 240

At slack tide we went snorkelling. The snorkelling was right out in the open by a large cut. The waves were rolling in and I decided to stay in the dingy and lay in the sun. The ride home we were beating into the swells and by the time we got to the beach we looked like drown rats.

At the beach we collected shells and once we were back onboard we showered off, got in dry clothes and put on our wet gear to go to town. We wanted to see the art gallery and we heard of a fish fry. When we got there the gallery was closed (it was suppose to be open till 4 and it was 1) and we were told the fish fry wasn’t happening. We decided to make the best of it and walked to the ocean side beach and got drinks at the bar.


Day 239

I was up early to have a last LONG hot shower... mainly just to prove Grama wrong that i could get up early :P. We slipped our dock lines at 7:15 and headed over to the
It was a looonnnnggg day but i managed to only get seasick once and only for a short time.

Got into the Abaco and nicely anchored behind Lynyard Cay. It was calm and nice. But it took a few tries to get the fortress to set. We had a lazy night and stayed aboard making plans for tomorrow


Day 237

We’re possibly leaving tomorrow so I went up to the golf cart rental place where I can get free internet and spent from 10:30am to 4:30pm downloading the blog and putting up pics and videos. When I got back to the boat we left for southern cross who had invited us over to dinner. It was delicious and we had a great time.

Now today I would like to point out that things do go on and I have to omit them from the blog as to be politically correct. Today was interesting sitting at the golf cart place and when I’m not posting it online it’s a funny story...


Captain’s Log

Spanish Wells
The Bahamas

April 25 2009

I last wrote on February 5 in Nassau. From Nassau we made our way downthe Exuma chain to Georgetown on Great Exuma Island, southeast to LongIsland, back to Georgetown and retraced our steps up the Exuma Chain. Last week we crossed the banks back to New Providence, but rather thanentering Nassau harbour we chose to anchor off Rose Island, just minutesfrom downtown Nassau, yet a tranquil beach (except when the cruise shipsoff loaded passengers to the beach in their bum boats) with reefs tosnorkel right off the stern of the boat. We have been with SouthernCross, Windswept and Sinn Fein. Windswept and Sinn Fein are enteringNassau harbour and heading back to Bimini and then Miami. We have crossedthe North East Providence Channel to Spanish Wells, just north ofEleuthera and are waiting out yet another cold front before we move northto Great Abaco. We have just extended our visas enabling us to remain inthe Bahamas till May 24 2009.

Let me elaborate on the ‘cold fronts’ we have experienced down here. Acold front does bring cooler but also more stable air. That means aslight dip in temperature from the mid 80’s to mid 70’s if you are on theboat. On land it’s still typically much warmer. I haven’t worn longpants since Miami and only seldom do you add a sweater over a shortsleeved T shirt. The ‘cold front’ problem is the high winds that comefrom the North to East quadrant (00 – 90 degrees). Depending where youare it’s difficult to impossible to move a boat to a new destination inthese conditions. Consequently we spent a lot more time in Georgetownbecause we couldn’t get out. Right now in Spanish Wells the weatherforecast suggests it will be next weekend before we can head north to theAbacos. We plan to spend perhaps two weeks in the Abacos and then crossback to Florida mid May.

Over Easter David and Karen Kentner flew in to join us at Staniel Cay. Wehad a great time snorkelling the Thunderball Cave (as in 007 movies) aswell as great reefs in Cambridge Cay which is part of the Exuma Cays Landand Sea Park, My favourite was the reef and two caves at Rocky Dundas. Their visit was a great boost for us and a chance to share our Bahamasexperience with family.

Several nights ago in Spanish Wells we enjoyed ‘the hour of the swallow’(actually it was a pleasant two hours) at the home of Tom and JeanGoldson, with our hosts and locals Jock and Hawk and their wives and ofcourse Dennis and Karen from Southern Cross. The get together was theresult of a chance meeting between Southern Cross and Tom and Jean. Assoon as Port Stanley was mentioned they wanted to know if we knew Marv andMary Nethercott. Of course we do. Well they cruised with them over 10years ago on their first cruise south. Since them they bought a differentboat, sold their home in Rhode Island and bought property in SpanishWells. Although its been a long while since they cruised together theyremember Marv and Mary with great fondness. Being from Port Stanley andknowing those that have cruised before us (Nethercotts, Rands, Don Wilson,Lesaks) has become a badge of honour to be worn proudly. It has been thepassport to many memorable encounters with long term cruisers.

We have been cruising now some eight months and I sense my crew is readyfor a vacation from the vacation. They are ready to step back into theold familiar life. “The sea faring rat”, a character from one of myfavourite books “Wind in the Willows” talks about going to sea, steppingout of the old life and into the new as a simple transitory action that ina moment of time changes you forever. Not so for my crew. The odyssey iswinding down. When we hit the Florida coast it will be a hurried treknorth and this passage will become but a warm memory.

Luckily for me it will be a part of me forever. ‘Though it has been farmore enjoyable for me I couldn’t have experienced this on my own. I willalways be grateful to Maxine and Niki for living my dream and making it areality.

S/V Nice Butt