Thursday, March 26, 2009

Day 201

Waking up this morning and not knowing whether we going back on the boat today or not just made me roll over in the nice big bed and try to go back to sleep. Grams just let me sleep until 1030 so I was sure we weren’t leaving today.

I went up to have breakfast and was disappointed that i was 3mins late (it was 10:33) for breakfast and the cheff had left =[, I had to wait for lunch. I chatted with some girls we met who flew in from Miami for a few days.

When I got back to the room Grams and I didn’t do much. Papa had gone down to the boat to run the engine and hope to burn off the smell from the alternator. At 12:30 Grams and I decided to quickly go down to the straw market to find a birthday present and then I was going to take the taxi over to Volleyball beach at 1. Sounded good in theory..and I really wanted to go...but Grama and I couldn’t decide on what to get and before we knew it it was 1:10 =[. We went back to the room and watched tv =]. I missed tv!

When Papa came back he assured us that the smell is now gone (forgive me for not jumping up and down but Papa can’t smell normally so I’m not too convinced...). So we are definitely going to go anchor out tomorrow and possibly leave Friday.

We had lunch here with Clay (from Carleigh) and when finished we again just lazed around :P until supper time, which we were going to have at a pizza place up by fish fry but ended up being lazy and just eating here again at the Peace and Plenty.

When we got back to the room guess what we did...we watched tv... and talked to Aunt Connie around 11 and talked about them possibly coming down to Staniel Cay or Compass Cay for a few days in about 2 weeks =]. I’m VERY excited about everyone coming down. Right now it’s 1am and Grama basically told me I HAD to get the blog up to date tonight. She loves to crack the whip (ily Grams<3).

Niki

Day 200!!

I could get use to staying in the hotel room lol. Its sooo nice having a big bathtub, a soft cozy bed, and a TV!!! We went up to the dining room for breakfast and then got our bathing suits and sun tan lotion on and laid out in the sun.

Papa decided to head down to the boat to run the engine and burn off the smell from the alternator. A little later Rita K came by and we chatted for a while and then went inside to do stuff on the computer. That was pretty much our day. We had supper here and have been really starting to relax and unwind after all the alternator problems

Niki

Day 199

Last night was TERRIBLE!! This dock has no protection and the fetch coming across the harbour...well you can barely walk onboard and when you stand on land you feel soo exhausted because even when you sleep you have to constantly brace yourself.

I woke up to find no one on board and was alone for about an hour lol. I guessed that they just wanted to get off the boat. When they returned we decided to go for a walk to get off the boat and by a new phone card...which since we didn’t want to be on the boat turned into lunch, walking around town and eventually booking a room at the Peace and Plenty for 3 nights. It’s undecided if we will stay the 3 days but with us not being convinced about the alternator being fine...and the weather is soo bad you get sea sick just looking at the boat rock while standing on shore...well we might easily be convinced to take a vacation from our vacation.

We packed bags and headed over. The room is nice with 2 double beds a nice porch with a view of the harbour and a bath tub!

We decided not to go far and eat here at the Peace and Plenty and I convinced Grama to try to play the ring game lol.

Niki

Day 198

I wanted off the boat today so I put on my bikini and grabbed my towel, sunscreen and a book and laid out on the dock for most of the day. Eventually Grama joined me but around 330ish there was so much cloud cover the sun wasn’t keeping us warm and the wind is soo cold.

I played some scrabble and after supper we watched movies. The whole time we were watching the second movie I couldn’t stop thinking that this would be a movie to watch with CW. This is a great trip and I am loving it...but I do miss home.

Niki

Day 197

I was barely out of bed when Alvin came back to do some more work on the engine.

Today I didn’t even bother to be looking over their shoulders to figure out what was going on...If i act ignorant to the problem will it go away? We all seem to be slightly shorter with each other (except me, I’m perfect x]...ok ok Mama and Aunti J you can stop laughing at that I’ll admit I’m not perfect..but pretty close :P). The dock we are on has NO protection and is the WORST dock I have ever been on! But because of this problem we can’t leave and we’re trapped.

Alvin wasn’t here long before he took Papa out to buy a new starting battery. Apparently our starting battery was dead and we’ve been starting the engine off of the house batteries..which isn’t good considering how low we were letting the house batteries get.

While they were away Grama and I defrosted and cleaned out the fridge and barely had finished when they returned. They changed some fluid in the engine and then we were told we were good to go. We ran the engine and Papa claimed he couldn’t smell the smell but he must have a clogged nose because Grama and I could definitely smell it!!

We didn’t do much else for the rest of the day...ohh wait we wanted to turn the boat around so we would be bow into the waves so with the help of One Day (they happened to have come to check on us) we walked the boat around in the slip without having to turn on the engine and attempt to redock.

By the time we moved the boat it was almost supper time and we sat around reading and trying to take our mind off of the alternator and the worsening weather.

Niki

Day 196

We had a mechanic by the name of Alvin come over to check on the alternator today. He couldn’t find anything wrong with the alternator but talked with Papa about different things, found our starting battery was dead and thought the smell was stronger down by the water pump.

When Alvin left Papa thought he would change the impellor to see if that was the problem. It was a good thing to check but it looked new.

Grama and I needed to get off the boat so we headed over to Volleyball beach. We had a good time and when we got back to the boat Rita K and Clay had told Papa we should come to the happy hour over at the bar at the Peace and Plenty (there are only a few places to go here lol). It was a fun night. We met some guys and got playing this ring toss game and we were all gambling with it lmao it was pathetic but one of the guys kept paying for me. Rita K and I would start to leave and he’d holler at us and say he was paying my buy in.

We met some of Rita K and Clay’s friends and it’s funny how everyone knows our boat and how it got its name lmao. I still think one of the funniest moments on this trip was when Papa was getting our drinks Back at the Long Island Breeze a week or so ago he overheard some guy we didn’t know telling another cruiser how the boat Nice Butt got its name. The same thing happened here as we were leaving.

Niki

Day 195

Today Papa read every bit of information on the alternator and regulator. He looked up phone numbers and made inquiries about how hot the alternator should run while putting out a full charge.

Grama and I kinda went around and tried to stay off of the boat talking with people here and there. We ran into One Day. They are fellow Canadians who know Vertigo because he (Tony from One Day) use to teach.

When we returned to the boat in the late afternoon we told Papa that we heard of a mechanic and his wife was up at Sammy’s (a little bar on top of the Marina) right then. He went to talk to her and get a phone number to call and see if he could come down and look at the alternator. He made plans for the mechanic to come tomorrow morning. Let’s cross our fingers and pray that he can find the problem.

Niki

Day 194

We got up and headed out to my big blue dream boat. When you arrive in the dingy you tie off of the floating dock to starboard and walk up the stairs to the deck. In getting out of the dingy we had to take off our shoes and of course one of my favourite flip flops went overboard and I couldn’t get it =[.

When we got back to the Butt I wasn’t feeling so hot so I went back to bed for a little while. After we got back to the boat all there was for us to do was sit around and wait for Nick to call and say he was going to drop off the alternator or we needed to go pick it up.

It was later in the afternoon when Nick called for Papa to go pick up the alternator and as soon as it was onboard it was ready to be installed with no more tinkering with the sleeve. Papa got the alternator in and then...we were sooo nervous...we started up the engine. THE ALTERNATOR WAS WORKING!....it was all good until Grama and I started to smell something funny. It smelt like being in the wood shop at school...a sort of a heated/burning wood smell. We opened the engine locker and the alternator was too hot to touch. We had run the engine for 7 mins before we shut it down and opened every hatch. IT STUNK!! It burned your eyes the smell was soo strong.

It was getting later so we had supper and sulked for the rest of the night.

Niki

Day 193

OUR ALTERNATOR HAS ARRIVED!!! Papa read everything it came with and prepared the engine so it would be easy to just install the alternator, 30mins tops! Grama and I were going to do laundry but Papa asked if I could wait 15mins so I could help him tighten the belts. It was going to be fast and easy and all our problems would be solved and we would leave either in the morning or Thursday!

I waited and handed Papa tools and then started to help him work a sleeve into position that is really hard to explain but while doing this we got a big reality check. NOTHING ON A BOAT IS EASY! We had the sleeve break while we were trying to get it into position. We started to call up Nick on the big blue boat to see if he could help us.

Grama got the laundry pretty much done by the time we gave up and I went to go help her. She knew something had happened since it took us that long but when I came in she looked hopeful and curious...and she looked at me and didn’t ask what had gone wrong because she knew we still didn’t have an alternator.

To cheer us up Rita K and Clay invited us to Carleigh for a happy hour...that ended up lasting until almost 10 lol. It was soo much fun and just what we needed. While we were there Nick called and said we could bring the alternator over at 930am tomorrow morn. Kathy on Sinn Fein also called us to say they were in Bimini and would be in Nassau in 2 days =].

Niki

Monday, March 16, 2009

Day 191

...I was very surprised that Grama and Papa were up long before me this morning... but I didn’t get out of bed till after 11 lmao so it wasn’t like they were up too early :P.

Around 1 I ditched Grama and Papa :P and headed over to volleyball beach. On my way over I stopped by Brandaris and Walter told me to come aboard but didn’t seem very happy... It turned out that the motor he’s been having problems with on his fridge (not the main problem but one of the big issues) died.

Volleyball beach was volleyball beach lol, tons of things going on. Around 4:30 Brenda and Walter came to the beach and the couple we know introduced us to Nick from Intuition the HUGE mega yacht. Nick has offered his help or one of his three mechanics that he keeps onboard to help us with the alternator.

When I headed back to the butt Grama had supper ready and we really didn’t do anything lol. It was just another lazy night.

Niki

Day 190!

For an uneventful day last night sure was eventful! At 1am Grama and I discovered that a big gallon jug of outboard motor oil had somehow got a hole punctured in its bottom when Papa was putting everything back in the locker after checking the batteries. There was oil all through that locker. It is very rolly at the dock and being out of bed in the cold at one in the morning with flashlights trying to clean up the mess was a pain! But by the time we were finished we were sure we had cleaned it all up.

This morning when I got up I really wanted pancakes! When I opened the cupboard to get out the mix I could smell the oil...and that meant it had run through to the bilge =/...which really meant it was a HUGE mess and everything would have to be removed from the aft cabin (Grama and Papa’s room) and the boards would have to be unscrewed to get at part of where the oil had run. This big cleanup would have to wait because we were getting ready to drive south with Brenda and Walter.

Heading south was fun. We explored an old loyalist plantation ruin. The house looked like it had been modernized...somewhat... before being destroyed by a fire. We took a little path back to see if we could find the tomb that was supposed to be on the property. We found it but there was no plaque or writing, which was disappointing. We were hoping it was the Cameron’s and Juan Cadiz ;] (the book Wind from the Carolinas is a story of the old Bahamas and a GREAT book and Marg and Brenda got all of us to read it). From there we took another little path and found two long buildings, what we think are the field slave quarters. The building was still standing tall, minus the roof, with extremely thick walls that look like they will stand for another 100years.

On our way to find the Tropic of Cancer beach we stopped at a restaurant and met the owner Dee. We decided to wait for her sisters restaurant across the street (she urged us to) to try the best conch fritters in the Bahamas. We were waiting and we saw Dee bring out an order of cracked lobster and we all ordered cracked lobster right then lol. While waiting Dee passed around a little photo album. Inside were pictures of her hugging Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Goldie Hans and Kurt Russell! She told us that Goldie Hans and Kurt Russell have property on the island and live not very far away. The food was amazing! And there was soo much food (the lobsters here are 4-5x the size of lobsters back home and she gave you two tails + ALOT of other food) and not all of us could finish the meal. When we were leaving we still got an order of the fritters from her sister. Even though we were all stuffed we tried them and so far they are my favourite fritters.

We finally made it to the tropic of cancer beach. We didn’t stay long (the car needed to go back) but now Brenda and Walter can say they have been to the tropic of cancer (we anchored on the line in Long Island) We looked out at the islands that made a little cove just off the beach and it was funny because you knew exactly why the island was called Turtle Island.

When we left we headed back to the boat and that means oil clean up time. Grama and Papa’s berth was gutted and the boards under their bed unscrewed and removed. We cleaned and dumped at least 9 gallons of water through the pipes leading to the bilge hoping to clear them of the oil. Even when we finally gave up we knew there was still a little bit more oil in them. We cleaned and hung upside down on our heads in the bilge from 2:30-5:30pm.

We were still determined to go to the music fest tonight so we quickly ran up to the showers and tried to get the smell of oil off =/. I left before Grama and Papa to go to the fest and met Brenda and Walter as well as some cruisers we met when we first came to Georgetown on ‘Carly’. It wasn’t long before Grama and Papa got there and the bands started. It was a great night and soo much happened lol. The White Folks on Boats played...and they were interesting lol umm I met some girls who are down here for March break and they’re from London ON. Some really shy 45yr old guy with a bald spot asked me to dance =/. I was on Bahamian TV... And then the Junkanoo started and my batteries in the camera died! Junkanoo is a crazy parade with several girls dancing in the front followed by the brass section of a marching band followed by the drummers and horn players and all are dressed in big bright colourful costumes. The grandparents and I didn’t leave until 1:30 and I was disappointed because the second Junkanoo was at 2.

When we got back onboard we all just crawled in bed and fell asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillows.

Niki

Day 189

Well today I sat on the dock relaxing and getting the blog typed up. Brenda and Walter rented a car and so the grandparents went to town for the day... and a bit of the night too :P.

Apparently the car they rented continuously overheated and there were a ton of problems so they didn’t get very far in their trip to northern Great Exuma.

It was a very uneventful day. Grama and Papa didn’t get back until 7:30ish and Papa and I had to check the batteries (it’s been brought up that possibly the batteries could be part of the electric problem and not just the alternator. After that they just wanted to laze around and watch a movie, and that was fine by me =].

Niki

Day 188

This morning was the Regatta race around Stalking Island. We got up and watched several dozen boats circling, getting their sails up and waiting for the start. On the VHF CH72 the committee boat had an announcer giving positions of the boats and some racing history the competitors had submitted before the race.

Once the boats were out of sight we pulled up anchor and headed into the dock so we could charge up and check to see if the new alternator Papa ordered was in yet. We got docked and I went to see Brandaris and how their refrigerator repairs were coming. Unfortunately the shop they had sent their fridge to could not find the problem and so they are going to have to continually fill it with additional Freon. We chatted for a while before I headed back to the butt and it was brought up that there is a music festival in the park for the next three nights. Tonight is the gospel choirs and then the following two nights are to be the local groups, some groups from the mainland and the white folks on boats. The white folks on boats are different cruisers each year that are from the regatta and apparently a few years ago the locals gave them their name.

When I got back to the boat Grama told me to get all my laundry together, we ate lunch and then Grama and I headed off to do laundry.

When we finally finished the laundry (I’ll admit I really really hate laundry lmao) we put our beds back together (we washed all the sheets too) which is a pain, although mine is easy compared to Grama’s bed and then sat for a bit before taking a drink and heading over to visit with Brandaris.

We had a lot to chat about and we stayed quite a while longer than we had intended but it was fun =]. I was eager to get back to the boat though cuz I was starving lol. When we did get back I made up supper and we sat and watched a couple of movies.

Ohh I forgot to mention the alternator still isn’t here.

Niki

Day 187

No one wanted to get out of bed this morning and it was afternoon before Grama and I got up. We agreed that we had enough juice as long as we didn’t plug anything in to stay out on the hook for another day...this power thing is really starting to make everyone VERY bitchy and quite frankly is taking away from the pleasure of this trip...our destinations have been largely ruled by our alternator and everyone is getting very stressed and short with each other.

We decided to forget about our problem and head over to sand dollar beach and try to find sand dollars and then head over to volleyball for a drink and to see what was going on. We were very successful at finding tons of sand dollars and we walked quite a distance before we headed back to the dingy. On our way back we met up with some fellow cruisers and talked for quite a long time.

When we made it to volleyball we were so surprised to see more young people than cruisers. I guess we’ve lost track of time and its spring break and all the college kids have come for a week’s vacation to the Bahamas. Apparently all the young people who were there all came from the same college.

When we got back to the butt we didn’t do much. We washed some conch shells we picked up, we joined in with the chorus of conch horns at sun down and we had a lazy night.

Niki

Day 186

Today we departed from Long Island to head back to Georgetown... I was excited to get moving but it was sad to split up with Windswept and Southern Cross...I had hoped we could join them in going farther south and spear fishing and exploring islands that have either no inhabitants or possibly one home at most.

When we headed out we raised the dingy onto the deck and got underway. We put out the fishing lines and hoped to catch a Wahoo!

It was a pleasant day but we didn’t catch that Wahoo or any other fish =[. When we got into the cut we all agreed that we had enough power in the batteries to stay out at anchor for a night.

We dropped the hook by Sand Dollar beach and got settled. After a while I decided to take the dingy and go find Brandaris. I told Papa I was going to find them and head over to Volleyball beach.

It didn’t take long to spot Brandaris’ blue mast lol and luckily they were aboard. They told me they had just got back from town. They told me that their fridge still hasn’t been fixed. They are going to go into the dock tomorrow and the shop that has been working on the fridge is going to uninstall the fridge and take it to the shop to run some more tests on it.

I headed into Volleyball for a while and talked to some people and headed back to the butt. Gram’s hip was bugging her so she was laying down when I got back. One thing I missed about Georgetown is that every night at sunset all the cruisers blow their conch horns and even though cruisers do that in other islands there are sooo many cruisers here everyone starts to try to outdo each other and it lasts for quite a while lmao.

Niki

Day 185

The main issue for today was for Papa to extend our health insurance. The plan we have now allows us to be out of the country for 60 days. It hasn’t been an issue before because with having to go home in Oct. and then for Christmas we had returned to the country and our 60day countdown started again when we left. It took a while for Papa to answer the questions and the phone died before he could finish the call.

Grama and I decided we were going to have a big supper tonight aboard Nice Butt since it is the last night we’re going to be with Southern Cross and Windswept. They’re heading south to the Ragged Islands while we have to return to Georgetown to get the new alternator Papa ordered to be sent from Barrie ON.

While Grama tidied Papa and I went to town. I picked up some groceries while he filled the gas can and took out the garbage. We bought a new phone card so he could call back the insurance company.

When we got back to the boat Grama and I cooked while Papa finished renewing the insurance.

And then supper. It was a great time and we had hamburgers (home made of course) and sausages and potato salad and Bahamian style mac and cheese and some salad and rum cake for dessert x]. When everyone left we headed to bed early so we can get an early start out of here in the morn.

Niki

Day 184

Well the alternator is still a problem and is again not putting out much of a charge, so this morning we had Denis come over and help Papa reinstall the original alternator that came with the boat. There were a few problems but we think we’re working!

Pretty much for the rest of the day...well actually for the rest of the day all we did was sit and read and lazed around lol.

Niki

Day 182

Well we got the van and pilled the 7 of us in (Southern Cross, Windswept and ourselves) and I don’t think we had really decided what direction to go until Denis turned left out of the parking lot and we were headed north. We decided to drive to the end of the island and work our way back.

As we were nearing the north end of the island the road narrowed and we reached the end of the road...well as far as we could go. The road did continue but the bridge across a little river was down and the only sign to tell you was a sand pile in the centre of the bridge.

We turned around and the first stop on the way back was the Columbus monument. It was a 25 min drive back to the monument (no one tells you this) on a path (it isn’t fit to be called a road) that had barely been cleared. There are tons of potholes, so many that you cannot dodge them, at times you are on such an angle we were seriously worried about the van rolling. I got very car sick sitting in the back and decided to walk part way until we determined that there still was a long way to go back to the monument and then I sat with the back door open in the little space between the door and the middle seats.


Finally we arrived.

It was a very pretty sight and the view from the point was incredible. We didn’t stay long before it started to rain and we headed back down the bumpy path. We had heard that you would be happy that it wasn’t your car when you headed to the monument but this ride gave you whiplash!

From there we decided we were hungry (well Bob’s always hungry and had been talking about food from the moment we got in the vehicle) so we stopped at a local restaurant we had seen on the way down the island. It looked like a nice place when we came in..and it seemed very clean and well maintained...but when she said ‘we’ll I’ll try to get a hold of the chef and see if he can make you up some burgers’ we really had our doubts. Bob told her no we wanted some good fresh fish and she eventually came back and said they could make us up some grouper and fries. We agreed and ordered our food and some drinks while waiting. We chatted and waited...and waited and chatted and then we waited some more...I’ll be honest that I really wasn’t sure if we were going to be happy about the food when it came out...

Eventually the food arrived and OMG it was (for now at least) the best grouper I have ever had. It was broiled, very lightly battered with some caramelized onion and tangy lemon butter and as Papa said it was exquisite! Leaving there everyone was happy and admitting that we all had had some huge doubts about the food.

We left the restaurant in search of the Santa Maria Resort which is said to have the finest sand in the Bahamas. We have seen some amazing beaches and all have been great, you can’t really pick out one as a favourite or being so much better than another. We found Santa Maria and parked to go walk the beach. It was a beautiful beach with the whitest, finest sand just like the brochures say. It seriously was like walking on flour. As of now this is by far my favourite beach we have walked!

After we made it down the beach and back everyone visited the resort lobby and Bob talked our way into getting to look at one of the condos. We walked in and were impressed at the very high ceilings, we were jealous of the gorgeous kitchen, we walked into the bathroom and dreamed about lazing in a hot bubble bath, we walked into the bedroom joining the bathroom to find two queen sized fluffy comfy beds and were then told that this was the guest room, we walked across the hall and thought we had died and gone to heaven in the master bedroom, we walked into their bathroom and gazed longingly at the Jacuzzi bathtub and then all the ladies looked at the men ;]. These condos are rented out for roughly $5000/week.

We made our way back to the main road and saw an ice cream parlour. Well with me and Bob in the car we had to stop lmao. Unfortunately they had moved their ice cream to another location at a gas station 2 blocks up the road. We weren’t giving up easily but as Karen said as we got back in the van “...how long is a Bahamian block?”, well they only have one main road and driveways off of it. It turned out that it wasn’t too far away and we stopped for ice cream.

Next stop is the Adderllay Plantation...well the ruins of it anyways. The Adderlay’s were one of the wealthy British loyalist families who left the Carolinas after the civil war and were granted land in the Bahamas for a new start. They were said to have tried to grow cotton, as most plantation owners did. Needless to say in the harsh terrain which holds little soil to plant on and the extreme weather conditions the Islands endure, cotton did not flourish and many families gave up, freed their slaves and returned to England. Even now as a pile of ruins you can see how huge and great these plantations were built to be. The house was on the highest hill in the area with a magnificent view. I found the well back behind the houses...I was surprised to find the fresh water maybe 12’ from the top of the well...which is about 60’ above sea level.

Our final stop for the night was at the Long Island Breeze. They had planned a happy hour with free hors d'oeuvres out on the back deck, but after a long day of exploring we were hungry! The gang decided to order pizzas and Pretty Penny joined us.

It was a great day followed by a nice lazy night and by the time we were back on board it was bedtime!


Niki

Day 181

This morning we all decided to check out a cave that’s right in Salt Pond not too far from where we’re anchored. Denis knew where to go but Bob and Marg and ourselves got lost when Denis was late lol. It was a pretty neat cave and the front entrance was well lit through holes in the ceiling. As you got farther back in the cave it was pitch black and very humid. We explored for about a half an hour before we decided to head down to the Long Island Breeze.

There we decided to have nice hot $5 showers! It was soo nice to have hot hot water and not having a small rinse and having to turn the shower off to conserve water!

After showers we pulled out the laptops to get online for the blog and email. I even called Aunti J before she leaves for Puerto Vallarta tomorrow. She’s still insisting that we should sail around the little point of Florida and meet them in Mexico, like she says it’s only a few inches on the map. I told her that she knew where I was and that they should have flown here so she could visit with me in the Bahamas. As we were talking she asked about the temperature and she said in her office she had about the same, and she asked about the breeze and I told her it was cool and she opened up her window a bit and she then asked me to send her a pic of the view I had right then and I did and she said see I’m basically there with you, I can see what you see, I’m on skype so I can hear what you hear, I have the same temp with a cool breeze AND I have a new background for my computer lmao.

When we were heading back to the boat another cruiser invited me over to ‘Shining Time’ for a pot luck dinner. He said that friends on ‘Hullabaloo’ were coming over and they both had teenagers, one being 15 another being 17. I accepted and agreed to bring over some dessert =].

We went back to the boat and I found some cookies and a small rum cake and headed over to Shining Time. It was a fun evening and the food was great (the mother from Hullabaloo made the best homemade cookies! Lol).

At the end of the night I headed back to the butt and found Grama and Papa laying around lol. We had to head to bed early because we’re getting the rental car first thing in the morning and heading...to one end of the island...whether it’ll be north or south we haven’t decided yet.


Niki

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Day 180

This morning it was announced that there was a Long Island cruisers net, I kinda rolled over in bed and thought I thought we had escaped the long cruisers net in Georgetown! This one turned out to be short and sweet and even contained some news headlines from the states (the one that caught my attention was that a woman called 911 three times to report that her chicken nuggets were missing when she left McDonalds *rolls eyes*)

After the net we all got up and kinda slugged around until Denis came over and helped me make my conch horn. It’s like being in music class all over again trying to play a new instrument and making a fool of yourself.

Later we went ashore to check out the Island. The dingy dock by town is at a place called Long Island Breeze and their facilities are immaculate. They have 4 rooms they rent out, each a little different with kitchens and living room areas. The upstairs room is like a pent house and has 2 balconies overlooking the water. They offer shower facilities to the cruisers, wifi and a bar/restaurant.

Once ashore we walked over to the beach. It was only a little over a mile and a nice walk. Grama and I were slightly disappointed with the beach. It was covered in weeds that had washed up on shore and there was sooo much garbage everywhere. It wasn’t garbage from the cruisers but looked to be a local garbage dump. We walked the beach anyways going one way to a bunch of rocks and then turned around and walked quite a ways the other way. We only turned around when it started to rain (which didn’t last long).

We went back to the Long Island Breeze for lunch, met up with Denis and Karen and Pretty Penny and had grouper fingers (grouper is back in season!) and fries. After we were well fed we went to check out the grocery store and were surprised when we walked in and the twist was playing and Grama was doing the twist up and down the aisles!

We weren’t back on the boat long before movie night aboard Pretty Penny was about to start. We quickly ate some mini pizzas before heading over. I asked several times if Bob and Penny needed any crew because their 49’ power cat is an expensive looking floating condo! They have a bath tub and a kitchen the size of my dad’s and a couch! I could get use to living aboard a power cat!

Captain Ron was one that I have decided all of us girls need to watch when I get home. It was soo funny and had some classic lines.

Niki

Day 179

I had to be up a couple hours earlier than I have been for a while to get the boat ready to be underway...and I’ll admit I wasn’t very happy about it. We secured everything down below and then had to get the motor off the dingy and gut the dingy and raise the dingy onto the foredeck. When Windswept called we were close to being completely ready.

We headed out and Denis, Marg and I were just waiting to clear Pigeon Cay so we could drop our hooks in the water and catch a fish for supper tonight.

It was a gorgeous day and we counted at least 15 boats left Georgetown with us. sailed We at 5-6knots for most of the way =]. At one point the prop was spinning so noisily we locked it in reverse so it would stop banging. Later on Grama even decided to throw another fishing line in to see if we could catch something.

When we started to fall behind some of the group we decided we should motor sail a wee bit while the wind was barely blowing and our sails were luffing. Unfortunately we couldn’t get the boat in gear... Papa played around with it and finally we called Denis to see what he thought. We ended up getting it in gear and we think that when we locked the prop to stop it from banging we built up to much pressure.

As we were nearing Long Island I pulled in our fishing lines, disappointed we hadn’t even gotten a bite when I found that both of our lines had been cut and even our leaders were gone =[. No wonder we didn’t catch anything.

Once the lines were in we had to turn up into the wind, drop the sails and lower the dingy into the water so I could get to the anchor locker to prepare it.

Everyone made their way into the North East corner of the bay to anchor for the night. Here, unlike Georgetown, everyone who anchored spread out nicely and no one felt crowded.

Once we were settled Karen called us and invited us to happy hour aboard Southern Cross at 4:30. We headed over and met Bob and Penny from ‘Pretty Penny’ (a power cat). It was a fun night and we were invited to have a movie night to watch Captain Ron aboard Pretty Penny at 5:30 tomorrow night.

Niki

Day 178

...I’ll admit with everything going on that the blog hasn’t been high on my priority list...so all morning I was typing up the blog so I could update the blog this afternoon because we’re supposed to be leaving in the morning. As Grama said I think I learned my lesson as not keeping up with the blog, it was a nightmare trying to remember the order of events (you know which happy hour was what day and what beach we walked haha).

Eventually I went back to the dusty little computer shack and sat with a dozen other people and waited on the slow internet so I could update the blog. I was slightly upset that only my cousin Kail was online =[, Fattie, Sam, Steph I NEED TO TALK TO YOUS!!! I have some interesting news ;] :P.

Papa and some of our friends came by as I was online so that made the waiting for the blog to load go a little quicker. Marg kept checking to make sure I was still there because as soon as I was done I had to go back to the boat to make the nachos for tonight’s happy hour and she didn’t want to miss the nachos lmao.

When we headed back to the boat Grama had got the rest of the hors d'oeuvres finished and we were waiting on Bill and Janie who are heading home tomorrow and the reason for today’s happy hour (we need to make some excuse to have one everyday :P)

After everyone headed home we decided to watch a few more ‘I Love Lucy’ episodes because I’m almost positive we are going to head out to Long Island tomorrow with Southern Cross and Windswept (Brandaris is having refrigeration problems and Bill and Janie’s flight isn’t until 1:30).

Niki

Monday, March 2, 2009

more pics

Sharks and Fishies




The Hat :P












Up by the monument



Some pics from Bobs Cam

The Wardrick Wells Eagle Ray

Me looking like an idiot :P

The group at shroud

Our little message for Vertigo and Whippoorwill


video

Day 178

Well so far today I've typed stuff up for the blog and typed for the blog lol and at the moment I'm sitting in the same little computer shack as last time I updated the blog. And I am disappointed that not one of my friends are online =[.

I know I missed a few days in the blog and I'll post them later. Umm there were some exciting things that happened on those days like hanging out with Karen on Volleyball beach (enjoying the scenery as Marg would say :P), hanging out with Ann on Next Exit and having the boys drink 4 bottles of Don's scotch *rolls eyes*...umm sorry Karen but I have to tell them that while getting in the dingy after a happy hour aboard Say Yes Karen somehow lost her balance and fell out of the dingy...well half out and then rolled the rest of the way out...there have been some theories about Dennis's involvement :P.

Tomorrow should be a good weather window to head to Long Island so I think thats the plan... but who knows lol.

I have to hurry back to the boat now to make up some nachos for a happy hour aboard Nice Butt tonight lol.

Niki

Day 177

So as i put in the blog yesterday, last night we were in agreement that Brandaris and ourselves weren’t leaving today. But who makes plans in the Bahamas? Walter got on the VHF this morning and told us that they were leaving with Windswept 4...All of a sudden we’re scrambling to prepare the boat to leave, everyone is instantly stressed out and...well let’s just say it wasn’t pleasant.

Brandaris needed to come into the dock for fuel before leaving so once the boat was close to ready I went to watch out for them and give them a hand docking. When we finally got them docked Brenda told me they we NOT leaving....ok so...I was confused.

We all had a long talk and decided that neither of us are leaving today and we are going to Long Island.

Well once we figured out that we weren’t leaving the question was what were we going to do today?...well the simple answer was almost nothing. We sat and read and sat and sat and lazed around and then it was arranged we could go snorkelling over on the ocean side of the island.

It was a blast! Brandaris (well minus Walter who had to watch the dock lines) and guests and Windswept all went and we saw some fish and collected shells. Then we all headed over to St. Francis to grab some drinks and ended up getting a few burgers lol.

At sun down we headed back to the butt and watched some movies.

Niki

Day 177

So as i put in the blog yesterday, last night we were in agreement that Brandaris and ourselves weren’t leaving today. But who makes plans in the Bahamas? Walter got on the VHF this morning and told us that they were leaving with Windswept 4...All of a sudden we’re scrambling to prepare the boat to leave, everyone is instantly stressed out and...well let’s just say it wasn’t pleasant.

Brandaris needed to come into the dock for fuel before leaving so once the boat was close to ready I went to watch out for them and give them a hand docking. When we finally got them docked Brenda told me they we NOT leaving....ok so...I was confused.

We all had a long talk and decided that neither of us are leaving today and we are going to Long Island.

Well once we figured out that we weren’t leaving the question was what were we going to do today?...well the simple answer was almost nothing. We sat and read and sat and sat and lazed around and then it was arranged we could go snorkelling over on the ocean side of the island.

It was a blast! Brandaris (well minus Walter who had to watch the dock lines) and guests and Windswept all went and we saw some fish and collected shells. Then we all headed over to St. Francis to grab some drinks and ended up getting a few burgers lol.

At sun down we headed back to the butt and watched some movies.

Niki

Day 176

I slept in x]. I had to get up when people started to come by the butt visiting lol. When Dave and Wendy came by we found out that they are leaving tomorrow. We gave them something we’ve been talking about for a while, a Port Stanley Sailing Squadron Honorary Membership =]. We also heard on the VHF that Windswept 4 was in the harbour.

Later we heard about an art show/sale at the Peace and Plenty. Bill, Janie, Benda, Walter, Dave and Wendy were there and it was neat seeing all the baskets and different crafty things the locals made with shells and other things that they could find.

On the way home Grama and I quickly went into the Exuma Market to pick up a few groceries and we met up with Heather and Murray from Windswept 4. We had a bit of a chat and got the details about a happy hour aboard Windswept (Bob and Marg’s windswept) before we all went our separate ways.

We didn’t really do anything else besides sitting around reading the rest of the day before the happy hour lol.

At happy hour it was discussed whether or not we would head out tomorrow with Heather and Murray or wait and go with Brandaris or go to Long Island with Windswept and Southern Cross. Long Island has been out of the question for a while and I don’t think it’s an option now but Bob won’t give up that we might go.

After we left Windswept we decided we were going to stay put and head north with Brandaris in a few days.

Niki

Day 175

Well I laid in bed listening to the morning net and it was announced that someone was going to hold beginner guitar lessons at 11am at Volleyball beach...and all I could think was “Shoot I have to get outa bed” haha.

Rob is coming to help with the alternator again today so I headed over to Volleyball beach a little early so I wouldn’t be in their way trying to get my guitar and everything off the boat. It was a long, wet, windy trip across the harbour and I had to wear my foul weather gear to stay dry lol.

When I got over there I called Southern Cross to see if Denis was going to bring his guitar in. He hadn’t heard it but Denis and Karen came in at 11. It was an interesting lesson lol. As Denis said we learned that we need to find a guitar with a smaller neck and wider stings lmao.

After the lesson we played some dominos, chatted with people and then headed over to St. Francis (a marina/restaurant) for Pizza and then back to the beach to chat.

When it was time to head back (Sunset was approaching and traveling in the dingy after dark isn’t a good idea) I headed over to Windswept for a few mins to chat with Marg and then headed back to the butt.

When I got back I found that the alternator is fixed and heard about Grama and Papas day. They cleaned and fixed and cleaned and fixed and took everyone out for lunch as a thank you.

We had a movie night and headed to bed.

Niki

Day 174

We dragged last night>_>

I haven’t checked the anchor more than twice in this whole trip and I normally don’t get out of bed in the middle of the night but for some reason I was awake at 3am and I had to check the anchor...I guess something just didn’t sound right.

I was up in the cockpit and our position just wasn’t right but we weren’t moving... I sat and watched for a few minutes before I decided I was sure we had dragged because the boat off the starboard bow was definitely ‘Scallywag’ who had been anchored off of our starboard quarter and we were extremely close to ‘Bojoli’ the boat that had been off our port quarter and was now abeam of us but just slightly ahead. A few times when we swung I was nervous about us colliding with Bojoli.

I got Grama and Papa up and he quickly agreed with me that we had dragged and possibly reset. The problem was that it was dark and our anchor could possibly be tangled with Bojoli’s and if so hauling up our anchor would cause them to drag and could potentially cause us to collide with them...but then we were worried about colliding with them if we did nothing.

Eventually we decided to get Grama to back down on the anchor to make sure it had reset, which it had. From there we made the decision to wait and see what happens. We were swinging close (within a boat length) to Bojoli but in a consistent pattern so we put out all of our fenders on our port side and sat watch from 3am on.

When it was light out we talked to Bojoli and they felt safe that we wouldn’t collide, which was kinda a relief.

When the net came on at 8 papa made an inquiry about a place to get the alternator repaired. Rob from Duet came back when the net was over to offer his assistance with it.

When Papa was done talking to Rob we had to pull up anchor... It was a good decision not to do it last night because even with being able to signal Grama about where the chain is we came VERY close to Bojoli.

Rob came over shortly after we got into the dock and he seemed to know what he was talking about when it came to mechanics (well we later found out that he was a mechanic) and he was calm and he explained everything that he was doing and asked permission to go ahead and open up the case in the alternator! After having some pushy help on this trip where they just did what they wanted it was like ‘ding ding ding we have a winner!’ lmao.

The boys worked on it pretty much all day while Grama and I did laundry. When we noticed them start the engine I walked back to the boat to see that it was fixed...but unfortunately the alternator wasn’t kicking in. Rob said he knew what needed to be tinkered with and promised he’d be back in the morning to fix the problem.

We were exhausted but wanted to take advantage of being at a dock so I made nachos and we watched a movie, million dollar baby to be exact lol I almost didn’t make it through the movie I was tired.

Niki

Day 173

This morning I was up at 7 and went back to bed and missed the net haha. Papa woke me up later to see if I wanted to go into Volleyball Beach with the rest of the gang to help with the sign. We said we’d think about it (I was NOT awake :P lol).

Eventually we made it into Volleyball beach and checked out the sign. It’s looking pretty good =]. Everyone sat around and chatted and I played a little volleyball with Bob and Marg haha (I fail). Janie and Bill from Port are staying with Brandaris and they were there having fun too =].We just sat around talking in the sun and decided to have an early lunch. Papa walked up to the Chat and Chill and ordered our burgers and I laid in the hammock working on a bracelet.

After we had kinda a picnic on the beach and decided we should work off our lunch and walk over to the ocean side beach. It was a short(ish) walk (a lot less then we normally have to get groceries and stuff) but in order to get there we had to cross a little river...well it wasn’t deep but it was up to Bobs chest and it’s salt water. With salt water if you get your cloths wet they never feel dry. So I jogged back to Volleyball and dragged the dingy back into the water and drove around and shuttled the girls and Papa across the 20’creek. The beach was beautiful and we collected a few shells.

When we got back to the boat we had to turn on the engine to charge... but the alternator wasn’t working no matter how we wiggled or play with the loose connection.
It was kinda a piss off but I guess we need to head into the dock in the morning and find someone to fix it.

Niki

Day 172

I was up early again this morning and turned on the VHF lol although after all the scotch Papa had last night I’m not surprised. Today the wind has picked up and there are quite a few swells so getting off the boat wouldn’t be too pleasant. So today we did absolutely NOTHING lol. I puttered around making bracelets and sitting, Papa and Grama both laid down and read.

Later in the afternoon Papa and I played the longest game of chess. I swear his strategy is to take so long to make one move that you forget your plan :P.

A little before we finished the game Don came by and chatted for over an hour, and then made his way over to visit the rest of the gang.

We ran the engine like we do every day to re charge the batteries and Papa told us he would treat us to a movie tonight. So while the engine was running we got to watch a movie before heading to bed.

It was such a stressful day :P.

Niki

Day 166

Well your suppose to move off of the dock at 12 noon...but we kinda wanted to go to town...sooo we headed off to quickly do a walk to town, they left a little before me, and I almost couldn’t find them lol. They were at a little booth beside the Exuma market and the dingy dock, and when I found them they told me to quickly pick out which t-shirt I wanted x]. They were the Georgetown 29th Regatta shirts and they didn’t have my size in any that I wanted =[ lol so I had to settle for the white.

From there we convinced Papa to let us go over to the straw market. We met some of the ladies who were working on making baskets and with some of the ladies was the cutest little girl, she wasn’t the prettiest girl but her smile and how sweet she was almost made you want to take her home with you lol. She asked me what my name was and once that was settled she looked at me and with no hesitation asked me what was on my teeth lmao. I told her they were braces and asked her name and she said she was Francis. Her mother sold the vegetables outside and so all day she would sit and behave while her mother tried to make sales. It goes to show you how fortunate we are in Canada...this little girl was well behaved and soo sweet but does not go to school and will likely end up like her mother with no education making barley enough to live by selling the little bit of vegetables she can grow in her garden and making the same baskets as all the other women in the straw market hoping a tourist will choose her to buy from. In all the straw markets we have been in since we have been in the Bahamas there has been no variation in any of the items that they sell. They make money strictly on their ability to draw you in and charm you into buying from them instead of their neighbour sitting beside her.

While we were there I bought a couple of things and then decided to carry on and explore a little farther into town. We didn’t make it very far because the Peace and Plenty was just down the road and we decided to have lunch lol. The Peace and Plenty is a little resort with a little restaurant that overlooks Elizabeth harbour. From the balcony where we ate we could see monument hill and anchorage as well as Volleyball beach and anchorage. It’s beautiful. While we were eating we sat and tried to see if we could spot the blue mast over in the monument anchorage which would be Brandaris lol.

Well by now it’s long after 12 and we need to get back to move the boat. It didn’t take long to get over to monument and get settled. We had a quiet night and played some Chinese checkers lol.

Niki

Day 165 part 2

Well it was still a little rocky this morning so we’re considering just moving to another anchorage here in Georgetown, but first we need fuel. So we started to do a few boat chores and in doing that I knocked the top of our stern solar powered anchor light >_>. It’s kinda chilly today and I had put on a sweater but since I knocked it overboard I had to dive in and get it...let’s just say I was pissed off with myself.

We think we found the cause of our alternator problem! It’s a connection behind the alternator. So we just need to find a permanent fix for it.

We later went into the dock to get fuel and Grama and I did a quick run into the grocery store. When we got back Papa informed us that to dock for the night was only $1/foot! So we decided to stay on the dock for the night and see if we can find someone to fix our charger. We plugged in and what do you know the inverter/charger starts up as if there wasn’t a problem! I don’t get it.

The rest of our gang moved over to the anchorage by Monument hill and we’ll join them tomorrow but we’re going to charge up the batteries for the night.

Grama and I took advantage of the power and watched movies all night x]

Niki