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December 27, 2003

Christmas in Marsh Harbor

Louisa and Chris arrived on schedule after their long overnight flights from San Diego to LAX to Miami to Marsh Harbor. We had moved Omega into the Harbor View Marina in Marsh Harbor to wait for them. We used the marina visit to wash down decks, fill water and diesel tanks, and rearranged all the “stuff” we had stored in the forward cabin and head to make room for them. We didn’t think we could find places for all the beer, food, and rolls of paper towels and toilet paper but it all disappeared somewhere. Now we only hope we can find it when the time comes to use it!
While we were having lunch at “Snappers” it started to rain and it poured for over an hour. This always seems to happen just after washing the boat and filling the water tanks – not when we need the water! It cleared up shortly and we had a quiet Christmas Eve and an early to bed with the jet lagged visitors.
We got under way Christmas Day and motored to Bakers Bay to explore nearby Spoil Cay for seashells. As we were anchoring, the dinghy painter wrapped around the propeller and broke so I got to dive in and rescue it and then dive under the boat to unwind the rope! My first taste of swimming since we got to the Bahamas! The water was warm and of course crystal clear so it was actually nice.
Spoil Cay was formed by the dredging spoils deposited during the construction of the channel for the cruise ships so there are a lot of shells to be found. We walked around the Cay and collected some shells and took pix that will be added to the photo gallery as soon as I can get it done.
We cooked our Christmas duck on the new propane grill and has Bahamian ‘peas and rice” and stuffing with apple crisp for desert. A great meal! Sue and I had found Christmas “Crackers” which we popped so we all hats to wear and a small gift. We then opened presents. Louisa and Chris brought us some special provisioning for Omega and we got the star book from Rich and family that Louisa and Chris carried with then along with the latest mail from the office. After a day in the sun, we crashed early.
This morning we woke up to gentle rain again. By late morning the rain stopped and we had a beautiful boisterous sail back to Marsh Harbor. We anchored and invited friends from Will O’ The Wisp onboard for a chat. They also have family company aboard. Last night we went ashore to join the crowd watching the “Junkanoo” parade. There was a large friendly crowd and it was a lot of fun although it was windy and a little chilly. Photos will be on the web site as soon as I can find an Internet café to upload them.

Posted by Dick at 08:39 AM

December 22, 2003

Marsh Harbor at last!

We are in Marsh Harbor after a brisk sail down the Sea of Abaco in 20 knot winds and bright sunshine. The cold front from the Northwest has put a chill in the air so we wore our foul weather jackets to stay warm. Mind you it is still 70 degrees but it is all relative you know!
We took a get acquainted walk through town to check out the local stores. Looks like the local supermarket is well stocked and we can get all the provisions we need. The local liquor stores have a good selection too with the local rums being real bargains.
I called Louisa to report our arrival and she said they were laying out clothes and getting ready to pack for the trip.
We will stay anchored here until Louisa and Chris arrive Wednesday and then decide on our schedule for their visit. Not much else to report now that we have arrived at the destination we have been headed to for the last several months. To all of you that follow our web site, have a Happy Holiday season.

Posted by Dick at 07:06 AM

December 16, 2003

Back in the Bahamas

We made the crossing to the Bahamas successfully last Friday and came up on the Bank at Memory Rock – actually just south of the rock! You go from 600 feet of water to 12 feet in a mater of less than a mile.
The weather was almost perfect for the crossing and we were able to sail a good part of the way before the wind shifted due east and then died. We continued on motoring across the bank to Mangrove Cay and anchored there for the night in beautiful conditions. It really felt good to be back in the Bahamas with the crystal clear turquoise water.
Saturday we continued on to Great Sail Cay and Sunday to Allans-Pensacola Cay. The hyphenated name means that they were two Cays when named, but got joined together by a hurricane sometime since then.
Monday we came the rest of the way to Green Turtle Cay. This is one of the customs and immigration entry ports but the customs agent was “off island” yesterday so we cleared in today – no problem mon!
They seemed happy to collect our $300 cruising permit fee – good for one year and includes the fishing license. My cost per pound of caught fish continues to go up!
The settlement (town) at Green Turtle Cay is just like a poster photo of the Bahamas – quaint brightly painted homes, neat and tidy, narrow streets, golf carts and bicycles with a few cars, and very friendly helpful people. I filled the gas can for the dinghy – 6 gallons = $20 US - so we got our first real taste of the current cost structure here – but it is worth it.
We have made friends with another sailing couple Annie and Neville on a 46 foot catamaran “Peace” that they built themselves with the “West” wood/epoxy system in England and then sailed it across the Atlantic. Annie has 3 trans Atlantic crossings (one solo in her 28’ boat across the North Atlantic) and he has 2 so they are very experienced sailors. We had them on Omega last evening for a beer and we got the tour of their boat today. Needless to say, very interesting people!
We will be working our way the last 20 miles to Marsh Harbor over the next few days to be there by the 24th when Louisa and Chris arrive.

Posted by Dick at 08:12 PM