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February 23, 2005

Georgetown again with 300+ other cruisers

Georgetown has been fun as always with a large crowd of boats – about 300+ cruisers at last count and growing every day as we get closer to Regatta Week in March. There is a very active cruiser’s net on the VHF radio each morning with weather, local events, Regatta news, local business announcements, etc. There is always chatter on the radio and of course we all listen in on each other’s conversations! I have been taking the Morse code practice sessions put on by the local ham group and the test in this Saturday. I hope to pass it and the written test so I can be upgraded to the General License, which allows a lot more use of the radio. It is fun anyway with a great group of people.
Sue is learning to weave palm fronds into baskets, hats, etc. so you al may get some of her handiwork as presents in the future. We have been to numerous social gatherings like sundowners, beach parties, etc. and continue to meet a lot of the other boaters. At one of the sundowners, we saw a real “green flash” as the sun slipped over the horizon. I always thought this was an old wives tale but the “flash” was really bright green for a long time!
The malfunctioning water pump has been replaced! The new one arrived in 2 days thanks to FedEx. Everybody said it would take at least a week but FedEx came through and the installation was straight forward with the usual skinned knuckles to show for the effort! Now if I can get the old one rebuilt I will have a spare and avoid another $500 bill. Having a spare is also a way to guarantee that I will never need it!
We went into the Georgetown Marina today for diesel, water, gasoline and ice. Diesel is $3.14 a gallon and gas is 4.02 a gallon! Nice pure (reverse osmosis) water is $.10 a gallon. Oh well … a small price to pay for the good life we have!

Posted by Dick at 03:00 AM

February 03, 2005

The Exumas and the Matsen's visit

Our friends Sandy and John Matsen left yesterday from Staniel Cay. Their visit aboard Omega was a lot of fun and they were great crew. During their visit we went from Nassau to Allen’s Cay to see the Iguana’s, then to Norman’s Cay to see the old drug runner’s plane wreck in the water, to the Exuma Park HQ at Warderick Wells, to Cambridge Cay (a first for Sue and me and a great anchorage) and finally to Big Majors next to Staniel Cay.

Although the wind was mostly from the north and northeast and chilly, we had lots of sunshine and it was warm enough for some snorkeling and swimming. The wind was also favorable for sailing and we were out in the Exuma Sound from Allen’s to Norman’s and I caught my first ever dolphin! Not only that, we were trolling 2 lines and we got a second one about 15 minutes after the first one! Photos of the catch will be in the photo album section of the web site. We had dolphin steaks one night and dolphin “fingers” last night. They are great eating and the 2 fish will produce enough for 10 meals s we have several more pieces in the frig.

Sandy and John treated for a nice farewell dinner at the Staniel Cay YC Tuesday. We sat outside on the deck and watched the sunset with a planter’s punch. John and I believe that we saw the “green flash” as the sun slipped below the horizon but it may have been the effect of the rum I the punch!

We had a jib halyard wrap (not a good thing) and I had to go to the top of the mast to inspect the damage and make repairs. Hopefully it is OK now but time will tell. I took photos from the top of the mast that will be on the web site. The view from 55 feet up is spectacular.

We continue to run into boating friends and make new ones and have had several happy hour get togethers either on Omega or other boats. It is great to be back in the Exumas and it is as beautiful and friendly as we remembered from the previous two years.

Posted by Dick at 08:54 AM