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April 05, 2008

KAT and family aboard

We are now in the birthday month for our families. My grandson Justin’s is the 1st, mine is the 3rd, Sue on the 8th, granddaughter Lauren on the 15th, Louisa on the `17th, Katherine on the 22nd, And Sue’s son Josh on the 26th. One continuous birthday party!
Katherine and her partner Jackie and their son Jaidan arrived on March 27th for their first visit to Courage. Their flights were on time and without problems, which is a rare event these days!
The weather has been mostly good but on the windy side for a lot of the time. We have limited our cruising to the area of the Sea of Abaco east of the Whale Cay passage to stay in calmer waters. The first night was spent in the Harbor View Marina to get settled in on the boat and to walk around the town of Marsh Harbor. As age four, Jaidan's a constant bundle of energy and wants to run everywhere – including on the boat, which is not a good thing. He has taken up nautical life quickly and now knows how to start and stop the engine and the generator and many other tasks aboard.
Our first day out we went east to Tahiti Beach on Elbow Cay. This is a very protected beautiful beach and we thought it would be good for Jaidan to get used to the water and try out his snorkel mask. He is not really ready to put his face in the water and breathe through the snorkel but he has enjoyed the water and playing in the sand. Kat and Jackie did do some snorkeling and the water temperature was pleasant. We found a few shells just off the beach and this particular area is loaded with a variety of sponges.
We then moved back north to Hope Town but there were no moorings or slips available so we anchored just outside the entrance to the harbor with several other boats and used the dinghy to go into town. We all climbed to the top of the Hope Town lighthouse and the view. It was windy but very clear so the view was spectacular. They enjoyed the quaint colorful cottages in Hope Town and the shops.
Our nest stop was at Guana Cay. Again, all the moorings were taken so we got a slip at the Orchid Bay Marina. This was our first time there and it is very nice but at the high end of the price range for marinas here in the Abacos. We walked across the Cay to Nippers and enjoyed the beach there and their fresh water pool. There was a fairly large crowd and live music so the place was hopping! For dinner, we went to Grabbers on the south side of Guana Cay and watched the sun set. The food was good and we all enjoyed the view.
Man-O-War was also full up so we modified out plans and anchored out at the west end of the Cay in a protected bay. It was a short but wet dinghy ride into town and we walked around to visit the shops, got some provisions (including my favorite dark chocolate covered digestives!) at the grocery store, and went to see Lola and bought a loaf of her wonderful home made bread and some cinnamon rolls! Dinner was on board and featured a pork tenderloin, Dick’s famous Bahamian pigeon peas and rice, and mixed vegetables. Sue made a white cake with chocolate icing for desert and we each had an ice cream sandwich bar that KAT bought and celebrated Jaidan’s birth day (March 15th) and Sue’s and mine. Kat and Jackie had brought us a birthday bag of edible goodies that we had opened when they arrived and we had a few birthday presents for Jaidan.
Our last stop on the tour I\was Treasure Cay where we walked across to the beach but got driven off by a short rainsquall. The next morning we enjoyed their freshwater pool before heading back to Marsh Harbor so they can make their return flight on the 3rd.
Sue and I were both concerned about a four year old being on the boat but overall it worked out well. He seems to have had a good time and other that being a bundle of constant energy that wears us down, it has been fun. Jackie suffered a touch of “mal de mare” but the motion sickness pills we have aboard seemed to cure it. Other than a little too much wind, the weather cooperated and it was a good week.
Sue and I now begin to get ready for the crossing back to the states. We add some fuel as a reserve for the crossing and did a few days of provisions before we head west. We will go back to Manjack Cay and wait there for a weather window for the crossing but should be back in the States by the middle of the month.

Posted by Dick at 06:55 AM