Winter 2014-15 Bahamas Trip


Bahamas Trip Winter 2015 -- 1 to 31 March 2015

1 Mar 2015 -- Harbour View Marina, Abaco, Bahamas

Winds from the east at 20 but we are fully protected from east winds so it was simply a warm sunny day at Harbour View. Carey cleaned and we both read and relaxed. I attended the weekly Bocci Ball tournament and lost in the first round with my partner Mike. I'll have to practice a bit. Carey and I had soup for dinner and are now relaxing. Maddy is sleeping. Good day.

Another Bocci Bay Tournament
A local restaurant -- Snappas
The local 5 Star Restaurant -- Wally's

2-3 Mar 2015 -- Harbour View Marina, Abaco, Bahamas

The 2nd was another warm and sunny day.  We relaxed and enjoyed.  On the 3rd we completed a few chores early in the day and then Phil had to go out and find cheap wine. Old friends John and Ria on "His Idea" joined us for lunch at Wally's then we spent some time with Joe and Sue from "Windsweep." Great start to the day. At five about 30 in the Marina showed up for Pot Luck and Trivia at the pool area. Good fun. A couple on "Explorer" that showed up on the 2nd turned out to be a couple with professional diving experience.  The wife, Janka was the boat Captain on a boat of divers that found a 19th century wooden steam ship that went down in the Great Lakes in the 19th Century. She had a video of the film that National Geographic published on the find, called "Ghost Ships of the Great Lakes." One of our marina mates on a 60+ foot Hatteras invited all of us to his boat where we played the video that National Geographic made. Amazing. The couple said that were just divers and did not make a ton on money on the find, but really enjoyed doing the diving. It was great to talk about the national geo story with those that were involved in the event.

Maddy moves the pillows so she is comfortable
Beautiful Sunset
Crowd gathering for Pot Luck and Trivia
The gang after Trivia

4-5 Mar 2015 -- Harbour View Marina, Abaco, Bahamas

Nice couple days. Yesterday was catching up with Joe and Sue, friends from Canada; they arrived today in Marsh Harbour. We went to lunch and later jumped in their dinghy to eat some Bar-b-queued Ribs at the Jib Room. John and Katherine, also friends from Canada joined us. After dinner Joe, Sue and Carey and I played Farkel, a dice game and a round of Uker (a game we've been learning). This morning we slept late. Carey did laundry and we enjoyed the company of other boaters at the Marina. I made time to get some more wine and the missing ingredient for my Goombay Smash drink. Carey and I had one tonight and we pronounced it the best in the Bahamas.

Carey & Sue in Dinghy - smiling
Sailboat  in Marsh Harbour
Beautiful Motor Boat
Jib Room Outdoor Area
The gang at Jib Room
Our crew at Jib Room

6-7 Mar 2015 -- Harbour View Marina, Abaco, Bahamas

More nice days. Friday the 6th was sunny and warm and a quiet day with friends at the Marina. Carey and I had a relaxing 2 hour lunch at Wally's, the multi-star restaurant just across the street from the marina. We had a nice dinner onboard and went to sleep early. Today we experienced a cold front passing with rain and clouds, nice day to read and watch TV, which we did. After a happy hour with the marina mates Carey fixed a great lamb dinner on board. Loved it.

Carey during lunch at Wallys
The rain arrives

8-9 Mar 2015 -- Harbour View Marina, Abaco, Bahamas

Sunday the 8th was a beautiful sunny day we really enjoyed. Went to the Bocce Ball tournament in the afternoon after watching my Sunday morning news talking head shows. You know, I'm really glad to be distanced from them. We really have a problem with the governing bodies today. Well ... we are enjoying the Bahamas ... no problems here. On Monday we're up and around as many people moved around in their boats. We decided to stay put as did some friends of ours on their new 72' Viking Sport Fish. At the afternoon social happy hour Maddy provided the entertainment by jumping off the pier into the water. Everyone got in the act and we safely got Maddy back on the dock and cleaned up. Thanks Maddy for the entertainment!

Today was also planning day. We decided to do another Tahiti Beach trip this week as well as a stop in Hope Town. We'll return to Marsh Harbour on Friday, take the ferry to Guana Cay and Nippers for the Barefoot Man concert, then return to Marsh Harbour for their St Paddy's Day Parade -- the shortest parade in the world --- just 3 minutes. After that we'll leave for Green Turtle Cay followed, weather dependent, for West End and the states. Hopefully we'll be back in Florida sometime about the 25th of March. We'll then move north toward Colonial Beach, hopefully arriving end of April after the snow has left. Carey has some medical appts we'd like to make but want to get up their after the snow has left.

Beautiful 72' Viking Sport Fish
Monday evening Happy Hour on the pier
Maddy relaxing after her swim

10-11 2015 -- Harbour View Marina, Abaco, Bahamas

We have settled into a routine. We're into pleasing ourselves and sleep till 8, read and relax, then pick a nice spot for lunch where we eat well and talk about future plans. Returning to the boat we take Maddy for a walk and read a bit more. Five o'clock is happy hour with the boaters that are in the marina that night. While there are a few regulars there are always new people to meet and talk to. Very nice. Carey then fixes us a great meal and we relax on the back deck. It may be we're into moving aboard the boat for a while. Today we decided to forego the Barefoot Man concert in Guana Cay this weekend. We are going to be the dog sitters for all the boaters while they attend the event, which we are not all too excited about. We're preparing for the St Paddy's Day Parade! We'll get underway after St Paddy's Day and head back to the states ... slowly!!!

Maddy waiting for Carey to return to the boat
Steel Hull Boat with Fed Ship Markings
View out our aft deck
Man powered dinghy ... across our stern

12-13 Mar 2015 -- Harbour View Marina, Abaco, Bahamas

No pictures last two days. Quiet couple days doing boat chores ... laundry and changing zincs on the main engines ... along with enjoying the sun and warmth of the Bahamas. We're also doing the planning for the trip home to Virginia.

14-15 Mar 2015 -- Harbour View Marina, Abaco, Bahamas

Saturday was a great day with Carey and I planning our departure from the Bahamas. Again, a great 2 hour lunch with rum drinks and plenty of relaxing under the sunny skies and in the warm temperatures. Carey also fixed a great dinner Saturday night. A local fisherman came by and Carey purchased 8 lobster for $35.00. We ate two Saturday evening. Sunday started with no wind and sunny skies. We're above 80 degrees and enjoying. I fixed pancakes and bacon for breakfast. Mid afternoon we took in the Bocce Bay tournament then returned to the boat for the evening. Shrimp and pasta on the menu. Since I took no pictures, I decided to show some pictures of the local Junkanoo parade that is held in the Bahamas during February. A friend gave us these pictures that are almost professional grade. Legend has it that you don't need an excuse to party in the Bahamas and have not for the last 500 years. But ask folks here at the top of the Caribbean how The Bahamas Junkanoo tradition got started and they'll all tell you a different story; with many believing it was established by John Canoe, a legendary West African Prince, who outwitted the English. Whatever, it is a great and beautiful parade.

A different kind of drummer
The dancing ladies

16-17 Mar 2015 -- Harbour View Marina, Abaco, Bahamas

Monday was an easy day with sunshine and light winds. We prepared for the St Paddy's Day Parade that would happen on Tuesday. When we got moving Tuesday Carey was busy with the marina boaters getting ready for the St Paddy's Day Parade. About 150 people participated in the "shortest" St Paddy's Day parade. It's about 1 and one half blocks long and loads of fun. See pictures below. After the parade and party Carey and I went, with a bunch of the boaters to Wally's (our local 5* restaurant) for dinner. Great Day. Tomorrow we'll off towards Florida. We'll stop first at Guana Cay, then Great Turtle followed by West End. Weather appears good to cross the Atlantic on Saturday or Sunday. We'll watch and adjust our schedule depending on the weather.

Phil and Carey
Grand Marshal and Friend
People gathering
Young Ladies dressed for Parade
Parade Organizers John and Mel
Grand Marshal Mike and Chris
The Parade
And more of the Parade
End of Parade Party at Snappas
Two fisted drinking
Phil enjoying
Carey "relaxing" at dinner at Wallys

18 Mar 2015 --Orchid Bay Marina, Guana Cay, Bahamas

Underway after fueling this morning we moved out of Harbour View Marina, Marsh Harbour about 10 AM. We traveled 12 miles to Guana Cay and moored at Orchid Bay marina, our first stop on the way back home. We rented a golf cart and took Maddy for a ride. We ate lunch at Nippers then came back to the boat to read and relax. We went to Sundowners, the restaurant at Orchid Bay, for ribs this evening and are now back on board. We're planning on passing Whale Cay (required passage to the Atlantic and back) and move to Green Turtle tomorrow where we will stop and pick up a sweat shirt for Nancy Vineyard tomorrow then back underway to Spanish Cay. We've never been to Spanish Cay and want to see what it is like. The weather forecast indicates Saturday is the best Atlantic crossing day to Florida so we are planning on arriving at West End Friday evening.

Transport Ship for Goods
Sea of Abaco Waters
Simply beautiful waters
Different colors indicate depth
View from Nippers Restaurant
Another Nippers View
Road to Nippers
Size of Road on Guana Cay
Main road north of Guana
Sundowners Restaurant
Us at dinner

19 Mar 2015 --Treasurer Cay Resort, Bahamas

Underway at 8:30 from Orchid Bay and headed toward Green Turtle Cay through the Whale Cay cut. We noticed breaking waves as we approached the Cut but kept going and hoped for the best. As we came north up Loggerhead Channel the waves increased from next to nothing to 5-7' with breaking waves ahead of us. White water at about 10 foot high. We talked to one sailboat ahead of us and he, an ocean going sailboat. said, "It ain't nice."  When the waves increased over 7 feet we turned around and headed for Treasure Cay. We are pleasure boaters and decided to stay another day waiting for the cut to quiet down. We moored at Treasure Cay and relaxed all afternoon. For dinner they had a Pizza Night where over 300 people attended (boaters, apartment renters and land owners). Great fun and we met some nice people. Now aboard. We'll see what happens with the weather tomorrow.

20-21 Mar 2015 --West End, Grand Bahamas

We had a great time at Treasure Cay on the 19th.  Up early the 20th to see if we could make it through the Whale Cay Cut. Underway with our fingers crossed, we did not see any breaking waves and when we entered the cut there were just 4 foot long swells that were really easy to navigate. Once through the cut we decided to bypass Spanish Cay and headed for Great Sale Cay due to time and distance that required us to be near high tide approaching West End on the 21st. Safely anchored at Great Sale Cay by 5:30 PM after a long underway day. We tried Maddy out on the bow so we would not have to put the dinghy in the water. It worked! Hurray for Maddy! We don't run the generator at night and the evening was one without wind so it was a bit warm ... neither Carey or I slept much. Up at 7:00AM Maddy proved she had not forgotten how to use the bow so we were underway at 7:30. We took a nice easy trip of 45 miles to West End.  Tomorrow appears to be a great crossing day so we ought to be back in Florida by 1 or 2 PM tomorrow (Sunday).  Tonight we'll go the local restaurant for our farewell to  the Bahamas dinner. 

Waterfront homes at New Plymouth
Sail boats on Sea of Abaco
Shrimp boat towing small craft

22 Mar 2015 -- North Palm Beach Marina, North Palm Beach, FL

Last night we had a great farewell dinner to the Bahamas and were surprised by a local Junkanoo Parade and a view of some very large pleasure boats. Up on the 22nd we fueled and headed toward Palm Beach, just over 55 NM. Lots of boats were moving as the weather was light south winds and 2-3 foot wind driven ocean waves; easy to handle. We made the trip in about six hours at 10 knots and pulled into Lake Worth Inlet only to be greeted by the Sunday afternoon crowd of boaters at Peanut Island in Lake Worth. We made it through there and are now comfortably moored at North Palm Beach Marina where we will stay for two days to provision and get the salt off the boat.

100+ footer at West End
View of West End Marina
Lights at night on a sport fish
Junkanoo parade in West End
Peanut Island in Palm Beach
And what a crowd










23-24 Mar 2015 -- North Palm Beach Marina, North Palm Beach, FL

Monday the 23rd we continued our visit at North Palm Beach. We rented a car, checked in at Customs, found a great Mexican restaurant to eat lunch and provisioned for the trip north. On the 24th we worked on the boat, cleaning the salt off and Carey caught up with the laundry. Just nice and quiet time. We'll leave tomorrow for Ft Pierce. We are looking for a good marine repair facility at Ft Pierce. We've had an intermittent problem with the anchor windlass so today I cleaned all the connections and hoped for the best, but a stud that holds the negative double ought (00/00) cable to the electric motor broke so as of today we do not have a way to retrieve the anchor electrically ... hauling in a 3/8" chain by hand is not something we want to do. So we'll try a marine facility to help us fix the problem, although right now we're not sure how big a problem we are up against. Other than a minor and easily fixed problem with a loose cable to a battery on the way to the Bahamas this is the first problem we've had.

Laundry day -- Converting conning to drying statioin
Stern in at North Palm Beach after salt removal
The Marina is full -- no slips available
Apolonia ready for tomorrows departure

25 Mar 2015 -- Harbor Town Marina, FT Pierce, FL

Underway at 9:30 AM heading for FT Pierce. We found a marine electrician who will check out the anchor windlass and the town has electrical shops that can repair most electrical motors in a day so we are hopeful we'll be able to get the windlass working in the next few days. We have reserved a place at Harbor Town Marina, a 340 slip mega marina, for the next 3 days. Our electrician will arrive tomorrow morning at 10AM and we'll see what the story is. We relaxed on board since arriving at 3:30 PM. Carey fixed a great meal and we'll bound to get to sleep early. My cousin Jan and Tom will come for a visit tomorrow night. We might find a good restaurant.

Very pretty boat on the waterway
Sailboat with lots of solar panels

26 Mar 2015 -- Harbor Town Marina, FT Pierce, FL

Electrician arrived and it took most of the day to take the anchor windlass apart. It has been determined that the gear case and electric motor were filled with water, through a worn seal. Further discussion with a repair facility in California I have decided to send the entire windlass out to California for a total rebuild then let the local electrician reinstall after the rebuild. We will stay here for a week to allow all this to happen. We really have no schedule. We are close to Jan Mason and her husband Tom (Jan is my second cousin). We got together tonight and had a great seafood meal. Hopefully we'll see each other some more over the next week as the windlass is repaired and replaced.

Anchor Windlass being removed
Windlass removed

27 Mar 2015 -- Harbor Town Marina, FT Pierce, FL

A really quiet day as we planned our next days here in FT Pierce. Tomorrow we are renting a car and will drive to the west coast of Florida. Carey has never been there so it will be a treat for her. We'll also visit Nancy Vineyard who is at their Florida home, as well as stopping by Titusville to pick up our mail that has been forwarded by our next door neighbor Debbie.   Should be a good trip. By the middle of next week we'll revamp our plans for traveling home when we find out when the repaired anchor windlass will be back and installed in the boat. This marina is as full as North Palm Beach Marina. More people are boating, at least in Florida.

Marina bar and restaurant -- good food
View of another full marina

28-30 Mar 2015 -- Harbor Town Marina, FT Pierce, FL

Saturday the 28th we rented a car, drove to Titusville, picked up our mail then made the 3 hour drive to the west coast of Florida and stayed Saturday and Sunday with Nancy Vineyard. Here husband Gary was up in Virginia trying to find some warm weather to get the their boat cleaned and ready for the season. Carey was excited about looking for a place to live in Florida so Nancy and her grand daughter Summer showed us around the area. We found some nice places. We also ate and drank a bit enjoying each others company. Monday morning we were up early and headed back to FT Pierce. After turning in the rental car we moved the boat to a new slip as a reservation has been made for the slip we were in. Tomorrow we'll be able to visit with Peggy and Diane as well as Diane McKee and her husband Ronnie, friends from Colonial Beach. Our only issue now is making sure the repair to the anchor windlass being done by a company in California is being done correctly and gets back to us soon. I'm doing research on the company as I've uncovered some troublesome information today about the company's competency.

Carey with Nancy doing a look-see of a house for sale
A home they reviewed
Nancy and her granddaughter Summer
A bar at Pine Island near Coral Gables, FL

31 Mar 2015 -- Harbor Town Marina, FT Pierce, FL

Up at a reasonable hour we had coffee and got ready for the day. Peggy and Diane arrived in their boat about 2:30 PM. We had some drinks and waited for Diane McKee and a friend of the group, Pete. They arrived about 5 PM. We all had drinks aboard Apolonia and moved to the Marina Restaurant about 6 PM. A great meal and we really enjoyed visiting with local Colonial Beach friends in Fort Pierce.

Peggy and Diane docking at Harbour Town Marina
Local Colonial Beach Friends eating at FT Pierce
Peggy and Diane at the Restaurant
Diane McKee at the Restaurant