Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Exciting News

Okay, so here it is the second week in August and lots of stuff has happened since I last blogged. I knew that last posting things were being set into motion but I didn't want to jinx us by saying anything to anyone. For a couple years now Dirk & I have tossed around the notion of getting a bigger, blue water boat so that we could make a longer journey into the Caribbean in more comfort. We looked at so many boats and decided between a couple that we liked. We of course had some must haves, some would like to haves and things that just wouldn't work for us. We of course knew too that in order for us to move up that we would have to sell our Tybee Time. As much as we hated to as she has been an incredibly boat for us, we would have to make that leap. Once we made it to Merrit Island we put her on the market for sale by owner and began the task of moving off of her. We realized it would be difficult to show the boat while living full time with a cat on board. Thats where my sister came in and allowed Dirk and I along with Capt Butters to move into her mother in law apt. It is amazing how much stuff we took off of Tybee and she actually gained 4 to 5 inches of waterline once we were done.

Can you believe all this came off of our 40 foot Tybee Time?
 This whole time we are keeping our eyes open for boats to go see as we are in an area that has quiet a few to offer. I had spotted a boat that we liked still on the market from last year and wondered if it was still available. It was on the West coast of Florida and we called the owner and set up a time to take a look see. After the initial viewing we decided to think about it, crunch numbers and make an offer, all depending on outcome of the survey of course. While on the other side of the state Tybee Time was sparking some interest and we got an offer on her just 3 weeks after listing. Of course than the waiting game is on....waiting on surveys, waiting on price adjustments, waiting on counter offers, and the whole while we are doing the same on the other boat. We ended up closing on the new boat and within a couple days closing on Tybee Time. Whew, what a hassle but it couldn't have worked out any better. The timing was perfect.....We ended up selling Tybee Time to a wonderful couple who will be taking her to North Carolina. Her name will be changed and she will begin her new life with them. I can only hope she brings them half of the joy that she has brought to Dirk and I and feel that she will be loved and cared for as she was with us. As we were putting final paperwork on board her the other day we walked around her once more talking of memories with tears in our eyes. Tybee Time has been a huge part of Dirk and I's life for 4 years now and she is not only a "boat" but part of us. She has carried us to beautiful islands, allowed us to catch many meals and protected us in even the worst of seas. She will be missed.....
As we said goodbye to Tybee Time
On the other hand, we now have our new boat that will keep us busy to say the least for at least a couple months. Once we pulled her for the out of water survey we told them to block her and once we finalized the paperwork they could begin work. I have started a new blog for her and have posted the first one already. We would love for you to follow us as so many of you have done in the past. The new link is http://www.svrenegade.blogspot.com/ . She is a 1987 47 foot Vagabond with so many features that we were looking for in a new, old boat.
            Our new boat s/v Renegade
so join us as we begin a new adventure and chapter of our lives filled with refits, travels and information. We are so excited about starting this new adventure and can only hope the memories of Tybee Time and the life she provided us will never fade.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Back in the USA since June 11

Yea, yea, yea, I know I'm a slacker. Once we arrived back in the USA I slipped into mega lazy mode. I think a big part of my laziness stems from the fact that we didn't want to come back. We had 5 wonderful months filled with fishing, conching, spearing, and snorkeling. We had friends and family visit and were able to show them so many wonderful and beautiful places and we ran into several friends made last year. We also made so many new ones that I'm sure we will stay in contact with for some time. Cant wait for the day that we turn south rather than west when leaving the Bahamas for points further into the Caribbean. Once we had gotten to Bimini on the 7th of June there was a couple days of nasty winds so we stayed put taking the time to rest up, do laundry and do a little beach walking.

Shipwreck of the Gallant Lady on Bimini

Early on the 11th we bid farewell as we slowly motored out the channel with predictions of light to moderate winds predicted. Of course our luck wasn't having any of that and a couple hours in, the winds picked up along with the seas. Our course was set northwest heading for the West Palm Beach inlet. Of course the winds changed a bit coming out of the northwest which put us on an uncomfortable up and down bucking into the waves. 25 knot average wind speed with waves 6 to 8 feet keep us soaked once we slightly changed course for a more comfortable ride. On a couple of occasions we had waves come over the side that completely soaked me from head to toe, not the happy ending to our trip we wanted. About 11 hours later, because of the altered course taken we finally entered the inlet and anchored in just about the same spot we anchored 5 months earlier while waiting on weather to cross. Dirk went and checked us into customs and we settled into 2 days of sleep and relaxing before heading north on the ICW. We had decided that Titusville would be a nice place to spend the summer and it wasn't too far up the ICW. After getting an e-mail from friends we met while in the Bahamas we opted for Harbortown Marina on Merritt Island which is right off the Barge canal and 20 minutes from the Atlantic. It took us a couple days to get there and decided we really like it. Its very convenient in terms of location with a good price and they don't charge a live-a-board fee that so many marinas charge these days. Restaurant on the premises with great food and reasonable prices, cheap laundry, clean bath houses and a nice pool. So if anyone is in need, check it out. We decided that for the summer we needed to get lots of things done so we had to break down and purchase a used car to get us around. Seems weird cruising down the interstate at 70 MPH after spending so many months going 5 MPH in the boat. I have a sister that doesn't live far away and she has graciously opened her mother in law apartment to us anytime we want to use it. We have taken her up on it and have enjoyed the ability to shower without walking up the dock fighting no see ums and mosquitoes. Sleeping in a real bed has been great and I still find myself reaching for the hand pump to flush the toilet. So we are settling in for a busy summer taking the time to lots of nothing and enjoying the company of my family. Hoping that once I get back into some kind of rhythm that I will be posting on a regular basis. Till next time....

Friday, June 10, 2011

Family, Friends, and Fun

Sorry for the delay in updating the blog but we have been busy with guest and showing them the beauty and wonders of the Exumas. First we had Dirk’s mom Anke in for almost 3 weeks travelling as far up the Exuma chain as Allens Cay to view the Iguanas, and then we turned south again to travel back to Staniel Cay where she was due to fly out on the 17th. Dirk & his mother Anke

On the 18th we had friends Mike & Denise we met while docked in Wilmington for the summer come visit for 10 days.

Here is Mike with one of the two Mahi Mahi he caught while visiting. He is one happy camper....
Dirk with Denise enjoying a mid morning Mimosa

So as not to repeat myself I will give a highlight of where we went and did at each place. After leaving Emerald Bay close to Georgetown we hit Galliot Cay, Staniel Cay and then we stayed a couple days at Compass Cay so we could enjoy the Pipe Creek area which turns out this season to be one of our favorites.

Anke enjoying the beauty of the Pipe Creek area

A huge hermit crab we found
A honeycomb cowfish i spotted while snorkeling in Pipecreek

And here is a pretty pink-tipped sea anemone

We took the dinghy over to Compass Cay Marina and docked for an $8.00 per person docking fee. This allows you the use of the trails and beautiful beach front that faces the Exuma Sound.
The beautiful Exuma Sound beach at Compass Cay

They also allow you to swim with the many nurse sharks that they have claimed as pets and thus have them named.

Anke & I petting the sharks

Me swimming down to pet these very docile guys

You are allowed to snorkel the entire marina area and I was surprised how many coral heads and beautiful fish there were lurking under the yachts docked there.

A very pretty queen triggerfish finds us lurking about his coral head. He better be glad he is in a no fishing spot as these babies are fantastic to eat.

From Compass we went to Warderick Wells, grabbed a mooring ball in the north mooring field, snorkeled the reef and walked the trail to Boo Boo Hill where we added Ankes name to our boat sign and where Denise & Mike made their own sign to add to the pile.We were also visited by these beautiful little birds called Bananaquits that will come and eat sugar right out of your hand.

Anke enjoying the company of a hungry bird

We also found that during breakfast they would come sit on the table trying to steal your muffins and sip your coffee. Sometimes we had four at a time and even had a brave one fly below to see what he could grab from the galley.
From Warderick we hit Normans Cay which is another favorite of ours as it has the drug plane that crashed that you can snorkel and its full of wonderful fish always ready for someone to toss some food to them.

Plane from the top side

View of whats left of the cockpit

Side view

There is also a place we call sand dollar beach as you can pick up so many sand dollars in such a short amount of time if you snorkel. It’s like a grave yard for them and the white shells are just lying strewn along the white bottom. Anke was excited about this as she loves finding them and wanted to take some home with her to decorate her Christmas tree with. Right across the anchorage there is “Palm Tree Island”, basically a tiny island that has a single Palm Tree growing on it.

Someone has put a memorial for two fellow sailors there and placed a bench so you can just sit and enjoy the scenery.

Here Dirk is being the good son and fanning mom

Normans Cay is also the home of the Beach Club, formally McDuff’s Restaurant. This is the only place you can get a meal for several Islands. The atmosphere is cozy with old worn wood tables and chairs and the owner works and mingles with the guest with a wonderful staff of friendly people. I don’t mind paying $18.00 for a burger when you can have it in such a cozy place. Anke, Denise, and Mike all seemed to enjoy themselves here. Dirk & Mike enjoying the porch atmosphere after dinner watching the sunset

From Normans its just a short hop to Highborne Cay which is where we stopped to fuel up and top off our water tanks. Anytime you can get fuel and water you do, even if it means going another hour or so out of your way. From there we headed back south to Staniel Cay which is a good anchorage to hang out in. You can anchor at Big Majors, ”Pig Beach” where you can take your scraps of food to feed the several large and other assorted sized Pigs. They can get pushy from time to time but in general are fairly docile.

Dirk feeding some of the big ones

Denise petting one that is laying in the water keeping cool

Also around the corner in front of the yacht club there are several anchorages which make it handy to get into town and it’s very close to Thunderball Grotto which provides beautiful snorkeling with fish that come out of the woodwork looking for food.

Inside Thunderball Grotto

Dirk & Anke resting on the wall of the grotto

Many people bring food for them so they are use to being hand fed and are not afraid of you. I usually take boiled rice which they seem to love and a lady gave Dirk a hot dog to feed them with. Can I say they love hot dogs but it’s a little unnerving to hold the hot dog and have these fish, some with very sharp teeth fighting for their piece. Even the queen angel fish and parrot fish were game for the dog along with many sergeant majors, snapper,and assorted other fish I don’t know the name of. We visited it several times and got lots of great photographs. So as I said, Anke, Dirk’s mom stayed almost 3 weeks and one day after she left we had Mike & Denise for 10 days.
The Staniel Cay airport, yup that's it, no gift shops or food courts here

After they flew out it signaled it was time for us to start heading to the states. Unfortunately Mother Nature didn’t quiet have that in her plans yet. So we sat at Staniel thinking we would wait for the mail boat to come in before leaving so we could re-provision some things before heading north. There was a strike recently with the mail boats once fuel got to be too much. Apparently the government doesn’t want to pay them what it cost and from what I understand it takes about $8.000 a week in fuel for the boat. So now the boat doesn’t come once a week, it is now every 10 days. For one thing the stores here are not like the ones you find back in the states. The blue building on top of the hill is the grocery store as the sign reads. That's how you find it.

They are very quaint with the minimum of supplies so when the boat doesn’t come in, well there is nothing to buy. So the mail boat was supposed to come in on Friday and we waited. Friday we called Isles General and asked what time the boat would be in only to be told that the crane was broken on it, and it was still in Nassau. Hummmm, were not waiting for it to be fixed, so we decide to take off the next day and head north. We were gonna stop at Compass Cay again so that Dirk could fill up on conch there but then we decided to skip it and continue on up to Warderick Wells where we took a mooring ball in their south mooring field by Emerald Rock. The next morning we headed up to Normans Cay to anchor. The winds were fairly strong so we wouldn't be going over to the Beach Club tonight for our last Cheeseburger in paradise. Oh well, next year. The following morning Dirk decided this was the last chance for conch so we loaded in the dinghy and headed through the cut where he always finds conch. The winds and waves were fairly rough but he kept at it and after only finding one we decided to go to a location that Rick from s/v Naked Lady had told him about. Every time he dove down he came up with one in each hand, so we spent the next half hour hunting and when he would find a big one, one smaller would be put back as you are allowed only 6 per boat at any one time. When he was happy that he found the 6 largest, we went back to the mother ship and he set about cleaning them as several stingrays were happily under the boat gathering up the scraps as they went overboard. Upping the anchor the following morning we headed up to Highborne Cay where we filled up on the last of the water and fuel we would get before heading out. We also purchased coffee creamer and eggs for $7.00 a piece. And that was a small creamer and only one dozen eggs.Our plan at first was to head to Morgans Bluff in Andros than to Bimini from there. Plans change as does mother nature and we sat in Highborne for about 2 days before we caught a decent weather window. We were finally able to pull out of Highborne at 5am the following day and traveled throughout the night deciding to make it a long trip and head directly to Bimini as our weather window had gotten shorter. After 26 long hours we finally pulled into Alice Town Bimini but not without bumping bottom first going into the not so well marked channel. Apparently were not the first from what we hear and the channel is actually a bit different than marked. Now we know... So the next leg of the journey will be written once we get back to the states. Till then we will enjoy a few days here in Bimini exploring this small island and again waiting on weather.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Goodbye to George Town

So on May 2nd we decided to pull anchor and say goodbye to George Town and head to Emerald Bay Marina. There was weather coming in and we wanted to move on so that we wouldn’t get stuck for another week there as Dirk’s mom was on board and we wanted to travel and island hop with her. We radioed ahead to another boat that we knew had left that morning to ask about the winds and the sea state as you must travel the Exuma Sound up to a cut into the much more protected banks. He stated that getting out of the cut was a bit rough but once you get out there it was very doable. We prepped the boat and headed out prepared for a short trip north with fishing lines at the ready. We prepared Anke that the cut we would be heading through would be rough but it was okay and not to be frightened. I asked if she would like a Dramamine and she said no she would be fine. We headed to the cut and indeed it got rough with water coming over the bow and the boat rocking and bucking giving everyone a rocky ride. Once we raised the sails and set our course Dirk put the fishing lines out to see if he couldn’t catch dinner. It was only to be a short ride up so we hoped we wouldn’t scare Anke too much as it was a bit rougher than even we like but we would not let on to that fact. It took us a bit to set the sails to get the smoothest roughest ride in the 15 knot winds and 5 to 6 foot seas. Uummmm, not fun but we kept the smiles going for mom’s sake. The seas were too rough for the auto pilot to keep up with it so one of us had to hand steer at all times. While Dirk was on the wheel two lines snapped at the same time signaling fish on. I took over and Dirk ran to the one hand line and began pulling it in as I tried to keep the boat under control, keep mom sitting down and try to keep me standing up. The other line would just have to wait. Dirk managed to get the fish which turned out to be a Mahi Mahi up to the boat but he needed my assistance to get it aboard as he was doing all he could to maintain his balance. I asked his mom to take over the wheel and finally convinced her all she had to do was to hold the wheel in one position and not allow it to go the other direction as the seas and wind were trying to bring us around windward. After trying several times to net the fish in we gave up and tried the gaff again. Our gaff is a bit too short to reach way over the boat and down to the waterline and you don’t want to try and haul the fish on board as we find Mahi are notorious for shaking loose and getting free. Finally after many attempts Dirk was able to gaff it and get it on board wrap it in a shower curtain to try and keep the blood from getting everywhere as I sprayed Brandy into its gills. Finally Anke said, “please take the wheel” So I took over once again as I told Dirk it was time to get the lines in so we could get into the marina and out of this mess. While the battle with the fish was going on the other fish had his opportunity and took it to leave the scene. Just as well at this point I’m thinking. As Dirk is pulling in the lines we realize that we have a line under the boat snagged. It’s not budging and we fear that it is wrapped in the prop. Usually as we catch a fish I will put the boat in neutral till it’s all over before continuing on. Somehow though this one line was in the prop and Dirk needed to go below and cut it free. He went below and changed his shorts as mom says “what is he doing?” I looked at her and said “You don’t want to know” When she saw him tying the line around his waist to keep him attached to the boat I saw her face and she was not a happy camper but there was nothing we could do. It had to be done. I had turned the boat into the wind to stop the forward motion as the sails were still up but in this position we were beating into the waves and it was incredibly uncomfortable so I turned the boat but then we were going too fast for Dirk to be under the boat. I thought we needed to drop the sails but Dirk decided against it so I ended up turning back into the wind and the boat once again began beating into the waves. Now I had to worry about Dirk getting beat in the head by the hull while he was cutting the line off the prop in water over 1000 feet deep. My fun meter is pegged as I’m trying to make sure the boat is under control, mom stays seated and Dirk stays safe. After a couple tries of unwrapping Dirk finally just cut the line loose and climbed back on board. By this time Anke was so stressed she was feeling queasy and ended up losing breakfast. It was time to get the heck outta dodge and get into a sheltered marina. Soon we were tied to a dock and I was trying to give mom a glass of wine to calm her nerves. Once we got settled in Dirk took the fish to the cleaning station and packaged it up for the freezer leaving enough out for dinner as Anke and I hit the showers. Ah, a real shower once again…..Back at the boat Dirk prepared dinner with fresh Mahi and we finally settled mom down with a glass of wine. Mother and son with the catch of the day as she is smiling to be on land once again.

Perhaps she wouldn’t recall this day being so bad for her come time to leave and head further north. We would have to travel on the outside one more day before entering the banks and calmer waters. The following day was laundry, shopping, and a nice dinner out in the evening sitting by the pool and overlooking the sound from a restaurant close to the marina. The trip up to Galliot Cay the following day went a lot better as the waves had decreased and Anke could relax a bit. From there we stayed on the inside till we made it to Staniel Cay. That evening at the yacht club there was to be a Cinco de Mayo party so we decided to get dressed and head to town. We ran into several boaters we have met along our travels and enjoyed a buffet of Mexican style dishes. Actually the chips, guacamole, and salsa were the best things to be had that evening but oh well, I didn’t leave hungry. Of course we took mom to see the pigs at Big Majors and actually beached the dinghy this time to get close and personal to them. Here we gave them some food scraps I had been saving for them and as usual they made a pig of themselves……We also took her to snorkel Thunderball Grotto and when she found she had to swim in a cave she was a bit iffy about it. I swear she thinks that Dirk and I are going to kill her yet before she makes it back to Germany. Once Dirk got her into the cave she held onto the wall as she fed the fish boiled rice and had them swimming around her. We both think she had a great time even though snorkeling is a bit rough for her to do seeing as this is only the second time she has done this in her life. Once we got back to the boat we threw the floaties off the boat, tied them to the davits and floated in the calm water reviewing the day’s events. Mornings start early and bed, well bed comes early when you try and fit so much into one day but it’s nice to have your eyes drop before your head hits the pillow. We would take off for points further north the following days but those events will wait until the next decent internet connection which could be who knows when. Seems the blog is getting further and further behind due to internet connections. Could be too that I have gotten a bit lazy but I'm claiming bad internet.That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

George Town Regatta race week

Well here it is May 3rd and we survived the George Town Family Island Regatta. Its a week long event that consist of racing, food, music, and drinking. I think some of the people put more energy into the music and drinking part of it than the racing. Boats come from all of the Bahamas and are designed in the style of the old Bahamian skiffs. Here are the skiffs coming into the harbor on the ferry. Photo compliments of Irina on Auriga

The boats line up and set anchor waiting on the race to begin and when the gun is fired they must pull anchor and sail away. On some of the boats they allow the cruisers to become part of the crew depending on how much ballast they need due to the wind.

Here is Tida Wave that won overall in the A class with one of our cruiser friends on board

Here is the sailing skiff Anna Nicole from Freeport. She most of the time came in last but the crew had fun.

Almost a tangle of boats
On the days we watched there wasn't so much wind and still there were about 11 people on board.
In town the folks built what are called shacks all along the water front the week before. I think if you had enough liquor in your home you could bring it out and call it a bar. The typical Bahamian food of peas and rice, mac and cheese, jerk pork and chicken were easily had and were all very good
Conch fritters and Kalik beer, yum
We did go and walk the shacks sampling the fare and while out walking a friend of ours spotted two celebrities. Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell were walking down the street checking things out for themselves. Dirk told me to get a pic of him as he walked by Goldie but instead I walked up and asked her if she would mind having a pic taken with him. Thanks Goldie. Dirk with Goldie Hawn. My hubby looks like a happy camper

On the 29th Dirks mom was due to fly in from Germany and arrive at 8:30 that night. We had the taxi pick us up at the market and traveled the 15 or 20 minutes out to airport just for them to tell us the flight from Miami had been cancelled due to weather. Apparently there were several bad storms along the east coast there and no planes were flying in or out. After a 60.00 taxi ride we headed back to the boat to try and get in touch with the airlines to find out when his mom would be arriving the next day, where she was and where she would be staying. We missed a call from his mom saying all the hotels were booked so her and many others were left to sleep on benches and floors till the next day. After a 24 hour flight from Germany I'm sure the last thing she was excited about was sleeping on a bench. Perhaps I would leave it up to Dirk alone to pick his mom up the next morning as we knew she wasn't a happy camper. The next morning she phoned to let us know her flight and she seemed to be in better spirits so we again got the 60.00 round trip to the airport and picked up a tired but grateful to be here mom. Mom in pink waving and happy to be here.
We took her downtown to watch a race and feed her then it was off to the boat to get her settled in.

Thanks goes out to Big Toot for the use of their big dinghy so we could get mom back without getting too wet. As usual she came bearing gifts and goodies of all the wonderful sweets Dirk and I both love.

Ummmmm........She even brought her grand kitty some treats. We spent the evening catching up and letting her take her first dip in the water and planted a nice drink in her hands.Soon after she was ready for bed and fell into bed at 8pm. After getting a good nights sleep we spent the next day catching up and took her on a hike up to the monument for a glimpse of the view and then over to the beach side for a nice long walk.

Tybee Time on the left with our friends on The Abby sailing out of the harbour and our friends boat Big Toot the trawler.

We ended up at the Sand Bar which is a little shack on the beach that serves some very good Bahama Mama drinks.I noticed while Alvin was filling the glasses with the liquor, Dirk stepped between his mom and the bar as he didn't want her to see just how much was going in. Boy, I am here to say the man does not skimp on his drink and after only one we were all put into a smiling mood. We then headed over to St. Frances resort where we usually play poker several times a week and ordered up some lunch along with a nice rum and pineapple drink. Like we needed it, but hey, Anke's on holiday. After lunch we headed to Volley Ball Beach and sat around talking while Dirk played a little volley ball. Boy, you can really tell that cruising season is just about over. Where once there were 9 players on each team there were only 4 or 5. So many folks have gone and so we think it is time for us also. On Monday the 2nd we decided it was time to head north so we pulled the anchor and headed to Emerald Bay Marina where we had stopped on the way down. We have stories to tell but alas that story will have to wait until the next blog.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Life in George Town

Life here in Geroge Town can be as lazy or as hectic as you would like it to be. On one side of the Elizabeth Harbour is Great Exuma Island where the actual town is located and on the other side is Stocking Island where the beaches are. There are anchorages on either side and usually depending on what you’re doing is where you might anchor your boat. Stocking Island is home to Monument Beach home of the Sand Bar, Sand Dollar Beach and Volley Ball Beach home of the Chat and Chill Bar. Volley Ball Beach seems to be the busiest as on any given day there is dominoes, basket weaving, yoga, cards and well, volley ball being played. You have lots of tourist from the main island that get carted over on the water taxis and us cruisers that anchor right in front of it and dinghy to shore. Activities start at about 9 am with tournament volley ball and yoga and by the time that is done the bar opens and the music begins. Lots of people gather by the volley ball courts to shoot the breeze and watch the games while we watch the tourist turn bright red in an effort to make sure they go home with a tan once leaving in a week. You can take a short walk across the island and hit the Exuma Sound side which is the ocean side to walk on the practically deserted beautiful beaches. Dirk enjoying his life

Beautiful Exuma Sound

Nothing like having a half mile of beach to oneself to contemplate life.

On Monument Beach you can hike up to the monument and take a moment to soak in the beautiful scenery and wonderful turquoise waters below.

Chris & Irina with us overlooking the sound

The view from the monument overlooking Monument Beach

Trails lead all over the island and can give you quiet a work out as some are very steep and some have ropes to aid in pulling yourself up with.

Pull Nancy, pull...

Dirk, Chris, and Irina deciding the path to take

Our mornings usually start right before 8am as that’s when the cruisers net is on channel 68. Here is where you will catch the daily weather as some other poor soul got up at 6:30 to listen to Chris Parker and relays it for us. Then you get the local businesses telling what’s going on for the day as well as activities planned by boaters. People announce who is new in the anchorage and boats departing say their goodbyes. If you choose not to do one of the many beaches for the day you can go into town which is across the harbour and an easy trek on a calm day in the dinghy. If it’s windy prepare to get wet especially if you have several people, lots of groceries, or full water cans in the dinghy with you. As you head to town you must go under a small bridge into Lake Victoria where they have a long floating dock for dinghy’s to tie up to.

The bridge and only entrance to Lake Victoria
Here also is where you can fill up your water jugs for free with RO (reverse osmosis) water.Any time we go into town we take the water cans so as not to have to do any major water runs in one day. Town has just about all the amenities that you’re likely to get in the Bahamas. A decently stocked grocery store although one must get there right after the supply boat arrives if you want a good selection of fruits and veggies to pick through. The typical road side food shacks serving up Bahamian fare and the straw market where the ladies sit around all day weaving baskets and trying to get you to buy something, anything from them. On Wednesday mornings the highlight is the propane truck at 11, or 12, or 1, whatever suits their fancy, no problem mon….Usually boaters arrive early and start the line of tanks forming. On the day we needed a fill, the truck ended up being a couple hours late so us ladies took off to do other errands such as food shopping, buying internet from the pet place not to be confused with Pets Place which is a cafĂ©. By the time we got back to the parking lot of propane tanks most of the men had dispersed to a little bar across the street for cold beer to fend off the heat. Finally the truck arrived and we were filled and headed on our way.

Tuesdays and Thursdays is Poker at St. Frances resort and we usually head over early so as to eat first. They have very good food and its priced very reasonable. We haven’t missed a day of poker since we have been here and we sometimes get invited to private games on the weekends that are meant for more of the serious players. We haven’t been doing bad at all with one or both of us making it at least to the final table and if we are lucky walking away with a bit of cash in our pocket which usually just paid our entry fee into the game but it’s the entertainment factor and the friends that we are making which makes it a lot of fun. Friday in town usually has a couple things going on to keep the average cruiser busy. Whether its Two Turtles with their barbeque ribs and live band or Fish Fry village which doesn’t exactly have fried fish as we found out. So why do people say they are heading over to the fish fry if there is no fried fish? “No problem mon”…. Sunday is the day for the pig roast on Volley Ball beach which creates a lot of boat traffic here in the anchorage. Pretty much the rest of the time one fills in the day with running errands, napping and trying to figure out your social calendar as there is so much to do. Some days we run so much I long for deserted islands again. This past Saturday was such a day, up at 8am for the cruisers net, 9am Dirk heads in for tournament volley ball, back to the boat, load water cans and selves into the dinghy and head across the harbor into town. Have lunch and help another cruiser with internet, I run to the market for a few quick items as Dirk fills the water jugs, speed back across the harbor, unload the dinghy, put away the groceries, change into bathing suits and hit the beach for fun volley ball at 2:30. After volley ball run back to the boat for a quick shower and head to poker for a private 6pm game. There were two being played that night but we could only make one as on Hamburger beach there was a parrot head party and ARG ( Alcohol Research Group) meeting going on. They were broadcasting Jimmy Buffetts live concert from Tampa as we stood around the bonfire consuming our research materials from ARG meeting. We finally left as the croud was dwindling and crashed. Not every day is that busy and thank goodness its not because I dont think I could keep up. I have to say, if your bored in George Town, its your own fault. The 26th of this month kicks off the Family Island Regatta and should be loads of fun. Already the town is building the shacks that will house all the food, drinks and fun. Its a week long event and should provide many fun times. On the 29th, Dirk's mom flys in from Germany to spend a couple weeks with us so Im keeping busy organizing, restocking and cleaning. So till next time let me get to it.

My pantry under the floor getting organized.