Monday, March 28, 2016


UPDATE for KINGSCRUISINGLOG@blogspot.com

2016 -- WHERE DID THE KING'S END UP?  

It's funny what a strange trip we took.  I looked at my last post and I sounded pretty discouraged to say the least.  I had to be away from cruising to find out how happy I really was.  Life is strange.

Let's start back in 2011 -  we ended up leaving the boat at Port Royal Marina in beautiful Beaufort, S.C.   As it turned out we made  3 cross country trips from June to November.  The first one was for us to visit family and friends along the way.  We were mainly focusing on David's mother, who lives in Puyallup.   After the visit we decided we needed to take care of her and, as we drove back the first time, we decided to sell SIMPLICITY.  We did it for the right reason but I soon realized I wanted to finish our adventure on the boat.  I remembered how awful I felt but realized I also have never felt so fulfilled.  Unfortunately,  we had an awesome broker and the second person who look at SIMPLICITY - bought it.  It only took us a month to put on the market, survery and close.

Thus the third trip back to Washington.  We got here in November and lived in Oak Harbor, Washington for 6 months.  In  March of 2012 we bought our retirement home in Gig Harbor, Washington.  I thought we would never be packing up the house again ...  strange ... I now will not say "never" when it comes to our life.

The big move, again, came in July 2014 to Bellingham, Washington.  Neither David or I had any small business experience - but we bought a boat brokerage!!!   Yes, we're small business owners.

It's now 2016 -  we're very proud of all the things we've done for  BELLHAVEN YACHT SALES AND CHARTERS!   As the days slip by we know we will buy another catamaran - probably name her SIMPLICITY again and go back to some of the happiest days of our lives.

Yes,  I know I'll have "those days" again - but they will be outweighed by the "good days!"

  We're off on our next adventure - for now.
Don't be surprised to see us bobbing around the Chesepeake or the ICW or best of all,  the Bahamas.  We met a lot of wonderful people and really want to go back to retirement and play.   Smooth Sailing to everyone.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Dave and Peg's Next Excellent Adventure????

Well, where to start?  It seems like a long time since the last blog entry so here goes.....

There's no easy or short way to tell all of our friends that we've sold the boat ..... but that's what we did. I'll start by explaining this past summer.  We found a great marina to leave the boat at so we could take a long overdue trip back to the West Coast (for some the left coast or the wrong coast) to visit with family and friends.  Port Royal Landing Marina in beautiful Beaufort, South Carolina was a wonderful spot, although we weren't there much.   We did manage to see the mansion that The Big Chill and the Great Santini were filmed in as well as have some of the best BBQ we've ever had.

I had been planning a long road trip to last from June thru August or September just to get off the boat.  We were going to spent time with friends along the way and then spend time with family in Washington and Oregon.   We made mooching along the way a new past time and  really want to give a  big thanks to: Bill and Terri McHenry,  Pat & Cheryl Dietrich and  Steve and Helen   Bastek, all Coast Guard couples we were stationed with in our CG life. 

We made it to Washington and spent time with David's mother, who is 87 and lives in Puyallup, Washington (south of  Tacoma) and then mooched, I mean moved,  onto Steve and Kathy Penn in Port Orchard, Washington.   This is where our "moving back" conversation started.  We both fell in love with  Gig Harbor, Washington, which is a little harbor town across from Seattle so knew we had a place to look at. 

I'm not sure how many people knew how unhappy I was with the cruising life.  I will admit it was a lot harder than what I anticipated and for a lot of reasons I was ready to move back to the beach.  When David and I started living on the boat we both committed to cruising for one year.  At the end of the year if one of us wasn't happy we promised to tell the other.  I can see people shaking their heads now especially if they know David would sail forever.   So,  after much discussion, we worked out at a plan to put the boat on the market, if it sold quickly, great, if it didn't sell we would take it to Florida and either cruise the Keys or go back to the Bahamas for one more year.  

I wasn't super excited about going back to the Bahamas but was glad I'd be able to see the friends we had made:   Tom and Liz, Francie and Bobby,  Skip and Carol and Randy and Jeanne,  I even had
my COSTCO list ready to go since I knew it was "just one more year" and we'd be moving back to the West Coast.

You can imagine the shock when we called our broker and he told us he had about 5 people who would be interested in our boat right away.  Long story short....we got back from the road trip in early September, only showed the boat twice.  The last showing lead to the sale and we signed the papers to sell her at the end of October.  When you sell a boat you are required to do a survey, similar to a home inspection, to see if there are any problems.   We had a major problem with a crack at the top of our boom.  To properly repair it would involve taking the mast and all the rigging down (it's called stepping the mast) to the estimated cost of $10,000.00.  OUCH....it was time to move on.

Once the boat was emptied we went back to Williamsburg and really mooched off of Bill and Terri McHenry in Kiln Creek for almost a month.  Again, another wonderful Coast Guard couple.  We also go to say goodbye to Tom and Terri Hessler in Williamsburg,   The Hessler's lived across the street from us and our girls grew up together.   Leaving Williamsburg was harder than I thought but I knew we were going back to a place we both loved. 

We loaded up a 17' UHaul, complete with car trailer, and headed west, again!!




We are now housesitting for #1 son, James, and his wife, Jennifer, who are both deployed for the next 6 months.   They have a beautiful house on Penn Cove in Oak Harbor, Whidbey Island, Washington.  Here's the view from the front window...can't seem to get away from the water!!



We've loaded the garage with all of our worldly belongings that we had stuffed into a 10' x 10' storage unit in Williamsburg.   David is actively looking for an IPA ... no, not beer, but an income producing activity somewhere around the Seattle area.  We don't know where we'll end up but until then we
have a chance to get back into being beached.  


  We also connected with David's brothers in Oregon and got to spend time with Zach in Montana, where he is now a full time bread baker at the Park Avenue Bakery.   He's also turned into an avid fly fisherman which suits David just fine since he also love being on the river.

We're not sure what the next chapter of our life will be.  Just know we appreciate all the friends we have made along the way.   If anyone is interested in staying in touch our email address is:
cgkings79@gmail.com    We'd love hearing from you. 



Friday, May 27, 2011

LAST LEG - HEADED HOME

Greetings to everyone:  We hope everyone has enjoyed reading about our ups and downs, looking at the pictures but most importantly, learning about the Bahamian people we’ve been fortunate enough to meet. We’ve had fish stories and weather tales to share.  Enjoy this last blog – I’m not doing one was we re-trace our path up the Intracoastal Waterway unless we have more “adventures” to report.  
                                                                        Dave and Peg
                                                                        S/V SIMPLICITY 

 GRAND TOTAL TRIP FACTS AS OF:  MAY 24, 2011 (to Jacksonville)

 Days Gone From VA/US:                        212  (to Palm Beach)

 Days In Bahamas:                                     149

 Total Days At Marinas:                              15

 Miles Travelled In Bahamas:             1188.45

 Grand Total Miles Travelled:            2228.05                                 

 Things Overboard:  David’s wallet … at the bottom of Lake Worth in Palm Beach, FL.       

 Total Gallons of Diesel Used:           191 gallons
                               Diesel Prices:            Dec. 10, 2010:  $4.55
                                                                       May 7, 2011       5.75
                                                                 
                                                                      
 “Other” Facts:
                                                                 Haircuts:   2 for David     1 for Peg
                                                                 PK – Colored Hair:   2  
                                       Mail Deliveries:      3

 Before we start with the latest adventures of the boat I thought it might be nice to show people who haven’t SIMPLICITY what she looks like inside and out.



Galley:  Refrigerator chest   

Galley:  3 burner propane stove - oven - 2 round sinks

Master cabin -  we have 2 other cabins with bunks

Head  (toilet) with escape hatch

Looking from port hull thru salon to starboard side
Mast is 64' high - we have to watch the height of bridges we go under

As you can see it’s small but it’s home and we’re very comfortable living on board.  
So…back to the adventure.

NO NAME CAY – GREEN TURTLE CAY – MANJACK CAY – LITTLE SALE CAY -  WEST END, GRAND BAHAMA –ACROSS THE GULF STREAM  …….HOME TO THE U.S.

May 10th:  No Name Cay is going to be one of our favorite stops.  It has everything – beaches, conch and night fishing.  Yep, night fishing!!   We have gotten in the habit of leaving a fishing pole out with bait on it.  Some time’s we get a nice  small to medium sized fish, other times not.  Tonight was the exception. 
David had left the pole out after dinner and around 9:15 I went to close the forward hatches and walked straight into his fishing line.    Nothing strange except it was on the opposite side of the boat.  I called him out and I pulled on the line by hand to see if something was on it.  Sure enough….after reeling this fish in, in the middle of the night, we netted a 28” long big-eyed jack.  The fish weighed about 10 pounds.  Our eyes got really big thinking we had about 3 meals out it.  Not the case…we cooked part of it up the next night and it tasted awful.  We’ll use it for bait or feed the birds. 

When David went to take the hook out of the fish's mouth he found out a little grunt (good eating) had taken the bait, only to be eaten whole by the jack.  David couldn’t get the hook out and when he opened the jack’s mouth there was the tail of the grunt.   Isn’t  Mother Nature grand.

Here’s one more picture of just one of the incredible beaches in the Bahamas.  The sand is white and  the water is so crystal clear it looks like the dinghy is floating in mid-air.


Beach at No Name Cay

Floating dinghy !!!!
May 11 thru May 13th:   We were anchored off Manjack Cay waiting for a big squall to go through.  We had been on the other side of the island by dinghy looking to go snorkeling but the water was too rough.  Good think we got back when we did since the squall moved in.  We clocked some 38 knot gusts and ended up doing .08 knots as our anchor drug which meant we had to raise the anchor and go re-anchor.  Not much fun in bad weather but we did okay.

The next couple of days we went and hiked the trail with Skip and Carol.  In the evening we introduced them to BANANA GRAMS….and then played a card game we learned from our friends on MAKANI  called “Golf”.   They are going to be in the area for another week so it was time for us to tell them goodbye since we were moving north to stage ourselves for “THE CROSSING” back to Florida.

May 14th:  We’re headed for Great Sale Cay but, as is David’s routine,  2 fishing reels and one yoyo are out waiting for dinner.  We managed to get 3 big strikes, 2 at the same time, but to no avail.  Skunked again.   We were watching the weather and decided to anchor off Little Sale Cay for the night before yet another squall comes through.  It showed up with a vengeance.  Tomorrow we’re off to the West End to get ready to cross over.

May 15th:  We’re still at Little Sale.  We started to leave but the winds kicked up to 30 knots with 35 knot gusts…we’re waiting for ANOTHER squall as I type.  Time to shut electronics down and put them in the oven.    OVEN????  Whenever we have a lightening/thunderstorm come through the first thing we do is put the cell phone,  hand-held VHF and GPS unit in the oven to protect them in case  lightening strikes us or close by that way if we do get struck we will be able to communicate and navigate.


May 16th   to May 17th:  We made it to the West End where we waited for more  squalls  to come through – which they did – complete with strong winds, lightning and thunder.  Scary!   

                                          BACK IN THE U.S.A

 May 18th    through May 26, 2011:   We got underway at 7:15AM and are pointed directly at the U.S.  After 149 days in the Bahamas it’s time to “go home.”   We saw schools of flying fish and about 6 dolphins that played under the boat and around the hull giving us an incredible show.  The space shuttle went off and we saw the contrail as it made its way to the heavens!!!   I remember how proud I was watching the lift offs when I was younger and I will admit I felt the same pride as we listened to the launch on XM radio.    

We made it to Palm Beach by 4:11 PM where we tied up at the marina because we had ANOTHER problem with the generator.  We got checked back through Customs and  met some wonderful people,  Denny and Yvonne Spiedel, for a delicious Italian dinner at their favorite restaurant. 

David had ordered some parts for the generator while we were still in the Bahamas and they showed up so he could install them but  we decided to move up to an anchorage so we could be ready for an early start up the ICW so we anchored in Old Port Cove.  Luckily for us, the Spiedel’s live there so we got to enjoy another All-American dinner of burgers with them BUT….get ready……we dinghyed over to the marina where I promptly went into the water.  This time it wasn’t because I was a klutz.  There was a ladder where we tied up and since I was wearing skorts (shorts with a skirt) it would be nice not to have to crawl out of the boat.  I put one foot on the bottom rung and the ladder went down.

Apparently this type of ladder is for people who either swim or fall off their boats and is designed to slide down when weight is put on it……..  What a sight:  I was standing, on the ladder, in water up to my waist.    I gracefully got out of the water and we decided to go back to the boat so I could put some dry clothes on.  

 You know what happens next – nothing good.   Once we got on the dock David felt his back pocket for his wallet and it wasn’t there (imagine that!!).    I thought he had left it on the table in the salon so we didn’t think anything of it until we got back to the boat.   Long story short…
losing all your credit cards,  driver’s license and a military ID card has been nothing but a problem.   We called the North Palm Beach Police Department to report the “lose” and then
started calling credit card companies. 

As we made our way up the ICW we left Fort Pierce and got bombarded by MILLIONS and MILLIONS of Florida “lovebugs”.  Our cockpit was covered with black dead bugs.  They were so thick David was forced to drive the boat from outside.  He would set a course on the GPS and then go sit and watch for the next set of markers from the bow, run back, make any adjustment he needed and then go back to the bow.   The bugs didn’t bite which was a godsend but they tickled when they would land on you.    

We radioed a local boater as they passed us who told us these bugs are a regular occurrence in Florida during May and September but this year they were the worst they have had because the winds where coming in from the west.  We made our way to New Smyrna City Marina where we found out a Nordic Tug had pulled in before us and you couldn’t see the deck because the bugs were so thick.    Welcome to Florida.

So we’re here in Jacksonville visiting our son, James, who is a helicopter pilot for the Navy and  getting ready for another deployment in November.   It’s been a wonderful break from the boat and great seeing him.

We want to thank all of our friends for following this adventure with us.   It’s been a  7 year saga since we started talking about getting a boat,  looking for a boat, finding one, and then planning this trip.    We’re taking 3 months off the boat to go visit family and friends around the states and then decide whether or not we’ll do this again or if it’s time to close this chapter and move onto the next excellent adventure – whatever it may be.   Our plan right now is to leave the boat at Port Royal Landing Marina in Port Royal, South Carolina for the summer.  The boat has to be above Savannah for insurance purposes and Port Royal is perfect for us.     

Before I leave I have to thank 3 great ladies:   Francie for being my rock during a really difficult time for me.  She's cruised for 8 years and helped me work through some really difficult times I was having.  We shared a lot in our talks and will remain "sisters" no matter what.  

I'm sorry Liz and I didn't get to spend a lot of time together but the time we did share left us with the same feeling as if we had known each other for a long time.

Last, but not least,  Carol (and you too Skip).   We probably spent the most time with RHAPSODY..... snorkeling, shelling, learning how to clean conch, walking and just plain laughing!!!   Skip is like the EverReady bunny....he just keeps going and Carol, bless her heart, just keeps up with him.   

It's hard to  believe our trip is over.  One of the most important lessons we learned was this:   you have to grab whatever life brings you and go with it. Everyone tells us "we're living the dream."   We worked very hard to make our dream come true.   There is never enough time, never enough money, to do "something" you dream about.   Whatever is on your bucket list ... do it now.   We learned that lesson the hard way.  Within the last 6 months David has lost 3 close friends - his age - from heart attacks - out of the clear blue - they're gone. 

Enough of the serious stuff ....  I'll leave you with this little ode.  While we were cruising I started keeping track of boat names.  Some good, some bad,  many strange and some we just couldn't figure out what they meant.   This is no great piece of literary essay...just fun.  Boat names with ( ) include the names of people we were lucky enough to spend time with.  Here is it:
DAVID AND PEG’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE:
An Ode to Bahama Cruisers – 2010/11
Have you ever heard the story of David and Peg?  Well, it goes something like this;
David and Peg set out on their big adventure after both retiring in 2010.  They had dreamed of cruising the Bahamas – you know – incredible gin clear water, happy/smiling people and quiet anchorages.  Snorkeling and fishing also topped their list.
Once they arrived in Green Turtle Cay they met Tom and his CHIEF’S LADY, Liz  (Tom and Liz.).  They surfed the Whale along with NOTOWORRY whose HAIRBALL was like WASABI.  The trip was DESSIE  (Jeff and Claudia)  but PURRFECTIOIN (Bruce and Bobbi) was hard to find.  LUCKY DUCK and SILVERFOXES  were  LONG GONE by the time DOWN TIME TEX came along to make their  trip more enjoyable.  Of course, I LOST IT had GOOD GENES and were SOMEWHERE HOT but we won’t go there because INNOCENT AGE was having its LAST DAY before heading to the Exumas.
Then they were lucky to meet Bobby and Francie – a super couple who did a lot of BAREFOOTIN (Bobby and Francie)  in the Bahamas.  They also run into cruisers who had LOST MARBELS along the way.    People who cruise the Bahamas usually have someone FORWARD MY CALLS to the DRAGON LADY which causes their ENDORPHINES to turn into WIND DUST.   Of course, we all know that WIND DUST makes you get GOOSEBUMPS and doesn’t help your YOUWARKEE at all.  But that’s another story.
BAREFOOTIN Francie found the WORTHLESS WINCH Peg on SIMPLICITY.   Francie turned out to be Peg’s YODA.  Peg had lost her ZAFU.  The WET WINCH was actually kind of YOUWHO and wanted to make like a POLAR PACER and get her MANGO GROOVE (Al and Christina) back to the States but after making it to Georgetown, Exuma  there was no LIQUID FENCE that could keep MY SHARONA from venturing farther out to discover the real Bahamas.  The spirit of MAKANI (John and Kathi) was with them. 
If Peg HAD A HAMMER she would have hit POPEYE square in DOOR #3 for eating too many MAGIC BEANS and GRANOLA  and COOKIE MONSTER and there is a FINE LINE before  the FAT BOTTOM GIRL starts BREAKING WIND before they see DOC SEA N ESS for a diagnosis. 
 Of course, by the time SEA EAGLE soared to new heights with MICLO 3 (Rob and Ellen), MUTUAL FUN (Randy and Jeanne) had everyone in RHAPSODY (Skip and Carol) over snorkeling and spear fishing.      
Bobby and Francie are still out there BAREFOOTIN along with RHAPSODY, maybe with CHRISTOPHER ROBIN or some other lucky cruiser whose permits haven’t run out yet. 
SHAM-A-ZADA -  we hope to find them all again in these beautiful Bahamas cays. 
Manjack Cay
May 2011So we’re signing off for now or as they say in the cartoons…… 

                                         THA..THA…THAT’S ALL FOLKS !!!!!!!!!

Looking towards the west and   HOME!!!!!!
                                                                          THE END


                                                                           




Sunday, May 8, 2011

ABACOS - HEADED NORTH TO WEST END SETTLEMENT, GRAND BAHAMA


TRIP FACTS AS OF:   MAY 8, 2011  HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY !!
                           
Days gone from VA:            202
                      
Days in Bahamas:                140

Miles Travelled:                2,084.7

Things Overboard:          Tahiti Beach:  Captain Dave overboard getting into kayak.
                                                 Underway to Marsh Harbor:   One Appalachian Trail hat … no I didn’t let him go back and retrieve it.
                                                Great Guana Cay:  One screwdriver swapping out anchors

Trip Firsts:              David speared his FIRST fish.  It tasted GREAT
   I finally made the best batch of conch salad since we got here


NORTHBOUND:  LYNYARD CAY – MARSH HARBOR -TAHITI BEACH (ELBOW CAY)  - HOPETOWN (ELBOW CAY) TO MAN O’WAR - GREAT GUANA CAY – MARSH HARBOR

April 9th:  I’m going to change the format this blog.  We got back to Abacos on James’ birthday, April 9th, and anchored at Lynyard Cay for five days.   We met up with friends, Skip and Carol, on RHAPSODY, and met new friends, John and Kathi on MAKANI.   MAKANI are also friends of Bobby and Francie (B/F) and BAREFOOTIN.   It’s truly a small world here and we're really glad B/F have so many friends.  

While there the guys took on the role of “Hunter/Gatherer” for fish and conch while Kathi and I took on “Seekers of Sea Glass” roles.   Carol did a lot of snorkeling with the guys but she loves that AND shelling/sea glass gathering. 

April 15th:  On the way to Marsh Harbor we hit 2000 miles!! Not bad for a couple of rookies!!  Anyway, we settled into our home-away-from-home marina, Harbour View Marina, to fully re-charge the batteries, take on water and go to the grocery store.  While we were there we meet Jeff and Claudia on DESSIE.  They are the captain and chef on board  a  Festiva Vacation 44’ Lagoon.  Jeff’s from the UK and Claudia is from Germany.  We shared stories about “vacationers” and how they do on their cruises.  Funny stuff.
 

April 19th:    We moved back down south to Tahiti Beach, just off the end of Elbow Cay where David  speared his first fish!! which we promptly had for dinner that night.  It was delicious!!   

One night we all went to Rake N’ Scrape at the Abaco Inn.   Rake N ’Scrape is just what it implies:  musical instruments are a saw and either a hammer or knife, scraping the saws, however, there is no rake involved.    It’s music that gets you dancing.  Skip and Carol are such a quiet, shy couple … NOT…they love to dance and were almost the only ones out there dancing.


                                                               Carol and Skip
 While David was  snorkeling another day I was walking the beach looking for sea glass, of which there was none, but I saw piles and piles of these little shells.  Turns out they are baby conch shells.  The female conch lays egg clusters of millions of eggs at one time.  This is what’s left when they die off for whatever reason.



There were tons of these pods of shells in the rocks all around the beach.

April 21st:  We headed back to Hopetown and grabbed a mooring ball from LUCKY STRIKE.  His real name is Truman and he comes by each night, usually with his 2 boys in tow, to collect $20/night.  It’s well worth the money especially when there’s a “blow” or storm coming through.   Lucky us,  a really bad blow came through complete with thunder/lightening and tons of rain.   Since most Bahamians collect rain water it was a welcome site…except for the lightning and thunder.  According to Truman they got around 3”.

Hopetown has some of the quaintest streets in the Abacos with beautiful flowers ..and I keep taking the same pictures of them so just need to share them with you...























































 







One of the most unique plants we've discovered throughout the Bahamas are SEA GRAPES.  When Stephanie was here she really didn't get to see them in full bloom so here you go Sweetiepie:




One of my most favorite houses in Hopetown is called “Plantation House” and it’s for sale.  Imagine that…only $795,000 buys you the house, a dock on the Harbor side and a magnificent view.   On one side is a Memorial Garden so you won’t have anyone building next to you.  Take a look….

This is the front of the house..... here's their backyard...

As you walk the streets you soon discover all the power lines run down the middle of the path.  As you will see they hang down really low.....sorry Zach...you have to go to either side.



Just so everyone knows - David is 5'10" and Zach is 6'7"!!
 Since I have drug David all over town he decided he needed to take a break.......it's a rough life out here.



In most of the settlements you have to schlep your garbage ashore and deposit it in bins around town where it's picked up on certain days.  In Hopetown garbage days are Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM.   The truck leaves the dock and they go burn it.   After we grabbed our mooring ball, the captain of the BEAUTIFUL, custom made sailboat dinghyed over and took our garbage in for us.   What a guy!!!

One of the strangest things we’ve encountered happened during the day  when we heard what sounded like “thumping” on our hull.  We finally discovered the noise was from a school of fish boiling around the hull.  We decided some big barracuda was trying to make them a meal.  Another day David was outside and watched a big Eagle Ray jump out of the water.  Apparently this is nothing unusual for them. 

After cruising the Bahamas  you come to understand how important boat building is to the island.  In the Abacos the Albury Brothers, from Man O'War, have a hugh influence. 
Later, under Man O'Way, you 'll see some of the Albury's work but this is one of the small Abaco boats we found in Hopetown.


April 27th:  We moved up the Sea of Abaco to Man O’ War (MOW) which turns out to be one of our favorite stops.  As I am writing this, we have come back, yet again.   MOW is a quiet settlement with no bars or alcohol sold.   Yep, it’s dry and they actively fight bringing in alcohol!!  

We’ve met some really neat people on this trip and Lola Sawyer is no exception.   Lola was born and raised on MOW.    We were told by other boaters to watch out for Lola and her golf cart because she will sell you the best cinnamon rolls in the Bahamas!!  They were right.

Everyone meet Lola Sawyer, Cinnamon Bun Queen:

  


We were walking up one of the streets/golf cart paths when this nice little lady stopped us.   I asked her if she was Lola and she said yes….the rest is on our hips.  We’ll look for her again when we come back.

Once we reached the end of the road this is the view that  greeted us – it’s right next to the MOW Cemetery which is to the left.   What a nice place to be put to rest:





This is the name on the house right across the street from the cemetery….and probably very true:



MOW is famous for their boat building.  The Albury Family produces some of the best boats in the Bahamas and they are VERY expensive since they are handmade and the craftsmanship is remarkable.  We went on-line and googled them….a used boat is close to $60,000 but well worth it (if you can afford one.)


It always seems ironic to me when we run across cotton plants.  Loyalist settlers brought cotton from their plantations in the Carolinas and tried to grow it here as cash crop and failed.    But here is some cotton in a one of the yards here ….. I’d like to think it’s a continuation of what the Loyalists tried to produce.  David says not, but , yeah,  it’s a nice thought.


April 28th thru April 30th:   There was another blow coming through so we moved back over to Marsh Harbor and anchored out.  A terrible thunderstorm came through as we watched from the cockpit.  There was a lightning strike that was so close to us it made the hair on the back of our necks stand up.  But again, it brought some much needed rain.  While we were there the generator decided it was time to act up.   After troubleshooting and imagining  the worst, David was able to figure out we needed a new battery which he got and saved us from having to leave for the states ASAP.


MAY FIRST:  HELL DAY – MURPHY’S LAW DAY – What could go wrong..went wrong:   After the storm went through we had planned to move to Great Guana Cay, Home of Nippers and Grabbers – both world famous beach bars.   The wind was blowing pretty good – gust around 25 and some chop out in the Sea of Abaco but nothing to keep us from going.

As we were in the middle of the passage David and I heard a strange popping noise and we both looked around the cockpit and then up towards the top of the mast.  What we saw was our mainsail falling into the lazy jack bag….this is what shredded webbing looks like…

Unfortunately, the ring and block are still at the tippy top of the mast so David will get to go climb up there to retrieve them.

There wasn’t anything we could do except be glad we were where we were and not in the middle of the Gulf Stream.   David put his life jacket on, climbed on top of the bimini and secured the sail.  As of this writing the “O” ring is still attached to the halyard at the top of the mast.  When the wind dies down he’ll climb up and retrieve it.    We should have figured something else was going to go after we lost the clew but…….lesson learned the hard way.   We had been sailing around with one reef in the sail and were doing fine.  Now, we have no mainsail.  We still have our jib and spinnaker but no main stinks.

That’s not the end of the day.  We get to the anchorage and the holding was terrible.  There is a lot of turtle (sea) grass here which is great for conch but not good for anchoring.  The wind had picked up a bit and we tried 4 times to get the anchor to hold.  Now mind you,  we have been anchoring  a lot since we got here and this has never happened.  Poor David,  he’s getting frustrated,  I’m getting frustrated and tired and all of a sudden, we lose the starboard engine. Great!!   We have this big yacht behind us and the owner’s out on the deck watching us.  I wave at him nicely as we go around him with our one engine.    As it turned out,  when we were out getting tossed around the line that  holds the dinghy on the davit came loose and wrapped around the engine shaft.

My super Captain very calmly got us anchored, after many deep breaths, then donned his wet suit/snorkel and jumped in.   The line must have just barely been wrapped because it came up really easily.  End of that saga.     Murphy must have been smiling as he messed with us.

The next day we headed to Nippers Sunday Pig Roast with a couple of hundred other people and had a fine time.  The pig was great but the people watching was better.  There was this guy stretched out on a towel on the beach who didn’t move……not one inch…..for several hours.  I was worried he was dead but no one would let me go nudge him to see if he moved.  He eventually got up and wondered off.

The other guy we were watching was so sunburned – I mean BEET red.  We should have taken bets to see how much aloe he had to put on. 

Skip and Carol from RHAPSODY were with us and as usual, Skip was the life of the dance floor.  He’s a crazy man with a super attitude and really loves to have fun.    Jeff and Claudia off of DESSIE were also here.  

                                 People in pic:  L to R:  me, Carol, David, Claudia, Jeff and Skip.

The music was oldies but goodies and really loud but I’m sure it made all the “mature” folk feel like we were back in our teenage years.  AHHHH, walks down memory lane.  Here are just a few pictures to give you an idea:

                                    Certainly can't beat the location and people watching...

After Nippers we made our way to Grabbers Beach Bar on Sunset Beach.  This was a much a much more subdued  spot with live music, bocce ball and ring toss.

Here's another nice place to sit and have a drink and enjoy the sunshine:




The next day we moved down to the south end of Great Guana next to RHAPSODY and in the process of swapping out anchors we lost a screwdriver overboard.  The turtle grass was terrible and finding a sandy spot was difficult but we finally got anchored up.     

We took our dinghy’s to a dock that belongs to the vacant house that’s for sale – interested???


The house comes with a dock on the Sea of Abaco side but the lot goes across the island to this gazebo and their own beach.  Not bad.  I'm trying to find out how much it costs, if I do I'll let you know next blog.

May 3rd thru May 5th:   We decided we wanted to go back to MOW so off we went.  We anchored in “our” spot and relaxed.  The last time we were here David went snorkeling and saw a nice grouper that kept hiding from him so he jumped back into the water and tried to find it again.  No luck.   In the afternoon we watched as the local kids took their swim lessons at the beach by the boat.  Once the lessons were over the kids where picked up by parents in skiffs or in golf carts.  What fun.

We went back into town and found Lola again.  This time we bought 2 packs of cinnamon rolls.  We were trying to save one of them for James with no luck.    We already ate the first batch and are working on James'.  Sorry fella.

The morning we were leaving I went out on the deck to check the anchor.  The water was so clear and calm we got a great picture...

May 5th:   There was another blow coming through so we're headed off  to Hopetown, yet again.  David wanted to go fishing on the "outside"... i.e., the ATLANTIC OCEAN.  We went through the North MOW cut into the ATLANTIC OCEAN.  The rollers and swells were manageable to start out but not for long.  At least for “Rubber Legs” Peg….  David said I turned white.  I wouldn’t know since I took my position lying down in the salon and then I'd would bolt to action when I heard the fishing pole screaming, which happened 3 times.  The first time David thinks it was a mahi since we were in about 200’ of water and fought a little bit but got off.  The second time he pulled in a nice king mackerel, which, by the way, tasted delicious for dinner tonight.  But the highlight of the whole trip was a 6’ SAILFISH  he caught.


I tried to take a good picture of it as he brought it up to the boat but wasn’t quick enough.
He did get me to Hopetown and snug as a bug on our mooring ball but not before I took a nice long nap. 
May 6th:     200th day away from VA.  We were only going to stay in Hopetown overnight but good ole' Murphy reared his ugly head again.....this time it was the generator!  To keep the batteries charged up we run it for an hour in the morning and an hour at night.  If we need to make water we do it all at the same time.  We went to start it and it just died, dead as a doornail.    The next morning we talked to some other cruisers,  Al and Christina on MANGO GROOVE and Hyde from WILDFLOWER.  Hyde is an electrician guru and had helped Skip with his refrigeration problem so we knew he knew his stuff.  Al and Hyde came over,  David called the generator people in Florida and the problem was diagnosised.  We needed to get a small battery charger when we got back to Marsh Harbor.
 We got tied up at Harbour View  Marina in Marsh Harbor for a much anticipated HOT SHOWER,  provisioning for the trip back and to say goodbye to friends we’ve made along the way and to get the battery charger.  I am glad to report all the groceries are on board, the battery charger is installed and we're going to relax until Monday.

One treat we got while here was watching the  Marsh Harbor Sunfish Regatta.  These little boats scream around the harbor in between all the anchored boats and the kids have a BLAST.  You can hear them hollering “starboard” as they race the course.  You also hear them laughing their pants off when one of them goes in the water.

One of the nicest people we’ve met this trip is Jeff Key, “Papa Lou” , Cab No. 11.  He’s a gentleman born and raised in MOW.  He went off to Nassau to teach for twenty years but has come back here and now has a very nice cab business clientele built up.  We learned a lot about the Bahamas in general but more specifically,  Marsh Harbor and MOW.    We’ll see him again next year.  Steph:  Jeff said to tell you HELLO!!!

Today is May 8th...Mother's Day.  David took me out to breakfast at Mango's Restaurant where he ordered Crispy Coconut French Toast....words can not describe what it did to our taste buds...amazing...simply amazing.  Of course, being the theif I am,  I will TRY to duplicate it once we get back to the States.  The coconut wasn't from a package and that shredded little stuff we're used it.  It was grated and DELICIOUS.
Right now the plan is to leave here on Monday, May 9th and make our way up the Sea of Abaco to Green Turtle Cay,  Manjack, Moraine and then to the West End Settlement on Grand Bahama where we’ll wait for the “just perfect” crossing weather.  You can bet the night before we scoot across the Gulf Stream I’ll put a seasick patch on …… just to be safe.

Look for one short blog once we get back to the  Florida.    Until then...love to everyone.

Captain Dave
Rubber Legs Peg