Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Day at the beach......

This morning started off with Jon making calls and cleaning up the engine area, while I started new exterior boat cushions.
By noon we had decided to wrap things up and head to the beach by dinghy. The weather is wonderful right now with very little wind and sunny sky's so off we went out the narrow channel and to the south. We could spot a beach early this week down that side of the island so asked around and found that the very small beach was called Bardot beach after Brigitte Bardot who liked this setting back in the 60s to nude sunbath(we like it too). later in the day we packed up and did a little exploring in the dink before heading back to the boat.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Last week of the year

Our Christmas was filled with lots of fun and sun, we went to the beach after breakfast and did a lot of walking, so much that the doggies had to be carried on the way back. For dinner we had a potluck with some other boats that were anchored out in the small cove. Jon made some conch fritters that were the best I have had so far in the Islands.

On Sunday the winds picked up to around 35 and one by one the anchored boats took up some empty slips at the dock. Not that we want to be at a dock spending all our kitty money but it was nice knowing we were OK in the huge two day blow.

Jon is still trying to get the parts for the engine, the good news is that the mechanic helping Jon with it finally came and carted the engine off and will get with Jon today to start pulling it apart to see exactly what needs to be replaced.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve in The Bahamas

Christmas Eve in the Bahamas is filled with highs and lows and here they are.
The motor is out of the boat, so we can’t go anywhere; the block and head appear at this time to be ok and we only need pistons, rings and gaskets to put it together (It actually looks like it’s in good shape and hadn’t been abused through it’s life so far). The parts are in the USA in the warehouse; which is closed till the 3rd of January. We’re the only boat in the marina; but the owner has given us a huge break on the cost per day. We have a good local mechanic who can help with the rebuild at a more than fair cost; but we haven’t seen him in 3 days. We haven’t given him any money yet; maybe I should have. Everyone here says he is the best. The dingy ride and walk to the little village isn’t bad at all; but there isn’t much there. The marina has Christmas music playing all the time; but it’s Alvin and The Chipmunks, Michael Jackson, Carol Carpenter, Bruce Springsteen, oh and the Muppets 12 Days of Christmas, and then it starts over again. (They have toned it down today, thank you). We have met other Cruisers and will get together tonight for a Christmas Eve Thing and hit the Beach tomorrow. They are sitting at anchor a short ways from where we are for several days because of a huge blow and storm that will be here till at least Tuesday, so no motor makes us feel a little better that we can’t move either. WE do miss our family; but and are very glad that they are spending time together. Amy, Jeremy and Jill are with Grammie and Poppy in CT and have hit the Casino again (Nice going Jill, Jeremy I can predict what your luck was) We do have the Internet and are able to Skype with everyone from time to time. We have enough food and other stores onboard to live to tell the tale of this engine rebuild. I’ve talked with other cruisers who’ve had the same thing happen to them or worst, like losing their boat altogether on a reef, and we all get thru it. So I have come up with our new statement for my Facebook Profile; We work during the Summer at a Marine in Upstate New York on other peoples boats to make enough money so we can spend our Winters in the Bahamas working on our Friggin Boat. HA HA

We hope and wish everyone a Merry Christmas, a Peaceful and Joyful Time to spend with loved ones and Friends.
Jon and Arline, Sarah and Blue

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A day of Exploring

We made our way around the island and found some excellent beaches, then went out in the dink to visit with Hejire. There are a couple manatee in the cove and they come over every day to have a sip of fresh water.

I think i need to be creative and come up with a new item to sell to make money for all these breakdowns. So here's my first idea "dogie Tail bobbers" please send requests :)

Still looking for engine parts, Jon has the engine ready to be pulled out so this will be the fun part of the day. The manager here at the marina is great, he understands whats going on with us and is helping in every way possible.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Beach Party at Great Harbour Cay Marina

The marina invited all of us to a beach party and even had island transportation for us. This was a great time and the people here are so friendly and happy to help everyone. I am so amazed that the marina and bay in front is not jammed pack....This place is great for check in, exploring, beaches and snorkeling and dock rates are more than fair. The manager Joe behind the bar in the photo was great at putting the party on and making us feel right at home, The food and drinks were none stop and fantastic. We got to meet most of the officials of the island (police officer picking up his first person of the night, The customs officer that checked us in, all the guys that work the small boats to entertain the many cruise ships that anchor offshore and some of the home owners.
As the night went on things got a little crazy and funny. At the end of the night we had about ten people to get back to the marina and thought it would take a few trips, till we looked up at the ride and realized it was a truck so we piled in the back and headed for the marina to call it "one great party in paradise"

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Towed into Great Harbour Cay Marina

Our journey began at 9am Wednesday the 15th, we headed out from Stuart with a temp of around 49 but sunny we made very good time and not to many hassles at the bridges along the ICW . As usual we did run into a few boats that thought they needed to be in the front of the line which by the time we made North Lake Worth the count was ten behind us. We anchored in Lake Worth with Hey Jude and Quest, this is a nice anchorage and has a place to dingy up to with a store just down the road. We all had planned on crossing together in Stuart and decided to go all the way to the Berry Islands which would be around 22 hours, all of us have dogs and knew it would be the hardest on them. The crossing was wonderful with only 3 to 4 ft waves and swells but our speed was under 3.5knots with the wind on our nose all the way. Once in the North West Providence Channel the sea flatten right out and we were able to sail with the wind more to the south so our speed was around 6.5. At sunrise Judy on Hey Jude and I let some line out in hopes to catch dinner. Judy was the first to hook a huge sailfish which broke her line and of course she lost her lure, about an hour went by and something was on my line so I started to reel it in with lots of fight from him. Well no dinner for us! The fish ended up being a barracuda so we took his picture and let him go.
We started to make our way onto the banks at Great Stirrup Cay which is a hang out for cruise ships, Hey Jude and Quest were about 2 miles ahead of us and as we all started to make our way in the engine slowly stared to die like it does with a clogged filter. Jon
called the others to let them know we would be a moment and one moment after another lead to an hour so we called back to them to let them know it might be a problem and to go to the marina to check in with customs. Jon found the raw water impeller had broke two of the impellers off and one was lodged in the outlet port and blocking the outgoing water so the engine had overheated without us taking note of the temp rising. Needless to say we sailed as far as we could to the opening of the marina and Steve ended up coming out by dingy and towing us in(Thanks guys). We are at the dock now and Jon is starting to pull the engine apart to see if we can get her running or if we need to order parts. So if anyone would like to visit us and enjoy the Sunshine and gorgeous beaches here in the Berry Island now would be the time and there and flights every day to the island. Total time for the crossing was 30 hours.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Still waiting for a weather window

We have been really busy here with projects, repairs, places to go, places to see, and of course places to have fun.

This is Jon saving Sarah and Blue from a nasty gator that was trying to make a lunch date with them, everyone knows Nobody messes with Jon's girls!!! Nobody!!

I have been organizing things and Jon has been doing projects one after another. His list is way longer than mine but mine seems to be more important.....

Some of the projects include new day tank in the cockpit, adjusters for the solar panel, repairs on the watermaker, fixing some minor (before major)soft spots under box in cockpit. Fixing small problems with our filter boss, the company was a lot of help as usual. Replacing a lot of small parts and last but not least changing the flapper valve on the head.....that is a Jon Job for sure.

It is always a small world out here when you really stop for a moment and talk to people about where they have been. This is Dick Harding and it just so happens that he owns a canal boat that was built by some very good friends of ours from Skaneateles NY. We've also met some people new to boating that read our blog and are here in Stuart getting their boat ready to travel north, they are Adem and Leslie . We wish them the best of luck in the world of sailing.

Monday we made our way over to Ft Myers to visit some very good friends we had met long ago in the Dominican on a vacation. It had been awhile since we had seen them, but would email each other every once in awhile. We decided we needed to visit them because it had been way to long. Dave and Janet and their new pup Gypsy are from Ontario and promise to visit us this summer...... They are great people and we are glad to know them (thanks for the wonderful time at your place, and thanks for bringing Jon some REAL Canadian Blue). When we were there they brought us to a power plant to see where the Manatees gather in the warm water from the plant, which was lots of fun but really cold that day.
On our way back to the boat we stopped by to see Lake Okeechobee which was a lot bigger than we thought. This week has been filled with many fun things to do and the projects are almost finished. We were planning on crossing in a few days but now it looks like a new front is coming in that might once again put our crossing on hold. That's alright with me because I am having a lot of fun and I know soon enough we will be heading to new places.