Saturday, February 28, 2009

Elbow Cay, Abacos
Sea Spray Marina
Hello from Harmony
We are now at a new marina and might be able to put an update on the blog. Everything changes with location and the weather. However, if we pay extra for it, we might get the internet now and then.
We left Marsh Harbour about 10 AM Friday morning and had a lovely but slow sail down the Sea of Abaco. We took a little side trip, motoring into Man O War Cay, just to see that lovely harbor. It is considered the least changed of the islands or cays around here. It was well worth the visit. Instead of the hustle and bustle of "city" life in Marsh Harbour, everything seemed so peaceful and simple.
Then we put the jib back up and sailed to Sea Spray Marina in White Sound on Elbow Cay, which is the next island east of our old dock, only five miles as the crow flies. However it took us four hours to get here because we were doing only two knots and had to go around the point that protects Marsh Harbour from the east. Coming in at low tide was fine but Florrie was nervous because the depth was only six inches under the keel. She'd prefer at least three feet of water. Getting our 21.5 foot wide boat into the slip that is only about four inches wider was another minor adventure but we did really well. No bumps or scrapes. Amazing.
What a spectacular place this is. We're in a very protected harbor, waiting out the next cold front that is supposed to be a doozie. But for now all is calm and gorgeous. The sky is clear, the air crisp and we hear the constant roar of the Atlantic Ocean about 200 yards away - on the other side of the cliffs. Yesterday afternoon we went to the top of the cliff and marveled at the crashing waves. It is a dramatic scene that Florrie hopes to capture in paint before we leave.
Today we've had a chance to do a little exploring. There was a fund raiser for the Volunteer Fire Department in Hope Town. That's a town filled with colorful homes. The architecture is similar to Cape Cod but without all the gray. Imagine such houses in soft pastels with contrasting trim. The yards are full of bouganvilla and other brilliant flowering shrubs. We watched as a hummingbird kept chasing large butterflies off of "her" flowers. Of course there were a few curly tail lizards scurrying out of our way.

Our "plan" to go to the Exumas changed with the weather. There are just too many cold fronts coming through every few days to be able to make the four day trip comfortably. There are harbors along the way to spend the night but not any we'd want to have to hole up in as different fronts come through. This has been the coldest winter in the Bahamas, we hear from those who come every year. That's too bad because we would have liked to see friends in Staniel Cay. Maybe next year. Being here is not really a hardship though. Tahiti Beach is a reasonable walk to our south. Delightful Hope Town is a short golf cart ride to the north. The restaurant here is well recommended. The marina is well run by very accommodating people so how

S/V Harmony

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Friday, February 20, 2009

FW: Marsh Harbour

We're finally on the move south.  We left Treasure Cay dock yesterday about 8:30 Am and were here at HarborView Marina by noon.  We even got to SAIL - what a concept.  Of course the wind was from the wrong direction so we were heading for Great Guana Cay... Finally we took down the jib and motored west to this marina but it was really nice for a couple of hours.
Lew and Emery McGraw have decided that Em will help Lew get the boat home startin April 18 or so.  The McGraws are leaving Honeywind here for the summer season.  The guys will both enjoy the trip I'm sure.  Em will help get the boat as far up the ICW or coast as possible then fly to Canada by April 30.  We may need some help after that.
I will fly home the end of April.  Earlier, Patty will fly from Nassau to Canada so she doesn't have to go through customs and immigration twice.  Makes sense to me.  That is all a long way off but it is good to have it figured out.  For now we're just enjoying sometimes crummy weather in one of the most beautifuul places on earth.
We're 12 miles south of our last marina.  Harbourview Marina is where we spent the first part of my trip last winter.  It is so much calmer now - no Christmas hubub.  We'll be here for a week.  It is hard to get emails because to get them on the boat is an extra expense.  (no cable either but we do have electricity which is lovely.)  So we wait until the office is open and their emails are up and running to do this.  
We are in "Paradise" but every time the weather changes or we change marinas, all the simple things like emails and showers have to be done in a new way!  It keeps us on our toes, literally!  Tee Hee.  Someday we might actually get a photo of the ordeal of getting off the boat when it is low tide.  Lew's legs are longer than mine so he can navigate the dock and its ladder a lot easier than I.  So far I haven't fallen in.  So far!  :-)

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Catamaran Harmony Reacher

The "Jamacan Afterburner", a lightweight reaching sail.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

curly tails

Now that the winds have died and the clouds have gone, the lizards are sunning themselves everywhere!  They are as small as your little finger up to sizes that would fit from finger tip to wrist, with some tail left over.  As far as I know, the Bahama Islands are the only place that has this kind of lizards.

Monday, February 9, 2009

FISH! on S/V Harmony

On Saturday our charter boat dock neighbor, "Low Profile", went out fishing.  They came back with such a haul there were critters all over the dock.  Because their customers could not take everything home in their suitcases, we were given our first fresh-caught fish of the season, already filleted.  Thank you fishing guys!
Sunday evening we invited Honeywind over for one of the most superb dinners Florrie has ever cooked.   The pointy nosed fish are Wahoo - very nasty teeth on those.  The snubbed nosed, colorful fish are Mahi Mahi, also known as Dorado or Dolphin.  Clearly they are not related to the mammal "Flipper".  The chubby little fish is a Tuna, the only one they caught so we didn't get any of that. 

For you recipe lovers here is how four of the fillets were prepared:  In a 9x9" glass dish; less than a cup of light olive oil, the juice of one lemon, 4 crushed cloves of garlic, 2 Tbsp of thyme and salt & pepper.  Marinate the fillets for 2 - 3 hours.  Saute in 2-3 Tbsp butter in a large skillet, using some of the marinade if needed.  The trick was to time the fillets because they were of different sizes.  Served with curried rice and waldorf salad.  Oreos for dessert.
This recipe would work for any fairly dense meat fish like swordfish, maybe even salmon steaks.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Treasure Cay Tree Trimming

Palm Tree Trimming
Along the dock the coconut palms are at least 40 - 50 feet tall. The marina yard crew wheeled a large wheel barrow and brought a very long ladder for this project. However, only one man climbed the ladder then shinnied up the rest of the tree trunk, with a machete, to trim off the lower fronds. When he chopped off the clusters of coconuts they hit the ground like cannon shot. Then he carefully tossed his machete to the ground and came down. It took about 20 minutes to trim each tree and cart the debris to a pile for pick up.

Green Trutle Mini Vacation

Green Turtle Cay
On Wednesday morning we took a taxi to the Treasure Cay Ferry over to Green Turtle Cay where Loyalist settlers arrived around the time of the Civil War. New Plymouth is a typical Bahamian town, well worth the cold, choppy, windy half-hour ferry ride. Here's a mini-vacation for you. The pictures include the colorful houses as well as sculptures of a couple of the settlers' family members. Our ferry came at 3 PM to take us back to "the mainland".

Florrie &

Monday, February 2, 2009

Marine shipping traffic

This site lets you trace shipping in many areas of the world.