Sunday, July 2, 2017

Back in the USA!

Well we are back in the good ole USA!  Stanwood and Janet spent ten days with us in the Abacos, and we visited Marsh Harbor, Hopetown, Little Harbor, Man O War and Green Turtle Cay.  We ate our way through the Abacos, with the many excellent restaurants available, and had great meals.  Grouper was the favorite choice, many styles, and we had a great key lime pie contest.  The Abacos are so different than the Exumas, with more people and facilities.  The Exumas win for the raw beauty, but the Abacos win for facilities.  Potable water and marinas are more plentiful, and cheaper in the Abacos, and of course, the restaurants.  Snorkeling in the Abacos is good, but most places are in the Atlantic, so calm days are required.  Fortunately, we had many, and we snorkeled over a dozen sites.  While the water is not as clear as in the Exumas, the coral formations are outstanding.  Miles of Elkhorn coral reefs to explore!

Stanwood and Janet took the ferry from Green Turtle back to Marsh Harbor and flew home Thursday.  We left for the US and arrived in Stuart, FL late Friday night.  We are now in the Okeechobee waterway headed to the west coast of Florida.  It is bewildering to be in such a confined canal, with locks, after being in the Bahamas for two months.  Although we loved the Bahamas, it is nice to be back in the US with fresh foods, Wi-Fi, free water and electricity that actually works!  We forget that the Bahamas consists of over 600 islands, with a population of less than one million.  It does remarkably well having such a broad area, and a limited tax base, but it still is third world compared to the US.  One realizes how much we take for granted, after spending some time there.  However, the people in the family (Abacos) and out (Exumas) islands are some of the friendliest and helpful I have met.

I now have to concentrate on my boat list.  Every boater has a list of things that need fixing, and mine grows daily.  Serenity has done remarkably well, but the Bahamas are hard on a boat.  Two days ago our small generator had an electrical fire when it started.  I quickly turned it off and disconnected the battery, but we have that burnt wire smell lingering in the boat.  It has been added to the list.  We will arrive Longboat right around July 4 (boats everywhere) and head home, so that is it for now.  Below are some pics to close out.  

Treasure Cay Marina.

These guys are everywhere.

Treasure Cay beach.

Shopping in Man O War.

Hopetown Marina.

The famous Hopetown lighthouse.

Up we go!

Hopetown from atop the lighthouse.

More shopping....

The great sand-dollar quest.

New Plymouth on Green Turtle Cay.  We had lunch at Harvey's-great grouper....

The Loyalist Park-a different perspective on the American revolution.  Green Turtle was founded by Loyalists who fled the newly formed USA after their side lost.  According to the historical plaques, my forefathers were a lousy lot...

Stanwood and Janet depart via ferry.  

Back in the US we take down our Bahamian flag after clearing customs.  It is tattered from much use, and a great time.  

Thursday, June 15, 2017


We have made it to the Abacos.  Stan and family flew home from Staniel Cay in the Exumas, and we took advantage of a weather window and beat it to the Abacos.  It is about a 60 mile trek in the Atlantic, but no issues.  We came in at Little Harbor, which is home to the famous Pete’s Pub, beach bar and art gallery.  Last time we were here Alexis bought a bronze turtle statue, but things have changed.  There is a road from Marsh Harbor here now, and Pete has hit it big.  Things were 25k and up, so we settled for a burger and Gombay Smash.  The entrance to Little Harbor has a sand bar that makes it impassible at low tide.  We watched a 65’ Viking ground trying to come in, which caused some evening excitement!  We are now at Treasure Cay Marina which has a real grocery, so we are provisioning and waiting for Stanwood and Janet to arrive.  It has been lonely without the grandkids!  The Abacos are downright urbane compared to the Exumas.  Boats everywhere, cars and it is pizza and karaoke night at the bar tonight.  We will see……

Cameron's last night and a full moon rising.  

Little Harbor.

Little Harbor is a turtle hangout. 

We are smuggling this sea fan for Megan....


The Sea of Abaco.

There are rental boats everywhere in the Abacos.  Some know what they are doing, others not so much.

Note the headset-we use them for docking, which greatly reduces the screaming.  

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Underwater pics part 2

Thunderball Grotto.

Queen Angelfish are abundant her.  They are striking, and the water is crystal clear in the Exumas.

Spotfin Butterfly fish.  

Grand-kids part 2

Stan, Megan and Cameron have been with us this week.  Due to unusual south winds, we made our way to Highborne Cay Marina, which was a good choice.  Tomorrow (Friday) we head down to Staniel, and they fly home on Saturday.  Hopefully the horrible weather in Florida has moved on by then.  Here are some pics.

At a mooring-Cambridge Cay.

The goons jumped!

Warderick Wells in the park has great hiking trails.  Boo Boo hill is the haunted one.  

Atop Boo Boo Hill.  Serenity is in the background.

The hike down to Boo Boo Beach.

She loves to feed the sharks!

Fishing on Highborne's 30' Grady White.

Iguana beach.  

Highborne's fish cleaning table keeps these guys full..

Nana found the mother-load of sand dollars beaches!

One of Highborne's beaches

Exuma restaurant at Highborne.  

Highborne Marina

Exuma Restaurant.  We had two great meals here, but no pics as they irritate Melvin.  

We have snorkeled lots at Highborne, and I will try to post some pics later.

The days we have spent at anchor in the park, and then at Highborne have been great.  The bad weather in Florida has not reached us, just changed the prevailing wind direction.  Anyone considering coming to the Exumas, either by boat or to rent a house, should check out Highborne's web site.  It is first rate!