Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas Everyone from the Abacos!
I was busy today baking for our Christmas dinner at the Jib Room here at Marsh Harbour Marina.  My plan was to make baked corn, which is a favorite of two of my grandson's.  (Landon and Levi, you would have loved it!) Chuck wanted me to  make his Grandmothers coffee I decided to make both!

It took  quit a bit of time to bake the 3-8x8" pans because my oven would only hold one pan at a time! It's a good thing that the temps are cooler today than they've been, or else the cabin would have been unbearable!!  I worry about baking dishes to share with others because I'm still a novice at using my propane oven..... but everything came out looking like I baked them in my oven at home!  And if I say so myself, they both tasted as good as they looked!!

Our Christmas Dinner started at 4:30 with appetizers and drinks which led into our pot luck dinner.  Approximately 40 people were there which included the cruisers as well as the marina owners.   It was unbelievable how much food was there!   There was the traditional turkey and ham with a variety of vegetables to mussels and shrimp cocktail.  Jim even made his homemade eggnog.....yum!  This is the first Christmas that we've eaten was cooler today....75 degrees. 

After dinner, we were invited to Ilene and Bill's, sv/Circe.  Rita/David and Keith and Trevor were already aboard.  Circe is a 40 foot Cape Dory
and what a beauty she is!  She even has a workshop...We had some Sour Cream coffee cake left from the pot luck dinner, so we took it to Circe.  We were hoping everyone was hungry for dessert about now....and they were!!

Snappa's Tree
Mango's Tree, inside
Jib Room's Tree

It was a difficult day trying to get in touch with the kids, my parents, and then Rick, Bev, and Mom McKee in SF through Skype or Facetime.  The connections were terrible all  day and our calls were dropped quite often.   I was grateful for the little time we were able to talk and see each other by video.  Hopefully the next time we try, it won't be so busy and it will be better...... _/)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Monday-Tuesday, December 23-24, 2013

It looks like it's going to be another glorious day in Marsh Harbour.  We did get a rain storm last night at 2am.  I woke up and ran around closing all the opened hatches.  That's quite a feat without my contacts in to see what I was doing!!  I don't think the rain lasted long!

We went grocery shopping in preparation for our Christmas Pot Luck dinner on Wednesday.  On our way back, we ran into an Australian couple.  They've been out for 4 years already and are living on their boat for another 4 years.   Their boat is 49 feet long and draws 7.5 feet!  So, they are anchored out toward the mouth of the harbor because their draft won't allow them to come into where the majority of the sailboats are anchored.  Of course, their boat has a washer and dryer on board!  I figured that was the only way the captain got  his mate  to agree to their voyage!! LOL

After our provisions were stowed, we went to Mermaid Reef to snorkel.
We need to take our fins next time so we can cover more area.....the water was very nice and clear.  Quite a few people were already snorkeling from 2 powerboats.  We saw 4 rock formations.  They resembled brain coral but after diving and inspecting them closer, they looked to be weights dropped for mooring balls.  Whatever they were, the blue parrotfish enjoyed swimming around them.  The water was a refreshing temperature and made for a nice swim.

Christmas Eve Day!

Today we are meeting  Rita & Dave from sv/Whisper, Keith & Trevor from sv/Rising Sun, and Ilene & Bill from sv/Circe at Mango's.  Rita hailed us early on channel 68 to confirm the time.  We all agreed to around 1.   We weren't sure how long we would last because it is hot today and no wind!! Even motoring across the harbor in our dinghy did not make much of a breeze!

Mango's is having a Christmas Eve Block Party from 11-7.   The party consists of a buffet for $12 a person and music.  We thought this was quite a deal and we figured it would be a fun afternoon.  Once we bought our tickets, we discovered their advertisement on Cruiser's Net each morning, left out the fact that we would be limited to  2 different meats and 2 sides.....and the drinks were extra!  Oh well, it still isn't a bad price!  The food was good and it was a great way to celebrate a pre-Christmas Eve.   
David & Rita
Trevor & Keith

Mango's Millenium

Mango's Tree, outside
About now, I would be finishing up with my cookie baking and preparation of my food for the kids on Christmas Day.  Chuck and I would be wrapping Christmas presents......I'm missing all of this..........Hugs and Kisses to Jesse, Landon, Bubby, Levi, and Makayla!!! Have a fun time tomorrow morning!!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Saturday-Sunday, December 21-22, 2013

Marsh Harbour Marina and Jib Room

I just got finished doing the laundry.  I think I put it off long enough!  Who would have thought that I would be washing clothes outside and sitting by the pool waiting for the machines to finish their cycles.  It definitely is time to take a dip in the pool!!

Chuck is suppose to be washing the boat but when I got back, he had the windlass 'down' control all torn apart. He found out that it had  malfunctioned  and let out some chain sometime in the past week while we were tied up at the dock.  Apparently, the chain finally jammed and then the control shorted out...and we were clueless until today!

We knew there was a spare control in the nav table.  However, when Chuck compared it to the old, they weren't the same.  If he used this control, he would have to drill new holes in the deck and then patch the old.....not if he can help it!

 I ordered two new Lewmar control switches and adaptors from Defender.
To save having to pay import taxes, our parts are being shipped to Mike L. and he'll bring them over for us sometime in January....thanks Mike and Chris!!  While I was below deck finishing up with the order, I heard someone call "Happy Hours II, Happy Hours II".  When I popped my head out, it was Rita and David coming in to buy some water and to use the internet.  We walked up and joined them at the Jib Room.  They are great fun to be around!!

Well, today is fix-it day.  Not only does Chuck want to look at the windlass control but we found out last night that our macerator pump doesn't work!!  Oh boy....that could be a problem...and we could be in 'deep shit'  Lucky for us, two hours before we left the dock at Lake Worth to motor down to the anchorage in preparation for our crossing,  Chuck decided to walk to West Marine and buy a new pump.  He anticipated a problem and wanted to be prepared!  Opposite of the laws in the states, the Bahamas do not have pump out stations.  People take their boats for a ride into deep water and let it 'all out'. 

After switching out the pumps, Chuck moved on to the windlass control.  Even though we have new ones coming, I think it bothered him that we would be without the 'down' switch for a few weeks.  He's so smart......he replaced the malfunctioning little button in the old control with the button from the spare.  Once he wired it up, it worked!  What a great temporary fix!

Now that the jobs are all complete, we decided to
walk to Mermaid Reef.  It is a very short walk.  It's been windy all day in the harbor but across the road the Sea of Abaco is quite calm.  We kicked our sandals off and waded into the clear  turquoise water.  We found sea glass, a sponge, and  few keeper shells.   We might have to return tomorrow to do some snorkeling.


Friday, December 20, 2013

Thursday-Friday, December 19-20, 2013

Still in Marsh Harbour and Loving it! And it is worth the ride to the other side!

Not much happening with us today. 

Just a slow, relaxing kind of day.  We did take a
walk to check out the Pelican Beach Cottages.  It's just a short jaunt!  In fact, one of our neighbor's kids flew in and are staying there.  There are 7 cottages and 6 of the 7  have 2 bed/2 bath and kitchen/living area.  They are very neat looking  Beautiful pastel colors overlooking the Sea of Abaco.  They actually have one of the few sandy beaches in the area and we were told to use it. 

Five to 7 on Thursday is happy hour at the Jibroom.  We thought we should go. Everyone takes an appetizer.  This is a great way to meet the other dock holders!

Once again another sunny day on the island.....80 and light winds.    We decided to try lunch at the Jibroom.  Their conch chowder was really good.  It's really nice to be able to eat outside in December.  It's so hard for me to believe that Christmas is just a few days away!

After eating, we took the dinghy over to the other side of the harbor to the dock.  We wanted to check out the Abaco Beach Resort and Marina.  When we were tying up our dinghy, here comes David from sv/Whisper in his dinghy looking for a spot also.  We walked with him to Conchy Joes where he had left Rita, and friends Keith, from sv/Rising Sun,  and Trevor.  Of course they wanted us to stay and eat lunch with them.   Since we already had eaten, we had to decline this time and continued our walk to the resort. 

The Abaco Beach Resort and Marina is very nicely landscaped and well groomed.  We walked in like we knew where we were going!  We first went to the marina.  Once again, there are so many slips and so few boats.  We figured only 25% of the docks were filled with a variety of yachts, trawlers and sailboats.  We heard that the prices to dock here are very steep and the management doesn't quite understand that if you run specials, more boats will come and more money will be made.  What a shame!! Maybe things will pick up after the first of the year.  From the marina, we found the restaurant, pool, bar, beach, and hotel.
                                          Pictures from the Resort

By the time we walked back into town, the heat had us needing a drink.  So we went back to Conchy Joes to see if Rita and David were still there....and they were.  However, they were just getting ready to leave and venture back to their boat.  We ordered a Conchy Joe Punch and sat and enjoyed the view. 

Conchy Joe's is a really cool place.  It extends out
over the water. I could actually see the water down between the floorboards!  The bar is shaped like the bow of a boat.  There is a roof but the sides are all open to make the bar a very breezy place to sit.  At one time, there must have been docks in front of the bar but now only the pilings are left.  A previous hurricane wiped the docks out and no one has taken the time to rebuild.   We will be back.  I didn't get to see the gal crack and clean a conch.  Apparently they didn't get any in for the day.  She told us that if the water temperature is too cold, the locals won't dive for the conch!  Hopefully on our next visit......

We ended the day by skyping Chuckie and family. Levi even was able to Skype us for awhile!  The reception wasn't very good.  At the beginning, their video was coming through very clear but as the time went on, everything started to blur.   At least we got to see the kids and had a nice visit. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

We planned to go to Whisper this morning so Chuck could show David how to set his anchor drag alarm and how to set a route on his Garmin 740S.  We were a little late because we decided to walk around the docks here at Marsh Harbour Marina. 

When we got there, Rita showed me their boat which is a 32' Westsail.  It was beautiful inside.  I don't think there was anything that wasn't wood!  The boat is so much bigger below than what you would expect in a 32'.  Very comfortable.  While the guys were in the cockpit working with the gps, Rita made her and me Bloody Mary's.   Boy did we have a great time!

Around lunch, Chuck and I climbed over the starboard side of the Westsail into our dinghy.  We motored to the dinghy dock and walked to find the Maxwell's grocery store.  This time we found it and it is very similar to the Publix's in Florida.  I thought the prices were steep in Florida, but Maxwell's is a bit ridiculous!!! A bag of Lay's chips was over $7.00!!!!!   Oh well, we have to pay the prices.

We invited David and Rita over for sundowners
later.  One thing led to another and we were planning a meal.  Rita volunteered to bring the pork tenderloin and salad.  I made a fruit cocktail dish, a meat and cheese plate, and veggies....oh not to mention Goombay Smashes.  Chuck and David grilled while Rita and I set the table.  What a fun night!  The food was excellent!!  We had a memorable evening together. Hopefully we can get together again!!