Thursday, January 16, 2014

January 7-11, 2014

January 7th
Well the predicted cold front and big winds finally hit us last night at midnight.  Being on the anchor for many a  night on our trip down the ICW still has both of us sensitive to any change in the wind.  As soon as the northeaster hit our boat, we both jumped up out of bed and went topside to check on the lines and fenders. The tide was on the rise and we were pinned against the dock. When we took a closer look, one of our fenders was wedged underneath the dock.  Chuck pushed the boat while I pulled the fender and we finally had it positioned where it was going to help.  Before we went below, we also checked the dinghy to make sure it was secure to the transom of the boat.  We can't afford to lose a dinghy and motor!  Hopefully all  of the boats anchored in the harbor are secure in these 20-30 kt winds. 
The winds blew and gusted all night and Happy Hours rolled from side to side.  Having a dock under these conditions does have its advantages....we were able to sleep unlike some of our anchored friends who were up off and on all night and could not sleep well thinking they might drag anchor!

This morning we woke up to 69 degrees, dark skies with sporadic rain. Even though everyone is complaining that it's cold here, it's still not as bad as the weather back home and throughout the rest of the states.   There's not much to do today except hang out in the boat....all day :(

January 8th
Today is 'Hump Day'...  I almost forgot about this important day of the week.  Since being retired and on our cruise, it took the morning announcements on Cruiser's Net to remind me!!  Actually living on 'Island Time' makes the day of the week and the time unimportant...but the days are flying by too quickly. 

The winds were strong and blew all night....again..  Since our lines were tweeked last night,  both Chuck and I had no problems sleeping through this blow...once I told myself that we're tied to a dock.  Today is a repeat of yesterday.  In fact, a few boats in our marina were planning on moving out this morning but weather dictates when you are living on a boat.  I tried hailing Whisper on the radio to see how they were faring and they either had their radio turned off or possibly dared dinghying into town.  Boy is the wind howling!!!!
We both were getting edgy with being cooped up down in the cabin.  So when the rains quit, we grabbed our foul weather jackets and decided to walk to the Mermaid Reef beach. In fact, we thought we might even walk to Skaggs, a store nearby.  The Sea of Abaco was very  angry today since the winds were blowing out of the north and the visibility was minimal.  Since the rain didn't let up, we went back to the Jib Room instead of the store and then back to hunker down in our boat.  I think the winds sound like they are getting worse and they just clocked to the east.  It's going to be a long day..........

Marsh Harbour Marina on rt.

January 9th
Tonight is the  appetizer pot luck and happy hour at the Jib Room.  I decided to make the Buffalo Chicken Dip.   I Skyped Chrissie at her office to check on the recipe she has stored on her computer.  If I had to do it over again, I would have left Ohio with my favorite recipes in my galley....I knew I'd forget to bring something!  Oh well, our daughter is so organized, I know I can count of her!  It's a good thing I made this dip.  It makes a rather large dish  and this pot luck get together had the most boaters that we've seen in 5 weeks.  Most of them were boaters anchored out in the harbor.  Everyone must have been getting antsy to get off their boat and to do something cheap on shore.  It's so interesting to meet new sailors and to find out where they came from and where they're going.  Most of the people are Canadians trying to escape their cold weather.

January 10th
 Chuck and I try to remember to turn our VHF radio on by 8:15am.  That's our connection, as well as all boaters, to the weather, restaurant menus, and other events happening in the Abacos.  This morning we heard about the 'Buck a Book' store.  It's only opened on Friday and Saturday and from 10 to noon.  What the heck??  How can the owners survive?  We decided we needed to check this place out because we're running out of books to read.  Once we found the right road, we discovered the books weren't in a store front but  in a large storage pod.  The woman that runs the 'Buck and Book' explained that the money is donated to the Abaco Preservation Society for the wild horses on the the moment, they have 1 horse!  They have plans to gather the mare's eggs and sperm from a wild horse from another island.  Then possibly use a healty mare to carry the foal.  The vet was to come over to the island two months ago....things move very slowly around here. 

Since we weren't able to talk to Whisper during the last few days, on our way back from town, we stopped at their boat.  They were planning on going to Snappas again...2nd time this week... to order the grilled conch.  They wanted to know if we were game.  Yes!  We zipped back to our boat to drop the books off and then we met them at the restaurant....for a disappointment....they were out of the grilled conch!  But they had the conch fritters!  Can you believe it!  Three of us were so disappointed...not Chuck, he had a hamburger.

After lunch we met Ilene & Billy, and Greg & Shelley to do some snorkeling.  The water felt so cold after the last few days of rain, that only the guys were brave enough to head out to Mermaid Reed.  The gals were happy to sit on the beach and talk. We were all wondering why Rita and David didn't show.  He's been having issues with his back and by the time they left Snappas and got back to their dinghy, he  didn't feel like walking over to the beach.

Phil(l) & Linda(r)
On our way past the Jib Room, Stephen told us that there was going to be a surprise birthday party for Phyllis from the mv/Mollie from 5-7.  It was only for the dock holders and the Jib Room was supplying the pizza and wings.  Drinks were at the 'happy hour' price.  What a deal.  When Jim and Phyl strolled down the dock, everyone sang 'happy birthday' and she seemed truly surprised.  Linda even brought out a cake with candles for her.  Jim and Phyl have spent the last 10 or so winters at the marina  so there were other people from the island invited to the party also!

January 11th
Ron and Ann from sv/Seahorse left this morning for Treasure Cay.   They are planning on staying there until the weather permits them to pass through the Whale and then on to Green Turtle Cay.  Both of them like the peace and quiet that abounds on the Black Sound of the Cay.  They are planning on spending the rest of their winter in that area.  We are going to miss them.

We finally got the time this morning to walk to the grocery store, Skaggs.  We weren't sure what we were going to find, but Peter told us it's a great place to shop when you only need one or two items....and they only take cash!  They have a couple of commercial fishing boats, so they also sell seafood.  We were surprised at the food we could buy there and the prices weren't all that bad.  I thought they had fresh fish but I only saw frozen seafood in their coolers.  We'll definitely keep them in mind for emergencies.

The Jib Rooms probably going to be hopping tonight.  It's the weekly steak fry and the Patiots vs Colts are playing on the tv tonight.  We are opting out on the steak since we ate there last Saturday.  However, once we eat, we'll join our friends.   Once we got there, Jason and Desmond had the people out back listening to music and dancing.  Desmond had quite a crowd so I'm sure we're going to see him do his limbo.  He knows how to entertain and get the crowd into his act.  Before he did his 8" limbo, he warmed up by doing 51 one arm push ups....yes  51.  Later that night he told Chuck and I that if he wanted to, he could do 200!  That was impressive, but his limbo was unbelievable.  He's got to be sore for days!!   Next time, I need to have my camera ready!!

We went over to the bar and cheered for the Patriots for Rita.  They lasted up until the half time and then David's back had them going back to their boat.  We stayed and talked to a couple from sv/Dream Catcher, a 41' catamaran...Gary & Jane.  It was getting late and the game was only nearing the end of the 3rd quarter.  We ended up leaving after Stephen poured us all a free shot of expensive whiskey. That did everyone in!! ha ha Until tomorrow.....

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