Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Just Imagine

Imagine, just for a moment, what it would be like to stick a splintered toothpick in your eye. Then while on that thought imagine giving it a quarter turn to the right. Got it? I'd rather have experienced that plus a root canal than be anchored here at Cat Island last night. We rocked and rolled so much that I felt like a rubber ducky in a washing machine. If I ever have another night like that it will be too soon.........and that's all I have to say about that.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Paridise Within Paradise

We made our escape from Elizabeth Harbour (Georgetown) last Friday in the early morning light. The 40-mile sail over to Conception was fabulous with a brisk south/east wind moving us towards this magnificent paradise.

The beauty of this uninhabited island comes from its crystalline water, magnificent crescent beaches, and abundant sea life. In fact, from the boat we saw a puffer fish, a dolphin and a shark. (The sharks don't scare us anymore and we went in swimming several times to cool off from the heat of the day.) This island also offers miles of creeks to poke around inland that are home to hundreds of sea turtles.

The wind was calm and the sea was flat while we were in Conception except for two hours when a front came through, which was about as much fun as a root canal, but other than that it was very enjoyable. We would have loved to stay longer, however, Conception Island has no safe and secure harbours for protection form every direction, and given that the wind is to switch around in the next day or two we headed to Cat Island today.

The sail over was epic with large gentle waves and great wind. I must say that Blue Blazes out-performed herself as she averaged 7.2 knots over the 28-mile trek from Conception to the way point at the tip of Cat Island. We even, at one point, saw 9.8 on the knot meter as we were surfing down a wave...hee haw!

As we turned the corner towards The Bight the water depth went from 6,000 feet to 20 feet in about 50 yards. It was very cool and maybe even a bit eerie. It was then that Harley asked me to reel in the fishing line, which (by the way) we always drag but with little success. Usually Harley does this job but he had his hands full at the helm as the wind had picked up and we were close hulled.

So there I am reeling in the line and don't I get a fish on. I call to Harley that I have a fish and he tells me to reel it in. At this point I'm thinking he must be crazy as I know nothing about fishing, but I reel it in. Thankfully it wasn't very big and believe it or not I even got the hook out myself and released it without hurting the poor little guy. I had to look it up on my trusty little Fishwatcher's Field Guide and found that I let a Yellowtail Snapper live for another day. I guess we could have eaten him but I felt he was too little and cute to kill.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

What next?

Adjusting back to our quiet and serene lifestyle is going to take some time I think. Brent and Alyssa (pictured above) left yesterday and today the boat seems so quiet. Almost too quiet. We thoroughly enjoyed having them on board for two weeks.

Our days were full as we tried to experience everything the Exumas had to offer. Not only did we see the islands again and through the eyes of first-timers but we experienced them with the enthusiasm, energy, and endurance that comes from being young. Brent and Alyssa gave us this and much more and we are going to miss them so.

Today we are relaxing and making plans for our next leg of this adventure. The plan (a loose term) is to head east to Long Island, then Conception Island. Then north to Cat Island, Little San Salvador, and Eluthra before we head up to the Abacos. Of course this is all weather permitting. One thing for sure....we are going to be heading north soon. There is so much more to see and do before we start thinking about coming home.

Also, not many people know that we are not planning on travelling up the I.C.W. on the way home. Instead, in order to maximise our time down here, we have decided to sail the boat state side sometime in June and have it shipped back to Ontario on a truck from wherever we end up ..... Florida, or Georgia.

As you know we have rented our house while we've been away. The lease was to run to the end of July but our tenants have asked to break the lease and are leaving the end of April. This definitely changes things as we have been counting on our rent cheques to help finance this trip but sh*t happens and we are sure we can deal with it, however, it may change our return date slightly. More on that later. For now we intend to enjoy every minute we have here and not think about coming home.

This time last year we were stressing over all the details of getting the boat ready, renting the house, and leaving our jobs. Now the stress comes from wondering how we are going to manage a "normal" life again on shore....lol.

P.S. Pictures to come when we have a better internet connection.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Free Food

There is nothing like catching your own dinner to make your day.

We decided to take the outside route (the Ocean side) from Staniel Cay to Little Farmers Cay and on our way we caught this Blackfin Tuna. Yipee! It provided us with two delicious meals. Even Alyssa, who isn't crazy about fish, had third helpings.


1. Fish for dinner
2. Side dish of coconut

Monday, March 15, 2010

More Pix - March 15


1.Staniel Cay
2.Thunderball Grotto
3.Thunderball Grotto
4.Fishing on the go

Friday, March 12, 2010

Our Great Crew

To be honest I was a bit worried about having company on board for two weeks. Blue Blazes is not a very big boat and with all our cruising gear and food stuffed into her the space down below seems even smaller. However, Brent and Alyssa have proven to be such great crew and good company that we don't even notice the lack of space.

Both Brent and Alyssa have adjusted to the cruising life like ducks to water. The weather has been good but the wind is quite strong, which means the boat is in constant motion ....not always the best scenario for anyone not used to it.....yet neither one seem to be too affected by it. I am especially proud of Alyssa, what a trooper.

As well, we couldn't ask for better guests. If everyone were like them we'd want visitors every week. They both pitch in and help so much that we are definitely going to miss the extra two sets of hands when they leave. But most of all, we are enjoying their company. It's great to be with family and we cherish every minute we have with them.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Taken Yesterday

A few random shots. People shots to come when I get the o.k. from the crew to post them.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


We are seeing the Exumas for the third time but this time through the eyes of a first-timmer. Just like our first time, Brent and Alyssa find the Bahamas "sweet!".

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


It's been a long time since Harley and I have shared so much fun together and we are so glad that we broke down and took a slip at Atlantis Marina.

Brent and Alyssa's first day here was a very full day to say the least. We started the day with a trip into town to check out the straw market and jewelry stores. Then at 11:00 we pulled into Atlantis where we played like kids for the rest of the day.

Atlantis is Vegas, Disney, and Sea World all rolled into one. It has the glitz and glamor of Vegas; it is enchanting like Disney, and has fascinating aquariums and sea life like that of Sea World. But the most fun for us was to be had in the very unique water park. Never before have we been on water slides that throw you uphill as well as down or take you through glass tunnels surrounded by sharks. The whole experience was unbelievable fun.

In the evening we strolled through the casino where Alyssa turned $5.00 into $50.00 in less than 5 minutes. With her winnings she bought the four of us Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, which nearly cleaned her out. Nothing was cheap in Atlantis (except for us), which is why we only stayed one night but it was worth it.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Great to be Canadian by Carole-Anne

The olympics are over and we didn't get to watch so much as one event. I can't remember ever missing the olympic games. Knowing we probably would have felt exactly the same as she (although I could have never expressed it quite as well) my sister-in-law, Carole-Anne Armstrong, sent us an e-mail sharing her thoughts and feelings. The following is what she wrote:

I have been hunkered down in my apartment watching the olympics for the past 17 days, staying up til midnight most nights. I just could not stop watching. I do love the olympics. I'm not a big sports fan, but I have always enjoyed watching the olympic games. They are in a class all their own. I love the variety, the sports and the athletes that you don't get to see normally and its all concentrated in just over 2 weeks. And best of all, I love how they inspire people. I'm going to repeat myself in the next paragraph but please bare with me.

You should have seen the hockey game - Canada vs. U.S. Oh how sweet the victory was! What an exciting, nail biting game. I sat in my living room watching, almost certain of the gold metal til 24 seconds left of the last period (it was a 2-1 score) and the U.S. team just kept at it, hanging in there, never giving up, tenacious and hungry for the gold themselves. What a great game. What a competition. It was fun and exciting to watch, but I really thought we were in big trouble after the U.S. tied things up. Thank goodness for that young superstar of ours Syndey Crosby. And a thoroughly nice young man to boot! I watched the olympics as much as possible, up til midnight just about every night for two weeks (it made me very tired for work, but I just could not take my eyes away). I truly enjoy watching the olympic games (winter or summer). I am not a big sports fan, but the olympics feel entirely different to me. You get such good variety of things you normally don't get to see and it unifies people as well, and best of all, those athletes are inspiring. They truly are. What wonderful representatives of their countries to show the younger generation growing up, what can be done when you put your mind to it, when you work hard,when you cooperate with your coach and teammates (depending on the sport of course), and when you push yourself to your absolute limit, striving for excellence. I have never seen Canada demonstrate such national pride in a really nice way. I just loved it. The rollercoaster of emotions was exhilerating. I am sorry they are over. It feels so anticlimactic coming into work today, the tv screen in the lunch room black! But at least now I can catch up with my sleep.

Thank you Carole-Anne for giving me permission to post that.

To everyone else, you must agree, Carole-Anne has captured the essence of the games...and so beautifully written. She's right, it is nice to see Canadians demonstrate national pride. We are normally such a modest and even apologetic lot.

I so wish I could have seen the olympic winter games for myself but I guess that's the price of living on a boat. I look forward to 2014.