2008.02.27 Yup...you guessed it ...Hope Town !

We are getting complaints about our lack of blogging….and since it is raining today this is a perfect day to catch you up a bit.

Picture of a perfect front coming through... my husband tells me... perfect for what you say... well read on!

We have a couple of things to report at long last...

First of all after two months at the dock at Hope Town marina, on the 21st of Feb. we finally severed all our umbilical cords, the many dock lines that secured Soli to the dock, she was like a spider in the center of her web, ready to withstand a hurricane! Then the power line and water hose were disconnected. I had very mixed feelings about casting off, sad about leaving our dock neighbours, Pat on Legacy, Margaret and Joe on Highlander, but I must say I am ecstatic about swinging from a mooring again. We are in the middle of the harbour, much more in the thick of things, about a hundred yards from L’Equipe, we are always bow to wind and weather and have enjoyed sunrises over the harbour and eating dinner in the cockpit every evening.

Second BIG news event is that David actually went swimming in the ocean not once but TWICE… this is really something as he never went in deeper than his knees last year….
Doesn't he look like Neptune rising out of the sea?

Marcel and Gail inspired him, the water was deliciously warm and we then went to the pool at the lodge and rinsed off in fresh water (saves on showers on board as water preservation is now an issue).

We enjoyed it so much we dragged a very willing Pat to the beach with us the next day!

Having said that, a couple from Quebec on board Lorelei, Jean Pierre and Marie Francoise who were swimming with us on Monday reported spotting 4 sharks patrolling the same reef area yesterday… they are probably just sand sharks and not likely to attack anyone, nevertheless it is impressing …. MF was hiding behind her husband in the water hoping they would not be hungry any more after consuming him!!!!

Yesterday Jacqueline and I and quite a number of women in the anchorage attended a “talk and lunch” at the Harbour Lodge. We got all dressed up (meaning good boat shoes for me instead of Crocs and the skirt without the holes). It was very interesting, five women who live on the island, one of them a direct descendant, eighth in line from Wyannie Malone. They were talking about their memories and life on the island, some going back to the fifties…. Things like no electricity and running water.

Sounds a bit like on board Soli, we need to generate our own power with a wind generator and a little gasoline generator to keep our Link 2000 (battery system monitor) happy.

We also need to collect rain water or buy it from a marina who is making it with a reverse osmosis (desalination) process….this is not “life in the big city. ...but then again that's why we are here innit'

”Some people are starting to mention the “B” word (as in going back) and although I don’t really want to think about it we have to start thinking where we are going to go when hurricane season starts and we need to be north of Cumberland Island (border of Florida and Georgia)We have on hand a couple of guides for Maine and are starting to explore the option of taking Soli up there for the summer. There are a lot of good points going for that scenario, it is only a few hours drive from Montreal and would allow for an easy commute for my mean driving machine (I mean David not the Volvo). We would also be taking Soli back to her birth place since she comes from New Casco Maine… we have asked Clarke aka Superman to check into it for us…he is quite excited about it.The guides cover all sort of things which are typical to Maine and which I am not too familiar with, such as fog, much larger tidal range, 10 feet or so, lobster pots everywhere (must mean lobsters in our tummies) and rocky bottom to watch out for instead of the soft sand of the Bahamas, definitely much more challenging navigation but we are pretty well equipped with radar, chart plotters, GPS etc…. It sounds like an adventure and we just might do it…. Still have a few weeks to decide… stay tuned.

As I was saying it is raining today and I love it… firstly Soli is getting a very nice fresh water shower (I just got one myself putting our herb garden out for a drink, it is obscenely big and consumes close to a litre of fresh water a day)… we are collecting this precious manna from heaven, we have pails in strategic spots where clean water runs off our dodger.

Last downpour we had, Steve, on board Sea Echo next to us came out on deck with a bar of soap and took advantage of it…..well, maybe he did not have a bar of soap but it makes a better story! Life at the end of a hook.... replenishing water and power....who said we were on vacation ?? but we love it.

Suzanne, Jacqueline’s sister is coming back on Sunday for another Bahama fix… I am sure she is looking forward to escape Montreal for a bit. I hope Heinz is not planning of sending her home with this acquisition he made at the Hope Town fair (fund raiser for the fire department!) . I think Heinz was trying to support the whole department single handed!

And now to inquiring minds who wish to know … Feb. 27th and the beard lives on!

Are you happy now CJ? did I burble on enough?

Now I need to go and do battle with our iffi wifi to post this to cyber never never land.... it sometimes feels like it , especially today, I deleted the first posting and ALL THE PICTURES trying to delete an extra space so had to do it all over again!



We haven’t posted anything for 10 days…what a lazy bunch we are, well, actually not that lazy, we are still working on the bright work, David has just put on the sixth coat of Cetol on our swim ladder steps and we are now stripping the companionway which will be done with Cetol as well… maybe tomorrow, this IS Sunday after all!

I guess we haven’t posted because there is nothing noteworthy or new to write about. Our routine is pretty much the same most days and rather mundane I am afraid…. Tea with the cruiser’s net on the VHF radio in the morning, sanding, scraping, beach combing for sea glass, having sun downers and blowing our conch at sunset then dining al fresco in the cockpit under a canopy of stars... BOOOOOOOOOORING!

Today I spoke to my sister Danielle, who is taking computer lessons, I am pleased to report and she commented on D’s beard… when told he wanted to shave it off, she was horrified, she declared it “magnifique”, another comment has been “it look very Hemingwayish” on the other hand we have less than enthusiastic vibes from D's Ma and CJ…we are 10 days past the deadline and the beard lives on…an Allin tradition, first Christopher then Stephen now David…so far!

The other day reading Beth (Madcap)’s blog…I noticed she was asking what was the difference between an island and a cay …there were several suggestions made, having to do with fresh water or lack thereof ….Google gave the following definition “a cay (pronounced KEY ) is a small low elevation sandy island made on the surface of coral reefs.” I guess they do not have any fresh water source which is why it is so expensive….water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink!

Some of our dock neighbours, Jim, Laura and Buoy (the dog) on Voyager went away for a few days…yes some of us actually do move, and took this picture of a water spout (mini tornado) right outside Hope Town harbour…it just missed us.. now that would have been SOMETHING to write about!!! The weather has changed… somewhat cooler, still shorts and t-shirts though and definitely NO SOCKS... tonight, though, we took our fleeces when going to Interim for drinks but no shoes... when we dinghy from boat to boat we don't wear them.

L’Equipe also went off for a couple of days … Jacqueline was getting antsy, which I can totally sympathise with….we had dinner on board L’Equipe…tomato salad (with some basil from my TREE) and some delicious mahi-mahi caught and cleaned by Captain Weber himself… how sweet it is!

We were stuck here this week waiting for delivery of 2 new batteries. We came home one evening to this very strange and unknown smell on the boat….we sniffed and sniffed and could nor identify the source of it, after deciding that the boat was most likely not going to blow up during the night we went to sleep. David, though, had the foresight to switch off the battery charger.
Next morning, we went to check on the battery fluid (which David had just done ONE WEEK AGO) and 2 of them were very hot and some of the cells had dried…. Fortunately there was an electrician on the dock who came over, had a look and told us where to order new ones… they were ordered and came a couple of days later on the Carib III, local delivery service barge which looks like a converted landing craft.
Richard, the electrician, went to get them at the ferry dock, delivered them and helped David install and reconnect them… and we are still waiting for his bill… no problem man…. I know you are good for it.. I’m not worried!!!

Cruisers here have accounts at the local grocery store, well, after all you don’t take money for a walk on the beach and if you need some groceries on the way back to the boat… well you just put it on your tab… try and do that at Metro or Sainsbury… We have all had countless experiences with these wonderful trusting and friendly Bahamians… Pat (Legacy) was telling us last night how Jim had left his backpack with wallet, passport etc. at the ferry terminal in Marsh Harbour because he was carrying a nice child whom he had befriended. Not a problem , the backpack was located and put on the very next ferry to Hope Town..
You practically have to chase after people to pay them money owed to them!

One of my favourite people is the postmistress, Nora, I keep going to see if she has received a small package with parts for my glasses, on Friday she said "I'll hail you on 16 if it comes in and if you don't have your ears on I'll call you on the phone"

Now, isn't it a good thing I didn't have anything to talk about!

PS a couple of oldies but goodies...one courtesy of Elisabeth and the other one from Brian Petrie!!!