Wednesday Feb 24th

What’s been happening since we last chatted….

Sharon and I went up to the light house for a visit… we had gone up 3 years ago with Jacqueline & Heinz, so it was time for another visit. We of course had to wait for a nice sunny day, which this year has not been a given, in order to take a lot of nice pictures….so now you can see where our home base is.

Last time we had also gone up at dusk when the light keeper light it, which was absolutely fascinating.


Then we of course did more beach walks and lo and behold, this past week end the weather was good and the forecast for the week following was more fronts coming in.

Soooo we just had to take advantage of this nice little window….actually everybody was on the same page…there was a mass exodus, most of the harbour emptied out.

Saturday morning, Indian Summer and Soli left HT close to high tide and we planned on meeting up with Hannyah and David (Dovolena) on Lynyard Cay. We unfortunately motored as the little wind we had was from the south, but it was a beautiful day and it felt good to be out on the open sea!

We met up with Dovolena …they had been anchored for a while as they went down the shallow passage which is much shorter…my skipper is driving the “Queen Mary” and we stick to “big ship” passages, but it mattered not we were in no hurry. The anchorage was such a pretty spot with a lovely beach, there were only half a dozen boats anchored there and everyone met up on the beach for “sun downers”. We barbecued steaks and had a peaceful night at anchor, David is so pleased with our new anchor…a 45 lbs Manson Supreme (Rocna type), the only anchor approved by Lloyds of London (stamped right on it!!!!).

On Sunday we decided to move the boats to Tilloo Cay, we had a lovely breeze from the SSE and had a grand sail. After beaching the dinks, we explored the beach which always has a lot of live sea biscuits, the trick is to find dead ones which do not fall apart….David did quite well, I found a small but interesting piece of coral and then tripped on a small bump on the beach…I started digging and uncovered the corner of a towel…but the time I had dug it all up it was a nice big towel loaded with sand…by the time I had dragged it back to the dink through the water it looked like it might make a nice addition to our linen closet! We could not see the sunset as it was starting to get overcast in preparation for ….you guessed it ….another front due on Monday.

Monday morning saw the not so intrepid duo weighing anchor to head for home….then AGAIN I heard the alternator belt slipping…David said it indeed was not charging, sooooooooo dropped anchors again and I went to pick up Steve and the men did their thing again, grunting all the way. The belt seemed to be as tight as could be and we set off again and got into HT harbour as the wind was picking up.

We had a lovely happy hour on board Heart Beat last evening as well as a knot tying seminar….promised I’d go back today re refresher course.

We are back ensconced in HT and swinging from our mooring….it is very windy about 25-30 knt ….Sharon and I have a date this morning to go to the coffee house (aka internet cafĂ©) with our laptops to have a blogging session…and maybe a cappuccino… yum!!!


We woke up to a nice Valentine’s day greeting from Cindy…We had a very pleasant evening on board, I had bought a couple of lobster tails (actually they are craw fish as they have no claws) …I wanted to steam them, as I felt it would be a good way for them to retain all their natural flavour, but do not possess a steamer on board.. So I got creative, took an aluminum pie plate, punched a bunch of holes in it and put it in a pan over an inverted plate et voila steamer.

I also very often go on the net for recipe ideas or cooking tips and I picked up a very good one, insert a skewer along the tail so it will not curl during the cooking process, I used a couple of chop sticks cut down to size and it worked very well. They were delicious with just some melted butter and lemon juice …we could really taste their natural sweetness….enough I am getting hungry again and it’s only 0800!!!!!
Sorry no pics of the finished product....we were too busy savouring them.
We had nice romantic old fart music, the sound tracks of “Sleepless in Seattle” ( my all time favourite) and a new (to us) one, “Space Cowboys” (compliments of India Summer). A very nice evening which did not break the bank or should I say was within our retiree budget!

We are in the red part (40-50 knots)!!!
A couple of night ago we had a big front going through… we’ve had one Norther after another this year but this one had gale force winds (40 - 50 knots = 75 -90 km/h) and the whole anchorage was battening down in preparation for it. It did howl, but Hope Town is like a hurricane hole, Soli was well and solid on her mooring and she is a very comfortable boat so we felt minimal movement, the only thing we thought we had lost was a cover to our forward hatch, David found it later, it had lodged itself around a jerry can on deck. We are listening to the net this morning and it is like a lost and found program, which is very nice…cruisers are being reunited with their possessions that flew away.

David's idea of Yoga!!!!
Last week we spent a morning doing maintenance on “Miss Beke” (our Westerbeke diesel engine) …she was spoiled with nice fresh oil, filters, zincs etc…we do a neat job of this, I still remember the first time David and Andre changed the oil in the engines …I’ll have to find the picture of that mess!!! Afterward we walked down to the Abaco Inn for lunch with Jim and Barb (Skat)

David with the help of Steve tried AGAIN to tighten the bolt that tightens our compressor belt for the engine drive refrigeration, this bold has been retightened several times this season, professionally and by the buddies….this time they put on a locking nut and we thought it was all good but this morning when we ran it the familiar squeal started again!!!! Can’t think of what else to do.

The language between these two was very interesting!!!!

I won’t bore you with the saga of our propane tank as it is ongoing and am sure will be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction…..just to say that life on a cruising sailboat is never without a dull moment (even when we are not sailing…or maybe especially because we are not sailing)

On Friday a whole gang of us went for a walk down to the Sugar Shack for ice cream, where we met more friends and a dozen of us walked back to the dock, where we met JP and Marie Francoise who had just bought lobsters from the fisherman for Valentine’s day…now you know where I got that idea!!!

I stayed clear of my killer coconut tree and we all ran into Ruddy Malone who thinks he is retired from working at Hope Town Marina.

We are thinking of going to Marsh Harbour on Wednesday as there is ANOTHER front expected tomorrow. I would not dare complain, even though I did wear socks yesterday!!!! . This weird weather has been all over… my Dad tells me they had 10 cms of SNOW in Villefranche (French Riviera) and it all turned to ice, needless to say the whole area was paralyzed and Danielle reported snow and more snow in Ste. Consorce (Lyon area) and off course the whole East coast of the US….Baltimore airport was closed for several days with over 40 inches of snow in a couple of days.

Talk to you later.

A few more pics
David still has this this wonderful ability to power nap anywhere, anytime....here he is waiting for me while I shop for groceries.
Ooops... I think I lost myself for a minute!!!!

Skyping with CJ
It works better from computer to computer than to land lines...
Some local weeds!!!!
Carol & Simon visiting.


We are doing it again…back in Hope Town and being lazy about blogging….what do they say “happy people have no stories” or some words to that effect.

We are afraid to bore you with another walk down an almost deserted beach or another gorgeous sunset.

We have been quite busy though, meeting up with old (and new) friends. Reg and Val (Aquabella) took us out for lunch at “The Edge” to thank us for bringing them their new dinghy from Savannah…it was our passenger in the “placenta” (aft berth) for WEEKS, the trip down was ever so slow, as we were delayed by weather and repairs…they must have despaired of ever getting their new “car” but finally took delivery in Green Turtle.

We also went to dinner on “Nid’O” where we spend a lovely evening switching back and forth between French and English with Jean Pierre and Marie Francoise, we had paid them a surprise visit in Lac Brome this summer and met up with them again in Green Turtle.

We ran into Jacqueline and Heinz who are landlubbers again this year and their visitors from Germany, H’s sister and brother in law.

And of course our buddy boat “Indian Summer” with crew, Sharon, Steve and Ruger who have fallen in love with HT as we did four years ago …we share many walks, glassing, happy hours and dinners.

We even dragged them to “On da beach” for lunch and then to “The sugar shack” for ice cream…it is run by a woman who is from Montreal, went to the Trafalgar school for girls !!!, cannot imagine how she ended up selling ice cream in HT…will have to ask her next time.

She was telling us that she had been contemplating moving back to Montreal with her husband and children until she had to go “home” to visit her father in JANUARY…her frost bitten toes reminded her why she had moved away in the first place and all thoughts and plans of moving the family North are abandoned for the near future in any case!

Yesterday another new friend arrived in the harbour Jim and Barb (Skat a C&C) whom we met in Westend …they have been bumming around the Abacos. I wanted to take a picture of Barb swinging on her hammock on the fore deck, reading…Sharon and I both want one of those.

I told you our life is so BORING!!!!

Yesterday being Friday, we bought grouper from the local fisherman which David grilled on the BBQ it was just delicious with little new potatoes, which I brought from Savannah!!!!, those green bags from Debbie Meyer work beautifully, I haven’t thrown out a single piece of fruit or vegetable so far this season and some parsley from our herb garden, which is now kept on the galley counter as it was making such a mess on deck blowing dirt all over the cockpit with all the wind we have had.

Something was reported to us by Bruce and Gail (Orient Express 2) …apparently the city of Vero Beach FLORIDA had to come and clean the harbour of thousands of dead fish that were floating around and were starting to smell .. THEY HAD FROZEN TO DEATH IN THE WATER…it was about 46*F!!! This gives you an idea of how unusually cold this winter has been …but hopefully it is all behind us now, haven’t worn socks in several weeks and long underwear are firmly (and hopefully) packed away until next year.

We attended a “Ladies Luncheon” at the lodge last week and again the gentlemen were exceptionally invited with this repeat guest speaker, Patrick Griffith, he lectured on the workings of American politics, especially the interaction between the President and Congress…he is a very interesting speaker, I guess he would have to be to keep those of us who know little about American politics hanging on to his every word….we walked out well fed and somewhat smarter!

I have already booked us for the next two lectures…does it sound like we are going away from HT any time soon?

On the same day we attended an evening concert at the church…a choir from Princeton., Shere Kahn A Capella…they were absolutely fabulous!

Last evening, after dinner, David and I were actually pulling out charts and having a look further South!!! Don’t hold your breath,,,,I am not….for the moment I experience the Exumas vicariously through Harriet and Skip (Moondance)’s blog and it looks just wonderful.

What else can I tell you …Billy (Interim) showed me how to make an anklet with rope, he actually started it for me but would not play around my ankle…he is a happily married man and wishes to stay that way.
Think I should put some cream on my feet...they look awfully wrinkled...the anklet looks good thought!

David is very busy zooming around the harbour, hanging around boats greeting new arrivals helping with mooring buoys and doing what he does best …chatting!

I have been devouring books ( tome 2 of Millenium, some 500 pages in 3 days and I am a slow reader) and cooking….have not baked bread yet as I was anxious about running out of propane, but now new have a new tank (one of the old ones had a leak!!!!) and Carol (Interim) bought me some yeast in Marsh Harbour so I’ve run out of excuses …mind you I still have ciabattas from Savannah in my freezer!

We had a birthday party for Sharon, she shares birthdays with our grand daughter Kaitlyn who turned ten this year and had a grand double digit celebration with her family in the Big Apple…still waiting for pictures!

I did not bake the birthday cake, it was (you guessed it) a key lime pie …a masterpiece of our famous baker Vernon Malone.

Vernon was honoured this week by receiving a commendation from the Queen ,throught the Governor of the Bahamas in Nassau for services rendered in business and religion, Bobbie (Mrs. Vernon Malone) informed us that she had to buy a hat and GLOVES for the occasion!

We also had a successful delivery by Mr FedEx of our brand new propane tank which came all the way from Pensylvania ...the old one had developed a small leak, not a good thing on a boat!

A few more island critters we have befriended.

Otherwise life goes on peacefully....I think David is definitely enjoying his retirement and I am too....so far!!!

A breezy day on the beach...just love that wind!

Last night we celebrated Jim & Barb 41st anniversay...looks like she still likes him 

Well I somehow managed to run on a bit…sorry it is not very exciting.