Hope Town at last :                                       15th February 2012.

I cannot beleive this actually happened...but yesterday while I was trying to correct a few typos and spelling mistakes the whole posting vanished....I tried to find it....found just about every other posting  since 2006 0n the internet but this one was irretrievably lost!!!!
so here I go again.....I will try and duplicate as best I can.....hopefully the wifi will cooperate and it won't be too painful....

Wow!!!!   It is over a month since we put fingers to keyboard   (as opposed to pen to paper!!!) and quite a lot has gone on since we last wrote.

 Green Turtle Cay

We were lucky enough to score invitations to the event of the year in Green Turtle, namely the grand opening and house warming party for our dear friend  Cybil, who, courageously, and some might say otherwise , has built a beautiful small house in the centre of New Plymouth.  What a gem and what a party, music supplied by Kevin on the keyboard (of Gulley Rooster fame) , the crowd dancing in the back lawn and overflowing into the street. Nobody bothers about people propping up the wall of the house opposite and drinking beer ..  it’s a party  !!   Food, food and more food … such hospitality and in fact we came away from Green Turtle Cay with a  jar full of Cybil’s home made salsa and delicious it was too !! .. Thank you Cybil… it was a marvelous party for a marvelous house and we thoroughly enjoyed it.  We are sure that you will be extremely happy there.

Cybil's gorgeous shoes 
                                                    David and Reg holding up the wall
    Our hostess sneaking in a bite

We walked to Green Turtle Club for lunch with JP and MF

Then we did what cruisers do best ..."cruising = fixing your boat in exotic places"
    Look what happened to the filter on the pump guard of our new water cooled in fridge in just a couple months ...   ahhh!!!! the wonders of salt water.
    How many helpers can fit in Aquabella's head...true male bonding par excellence!

                                      The beach at Bita Bay
                                  Then back home for sundowners 
    Back to Bita bay with Val & Reg....Will dear  Aquabella ever let them come to Hope Town

    These lovely green slymmy creatures were on a mission...mass suicide, beaching themselves whale style...
    I lovingly (YUUUUUUK) put them back in deep water and watched them gracefully swim away
    Harriet told me they were SEA SLUGS  thanks Harriet!
     Gilam bay beach is trying very hard to recover after the groynes (large cement blocks) were removed

    Councilman Adelson was attacking the downed Sapodillas with a chain saw...Val tried to enlist help              for him
           Super low tide...a long way down to the dink...I am next!!!

          Then Bru and Sandy proudly showed off "Coconuts" what a comfy beauty she is and well loved.

 Then it was time to leave…..  Oh dear Catherine never wishes to leave anywhere!!   Our month in Green Turtle Cay was up on the 24th, but we stayed until the 25th when everything was right for a safe and smooth passage through the feared Whale Cay Passage.  That is what we got ….  A gentle swell, slight sea and no problems, just what we like !!!
           Last session of aqua fitness with the water lilies
     So long guys...

      Rain on the horizon
     See you in April
     The Whale Cay passage was quite tame...

Great Guana Cay

We anchored in Fisher’s Bay for two nights, a beautiful and favourite anchorage , where the sunset has to be seen to be believed.  Lunch, one day at Nippers…. And what a lunch!!  I ( David) had the lobster wrap…  but smarty pants aka the Admiral chose to have the Tuna and Boy was it good !!    Cooked to perfection, just melt in the mouth… so we had to congratulate the cook.  Good Job Miss Betty!!!!
     Bahamian style channel marker ....used to be 12 feet tall!
     Hurricane Irene did some creative positioning  of boats..ON THE HARD!!!
     Grabbers on Fishers Bay..looks like paradise!!!!

     Irene saved them the job of demolishing the dinghy dock...
     The beach from Nippers

     The best ever tuna steak!!!!
      Orchid Bay at low tide.
    This one was specially staged for you Tony
    On our way back to Soli patiently waiting ....much better than that old dinghy dock...

    Marsh Harbour

      L'Office de la Langue Francaise would have fun with this!
    I finally love conch salad...after 6 years of trying.
    This one is for you Peter...it does rain ....but we love it!!!

A day or so later we left Fisher’s Bay and headed towards the big city …. Marsh Harbour, and docked at Harbour View Marina, where we intended to leave our home for the four days that we were going to be in Washington DC , for our dear “cruising friend”  Colonel J Steve Russell’s burial in Arlington National Cemetery. We were very satisfied that this marina would give “:Solitaire 1”   all the protection and care that she would need and the neighbours  also offered to look after and water the herb garden,  they were golden !!!
    OMG David in long pants....Bye Soli be good
    The Bahamas Air attendant looked like an African princess
    Can you find Soli in Marsh Harbour
    Flying over Westend...our destination from  Florida the first few years we crossed the Gulf Stream


We left for Washington DC on Monday 31st January via Bahamas Air and U S Airlines and were deposited in Reagan National by 16.00 hrs that night.  Our hotel was close by and so we settled in and then purchased a night tour of the U S Capital.  It was freezing!!!  We definitely were not prepared for this sort of weather!!!   That said we dutifully did the tour and visited the various exhibits at which the tour stopped.. Some were not given the time that they probably deserved as the wind whistled around us.  We are definitely thin blooded after six, or more, years of no snow and no really cold weather.
    We stayed in Arlington near the Iwo Jima monument

 The following day we spent pretty much all day at the Museum of American  History…  very interesting with something for everyone.  Some wonderful ship models… two or three real railway locomotives etc etc.  One exhibit which was fun was to see all the dresses of America President’s wives wore for their husband’s inauguration balls… some dowdy some pretty nice.  We also saw examples of the White House china used for state occasions….  One which I remember had 4, 320 pieces, sufficient for a dinner party for 220 guests!!  Apparently they are bought about every two presidents, so the Obama’s have not had to purchase
any for a while.

    We were exhausted from visiting the museum and it was a gorgeous balmy day so we took a tour in an      open  London bus....

  The "Old Ebbitt grill where had dinner with Lin and Jerry

     Some buildings reminded me of Paris

.   I love beautiful buildings...I was spoiled
By the way… the White House seems to be a lot smaller than it appears on television!  Buckingham Palace it is not!!   After spending some six hours walking around the museum, we were fairly bushed so decided to do a tour on the “Hop On Hop Off” London double decker bus – we sat on the top deck in brilliant sunshine and listened to the commentary, eventually passing by the Washington Episcopalian Cathedral, sixth largest in the world and very impressive, and then ending up in Georgetown, a very funky area.  We left the bus here and plunged into the Apple store and purchased an I Pod Touch with two pretty good speakers that work on Bluetooth, so no wires.   Catherine has been busy transferring music from her computer to the I Pod, so now we have music on the boat.  Back to the hotel briefly followed by another trip into town for dinner at the Old Ebbitt Grill to meet good cruising friends Linda & Jerry Amstutz, also in town for the interment.  Good food, good catching up and good reminiscing !


The 1st February was Steve’s interment at Arlington National Cemetery, the reason that we were in Washington.  We all gathered at around 12.30 hrs and then went to where his coffin was removed from the hearse and placed upon the gun carriage draped with the U S flag.  An honour guard some sixty to eighty soldiers strong, military band, riderless horse with boots facing forward, made up the procession to the grave site where a brief service was led by a military chaplain.   Following the service we all went to the Fort Myers officer’s club for a delicious meal and drinks.  Some excellent speeches detailing Steve and Sharon’s career and I am afraid that the cruising contingent  were the last to leave the club at 17.30 hrs.

The next morning we spent in the Smithsonian Holocaust Museum, very interesting but I found terribly depressing.  It is hard to understand how seemingly normal educated people can be led astray so horribly and behave so despicably to other human beings, but the museum is very well done.   Following a brief afternoon zizz  we were back into the metro, to the end of the line as we had all decided that a crab feast in Annapolis should end our reunion with Sharon and her family, so we headed for Cantlers.  What a special evening we had with good food , plenty to drink and lots of laughter and reminiscing.  We are pretty sure that Steve was looking down at us with a big smile on his face.

     Cruising buddies

    Steve must have been very pleased to see the reception held in the officer's club - Genaral Patton's Hall.... his great hero

A couple of thoughts about Washington D C, although we had heard that it was not a very nice town, we found it quite the opposite.  Everywhere we went the people were friendly and helpful, the city was clean and the metro system excellent and safe. We saw an underground parking garage with a price of $9.00 for the first hour…..The only snag about this party was that we did not get back to the hotel before midnight and by the time we had packed it was close to 01.00 and with a wake up call at 04.30 there was not much time for sleep.  However we dragged ourselves out, the cab to the airport was on time and we had sufficient time to have a light breakfast before boarding the plane.  With trepidation, we had sent our one bag through to Marsh Harbour , trusting that it would make the two connections that we had to make and it did….  So thank you U S Airlines!!   All our flights, Washington/Charlotte/West Palm Beach and Marsh Harbour were on time or early and we had plenty of time to wander a bit in each airport.
So use public transport !  We used the metro and city buses and had no worries at all.

    Washington Metro at Rosslyn station....we thought we were going to the bowels of the earth...


   What a mess...glad i had tuna.....again....

Our floating home was just where we had left her, Catherine’s herb garden was watered and seemed fine and the freezer was still freezing !!   Lunch at Snappa’s  and a very early night was the order for the balance of the day – twelve hours of uninterrupted sleep put us both to rights .  We were supposed to move to Hope Town on the Saturday, but the weather was not very nice and it was very windy, so we stayed an extra day  and only left Harbour View on Sunday for the easy hour and half trip into Hope Town harbour.   

Hope Town

So here we are once again, swinging from our mooring ball and must confess to not having done too much.  A good lunch at the Lodge with our friends, Susan and Rolf  “Briezi” another Sabre 402,  a walk on the beach and a wander through town .  The weather is warm but breezy and over the last few days has been mainly overcast with rain threatening although very little actually falling here, much to the local’s dismay as they wish to fill their cisterns.   We have nothing much planned in the immediate future except that Catherine has a reservation to the February ladies luncheon and we both have bought tickets to a fund raising event of music on the 21st.


    Members of the welcoming committee, Jacqueline and Heinz were among the first and Rolf came bearing gifts....arugula from his garden....yuuuum!!!!
     Not sure which is sexier the duck shoes or the speedo!

    The Hope Town Marina is coming along well...just add water and we can swim to Bahama Mamas.
    Sharon ...this is your Xmas card from 2010!!!

    Dinghy drift....largest ever number...56 people I think.

    Then back to fixing things....Bruce had a go at our generator and Billy rewired our windlass....does it ever    end!!!!
    OUR BEACH!!!!

    For Valentine's day, the skippers of Interim and Soli took the admirals to the lodge for a delicious supper and NO DISHES... thanks guys.

So… shall now hand this screed over to Madam editor and photographer par excellence , for her to do her usual great job of tweaking and eventually publishing.

Till the next time!

I must add this link to Sharon's sister Patti...for the greatest pictures of  Steves sendoff...she is an amazing professional photographer as well as a wonderful person...Sharon is so lucky to have her and Mari Kay.

1 comment:

David - Catherine Allin said...

Wonderful 2nd attempt after such a disaster. This is a test to make sure comments are working due to a report that they were not.

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