20 September 2017

Wordless Wednesday | Ship Wreck At Peck Lake, Florida

EDITOR'S NOTE: A few months ago as we were walking along the beach at Hobe Sound Wildlife Refuge in Florida, we came across a shipwreck. I wrote this post several weeks ago. Sadly, with the latest hurricanes (Maria and Irma) there are so many other boats that have been wrecked and washed up on shore. There are so many sad stories behind each shipwreck. It just makes our hearts break.

Wordless Wednesday is supposed to be about posting a photo(s) without any words. But, I'm a rule breaker, so here are a few words:

1 - We came across this ship wreck when we were walking along the beach at Hobe Sound National  Wildlife Refuge near Peck Lake.

2 - This is every sailor's worst nightmare.

3 - The boat has been stripped of everything of value. Not sure if it was by the owner or by someone else. 

4 - I wonder what happened? Was anyone hurt? Did the owner give up sailing for good or get another boat?

What words does this picture(s) bring to your mind when you look at it?

For more Wordless Wednesday fun, click here

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18 September 2017

Going For A Walk With A Load Of Laundry | Spanish Wells, Bahamas

Note: Our blog lags reality by many, many weeks. So, while you're reading this post about our cruising adventures in the Bahamas, in reality we're back in Indiantown Marina for hurricane season working on dreary boat projects. Cruising in the Bahamas was far more fun. {Sigh}


I have this great picture of Scott carrying a bag of laundry on his back through Spanish Wells in the Bahamas but he won't let me post it on the blog. Party pooper. So, you'll just have to use your imagination instead. Go on, you can do it. I bet you have a very creative imagination. What you imagine is probably better than the picture anyway. I'm not a great photographer.

Are we all set? Have your image of Scott lugging laundry on his back firmly in your mind? Okay, then let's carry on and tell you about our time in Spanish Wells.

We motored over to Spanish Wells from our protected anchorage at Royal Island intent on accomplishing five things:

1 - Get diesel;

2 - Get groceries;

3 - Get drinking water;

4 - Dump off trash; and

5 - Do laundry.

You could just feel the excitement in the air as we got in our dinghy and headed into town. Spanish Wells was going to be the answer to all of our first world cruising problems.

It was a dark and gloomy day, but that didn't get in the way of our enthusiasm. Look, cool fishing boats!

Look buildings on shore that surely had laundromats, well stocked grocery stores, abundant supplies of water and the like!

The first stop on our adventure - Pinder's supermarket. Yes, they have diesel! We tick that item off the list gleefully. We head into the store confident that this is our new nirvana - we'll be spoiled for choice when it comes to groceries.

Well, turns out we were spoiled for choice, but only if we wanted to choose between different Jello products. I never knew so many varieties of Jello products existed. I might of even have bought a box of Jello if I had water to make it with, but guess what....yep, no non-salty drinking water available at Pinder's or anywhere else on the island for that matter.

We left the store slightly disheartened, but determined to carry on and find a laundromat. The lady at Pinder's said that there might be one at a small store over the hill. So we dumped off our trash and carried on.

Even though the Bahamian election happened weeks ago, houses were still decked out in their preferred party's colors.

It was an interesting walk, although I imagine the sack of laundry Scott was carrying on his back was starting to get a bit annoying.

Okay, just in case you're wondering, yes, I did offer to carry it multiple times (remember his bad back?), but he said he was fine.

We found the store that might possibly have a laundromat at. It turned out to be a small corner market that had been recently reopened (I think it was the old CW grocery). It was run by a really nice woman who was deaf, but read lips. After a few attempts to explain what we were looking for and a lame attempt on my part to spell words out in ASL, she showed us to a shack outside of the store with an old washer and dryer. Unfortunately, they weren't operational. She did suggest we try the marina and see if we could use their machines.

So off we set, feeling a bit deflated, but determined to carry on and enjoy the adventure.

Then we ran across this really cool cemetery. I love cemeteries. This one had such colorful flowers.

Then  we poked down a side street to check out the beach. I don't think there's a bad beach to be had in the Bahamas. Just look at that water.

Remember how it was dark and gloomy? Well, then it started chucking down rain. Fortunately, we stumbled across Buddha's. They were getting ready to celebrate Bahamian Independence Day and the place was decked out in blue, yellow and black bunting.

If you're looking for a delicious and inexpensive cheeseburger, Buddha's is the place to go. Plus they have a giant, glittery gold Buddha head. Who doesn't like a giant, glittery gold Buddha head?

After the rain let up, we headed back down the hill in search of the marina. By the way, when I say "hill," I'm using the term loosely. The Bahamas are pretty flat. These aren't like San Francisco kind of hills.

Just around this bend is the marina. Hang in there Scott, we'll find a washing machine soon.

But wait, here's some really weird stuff to look at first.

Okay, here's a handy tip for you if you ever want to do laundry at the marina at Spanish Wells - don't say this:

"Hey, do you have a laundry machine I can use? You do? Cool. Is it only for folks who are staying at the marina?"

Guess what the answer is. Yep, it's something along the lines of:

"Get lost!"

Obviously, much more politely worded than that.

After that we kind of gave up on Spanish Wells. At least we accomplished two items on our list - trash and diesel. Who needs water, groceries and clean clothes, really?


Cruising Log | Tuesday, 4 July 2017 - Friday, 7 July 2017

Anchor up at 8:20 AM at Rock Sound. Anchor down at 4:30 PM at Hatchett Bay. Very pleasant sail. Crazy entrance to Hatchett Bay - very narrow. Pretty much had the place to ourselves. Nautical Miles = 39. Engine = 2 hours 15 mins. Spending = Nil.

Anchor up at 6:30 AM. Anchor down at 2:00 PM at Royal Island. Motorsailed entire way. Lots and lots of flies. Very hot. Nautical Miles = 36. Engine = 7 hours 45 mins. Spending = Nil.

Lazed about. Scott went out for dinghy ride and disappointing snorkel (very murky water). Still very hot. I guess summer is here. Nautical Miles = Nil. Engine Hours = Nil. Spending = Nil.

Motored to Spanish Wells and anchored on south side of channel. Spotted some squalls so waited for a while on the boat. Still squally, so Ellen stayed on boat while Scott went into town to get diesel and water. After a while, we both went back into town and walked around. Nautical Miles = 10. Engine = 2 hours 45 mins. Spending = $56.90 ($43.30 - 10 gallons diesel, $2.15 - 2 cans of pop, $11 - snack at Buddha's & $9.45 - groceries).

Do you like Jello? What's your favorite flavor? Ever carried laundry around on your back for a few hours?

If you're interested in more of our Going for a Walk posts, click on Walk underneath Labels on the right hand side of the blog or just click here.

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15 September 2017

August In Numbers

Clockwise from upper left: (1) Washing off the anchor chain; (2) Emptying and stowing the water jerry cans; (3) Too many chilies, too few chilies or just enough chilies?; (4) Making rogan josh curry; (5) Checking in to see what tropical cyclone activity might be headed our way; (6) Visiting friends at Sunset Bay Marina and having a wee bit of marina envy.

EDITOR'S NOTE [9/14/17]: I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago and it's kind of strange to look back at it now after Hurricane Irma - especially the part about "waiting out hurricane season" in Indiantown and the picture above showing how we monitor the National Hurricane Center daily. We ended up evacuating Indiantown as Irma's track at one point showed her heading up the middle of the state. Turns out there really aren't any "hurricane holes" when it comes to monster storms like Irma. We're currently still in Atlanta, but will probably head back to Indiantown in a couple of days once traffic clears up, gas is more readily available and, hopefully, Indiantown gets power and cell service back on.

It's time for our usual monthly recap in numbers. We spent all of August back at Indiantown Marina in Florida. We're waiting out the rest of hurricane season here and working our way through our list of boat projects and upgrades that we need to do before we head off to the Western Caribbean.

All in all, it's been a pretty quiet month as we readjusted to life tied up to the dock, which isn't an easy adjustment after you've been out cruising in the Bahamas. It's been so sweltering hot and humid outside, that we've haven't wanted to leave our air conditioned boat and venture outside very often, which means not as much as gotten done as we would have liked. Hopefully, September will be a bit cooler and more conducive to ticking things off of the boat project list.

Anyway, here's the very random list of what happened last month by the numbers. 

  • 3 - Number of curries we made - rogan josh curry, Thai green curry and panang curry. We love, love, love Indian food, but finding good Indian restaurants can be challenging at times. So, we've decided to try our hand at making Indian and Thai curries from scratch (rather than relying on ready made powders and pastes). They take a lot of time and ingredients, but the initial results haven't been too bad and it's been a fun activity to do together. 
  • $392.95 - How much we spent on groceries. One of the great things about being back in the States are the grocery stores - so much selection and much better prices than you find in the Bahamas. A large chunk of our spending was on stocking up on a specialty ingredients and spices for our curry-making.
  • $658 vs $570 - Price comparison of a monthly slip for a boat our size. When we visited our friends at Sunset Bay Marina in Stuart, we had a bit of marina envy. In some ways, it's a much nicer place to keep your boat than Indiantown Marina (in the center of a city, nice views etc.). But, we're happy at Indiantown for a few reasons - it's cheaper, you can work on boat projects more easily, it has a real community feel and it's considered to be a hurricane hole.
  • 100+ - Number of items on our boat project/upgrade list. Some are small things (like replacing a hand pump and getting a new hose for the grill), some are big things (like sewing a new headsail and replacing the chain plates) and some things we might end up deciding not to do (like installing a composting toilet). 
  • 5 - Number of things we ticked off of the boat project list. That leaves 95+ items to go. So depressing. Will we ever get out of here? Will it ever stop being too hot to work outside?
  • 2 - Number of Powerball tickets we bought. Nope, we didn't win the jackpot. If we had, we could outsource all of our boat projects rather than do the work ourselves. Heck, we could probably buy a new boat that doesn't need any work done to it.
  • 2 - Number of times we went to Taco Tuesday with friends. Mmm...tacos.
  • $1.59 - Cost of a Redbox rental. I watched The Arrival. It lived up to expectations. Isn't that nice when things live up to expectations? Too often you're excited about something, only to have it disappoint.
  • 1 - Number of new Kindles we bought. We are now officially a two Kindle family. Much easier to use on a sailboat, but I have to admit there are times that I miss reading old-fashioned paper books.

In case you missed them, here are some of our favorite blog posts from last month:

The Coolest Laundromat Ever | Black Point, Bahamas
Dumpster Diving in George Town, Bahamas
Here Piggy, Piggy | Big Major's Spot & Staniel Cay, Bahamas

How did last month go for you? What are you looking forward to this month?

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13 September 2017

Wordless Wednesday | Fishing Nets

Wordless Wednesday is supposed to be about posting a photo(s) without any words. But, I'm a rule breaker, so here are a few words:

1 - Fishing nets are kind of cool looking.

2 - Of course, they're not so cool when one gets tangled up in your prop.

3 - We had zero luck catching fish while in the Bahamas. But maybe that's a good thing because you can run the risk of getting ciguatera poisoning. That sounds nasty.

What words does this picture(s) bring to your mind when you look at it?

For more Wordless Wednesday fun, click here

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11 September 2017

Evacuating The Hurricane Zone | Stinky Chickens & Dodgy Motels

674 miles, 22 hours on the road, two dodgy motels and way too many stinky chickens to count. Those were the highlights of our evacuation from Indiantown in southern Florida (it's near the east coast between Stuart and Lake Okeechobee) to Atlanta.

Okay, maybe highlights isn't exactly the right word. They were more like lowlights. Actually, lowlights is probably too nice of a description.

We had been monitoring Hurricane Irma's path for days, going back and forth as to whether we should stay or go. It became an easier decision once we saw this projected track and the "cone of uncertainty" on Wednesday. Indiantown Marina was smack dab in the middle of a major hurricane's path with projected wind gusts over 120 MPH. Yep, it was time to make plans to head on out.

Before we could go, we had to finish prepping our sailboat, Tickety Boo, to ride out the storm.

If you're never prepped a boat for a hurricane, you're really missing out. You get to do all sorts of exciting tasks like taking down the sails so that they didn't become unfurled in the high winds, taking down our bimini and dodger (the canvas over the cockpit that protects us from sun and rain), making sure everything was off of the deck, tying a thousand lines and fenders to our boat to make her as secure as possible in her slip, getting the solar panel off, removing the steering wheel, filling up our water tanks and jerry cans and doing a million other jobs that always took longer than we thought they would.

Not to mention we were working in hot, sticky weather with real feel temps over 100 degrees, while constantly swatting at bugs intent on extracting every last bit of blood from our bodies. Maybe that's how they prep for hurricanes. Humans stock up on food and water, they stock up on blood.
Good times.

We checked on some of our friends' boats which are stored on the hard. They're tied down with hurricane straps so that they don't topple over in the high winds. That's the theory at least. Nobody really wants to test it out and see if it's true.

And the most important thing we did as part of boat prep was go out for a "last supper" with our friends from Sailing Wind Spirit and MJ Sailing on Thursday night. It's becoming a bit of a tradition. We did the same thing last year before Hurricane Matthew. To be honest, it's the kind of tradition I'd rather not have.

We got up at 3:00 AM on Friday morning and did some final boat prep. Then, after saying one last goodbye to Tickety Boo, we headed off at 5:00 AM northwards. Our goal was to go northwest, into the Florida panhandle and out of the cone.

At first, the evacuation seemed to be going okay. We drove west on the back roads to Okeechobee then up to Sebring and then on Route 27 up towards Minneola. Not too much traffic, gas readily available and no stinky chickens.

But then things went downhill from there. We made the fatal mistake of getting on the Florida turnpike over to I-75. Did you know 6.3 million people were ordered to evacuate? That doesn't even include people like us who voluntarily chose to evacuate. That's a lot of people on the roads. I think we met half of them on I-75. It was pure insanity.

Needless to say we got off of I-75 near Ocala and got back onto the backroads. That's when we started to notice some serious gas shortages. We were still okay for gas, but it's a bit nerve wracking to wonder when and if you'll be able to fill up again.

Some of you know that we have a tiny travel trailer, Scamper and have asked if we took her. We hemmed and hawed about what to do. If we left her at Indiantown, we could lose not only our boat, but our camper and have no place whatsoever to live. But if we took her, we'd really have to worry about gas towing her. In the end we decided to leave her behind. Given the gas shortages, it was probably a good call.

The backroads worked for a while and we were zipping along, singing songs and having a great time. That might be a bit of an exaggeration - there wasn't any singing or having a great time, but we did go faster. Then we got on Route 98. It took us 1 hour and 20 minutes to go 5 miles. {Sigh}

We got off of there as soon as we could and headed north on some county roads towards Live Oak. This is the good thing about not having any firm plans or destination, you can be flexible. The bad thing about not having any firm plans or destination is that when you go to try and book lodging, you find out that there is nothing to be had. Not just where you are, but in all of northern Florida, Alabama and Georgia.

By the way, one disadvantage of taking the back roads is that you might find yourself stuck behind a truck carrying lots and lots of chickens. We've got the old fashioned kind of air conditioning in our car - you know the kind that involves rolling the car windows down. Nothing quite as refreshing as getting a big whiff of a chicken truck as you're driving along. Turns out chickens don't smell great, especially when its really hot outside.

By the time we got to Live Oak, we were shattered beyond belief. We were desperate for a place to stay. Then we spotted a motel on the side of the road. There was a reason why they had rooms available - it was dodgy and gross. We decided to pass and keep on heading west into the panhandle.

We took Route 90 into Monticello. A super cute town. If only we weren't trying to flee from a hurricane, it would have been fun to explore. We ran across yet another dodgy motel. We checked out the room and it was gross, but for some reason, we handed the guy $60 and said that we'd take it.

Big mistake. One of the clues should have been the fact that you have to hand your money through a hole in the window. The other big clue was the fact that they normally rent rooms by the week or the month.

We dropped off some stuff and went for some fine dining at Burger King. When we got back, I noticed the owner was evicting some of the residents. Um, yeah, another big clue. Then we looked at the room more carefully and took the bedspreads off. What we saw took gross to a new level. Plus, to be honest, I was a little scared our car might not be there in the morning. We fled the scene and kept driving.

By this time, the cone was shifting west into the panhandle so we decided to go north into Georgia. We contacted some friends of our who had offered us a place to stay in Atlanta and asked them if there offer was still good. Thankfully, it was.

We took the backroads to Tifton and then got on I-75. There were times that we were going 60 MPH and then there were times we were lucky to be going 5 MPH. But in the end we made it to Atlanta and collapsed in a heap grateful to have a safe place to sleep.

Two important lessons learned:

1 - A dodgy motel is never a good idea no matter how exhausted you are.

2 - Don't drive behind trucks full of chickens.

But more importantly, we were reminded of how lucky we are. Sure, we could lose our sailboat and our camper, but we have the financial resources and a car and were able to evacuate and great friends who were willing to shelter these Florida refugees. There are so many other people who have been impacted by Irma, with no place to go and so many people whose lives have been devastated by her wrath.

Have you ever stayed at a dodgy motel? What's the longest you've driven? Have you been impacted by Hurricane Irma?

NOTE: If you've emailed or left comments on Facebook or our blog, apologies if I haven't responded. The last several days have been crazy and exhausting. I'll try to get around to it soon.

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06 September 2017

Interstellar Voyages With Simon The Time Traveling Cat | IWSG

The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is a place to share and encourage, where writers can express their doubts and concerns without appearing foolish or weak. It's a great place to mingle with like minded people each month during IWSG day.

Every month there's an optional question which may prompt folks to share advice, insights, a personal experience or story. Some folks answer the question in their IWSG blog post or let it inspire them if they're struggling with what to say.

This month's question is:

"Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? For example, trying a new genre you didn't think you'd be comfortable in?"

Check out how people have answered this month's question, as well as the other insecurities and writing topics they may have shared by visiting the IWSG sign-up list here. If you want to see how I answered the question, have a look below.


"Jeez, lady, get a move on already," growled Simon the Time Traveling Cat. He swished his gray tail back and forth angrily. "We don't have all day."

"Simon, just hold your horses for a minute," I snapped. "I've got so much to do to get our sailboat ready for Hurricane Irma. She's headed our way in just a few days."

Simon jumped onto my lap and glared at me with those weird eyes of his, the ones that look like miniature clock faces.

"Enough hurricane talk. It's all you've been going on about lately. Irma this, Irma that." He reached up and swatted my nose with his paw, claws fully extended. "You even forgot to give me a saucer of milk this morning because you were busy looking at the weather forecasts."

"Ouch!" I screamed. "Why'd you go and do that?"

"Because you need to focus. You need to answer month's IWSG question, instead of worrying about that stupid Irma," Simon said. "Now, look into my eyes and count to ten. We're going to travel through time to another universe."

I felt myself drift off as he blinked his eyes slowly ten times.

"Wake up, lady. We're here."

"Here, where's here?" It felt like I had woken up from a deep sleep. I looked around and pointed at a woman sitting at a desk typing on a computer, completely unaware of us. "Wait a minute, that woman looks just like me." Her resemblance to me was uncanny, even down to the birthmark on her arm.

As I was freaking out a little about finding out that I have an identical twin that my mother completely forgot to tell me about, I looked out the window. That's when I noticed that there were two suns in the sky, instead of the normal single, solitary sun that I'm used to.

"Um, Simon. What's going on here? Why are there two suns?" I asked. There might have been a touch of hysteria in my voice. Just a touch, mind you. Not a complete nervous breakdown or anything. "And why does she seem completely oblivious to us? Are we dead? Are we ghosts or something?"

"Give me a break, lady. Not every planet just has one sun." Simon paused for a moment to wash space dust off of his tail with his pink tongue. "This isn't your universe, dummy. It's a parallel universe. And that isn't you exactly. It's a parallel you."

He paused again to clean behind his ears with his paws. "And she can't see us because of some laws of physics or something. Too complicated to explain. Plus I could care less. If it doesn't involve cat treats and belly rubs, I'm not interested."

"What's she typing, anyway?" I asked as I peered over her shoulder to look at her computer.

"Duh. The answer to this month's IWSG question."

I stared at Simon blankly.

"What? You didn't think they'd have IWSG in parallel universes? Jeez, lady, you're stupider than you look. And that isn't saying much." Simon nudged me with his nose. "Go on, read what she's typing. Then you can put that down as your answer and get back to that stupid Irma stuff. Plus, get me a saucer of milk."

Fair enough. I was short of time given all the hurricane prep we needed to do. It couldn't really hurt to copy down her answer, could it? After all, she's me. Or am I her? Who knows. In any event, here's the answer:

"Writing a fantasy short story for the IWSG anthology last year was a real surprise. Although, I love reading sci-fi and fantasy, the thought of writing something in that genre seemed really daunting. I was focused on writing a cozy mystery, which seems easier given that the genre has a certain formula and rules. But when it comes to sci-fi and fantasy, the rules seem less clear. But I went for it and made up my own rules. Who knows, maybe in a parallel universe somewhere, there's a parallel me who just writes sci-fi and fantasy and surprised herself by writing a cozy mystery for an anthology contest."

If you had a chance to travel to another planet, would you go? Do you think there's life on other planets? What writing or other insecurities have you been working through? Are you busy prepping for Hurricane Irma?

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04 September 2017

Ouch, That Hurts! | Rock Sound, Eleuthera, Bahamas

Note: Our blog lags reality by many, many weeks. So, while you're reading this post about our cruising adventures in the Bahamas, in reality we're back in Indiantown Marina for hurricane season working on dreary boat projects. Cruising in the Bahamas was far more fun. {Sigh}


Scott is rarely sick or feels pain. I think I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen him take painkillers. Maybe it's that stoic North Dakotan nature of his or some sort of fabulous immune system. Whatever the reason, he rarely complains about not feeling well or being in pain. So when he told me that he hurt his back, I took him pretty seriously. And I panicked a little bit.

Not just because I care about him, but because his back is essential to the smooth operation of our sailboat. Scott is a lot stronger than I am, so he gets all the unpleasant jobs like lugging around 5-gallon jerry cans full of water and diesel, pulling up the anchor and grinding in that last little bit of the headsail after I've given up.

Most things can be worked around, but pulling up our anchor isn't one of them. I've tried and I'm just not strong enough to get it all the way up, especially when the winds are high. And that's where my panic came in.

What if we had a big storm and needed to move quickly? I'm guessing fear and adrenaline would kick in and I'd manage to get the anchor up. At least I'd hope so. Or Scott would get the anchor up, hurting his back even more. Not really a good solution. 

We do have a windlass (a contraption that pulls your anchor and chain up for you), but it hasn't been working. Fixing it has moved way up on the boat project list, let me tell you. Even up ahead of fixing the leaking portlights.

So, we ended up hanging around Rock Sound in Eleuthera for five days so that Scott could rest up. Turns out it's a pretty cool place to hang around at and they have the best grocery store we've seen since Marsh Harbour. That's when you know you've been cruising too long in the Bahamas - you get excited about well-stocked grocery stores.

We parked our dinghy on the dock by a restaurant nearby the store.

"Dis way to...where?" We saw this sign on the restaurant. I really want to know what they're pointing at. It looks like someone painted over the mystery location at some point.

Before hitting the grocery store, we checked out the two gas stations nearby to see what their prices were for diesel. I probably should have taken a picture of the grocery store. They had everything you could possibly want including Irish sausages in the freezer section. They were scrumptious.

On one of our other expeditions into Rock Sound, we walked up to the blue hole.

Blue holes are fascinating, especially when you find them inland in the middle of a town. We went swimming at the one at Hoffman Cay, but passed on swimming in this one.

I wonder if people go fishing there or if you're even allowed to.

The people were so friendly in Rock Sound, but then again I don't think I've ever met a Bahamian who wasn't friendly. We walked through town checking things out and noticed this sign. A fair - who doesn't like a fair?

So we went. Turns out the fair wasn't at the church itself, but at a community building up the road.

We had a great time people watching. And there were a lot of people to watch. I think everyone in Rock Sound showed up to get something to eat. There was a huge line outside of the door at one point.

We figured if this was where all of the locals we're eating, it had to be good. And it was. We rarely eat out in the Bahamas, preferring to cook our meals on board, but this was worth it. We split a chicken dinner ($10) which came with crab rice and two sides (we got two sides of Bahamian mac n'cheese). Scott loves conch fritters and since you could get 5 of them for $1, he did - twice. Add in a can of root beer ($1) and you have the perfect meal.

And, in case you're wondering, Scott's back got better after a few days rest and he was back to lugging jerry cans and pulling up the anchor in no time. He's a real trooper.


Cruising Log | Thursday, 29 June 2017 - Monday, 3 July 2017

Anchor up at 7:00 AM at Little San Salvador Island (Half Moon Cay). Anchor down at 3:00 PM in Rock Sound. Motorsailed with the headsail. Only boat in the anchorage. Fridge stopped working. Panic set in. Turned out out to just be a short, which Scott fixed. Nautical Miles = 38. Engine = 8 hours. Spending = Nil.

Went to the grocery store. Nicest one we've seen since Marsh Harbour. They even have butane cartridges, cheaper than in the States. Great hardware store nearby. Started grilling dinner, but propane line leaking. Had to finish up on the stove. Nautical Miles = Nil. Engine = Nil. Spending = $43.50 (groceries and butane).

Fixed leaky propane hose. Lots of annoying birds keep landing on our boat. Went for a walk to the blue hole then had chicken dinner at the Anglican church fair. Walked through town. Huge bump on Ellen's head after banging into the solar panel. Ouch, but not as ouchy as Scott's back. Nautical Miles = Nil. Engine - Nil. Spending = $13 (dinner at church fair)

Lazed about. Nautical Miles = Nil. Engine = Nil. Spending = Nil.

Got 10 gallons diesel at Dingle's. Went to the grocery store. Nautical Miles = Nil. Engine = Nil. Spending = $41.50 (diesel) and $45.70 (groceries).

Have you ever eaten at a church fair? What did you have? Ever hurt your back? How was your recovery?

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01 September 2017

From "Holy Crap!" To "Ahh...So Relaxing" In One Day | Cat Island & Half Moon Cay, Bahamas

Usually living and cruising on a sailboat is fun. Anchored off of a tropical island and sipping sundowners in the cockpit - what's not to enjoy?

But it isn't always like that. There are the days when it sucks. That's usually when something breaks. Those kind of days happen more often than you'd think.

Then there are the days when you scream, "Holy crap!" That's usually when you're afraid you're going to crash onto some rocks, lose your boat and everything in it, and then spend many hours on the phone trying to find out exactly how good your insurance is. Fortunately, those kind of days are quite rare.

We had had a pleasant night anchored in Fernandez Bay on Cat Island and sipping sundowners in the cockpit. Pretty view, huh?

We woke up early to the sound of howling wind (40+ knots) as a storm cell passed overhead. We rushed up on deck to find that our boat had turned 180 degrees and was pushing us towards a dodgy looking lee shore. Big breaking waves kept crashing into Tickety Boo as we tried to get the engine started.

Of course we couldn't get the engine started, which made me say, "Holy crap!" again. It wasn't really a surprise considering our battery bank doesn't hold a charge very well and it was too early for our solar panels to have kicked in (plus we have some questions about the effectiveness of our glow plugs). So we turned to our trusty Honda generator to start the engine, which isn't exactly a quick process.

Finally, we got the engine going and got the heck out of there. We thought about heading to Arthur's Town or anchoring elsewhere, but the weather conspired against us. So we said goodbye to Cat Island and headed off to Half Moon Cay instead.

Once we got there and dropped the hook, we sat down in the cockpit, took in the views and said, "Aah...so relaxing."

I bet you'd find it relaxing too. It's one of those cruise ship islands, where they drop off the punters for the day to enjoy the beach. The place is really called Little San Salvador Island, but the cruise line renamed it Half Moon Cay. I guess that sounds more tropical or sexier or something.

The cruise ship left around 5:00 PM and then we had the beach all to ourselves.

Somebody made a sandcastle that kind of looks like a cruise ship. I think a giant sand turtle is about to eat it.

There are colorful cabanas scattered along the beach.

There's even a pirate ship with a pretty cool looking bar inside. Captain Morgan's, of course.

They've got a little village with a "traditional" straw market and other little shops.

Just because the cruise ship left, doesn't mean there still isn't work for the folks who keep this place running to do.

Look how happy Tickety Boo looks in a peaceful anchorage, untroubled by storms and scary looking rocks that she might crash into.


Cruising Log | Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Early morning nightmare when a storm cell passed over us and pinned us onto a dodgy looking lee shore. Anchor finally up at 6:30 AM. Thought about going to Arthur's Town, but wind much higher than forecast and from wrong direction. Checked out another anchorage, but it didn't look great. The sun came out, so decided to push on to Little San Salvador. Picked our way through the coral and rocks and dropped the hook at 2:00 PM. Cruise ship in port, but left at 5:00 PM. Went ashore for a peaceful walk. Nautical miles = 38. Engine = 7 hours 30 mins. Spending = nil.

Have you ever been on a cruise? What was your favorite part? Ever experienced a storm that made you fear for your life or property?

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