Saturday, March 31, 2007

Cruising With Meghan

Meghan arrived at Marsh Harbor on Sunday 3/25. We took her shopping for groceries and then left Tuesday for Great Guana Cay. We anchored in front of Grabbers Beach Bar. They have a nice setup for boaters with very nice lounge chairs for boaters to use.
The water is around 77-80 degrees but it still feels a bit chilly if the wind is blowing. It took her a few minutes to get in but there are lots of fun things to look at. No, you can't eat it! There is another bar on Great Guana Cay called "Nippers". They are located on the Atlantic side on a beautiful beach. They serve a great Rum Punch and good Conch Fritters. We had to carry Meghan back to the boat after her rum drink, lightweight!

Baker's Bay is a beautiful stretch of beach at the northern tip of Great Guana. It is in the process of being developed for a resort with a golf course. The locals are not happy about it as they claim the fertilizer used for golf courses are harmful to the reef and all the marine life in the area. However, it is providing lots of jobs for locals that arrive from other islands to work on the development. Ferries bring workers back and forth daily.

What is Captain Clean looking at? Did he loose something? Is he passed out? Is he sleeping? He is looking thru the kayak's "seethru" floor at the anchor. Looks good!

Adios from the Captain, First and Second Mate

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Hope Town

Hope Town was settled in the late 1700's and there are still descendants on the island. It is a popular resort destination and has all the right ingredients: beautiful beaches, restaurants, bars, shops and many community sponsored events. It is rumored that some people come here for vacation and never leave. The small inside harbor offers much protection from the elements and is therefore always crowded. We opted to anchor just outside the harbor.
The town has very narrow roads and cute gingerbread homes, most are seasonal rentals.

There is even a fire department here. This is the temporary station, a new station is being built across the street. The new station has two bays for trucks and one pole. No sliding on this pole since it is a one story station.

Hope Town is most famous for its red/white lighthouse built in the 1800's. It still uses a kerosene fueled mantle and can be seen up to 17 miles away. You can climb the 121 steps to the top for a spectacular view.

We have added a photo album link for anyone interested in viewing more photos. Our internet service ends today. It was $40 for 1 week and we will pick it up again down the road. Other cruisers have told us they can pick up free WiFi here and there so we will be trolling for the signal.

Captain Clean and crew

Little Harbor

We spent 6 days in Little Harbor. Not only is it picturesque, it also has some great beachcombing. People are really into collecting beach glass and there is plenty of it here.
It is a small community of people who make their permanent homes here. There are a few seasonal rentals but a large resort is beginning to buy up the property for a future harbor and small resort. This has the locals in an uproar so many signs can be seen that warn the "resort mon" to stay away.

In between hiking and beachcombing we did manage to meet some other sailors. Pete's Pub is a favorite. Anne met this group of women and after 5 minutes decided to become friendly!!

Steve found alot of time to organize and many bumpers, so little room!

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Berry's

It was a long trip from Bimini to Bullock's Harbor in the Berry's. The marina is very protected and therefore has bugs...hello mosquito bites. I think we set a new record for number of red welts that drove us crazy. The Berry's do not get alot of visitors even though they are gorgeous and the fishing is supposed to be great. We know there are Barracudas but where are all those other delicious fish??

The locals are friendly and helpful. A couple of cruise ships have leased small islands and land their passengers in make believe Bahamian Villages. These villages are far from reality but they do provide work for the local inhabitants. We had a good meal at a local restaurant. What is on the stove is what you eat but it was great chicken with the standard "rice 'n peas" (really rice and beans) and cole slaw. The proprietress has 13 kids and we were well cared for by her daughter and 11 month old granddaughter, Gabriella.

We left the bugs and Bullocks Harbor for Devil/Hoffman Cays. This will be one of our favorite places so far. We had our own private beach for almost a week until our friends Peter, Eileen, Josh and Julie found us. It is easy to stay entertained here. Lots of time to swim, snorkle and check out the "big blue hole".

This is one of the creatures from the deep in the blue hole. They like Milton's whole wheat bread. We believe them to be "Mutton Snappers". We hear they are good to eat but we did not have our fishing pole!! This might be a hint to us as to why we are not doing so well in the fishing department!

Flo's Conch Bar was the only game in town and we did spend a few afternoons there. Flo is in the background catching a nap after waiting on our group. Flo also bakes bread.... when she feels like it. You have to order four loaves or she will not turn on her oven. The bread is $4.50 per loaf for plain and $5.00 per loaf for raisin. It was worth it since our bread had been gone for awhile and the crew did not bring any yeast to make her own. The crew did, however, bring the tortilla press so there is no complaining on the boat as long as she keeps those corn tortillas coming.

We waited in the Berry's for the winds to shift from north to south so we could make our way north to Great Abaco Island to meet up with Meghan. We finally got a two day window and left our friends and favorite beach. Leaving was tough as we had to head out between two reefs as we got pounded by 6 foot swells. Once outside the reef the wind was not favorable and the chop was 6 feet plus. The crew took no time in decorating the stern of the boat with the previous nights dinner. YUUUCH! This was not the "romantic" life at sea we had imagined. The captain did well until about 3 hours into the trip and then he was moaning with a severe belly ache. We were able to muster up enough man/woman power between or ailing bodies to get to Sandy Point at the very southern tip of Great Abaco. It turned out to be a great stop. We recovered our health quickly and joined a group of 15-20 US folks for a great steak dinner at a small beach-side restaurant.

From captain and crew.

Bimini Island

Thanks to our gracious daughter Dana for posting on the blog. Here is a bit of catch up with photos.

Bimini has long beautiful (empty) beaches. The locals are friendly and there are good services for boaters.

View from the beach.
The locals are very friendly. This is the captain and his new "best friend".
There is a "happening" spot here called "Big Johns". Friday night was live calypso music and the locals had just been paid. It was quite a party. We left bright and early the next day and did check for "best friend" on board.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Bahamas...Finally!

So the captain and first mate have had no luck finding internet, or a phone, in there current explorations, so they have currently assigned the blogging to me. Luckily they are able to send a little email through their radio to update me on the happenings and give Meghan and I plenty of things to do for them here at home. Here's what they have been up to the last couple weeks
"Sorry about the long pause it the blog postings. We have found a part of the world that does not have internet access. Here is an update on FineLine for the last two weeks. We arrived in Biminis on 2/27/07 (25.43.5 North 79.18 you can look us up on Google Earth). It took us 5.5 hours to cross from Key Biscayne. Bimini is alot of fun with nice friendly people. We stayed in a small marina right in Alice Town and made many new friends with fellow boaters. We visited a few bars and heard some good Calypso music. There are also many beautiful beaches you can enjoy all by yourself.We left Bimini on 3/3/07 for a 10.5 hour sail due east to Bullock Harbor in The Berrys Island Group. We did some sightseeing and relaxing on the beach before heading around the top of the Islands and down the east side. We entered a long string of Cays and have been anchored on the west side of Devils Cay (who names these Cays??) since 3/6/07 (25.35.83 North, 77.43.85 West). We are directly in front of a sugar white beach. We snorkle and swim daily....after we finish our boat chores. The wind has been strong from the North and North East which has prevented us from heading north towards our next destination. We are hoping for a weather window later this week. In the meantime we have hooked up with Peter and Eileen on "Appleseed" from Vancouver WA and Josh and Julie on "Sugar Beach" from PA. There are no roads here, no stores, no phones, no shops, no buildings only deserted Islands with one exception.... Flo's Conch Bar. We are regular visitors in our small dinghy and enjoy the fine meals Flo cooks (that would be Conch with rice, beans and cole slaw). We'll hopefully get some pictures posted soon."
That's all for now...I'll keep the blog updated as often as I am updated!

-Captain & Crew & Dana