Sunday, 17 May 2015

Hopetown Abacos and back to the U.S.

The Abacos

After a lovely sail from Eleuthera we reached the Abacos (a group of islands north of the Exumas and directly east of Florida - often referred to as little Florida) This area is is a very popular destination for sailors and motor yachts as well. 

Condo units on the water in the entrance to Hopetown

View from Hopetown Marina toward the anchorage

Dinner with Chip & Deb (fellow Corbin owners who we originally met in Georgetown and met up with again in Hopetown) Note lighthouse in background)

Elbow Reef Lighthouse in Hopetown- the only manually operated kerosene mantel lighthouse in the world

View half way up the 101 steps
View of the mooring field foreground and the Atlantic Ocean beyond. There is a limited number of mooring balls available and each day new boats come into the harbour and cruise around looking for a vacant ball. We were lucky to have our friends Anthony and Annette scoping one out for us. 
Hopetown Marina
150 year old technology still in operation today

Quaint walk in Hopetown

Beautifully kept cottages

Note the lush vegetation - much different from the Exuma chain of islands 

It is believed that the first loyalists landed on this beach in 1765

Mooring field in the back ground. 

No its not a new kind of fish - its Hannah practicing her front crawl (she's already mastered the doggy paddle)

Our first attempt at "drip castles" Not bad for beginners

View of Whale Cay as we head toward Great Sail Cay and preparing for the gulf crossing to Florida

Enjoying the sun on the bow

Good bye Bahamas - can't wait to come back next year

RKalliste, Copper Penny & Rovenkind in Vero Beach Florida

Thirsty Manatees in Titusville Florida - they love fresh water.

A very sad day - RKalliste out of the water, covered for summer storage,  hurricane straps attached.

We are now back in Canada enjoying reconnecting with our friends and family. We will be heading back to Florida in October to do some much needed maintenance (refinishing teak  and installing new refrigeration - the day we hauled RKalliste our refrigeration died) We will be heading back to the Bahamas for the winter months.

It was an amazing trip. We made new friends - some friends we are sure we will have for life. We saw incredible landscapes, spectacular sunsets and sunrises. And we learned - we learned how to live with less, sail in all kinds of weather conditions, navigate through narrow cuts and shallow waters, avoid crab pots and coral heads, how to fish for the big ones and which ones to throw back, and most of all how to relax, have fun & appreciate every day.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Exuma Land & Sea Park to Eleuthera

Exuma Land & Sea Park

We headed north and stopped at Warderick Wells which is the headquarters for Exuma Land & Sea Park. The park itself consists of many islands along the Exuma chain. It is a protected area where fishing, hunting and taking of anything is prohibited. It is a wonderful place to snorkel.

R Kalliste' on a mooring ball in Waderick Wells

If you look closely you can see a small bird that has landed on my finger - looking for a treat

This skeleton of a sperm whale can be seen from the mooring field - Plastic garbage killed this magnificent 52ft whale

Boo Boo Hill

View of the mooring field from the top of Boo Boo Hill
It is a tradition and considered good luck to find a piece of drift wood in your travels, carve or write your boat name on it and place it as an offering at top Boo Boo Hill

We place R Kalliste amongst those that have gone before us

Paul finding the perfect spot

The views are amazing and we take a few minutes to rest and enjoy

Can't get enough of these views

Our friends on Rovenkind - Fred, Patricia and Lucy 

Just trying to get a Wi-Fi signal

Continuing our journey we headed north-east with Fred and Patricia to Eleuthera. We decided it was time to do a little fishing and as a joke we radioed Fred & Patricia to advise them that we would be serving fish for dinner tonight. Not long after we radioed them again and told them to take a look trough their binoculars.....

Yep...that's a Mahi-Mahi 

The proud fisherman

At Eleuthera we visited an in land ocean hole. Extremely deep and full of fish!

Ocean hole at Rock Sound Harbour at Eleuthera

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Georgetown Regatta

Georgetown Regatta

The cruisers regatta runs during the last week in February with a multitude of fun events including small and big boat races, beach golf, coconut gathering and throwing games, baseball, beach volley ball and more. 

We finally meet up with Mark and Katie who we originally met in Erieau. They have take a year away from their careers to sail Kara (a beautiful Tartan) south.

Jessica, glad to finally arrive in the sun and warmth, launches herself off the side of the boat

Awesome dinner at Latitudes Restaurant
The entrance to Lake Victoria - under a road in Georgetown. Sometimes the current runs through here so fast it is difficult to navigate your dinghy without risk of hitting the wall. 

Inside Lake Victoria -The dinghy dock at Exuma Market. This is where the cruisers tie off  to head into  Georgetown for groceries, supplies and to do laundry.

The line up at the dinghy dock for water. Exuma Market supplies RO water free for the cruisers. There seems there is always a line up. We are very thankful we installed our water maker and have no need to line up to lug water back to the boat.

Paul & Jessica on Chat & Chill beach

Lunch at Chat & Chill - Delicious BBQ chicken

Jessica and Paul getting ready for the blind rowing race on our dinghy - Paul is blindfolded while Jessica gives him rowing instructions. 

Paul getting ready for the down wind dinghy race. We used our hammock as a spinnaker and found a bamboo pole on the beach to use as a mast.  

Chaos! Paul is out in front but gets tangled in the mess of boats.

3rd place and our 1st Georgetown Regatta flag!
We have met so many great people and know we have made some friends for life

Beach Golf Girls - My team - Margaret, Joyce & Faye - What a blast 

Beach Golf Guys - Bruce, Dwayne & Skip

 Julie & Dwayne on Boomdeyada

Anthony & Annette on Magnolia

Fresh vegetables are sometimes hard to come by. We attempt to grow some of our own. Basil did really well however our lettuce & tomatoes left a lot to be desired. We will try again next year
Paula's little garden

Another beautiful sailing day!

We left Georgetown and begin our trek north hoping to stop in at some of the places we missed on our way down.