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Monday, April 28, 2008

The Winds a Blowin

As you can tell, we are still in Clarence Town, Long Island.

The wind is still blowing and the occational rain squall is keeping us wet. It was a great "alarm clock" this morning at 5:15...LOL

It was a great weekend, as we spent the evenings at the local pubs drinking beer and trying everyones conch fritters. The ones here at the Marina's "Outer Edge Grill" are some of the best we've had. The beers and cokes are very cold and Hermie, the cook, also does a great Mac-n-cheese! Needless to say it's not diet food by any means!!

Today, we walked a mile or more (good for all the mac-n-cheese I've had!!) to the bakery (not good for diet)!! We bought some cinnamon rolls, cinnamon-raisin bread, chocolate cake(only 1 piece), coconut pie(only 1 piece) and 6 oatmeal cookies. This is a real treat for us, so we loaded up!!! On the way, a local dog walked with us until we passed a house with some goats. He chased this one little goat into the salt pond across the street and began attacking it. I was shocked because this is the most passive dog we have run into here in the Islands and he plays with Schooner all the time. I asked Gordon to do something to stop him before he really hurt the goat(yes, I was a bit more excited than I sound now). Gordon and Chip started throwing rocks and finally the dog gave up before he killed the goat and all is well with goat. My goat saving hero now has a very sore shoulder!! It's the first he has thrown anything since his shoulder surgery 3 years ago!!!

A local man told us just now that if the wind doesn't lay down tonight, we will be here until Saturday....great!!! So, for us, it's back to playing the "waiting on the weather" game.

Friday, April 25, 2008


We have left Provo and are now back on Long Island, Bahamas, but let me explain how we got here!

First off we lost all Internet on Saturday, April 19, what a bummer that was. I couldn’t let anyone know we were going to leave Provo and start heading north. We had rain most of the day Sunday, after we washed down the boat and cleaned the glass, which added 3 more inches to the annual rainfall. (It always amazes me, if I wash down the boat it WILL rain!) Monday morning we waited for Immigration to come check us out…this is a long wait as the “HOOTERS” boat came in early this morning and customs and immigration were all over the boat with dogs. About noon we left the marina for Little Pine Cay and lay at anchor for the night.

Gordon and I did a bit of swimming and dingy exploring with Schooner until sunset and called it a night.

The weather god (Chris Parker) was correct with the weather forecast and the water was like glass, with only a moderate swell and we sailed for the whole 10hr. run to Abrahams Bay, Mayaguana. The 3 boats started out just fine, but our friends on “BELLEZA” experienced some problems and had to return to Provo. Once there we had to make the obligatory jaunt to the beach for Schooner to do her do. It was good to be on solid ground and we did find some sea beans to add to our many others.

We headed out bright and early the next morning for Atwood Harbor, Acklins Island. That wasn’t a very good evening except for the sunset, which was spectacular! Gordon and I did make a quick landing for Schooner, but we’re in bed by 8pm. All the fresh air does wear me out!!

Any way we are now in Clarence Town, Long Island and “BELLEZA” has caught up with us once again. It looks like we will be here until Sunday by all weather predictions. I hope to catch up with some of you with SKYPE, as we have Internet…but still no TV!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Still in Provo

Yes, we are still in Provo, but what a place to be stuck in! This is a very progressive island and very welcoming to tourists. Their income is derived from some tourism but not dependant of it. We were able to find only 3 shops that sold exclusive TCI products, trust me we looked and checked them all out!
There are the (Chinabrand) souvenir shops around the major hotels and a couple of Duty Free stores there as well. I did manage to pick up a few things…LOL

The rest of the time has been spent cleaning!! Yes, you still have to clean, even in paradise. I washed all the walls, ceiling and floors down and re-arranged the salon. We are expecting Andie, Jeremy and Havyn in June and I was looking at options for making more space for everyone. Like that can be done!!

We are waiting out the cold front that many of you experienced the last couple of days. The temperature has dropped (85° now) and the wind is blowing hard from the north, but it is a nice break from the temperatures earlier this week (95°).

Gordon has been working at catching up the logbook and website, fixing the AC, cleaning filters, and testing the different Rums and beers of TCI. I did buy myself a bottle of rum, but it was from Mexico and I really just wanted the bottle. I guess we’ll suffer through drinking the rum though!!

We did however, download a program that lets us talk by way of our computer for free, as long as we can get internet. It’s really neat, I was able to talk to Andie and Havyn yesterday and Patrick last night, and Gordon talked to Erika. What's funny is when I call their dogs and they recognize my voice but can't find me! They both have video cams on their computers so I could see them. I will have to wait to get back stateside to get one for us. Until then they don’t get to see us, only hear us. If any of you are interested, check out www.SKYPE.COM.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

In Provo Day 3 & 4

We went to the local car rental place (Scooter Bob’s) and rented a Suzuki, 4w drive vehicle (air conditioned) and took off with Chip and Kay to see the sights.
The first thing that strikes you about Provo is the quality of the roads. They are very good! There are streetlights everywhere (that work) and street and traffic signs clearly visible along the roads. There are no traffic signals either. Rather, the T & C traffic department uses “roundabouts” at most intersections and an occasional stop sign when absolutely necessary.

The next surprise comes when you’re looking at the buildings and realize that they aren’t trashed, cracked or in a state of disrepair. They’re actually on a par with what you’d find in Ft. Lauderdale or Palm Beach. Grocery stores are well stocked and the prices (with the exception of beer, wine and liquor) are much cheaper than the Bahamas. There’s a huge NAPA auto Store, a “Do It Centre,” which rivals Lowe’s or Home Depot, and a cement plant that manufactures cement, crushes rock into graded aggregate and custom mixes concrete. If it weren’t for the fact that you see beautiful, blue-green water on both sides of the road, you’d swear you were back in the USA.

We spent the day doing the tourist bit; visiting shops and restaurants, buying souvenirs and sampling local foods. We drove all around the island until we had a good feel for direction and where we’d go to see special attractions tomorrow. Afterwards, we went to the local Cost Good store (like a Sam’s Club or Cosco in the States) and to the local IGA, which was as big as the biggest Publix or Kroger store. We restocked on beer, pop, food, snacks and vegis. The total cost was only about 12% more than a comparable grocery run back home.

We are a bit slower at getting started this morning!! We were both more tired from yesterday’s activities than we’d expected. Plus, we’re a little beat up from bouncing around in the Suzuki (it had no shocks in the back end.) Today’s mission is to tour the Conch(pronounced KONK)Farm.

and then scout out the coastline of Provo and see if there is an anchorage area worth visiting (plus hit any of the stores we may have missed yesterday.) We first went east, to the Conch Farm and the Leeward Marina.

Next, we went back east and then south to the soccer and rugby complexes located Downtown (a name that defines the financial and business district on Provo without making the area a separate political subdivision.) We saw where the Turks & Caicos National Team plays its international matches(although yhey weren't playing)and the secondary pitch where all club teams practice and league matches are played. There is also a modern air-conditioned, indoor facility there where youth leagues participate in indoor soccer, roller hockey and kick boxing. It’s really quite a spectacular athletic complex.

That sums up the last two days for us...Sunday is a day of rest!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

We are in Provo

We arrived in Providenciales, part of the Turks and Cacios Islands, yesterday.
It was a long passage, about 190 miles! We made our first stop after leaving Rum Cay, 12 1/2 hours later in a small harbor called Atwood Harbor, Acklins. It was quite bumpy most of the trip and Schooner and I elected not to eat!! We were, however, able to go ashore and run and do her business, which she had held almost 24 hours. Again, in the morning we went ashore and didn't get the dingy secured very well and had to swim 40 yds. to get it!! We are still learning, but what a wake-up call that was.

Next it was on to Abrahams Bay on Mayaguana. That day was only 10 hours long and the water was setteled down some and we were able to put some sail out. The bad part was, we were over a mile from shore and it wasn't possible to get Schooner ashore! That was the night she decided to use her "Pup Head". Now it seems to be no big deal for her and makes life easier on us. But, it was a short night, as we left at 5:00 AM the next morning for Providenciales(Provo for short), another 10 hr. run.
We are one of three to make this trip together, BESO of Santa Barbara,and BELLEZA of Vancouver, and we all arived safetly and cleared Customs without a hitch (they are so nice here).

Today was spent washing down our boats of the aquired salt and seaweed. Wouldn't you know it that as we finished, Provo received one inch of their ANNUAL rainfall of only 16 inches. Atleast it was soft water and didn't mess up my windows!! Then it was on to find a beauty/barber shop. Gordon and I look pretty good again!!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Moving Day

The weather has a big window and we are on the way!! The last week has been just wonderful.....we have enjoyed Rum Cay so much. As I said before this place has only 3 resturants, we had dinner at all 3 and the food was great! All local cuisine only it is more peppery than most of the Bahamas. We went to almost every beach reachable and found more sea beans and shells. Our golf cart ride about the Island provided us with bunches of pictures and many memories!
Church this morning was interesting, we went to the Anglician Church, the biggest of the 3 churches,and a service we are most familar.
We will be out of Internet range now until we reach Turks & Cacios. I'm getting so excited and can't wait to get there. We will actually see a grocery and hopefully some shopping. Until then it means few few nights on the hook and sailing

More later.......

Saturday, April 5, 2008


Thursday morning we got up and went snorkeling. The water was about 80°, but there wasn‘t much to see, although Chip was able to spot an octopus hiding among the rocks.
The weather started to look promising, so it was a mad dash back to the boats and in record time we were headed out! Found an anchorage north of Stella Maris, just off shore in Calabash Bay (see picture). The weather wasn’t as great as we thought and we rocked the whole night. I was glad to get up and move early the next morning.

About 6 hours (for us) due east south east of Long Island is the Island of Rum Cay. It is about 4miles by 5miles square and has a booming population of 100! There are 3 churches, 2 groceries and 2 restaurants “in the town” of Port Nelson, besides the Sumner Point Marina where we are.
The Bahamian government was pumping a lot of money in here about a year ago by paving the roads, adding stop signs, (although I have only seen golf carts, no cars) and dredging the channel and harbor. By the way gasoline here is going for $5.49 a gallon!! OUCH! There is a large, 1000-acre development under way and they say we won’t recognize this place next year

So for now, we will pass the time snorkeling, swimming, beach walking and enjoying the tropics!! We are now below the Tropic of Cancer! Another milestone accomplished!

We plan to stay here until this next weather front passes (Sunday), and then make a shot at Mayaguana (maybe I’ll finally see a flamingo) and then the Turks and Caicos.