Friday, December 9, 2016

Good Evening Hope Town!

When two strands of lights went out on the lighthouse, we had a unique opportunity to go up the lighthouse after sunset. Fortunately, the lights were accidentally unplugged by tourists, so the fix was easy. It was awesome watching nighttime come alive across the harbor as we walked around the top.

Some day I want to be up there when Elvis the lighthouse keeper starts up this last kerosene, hand wound lighthouse in the world!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Lighthouse Lighting

Ten volunteers showed up this year to help put the holiday light strands on the Elbow Reef Lighthouse. We had all new lights that had to be tied together in 12 long strands, hoisted up to the top with a fishing hand line, and secured to the 12 posts and railings, while the bottom crew secured the strands to stakes and fences.

Unfortunately, the wind that was forecasted to ease, did not, so the project was challenging. Plus work at the top of the lighthouse has been ongoing with removal of the old paint and rust. They have had black nets around the areas being worked on to contain the rust and paint in each area, which Jackson and his work crew kindly stopped working and took down for us to install the lights (their work is amazing but very noisy with hammering and air chiseling to get it down to bare metal to repaint). This photo of the nets was taken late in the day.

Even though we test all the strands before attaching them, there always seem to be some that have portions out. It's always worth it to see those lights at night though and everyone in Hope Town and the surrounding area appreciates it.

 Having the moon setting behind the decorated lighthouse was an added bonus, thanks to Mother Nature!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

I Couldn't Resist Posting This

This post is a little break from happenings in the Bahamas. My mother's assisted living facility, Grace Manor, took part in the Port Orange Holiday parade this past weekend. Their bus was decorated as Santa's sleigh and the residents inside were dressed as elves. That's my mother in the lower right corner.

My brother Rick said that the windows were too tinted to see the people inside, but the most important thing is that the residents all had a blast. To hear my mother so positive and having a good time put my mind at ease. Plus Mom was even in their newsletter, dancing with another resident during one of the music events. It's great to see her having fun!

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Presentation

At Saturday evening's HTSC stand-up, Dave was presented with his outgoing commodore's gift. This is a giclee of the original painting by fellow member and famous 'Fishartista' Kim Rody, presented to him by the new commodore, Winky Merrill. The original painting hangs in the clubhouse.

It's a one of a kind of the clubhouse that Kim was commissioned to paint in 2016 so that giclees can (only) be given to past commodores for their service. Dave's is a one and only in this size, as all others will be smaller. We have it hanging in our bedroom, as it matches the wall perfectly, but while sitting in the living room, we can still see it too.

Our apartment is starting to look like a Kim Rody gallery as I have a couple of other of her much smaller giclees of a turtle and the club's Sunfish. Every year I try to add to the collection.

If you would like to see more of Kim's art work, click HERE.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

What A Long Strange Trip It's Been

Dave's long awaited fat tire bicycle has finally arrived! It's been a year since he saw it advertised on Craig's List and sent our friend Jim to pick it up in Guilderland, NY. It sat in our motorcycle emporium for the summer while Dave tried to come up with a way to get it to Hope Town. When we made our flight plans on Airgate's 7 seater plane, he asked if they could fit it in the plane as extra baggage. It was too big so he opened the box, took off the back wheel, wrapping that separately, and cut down the box to fit in the small cargo section. I had no clue how we were going to handle our luggage and the bike. Alas, an offer from friends who took pity on us! Graciously and oh so thankfully, Heinz and Jacqueline allowed us to put it on their boat for the trip over here. First though, we had to get it down to them in Stuart, Florida. We thought perhaps we might bring our van back down as we had the past few years, but that would mean it would be stored in Airgate's field for the entire winter. More friends to the rescue, as Rick, aka Mr. Manager, needed his parents' motorhome brought down to Florida and Dave offered to drive it, while I flew to spend time with my mother. 1300 miles later, the bicycle arrived in Daytona and was wrapped in plastic, so it could withstand any weather if left outside on the Gulf Stream crossing. Then it was loaded into my mother's Buick, driven the rest of the way to Stuart and transferred to the boat. Our friend's boat ended up having engine issues and they were stuck at their boatyard for several weeks while repairs were made. The bicycle slept nicely in its own guest berth though! Today they arrived and to get it out of their way, we brought it out of the guest room and into our skiff, then finally home. I'd say Dave's happy and ready to ride the rocky trails. He's only driven it about half a mile so far, and yet the bike has gone about 2000 miles "on its own". If only it could talk and tell us about its journey. I'm sure it would be saying, "What a long strange trip it's been!"

Friday, December 2, 2016

Tis The Season

Even though it is barely past Thanksgiving, everyone is starting to decorate around Hope Town. Tonight we helped set up several of the trendy laser light projectors here at our marina. Next will be decorating the clubhouse and of course our famous lighthouse. The lights for that are on their way here as I write this. Along with decorating come all the local events like caroling, the children's Christmas play (this year named Christmas in Bethlehem Gulch) and the second annual Christmas Village, which is supposed to be even bigger and better than last year. The proceeds from this event benefit the new St James Community Center, which has been under construction for a couple years and nearing completion.

Dave and I helped finish one of the kids games for that festival this week...Skee Ball. The game was actually already made but we had to devise a ball return. Dave went around the boatyard and rounded up plywood, 2x4s and several pieces of gutter. We made a V with two pieces of plywood that angled down into the gutter that ran the length of the table, which was actually two parts, top and bottom (easier to transport). So we lined up the gutter from the top and the gutter from the bottom, supporting it with the 2x4s and it worked! Ingenious, but as we were testing it out, we realized that Skee Ball is definitely not a sport we excel at. We'll stay away from it at the festival. 😀

In the background of the photo above is one of several of Hope Town's cemeteries. Right over the hill is the ocean.

Part of the Christmas and holiday cheer is the sailing club's holiday dinner, which Dave and I are in charge of this year. We have to coordinate all the food, decorations, tables, chairs, set up, and clean up. We've helped for so many years, we figured we might as well take a turn at organizing it. "What WAS I thinking?!"

Stay tuned for more photos to be posted here as all the season's events unfold.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Trail Hoppin'

On this side of the harbor, we have no real roads, just trails. Some of the trails are wider, like the one that goes from the marina to the landing on the Sea of Abaco, where the barge brings the roll off trucks in.

This is the bridge to nowhere. It was installed in anticipation of houses being built out on this island. It's only wide enough for golf carts and very small trucks.

Going back past both our boatyard and the Hope Town Marina, I have a 'secret' entrance to the trail that leads to the cove called Fry's Mangrove.

It's about a mile long and I have to watch where I am going all the time. The trail is inundated with coral rock and tree roots. Right now they are harder to see because there are lots of dead leaves from the hurricane on top of everything. One trip and fall could cause major injury.

The trail winds through the trees and underbrush. What a strange place to be selling land, although it probably goes all the way to the Sea of Abaco.

Upon arrival at Fry's Mangrove, this boat is tied up in a tiny hurricane hole. Several large ropes are tied to the trees in the woods.

 The cove is so serene, especially in an east wind. It's a different story when the west wind blows straight in. 

We know quite a few of the homeowners here. Evans and Gaynel built this house way up on a ridge.

Dan & Sharon have their house aptly named "Home Frys" on the water.

This is my favorite house that friend Gail owns named "Bryan's Bungalow" with spectacular water views, and complete with statue named "Kate".

Mark and Kim were Harbour Rats that have moved to land. They bought a house in the cove and extended their dock to accommodate their sailboat Spirit.

On the way back to our apartment, I came across these cacti. We usually don't see them around and it reminded me of when we used to go to the Virgin Islands. 

I also saw this red-legged thrush which not only comes to the Bahamas, but also frequents the Cayman islands. It had red eyes too.

Eventually the trails lead to the main road called The Queen's Highway. Although my trek is usually pretty quiet, you just never know what or who you are going to see. It's all part of the adventure!