Friday, November 21, 2014

Harbor Control

We've nicknamed the Treehouse Harbor Control because we see everything that goes on in the harbor from our porch. Here are a few unusual sightings:

Field trip to the lighthouse for school kids from a neighboring island...

This barge and tug pulled up old pilings, the dock, and even the bushes on shore to get ready for a new dock...

Our friend Monica took her friends for a rollicking sail around the moored boats on her Hobie Cat in 25 knots of wind...

This happy charterer entered the harbor playing bagpipes...

You never know what will happen next!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Lost and Found

This past weekend, the marina managers' daughter's boat was stolen from Marsh Harbour. This was a strange occurrence because normally any boats that are stolen are larger and have twin engines (especially Yamahas), making them good for smuggling drugs and Haitians. Ashley's boat was only 14 feet. Yesterday a huge search ensued but to no avail. How far could a small boat like this go, especially in the windy weather we have been having? Today everyone found out, when she got a phone call saying that the U.S. Coast Guard had found her boat in Ft. Lauderdale with one Bahamian and three Haitians on board! What a trip across the gulf stream it must have had. They apparently had brought their own fuel in jugs, because it was so low when Ashley docked it, she wasn't sure it would make it back to Hope Town....let alone make it to Florida. Now the family will most likely be investigated to make sure they weren't the ones trying to smuggle in Haitians, but there shouldn't be a problem since they reported the theft to the police right away. Then they will have to load the boat on a freighter and have it brought back home, all at their expense of course.

Unfortunately another small skiff was also stolen this weekend from Hope Town, so we now have to take more theft deterring precautions like chaining and locking the steering on our boat. We certainly wouldn't want to lose our 'wheels'. It's sad to see this happen when we never used to take the keys out of anything and never even locked the doors. I guess times are changing.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Big City

We periodically venture off to the big city of Marsh Harbour on the Abaco mainland. We took our first trip a couple of days ago in the skiff. If you look at the overhead photo in the last post, you can just see the beginning of Marsh Harbour in the far left corner (the first islands are the Parrot Cays). The stores are a long way from the ferry dock so we have to take the skiff into the harbor itself to be closer to everything. However, this can be challenging unless the weather cooperates. All of the stores are so much bigger here, giving us more to choose from. Prices on most things are higher than in the states because they have to be brought over by freighter and duty paid.
First stop...pristine Standard Hardware with helpful employees and well stocked shelves.

Walking down the main street with our trusty cart to help carry our purchases back to the boat.
 Thankfully it wasn't quite as busy as usual.

The only fast food in Abaco is KFC.

Next it was on to the pharmacy for prescriptions that cost about 1/4 of what they do in the U.S., AND I got a 10% discount for buying double the amount...all with a wait of only 5 minutes! You won't see that at home!

Onward we hiked, passing by this field of broken down emergency vehicles. It doesn't take long for this to happen in this salty environment.

The grand finale was Maxwell's Supermaket. 

Grand it was, and we timed it right with the freighter coming in the day before. 

We've never seen it this well stocked and yet so clean. 

Dave was in '7th heaven' with all the bananas.

 Both English and Haitian spoken here.

We may not get to the big city very often, but when we do, we maximize our time and make it worth the trip. We may not have the choices or quantity we see in Marsh Harbour, but it's always good to get back home to Hope Town though!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Front and Back

In the photo below, you can see Hope Town and its harbor. Our apartment is in the small marina just to the right of the lighthouse.

This is the fuel dock with the Treehouse behind it. It's very convenient, but gas is $6.25/gallon...the price of paradise!
Out front:

The property goes from the harbor to the little cove we call the pond. A brand new dock was built in the back along the pond this summer, but so far no one is using it. We have been told that it is fine to put our skiff there, and although it is a high dock, it is still the perfect place for the skiff and kayaks to live for the winter (the pond is protected from all winds). We just have to remember the keys when we leave the apartment! We were so used to having the skiff right next to New Horizon, that we never took the keys out of the boat. The other day we pushed the boat off the dock, ready to go, and no keys. At least we grabbed the end of the dock in time to pull ourselves back to the ladder. We need a big sign on the way out the door that says "Got Keys?"
Out back:

Friday, November 14, 2014

Rinse Cycle

This is Dave's way of rinsing off the sand while at the beach. He may have accumulated more than he rinsed though!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

B.C. (Before Crowds)

What a great time of year to be here! Very few people and boats have arrived yet. There are 25 empty moorings in our sight line, just a couple of boats at the dinghy dock, and not another soul on the beach. All this will change A.D. (After December) when the rest of the snowbirds and tourists are here in full force. Until then, we'll make the most of the peace and quiet.

Monday, November 10, 2014

First Squall

We had our first thunderstorm this morning, and it just kept raining and blowing harder and harder. We've been looking forward to watching these white squalls from the safety and comfort of the front porch. No more worrying about moorings, anchors, or lines holding!