Sunday, February 27, 2011

While You Were Shoveling...

We were snorkeling out on the Fowl Cay Reef! Sorry northerners, I couldn't resist. Actually, we deserved this perfect day on the water since it was our 33rd anniversary.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Where ARE You?

Dave and I assisted in a local search and rescue mission on our way back from Treasure Cay to Man-O-War Cay a couple of days ago. As we were nearing MOW Cay, we heard a 28 foot sailboat calling for help on the VHF radio, stating that it had been dismasted. Apparently the forestay pin had come out, leaving the mast unsupported in the front and the first gust brought the mast down. As we listened, the Bahamas Air Sea Rescue Association (BASRA) answered the call and asked where the people and boat were and if there were any injuries. Thankfully no one was hurt and the woman said they were about one half mile from MOW. We immediately got out our binoculars and looked EVERYWHERE in the Sea of Abaco off MOW and could not see a dismasted sailboat. BASRA said that since there were no injuries that they would call the local marina, who in turn called one of the boatyards to go help them. Meanwhile we still could not get a sighting on the boat, which really had us wondering where they could be. The boatyard asked what their location was once again, and the lady repeated MOW. A few minutes later she announces that she was wrong about which island they were near and says it is actually Matt Lowe's Cay which is about 2 miles away! We both scanned the horizon and Dave spotted them off of another island called Point Set Rock. He calls BASRA Hope Town on the VHF and tells them we have a visual sighting of the boat and where they are really located. Immediately one of the dive operators who helps BASRA from Guana Cay called the boatyard to get the help sent in the right direction. Whew, talk about confusing!

Later, when we were back situated on our mooring in MOW, we noticed that the sailboat had been brought into the anchorage and Dave went over to get pictures. It must have been a very scary situation for the people on board. No wonder they were disoriented!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Treasure Cay

Every year the sailing club has a winter cruise to Treasure Cay on the mainland of Abaco. There is a large resort and marina here with its claim to fame of having one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

It truly is a gorgeous place with lots of tropical plants and flowers and the 3 1/2 mile long beach is pristine.
It is even a popular place to get married, and I can understand why.

Although most of the club members go to the dock, Dave and I anchor New Horizon in the sea walled harbor, just outside the marina. Yesterday morning we woke to it being so calm that it looked like the water was frozen over.

When we looked over the side of the boat into the clear water, we saw two huge tarpon, about 5-6 ft. long, hanging out in our shade.

This was almost as exciting as having these dolphins in our bow wave leading the way to the resort. Naturally, as soon as I got my camera out, they disappeared. At least I was able to get one picture of them.

Since it was so calm, we decided to explore the mangrove marshes and creeks in the area by kayak. We went further than we usually do, so on the way back we decided to take a shortcut to the main marina basin. To our surprise, where there was once a bridge over the backwater canal, there is now just a backfilled road with culverts going through it for the tidal flow.

Being the adventurers that we are (and not to mention we were tired!), we decided to see if we could make it through the culvert. Talk about a tight fit?! Actually, I think what my exact words to Dave were, "You want me to do WHAT?"

There was barely enough water to float, and even though the tide was rising, once inside we even got stuck. Dave somehow climbed out of the kayak and crawled through, while I, laying almost flat on my back, hand-over-hand pulled myself and the kayak to the other side.

Dave got all scratched up with barnacles on the inside of the culvert walls, but once through, all we could do was laugh. Our first thoughts were, "WOW, will this make a good blog post!"

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bucket List

One of the things that Dave has always wanted to do is to race on the Abaco Rage. He finally got the opportunity to be part of the crew in our local cruising boat race.

He said it was lots of fun but also requires tons of work. Notice that he is the only person with a life vest on. He figured that since he was a newbie crawling around on the wood pries, he better be cautious in case he happened to fall off those skinny little boards.
Even after being dunked a few times, he still considers this an experience of a lifetime.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Catch of the Day

A local fisherman brought in this six foot long shark the other day, and it attracted quite a crowd.
Dave and our friend Jim, who was staying with us for a week, were the only people brave enough to go down and check it out.

They had gone snorkeling one day and saw a similar shark lurking in the distance (both of the guys and the shark kept a close eye on each other).

Having the shark left here was quite humorous with this sign.

I am presuming that after the curious onlookers dispersed, that the shark was made into some large steaks and fillets. It really was a nice example of what we believe is a bull shark.

It was interesting to see all its many layers of teeth, but they were smaller than expected. I guess that means it would have only taken little bites!

Shark attacks are very rare here in the Abacos, although this summer our sailing club's commodore's wife was bitten by a lemon shark while surfing off Hope Town. Her bites required 80-100 stitches, but she has such a good attitude about the whole incident. People keep telling her that she should be in an episode of the show series 'Shark Week' and she just laughs and says, "Show me the money!" I mentioned to her that I had just finished reading a book about an American Indian woman who claimed that the scars received after a cougar attack (if you survived) were considered to be a badge of honor. Since this is the Bahamas, the same could be said about shark bites, so she should wear her scars proudly. She is apprehensive about going out surfing again, and is nervous that no one will want to go with her. I told her everyone will want to be next to her, because there is such a small chance of a shark even going near her!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Colorful MOW

This island is so pristine and colorful. We enjoy taking our time walking up and down all the little side streets, looking at the flowers, bushes, and gardens. They attract so many different birds, which gives us the challenge of 'Googling' both the birds and plants for identification.

We even came across a hummingbird in her nest, which was something we had never seen before. The nest was attached to the phone wires on the side of the house.

Below is a sampling of the sights around the settlement.

Colorful and eclectic Hilltop House.

Sammie Boy's Place and his Weeping Bench. The really sad thing is that Sam recently passed away.

Gorgeous poinsettia bush.

Nice hedge, but I thought they looked like pot plants!

Delicious looking veggies.

How about some fresh bananas or papayas?

This must be the tropical version of a gargoyle to keep evil spirits away.

Flowers border the street to the ocean and then the next stop is Africa!

This street had a view of the harbor and Sea of Abaco. The bush on the right looked just like it had cotton balls hanging from it.

There are so many varieties of tropical plants and flowers. No wonder the birds like it here. We sure do!