Thursday, January 31, 2013

Bush Mechanic

Dave and Barry (of Beach Cruiser fame) were walking around Marsh Harbour and came across this open-air motorcycle shop. The guys were in seventh heaven when they were invited to check out the place and bikes. They found out that it was the repair shop for the local motorcycle club, the Scurvy Few. From the name of the group, it sounds like they would be really hard nosed and mean riders, but in reality they do lots of fundraising. They even have a website. Click HERE to check it out.
I just had to laugh when Barry sent me these photos. It reminded me of the singer K.B. and his funny Bush Mechanic Song. It's great rake 'n scrape island music. Click HERE to hear it on YouTube.

Monday, January 28, 2013

So Close

There were 14 Sunfish that turned out this Sunday for the races, and it was so close that some of the finishers went over the line within a second of each other. This provided quite the challenge (but fun) for the race committee (thank goodness there were two of us keeping track). The starts were wild too, with everyone pushing to be right at the line, without going over early or not running into the committee boat. Look who is first though!

During the last two races of the 3 race series, he continued to be out front for almost the whole race. Also, you motorcycle race fans, notice his sail number? Dave claims it's his age :-) plus his race number.

When the final results were tallied, both Dave and another competitor, who wins quite a few races, ended up with 8 points, so they were tied for FIRST PLACE! And no, even though I did the counting, I didn't have anything to do with this result! :-) There is a formula that calculates who actually wins the tie breaker, and since Dave placed 4-2-2, and Dwayne was 1-1-6, Dave ended up getting a second place glass. He was ecstatic, and the sailing tips he received about racing earlier in the day really paid off. Now he knows to relax. Whatever he did, it sure worked!

Friday, January 25, 2013

OutRAGEous News

The Abaco Rage is making history. Not only did it win its first ever HTSC race this week, but we just received an email saying that the Rage has been chosen to be Miss January 2014 in the Wooden Boat Calendar. Last March, famous photographer Benjamin Mendlowitz was out shooting photos during one of the races, and now the Rage has made the cut and will be featured in next year's calendar. Go Rage!

(These two winning race day photos are courtesy of Josh Whetzel from MOW)

In case you are wondering, yes, Dave was part of the crew on the day that the calendar photos were taken (we have not seen them yet, so it will be a surprise for us too). In fact Dave was the one that approached the photographer after the race and asked him who he was (we can always use good pictures for the Rage Blog and HTSC website). Be sure to get a copy of the calendar later this year when they become available. Then you can make the Rage & Dave even more famous than they already are. :-)

Footnote: We have heard about how cold it is up north and hope seeing that the crew in the photos are wearing jackets makes you feel just a little bit better! We hope you are staying warm and are thinking of you all. This sub-zero weather will be a test to see if we winterized our houses properly!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Here are a few sightings I observed at MOW. Some are old, some are new, and some are just plain odd.

I've walked by this yard quite a few times, but never noticed this cute little kid...

I know there are lots of chickens and roosters around, but was surprised to see a goat! It was really friendly, so I hope they were raising it for its milk, not for meat.

These are two of the original houses that are still standing on the island...
They've definitely seen better days, but I bet there's a lot of history behind those closed doors.

 This is one of my favorite houses, especially with the landscaping overlooking the beach and ocean.
It has some great, but odd, hand-made yard ornaments, like this three headed creature...

She's back! The hummingbird that we watched two years ago, has returned to the same spot and built a nest on the wires. It looks so precarious!

More bird sightings:
 An Ani, which looks like a crow or grackle with a big bump on its beak. These birds are all over the Abacos, but rare in the United States. They have a very distinct call.

And here's one of my favorite water Oystercatcher on the rocks, with its bright orange beak.

  Did anyone lose a fender? Dave holds up this gigantic ship's fender that was washed up on the beach.

 The island's cemetery is really close to the beach...

I love the name of the house in the picture above...

And one of the best sightings of all is New Horizon floating calmly in the harbor.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Quiet Tune

 What a perfect name for the sailboat in the foreground of this photo, on this spectacular calm morning at sunrise!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Flippin' Rays

We had just returned to the skiff after circumnavigating Matt Lowe's Cay in the kayak. As we were staring out into the Sea of Abaco, while having a snack in the shade of our bimini top, we saw something white flopping on the surface of the water in the distance. Our conversation went something like this:

Dave: Did you see that?
Carol: What is it, an injured white bird?
Dave: No it's shiny; it looks like a big fish.
Carol: Now it's white again.
Dave: Wanna go see what it is?
Carol: Can I finish what I’m eating first?
Dave: Nope, LET'S GO! You drive; I'll pull up the anchor!

So off we went, and as we got closer we immediately knew what it was...a southern stingray in distress. We had seen this happen before, when a ray jumps out of the water to rid itself of parasites (or maybe it just feels good?), but when it hits the water, it lands upside down. I am surprised that Mother Nature doesn't give them the natural ability to right themselves, but this is what we were looking at flopping around (thank you to whoever posted this photo since I didn't have my camera)…

Then the big question was, how do we flip this poor guy over? Before we had loaded up the kayak in the skiff for our adventure, we had removed the snorkel gear including our gloves (we were going out to the reef to feed the Bermuda chubs, but there was a 5 ft. swell and breaking waves). However we did have our kayak paddles. The plan was for me to slowly approach the ray while Dave stood at the bow with paddle in hand, ready to flip it over like a pancake. It took a couple of tries, but he finally got the paddle under it and gently turned it over with a flick of his wrist. Immediately it swam down to the bottom and buried itself into the sand, taking a much needed rest.

We let out a big yahoo for our good deed for the day.............and I got to finish eating my food.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Artificial Reef?

Look what's been living under New Horizon...a school of spadefish and a nice big snapper.

We look like an artificial reef with the props and running gear so fouled with marine growth. I guess we have been sitting in one place for too long! Our warm weather has kept the water temps warmer too, which makes it grow even faster. Maybe we need an underwater mower. Dave has since cleaned it off so we could move though the water easier on the Guana trip. I wonder what boat all our fish went to once we left the harbor?


We just returned to Man-O-War after an overnight BIC (Brief Informal Cruise) to Great Guana Cay with the Hope Town Sailing Club. It's always hard to leave the security of the mooring, but once we're out on the open water, even for a short time, it feels good to be moving and hear those Yanmar engines working so well.

It takes about an hour and half to get to Guana and we were the first of the club to arrive in Settlement Harbour. Even Sparky was dressed to impress with his HTSC glass in paw, cigar in mouth, and showing off his real Panama hat (look familar Barry?).

 Our sunset that evening was spectacular!

Then it was on to the dinner party at Grabber's.What a fine time and good meal. I have no idea how Irene, our one and only waitress, took care of all our 28 people.

 Love the pool and I heard it was warm.

Three Harbour Rats in uniform proving that Pink Ladies Rule, even in the Abacos!

I think it was past someone's bedtime! 

When we got back to our boat, the wind had picked up and the boats were rocking and rolling from the waves coming in and hitting the rocks in the sunset picture. This set up a surge from the reflection, even though we were protected from the wind. It was a bit uncomfortable, but back in our aft cabin it wasn't too bad for sleeping, although occasionally the swim platform would smack the water (Lynette, I bet you are thinking we pitch-poled all night! :-) ). In the morning, the sunrise was pink and we woke to the freight boat Legacy unloading goods at the dock. This is the sistership to the Legend that we came across the Gulf Stream on a few years ago.

After another hour and half of motoring, we were safely back on our mooring at MOW. For several hours after we entered the calm harbor, I still felt like I was surging and the boat wasn't even moving.  Now we'll just let the wind blow, since the waves won't affect us here.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Setting A Record

The first official Sunfish race of the season was held recently, and it was one of the best ever! 15 boats set a HTSC record.

We even had a couple of junior sailors who finished in the top 6, beating most of the adults. That is definitely something to be proud of.

While Dave had fun racing (he came in 9th, a bit off on his racing that day), I was on the race committee boat taking photos and keeping track of all the boats and what position they placed over the finish line.

That was a challenge since many didn't have race numbers and some of the sails had the same colors. We know all the racers, but it's hard to see who it is under the sail. Luckily there were four of us to figure it all out. In the end, everyone had a great time and in two weeks we'll do it all over again.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

How Low Can You Go?

We have been having extreme tides the past few days. At high tide we can walk right off the boat onto the docks, without using the ladders. Many boats seem to be having problems with the low tide and have run aground. We saw one on the charter boats aground in the channel leading into Hope Town today. Then in Man-O-War we saw this charter boat. Of course it does make a big difference that they are on the wrong side of the channel marker!

This mooring is apparently not made for a deep draft sailboat. It was right next to us, but luckily New Horizon was still floating.

Even the smallest boats run aground, including our kayak. We don't need much water to float in, but ankle deep just doesn't do it. Dave had to get out and pull the kayak (and me!) across this shallow sandbar.

Notice the starfish at his feet. If you have to run aground, this is the place to do it!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Finally Some Breeze

That means it's time to sail our Hunter Liberty Creola! Barry took this photo of us sailing by his catamaran Beach Cruiser. You can you tell we were sailing downwind because I was the human boom vang (pulling down on the sail makes the sail flatter so we could go faster).

Thanks Barry for all your photos of our adventures! It's not too often the readers see pictures of both of us at the same time. You are now the official photographer of New Horizon and its crew!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

In A Frenzy

That's right, once again we were in a fish frenzy. It was so funny and we couldn't stop laughing...a tough thing to do when you are wearing snorkels!
Fish frenzy from above:

Fish frenzy from below:
Then Dave tried to feed them by hand. These Bermuda Chubs caught right on, after giving Dave a few nips on his fingers first! This earned him the title of Chubmeister.

Then I joined in, but at least wore my gloves. The chubs led me around the reef, probably wondering where the rest of their meal was.

 I can't believe we were able to go out to the reef in the middle of winter, when it's usually so windy, and enjoy yet another spectacular day on and in the water.