Friday, February 28, 2014

End of a Decade, End of an Era

It's official.... New Horizon has been sold! Wow, it's really hard to believe I've said it and the news is out there for all to see. We've owned her for over 10 years and it's time for a change. Even though we hadn't considered selling, when a gentleman from Man-O-War happened to be interested, it made us start to think about our situation with the boat being just a floating condo and we didn't seem to go cruising any more. Our problem was that we would have nowhere to live and we really need to be in Hope Town during at least the next two years while Dave is commodore of the sailing club. Suddenly the planets started to line up with a long term rental apartment overlooking the harbor becoming available. Recently the deal was sealed on both the boat sale and the apartment. We will be able to stay on the boat through this season, and then it will be delivered to her new home, after we move all our stuff off of it...and boy do we have a decade's worth of stuff collected! At least being a long term rental with a two year lease, we can leave everything at the apartment, soon to be named New Horizon Treehouse. Everyone knows us as New Horizon, but since the apartment is on the second floor surrounded by trees, we thought that treehouse was an appropriate addition to the name.

It does need some upgrades, but we will be working on that next season. 

However the front porch is awesome and the place to be. We'll have lots to watch, overlooking the harbor and Lighthouse Marina.

Plus Dave will be happy because we will actually be living in the boatyard and the lighthouse workshop is next door!

Hope Town Inn and Marina (where we are living now) is a short walk away and we have been given pool privileges. Hopefully this latest change will be the best of both worlds.

And I'm glad there's a good chance that you were sitting down when you read this latest news!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Honey, What's That Noise?

Today was our 36th wedding anniversary. Gee, I can't believe that I'm 36 years old, let alone being married for 36 years! The weather was predicted to be calm with 0% chance of rain, so to celebrate we packed our lunch, loaded up the skiff with the kayaks and snorkel gear and headed to a couple of the islands to the north. First stop was Great Guana Cay where we kayaked Settlement Harbour and further north to Fisher's Bay, and discovered very few boats or people around. Then we back tracked and anchored in between Guana and Scotland Cays, where there is a shallow cut out to the ocean. This is a great place to have lunch and watch the rays and turtles cruise by in the current with not a soul in sight.
Dave did a bit of snorkeling and came up with a couple of queen conchs (pronounced conks), and a humorous treasure left over from the last hurricane...the front of a golf cart complete with headlights!

Since the water was so warm, Dave decided to clean the growth off the bottom of the skiff, which has no anti-fouling bottom paint, while I sat under the bimini top out of the sun. While he was scraping the barnacles I heard a rumbling sound and ignored it at first, thinking it was the either the scraping on the bottom, the waves crashing outside the cut, or a jet overhead (which we certainly don't get too many of here in the Abacos). A few minutes later I heard it again and asked Dave if he had heard it, which he hadn't because he was working so hard. I peaked my head out from under the bimini and surprise(!!) there was a huge dark band of clouds to the north. Thunder?! No way with 0% chance of rain. I continued to "keep an eye to the sky" but as soon as Dave got back in the boat, rolling thunder could definitely be heard and was closing in on us. We headed back towards Hope Town as the sky got even darker, but couldn't resist stopping out at the reef to feed the fish, since it was right on the way....sort of. We wanted to stop at Man-O-War too, but as we passed by the entrance and Dave started to turn in, I looked around, saw the storm gaining on us, and yelled "no way, keep on going!" 5 miles later we were safely back in the harbor, the kayaks unloaded, everything put away, and New Horizon closed up (I had left all the ports, hatches, and doors open because it was so warm out...yes, I know our northern friends don't want to hear that!), but didn't rinse off the skiff because it would soon be rinsed naturally. And we waited for the skies to open up...and waited, and waited. Apparently the prediction was right. We received 0% rain HERE...and Dave had to use our 35 cents a gallon water to rinse off the boat. Go figure...

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Friendly Competition

The Hope Town sailing Club's Golden Jubilee Celebration ended today with an Abaco dinghy and Sunfish regatta. Some of the real hot shot racers weren't there today so Dave and his racing buddy Dan really excelled. The two guys were so close together in all three races and kept switching their positions back and forth. In the end when the scores were tallied, they were only one point apart from each other. Dan ended up in second place while Dave received a third place glass...but he was so tired and sore he couldn't stand up to get it!

The past week's festivities and hectic schedule have caught up to him (and me!) but a good night's rest will have him "up and at 'em" again tomorrow.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Iceberg Ahead! Hard To Starboard!

That was the call on the RMS Titanic back in 1912 and TODAY! New Horizon was transformed into this famous ship for the Hope Town Sailing Club's Golden Jubilee Fleet Parade. We have been working on this project for over a month and the actual decorating took two days. We had the best creative leaders and there were 16 of us on board. Highlights included smoke stacks with smoke, portholes with hands coming out of the water like the boat was sinking and a rat trying to escape, an orchestra with instruments, dancers and a drink server, and Rose and Jack Dawson on the bow.

Dave was Captain Smith and his first mate spied the berg, rang the bell alarm and blew the horn to alert everyone of the iceberg...which we had tied to the side of the boat, complete with penguin.

We also had a scary lady in her nightgown hanging off the back of the boat in a 'lifeboat'.

Plus trying to row and escape from the sinking ship was a crew member being towed astern.

What a titanic undertaking this was and it was well worth it since New Horizon won best overall boat in the parade!!! In fact, we talked to one of the judges afterward and she said that if this had been the Oscars, we would have won every category. Our neighbor at the marina summed it up best..."We knocked it out of the park!"

And what fun we all had!

(Thanks Sue H. for all the photos)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

OutRAGEous Sunrise

At dawn this morning, it was flat calm and the water looked like it was frozen. The Rage waited patiently for the next HTSC race as the sun came up.
Tomorrow's aptly named Founder's Cup race kicks off the Hope Town Sailing Club's 50th Anniversary celebration. The Golden Jubilee will have five full days of events, many of which we will be involved in. If I don't post anything for a few days, you will know why. Then I will make up for lost time, so keep on checking back!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sail On

Just in case you think we aren't sailing together anymore because we donated the sailing dinghy, you are happily mistaken. Dave has been working on getting an O'Day daysailer back in shape for its owners, and they are graciously allowing us to use the boat when they are not in Hope Town. It was sitting under their house for six years and has now come back to life. SuJa is her name and she is lots of fun to sail. She is the sole survivor of the fleet of six that the sailing club bought back in the early 1980's. We sailed her to Man-O-War last week with our friends from home Paul and Patricia, and even with very light winds and four people she took it in stride. Here are Paul and Patricia on their way to Tahiti Beach in a perfect sailing breeze .

Tomorrow Dave and I will get our chance to take a picnic lunch and go wherever the wind takes us....

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Good Feeling

Today was the Man-O-War Fair and Flea Market which benefits the primary school on the island. The school receives little government funds so they need to really supplement in order to get supplies, etc. Since we now have numerous friends and ties in MOW, we really wanted to help out. After meeting the principal, we felt that this huge annual event would be a very worthwhile cause to donate Dave's windsurfer and our Hunter Liberty sailing dinghy for their silent auction (since Dave's accident and our aging bodies make it more difficult and uncomfortable to use them). We met several of the bidders in the auction and both items were sold to very happy and excited new owners. Both live in MOW and seeing them used there, where we have had so much fun sailing, is just what we wanted to happen. In the end, the principal and school were so appreciative of our donations because the sailboard brought $200 and the dinghy brought $600 into the school's much needed funds. We couldn't ask for better results!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

It's A Small World

Cruising around in the skiff just outside of Hope Town we came across a trawler with a familiar home port. Come to find out they live a few miles away from us!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

More Rage Racing

Dave is getting good at being on the bow of the Rage and guiding the skipper and crew. The good news is that even though it is extremely tough on his body, he hasn't had to take any Aleve in quite some time. The healing progresses!
Photos courtesy of Will Heyer and Catherine Allin

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Dave has been getting so sore with all of his activities, and several people thought it would be a good idea if he joined some of the yoga classes held here at the marina. Phyllis the instructor graciously tailored the class to him and other beginners. Later that evening she even wrote to make sure that he wasn't too sore.

First she started with breathing in scented to oils to relax. As you can see, Dave wasn't even the only man there.

Then it was on to stretching and basic Yoga. Some of the moves Dave definitely couldn't do, but he did feel better after the class and will continue once a week (the class lasts about 2 hours).

And me? Well, I am a power walker and being able to take the trails to the main road is such an advantage living here at the marina. It is great to just come back and cool off in that inviting pool and do some water aerobics. I think that Dave would enjoy the water exercise too, but there is so much going on with the sailing club, Sunfish, Abaco dinghies and the Rage, that it it is hard for him to make time. This has been our busiest season ever.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Racing Again

Dave is back sailing on the Abaco Rage again and today was his first day of racing. He doesn't have the strength to haul in the mainsheet so he is on the bow and even out on the pry.
 Thanks Will for the great photo of the Rage crossing the finish line!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Chat 'N' Splash

The weather has been so warm and perfect for swimming at the marina's pool. It started out as just the women, but now you never know who will join us. Today Catherine even brought a water aerobics tape. She also deserves the credit for all these great photos...

Our hang-out.

It looks so inviting...

Chat 'N' Splash has become part of our daily routine. Catherine really wants this hat!

 A rare sight...Dave at rest!

Even the hot tub is fun, especially jumping in it after doing laps in the refreshing main pool.

Welcome from the gang...wish you were here!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Bringing Back A Tradition

Welcome to the newly formed Abaco Wooden Boat Association! The Abaco Dinghy repairs and restorations are in full swing, as they are readied for the first race of the season next Sunday. Over the past several years, the enthusiasm for racing these dinghies has been waning and in fact there haven't been enough out on the course to hold a race. All that is changing thanks to Race Committee Chairman Heinz W. He has been diligently working on several of these beautiful boats, and they will be available for others to sail and race. More and more of the boats are coming out of retirement and everyone is really excited about bringing back this tradition.

Now that the slipway and pump house have been cleaned out, this area makes a great workshop at the base of the lighthouse.

Visitors are always stopping by on their way to the lighthouse to see what is going on and get a bit of history on Abaco Dinghies. These wooden boats make for perfect opportunities too.

 Thank you and well done Heinz!