Sunday, November 29, 2015

Box Cart Derby 2015

The Saturday after Thanksgiving is Box Cart Derby day here on Elbow Cay. It was time to drag out Rat Sass, fix its flat tire, and head on down to the races at Big Hill. Dave's three wheel entry is now famous, because not only did he get something like 5th place in the downhill this year, but our friend K. had a flawless and fast run on the slalom course and came in 2nd!
The look of concentration...

 Dave won both of his heats.
 Strategy planning and making sure the course obstacles are in a straight line.

Here are a few other imaginative entries including the Flintstones, which was a huge hit, but rather slow. 

Some of the juniors made their own kit carts, but they didn't quite make it all the way down the hill so the finish line was moved up...and that was with someone giving them a push start.

This is always one of the most fun days of the season. Plus, now that everyone has seen that Rat Sass is competitive, there are plans to streamline it even further. Watch out for Dave (and K.!) during next year's race!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

All In A (Few) Day's "Work"

The wind is supposed to howl for at least a week. It's time to catch up on some projects. Dave is prepared for anything that needs fixing or installing with his ice chest toolbox and his work area.

He decided to fix Walkabout's leaking water hose, which leaked all the pressurized fresh water into the bilge. As usual, one thing led to another and he discovered a broken thru-hull fitting under the galley sink. What a tight spot to get into and his body and hands were hurting. It took two of us to complete the project and the marina had a fitting that cost less than the U.S.

On to the 'honey do' list at the sailing club, where Dave mortared the top of the rock planter, so the stones wouldn't be loose anymore. Next he shoveled all the sand from the walkway and made sluice-ways for rain on the sides, while I filled up a steep drop-off on dangerous corner with the excess sand.

We also helped Hope Town Volunteer Fire and Rescue move the new pontoons for their huge rescue inflatable. The old pontoons only lasted 8 years in the sun and harsh environment. The new ones weighed about 900 lbs and cost $19,000. Thank goodness for fundraising events!

This is the boat that Dave rode from Hope Town to Marsh Harbour in (on a backboard) when he had his accident, so it was fitting that he helped with the lifting...because he is lucky that he still can!

And tomorrow's another day...

Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Jaunt to Man-O-War Cay

While the weather was conducive to go Walkabout, we went to visit Barb and Barry on Beach Cruiser, but since it was a spur of the moment trip, they weren't home. It was still wonderful to enter the harbor and see the waterfront, all guarded by a sentinel Great Blue Heron.

We made the most of the trip though, and walked some of the flower lined streets on the way to the grocery store. Every island in the Abacos are a little different, but we feel that MOW is definitely the prettiest and cleanest.

We couldn't leave without seeing the old New Horizon, now named Island Time. Wow, does it look good all shined up and sporting a new flybridge bimini and enclosure.  Due to unfortunate circumstances, Scott the owner, has to sell it. He is heartbroken. Whoever buys it next (not us) will get an exceptional boat.

Touring around made us really miss being there longer, so we've decide to come back in the near future and spend overnight on Walkabout to explore more thoroughly, almost like old times. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Early Riser

Good Morning from the Treehouse! Today we will get out and about before the 20-30 mph winds start up again...

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


We are so glad we took advantage of the calm weather and went on some excursions while the weather allowed. Now the wind is howling so it's time for projects around the apartment. Our new shell valance curtains are up and we have replaced the threadbare cushion covers. I wasn't sure I liked the dark valances once they were up, but they really help keep it cooler inside with the early morning sun coming in the front window and the late afternoon sun coming in the side window.

The master bedroom still needs photos on the walls, but it's hard to find pictures that big for over the bed. I still love my fish quilt that we used to have on the boat. The European style air conditioners are efficient and quiet because most of the unit is outside. We never used any of them last year, but have mainly used the one in the bedroom at night so far this fall.

The spare in it holds all our spare parts, has been transformed (and the junk hidden for the photo) with new blue paint instead of the old dark yellow, and white shell curtains to brighten up the place. Some people have a junk drawer, but we have to have a junk room! As an added bonus, the king bed may be too soft for night sleeping, but perfect for a nap, since this is in the back corner of the apartment away from all the daily commotion of the marina.
When I took a break to write this post, I heard a banaquit trying to land on the hummingbird feeder on the porch. He better hang on because it is swinging so much in the 30 knots of wind that it may come off the hook. Now it's time for me to head back into the cabinets to finish replacing the shelf paper, while Dave is out helping friends get their car running. See, life is normal here sometimes!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Zoom Zoom

Gotta love the color of the Sea of Abaco! I wish it was this calm all the time. What a happy captain...

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Hog Heaven

It's been two years since we've ventured past Whale Cay, and since then pigs have been put on No Name Cay off Green Turtle. This has become quite a tourist attraction and destination. We have been anxious to get up there to see them, but it's too far in the skiff. One of the reasons we acquired the Proline is to head north and it was a perfect day to "go Walkabout." Nothing beats going through Don't Rock Passage at 25 miles an hour!

Arriving at No Name, we grabbed the camera, some bread, and a jug of water. About half a dozen pigs of various sizes came running from all over the beach.


There is a man from Green Turtle that makes sure they have food and water, but cruisers and tourists are encouraged to bring more to supplement the supply. 

They were quite aggressive and came out into the water, so Dave threw the food on shore. One of them we named 'Big Mama', and she would chase the rest away. Boy, were there lots of piggy screams!

Then Dave got out the fresh water and they loved drinking right from the jar.

After they were fed and watered, it was nap time for some and others just cooled off in the water.

We joined them for a leisurely swim and it was just so funny having these big pigs wading with us and then sleeping in the sand in the background.

What an experience we won't soon forget. Walkabout was priceless!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Calm AFTER the Storm

It seems like Tropical Storm Kate sucked all the wind out of the Bahamas when it left here. Today was flat calm and we took advantage of it. It started at 9 AM when we went swimming in the Hideaways pool to cool off after taking all the cardboard coffins and decorations from the sailing club's haunted house, to the garbage truck. It was the warmest we have ever felt that pool. Then after helping Will move his Abaco Dinghy from the top of the storage rack and another swim in the pool, we headed out to do some snorkeling off the castle of Tilloo Cay.

The caves...
Dave had to swim the boat out to a bit deeper water with the anchor. 

The snorkeling was pretty good for a small inshore reef, and we saw many french angelfish and parrotfish. It wasn't quite clear enough to take any good underwater photos though. After zooming along the shore of Lubbers Quarters and a trip into White Sound, a calm day would not be complete without...waterskiing! Sorry the photo is blurry but it's hard driving, being the spotter, and being a photographer all at the same time. Not only did he slalom ski, but he did it twice.

Tomorrow is supposed to be another perfect day and we'll be out exploring again.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Barely a Smooch

Kate didn't effect us hardly at all and luckily passed the Abacos further to the east than expected. We did get one quick squall in the afternoon and then a nice rain later in the evening. By that time the wind had died enough for the biting no-see-ums to come out. Kate did provide an eerie but beautiful sunset though.

Lots of boats came into the protected harbor in anticipation of heavy winds. Earlier in the day there were only about half a dozen boats on the moorings.

This morning there is a clear blue sky, the temp is already 80 degrees, so it's time to go exploring! In fact the rest of the week is supposed to be calm, so I will hopefully have some fun adventures to share.