Sunday, February 28, 2016


It's the time of year for the Hope Town Volunteer Fire and Rescue Fundraiser and we volunteered to help set up and take down the tents and tables. It's the least we could do after all the help they gave Dave after his 'fall from the sky' almost three years ago. It was a very successful event with food, drink, shirts for sale, and a gigantic bake sale.

They had some of their equipment on display and did some water pump demonstrations, setting a pile of pallets on fire (we were sailing Suja by that time and got a close up view, but unfortunately I didn't have my camera).

As we walked by the Polaris ATV, I asked Dave if he wanted to reenact being on the backboard for a blog post. Sorry everyone, he said no way and it brought back too many memories.

I think Dave was either hiding from the backboards or giving them a dirty look...

However he still would like to take another ride in the rescue inflatable...this time vertical and not horizontal!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Pleasant Cold Front

Now THIS is a nice cold front morning on the Treehouse porch! Dave even managed to include our Cuban Emerald hummingbird in the photo...

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Fuel Anyone?

I woke at sunrise to find the fuel barge docking. What a view from the porch at 6:30 AM! I bet the people in the trawler at the dock were quite surprised.

 That early in the day they have to launch a dinghy to get a deckhand to the fuel dock to take lines, and then once secure, they load the dinghy back up with a crane.

What's the price of gas you are wondering? For all you lucky people in the U.S. that are paying less than $2/gallon (we just heard it was $1.85 at home), today's gas price at the marina was $4.46/gallon. That's a bargain compared to a couple of years ago when it was $6 or more!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Movin' Up

After handicaps were tallied, Dandy came in 4th overall in Sunday's Baverstock Trophy Race. Could Dave be working his way up to first place?

Saturday, February 20, 2016


Today was the 30th Annual Man-O-War Flea Market to benefit the local primary school. We try not to miss this event, as this quiet island turns into a maelstrom of activity for the day. This year was exceptionally good with more people selling their wares.

Since Walkabout is out of commission, we went with Heinz and Jacqueline aboard their 21ft. walkaround Whippersnapper. Dave couldn't resist playing a game of NASCRAB with Heinz. It was so cute how the kids had dressed up the hermit crabs with paint, 'jewels', and feathers.

Dave chose one that was really lively in the pen, but once on the race course, it wouldn't move. Heinz's however was immediately on the move and easily won the race. 

What a fun event for a great cause.

Friday, February 19, 2016

"Do Unto Others...

As you would have them do unto you." We try to live by this motto and it has been especially important in the past couple of weeks. We have been tow-ee and tow-er quite a bit lately, even in small boats. That's what this community is all about.

One afternoon, Dave and Jim took our daysailer Suja out and the wind died as the sun was setting and the guys were in the choke point of the entrance channel (plus the ferry was trying to get around them). Immediately, Muffin got in her dinghy and pushed them not only into the harbor, but all the way back to the beach where the boat lives. Do you think they all knew I was taking photos from our porch?

The next two afternoons, Ken and Noah's engine died on their dinghy and Dave towed them back to the dock. 

At this point, I would much rather be on the giving end then the receiving end of the towline. FYI, Walkabout is hauled out once again (we had to tow it over to the haul-out well in 25 knots of wind). Dave has found that other engines like ours, made in that year, have had issues with exhaust overheating and when the extension was installed there was that much less cooling. The rubber around the prop hub melts and the prop is spun. This time one of the seals is deformed too. However, there is an upgrade kit to help this problem. It just makes us wonder why this hasn't happened before (Ken and Dave crossed the Gulf Stream!). Plus to add insult to injury, we just found out that our new 4 bladed prop that we sent to be fixed, cracked when they tried to press in the new hub, so it is unusable. Hey, they didn't charge us though! LOL We just sent over the three bladed prop and it is stainless so they assured us that stainless props cannot crack...we'll see.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Not Again?!

Today was supposed to a cruising boat race, but we woke to amazingly enough, no wind! The race was postponed and a VBIC (very brief informal cruise) was organized to take skiffs down to Little Harbour. We jumped at the chance to get friends from home, Ken, Terri and Noah down to see Pete's Pub, the foundry, and the caves. We mustered just outside Hope Town Harbour with several other boats, and headed south in Walkabout.

We still had the original three bladed prop on and all was well with no smoke, as we tore along at 23 mph. It's about 20 miles away and we were just passing the Northbar Channel that is open to the ocean, with large swells coming into the Sea of Abaco, when once again we stopped in our tracks with no propulsion! It was just like before when it felt like we were thrown into neutral. Not a good place for this happen as we were beam to the seas and rolling side to side in the waves. THANKFULLY Beach Cruiser Barry and Barb were following us with Will and Muffin (talk about a boatload of marine experience!), and they helped us out. As Dave was on the bow making a tow rope, I managed to get the bow into the oncoming waves with the little bit of forward motion I had at idle speed against an incoming tide. We had Barry tow us into the lee of Tilloo Cay, and once we were in the calm shallows of Tilloo Sandbank, we knew we could make it back to Hope Town the 12 or so miles at slow speed.

Will dropped the towline from the bridle that he had made, and they headed down to Pete's Pub to join the VBIC, while we motored at about 3 1/2 mph back along the shore to Hope Town. It was the scenic route and if we had totally lost all propulsion we would be close to land, but it still took a long time to get back. We made it though and a very perplexed Dave now has to investigate more reasons as to why we have spun yet another prop. We may have to rename the boat "Crawlabout"...or "Towabout"! Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


When I wrote the last post about the clouds and wind returning, I never expected the deluge of rain to go with it. Between last night's rain and wind and today's squalls, we have received about 4" of precipitation. The cistern and water tanks here at the marina are overflowing, and the excess runs out a pipe at the base of our stairs to the apartment. This area was flooded and it looks like it needs some goldfish swimming around!

There was so much water, it backed up into the laundry room and was flowing out the door... 

The water is pouring out of the boatyard and into the harbor, which makes for good drainage. There are waves in the stream heading to the docks.

The trees and ground can't absorb fast enough because it is mostly rock under the small amount of soil.  The little boy in Dave couldn't resist playing in the puddle under the corkwood trees.

All the Abaco Dinghies had to be pumped out and luckily our skiff bilge pump continued to work without getting stuck on or off (which has been known to happen), and Walkabout's bilge and cabin were dry too.

Looks like we may have to check everything again with lots more rain on the horizon!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Spring Break

Wow, it sure was a busy weekend in Hope Town. You can tell it's the start of Spring Break with lots of families, yachts, and charter boats. The great thing is they all have to go by our apartment!

Even the ferry was so full that people were sitting on the stern.

Look at the size of this yacht that came in...

The lighthouse was also busy with a boatload of tourists and then a dinghy filled with kids arrived at the same time. 

In the middle of all the activity Dave was sailing Sozo, our friends Ken, Don, and Noah's Compac 23.

Ahhh, one day of gentle winds and sunny skies before the wind and clouds returned.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Plight of Walkabout

We launched Walkabout yesterday just in time to take friends down to a symposium luncheon at the the Abaco Inn in White Sound this morning.

All was well with the new lower unit extension, and the four bladed prop made a big difference in reducing any vibrations. It was a chilly day and I was sitting backwards watching our wake when I noticed what appeared to be white smoke or exhaust coming from the engine. I asked Dave if his gauges were all fine, and they were, so we figured it was the duct tape burning off from reassembly. I thought it might be my imagination, but the smoke seemed to be getting worse and I told the captain that. Suddenly it felt like the boat was put in neutral and forward propulsion stopped. Dave figured it was a spun hub on the prop. Luckily we were just at the White Sound Channel buoy and another boat was heading in and towed us to the Abaco Inn dock. We had our other prop and tools with us, and Dave considered changing it, but it was a bit rough and he was dressed for the symposium, not work. One of the sailing club members offered us a tow back to Hope Town and it became an adventure for us all as we made a bridle to help the boat tow better.

 I think the guys all loved the idea of towing the commodore back home from this club outing, but it sure was an unusual thing to happen to us. Oh, the poor embarrassed commodore!

As we approached the harbor entrance, Dave started the motor and tried putting it in gear, and discovered that we had propulsion again. We dropped the towline and had our friends stand by as we tried to take off, but to no avail. The prop just kept slipping. We could go slow though, which really helped since it was easier to dock without being towed. Immediately Dave took off the prop to find it was stripped and the rubber mount in the hub was disintegrating. Plus where it goes onto the shaft, it was gouged. Before he even removed the prop I mentioned to Dave that perhaps there was some kind of friction that would have caused the smoke and ultimate failure of a new propeller, a strange occurrence. The smoke must have been coming from the water being so hot from the friction and becoming steam. Now Dave will have to look into why this part, that was specifically made for this outboard engine, is different and doesn't quite fit or at least work properly (the pressure of the water as it turns pushed it too far forward, gouging it and causing too much resistance and friction...I was right!). Back to the drawing board.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Rage To Be Famous

The original reason that a journalist and photographer came to Hope Town was to write a feature article on the Abaco Rage for WoodenBoat Magazine. What a windy race day for Randy Peffer (the journalist) to experience what it's like to sail on this iconic wooden boat with all its idiosyncrasies. I fixed up Jay (the photographer) to be part of the mark boat crew, so that he didn't have to go out on the rough water in just a little skiff. Jay ended up taking something like 2200 images, including one of Dave underwater while cleaning the bottom of the Rage. I have received special permission to use these two photos with credit and thanks to Jay Fleming/WoodenBoat.

When Dave was giving some background information to Randy about the Rage, he mentioned the fact that there are several other wooden boats that were built and still live in Man-O-War, where the Rage was also built, and that there has also been a revival of Abaco Dinghies here in Hope Town. Randy then decided that he would do a sidebar feature on the MOW boats and the dinghies, and our Dandy was mentioned. That's when he felt that a whole Abaco Dinghy feature in Small Boats Monthly was in order, and it was promptly approved by the magazine. Hence the blog post that Dave wrote (see below). I will be sure to post when the magazine articles are released!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Dandy's Paparazzi Day

Dave is my guest writer this time...Today was a pretty monumental day for us and our newly launched Abaco Dinghy, DANDY.  The boat is being featured in a national magazine called ''Small Boats Monthly'' and is published by WOODENBOAT MAGAZINE. There was a great photo shoot and sail today, and it was a ''Chamber-of-Commerce'' day here in Hope Town Harbour.  I ran the ''Safari'' as photo/chase boat, with the photographer, and the actual journalist sailed ''Dandy'', his first foray in Abaco Dinghy sailing, and incidentally an item on his bucket list. 

We all had a blast and ''Dandy'' certainly kicked up her heels and wowed the onlookers.  The pure number of images taken were staggering and I have no idea how they cull through them all to make their selections. Of course the HT Lighthouse was in the background of many of the shots, giving a world class feeling to this big day for us. It truly is a dream come true as many of you have followed the journey of this restoration and relocation of this iconic dinghy.  '' Dandy'' lives right here in the marina for all of the visitors to see and photograph. It is really cool to look off our balcony and see all the attention it gets!!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Skipper of the Rage

Dave was skipper of the Abaco Rage on the second day of the Hope Town Cup race series. What an honor and a challenge, all rolled into one. He aced it, and although he stayed back a bit while crossing the very congested start line, they sailed well, had to jibe the sails three times, and everyone had a good time. There were quiet a few new crew members on board and they had a memorable experience (no one fell off or got hurt, and there were no gear failures). Plus the regular crew members like Barry, Gus, and Bobby made Skipper Dave look good at the helm by being so efficient at their 'jobs'.

Hopefully this only American skipper will have the opportunity to do it all over again some time in the future.