Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Here and There, Part 2

I'm still here (Daytona) and Dave is still there (Bahamas)! Things aren't working out quite the way we expected them to. The last race has been postponed until the beginning of April and then the weather is predicted to get very windy, meaning that Soliaire1 won't be able to leave until at least a week or even longer. Therefore, Dave will be flying back to Stuart on Saturday, picking up the van and driving to Daytona.

Dave has been slowly pulling things together for a departure, which includes storing the boats. He has also been having fun attending various events, including a bonfire on the beach, which is really a sandbar that isn't even there at low tide.

Meanwhile, I have been working like crazy getting leaves raked (good practice for home!) weeds pulled, and the pool area and furniture cleaned up and bleached. Every morning I try to take a 2 mile walk and again in the evening. These are my walking pals...a family of white ibis.

Once Dave is here, we can hopefully get back out on the Helix and do some cruising around. More when he returns.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Here and There

In a few hours I will be heading out in a 7 passenger plane to Daytona. Dave is staying here for at least a week. He has our friend Scott coming for a few days, and then Ken (who came over here this past fall in Walkabout with him) and his father Don will be arriving to sail their boat Sozo. Dave also has an executive meeting to attend, where he will read my website report and his own past commodore report, and one last race on the Rage. Then he is going to be sailing back to Stuart, Florida on Solitaire 1. Our van is in Stuart so that will work well and he can then drive up to Daytona. Hopefully the weather and Gulf Stream will cooperate so they can begin their journey the day following the race. David & Catherine are both on the race committee and David is race chairman.

Bye for now! Wish us luck in our travels...

Monday, March 21, 2016

When I Grow Up

I want to be like Di! She is 87 years young, sails her catamaran down here every year and even sailed a Sunfish in the Ladies Race.

Di is such an icon here that the race is named after her with a trophy in her honor. Plus she came in second last year and third this year!

This is the wet shirt trophy for anyone who flips their Sunfish during the competition, but it wasn't Di, who sailed flawlessly.

What an amazing woman!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

It's Time

The last dinghy race of the season was cancelled due to inclement weather, but the weather improved later on, so Jim and Dave started putting away their toys. Jim's kayak, Sunfish, daysailer, and inflatable are all stored away (he and Sharon leave Tuesday). Then they took down Dandy's rig and stowed that. The boat itself will be hauled out with the forklift in the next couple of days.

Our daysailer Suja will stay on the beach until just before Dave leaves the first of April, along with Safari the skiff and Walkabout. Since I am leaving Wednesday and the weather isn't conducive for paddling, the kayaks are back on the porch and ready for their storage covers. They get tied to the lower railing 4x4s in case of a hurricane.

Yes, it's time to start heading north. Once again it is bittersweet, but we are really looking forward to the summer months and our other lives.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Another Day Begins

I'm liking the time change with the sun setting later, and I am up early to see more fantastic sunrises like this:

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Perfect Day

What a gorgeous day to be out on the water! Early this morning we headed to Marsh Harbor to get our prescriptions filled for the summer. We had to see our doctor first. It was amazing when we walked in the door and the medical assistant greeted us by name! We certainly aren't just a number here. Then it was on to the pharmacy where they give us a 10% discount for cash....and the drugs are about 1/4 the price in the States to start with.

The trip back to Hope Town was so calm with the blue-green water. This is looking back towards Marsh Harbour:

This is looking towards Hope Town as we skirted the shoal between the Parrot Cays:

To top off our day, we kayaked out to Nathan's Bay Beach and swam in the surprisingly warm water. Then we took the skiff to Johnny's Cay and went snorkeling around the breakwater as the tide was rising. To make it even more memorable today, we saw dolphins, turtles, and even a large nurse shark in our travels. "Spring has sprung!"

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Pumped Up

The marina just received a new fuel pump to replace the original one. It looks smaller and probably more efficient. 
Out with the old:
In with the new:

Hopefully it won't affect the already high price of gas!

Monday, March 14, 2016


Look who has been in the birdhouse! Not for long, but it's a start...

Admirable Results

Time for a quick bottom cleaning in preparation for yesterday's Abaco Dinghy races. Even though Dandy has anti-fouling paint below the waterline, it still gets a bit of growth and a scum line from sitting in the saltwater. The little beach by the lighthouse sure is a picturesque spot to perform the task of careening the boat. It looks historical and very Bahamian!

It was an excellent sailing day and Dave came in 2nd over the finish line in the first race, 5th in the second race (slow start), and 3rd in the third race. Competition was fierce at the windward mark, especially between Heinz and Dave. After the handicaps were tallied, he placed 4th overall, out of seven boats. That really is good because Dandy is all original and most of the other boats are all modified with higher masts or longer keels and rudders to help them go faster.

Even Winer Malone, builder of the dinghies, was at the awards presentation for the Reingold Trophy (Will sailing Mac & Cheese won and Janet Reingold presented him the trophy with Winer sitting next to them).

What a memorable race day!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Raft Up

A new fun race was added to the list of sailing club events, all a part of March Madness. This race included a raft up as the finish 'line', meaning you finished when your anchor line hit the bottom or you tied up your lines to the boat next to you. Only about 6 boats completed the whole course since it started at 3 PM and the raft up was for sunset cocktails (some of the boats don't have running lights so they needed to be back to their docks and moorings before dark).

What a beautiful sunset though...

Dave and I were going to sail our daysailer Suja along with Jim and Sharon in their newly purchased daysailer, but the winds were too high. Jim and Sharon did go out and start the race but had to turn around when it got too rough. They later joined the raft up in their inflatable, as did I in our skiff.

Instead of taking out Suja, Dave had his first chance to sail on the very fast J80 Grumpy Ole Men (I think the ladies need their own race boat named Bitchy Ole Biddies!). They even flew the spinnaker for the first time. Yes, that is Dave with a beer in his hand...a rare occurrence.

He said that it was so much different than sailing the Abaco Rage, Talk about opposite types of boats! He'll be back out on the Rage on Wednesday though.

It's all about diversity.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Spring Tide

Wow, we have really been having low tides the past couple of days.  -.8 ft. which means .8 feet below datum or recorded depth. Many boats are either running aground or high and dry at the dock.

We sure are glad we own shallow draft boats!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Housing Authority

Remember our cute woodpecker looking in the window? It's Spring now and time to build a our house! We have been trying to chase them off but he or she, and sometimes they, keep coming back to chisel away at the siding and make holes. We have one hole covered up with a temporary paper plate, and the second hole I covered with a CD, hoping it would discourage them like a scarecrow. Wow, have they been mad at that! I caught them grabbing on to it and shaking it. When the birds make it through the siding, all there is a thin sheet of paneling before they are actually in the apartment with us.

This is what the hole looks like underneath...

We were given the idea that if Dave just made a birdhouse/nesting box, our troubles would be over.

That remains to be seen, as Jim R. told us that he sits on his porch here and watches a woodpecker sitting on top of his neighbor's birdhouse pecking on the siding behind it. How convenient! Stay tuned...

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Past, Present, & Future

This year's Hope Town Heritage Day was one of the best we have experienced in many years. What made it special was that the organizers had the school children more involved in every aspect of it. It is so important for them to know their past history because they are the future. The boys in this photo are showing the Hope Town flag.

The opening ceremonies featured board members in costumes, then the school children sang the Bahamas National Anthem.

A prayer followed, given by Vernon who was also in costume. The youngsters were adorable while praying and every single one of them knew the Lord's Prayer (I couldn't resist sneaking a photo).

Then it was time for the reenactment of the first Loyalist settlers landing in Abaco Dinghies (the grown-ups sculled the boats to shore). The kids were great...the boys waved their hats, while the girls did the queen's wave. What a contrast with the modern fiberglass yachts of today in the background.

Dave had to help the kids climb up the ladder to the dock because the girls kept stepping on their skirts.

Some of the kids sang and danced to local songs, and there was also a small junior junkanoo demonstration. The drummers were especially talented.

Later, the school children were guides at the Wyannie Malone Historical Museum open house. 

Food and drink were available, and Dave and Jim helped cook at the grill.

Yet another entertaining event in Hope Town!

Saturday, March 5, 2016


That stands for Abaco Dinghy Cruising Club for people with Abaco Dinghy Disorder. Five Abaco Dinghies sailed down to White Sound on the southern part of Elbow Cay today. It was an historical moment to form our new club and have that many dinghies out sailing, just for the fun of it. We stayed together as much as possible, sometimes getting quite close.

Sometimes VERY close!

Most of the booms on these boats are very low, and this reduces your line of sight. 

Dandy's boom is one of the lowest, so Dave is coming up with a way to raise it up so that we are not so scrunched up in order not to be hit by the boom. I can't even sit up in the bottom of the boat right now. This will also increase visibility...not to mention increase my enthusiasm for wanting to go out sailing in it.

The first stop was to help launch a newly acquired dinghy that came from Pennsylvania and pretty much had the same story as Dandy, being stored for many years before being brought back to its former glory. What a surprise for the owner to have all of us show up at his beach to help.

I love the many different colors and finishes of the boats. It makes them all have personalities of their own.

Then it was on to the Abaco Inn, where having these boats beached together drew the attention of everyone going by.

This is Dandy's 'kickstand' that Dave made so that it doesn't fall over on its keel when the tide goes out...

We were hard on the wind on the way back to Hope Town, so we split up since each boat sails and points into the wind just a little differently. We all made it and had a fantastic time. It was quite funny having so many people sailing with the real ADD...Attention Deficit Disorder that has turned into Abaco Dinghy Disease later in life. However, none of these sailors have really "grown up!"