Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Trail Hoppin'

On this side of the harbor, we have no real roads, just trails. Some of the trails are wider, like the one that goes from the marina to the landing on the Sea of Abaco, where the barge brings the roll off trucks in.

This is the bridge to nowhere. It was installed in anticipation of houses being built out on this island. It's only wide enough for golf carts and very small trucks.

Going back past both our boatyard and the Hope Town Marina, I have a 'secret' entrance to the trail that leads to the cove called Fry's Mangrove.

It's about a mile long and I have to watch where I am going all the time. The trail is inundated with coral rock and tree roots. Right now they are harder to see because there are lots of dead leaves from the hurricane on top of everything. One trip and fall could cause major injury.

The trail winds through the trees and underbrush. What a strange place to be selling land, although it probably goes all the way to the Sea of Abaco.

Upon arrival at Fry's Mangrove, this boat is tied up in a tiny hurricane hole. Several large ropes are tied to the trees in the woods.

 The cove is so serene, especially in an east wind. It's a different story when the west wind blows straight in. 

We know quite a few of the homeowners here. Evans and Gaynel built this house way up on a ridge.

Dan & Sharon have their house aptly named "Home Frys" on the water.

This is my favorite house that friend Gail owns named "Bryan's Bungalow" with spectacular water views, and complete with statue named "Kate".

Mark and Kim were Harbour Rats that have moved to land. They bought a house in the cove and extended their dock to accommodate their sailboat Spirit.

On the way back to our apartment, I came across these cacti. We usually don't see them around and it reminded me of when we used to go to the Virgin Islands. 

I also saw this red-legged thrush which not only comes to the Bahamas, but also frequents the Cayman islands. It had red eyes too.

Eventually the trails lead to the main road called The Queen's Highway. Although my trek is usually pretty quiet, you just never know what or who you are going to see. It's all part of the adventure!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Derby Day

Today's Box Cart Derby day was filled with ups and downs. Dave had his three wheeled cart dialed in and perfected. During time trials he placed second!

Then it was time to wait...and wait and wait for the juniors to get their downhill runs done. There was one kid with his cart called Black Magic, that every time he came to the start line he got out of his cart and did a magic trick. Cute but time consuming (the roll bar on his cart was actually made out of PVC, although it looked like metal).

It seemed to take forever to get all the carts back up the hill. 

So Dave, pit crew Barry and I sat on the sidelines in the shade wondering when the adults would get their turn. Finally they announced that the junior winner was the Dove, sponsored by the Abaco Rage Sailing Syndicate!

That meant it was time for the adult racers to prepare, and I headed down to the finish line at the bottom of Big Hill to watch and take photos. I kept waiting for Dave to appear, but all I saw were some really close races.

Then Barry came up to me and told me that Dave had a flat tire when he went to get in the race line up! So back up the hill I headed only to find a very depressed Dave heading my way. He even tried inflating the tire, thanks to another competitor, but it wouldn't hold air. How disappointing after waiting a year for this day. If only we had known while we were waiting for the juniors, he might have had time to fix it. I was tired and since Dave wasn't going to race (as our friend Barb kiddingly said, he was having a 'pity party'), I walked the mile and a half  home by way of the trails. About an hour later Dave called me on the VHF marine radio to tell me he had won 3rd place in the slalom course! How'd that happen? Apparently right after I left, the pity party got over and he remembered the motto that was on his shirt and hat...What Would Dave Do? He grabbed a friend with a golf cart and flew down to the local bicycle rental shop who had a tube and tire irons he could use. As he was running back up Big Hill, the slalom carts were competing and he quickly installed the tube, managing to be the last competitor of the day. Later at the awards he found out that this tenacity and the innovative angled cart itself also earned him 1st place for Showmanship! What an honor after a long day of ups and downs. Now it's time to rest the weary bones of this 60 year old senior racer with gumption...

He may not be able to move, but he can smile. "Where did I leave the Aleve?"

Friday, November 25, 2016


That means: What Would Dave Do? Well, we all know whatever it was, he would fix it! Today was a big repair day in his workshop area....

He helped get the HT Marina's holding tank pump out golf cart working properly again and even replaced the shift cable, so it would go forward AND reverse. Then it was on to the electric compressor that short cycled, followed by the Rat Sass that had a flat tire. Then Dandy awaits a bit of seam compound and fresh paint for the season, but that will have to happen another day. There's always something to do in Dave's World, but tomorrow is the Annual Box Cart Derby race day. Go fast Rat Sass!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Look Who's Back!

Randy the manatee was at our marina docks yesterday morning. He can be identified by the V-shaped notch in the right side of his tail. Randy travels the Bahamas and was seen this summer at Castaway Cay, which is around the the other side of Great Abaco including swimming past Little Harbour, Cherokee, and the famous Hole in the Wall Lighthouse. Now he's back here in Hope Town looking for a drink of fresh water from the dripping hose. It's hard not to give him water and lettuce, but it's best not to do this, because it encourages manatees to get too close to boats and injuries. However, Randy has been known to nuzzle rubber inflatable dinghies. I think he thinks they are other manatees. Of course legend has it that originally, sailors thought manatees were mermaids, so who has the better eyesight...or imagination?

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Stealth Arrival

We woke to the fuel tanker at the front dock early yesterday morning. I can't believe it came in during the night and we didn't hear it with all the windows open. We must have been really sleeping soundly, which is a far cry from the 4-6 hours of sleep I have been getting the past two months.

Monday, November 21, 2016


We are still shade bound. Of course with my skin cancer issues I always seek out the shade, but it is weird to have Dave avoiding any sun exposure. His face and lips are almost healed, but his hands are red, swollen, and peeling so badly that he has been wearing his sailing gloves when he goes outside.

Even worse is his heel. That skin is so tender and it's almost like he has a purple chemical burn. It will be some time before he is back to normal.

Note to ourselves and the medicine bottle!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Meet Gertrude!

Gertrude is the boatyard's free roaming hen. There are tons of chickens roaming the islands and it's odd to have just one hanging around, especially with all the people coming and going. Dave started feeding her Cap'n Crunch and we throw it to her from our balcony. Well, Gertrude is getting too smart and I found her on our porch yesterday! I wonder if the roosters, that I love hearing in the distance, will soon be moving closer to be near her. Wouldn't that be fun to wake up to right outside my window? Then again, some of the employees have been feeding her by hand and it just makes me wonder if they have an ulterior some day she may be chicken soup. I guess we better enjoy her company and clucking while we can. Maybe she'll leave us some fresh eggs!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

I Am Here!

I have arrived in Hope Town. Things are in control as much as possible in Daytona and my mother is busy doing all sorts of activities at her assisted care facility. Time to take care of my commitments here and perhaps even have some fun on occasion. Fun in the sun will have to take a backseat for awhile though, as I still have what's left of my skin cancer surgery on my back, and Dave didn't realize that the strong antibiotic he was on for an infected cyst, made him susceptible to sunburn. He is as red as a beet and it stings and hurts even when not in direct sunlight. Thank goodness for our covered porch. I am so looking forward to seeing more of our fantastic sunrises!