Friday, April 3, 2009

Lots to tell

We left Chub anchorage because the winds were going to pick up and clock around to the South West and Chub wanted 4.75 per foot to come into their Marina and another 100.00 each to take us to customs. (not)
We all went six miles to Frazer Hog Cay where we were going to pick up a mooring ball but when we arrived the dock Master said we could come into the dock for the same price plus 25.00 for electric and water. (great deal) We were met by Herby, the Dock Master, Cook, Bar Tender, Cook, owner, and one of only ten people who live on the Island who, after we tied up took us to customs. The Captains all got into Herby's truck for the aprox. three mile trip to the airport, but the truck wouldn't go into gear so we all piled into his mule and headed out. As you can see from the picture I took of one of the locals, the roads are like dirt roads only sand and shell. When we got to customs we were ushered into a little office at the Airport Terminal. I can only tell you see the picture because I don't think you would believe my explanation. The customs officer was listening to Frank Sinatra and singing while filling out the papers and I couldn't tell if he was asking me a question or sing. They are hard to understand without the singing. We all made it through fine with lots of stamping and carbon paper (yes, the still use carbon paper in some parts of the world) and we headed back to the Marina to take down our quarantine flag and put up our Bahamian flag. YA
Last night we were treated to Herby's conch fritters and the best Rum Punch I have ever had. It was great but lethal.
Lot's more to tell but Stephanie and the girls are waiting for me to finish so we can go to the beach.

September Song (headed for the beach) out

Todd and I coming back from a run into Chub Marina for a five dollar bag of ice for Life's2Short

View of Chub beach from September Song

Another view from the bow
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The local Police Chief

Our mode of transportation to customs because the truck would not go into reverse

Herby driving us to customs

One of the ten, yes, ten people who live on the Island
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Customs and Immigration office (things are different here)

The airport terminal where customs is.

Me checking in with customs

Our customs person singing along with Frank Sinatra while filling out the papers. Maybe if we spend enough time here I will learn to understand them when they speak mon
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The gate keepers house to the private beach

Notice the gate keepers coon tail on his hat

The private beach Herby took us too
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Stephanie taking down the quarantine flag

Stephanie making it official putting on the Bahamian flag

Doug and Colleen taking off the quarantine flag and putting up the Bahamian flag

The official raising and salute
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This says it all

Stephanie says, "I'll try one of those Run Punches" and they were so good she had another, and well, maybe another? Herby, our host, Dock Master and Owner mixes a mean Rum Punch. They will punch your lights out.

Herby, the brew master
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Doug and Tammy talking to the local fisherman

Conch fritters, YUM

Doug in the kitchen, helping!

The group with rum punch in hand, and it had a punch!
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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

In the Bahamas at last

Thanks to our new 5 mile wi-fi antenna I can give you an update. We left at 05:00 Tuesday to a fairly calm crossing, arrived at South Riding Rock by around 13:30, then started our trek across the Bahama Banks. It takes a good six hours to cross the Bahama Banks (look it up on the Internet) so we stopped about 3 hours into it and anchored for the night. The weather was calm as we watched our first Bahamas, sunset while dangling our feet off the swim platform in the gin clear water. Later that night a big blow came through and we had 2 to 4 foot seas in the area we anchored. (not fun) We were going to leave at 0600 but because of the wind and waves we decided that it would be best to wait for first light to venture out on the front deck to raise the anchor. The seas calmed a little by the time we left and it wasn't too bad until we got to the Tongue of the Ocean. The tongue is 3 miles deep and can be very rough in windy conditions. We entered the Tongue and found ourselves in 6 to 8 foot seas. Our plan was to go to Nassau but because of the sea conditions we decided to only go one and one half hours to Chub Cay (pronounced key) and anchor for the night and try to go to Nassau tomorrow. The anchorage is a beautiful spot with white sand beaches and palm trees and CALM WATER. Tonight we had fresh dolphin, (not the flipper type) Stephanie is such a great cook, for dinner that Dan and Carol on Lucky Stars caught while we were crossing. Dan delivered it by way of swim fins and cooler as we don't have any tenders in the water and we are officially quarantined (flying the yellow flag) until we check in at Nassau with customs, then we fly the Bahamas flag. Thanks Dan and Carol. Life's2Short caught tuna and Gypsies in the Palace caught Spanish mackerel and barracuda. (I got skunked) It's a beautiful place and other than the wind today we are having a great time.

September Song (Don't like 6 to 8) out

The blue waters of the Bahamas

South Riding Rock

Gypsies in the Palace at sunset on the Bahama Banks

Our first Bahamas sunset
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Monday, March 30, 2009

Staged and ready

The four boats Bahamas bound are neatly tucked into the anchorage and ready for an 05:00 departure.

The four of us, September Song, Gypsies in the Palace, Life's2Short, and Lucky Stars are ready to start their twilight zone existence in the paradise they call the Bahamas. The destination is always great, but the journey is just as wonderful. The magic of cruising and being at sea I guess is like being a junkie, always needing that next fix. While we are there we will be on Island time, non-existent, not important, not even relevant, passing quickly, one day fading into the next. If I am dreaming, please! "do not disturb"

September Song (pinch me) out


Islamorada and new friends

Sunday we left Marathon Marina at first light, stopped at the fuel dock to top off the tanks, and then started our trek to Islamorada. The trip started out good for the first hour, then we were in 4 to 8 foot seas. Stabilizers are great but in those kind of seas it is still not fun. Godiva takes it all in stride but Cassie was very unhappy. About 3/4's of the way I decided to go in at Channel 5 and do the skinny dance (1 to 2 feet under the keel) and go into Jack and Susan's from the back side. With directions from Todd we found the canal with a dock we were able to use that Jack and Susan arranged for us. After rinsing all the salt spray off our poor baby and cleaning up, we headed over to Jack and Susan's for a beautiful evening on the dock on the canal in front of their home. Cassie and Godiva were greeted by a new friend also. Dakota, a black lab that looked just like Cassie. Dakota's Mom and Dad are Jack and Susan and Dakota is just under two. They all had a great time getting to know each other, (lots of butt smelling) chasing the ball and begging for hand outs. Cassie said it was great to be on solid ground after the trip in rough seas. That evening we were treated to pizza and what else, lets dream about our trip. Jack and Susan have been there, done that, and are going to join us there because they need to get the t-shirt.
Thanks for everything Jack and Susan, we will see you in the Bahamas.
Today, Monday, we are going to go out to Rodriguez Key along with Life's2Short, Gypsies in the Palace and Lucky Stars, who are headed this way from Marathon, and anchor out tonight, then leave tomorrow, Tuesday, for our first leg to the Bahamas.

September Song (looks like a go) out

Todd, Brenda, Jack and Susan waiting to catch our lines

Enjoying the evening on Jack and Susan's dock

Cassie and Godiva meet a new friend

It's a pizza party!
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Gumbo comes to September Song

Saturday Todd and Brenda, on Life's2Short, drove down to Marathon with the world famous gumbo that Stephanie and I have been waiting for since last fall. It was worth the wait. Gypsies in the Palace also came over in their tender with its fancy new 20hp Honda motor (now they can plane and run with the big dogs) for the afternoon to share the gumbo and meet Todd and Brenda. It seems like when ever we get together the conversation is about the Bahamas trip. Todd and Brenda were there last year and it was great to hear their stories. If you would like to see some great pictures of the area we are going to be in, look on the right side of our blog and find favorite web sites and blogs, then click on Life's2Short, then look on the left of their blog and click on May 2008 for a tour of the Exumas, it's great.

September Song (gumbo happy) out

Brenda, Todd, and Doug enjoying a brew in the salon

Colleen always brings great snacks

Great afternoon on the fly bridge

Time for the world famous, GUMBO!
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