Saturday, June 6, 2009

Back in the US of A

I would say it's great to be back, but it's not. In the words of Tammy, "civilization is highly over-rated!!!" If it weren't for insurance making us be back above Florida by July first, business to take care of, and a few other "civilized" things, we would be back in the Bahamas in a nano second. (well maybe 10 or 11 hours, we only travel at eight and one half knots) There are a few, very few things we would miss, but as Tammy said, "civilization is highly over-rated!" I know, I know, would I like a little cheese with that whine. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt, and want to go back, and we will go back!
After spending our last day in the Bahamas at Grand Bahama Yacht Club and enjoying one last day (we put off our departure one extra day) we departed Paradise at 06:00 and headed out the inlet (has anyone come up with why it is called an inlet when you go in and out of the same place) into not so smooth seas. we decided to continue to the West End of Grand Bahama, and if it didn't calm by then we would turn in to West End and stay another day. (didn't want to rock and roll for 10 to 11 hours) The darn seas calmed, so we had no excuse to stay another day and headed out into the Atlantic to cross to the US. No fish today, my luck has gone away. (I think that's a song) The two huge barracuda and the three or so that got away don't count or fill a freezer. We arrived at Lake Worth Inlet late that afternoon, set the anchor "in mud" and chilled after a long day. The next morning Doug and Tammy put Hobos in the water and went to the Customs office to check in. We have what is called a Local Boaters Option so all we had to do was call them and let them know we were back. After Doug and Tammy got back, we headed out into the Atlantic and put the pointy end North to Fort Pierce. No fish today, my luck has gone away. There's that song again! As we approached the Fort Pierce inlet, the nastiest storm I have ever seen was in our path. We watched it on radar and were able to go around it and only got winds of about 30 to 35 knots. We checked out a couple of anchorages, but one was full and the other was not very well protected, (lot's of storms in the area) so we decided to go to the Fort Pierce City Marina. I am glad we did. More about that in my next blog.
September Song (I'll stop whining, Maybe) out

Nasty storm to greet us at Fort Pierce, FL.

The inlet at Lake Worth, our first port in the US after a long day at sea

Our anchorage for our first night back. From gin clear water to chocolate milk. YUK!

Doug and Tammy back from Customs check-in getting Hobos (the family car) ready to load
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Do we have to leave?

Our last day in the Bahamas was spent at Lucaya, Grand Bahama exploring the Straw market, relaxing at the Yacht Club Pool, and reminiscing about what a wonderful trip it has been. We will miss the wonderful people we have met, all the places to explore, the great fishing, beautiful beaches, the gin clear water, and on and on but, I know we'll be back . It's not the end of a trip, but part one to many parts of more trips to the Bahamas.
Time to go change clothes and head for the Farmers Market. more later.

September Song (missing the Bahamas) out

Rainbow over Lucaya, Grand Bahama

Chilling at the Yacht Club Pool

Two beauties at the pool side bar

Rum punch and grouper reubens for lunch pool side. It doesn't get any better than that
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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Berry Islands

We haven't been in touch for a few days because we were in the Berry Islands exploring a pristine, mostly uninhabited chain of cays that is one of the more beautiful areas we have been in on the trip.
After leaving Nassau we headed for the Berry Island Club on Frazier's Hog Cay, a stop we made when we crossed from the US. Herby is a great host in this little out of the way place. It's always a treat to have some of his famous, infamous rum punch and a true Bahamian style dinner. You order dinner when you arrive, they go clean the fish and conch, and a few hours later it's dinner. Herby was gracious enough to comp our dock fee for the night because we have brought him so much business after telling so many of our friends about this place, and putting it on Active Captain, and Salty Southeast. He had to hire extra help to keep up. It's great to see a nice, hard working person like Herby make a go of it. After our stop at the Berry Island Club we headed for the remote parts of the Berry Islands. The Berry Islands are for the most part still pristine and uninhabited with beautiful Cays that have tons of wild life, beaches all to ourselves, rocky cliffs, the Blue Hole, and too many places to explore in the few days we were there. I know I have said it before, but this is truly Paradise unspoiled.
We left the Berry Islands Monday to a flat calm day at sea for a nine and one half hour open water cruise to Lucaya on Grand Bahama. We fished the whole way, I had two big ones on and lost them. (the big ones always get away) I did catch one barracuda with huge teeth, so I guess I didn't get skunked. Not so on Gypsies in the Palace; They got one dolphin (Tammy's) and two tuna (Doug's) and Tammy lost all her line and lure to a blue marlin. Way to go Gypsies!
After cleaning the fish and getting settled in we went out for our conch fix. Just can't get enough of that cracked conch. Tonight it's sushi and dolphin and tuna on the grill.
Time to take a shower and go explore Lucaya.

September Song (loving and living life) out

View of the fishing fleet as we left Nassau Harbour. They spell Harbor different over here

You've Got Mail! (but we still don't, after 8 weeks!)

Play ground for people off cruise ships

Cruise ships in the Harbour
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The Berry Island Club. Great place for a stop over and a true Bahamian dinner.

Herby's killer rum punch

Sharks at the Berry Island Club dock. SHARKS! I hear the music again. Bomp bom, bomp bom
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It's not a very big black fin tuna, but it was enough for sushi before dinner and four nice tuna steaks on the grill. Yuuum!

The view where we anchored off Soldier Cay, from our bow, of the beach and Exuma Sound on the other side

Everything gets lush after all the rains

Like a scene from The Sound of Music. Look, There's Maria! Oh, that's Stephanie and Godiva walking the hills. It could be! She is just as beautiful.
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Birds in a nesting area on the cliffs

They lay their eggs under the rocks. No nest, just rocks. (Click on the picture to see the egg)

More of the coastline in the Berry Islands
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The rugged shore line and cliffs on the East side of the Berry Islands

Now that's a rock!

Talk about rugged!

Doug gets brave and looks over the edge of the Blue Hole
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Doug and Tammy exploring the cliffs. Tammy loves to look over the edge. Doug just holds his breath

"The Blue Hole" a 600 foot deep hole in the middle of Hoffman's Cay. Way cool!

Under the rock at the edge of the Blue Hole
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Water spout off our starboard side as we crossed to Lucaya. Don't like water spouts!

While we cross shipping lanes we watch out for the "BIG Guys"

Dinner (conch fix) after cleaning the fish and getting settled in at Grand Bahama Yacht Club, Lucaya
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Berry Islands Rendezvous

Well, September Song and Gypsies in the Palace finally met up with Aurora (Steve and Diane) Pokey (Mike, Allison and Tango, their new four legged addition) and another boat traveling with them, Dennel (Dennis and Nellie) on a remote beach in the Berry Islands, for an afternoon of catching up, and enjoying the short time we had together. It is so great meeting up with old friends and meeting new ones anywhere, but especially in a beautiful place like the Berry Islands. Our visit was short, but our paths will cross again, I'm sure of it! Cassie and Godiva had a great time with their new cruising friend Tango.
September Song (We love you guys) out

Arriving at the beach in the "family cars"

Enjoying what little time we had together
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