Wednesday, November 30, 2016

It's a new world....



And so the story begins....again, after 4 months gone.

Before we left Florida in early July.....
Me and "it's me Al"



.......we rendezvoused one more time with my first college roommate, Alison....aka "it's me Al!"  That was her nickname as college freshmen in 1977, and mine was...... "Wally."  Don't ask.





This is the last palm tree this car will ever see...




What happens in Nawlins, stays in Nawlins....








...we bought a 4-wheel drive car (in Florida-- hard to find actually) and then ventured for 5 days back across the southern US--via New Orleans... to Dallas for time with relatives and old friends.....


Big D....

More great old college buds @ the Burgins

Wyly laughter










.....to the dusty plains of west Texas to visit Leslie's brother, Roger, fiancĂ© Vicki and son Dylan Wyly in Lubbock.


Housesitting jobs suck....wink*










Then it was on to the mountains of northern New Mexico where we have a housesitting (and cat-sitting) job for some friends.  It was a beautiful summer at 8,000ft.  

Jack and Lily---double love---double hairy clothes

New Mexico sunsets forever in my heart
Over the 4 months, we worked a variety of odd jobs.  One memorable one was working security for a crowd of 7,000+ fans at an Alabama Shakes concert in our local park (7,000 people is larger than our town population).  
Fried Wyly girls---with niece Stacy :)








We also volunteered for another 3 day music festival, and then we ventured to Santa Fe to help our niece and husband work their fried food wagon at the annual Renaissance Festival. Have you ever tried a Pickle Dog?  You should.  It's their personal savory invention and simply amazing.





Rusty and red leaves





"If I ain't happy here, I ain't happy nowhere..."
We were also hired to clean up and winterize several fall gardens.  And what a beautiful fall it was.  We love the changing of the seasons and had missed this the last 2 years while down in Florida.  



While in Taos, Tim produced 3 more videos—-all 3 can be found on youtube.com—-just search for TimReevesVideos or try this link:          https://www.youtube.com/user/TimReevesVideo

He currently has a total of 54 self produced videos on his channel.  Some serious, some….not….so….serious, like “Zorro’s Treasure Hunt” featuring a local eccentric Taos artist and crazy thespian friends.



Leslie pulled the beads and jewelry supplies out of storage and fired back up her Etsy shop—free shipping for the holidays!!!


This right brain creativity is just what we needed to balance out the left brain survival programing that a 35ft sailboat takes.  Balance is always good. 



I also took some of your encouraging comments to heart, and starting writing a story.  Forever Blue is actually more like episodes, like an hour long TV series.  I drew my ideas and inspiration from the many colorful alternative minded characters that populate Taos, NM—an unforgettable and quirky town.  I’ve thought about this written portrayal for years.  When I arrived back in town in July, I unleashed my satirical view of what Taos is like….in my mind anyway.  Quirky it is.  That’s why we all love Taos so much.  I’ve got 2 episodes written and mostly edited, with more coming.  I might let them go public….and then again, I might not. 
**********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

And then it was time to come back to Fiesta for a month.  A time that we were both looking forward to…..and yet, a time to make a decision….a big decision. 
Keep her?  or sell her?

It was a warm Saturday night when our friends, Mike and Patti picked us up at the Tampa airport and drove us to the marina, where Fiesta sat glowing under a near full moon in her slip.  They had cleaned & polished the whole enchilada——all 35ft+ of her.  They stocked the fridge with yummy tastes and favorite sailor beverages….and set the table with dazzling beautiful yellow sunflowers.  Wow.  I was so in love with our sailboat and friends…love you guys.  

Where art thou--C-dock?
We settled into our life on the water on C-dock in the marina.  But soon realized….C-dock feels like a ghost town.  Where’s the dock camaraderie we were so famous for??   Alas, that’s what you can do with a mobile condo on the water.  Change neighborhoods.  Change is good, though often difficult.  Time to move on.





Which brings us to our life change. For 2 years, we have boldly created and accomplished a personal dream I held for 42 years   Tim and I have had a short but exciting adventure of life aboard a sailboat.  Two voyages across open oceans actually felt more like a lifetime and we celebrate the accomplishment of an experience that most will never know, but will live with us forever.   Traveling to turquoise waters and sandy white beaches was part of it, though, in reality, not everyday was a day at the beach.  Boats are tenuous and temperamental...and demanding.  In this second half of our lives, we have adapted to a whole new lifestyle of survival, like the overwhelming learning curve of a 35HP diesel engine and brain taxing navigational instruments for example. 


Highlights----the cruising friends....invaluable, love you salty buggers!  Mother ocean and smiling dolphins....unsurpassed.  Life on wooden docks and white mooring balls....unique.  Living by the weather and winds....exciting! 
Wouldn’t change ANY of if for anything else in the world.  Best 2.5 years of my life. 


Our decision to sell Fiesta has been one of the most difficult in our life.  But for a variety of logical and complicated reasons, we will let her go. 
There is a large financial responsibility to a boat for it's co-operation and health. 
  A boat is a luxury item that soaks up lots of $$$—while depreciating. 
That being said, we also want to say there's much more to our decision as well. Not only do we miss the mountains and friends in our hometown, we want to also be closer to family.  Though a boat represents freedom on one level, it does hold you captive on others. We have an exciting desire to focus on another new type of adventure that includes more travel and other personal interests.  


Bones says--"hello Beastie"
But dry yer eye’s mates and fret not all Ye blog followers!!!!  Arrrrgh…..

It’s not to say that we are done with sailing or adventuring or pirating or hangovers.  Quite the contrary!! There are charters and crews awaiting us, without the stress of throwing another thou$and into the bilge.  
If we can personally accept this decision and wash it down with a shot (or bottle) of rum——then so can you too!!  The Reeves will go onward—forward—swashbuckling down the steep slopes of yonder Taos Ski Valley for this winter.  Our new job is to ski around (oh darn) and pick up forlorn and misguided beginner skiers and drown them (just kidding) in mugs of hot coco.  I’m only trading in my Yo-Ho rum for those traditional “little guys” (schnapps or wild turkey) hiding behind the trees across the vast snowy mountain that we reverently consider close to God.  I realize it sounds like we have turned into alcoholics, but if you all know us, it’s all in good fun and/or.... drowning of political sorrows....it's a new world. 

So dear friends….ditch us or join us….as we adventure on to the next open door in life…back on dirt (and/or snow—just another form of water after all).
When one door closes, another one opens.  

Yo-ho-ho!  Happy Holidays to one and all!!!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Sea Monkeys to C-dock

Ok.....remember these adds about
Sea-Monkeys all over comic books and 
MAD magazine?

"Own a bowlful of happiness---Instant Pets!"

"So eager to please.  They can even be trained"

"Always clowning around, these frolicsome pets swim, stunt and play games with each other."


Well.....here's the fun fact truth about these critters (isn't google wonderful for explaining these childhood questions)


They are actually brine shrimp.  That "frolicsome" activity is either the males fighting or a male/female having some "mommy & daddy" fun that can last for....days.  Yep....days.  Males have beards....females do not.
 They don't have smiling human faces or cute little pot bellies....they don't even have crowns on their heads.  
They are itty bitty shrimp....that's it.

They breathe through their feet....and are born with one eye, but grow two more upon maturity.  The "train your pets" part is that they naturally gravitate towards your finger and/or a flashlight.  So.....you're wondering what this all has to do with Tim and Leslie's great adventure?  

Another skunked metal detecting trip to the beach
 We had arrived the end of April back from the Bahamas to Boot Key Harbor, Marathon Florida Keys.  It had gotten very....very....very warm the last 2 weeks .....uncomfortably muggy and sticky.  Even a dinghy trip to the beach and a dip in the ocean was like bath water.  The sultry night air made for sweaty sleeping.....sweat and wet was the tropical look of the daily existence. 




After a month of sitting on a mooring ball in Boot Key Harbor, the growth on the bottom of the boat was ASTOUNDING.....fuzzy, hairy things and small barnacles the size of thumbtacks. 
Typical Boot Key Harbor dinghy---our's wasn't this bad
 In many cases, months of unchecked growth leads to very large gnarly dreadlocked beards hanging underneath.....which actually resemble some of the salty-bearded boat owners of Boot Key Harbor life.....love this laid back harbor.  Anyway......two days before departing we dove in the water with fins, mask and snorkels to shave the crud off....water was murky, dense and dark green.... 
Bahamas waters---see anchor 12ft down





(miss that blue clear water of the Bahamas). 
 We went at it with plastic scrapers.  After an hour, we emerged to find some of that "crud" stuck on and inside our swimsuits.....and then I noticed some of the particles were itchy and wiggling......yup, you guessed it....Sea Monkeys.  Eeeuuuwww.  A shower rinse on the swim platform left a bunch of 'em dry and stuck dead everywhere.  
Learn something new everyday.


Here's a short video of a pot-luck "Dinghy Drift" in the middle of 
Boot Key Harbor one night....

video


C-dock mates reunion in the Keys
On the fun side of things, we had a great time and rendezvous in Boot Key Harbor with several of our C-dock friends from our marina...5 other boats to be exact.  We're all on a life path of filling dreams and making memories.

More C-dock crazy







After checking several weather resources, we happily departed Marathon on Tuesday morning May 24th with one of our C-dock friends, Kacy and Larry on S/V Providence..... heading 215nm north
Sailing with Providence--Kacy and Larry
back to Regatta Pointe Marina.  It would take 2-3 days traveling an average of 5mph.  We buddy-boated for a day and a night across the Florida Bay--notoriously known as crab-trap-hell---but easy now with the crab season over....and further up the west coast of southern Florida.  It was a banner day with beautiful cloud formations, dolphins and flying fish.  A manageable rain shower followed a beautiful sunset as we sailed on through the pearl moon-lit darkness of the night off the Everglades. 
Tim loves and does better than me on these overnight sails......my beauty becomes the beast without sleep.  Nonetheless, we take shifts of 2-3 hours each.   All night long we watched a spectacular lightening storm dancing through the gigantic cumulus clouds to the south.....as Scorpio chased Mars across the sky westward. 

About 3am, we communicated via VHF radio to our buddy-boat, Providence, as they peeled off towards Ft Meyers anchorage for the next night, while we sailed Fiesta on further north to stop in one of our favorite anchorages in Pelican Bay, near Charlotte Harbor, mid way up Florida west coast.  In bed and conked out by 8:30pm....up at 6am to start the final 70 mile leg of our 6 month journey.  It was another picture perfect day of sailing Fiesta....feeling confident and loving this life.....until....the last 7 miles up and around Anna Maria Island into Tampa Bay.  It was the 3 hour jaunt from hell with 19kt winds on the nose and waves smashing and bashing us backwards.  Fiesta and our amazing Yanmar engine rode that wild hobby horse with determination. Welcome back to reality.  It's in these tough times that Tim takes the helm with strength and perseverance and I tend to whine and curl up in the cockpit corner wishing it over.....or wishing I was a dolphin under water watching from a another realm.   We joke about me being the "Captain" and he the "Admiral"....either way, it's really good to have back-ups and onboard support. 

Back home on C-dock in Regatta Pt Marina
It's been 6 months since we left the marina docks the 28th of November.....4.5 months of it spent wandering around the Bahamas. 

 Ya know, it's all about the journey, not the destination....and where one journey seems to end, another one begins...starting all over again.  
Phases and stages.

We have decided to dock the boat in Regatta Pointe Marina in Palmetto, FL instead of St Petersburg City marina---where we are still on a wait list anyway.  We will be fixing onboard projects for a month....plugged into the dock for air conditioning, thank god.  Around the first of July we will return to Taos for the next 4 months (or longer) to housesit for some friends leaving for Thailand.  We also will be looking for jobs......anyone got one?  

Stay tuned....as we continue looking for "what's next?"

Happy sails and trails!


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Sailing Angels

"Sailing Angels"

Tim's latest video
Song written and sung by our good friend 
Shake Russell


TimReevesVideo on youtube.com



Wednesday, May 4, 2016

It's all about da love.....and rum

After 8 nights in the protected harbor of Hatchet Bay in Eleuthera, we busted out one fair day and made our way westbound 16 miles across to Current Cut.....a gap in the islands with a monstrous current....so get your ducks in a row and watch your p's and q's.  We did.....we made sure the tide/current AND wind were in sync flowing with us....we clocked our fastest speed yet at 11 knots (12.6mph)------yeah Fiesta!! woohoo!




Spanish Wells
We were on our way to the very northern island in the Eleuthera chain called Spanish Wells.  It's claim to fame is the largest fishing fleet in the Bahamas for lobsters----and many other fish varieties. It was a culture shock on several levels.  First was the clean and well kept appearance of the soft pastel colored houses.  Second, was that the citizens were all white Bahamians.....descendants of the British Loyalists that fled other parts of the Bahamas when a slave uprising drove them out in the mid 1800's.  It soon became all to obvious to us that there was a definite gene strain common to all.....not only was there a physical similarity with the family name of Pinder everywhere.....but there was this....accent....unlike anything I've ever heard.  I kept expecting a mid-west or Texas accent to come out of these common looking white folks.....but instead, it was truly indescribable.  A linguist would have a blast with this one.  One young waitress pronounced Bahamas.....as Bee-yamas....very cute if not quirky.

S/V Grateful (Dead)---farewell Jamie and Niki
But here's the best part of our stop in Spanish Wells.....the first night we had just crawled into the V-berth bed and I checked phone messages.  Lo and behold, an old childhood friend was anchored in the same harbor....about 150 yards out from us....and they were leaving early in the morning to catch up with us in the last harbor we had just left!!!!  Out of bed.....lower the dinghy down and reinstall the gas tank....start it up and off we went in the dark to a distant catamaran with a fading light shining from the cabin. It was a great reunion of Elenbaas and Wyly that our partying parents in the 1960's would have been proud of.

Tim, Leslie, Niki and Jamie Elenbaas--sailors passing in the night
We hung together for a couple of days exploring the island, reminiscing old times and catching up on the current news.  This was yet another amazing "large ocean....small world" story.  
Jamie and Niki will continue on through the Bahamas.....down to the eastern Caribbean....and eventually over to the Mediterranean....and onward.  

Sail safely my friends.....may the winds favor your wandering direction.



I tell ya......this whole trip has been about the journey.....not the destination. 


Dolphins off the bow
There's been some high hi's......and low lo's.....as with everything in life.  The lo side of this life is the farewells....it's hard to see a boat pull out of harbor.  It sets in a certain melancholy that says.....time to move on too.  And so we did. 













We took our departure from Spanish Wells....westbound to the beautiful Berry Islands.....and found serenity surrounded by turquoise blue for 7 days.
Berry Islands.....or is it Gilligan's Island?
The conch critter is still in there!  


Another secret deep blue hole--Hoffman's Cay

  


Great Harbor Cay--north Berry Islands









We spent 4 nights in Great Harbor Cay waiting for a weather window for a 76 mile passage (19 hours) over to the Bimini Islands.....but made a quick decision to leave one afternoon around 3pm and go all night with a full moon.  It was one of those difficult passages.....though the winds were a perfect 10-15kts, the rolling waves on our beam threw us around quite a bit....thank goodness for that full moon to keep us oriented.
 We arrived in Cat Cay anchorage at 10am.....wiped out.  
Final Bahamian Island.....Cat Cay---south of Bimini

Gulf Stream---pics can't capture those steep waves....
 This was our final stop in the Bahamas......time to go home for real.  We slept all day and spent an extra day and night resting and waiting for that picture perfect window to cross the BIG river.....the Gulf Stream.....back to Florida...70 nm.  It was Friday April 22 (oops...mariner taboo says never leave a harbor on Friday)....when we woke up, the winds were on the frisky side for a GS crossing....SE at 15-20kts....which means the waves will also be high......but we went for it....because the next few days were going to be calm.....and we're not into motoring for the next 60 miles.  With a reefed mainsail and full jib, we made 6-7kts for the first part of the day.  Winds were actually perfect, but the waves were exhilarating....with the taller ones hitting us on the broadside at about 10 feet. The weather experts predicted these waves to be 4-6ft....because they take the average height of the highest 1/3 of the waves--- individual waves may be more than twice this height.  Nonetheless, we were so happy to have an Island Packet yacht that day....we sailed her strong and she handled it beautifully.  To compensate for the strong GS current, we steered 25 degrees southwest-ward off our direct 240 degree bearing for 8 hours, until we finally felt the Gulf Stream push against us dropping our speed to 2-3kts....oh yeah, here she is.  So we had to fall off northward of our intended bearing to make any way.  There's nothing that says...."Gulf Stream River here!"  
Gulf Stream approx location

The edges move around east and west over the 2000ft deep trench.  You just know it when the compass and speed goes weird. 

Anyway, long after a beautiful sunset we pulled into Key Largo to the northside of Rodriquez Key and dropped the hook among a dozen sleeping boats at 11pm.....exhausted.  The downstairs salon area looked like a war zone......there was stuff everywhere.  Even when I thought everything had been tucked away or battened down, the mighty ocean showed me different.  The mighty ocean.....keeping sailors humble for centuries....and chasing that bottle of rum.  

This current blog is being reported to you from the warm and secure bosom of Boot Key Harbor in Marathon, Florida Keys....where we will hang for the next month....on a mooring ball.

Here we have run into several of our crazy neighbors from C-dock in our home marina of Regatta Point.....and more are enroute on there way here....it's gonna be fun to see them all again.  As of today, we are scheduled to return to Palmetto,FL (Regatta Point Marina) by June 1st.....and then decide where our future will be from there.....
       
Last note observations.....there are a few things we would like to include after our 4.5 months in the Bahamas.  First of all is the abundance of friendliness of the citizens.  Except for one tyrant in one harbor, the general majority of Bahamians are "all about da love".  It's customary to say "hello!"  to everyone you pass....it is so warm and friendly.
Also remarkable here is the security we felt while drifting around.  At no time did we feel ourselves or Fiesta or our dinghy in jeopardy. (though we did not visit Nassau, Freeport or Marsh Harbor where caution is prudent) 

Another note of interest was the availability of fresh veggies.  Most come from afar and always via the Mailboat, though that's typical anywhere in the world these days. We ate very well supplying our meals from the the little mom and pop stores all over the islands.  We actually both ate well, lost weight and gained muscle 
in this live-aboard transient lifestyle.

Lastly, because we don't favor the drama side of life, we went prepared and though there was a daily risk to everything we did, we stayed on the cautious side of that fulcrum.   With due diligence on engine and boat maintenance, we had only three minor repairs....and returned happy and satisfied with a journey of 1138 nautical miles 
(=1309 standard miles) All those miles and only $300 spent on diesel.
Well done....now let's have some rum!



Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Big ocean....small world

The date was March 13, 2016 and the place is Georgetown, Exumas.....a grand Bahamian harbour many sailors call home for the winter. 
At last.....the 4 day long 20+kt winds subsided and the next morning witnessed the departure of many boats that had patiently waited for this perfect weather window. Anchors were hauled up followed by the large main sail, as 7-8 boats fell in line departing the south end of the large Elizabeth Harbour.  Many will return next year....others will sail to new and different shores, a bittersweet departure, as we're all ready to continue our journey, but sad to say good bye to friends of good times.  With Fiesta provisioned full of water, diesel, food and beverage, we too pulled out into the farewell line of sailboats....though unrehearsed, the flotilla appeared to be a synchronized chorus line.


Calabash Bay, Long Island
Fiesta was heading for 25 nautical miles towards the top end of Long Island.....a beautiful full sail day into Calabash Bay for the night.  It felt good to be "on the road" again after a full month in the same harbour.
Calabash paid off with a peaceful night sleep and inspiring sunrise.  This early morning was another departing chorus line of about 5 other boats (all independent of each other) and though we all took a north bearing up and around the top of Cape Santa Maria, we watched with Fiesta as the other sailboats peeled off east and south into the big Atlantic Ocean....this was the turning point.....north for returning US bound vessels.......or south for far Caribbean destinations unknown.  


Conception Island turquoise
We were alone floating northeast.....under the azure sky watching friends with white triangular sails disappear over the horizon....like a white flag of surrender looking for the next peaceful scene.  This day we were blessed again with perfect winds in full sails for 19nm to our next island destination in paradise called....Conception Island.  A small uninhabited island (not even a single ugly iguana anywhere) belonging to the Bahamian National Trust parks.  We began to think we would be the only ones on this deserted island for the next couple of nights....which is fun and a bit eerie sometimes...but as we drew closer, we could see a spread of 10 masts and hulls anchored against a brilliant white beach in the tropical sunshine.   But wait a minute.....why are all the boats painted turquoise blue?  Is it a sailing club?  A gay militia fleet escaping the US political persecution?  While most boat hulls are stark white,  my binoculars were freaking me out with this new-blue coordinated color of boats.  Though it seemed like a hallucination of the mind in the haze of salt air and too much sun.....it was simply a blonde moment....I do confess to those every now and then.  It was the reflection of unbelievable intensity from the TURQUOISE waters surrounding the bay....this was by far the most extreme turquoise we had encountered in all the Bahamas.  There is a rare and costly turquoise gemstone from  Arizona called Sleeping Beauty.....it's blue is undescribable......as was these waters.  Our close friend Kit Lynch, a vibrant Taos artist full of color, would consider this pure heaven.  Ok......it was beyond magnificent.  Did I tell you how clear the water was?  At midnight under a full moon, you could read a book 20 feet down....I exaggerate not.  We have met sailors who have sailed around the world....and exclaim that no other place in the world can compare to these waters.   Period.  Ok, have I blissed you out yet?  Another highlight in this harbour.....we reunited with some good friends who had left George Town a week before us......Rex and Amy on Xtasea.....so much fun.  
Typical breakfast--one dish meal




New Mexicans doin' a Bahama 'ting


In this bay of blue, was another big ocean, small world experience.  Anchored next to us was a green hulled Tartan 33 called Emerald City.....Lee and Shelby Leonard with grandson Eric from Dixon, New Mexico. Yep we had friends in common.

We stayed here two nights....yeah, should have been a week.  We knew the isolation was going to be one of our last for a while.  










Next day enroute to Cat Island was a sea of glass as we glided gracefully along.....beautiful, but it means the iron genny cranking us onward. 
















 One of our unexpected treasures on Cat Island was a small historic Hermitage atop the highest point on the island above the sleepy little settlement of New Bight. Built by beloved Father Jerome early last century, he spent his last years in seclusion here....wow.

Pigeon Cay Resort--Cat Island






We sailed on up Cat Island....a low-key cay of friendly folks.  Up on the north end we dropped the hook near the very charming and relaxing Pigeon Cay Resort and went ashore for a beer.  Found the "honor bar"....yep just leave your money on the bar and help your self.  But most noteworthy was the owners of this small resort, Leslie and Ned...they used to live and ski in Santa Fe and Taos.  Large ocean, but small world....a trend for us.  
Not quite as dark as the locals :)











Next stop was at a private island owned by Carnaval Cruise Lines now called Half Moon Cay.  The anchorage was perfect and we shared it with another Island Packet 35 called Peacekeeper (both well travelled ex UN peacekeepers).....based out of Twin Dolphins marina across from our home base on the Manatee River on the west coast of
Half Moon Cay---cruiseship playground
Florida.....large ocean, small world.  Along the white sand beach on this island is a cruiseline prefabricated fantasy playland of airconditioned 3-sided cottages (yep, AC for the outside tropics...?), shops, water toys galore, horseback stables and a GIANT replica tall ship of Captain Morgans which was the bar.  The playland was void of those white and splotchy pink tourists the day we were there.....so I metal detected the entire beach looking for cruiserliners gold.....nada....dang.


Ok-ok...you got right of way....jeesh
The next morning, as we pulled out of the bay, small power boats were bringing in the employees from neighboring islands to work for not one, but TWO oversized Carnaval monsters waiting to unload their thousands for a day at the beach.  So happy and grateful to be on our humble little boat.










Next stop was a day long motor/sail up to Rock Sound in southern Eluethera Island which had great almost perfect facilities for small cruisers like us.  All around protection from strong winds in the large harbour payed out when another stink blew through and clocked around all directions....something Cat Island did not have.  The only questionable and somewhat typical issue for Rock Sound is the lack of safe dinghy docks.  When the tide drops (every 12 hours) it is difficult to crawl up (and down) a splintery, mucky and often broken 3rd world hand made ladder to the dock.  We came back one day to our dinghy sitting on the mud bog bottom.....fun.  And if not careful with the timing of the tides, the "dink" could be caught UNDER the dock on a rising tide...."dink-unda-da-dock-doo-doo"......not good either.  

Now being read in the Bahamas----Taos News!
Another highlight of Eluethera for us was a set up rendevous with friends Carl Gilmore and Francie on vacation from Taos!  They had rented a house and jeep so we tooled around with them for a couple of days exploring and snorkeling.....so good to catch up with the news from Taos.  







After 3 nights in beautiful and quiet Ten Bay and its sandy beach, we sailed up to Governor's Harbour for a look around and found a vibrant and fun town of colonial houses from a time when this was the capitol of the country before it moved to Nassau.  We didn't dare stay in this harbour with a cold front blowing through, as it's known for it's poor anchor holding.  But we will be back because this has one of few government offices for us to renew our tourist permit.  We were given 120 days when we checked into this country back in mid-December......and guess what.....it's almost up.  Govt officials don't like to renew too far in advance of the expiration so we sailed through a squall on our way up to Hatchet Bay, 



Water spout over narrow cut in cliffs
Free boat wash and water tank refill
a unique enclosed bay with a narrow opening cut in the limestone cliffs around it.  Hatchet Bay had boasted of being THE safest hurricane-proof harbour in the Bahamas.....that is, until Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and Irene in 2011 proved them wrong of which wrecks still line the shore.  
Here we sit out another clocking cold front coming soon----so we rented a car and headed down to Govenor's Harbour to renew our stay----yes! another 90 days!  
Alice Town on Hatchet Bay

Since our last blog, we have decided NOT to head up to the Abaco Islands.....perhaps another time.  But we feel the winds will blow us toward the Berry Islands instead...more on the way back to Florida. 






 Onward we go through the big ocean.....and small world..... 


with peace and respect......Leslie and Tim










  Check out Tim's latest video.....

and you'll wonder

why we are ever coming home...