Hello USA!!

Leaving the Bahamas to head across the Gulfstream requires a lot of preparation.  We needed about 30 hours of settled weather.  Dan had been following weather forecasts for a couple of weeks to determine when we should take off and was able to see a window. We left Manjack Cay at 7:30 am on Dan’s Birthday, March 10th.  The winds were astern most of the trip but we were able to sail a bit overnight.  We watched the depth go from 12 feet in the Bahama banks to well over 1000 as we left to head into the Gulfstream.  The seas were 2-3 feet and a little bouncy but not a bad crossing at all!  Our turquoise waters gradually turned back to dark bluish green as we entered the Ft. Pierce inlet to anchor and check in with Customs.  It’s a new process that uses an app on your phone and only took a few minutes.  Hurrah!  We’re back and legal!  We continued a couple hours north and took a mooring in Vero Beach.  We thought we had done pretty well with taking turns with watches and sleeping for our 30 hour trip but come 8pm that night, we were in bed and slept like the dead!

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Must have been time to go.  Our courtesy flag has had it!

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Sunset on the crossing

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Sunrise in the Gulfstream

 

Back in the land of plenty – and treats!!

Family, yeahhh!!!  Bob Auwood came up from Palm City for lunch.  Took a road show to Plant City and had lunch and catch up time with Dan’s sister, Gail and Clint.  Caught up with Jeri, Dan’s dad’s wife and her family over in Tampa.  Stayed with Linda who does the ultimate friend chore – helps us provision at Walmart (on a Saturday no less).  We spent two nights in her beautiful condo eating her delicious home cooking, sleeping on a nice, dry bed and having sinfully long hot showers – no spa could beat it!

We are now back in Vero Beach on the mooring where it’s pouring rain and windy.  Hopefully, tomorrow will be the day that we begin the trip north.  Dan’s still on his weather sites all the time and now we just have to look at what’s ahead each day for navigation, opening bridges and shallows.

In case you’re wondering, it will take us about 5-6 weeks to hopefully be home around the first week of May.  Could you warm it up for us??  ⛵️🇺🇸

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Bye Bye Bahamas!!

After four beautiful months in the Bahamas, it’s time to cross and begin the long trek home. We left Hope Town this morning with kind of an iffy forecast to get around Whale Cay but it wasn’t bad at all. Had a really nice sail up to Manjack where we are currently anchored. Tomorrow morning we will leave around 8:00am for a 30 hour overnight sail to Ft Pierce and up to Vero Beach.

Our last week in Hope Town left us with what our friend Louise described as “social exhaustion”. Lots of social gatherings, food, drink and goodbyes. These friends are our winter family and we have such fun together! We will stay in touch but miss them all😢

Wish us luck crossing the Gulf Stream! We’ll celebrate Dan’s Birthday along the way (and maybe even catch a fish, or not…)

See you on the other side!!!!

Going around Whale Cay

Cooked up some crossing meals

Me and the girls

A gathering ashore

My last ocean swim…

before this guy showed up!!!

My handsome birthday boy😍

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Vacation Time!

We’ve actually LIVED in the Bahamas a total of over two years when you add up all our winters. But when my junior high best friend, Linda, arrives from Florida for a week we are instantly on vacation. We did the Abaco shuffle, sailing from island to island and eating and drinking way more than usual!

And she brought great cheeses and crackers (ours are used up or stale) and enough dark chocolate to last till we return!

Had a great time, as usual and the weather was perfect!⛵️🇧🇸

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Parent/Volunteer Appreciation Day

Hope Town Primary had a wonderful breakfast celebration for us. It is such a loving place – I enjoy the school, staff and students each year❤️

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February fun – Bahama Style

Each year a group of Nashville Songwriters come to Hope Town for a week. Many write Grammy winning songs for all the big country singers. They play at several different venues, all for free (although they do pass the hat to benefit local charities). This day when we went to hear them at the Abaco Inn, they auctioned off a guitar signed by all the Songwriters. There was a bidding war and the bid got up to $12,000!! They told the two people that they would get a second guitar, have it signed and they could each have one! They raised $24,000.00 for Friends of the Environment in one afternoon!!! There certainly are visitors to the Bahamas with bigger pocketbooks than ours!

My friend Debra took this shot of a few of the “big guys” arriving while our local fisherman was cleaning fish at the marina. Don’t like to think about where they hide out when they’re not at the marina…

The sunsets just never get old here!

A good catch!

Happy Valentines Day❤️

Fun times with John, Debra and Willow at On da Beach

I got involved in the “Zero Waste Project” here in Hope Town. We cut out 195 bags all from donated scrap fabrics. Another few days I ironed straps (about 300) that will be sewn on the reusable grocery bags. Their goal is to eliminate one time use plastics.

My laundry pal

Really enjoying our winter here in the Bahamas. Our friend, Linda, is arriving in a couple days so hopefully we can be out sailing, doing the Abaco shuffle!! Only about a month left before we start thinking about crossing back to start the long trek home! 🌴😎⛵️🇧🇸⛱

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Picture Bloggin’

Windy in January😁

Got soaked on my morning walk but it was worth it!

Love the quirkiness of the Bahamas!

Our bike shop now has a new laundromat which offers an honor system, self service coffee and martini bar.

You can buy your grinders and also sip a daiquiri.

All your legal issues can be handled at “Just Tings”

January can be a bit chilly – notice the winter attire

Beach hunting with the girls⛱

Never tire of this Bahama beauty🇧🇸

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Dinghy Trippin’

d1527f2e-05b2-41bc-8fd6-062bc9272adcWe had been waiting for a good day to head out for some lobster hunting and yesterday was the day!  Loaded up the dinghy with wetsuit, mask & snorkel, fins, etc…  we also bring the “look bucket (a joint compound bucket with a clear bottom) to pick out places for Dan to hop in and search.  When I say WE go hunting, I do hope you realize Dan is the one in the water and I am DINGHY GIRL!  I have a very important job.  I stay as close to Dan as possible without risking running him over, just in case any of the “unfriendly “ sharks.  I also hold the bucket out for him to slam dunk the lobsters.  Yesterday, his first dive in, he came up and said there were a couple of nurse sharks down on the bottom.  He is comfortable being in the water with them but they’re still pretty creepy!  Unlike the many days he finds the lobster in shallow areas, today he had to dive in about 15 feet of water.  We discovered many places where there were, unfortunately, no lobsters but eventually hit a good spot.  Yeah!!  He really worked hard but pulled up 4 good sized ones!!  Another mile or so north he went back to one of his old spots he likes to check and got one more!

We don’t think twice about going far in the dinghy on a light air, smooth sea day.  We had such a great day and went 4 miles to the next island (Man O War) and back.  Stocked the freezer!  Now what to do??  Coconut Curry Lobster???????????????

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