Throwback Thursday: Perfection to Sob Stories – All in a Day’s Cruising

Now that we’re sitting in Indiantown Marina and it’s obvious that we’re going to be here for quite a long time while we fix up Daze Off to sail, I don’t want to bore you with stories that are only related to boat work (but don’t worry, they’re still coming).   I know that’s what some of you crave, but if you’re like me, you also need a little fun in there.  A little travel and a little adventure.

So for the foreseeable future while we are doing nothing much more than boat work I will be adding a Throwback Thursday post in every week as well.  Cataloging our trip so far, giving you that needed sense of travel and adventure, and for those of you that haven’t started with us from the beginning, catch you up on some of the most important or memorable parts of our travels.

After spending a whole week in Bimini, due to strong winds that kept us from traveling across the banks, we did finally make a break for it with our friends on Laho in tow.  The entire fleet that was trying to make it east that day was beating into the wind, and when our two boats stopped to anchor in the middle of the banks for the night, we were met with once incredibly bouncy night on the hook.

Even though Kim and Jereme had originally been planning to head to the south Berries with us, we ended up parting ways in the morning where they made a more comfortable change of direction to the north and we continued our slog SE. After a few more passages of beating and dodging storms we eventually passed through Nassau and made our way to the Exumas.

Making a getaway from the north end of the chain, we took the cut at Highbourne Cay and out into Exuma sound to get ourselves to Georgetown as quickly as possible.  Why the rush you might ask?  Not only was the Family Regatta happening here, but it was also a chance to meet up with our good cruising friends Kim and Scott again after not having seen them for 18 months.

Over the next few days we enjoyed the peace of a comfortable anchorage, time spent with good friends, and activities galore each night on shore. Even with all this perfection surrounding us, one can always find a reason to complain about something.  And here is my little sob story of our time there.

You can find the original post here.

Thursday April 24, 2014

Family Regatta - Georgetown

This morning was, in my opinion, the perfection of Bahamian cruising. Getting up just after 8 am, I found a shady spot in the cockpit where the breeze was blowing just a little bit, but only enough to be refreshing and bring around a whiff of the fresh air around you. Nestled next to me was a hot cup of Michigan sweet cherry coffee, and sitting on my lap was my computer, where work was speedily getting done as I took in the beautiful surroundings sprawled out in front of me. Then a gun went off, and as I sat in my perfect little cruisers throne, a slew of 18 ft Bahamian sloops began to glide past me to begin the races for this day’s regatta. I know it might be different than what other people’s, or especially cruisers dreams are made of (Get off the computer!, you’re probably telling me), but to me, it was a little slice of heaven.

Yesterday I can’t say we did much, except watch the races from our boat. Apparently when we first landed on Tuesday afternoon we had been right in the middle of the race track and ended up moving inside Kidd’s Cove a little more, which is fine by both of us because now we have a much shorter dinghy ride to town. I tried my hand at making bread again, and with a little tweaking I’m finding out that I’m getting better with each loaf. Then something that proves I have the best husband in the world happened. He bought us one week of internet services here through Bahamas Wii Max. Unlimited, 24 hours on the boat. I tried to promise him when we were leaving Florida that I wouldn’t be as crazy as I was last year about trying to find an internet signal, and as long as I could have at least two hours of internet time every seven days, I would be ok.  Having gotten one hour inside the McDonald’s in Nassau and not bringing it up again, I think I’ve held my part up pretty well.

Terrible rain storms have been passing through on and off since yesterday, so there wasn’t much occasion to get off the boat anyway.  I was prodded by Drena to make a trip over to Anthyllide in the late afternoon to watch the class-A regatta, but assuming I was going to spend the next three days in a frenzy of regatta and cruiser related activities, I declined stating that I needed one full night of internet time and then I’d be game for anything after that.  I really should have gone over since today has just been spent on the boat, watching the clouds pass over and playing a game to see how long we could keep the hatches open between rounds of rain to let fresh air in the boat.

Just before lunch today we did stop by Anthyllide to say hi and see what we had missed the previous day.  Scott and Kim mentioned that for this evening’s class-A races they’d be tagging along in their dinghy to get photos, watching from the beginning line as the sloops raised anchor and sail, and at the time we agreed to tag along behind them.  But come five o’clock, the rain clouds were looming and I was in a foul mood.  Not just because I thought it might rain, but because I had spent the morning looking at Scott and Kim’s gorgeous photos of the races so far, and completely bummed out that I would no longer be able to take photos like that.  And not just because my photo skills aren’t as up to par as Scott’s.  Seriously, you should see his straight out of the camera shots.  No, as soon as we left Bimini I went to turn on my ‘good’ camera, my Sony NEX-5N, only to find out it wouldn’t turn on.  I thought the battery was dead and spent the next few hours charging it.  That night it still wouldn’t turn on, or the next day, or the next day.  Finally when I went to inspect it further I found out that it is not an issue with the battery, but with the body.  It gives an error message of ‘Camera is overheating, needs to cool’, gives a few strange clicking noises, and then goes black.  I don’t know how I did it, but it appears as if my 14 month old camera is toast.  All I’m left with now is my Sony Cyber Shot.  It took about five days for it to sink in, but tonight I finally broke down that I’m going to have to shoot Europe in JPEG with minimal settings.  Even Photoshop won’t be able to fix everything that made my NEX-5 so great.

Anyway, enough with my sob story about my camera.  I will still leave you with what mediocre photos I have been able to take of the past two days of races with my Cyber Shot. (Or at least I think they are, compared to my other photos)

 

Shots from Wednesday’s Races

Georgetown Family Regatta

Georgetown Family Regatta

class C regatta

sunset over Georgetown Regatta

Georgetown Regatta

 

My Perfect Morning

Kidd's Cove - Georgetown

regatta passing through Kidd's Cove

Shots from Thursday’s Races

Georgetown Family Regatta

boat's racing through Kidd's Cove

 Sunset at Kidd’s Cove

sunset over Gorgetown

Georgie on deck

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Photo Caption Day: Final 2 Days of the Georgetown Family Regatta

Saturday April 26, 2014

4.26.14

There’s actually been so much that has been going on for the past few days that I don’t know if I can write about it all.  Last night our group of six headed into town again and got a little silly on Ass Bush Crack as we talked with more of the racers and watched performers up on the temporary stage.  We lived it up and made quite a late night of it.

Today was made up of  multiple trips in to make sure to get a front row seat (which ended up constantly shifting) for watching the high school marching band, and then even better, the police marching band. While playing some Pharrell, these men were able to get down and low.  We finished out the evening at Regatta Point to catch the end of the final Class-A race before going back to the boat to eat a quick dinner and make it back to town in time for the Awards Ceremony.  These past few days here in Georgetown have been absolutely amazing, and I’m so glad we rushed our butts down to get here in time to see our friends and enjoy the regatta.

 

Friday

4.26.14 (1)

4.26.14 (2)

4.26.14 (3)

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Drena and JR enjoying some Ass Bush Crack.

4.26.14 (5)

Handmade bikini fashion show.  Is it creepy I was the only one snapping photos?

4.26.14 (6)

‘All Gold Every-thing’.  I’m glad Drena explained that one to me.

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 What are you giving a thumbs down to, Emil?  Is it my bad jokes?

 

Saturday

4.26.14 (8)

4.26.14 (9)

Straddling the boom for a better view.  I got a few strange looks.

4.26.14 (10)

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My highly photoshopped photo.  I love it.

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Regular afternoon storm rolling in.

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(Powered by Coca-Cola)

Think I can get a shirt for Matt that says this?

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The high school marching band was great, although the dancers did have a few moves that were fit for a rap video.

4.26.14 (16)

(police marching band)

You might not know it from this photo, but these men had moves!

4.26.14 (17)

 Can you tell they’re just a little into these races?

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 It was a tight squeeze at the finish line.  Races complete!

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 Perfect shot of the six of us.  Thanks Drena!

(Photo courtesy of Sailing Journey)

 

 

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Perfection to Sob Stories: All in a Day’s Cruising

Thursday April 24, 2014

Family Regatta - Georgetown

This morning was, in my opinion, the perfection of Bahamian cruising. Getting up just after 8 am, I found a shady spot in the cockpit where the breeze was blowing just a little bit, but only enough to be refreshing and bring around a whiff of the fresh air around you. Nestled next to me was a hot cup of Michigan sweet cherry coffee, and sitting on my lap was my computer, where work was speedily getting done as I took in the beautiful surroundings sprawled out in front of me. Then a gun went off, and as I sat in my perfect little cruisers throne, a slew of 18 ft Bahamian sloops began to glide past me to begin the races for this day’s regatta. I know it might be different than what other people’s, or especially cruisers dreams are made of (Get off the computer!, you’re probably telling me), but to me, it was a little slice of heaven.

Yesterday I can’t say we did much, except watch the races from our boat. Apparently when we first landed on Tuesday afternoon we had been right in the middle of the race track and ended up moving inside Kidd’s Cove a little more, which is fine by both of us because now we have a much shorter dinghy ride to town. I tried my hand at making bread again, and with a little tweaking I’m finding out that I’m getting better with each loaf. Then something that proves I have the best husband in the world happened. He bought us one week of internet services here through Bahamas Wii Max. Unlimited, 24 hours on the boat. I tried to promise him when we were leaving Florida that I wouldn’t be as crazy as I was last year about trying to find an internet signal, and as long as I could have at least two hours of internet time every seven days, I would be ok.  Having gotten one hour inside the McDonald’s in Nassau and not bringing it up again, I think I’ve held my part up pretty well.

Terrible rain storms have been passing through on and off since yesterday, so there wasn’t much occasion to get off the boat anyway.  I was prodded by Drena to make a trip over to Anthyllide in the late afternoon to watch the class-A regatta, but assuming I was going to spend the next three days in a frenzy of regatta and cruiser related activities, I declined stating that I needed one full night of internet time and then I’d be game for anything after that.  I really should have gone over since today has just been spent on the boat, watching the clouds pass over and playing a game to see how long we could keep the hatches open between rounds of rain to let fresh air in the boat.

Just before lunch today we did stop by Anthyllide to say hi and see what we had missed the previous day.  Scott and Kim mentioned that for this evening’s class-A races they’d be tagging along in their dinghy to get photos, watching from the beginning line as the sloops raised anchor and sail, and at the time we agreed to tag along behind them.  But come five o’clock, the rain clouds were looming and I was in a foul mood.  Not just because I thought it might rain, but because I had spent the morning looking at Scott and Kim’s gorgeous photos of the races so far, and completely bummed out that I would no longer be able to take photos like that.  And not just because my photo skills aren’t as up to par as Scott’s.  Seriously, you should see his straight out of the camera shots.  No, as soon as we left Bimini I went to turn on my ‘good’ camera, my Sony NEX-5N, only to find out it wouldn’t turn on.  I thought the battery was dead and spent the next few hours charging it.  That night it still wouldn’t turn on, or the next day, or the next day.  Finally when I went to inspect it further I found out that it is not an issue with the battery, but with the body.  It gives an error message of ‘Camera is overheating, needs to cool’, gives a few strange clicking noises, and then goes black.  I don’t know how I did it, but it appears as if my 14 month old camera is toast.  All I’m left with now is my Sony Cyber Shot.  It took about five days for it to sink in, but tonight I finally broke down that I’m going to have to shoot Europe in JPEG with minimal settings.  Even Photoshop won’t be able to fix everything that made my NEX-5 so great.

Anyway, enough with my sob story about my camera.  I will still leave you with what mediocre photos I have been able to take of the past two days of races with my Cyber Shot. (Or at least I think they are, compared to my other photos)

 

Shots from Wednesday’s Races

Georgetown Family Regatta

Georgetown Family Regatta

class C regatta

sunset over Georgetown Regatta

Georgetown Regatta

 

My Perfect Morning

Kidd's Cove - Georgetown

regatta passing through Kidd's Cove

Shots from Thursday’s Races

Georgetown Family Regatta

boat's racing through Kidd's Cove

 Sunset at Kidd’s Cove

sunset over Gorgetown

Georgie on deck

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Friends & the Family Regatta

Tuesday April 22, 2014

Kidd's Cove, Georgetown, Bahamas

It’s time to put your hands up in the air like you just don’t care, even if Lorde is kind of over being told to do it, because we have made it to Georgetown! On Easter Sunday (looks like we did definitely miss out on celebrating that on Long Island), we fueled up in Nassau and made the run over to the Exumas. Starting out fairly early, we had our butts handed to us by about nine other sailors that passed us along the way. Who knows if they were motor-sailing or were just plain better sailors, but on our downwind course, we were the last to arrive. Which meant the spot we were hoping to tuck into in Allen’s Cay was full and we were forced to drop in front of the beaches at Highbourne. Not a big deal unless the winds were coming out of the west. Which they were. And probably why every boat before us hightailed it into Allen’s where there’s protection from the west. Oh, that and to see those cute but ferocious looking iguanas that roam the island. So we were left to spend the night pinned against a lee shore, bouncing and bobbing between all the mega yachts that surrounded us, dead still themselves, and had kind of a horrible night at anchor. We joked for a little bit that we should have dropped anchor directly behind one of them, letting the mamouth structure block us from the wind.

With winds shifting to the NW the next morning, we took our cue in the early afternoon with slack tide and made a run out of the cut there and to the Exuma Sound. The goal was to travel overnight and make to Georgetown at first light, getting in just in time for the start of the Family Island Regatta. The sail was very comfortable, especially after the night we’d just had while not even moving, and for the first time probably ever, I was happy to be on passage rather than at anchor. Trying out some new cords that Matt had bought for our chart plotter back in Florida, we turned it into our own little movie theater for a couple of hours, connecting it to our hard drive and watching episodes of Entourage while clocking our heads around every 10 minutes to make sure there was no other boat traffic. Coolest.Thing.Ever.

Even though we originally thought we’d have to slow ourselves down for the 85 mile journey so we wouldn’t be arriving in the dark, our speed slowed down sometime during the midnight hours and decided to stay there. Instead of an 8 am arrival to the Conch Cut, it didn’t happen until 11. One hour and paying meticulous attention to the entry waypoints later, we scouted all the anchorages with our binoculars and found our friends Kim and Scott on s/v Anthyllide in Kidd’s Cove and put our anchor down just a few hundred feet from them. These people are the whole reason we’re down here in Georgetown, and the reason we’re saving the rest of the Exumas until our way back up. Kim and Scott were literally the first young cruisers we met on our journey, way back in Cape May, NJ, just five weeks into our trip. They were the ones who introduced us to Brian and Stephanie on s/v Rode Trip, and together, our three boats made a little armada on and off down the Eastern Seaboard, picking up just one more batch of young cruisers on our way (shout out to Ryan and Tasha of s/v Hideaway!).

Once we had gotten stuck in St. Augustine though, Kim and Scott were holding a faster course than we were able to catch up with and we hadn’t seen them since. When we found out they’d be in the Bahamas at the same time as us, and in a location we could reasonably get ourselves to in the time allotted, there was no way we were going to turn down that opportunity. After cleaning up the ‘Dip and understandably passing out for a few hours, as we always do when settling in after an overnight passage, we watched their boat and at the first signs of life aboard, went on deck waving our arms and shouting out to them. It turns out they had actually spotted us and were leaving to come over and say hi. Welcoming them aboard with huge hugs, there were so many stories to dive into between our 16 months apart. We’d just been cruising babies the last time we’d all seen each other, not having experienced anything other than the ICW and a little bit of Atlantic passaging. This time we had stories up the wazoo, a lot of them involving places Kim and Scott had already been to. Who do you think informed Brian and Stephanie about the Rio Dulce who then informed us? Funny how things work out.

entering Elizabeth Harbor

sailboats in Elizabeth Harbor

Cracking open a box of our finest Chillable Sweet Red Wine, we sat in the cockpit and swapped stories until we realized it was way after dinner time and none of us barely had a bit to eat all day. That was ok though, because after dinner were the beginning of the festivities in town to celebrate the regatta. Each night beginning around 7 or 8, locals and cruisers will raid the streets of Georgetown where there are strings of booths set up offering Kaliks, conch salad, and conch fritters. How were we to turn that down? Best of all, it was also going to be a chance to meet up with new friends Drena and JR of s/v Journey. Drena and I knew of each other through the blogging community and would occasionally send messages back and forth to each other and Like different things on each other’s Facebook pages.

It ended up being a much more quiet night in town according to Kim and Scott who and been in the previous night.  We still had a great time though, drinking 3 for $5 cans of Ass Bush Crack and eating 6 for $1 conch bread fritters.  Drena and JR showed up just a little bit after we got there, and it was really fun meeting not only more young cruisers, but someone who’s been following our adventure.  Then Kim introduced us to her friend, Emil, a Bahamian from Long Island that is racing on a class-A boat, Rupert’s Legend.  What’s really funny though is when Emil first walked up he looked like any gringo cruiser that was probably from Texas or something, and then he opened his mouth and began talking in a Bahamian accent.  It was something that left you scratching your head for just a second, but then you have to keep up because you realize you’re terrible with accents and just missed half of the conversation.

It was a great welcome into Georgetown and we’re so happy to be in the company of friends again.  With races and festivities every day until the weekend, I have a feeling we’re going to be pretty pooped come Monday.  Fine with me though, I’m ready to hang out with friends and go have some fun.

ordering fritters

Jessica, Drena, & Kim

 

P.S.  Make sure to Like us on Facebook for up to date status reports and photos!  It’s always the first thing to get updated when we have internet.

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