Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Happenings of Blue Heaven

We finally did leave George Town for a few days but not until we went to the local Catholic Church picnic fundraiser and the next day we went to beach church on Volleyball beach.
Ladies at the picnic serving the Bahamian food.
Beautiful Volleyball Beach where Beach Church is held.

Social hour after church.
The service is all done by volunteers leading the nondenominational Christian worship in song and prayer. Afterward there is a social hour with goodies also brought by those attending. It is such a beautiful spot to hold church. This year on one of the branches of the casaurina tree there is a hummingbird nest and you can often see the hummingbird sitting on her nest. Unfortunately, it is just a little too high for me to get a picture.
Animated speaker of the culture.
After lunch on the same beach, we had a local Bahamian speak on Bahamian culture which was quite interesting and helps you to understand the local people better.

Watching the Super Bowl commercials.
In the evening we were invited to a boat called Sloop John Dee for a Superbowl party. Could not have had it much better. John and Denise have a bigger TV on their boat than we have at home. It was a disappointing game but we had all the usual fixings for the party, pizza, hot wings, taco layered dip and much more, which made it a fun time.

The next day we finally left to meet up with Dave and Toni on Sequence up at Twin Beaches, one of my favorite spots. During our time here, we hiked to the beach where at low tide we found some sea glass and a small helmet shell. I also am showing you some creatures that are very typical on our beach rounds. 
A neat view through the rock.  How did that hole get there?

National shell of the Bahamas.
This is a chilton which suck fast to the rocks.  The underside of the segmented shell is a pretty turquoise.

We hiked several trails on Lee Stocking, the Loyalist Trail took us across the  defunct airstrip to another beach.                              
Someone built a huge cairn here!

Planes used to land here.
 We did not have much luck on the beach but coming back we found a lot of vines that have Bay beans which people use for making jewelery or put on baskets. 
The Bay Bean Pod.

What the beans look like out of the pod.

 I have been looking for them since our first trip, so it was a real find for me. Now, all I have to do is use them! We once again got some beautiful views at Perry's Peak one of the highest spots in the Exumas.         
Just another magnificent view!
Al the zinc changer.
The water was so crystal clear here that Al decided to change the zincs on the propeller shaft. He was very successful without dropping anything and said it was good he did it, because they were quite worn down.

 After a few days we returned to George Town. We had a rather vigorous sail in the beginning so I stayed in the cockpit the entire trip until we reached the entrance to Elizabeth Harbor. I went into the head (bathroom) and noticed liquid soap all over the counter top. It did not leak out of the liquid hand soap container next to the sink, so I opened the closet in back of the sink and discovered the problem. A brand new bottle of Oil of Olay shower wash fell over when we were tilting so much and it fell in such a way that just knocked the flip top lid open so that it not only leaked over the entire sink top but onto the shelves in the closet too. What a job cleaning that mess but our head never smelled so good!

Once back in George Town we got into the usual routine. Yoga, hikes on the trails and beaches, happy hours at various boats and sometimes on the beach too.
I found 11 sand dollars walking Sand Dollar beach at low tide one day.

Once in a while you find a small starfish.
The interesting stromatolites.
Previously I had a picture in one of my earlier blogs of the edge of the beach on the sound side and I said I forgot what the structures were called. I found out these are called stromatolites which according to Wikipedia are “layered structures formed in shallow water by the trapping, binding and cementation of sedimentary grains by bio films (microbial mats) of microorganisms, especially cyanobacteria. Stromatolites provide the most ancient records of life on earth by fossil remains which date from more than 3.5 billion years ago.”

The Rake and Scrape Band

We also got to a place called Eddies Edgewaters to hear “Rake and Scrape.” It was more a modern version because there were electric guitars, but the usual upside down wash tub with a string, a guy playing the saw with a screwdriver and some hand drums were included. There was a great jam session of cruisers on the deck of a local resort that we enjoyed another evening.

The cruiser jam session.

My new rug project is coming along so I thought I would show a picture of it for all my “hooking” friends. She will definitely be a wall hanging due to using various hooking materials such as glittered ribbon, silk and tulle. She has been fun to hook with all the bright colors.

Lastly I finally decided although my ear still isn't quite right, I used my special ear plugs and we finally got in the water and did some snorkeling. I stayed at the surface and did not dive down to see anything closer. However, the one reef near our anchorage is so close to the surface that I got some nice shots of things close up. Enjoy the pictures, maybe it will warm you up a little for those in the north dealing with all the snow and ice.
This one was really neat seeing the fans swaying in the current.
The gold is some elk horn coral.
Aren't they all a sight to see!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Our Daily Life in Georgetown

While anchored near town so we could do the usual chores of laundry and food shopping, there was a powerboat nearby that had sunk over the weekend. We happened to be right next to it while the divers worked on getting it pumped out and floating again. 
Sunday Driver (the name of the boat) did not do so well. 

They used plastic barrels to pump air into it to get it floating again. No one knows why it sunk. There was no storm or anything so perhaps they forgot to close a seacock (for non-boaters that a spot which goes through the hull like a drain). The boat did not have anybody on it. They must have been away. It upright and floating but I can't imagine what the inside would be like. It has been a week and we still see no one aboard.
Sunday Driver up and floating again.

Toni and I had a girl's morning shopping the few gift shops in town. Afterward we both moved our boats to Sand Dollar Beach for a change of scenery and got invited to Happy Hour on Runaway.
The weather has been rather cool and dreary, very uncommon for the George Town area , but it is good for hiking. So Al and I hiked a trail called “Sally's Path.” Unfortunately, it was very over grown. 
You could barely find the path!

I am clipping and clearing the path of cuttings.
The next day I called on the net for those who would like to help clean up a path to meet on
Women and men came to help.
Sand Dollar Beach. Around a dozen people showed up, with half having machetes to clear the path. Those who did not have clippers or machetes were the cleaner-uppers of the cut branches and leaves. It worked great and we cleared one of the longest paths along the ocean side. The hiking paths are one of our favorite things about this area, so we feel that they need to be maintained or we will lose them. One fellow who stopped cruising used to do much of the work, so somebody has got to take over.

 That afternoon we dinghied over to town for the Tourist Bureau's reception for cruisers and visitors.  It is always very nice to sample various Bahamian dishes. They had a type of pea and bean soup, conch salad, lobster salad, crab salad, jerk chicken, conch fritters and various desserts of coconut cake, casaba cake, corn bread and pineapple cake. They also had a drink which I cannot think of the name, made with lots of rum and coconut milk. All I can say was it was strong! 
The young Junkanoo Band played for the tourist.

 A school age Junkanoo band with drums and bells played for us and some fun dancing took place. It was a great time as usual.
And dances too!

Sunday was church and Trivial Pursuit in the evening. Monday evening was the first dance of the season with “Rocking Ron and Cool Karen” as D J's. As usual it was a night of non-stop dancing and good time to meet up with cruisers you might not have seen for awhile.
Rocking Ron and Cool Karen

Toni and Dave shaking their booty's!

Was Lawrence Welk there????

The rest of the week we have just been hiking and walking the beach. I got this interesting shot of this starfish in the water on the sound side, but I thought the underside was even prettier, so Al held it up for me.
They are so beautiful in the clear water.
But they are just as pretty on the underside!

We also have been having a fun time watching the canine crowd get around. This one dog you might think was adrift on the dinghy. 

His master is taking the dog for a walk on the water!
But if you take a closer look at the next photo, you will see his master swimming back to the boat towing the dinghy and dog. They do this most mornings.

Another way many dogs get ashore with their masters is on paddle boards. This particular dog did not seem to be enjoying it as much as the owner. He whimpered the entire way in.
All sorts of ways to get your dog ashore.

Another day I worked the tee shirt booth in town. Every year they take last year's winners design and put it on tee shirts and hats to raise money for the regatta.

This years design.

One day we took the dinghy to the “blue hole” nearby and looked at all the fish. I took my underwater camera and just aimed and shot to see what fish or plant life I could get. There are quite a few fish in the hole, so is one of the more interesting spots. 
Lots of fish in the blue hole.
I wish I was in the water with them!

Happy hour beach party.
 A beach party on Hamburger Beach took place one evening.  Some guys brought their instruments and so a jam session took place too.
Lots of fun to listen to our cruising musicians.
 Once in a while we have an educational function and not just fun, games, eating and drinking.  Al attended the seminar on the beach about batteries and electric on the boat.  He could probably have given the seminar but he is always trying to learn something new.
That's Al in the turquoise shirt and his red hat.
Our battery finally came in, so Al is working on putting it all back together. Hopefully, if the wind gods are with us, they will blow in the right direction so we can go visit some place else for a change of pace. There is so much going on around here, sometimes believe it or not you need to just get away!