Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Keys and back home to Cocoa Beach

Soooo...after replacing the water maker and fixing the davit, we headed down to the Keys.  We did some diving and especially liked the Key Largo area, but Looe Key was pretty cool too - oh, and at Coffin, we got up close and personal with a turtle.  We caught lots of lobster and had a fabulous dinner one night.  Daughters and grandchildren came to visit on several occasions and we all had a blast!  We met our besties in their sail boat and spent the weekend anchored off Elliott Key.  Then, to run from the storm, that never really happened earlier in the summer, we pulled in to Boca Chica Marina (Naval Air Station military base) and made some wonderful new friends.  We partied too much in Key West and even got a temporary tatoo - what fun!  In the video, you'll see lots of fish, beautiful people and fabulous sunsets!

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Day 42 - 46, back to the states

Our water maker broke, and in the islands it can cost as much as seventy cents a gallon.  Making water is a convenience we just don't want to live without, plus a couple of other maintenance issues, and Christy needed to go take care of her mom...all signs pointed to cutting our trip short.  But we WILL be back!  All of our crossings to return were calmer except for lots of lightning on the last leg.  In the end, we arrived safe and are enjoying some of the simple pleasures.  Like walking into Publix grocery store and having a twilight zone moment with every fresh food imaginable at our fingertips!  Or walking into the airport and seeing more people in one place, in one moment, then we had seen all together in six weeks!!!  After repairs, we'll spend some time in the Keys with family - then who knows what's next?!?!

more beautiful water behind the boat

George making his last mermaid on Highborn Cay

last shot of our Bahamian flag before putting it away

It was so calm going across the Bahama banks

see the starfish...water so clear...this was about 15 feet deep


double rainbow the morning we left

another sunrise

big cargo ship..notice the storms we're getting ready to go into

fish we caught in the Gulf Stream

safe in the do repairs

Collage - sunrise to a beautiful calm day!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Day 34 - 41, Shroud Cay, Exumas Land and Sea Park

What a great anchorage - very little weeble wobbling - thank goodness!  Lots of things to do - deserted beaches all to ourselves, mermaids to make, snorkeling and drift "free diving", kayaking up creeks and of course beautiful sunsets!  Drift "free diving" is when one person jumps out of the dink and snorkels in about 20 feet of water.  We just learned how to do it and are still learning.  You can dive down to look at things, holding your breath as long as you can, and then resurfacing.  We saw big barracuda, unbelievably beautiful coral heads, some unusual trumpet fish and what I call moon fish - all of which were of very good size.  But we were still in the park, so no take, just Go Pro pictures which we'll have to post at a later date with wifi.
Entrance to one of the creeks - check out the gin clear water!

I think he's getting tired of me taking his picture!


Rock formations and beautiful water

It's so hard to get a picture of a turtle from the surface...we have seen so many...I finally got one!

Too many glorious sunsets to count!

Here's a sunrise

Check it out - full rainbow!

Kayaking to a deserted beach

Leave only footprints in the sand

Stylin' and profilin' his sweaty self

She is laying up on the rock formation

Sunset with our mermaid freezer on the flybridge

Wow, I just don't know what to say here

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Day 30 - 33, Warderick Wells Cay, Exumas Land and Sea Park

Day 30 - 33, Warderick Wells Cay - great place!  You must take a mooring, which means the park has "permanent anchor balls" that you tie your boat up to - kind of like a hitching post.  They are very secure and it's nice knowing that your anchor isn't going to drag or someone else's is either.  The island had lots of great trails, beaches, snorkeling spots (lots of Go Pro videos will be posted when we get to free wifi - probably back in the states), and such friendly park ranger staff!  The entire park is a "no take zone".  So any shells, critters, rocks, sand - dead or alive - you are to leave alone.  Take only pictures and leave only footprints!

Greeted by a nurse shark arriving in the mooring field

Another gorgeous sunset

Sometimes the sunsets are even more beautiful after she's gone down

Hiking Trail on Warderick

Cool beach and cove on Warderick

For my Tampa family and friends - the name of a trail on Warderick

We've seen lots of rock piles marking trails and where people have been... George decided to leave a mermaid rock pile!

Mapping the trails on the island

Climbing up Boo Boo Hill...a place where cruisers leave something organic behind to commemorate their visit.

Top of Boo Boo - I seem to always be putting on sunscreen and lip protection, but isn't it beautiful behind me!

Whale skeleton on the beach

Andy and Byron, park rangers and wonderful hosts - great cookout for cruisers!

Boo Boo Hill signage

George decorated a coconut to place on Boo Boo Hill - notice Christina Sea on a mooring in the background - too cool!

I haven't tired yet of all the beautiful views

Yes, we actually swam with the nurse shark - videos for that later.  But each night he would come to visit.

I'm getting awfully fond of sharks - at least the nurse shark variety

George and his buddies - Andy and Byron were both former military, so everyone had lots of stories to share!

Day 25 - 29, Pipe Cay and Compass Cay

Day 25 -29, Pipe Cay and Compass Cay - after experiencing lots of rollers from the surge at our anchorage at BlackPoint, we searched long and hard to find some peace and calm water.  We did, just outside the entrance to Compass Cay marina on the north end of Pipe Cay.  It's also the first time we put out a stern anchor.  We did that because it was a small area tucked in against rocks on the back side of the island, and sand bars on the other side.  It worked out great and we had a beautiful tide rush in and out everyday.  It was also a central spot to get to lots of things. So, each day we jumped in the dink and went exploring...lots of snorkeling, some boat chores, beautiful wildlife - and Outward Bound!

My Captain, my Love

The artist at work

Finished mermaid on beach leading to Rachael's Bath, Compass Cay - July 4th

The wall we watched the Eagle Ray from - an old British Naval communications station

Spotted Eagle Ray - Unbelievable!  The most majestic and gorgeous animal!  Will post video when we get back to states and free wifi.

Water is just so beautiful - George is swimming out to check the anchor

Those two big dark spots are Baracuda - seen on a dink ride

Getting some exercise and snorkeling at the same time!

In college, I did a three week Outward Bound course in NC - it was so cool to see them here!

Yet another gorgeous sunset!

Rachel's bath - it's a tidal pool area where the water, at high tide, splashes up from the ocean - fun and beautiful.

George and Pamela - they gave us great information and we had fun beaching and snorkeling together