Jan 01 to Jan 05 2012

January 1, 2012

It’s a start of a brand New Year and what better way to start off the New Year than with clean laundry ;)

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Every-ting clean mon J

Once we packed it all away and had some breakfast we went out to explore Great Harbour Cay.

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Yup, another beautiful beach.

We started our New Year by swimming in the blue waters of Great Harbour Cay. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to start the year.

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That’s me in the middle there…waving to you from the Berry Islands J

January 02, 2012

We started our day…by repairing our dinghy…again. It started leaking again after our trip across the Banks. I helped Steve bring the dinghy on the dock. He then went to work cleaning, sanding then smothering it in goop…good 5200 goop! Once he was done, we left it to dry.

More boats have arrived today. The front we are expecting is supposed to hit around midnight. So it appears other cruisers are seeking safe harbor here as well. The cold front is expected to bring Gale force winds from the NNW. The temperature is supposed to drop to the mid-teens and stay there for the next few days. It’s cold for us but we know at home, with the wind chill it was -45 degrees today so I will try not to complain too much about it ;)

It was time to batten down the hatches!! Steve and I made sure the lines were secure, then moved the dinghy on deck to strapped it down. We do not want to lose it now! While walking around the deck, Steve noticed a trail of black liquid. He followed the trail and found this poor little guy:

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A squid!! A bird must have dropped it ‘cause I don’t think they can jump this high…

It is still a beautiful, warm and sunny day so we headed for the beach. We walked a little further than yesterday and found the Beach Club. It’s a little beach restaurant that serves snacks and cold beer by the sea – SAY NO MORE!

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Conch fritters and Kaliks

Conch fritters were on the menu so we had to try them. And they were DELICIOUS!! It’s deep fried, breaded with bits of conch, peppers and spices. We washed them down with a couple of Kaliks (their local brew) then headed to the beach to go shelling.

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Steve enjoying his fritter

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The Master Sheller at work

Steve is amazing at spotting the most beautiful shells…as for myself well I just like the view J

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Steve holding a white shell with pretty pink stripes – it’s a keeper!

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A piece of coral washed up on the shore

Once back at the marina, we notice a couple of cruisers – John and Arline - cleaning conch with some marina staff. Steve went to observe and was offered a long stringy piece from the conch. We think it was conch wiener LOL!!! The Marina staff ate it first to prove it was ok, so Steve and Anna tried it too. They said it was salty and a little tough ha! Kudos to them!! I would never have done it.

John and Arline then invited all of us to the main dock to try John’s Conch Fritters. Wow! Twice in one day – we’re in!! We had a nice social and met 10 other cruisers, one couple from Canada and the rest were from the States - all here with a common goal – to travel, discover new places and explore the Bahamas. Too cool!

As the evening wore on, the temperature began to drop and the ferry ships were moving into the marina to tie up for the next couple of days as well - meaning we are expecting some serious wind in a few hours. Good thing we are tucked in well for the next few days J

January 03, 2012

As predicted the winds began to howl around midnight and are still blowing this morning. No one is moving today. It’s a chilly 16 degrees, the marina staff and locals are wearing their tuques. I can’t bear to put on a hat but it’s a jeans and sweater kind of day.

Arline stopped by the boat to invite us on a walk to explore an abandoned golf course and surrounding buildings. I accepted while Steve stayed back to get caught up on emails and hide from the cold.

I’m told this golf course was designed by Jack Nicholas (I have not confirmed this but it was a local cabby who told me this…I will leave it at that). The Golf course was doing great in the 70’s, then the money ran out and so did the interest in maintaining it. It switched owners on a few time but it has pretty much been abandoned ever since.

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This is the main bar area – you can see the bar at the back.

There is a lot of interesting trash in and around this building.

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Hockey Gloves in the Bahamas!!!

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Fruit Loops and a Bible…among other things…

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The view from the bridge of the abandoned golf course

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A remnant of the 70’s…this was one of two cars left to rot in the woods around the golf course

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One of the overgrown pathways surrounding the golf course; lots of trees and plants taking over this huge abandoned place 

 

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View of the Great Harbour Cay Marina

 

After the walk, I headed back to the boat for lunch. Steve and I wanted to go into town to pick up a couple of groceries and maybe order some local bread. We got directions from the marina staff – it was a couple of miles from the marina but we were looking forward to a nice long walk so the distance didn’t bother us. Anna joined us from Jolly Mon.

Twenty minutes into our walk,  a local man asked if we needed a ride. We explained where we were going and he said he would take us, that he had nothing to do today so we would take us anywhere we needed to go. He brought us to a local lady who made bread and we placed an order – to be ready by tomorrow J He then brought us to the grocery store where we parted ways. The people here are warm and friendly. On our way out of the store a lady asked us where we were going. We said we needed to make one more stop then we were walking back to the marina. She exclaimed that it was too far to walk and offered to drive us in her pick-up truck but we would have to ride in back. No problem!! Looks like we weren’t going to walk very much at all ha! I haven’t ridden in the back of a pick-up truck since I was a kid and this one was rigged with a bench – lucky us J The three of us hopped into the back of this nice lady’s truck and rode back with the wind in our hair all the way back to the marina.

A fun day!

January 04, 2012

Today, Arline organized a tour from a local cab company. For 10$ a couple, he would take us around the island, to downtown, to Shark Beach and a place called the Caves. We were in!

By noon, 12 of us loaded into to two vans.

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Our tour guide Joe

First stop was Shark Beach. We were told this is a good place to go shelling at low tide. We got there as the tide was coming in but were still able to find some nice shells and walk around the sea floor.

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Steve walking around Shark Beach

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The water was cool but nice just the same. I’m trying my best to out-shell Steve – not going to happen but I gave it the “ol’ college try”.

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Steve in the distance…notice the grooves the sand made by the water as is rushes out with the tide…

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The rest of the group exploring the beach… 

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A side note on trash. So far, Steve and I have noticed a lot of trash along the road and in the village. There is no recycling here yet. This can be a turn off to some visitors but I would like to note that this issue is getting some attention. Steve listens to the local radio and heard the littering issue being discussed. There are signs like the one above and others promoting no littering and being “green”. We hope that within the next few years, this will be a non-issue but for now, expect a little trash along the roads and in town but don’t let it discourage you from visiting.

Next stop “The Caves"

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The group making their way to the caves.

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The hill we climbed to get the following view…

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Amazing!!

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Another spectacular view!

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This was a popular spot for couple shots…so we had to take one J

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The 12 of us in the cave…the cave was really just a crevasse but the views made up for it J

We then got all back in the vans and headed for town. We stopped one last time…

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A view of the trees from the highest point in Great Harbour Cay. Lots of trees and vegetation.

Great Harbour Cay has only 700 residents. It is a small, friendly place and has been a great intro for us to the Bahamas Islands. We cannot wait to explore more of the Berry’s. Taking the less travelled path was the right decision for us and we are looking forward to making our way further south.

The tour ended and we all went our separate ways. Steve and I returned to the town (Bullocks Harbour) by dinghy to pick up the bread. It was still warm and smelled delicious!!

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Need I say more!

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Diana on her dock at Great Harbour Marina

I made a spicy southwest casserole for supper that required lots of bread eating to cool our mouths. We manage not to eat all of it and save some for tomorrow.

With full bellies, we read our books and were fast asleep.

January 05, 2012

Steve needs to go fishing. He has been dreaming about fishing in the Bahamas since we decided to do his trip five years ago and today was the day it would begin. He packed his fishing gear, snorkel, spear and headed out.

While Steve spent the day fishing, I edited pictures and worked on the blog. He returned early afternoon with his catch!

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It’s a kind of Jack (according to our fish book) and a perfect addition to our meal tonight!

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Lemon Caper Rice, fresh fish and a garden salad – yum!

Tomorrow morning, we will make our way to a little anchorage about 10 miles from here to spend the night. We will then make our way to Hoffman’s and Devil’s Cay where is a phenomena called a “Blue Hole”. The “Blue Hole” is sort of like a black hole of the sea. It is round and appears to be indefinitely deep. I’m not sure I’m brave enough to swim in it as I fear that a sea monster will drag me under but Steve sure is game!! We will do some snorkeling and basically hang out there for a few days. We are expecting another front to move in on Wednesday, so we may just stay there for the week or make our way to another secure anchorage further south towards Chubb Cay – who knows but for now, this is the plan.

We more than likely will not have internet access for a week or more. This will be it for now J