Nov 29 to Dec 07 2011

November 29, 2011 to December 07, 2011

The days are beginning to melt into the one another and as I type I thought it was yesterday!!

Steve and I have been very productive with our time and are anxious to finally leave on the 10th of December. Since we have been here, we have seen the anchorage fill up with as many as 64 boats!!

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Steve counted 56 boats when this picture was taken…it climbed to over 64 boats the following day…eeks!!!

This morning (December 07), we woke up to half the amount of boats in the anchorage. We had heard chatter among cruisers that they were planning to leave so it was pretty cool to see most of them had gone in the night. {To make the crossing and arrive in the Bahamas in daylight, most people leave anywhere between 0200-0400 in the morning.} So, Steve and I are feeling the pull this morning to get moving.

Our time here has been very productive and we were able to accomplish most of what we needed to do – so in no particular order:

·         Steve installed a proper ladder on the starboard side of the boat. The ladder we currently have is on the stern. It has tubes for steps which are hard on our feet and getting on and off the boat with it requires a course in acrobatics. This new ladder has comfortable steps, is detachable so we can stow it away when we are underway.

·         He installed a new electric bilge pump as the one we had installed prior to leaving broke during our rough ocean passage from Port Royal to St Mary’s inlet.

·         Steve re-organized the cockpit locker and tackled the “garage” as he refers to it. It is our Captains berth converted to a storage area…so you can imagine – it’s filled with spare sails, parts, tools, line, chairs etc…in an effort to find me some space for provisions. He was successful and found me a little space. I now have room for 1 extra bin --- oOOOoooo think of the possibilities J

·         We also bought a WIFI booster called ALPHA 1000 – it’s a FRACTION of the price of those expensive marine boosters – it cost us 60$ total. It works great if there is someone willing to share their Internet.

·         We did more laundry on board…hooray – I’m developing wicked forearms with all the wringing ;)

·         I finished the inventory and determined we needed a lot of stuff!! Since our dinghy can only hold so much, I plugged away at it throughout the week, one day was toiletries, cleaning and paper products one day, canned goods the next, dry goods the next day and so on…I did my last load of canned goods on December 07. I was worried it wouldn’t all fit even with a new bin but it did!! And with room to spare :)

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New canned goods…it doesn't look like much but in addition everything else on board, I am hoping we will not go hungry during our five months in the Bahamas.

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An idea of the amount of packaging…so much waste...

It wasn’t all work this past week. We did get to meet several cruisers making their way to the Bahamas in this anchorage.  We were given an enormous amount of advice, information and tidbits whether we asked for it or not – which was great.  Some of the most notable were:

·         Specific anchorages in the Bahamas…too many to mention now. I will cover them when we get there.

·         To purchase a Single Side Band receiver in order to get weather updates from Chris Parker – who is known to provide the most accurate weather for the Bahamas. We quickly went on Amazon and purchased a Grundig G3

·         We met a young couple from Ottawa named Francois and Michelle on a CS 27 sailboat. They got married in PEI in July and sailed from Nova Scotia! Big props go to them for doing that trip – the sailing can be very challenging in that area. They did the crossing to the Bahamas a few days ago. We hope to meet them again soon.

·         Lots of Canadians here…I mean most of us in this anchorage are Canadian.

·         A lot of the cruisers here drive their dinghy’s standing up – it’s the silliest looking thing!! It’s even sillier when there are two people standing up in them. Steve and I wondered why they do it. Is it just to look cool or what!?!? Tom from Polar Pace let us in on the phenomenon – it’s so their bums don’t get wet from the salt spray LOL!!!! Makes sense…If I can snap a shot of them I will post it.

There has been so little rain, which is good but sometimes a little fresh water bath is good for the boat. We had a little storm which is always interesting. Diana is now a little cleaner, thank you Mother Nature!

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Storm in the Lake Worth Anchorage

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it didn't last long...

Most mornings for the past few weeks, in an effort to get back into my bathing suits – I get up, row to shore to go for a jog. This new routine has been a pleasurable one for both my mind and body. It was hard at first. I over did it the second week– of course and gave myself shin splints but soldiered on and changed to walking until they’ve healed (I’m on the mend!!). It’s an hour or so to myself with my music blaring and I get an opportunity to investigate our new surroundings. In exchange, Steve also gets some time to himself to either, start a project without me in his way or relax with a nice cup of coffee all the while enjoying his surroundings. It works and it’s nice.

Steve and I have been trying to curb our restaurant excursions in an effort to stick more closely to our budget. The first few months we determined that we spent most of our monthly budgets on restaurants alone!! I blame the cold but regardless we needed to put a stop to it and fast. If we were ever going to have some mad money to do something fun we needed to cut out the restaurants. We have plenty of great food on board we just needed to make sure we ate something before we got to land. We found that if we went to land on an empty stomach – we were looking for a place to eat right away and there are so many great places to eat in the states the temptation on an empty stomach is too powerful. We did however, make a deal to treat ourselves to breakfast or lunch every once and awhile if we found a place that was cheap. We’ve been sticking to this for the past month and have cut our expenses in half already! Lesson learned. Our treat restaurant in Lake Worth is a place called Sarah’s Kitchen “The best food in Town” is what the sign said. Well, they were right! It’s a little breakfast and lunch place with excellent service, reasonable prices and most of all the food was delicious! I would recommend it to anyone who is visiting the area.

The Mo

December 1rst came and went with Steve still sporting his new facial hair…I think he is planning to keep it for a while. He is trying on the sailor Steve look and I think it looks handsome.

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It was time for a haircut but the “Mo-beard” is staying. Our last haircuts were in September – it was time for a trim.

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              Shaggy Steve Before

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                  Not so shaggy

My morning jog takes me past the John D MacArthur Beach State Park. There is an entrance fee so wasn’t able to explore it. This week, Steve and I went for a walk to check it out. It is a 2 time winner of “Best State Park Beach” and I think they deserve it. It is well organized, it offers an education center, kayaking, nature hikes, it’s clean, easy to get around and the beach is GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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The entrance is lush with lots of vegetation and some many different types of palms

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Very pretty here…

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This is the walkway that takes us to the beach. Kayaks are available to rent to explore this area.

Steve sees EVERYTHING!! He is a curious fellow, who can spot an animal in the trees or unusual fish in the water or birds in the sky. I on the other hand, don’t see anything until it’s pointed out to me. I have my head in the sand most days while Steve is the eagle eye. I am very grateful that Steve gets me to stop and “smell the roses” or else I would miss everything we came here to see.

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The beach!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can hear the theme of Miami Vice now ;)

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The water is so beautiful…

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I don’t think I will ever tire of photos of us with our feet in the water J

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My mom had asked me this week what my new favorite bird was…and to tell you the truth – I hadn’t even thought about it. The anchorage is very busy and must scare all the wildlife away. The water has a lot of “stuff” in it – I can only imagine what it is given all the boats – we’ve stopped washing in it – let’s put it that way. So I haven’t noticed any birds until our beach day. Without further ado, my bird of the week is the Sandpiper. They are really cute. They are small with little legs. They run along the beach feeding on the edge of the surf trying their best not to get wet.

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Sandpiper playing in the surf…

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OH******We had our first famous-person sighting on December 07, 2011. While abusing our internet privileges at Starbucks in walks Tiger Woods with his kids and a buddy – NEATO!!

We are leaving Lake Worth on December 10. We are headed to the only anchorage in Ft. Lauderdale in Lake Sylvia. We will stay overnight, then make our way to the New River Marina in Ft. Lauderdale. We have reserved a slip there for Diana where she will be tucked in for the week while Steve and I spend the week on land with his kids…in a hotel…with unlimited showers J We are very excited to see the kids and spend the week exploring Florida. Chasing Ice will be on a real hiatus during this time from December 10th to the 20th.

We are back on the boat on December 21, 2011 making our way to Miami, where we will finish our last minute supply runs and wait for a weather window to cross into the Bahamas. We would like to be in the Bahamas by Christmas or at the latest for New Years – again it all depends on the weather.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Everyone J