Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Lazy Days in Green Turtle Cay, Time to Move On

Today marks' 1 week since we arrived on Green Turtle Cay. We have really enjoyed our time here, fallen into a groove of bed when the sun goes down and back up in time to listen to the weather on the Marsh Harbour Cruisers Net at 0815hrs on VHF16. This is a volunteer operation that provides weather, passage reports and personal messages via VHF radio every morning. Not that the NOAA weather reports are worth much, but unless you have a satellite link, a SSB radio or the internet, this is the only way to get the weather.

We have been spending our days lately hanging out in Gillam Bay.

Partly because it's a beautiful spot with the potential for some great kiting, but mostly because for the last few days the winds have been out of the Northwest and a bit cool (high 60's/low 70's), and the Bay is on a lee shore. Thankfully the water is 78F (sorry for all the Imperial numbers, that's what's quoted here and I can't be bothered to convert!).We bring the dinghy to the end of the anchorage and have about a 10 minute walk to the beach. The kids are content to make sandcastles and splash in the water. They also seem to be intrigued by coconuts, spending alot (maybe too much?) time trying to open them to see what's inside. We did get one opened the other day and all had a good fill. That's about all the excitement we have had lately, although we did think we had a fried holding tank macerator which would have really been bad since I'm still not sure how I would have emptied our holding (sewage) tank without it! Crisis averted, pump is now fixed and we can all relieve oursleves as much as necessary!!!

The winds have been howling lately, not dropping below 20kts for 3 days (great for keeping our batteries charged, just wish the direction was better for kiting!), but they are "supposed" to lay down tomorrow so we are going to move South. Our plan is to head to Man-O-War Cay before the next cold front comes through. Hopefully the weather and internet access will be a bit better.

All the best from the crew of "Charlotte-Ann".

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year's in Green Turtle Cay

Back again, still trying to take advantage of Internet while we have it. We are currently in Green Turtle Cay in the Abacos.

There are 2 main anchorages/mooring fields on GTC, White Sound and Black Sound. Our first night here we anchored in White Sound, but then after a day of exploring we moved to Black Sound where we (unsuccessfully) tried to anchor. We ended-up grabbing a morring ball for $10.00/night. This put us a short dinghy ride from our new hang-out, Pineapples!!! Nothing more than a little Tiki-Hut, they serve killer rum punches (rum with a splash of juice), amazing food (conch fritters anyone??), a saltwater pool for the kids along with a small beach. They also have free internet and showers for $3.00.

As you can see, the water colour is amazing, and it's all around 78F.

On New Years' Eve we joined a bunch of other cruisers at the Green Turtle Club for a Cruisers Potluck. Everyone dinghied over from the 2 anchorages, laid all the food out on a table and had a few drinks.

After the pot luck, the four of us along with Aimee and Brian, Katja and Madelaine all made our way back to Pineapples. We had some fun with the kids, but we back on our boats by 2100hrs.

New Years Day was Junkanoo, a smaller version of Carnival you would see in Rio. It was "supposed" to start at 1400hrs, but like everything else in the Bahamas, it runs on "Island Time" so no one was expecting a prompt start.

Above you can see the kids talking to a couple of Policewomen. The kids wanted to know why some of the police carry small sticks/batons. Here she is explaining how when they move up the ranks they go from silver to gold buttons, and that the sticks are used for crowd control (better than a Taser I suppose!). Even though there was alot of rum punch and beer flowing, at no time did it not feel like a family event.We left the dinghies at Pineapples and walked 10 minutes into New Plymouth, the main town on Green Turtle Cay. This is just what we imagined a small Bahamian town to be like. Pastel coloured houses, narrow streets and alleyways, very few cars (mostly golf carts),sleeping dogs and cats and very friendly people. The whole town was out and the place was full of people. The parade starts at the top of the hill and does a big loop through the town. All the locals have booths set-up selling BBQ food, cakes, breads, candies and anything that can be made with conch!! So we settled in with some great food and a few Kalik's (the local Bahamian beer) and waited for the show.

Here is a little video of the highlight of Junkanoo for Lisa. The poor guy was obviously dehydrated and exhausted, all skin and bones and barely able to out run her!! Yes, I'm talking about the guy in the white pants, not the one in the fat suit!!

After Junkanoo was over, Aimer, Brian and the kids joined us on "Charlotte-Ann" for a BBQ supper. We all had a good time, including the kids as you can see.

Yesterday Lisa got a few well-deserved hours of solitude while I took the kids for a walk through town. The original plan was to get our propane tank filled, so I needed to find out the timing since it has to be sent away from here. It was going to be another 4 days before the mailboat was here next. That would be Wednesday, so the tank would go in on the boat and be returned the following Wednesday. Once again, Island Time. We walked to Gillam Bay, the spot where I am hoping to get some kiting in. The wind was good, both speed and direction, but by the time we got there it would have been a long haul back to the boat to get my gear.

No worries, the weather has cooled somewhat and will be strong out of the North for a few days. Plenty of time to get caught up on schoolwork and get some kiting sessions in.

Right now I am sitting on the deck at Pineapples listening to the waves crash and the church bells in New Plymouth annnouncing the start of Sunday Masses. There are 3 dogs and 2 cats sleeping under a palm tree in front of me, 2 lizards that keep jumping out from under the deck everytime the sun comes out, and a few Bahamian wild parrots screeching in the mangroves near the dinghy.

A guy could get used to this!!!!


Mark, Lisa, Delaney and Mitchell.