Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Hello Everyone,

It has been a long, long time since we updated our blog site.  Looks like February 11th was our last input.

Well as some of you know our lives’ have been action packed since then.  Bottom line - Gerry is getting well, but our latest venture to the Abacos had to be interrupted.

Gerry somehow developed AFib with her heart which is an abnormal heartbeat condition.  So, not too many days after our last blog input we visited a health clinic in Hope Town, where we had gone to observe the Songwriter’s Festival activities, and that led to a visit with a physician on Great Abaco Island who initially diagnosed Gerry’s condition on February 15th as Bronchitis, then on February 27th as a situation that warranted seeing a Cardiologist, and then our flying back to Charleston, SC to be seen by a Cardiologist on March 2, 2018.

Gerry is responding excellently to the medications she has been prescribed.  At this point her Cardiologist does not think any invasive procedures to her heart are necessary.  She has had numerous blood tests and an Echogram.  Initially, she would easily tire and be out of breath and be coughing a lot because of fluid buildup in her lungs.  Sleeping at night was uncomfortable for her so she was not well rested.  Now that she is mostly back to normal, tomorrow she will undergo a Nuclear Stress Test to see how well her heart is performing.

Meanwhile our friend Rolando Sosa flew back with me on March 14th to retrieve Galileo from Boat Harbor at the Abaco Beach Resort in Marsh Harbor.  We had a good weather window and were able to return in 4 days back to Ft. Pierce, Florida on March 18th where we keep the boat in Harbour Isle Marina.  On March 18th we traveled with two (2) other Island Packets, Pepromenon an IP-31 and Blue Sky an IP-380 back to Ft. Pierce.  They left slightly before us from Boat Harbor on March 15th but we caught up with them at West End on March 17th so the next day I decided to caravan with them back to the U.S. East coast.  We departed around 0320 in the dark from West End.  Was not my favorite crossing of the Gulf Stream but Rolando and I survived.  This excursion with Rolando gave me the opportunity to develop a much, much, better appreciation of Gerry’s organizational skills of stores stock aboard Galileo and her culinary skills as now I was the one in charge of keeping Rolando and me alive with nourishment during our return voyage.

So tomorrow we shall see what Gerry’s heart status is and go from there as far as future long-range travel planning is concerned.

We do plan to return to our townhouse in Maryland this weekend and settle down for a while.

Meanwhile here are some pictures of our adventures while in the Abacos. 

Here is an overall depiction of where we go when we go to the Abacos in the northern Bahamas

As mentioned above we did partake in the Songwriter’s Festival.

While in Hope Town we saw a yacht reminiscent of boats that were built in our old hometown of Salisbury, Maryland which I initially thought was a Chris Craft but turned out to be one of the original Berger boats.  This one was 53 feet long and had just turned 50 years old.  It was being restored by a Berger enthusiast who then resales them.  Nice boat for her age.  It reminded me of Ellie and Paul Ennis of Salisbury.  Paul used to work for Chris Craft there years ago.  Ellie introduced Gerry and me for a blind date and it appears to have worked almost 45 years later

The night before all this started with Gerry we enjoyed a Valentine's Day dinner.

We were able to attend the Royal Marsh Harbor Yacht Club 2018 Commodore’s Ball at the Abaco Beach Research.

We met up with Marianne and Paul Cochrane of Island Packet 37 Knot-A-Gan in Marsh Harbor and attended the annual Marsh Harbor Junk-A-Noo festival with them as well as enjoyed dinner at the Jib Room with another of their Island Packet yachting friends.

While in Marsh Harbor we observed a Pay Phone setup that accepted credit cards to make phone calls.  Never have seen Pay Phones configured this way.  They were not operational but still interesting.

A Ferry Boat excursion over to Man-Of-War Cay to attend a Flea Market Festival shows a group of colorful Conch Shells drying on a dock.

Here is Rolando and me having a light moment the night before departing to return to Florida enjoying a gift furnished earlier as a bon-voyage to Gerry and me before leaving for the Abacos by good friends Jan and Larry Moser.

Gerry had a break from her cardiology treatment so we returned to Ft. Pierce, FL for eight (8) days to button up Galileo and get her teak work refinishing underway while we are in Maryland for the next couple of months.  Here she is at the Georgia Rt 95 Visitor Center.

Then we returned to Charleston for more visits this week with her Cardiologist.  This is one of our favorite bridges.

We can’t say enough about the expertise of her Cardiologist and all of her medical support team here in Charleston.  When we discovered her condition in the Abacos they responded within a day and found her the specialist that she needed.

In closing we have to thank a number of people who made this year's excursion to the Abacos a smooth success.  Amy and Richard Meekins who faithfully have watched over our townhouse and mail back home in Cambridge.  Jan and Larry Moser and Tucky and Bruce Franz who have wished us well along the way.  Ellen Whitford for hosting us in Savannah.  Dave VanCleve for his assistance with Galileo during her bottom painting return run from the boatyard. Rolando Sosa for helping bring Galileo home to Ft. Pierce, Florida.  And to our host Rebecca here in Charleston for her AirB&B hospitality during our 'medical emergency' as we expressed our housing need when we first met her.  And lastly all the members of the Rossi/Nardi Clan (Shana, Aaron, Josh, Jordan, Sabin, Marina, Tonks, Frank, Brenda, Clarine, Dave, and Vonda) for their patience with our sailing passion.

Stay Warm, it's still winter out there,

Gerry & Larry
Team Galileo

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Hello all,

Welcome to the Bahamas.

We arrived at the boat in Ft. Pierce, Florida on January 26, 2018 to wake up Galileo to get her ready for our crossing to the Abacos.  As usual with boating one thing leads to another, to another, etc.  Well to make a long story short we were finally ready to leave the dock on February 6th in hopes of catching a weather window to cross the Gulf Stream on February 8th which we did.  Crossed over that day to West End, Grand Bahama Island and then proceeded eastward the next day to Great Sale Cay, and then here to Green Turtle Cay yesterday February 10th.   Weather was okay for the trip.  A little windy right on the nose so no sailing.  Seas were manageable.  Galileo is a great seaworthy boat so we did not feel any discomfort.

We will stay here at the Green Turtle Club Marina until tomorrow then proceed around Whale Cay out into the Atlantic Ocean then back into the Sea of Abaco onward to Great Guana Cay for a few days.  Our near term goal is to attend the Songwriters Festival in Hope Town later this coming week.  It is a weeklong gathering of songwriters who will perform at various restaurants February 13 – 18.

Then we will take a slip at the Boat Harbor Marina of the Abaco Beach Resort that is home base for the Royal Marsh Harbor Yacht Club of which we are members.  They have a variety of social activities planned for the month in which we like to participate.

Here are some snapshots of our journey so far:

If you look real hard there is a turtle statue inside the triangle.

Gerry & Larry

Team Galileo

Friday, May 26, 2017

2017 Abacos Finale

Hello all,

Last input was through day 71.  This input takes us thru returning from the Abacos, closing up Galileo for the summer in Ft. Pierce, to our departure for places north toward Maryland (day 103).

Our last blog input was submitted while at the Green Turtle Marina waiting for a good weather window to be able to make it to Great Sal Cay and onto Ft. Pierce, Florida, but as most boaters know plans change.  The wind did not come out of the right direction, the engine impeller had to be changed half-way thru one of the days, and we decided to not make a night crossing without a full moon.

During the first day out of Green Turtle when the wind turned terrible on the nose we ducked into a new harbor that is being built on Abaco Island for ocean-going freighters.  Impressive, not on the charts, and being built by the Chinese for the Bahamians.  Unfortunately, they would not permit us to stay so off we went.  We stayed at Crab Cay/Angelfish Point.  A very nice private anchorage.
The next day we set sail for Great Sal Cay but then doused the jib and motor sailed with the main sail.  Started to hear more noise than usual from the water muffler which meant we had to change the impeller before proceeding.  Being close to Fox Town we anchored near town and waited a few hours for the engine to cool down so that we could accomplish that task.  Fortunately we found all the broken rubber impeller blades in the changeout process (always a concern to make sure coolant pathway isn't clogged).  After completing this task we were able to continue onto to Great Sal Cay and anchor right before dark.

The next day as we decided we wouldn't be making an overnight crossing back to Ft. Pierce, Florida we proceeded onto West End, Grand Bahama Island where we discovered a huge fishing tournament was about to take place.  We got the last slip.  Later that night we were able to buy tuna from one of the boats, enough for four (4) meals for each of us.  Yummy when fresh like that.

The following day (76 - April 28, 2017) we departed West End at 03:36 am arriving at the Ft. Pierce, Florida Inlet at 16:45 pm with strong winds and an ebbing tide.  Basically we arrived too early. Incoming tide wasn't supposed to start for another 2 hours.  Won't do that anymore.

The fishing lure we showed in our last blog input was not successful.  Oh well.

However, as we approached Florida we were welcomed by a huge pod of dolphins everywhere for at least twenty (20) minutes.  First small (young) ones then larger ones froliced all around us.  Nice.

Going into our marina we discovered that there was a huge dredging operation ongoing in the Intracoastal Waterway which made navigating around all the temporary marks a challenge.

Our 2017 excursion to the Bahamas was rewarding and relaxing.  We stayed longer this year (2 1/2 months) and met many interesting people and attended many community events.  We enjoyed our two (2) month-long stays at the Abaco Beach Club with the Royal Marsh Harbor Yacht Club gang, and on the mooring ball in Hope Town on Elbow Cay.

The weather was very enjoyable but breezy most of the time as the flag below shows:
Now that we were back in Florida, but with nothing pressing schedule-wise, Larry undertook some boat improvement projects over the next three weeks.  During that time Gerry visited with her Mom, brother and wife and their family in Indiana during which our daughter and granddaughter joined them for Mother's Day weekend.

Now we are on our way back to Maryland, We have stopped at our favorite town, Charleston, for the week to relax some more and take care of various medical appointments.

Here we are on top of the Arthur J. Ravenel Bridge with Charleston in the background.  Our first venture up to the top of this bridge.  Impressive.  Windy

Well, that concludes our 2017 Bahamas trip.  We are already making plans for a 2018 return.  See you then for more updates to the great adventures of Team Galileo.


Gerry & Larry

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Latest Galileo News from the Abacos - 4/23/2017

Ahoy Followers,

No we did not fall of the edge of the Earth.  Last time we blogged was day 34 of our adventure while docked at the Abaco Beach Resort in Marsh Harbor.  Today it is day 71.  A lot has happened.  During that timeframe the weather has been fantastic.  Clear nice days and cool nights which are great for sleeping, even using a down quilt to stay warm at night.  Today is the first day it has rained since March 12th.  On that day we were able to collect 45 gallons of fresh water in 45 minutes it rained so hard.  Today is a nice gentle rain and after the boat gets rinsed off real good we may try to collect some today.

We hosted Gerry’s sister Clarine over March 17 th – 19 th.

As time was limited on the 17th we took advantage of the Albury Ferry Service and zipped over to Great Guyana Cay to partake of the Barefoot Man Concert at Nippers On The Beach.  This is an annual event that takes place there and it is a really laid-back atmosphere enjoyed by all as they try to re-live their younger days.  The Barefoot Man actually does not wear shoes hence the name.  His music style could be classified as sing-along Caribbean-calypso.  Here are a series of photos of that encounter.

The next day, the 18th, we again took advantage of the Albury Ferry Service to Elbow Cay and visited Hope Town for the day and walked the settlement and local beach.

Later that night we taxied over to the Jib Room to partake of their Saturday Night barbeque rib special.  Yummy.  Afterwards we stayed on to watch the famous Jib Room Limbo Man performance.  Crowd participation is always invited, but the main event is when Limbo Man performs.  Impressive how close to the ground he can get to go under the bar which for this part of his show is on fire.  He has been doing this for 44 years.  I know my knees would not be able to handle that kind of wear-and-tear.

As Clarine was scheduled to depart around noon on the 19th we had a leisurely breakfast at the marina restaurant and chatted in the morning before taxiing over to the airport.  All in all, hopefully, she had an enjoyable relaxing time here on our boat and was able to unwind some from her daily professional work grind.

While located in the marina at the Abaco Beach Resort Gerry was able to obtain home grown vegetables which she loves to use in our diet, and fresh baked bread that is available in town.  Her cooking is a real treat as my various raves have attested to in the past.

A few days later (on day 40 of our stay here in the Abacos) we departed from our slip and traveled over to Hope Town on Elbow Cay (a short distance of 5.7 miles) and settled in on a mooring ball.  We were fortunate to locate one on the first pass through the harbor in that the mooring balls there are on a first-come first-served basis and it is hard to get a free one sometimes.  As we arrived next to it, the boat that was attached announced they were leaving, so wa lah, problem solved.

We stayed in Hope Town on our mooring ball from day 40 thru day 65 which was Easter.  While there we were fortunate to renew old acquaintances as well as make new friends.  And there was a Farmer’s Market here as well every Saturday morning.  Additionally, homemade bread is readily available at Vernon’s grocery store which is a must visit here in Hope Town.  We were able to fully generate all of our electrical power this year that we required by the installation of another solar panel to augment our existing one, as well as having fixed our wind generator last fall, so being on a mooring ball is almost like being in a slip in a marina.  Besides, you get to use the dinghy to travel around the harbor from place to place or visit other boats.

After a few days in Hope Town, we noticed several large sea turtles swimming near our boat in the harbor.  On our ten thousand step walks to get great numbers on Gerry”s Fitbit, we would walk past these road signs left by past visitors from all over the world visiting Hope Town.  We especially enjoyed the ones from Maryland and Indiana.  We were able to buy Maui Maui and Wahu fish from a local fisherman which were delicious.  Life is great, better than good.

Other forms of exercise are used as well using either small sailing craft orkayaks.  The Abaco Rage, a vintage sail boat was moored not too far from our boat.

As you can tell sailing is an important element of life here in the Abacos.  A popular small dinghy that has been around for years in Hope Town is know as the Abaco Dinghy.  A number have been build over the years.  These days restoration of one is a prized activity.  New ones are hard to come in that Weiner Malone their builder is 90 years old and probably is working on his last one.

On this trip we also learned a new card game called Bezique.  As usual, we are evenly matched with each of us winning about the same amount of games, but who is counting.

On day 50 we traveled by ferry over to Man-of-War Cay to observer the dedication of a monument to all of the boat builders that have lived on this island over the last 100+ years.  Interesting heritage that through the dedication of this monument and celebration they are trying to preserve for future generations to be aware.  While wood boat building there has abated, numerous restorations of wooden boats build there are underway, as well as a thriving fiberglass boat production company called Albury’s, which builds small and large center-consoled runabouts.

While in the Sea of Abaco vicinity a valuable resource is the Cruiser’s Net that comes on vhf radio channel 68 every morning at 8:15.  Broadcast on this net is the local and long distance weather for transit planning, as well as community announcements from various organizations and businesses.  It is very helpful in assisting your daily planning.  Also, it offers problem solving opportunities amongst boaters as issues arise that need to be addressed.  It helped us tremendously in solving our dinghy outboard motor pull start cord and spring situation.  Someone out there no doubt has already solved your problem and will come forward to assist you if you ask.

Recently, on day 66 we departed Hope Town for the short trip back to Marsh Harbor and anchored to pick up some provisions for the boat in preparation for ending our stay here in the Abacos and undertaking our trip back to Ft. Pierce, Florida in the coming days.  (Another long wordy sentence Tom, sorry.)  We also discovered several true Bahamian foods, cracked conch which Larry likes, and a local dessert at the bakery, guava duff that Gerry likes as well as conch salad.

Since then we traveled over to Great Guyana Cay and anchored for the night and then here to the Green Turtle Marina for a slip to await some inclement weather expected over the next few days.  So here on day 71 we are planning with our charts, weather and tide information how we will travel the next 175 miles of our journey back to Florida hopefully this coming Thursday, April 27, 2017.  We were told earlier this week that if we trolled a fishing lure that was flashy behind our boat while going across the Gulf Stream we might be able to catch a Maui-Maui or Tuna, hence the lure below which we jury-rigged out of an old Hopkins fishing lure and a boat shammy cloth cut in strips.  We’ll see.

Until then,

Gerry & Larry

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Been awhile.  Been busy.  Sorry

Well the weather here has been nice.  Heard in some places back there it has not been so fun.  Sorry to hear that, especially since it sounded like everything was Spring-like.  Guess groundhog might have been right after all.  Even though it may sound warm here it still is chilly often times.  To combat the cool we are still taking advantage of our full enclosure.

Beaches haven’t been fully explored here by us yet, too cool, but we did run across a fella who was getting into the mood.

In our walking about the neighborhood trying to get in our daily FitBit steps we came across this bit of word play.

Another Royal Marsh Harbor Yacht Club event that we attended last week was there annual Margarita Madness which they hold at the Abaco Beach Club where we are staying in their marina.  Lots of camaraderie, fun, and libations on the beach.

Parked in the marina down the way from us is a Catalina in which Linda and Grieg Mitchell would be interested.  Nicely set-up for cruising.

We recently visited Elbow Cay by ferry boat to partake of their annual Hope Town Heritage Day celebration with awards for students and festivities, food and art for us visitors.  Try the Chicken Suosse when you go.  It's delicious.  Lime and green pepper chicken soup.

The other day a spectacular rain storm came through during which we were able to fill up our water tank with forty-five gallons of water in forty-five minutes.  It was a gully washer.  Afterwards there was a beautiful rainbow.

The other day we went on a road trip around Great Abaco Island and covered almost 200 miles.  Along the way we had lunch at Little Harbor’s Pete’s Pub.  While there saw a statue that has a striking resemblance to my significant other.  Also for Cindy and Alan we found a new sign that Alan can share with one of his former constituents that was concerned about a close-by deer crossing sign she didn't like for fear that they would then be crossing at her yard.

And, again another dazzling dinner by Gerry featuring lobster.

Looking forward to seeing Clarine, Gerry's sister today for a quick trip south from the snowy north.

Again, Happy St. Patrick's Day,

Gerry & Larry,
Team Galileo