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