Saturday, April 20, 2013

to Family and Friends

Hi Everybody,

I was thinking this morning and I have decided to write one more blog about our travels on High Spirits.  We have been either working, sailing, and living on High Spirits for about 29 months of the last three years.  This final month represents a closing of one part of our sailing life and we are going to move to  another sailing situation.


So here is the plan for at least the next year or so.  We are going to take advantage of our family house in New Hampshire for summers and winters.  Joy still loves to snow ski in the winter and we want to be able to use the  lake with our children, grandchildren and friends.  I enjoy working with the New London  IRS/AARP Tax Volunteer group.  We do about 500 tax returns a year for low to moderate income families with emphasis on seniors.

We will still sail on High Spirits in the fall and spring for now, just not for such a long time period. We plan on keeping the options open to return to the Bahamas in the winter, perhaps every other year.


Not sure everybody knows that Jill and Matt ( she is our middle child) are having their first baby around the third week of May.  So we are making arrangements to see them more over the next year or so, including Joy visiting them before the baby is born.

Jill's other news is that she accepted an admission offer to Harvard University starting in July 2014, one year delay.  She and Matt will be moving to Cambridge/Boston area for her one year program.  After that, who knows.  Not sure how this affects Matt's position at Columbia, but we will find out when we see them.


I wanted to list some of the people we have met through sailing over the past year, or friends and family that came and stayed with us on High Spirits.  So not in any order, mostly by their boat cards if we got one.


Jen, Mark, Erin and Adam - came to Hopetown, Abacos, Bahamas for a week of living with us on the boat and staying at the hotel.  We had a room and a dock at Hopetown Inn and Marina and it worked out perfectly.

 Erin (6) slept on the boat for the first three nights and then we think she discovered that her parents room had cable TV with, rumor has it,  400 channels from England and the USA.  She learned to swim a little without any water aids, plus loved to fish with Nanni(Joy's name).  She had a blast riding in the front seat of the golf cart we rented to go to Tahiti Beach one day.

Adam (3) also loved the water, exploring for shells on the beach and just doing everything everybody wanted to do. He is a very good swimmer for his age.  Talks a mile a minute.


Four sets of old friends came to stay with us on High Spirits.

Dell and Jean - from Cleveland, Ohio.  Church friends for over 20 years.  Stayed with us in Marathon, Fl

Nick and Sue - oldest friends since the late 1970's.  Our two daughters are turning 40 this year and  were in nursery school together. They stayed with us in Green Turtle Cay.

Madonna - spent two weeks with us up in Maine and in Canada ( our car trip)

Steven - college friend sailed Maine with us to Bremen, Maine


Steve and Linda on Yesterday's Dream ( old dock mates from E55th Street Marina in Cleveland)
Peggy and David on Wanderin' Star
Debbie and Butch on Swee' Pea
John and Helen on Aqua Mirus
Dick and Margaret on Alize
Corky and Anna on Kabria
Larry and Annette on Island Breeze
Gary and Janet on Lee-Ann
Mike and Chris on Missing Link
Jeff and Marilyn on Still Crazy
Bob and Barbara on Rob Ra Anne
Jim and Joey on My Pleasure
Phil and Sara on Spartina
Bob and Carol on Southern Cross
Dan and Ame on Mad'Em Cait
Mike, Michelle, Joshua and Bradleigh on Bay Tripper
Pam and Skip on CU@C
Johnny and Doris on 'Bout Town

I am sure I missed some people but we want to thank everybody who crossed our path and travelled with us, played dominoes or cards with us, and just enjoyed being with us.

Going to close with two pictures

Sunset at Peck Lake, April 18,2013

The beach looks great and the water inviting, but we going to take a blog break for a couple of months while we enjoy the summer up in New London, NH.  Stop by and see us.

Fair winds and following seas


Joe and Joy

Thursday, April 18, 2013

In Florida

Hello Everybody,

Arrived in Lake Worth, Florida, also known as the West Palm Beach, Singer Island, and Peanut Island towns.  Lots of big power boats and expensive houses to look at.

Trip over took 9.5 hours from West End, Grand Bahama Island.  West End is the very end of the Island, about a 70 dollar cab ride from Freeport.  There is nothing here due to the last couple of hurricanes. There are some large houses with private canals and docks but the West End Settlement has been better days.  Still recovering from hurricane damage.

The   crossing was okay, there were 2-4 foot waves hitting on the aft starboard quarter so we were kind of riding the waves at an angle. The wind was 10-15 knots mostly 120 degrees so we were able to keep both sails filled and run the engine to be able to do 6 plus knots and almost 8 knots while in the Gulf Stream.

The only worthy note about the trip was that I was down below and got knocked down by a large wave hitting the side of the boat.  Fortunately as Joy puts it, the stairs broke by movement across the cabin and luckily for me the stairs knocked me on my left hip rather than me hitting my head or neck on the navigation table.  That would have been a more severe injury. So that only hurts are to my ego, my left butt and the back on the ride side.  Sitting on an ice pack as I write this part of the blog.

We travelled back with Dick and Margaret Dragonnette of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. They have been living on their boat since the Fall and keep  "Alize" at Harbortown Marina in Fort Pierce.  That is where we will tie up for 10 days and fly out to Boston and NYC next weekend after visiting Sally and Manny.

Joe, Joy, Margaret, and Dick celebrating our arrivals at Old Bahama Bay Marina in the West End.

Our last stop before heading over to Florida the next morning.


Friday, April 12, 2013

Getting ready to head NORTH

We have completed all the task needed to get High Spirits ready to head back to Florida.  Checked the coolant, oil, filled boat with water, added diesel, and filled up the greaser.

Leaving tomorrow with Alize, Dick and Margaret Dragonnette from Chagrin Falls, Ohio.  They keep their boat in Ft. Pierce at Whitaker Boat Yard. The plan is to leave Marsh Harbor tomorrow , cross Whale Channel and end up in Munjack Cay.  Then possible stay there a day and then work our way north and west to Great Sale Cay and then into West End. Not sure what day we will be crossing the Gulf Stream.  Could be as early as Wed, April 17 or as late as Tuesday, April 23. All depends on what people want to do, and what the weather for crossing is going to be later in next week.

Hope to do some snorkeling and fishing along the way.  Perhaps we will even catch something we can eat!

We will not have any Internet or phone service once we leave Marsh Harbor tomorrow as we will be anchoring out in remote locations.  Have our VHF radio so we can talk to each other, but the range is only about 20 miles

So most likely no blog until we get to Ft. Pierce.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Dominoes at the Jib Room

Well another fast and furious action packed game of dominoes today,  Joy came in third and I came in fifth out of five players.  Played with Gary, Janet, and Mike.  The regulars from two years ago.

Not much going on today.  Filled up the greaser that delivers grease to the cutlass bearing.  Boat is filled with diesel and water. Just have to check the coolant level, oil level, and pull up the dinghy and we are ready to go either Friday or Saturday.  Waiting to hear from Dick and Margaret, think we will be travelling with them back to Ft. Pierce which is their home port.

Here are some pictures of Joy's birthday which is April 5


Erin, Joy and Adam on Joy's birthday.  The cake came from Vernon's Bakery in Hopetown, Abacos, Bahamas.

Erin contemplating her blue drink umbrella.

Erin and Joy did a lot of fishing off the boat in Hopetown.

Adam in the pool at the Hopetown Inn and Marina, a great place for us as the room was right at the pool and the dock was very close to the pool.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tuesday at the Jib Room

Jen and family left yesterday and so we are back at the Jib Room playing dominoes with our friends, Joy did some snorkeling with Jeff and Marilyn this morning. We meet them at West End, and they are now back at Marsh Harbor after having to go back to the States for Jeff to work. He job shares his job with another doctor. This time he is here for 6 weeks or so and then back to work for a while

Joy won the dominoes today, and we ended up having pizza for supper.

Going to try and load some pictures of her birthday party, her birthday is APRIL 5.

no luck on loading pictures. will try tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow is boat chore day, have to load the greaser with fresh grease, check the oil and coolant levels so we can be ready to leave on Friday or Saturday to get back through the Whale Channel and head north to get ready to get to Florida.

Going on airplanes on April 25, Joy to NYC to visit Jill and Matt for the weekend, I am going to a PBE mini reunion about our total house renovation project.


Monday, April 8, 2013

Joy's Birthday

Today is Joy's birthday.  Spent the day staying out of the rain as a big storm rolled in during the morning hours and then again tonight. Jen and family are all staying in the hotel room.

We took the shuttle over to the other side of the harbor where most of the buildings, stores, and restaurants are located.  Mailed some post cards to Erin and Adam's friends.

Had lunch at Captain Jacks, then came back to the boat for more rain.

After dinner we had a cake from Vernon's Bakery.  It was a banana, guava, and pineapple cake, kind of like a carrot cake but no carrots.  He ran out of his coconut mixture so no coconut cake.  That is his special item.

Anyway, here are some pictures from today.  Tomorrow we are off on a fast boat to Man O War Cay for their Family Heritage Day.  Should be fun. Back by 3 pm to enjoy the pool.  Leaving early Sunday to ride the tide out of Hopetown back to Marsh Harbour. Hope to get some sailing in.


Jen and family left today for Florida and tomorrow for Hyattsville, had a great time with them

Howver, Internet has not been user friendly, eps in Hopetown where I was unable to load pictures.  Will try now in Marsh  Harbour



Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Beach Day in Hopetown

Spent the morning and early afternoon at the ocean beach off of the Hopetown Lodge.
Took our shuttle boat over to the Lodge, walked down to the beach.  Snorklers included mark, Joy and Jen.  Adam and Erin played on the sand and in the water.

After a couple of hours, Erin and I retired to the pool, bar and restaurant.  The rest joined us for lunch. The pool was really nice.  Adam seems to like the water more than Erin.  Guess she had some issues taking swimming lessons, but she is working through them.

Tomorrow we are taking High Spirits out to Tahiti Beach and taking the dinghy into shore for some shelling and water activities. Probably have to take 2 trips in the dinghy so it is not overloaded.  Depends on how close we can get to the beach and how the water is breaking on the beach.

Supposed to be a calm day tomorrow and winds increasing for Thursday and Friday.

Some pictures. 


Of course we had to have ice cream at the Sugar Shack after a tough day in the pool

Looks like on Friday we are going to take a special boat over to Man O War Cay for the Heritage Festival Day.  Works out better for us because of tide times and have to get in and out of both places at high tide times plus may have no place to anchor or mooring to pick up.


Monday, April 1, 2013

Hopetown Inn & Marina

Jen, Mark, Erin and Adam arrived yesterday afternoon about 1:30 pm at Marsh Harbor Airport.  No problems on the flight over from Florida. We spent the afternoon at Mermaid Reef which is just a short 10 minute walk from the Jib Room.  It used to be closer but one of the owners on the water side of the street put up a fence to keep people from crossing over his land to get to the beach.

In the Bahamas there are no private beaches but people can own the land up to the beach/water line and prevent people from trespassing.  Fortunately there is another small beach just 100 yards past the old one we used.   Mark got to do some snorkeling and the kids collected shells.

Today after breakfast we fired up the engine and pulled out of the Jib Room in a stiff cross wind. We got pretty close to the other side but managed to back High Spirits out of the fairway into the harbor without hitting anybody.  We had to try to get her straight a couple of times. She does not back well to the port especially when the wind is blowing.

Got to do some sailing this afternoon on the way over to Hopetown.  Mark did most of the sailing. Seems to really like it.  He grew up sailing as a kid in the summers.

The Inn and Marina here is only a year old and very nice and not too expensive.  The room is costing $130 a night and the dock is only $.75/ft per night, they raised the rate to $1.50 this week but we had an old reservation and get the old rate.

Here are some pictures from today's sailing adventure.

Mark and Erin at the helm

Joy and Adam

Joe and Jennifer.  She is our oldest child and will be 40 this December.  Looks like I am almost getting to be considered an older person.  NOT!

Tonight Erin is sleeping in the V berth or as she calls it  ERIN'S ROOM.

Jen, Mark and Adam are in the hotel room with two queen size beds so they should get a decent nights sleep. Last night Jen was in the V Berth with Erin and Adam. She says she is going to write a guest blog about that situation.

Tomorrow we are off to explore and do some shopping on the town side of the Harbor, visit the light house and figure out when to rent a golf cart so we can drive down to Tahiti Beach.