Thursday, May 28, 2009

Florida - the Final Chapter?

After five or so days of 25-30 knot winds, the weather prediction was for 10-15 with waves of 2 feet or less in the Gulf Stream. We had made several friends at Weech's Dock, and two other sailboats decided to make the crossing with us. This was a new experience, as we have always made the crossing alone, but turned out to be quite a fine one. We left Weech's around noontime, looking for a high tide to get through the challenging channel to South Bimini. This proved to be no problem, and we tossed out our anchor in about 9 feet of water near the old range marker, making sure to stay out of the channel. The other two boats followed shortly. A peaceful evening turned into an early morning departure as we had 75 miles to make to West Palm Beach - Lake Worth inlet. We left a bit before our two friends, but could see at least one of them all the way across and were able to maintain radio contact. The day started clear and sunny, but then a huge cloud bank moved in. We were fortunate not to have any rain (and truth be told, protection from the blazing sun was a blessing), but the wind really picked up as did the waves. We rolled in the Genoa and were sailing only on a reefed main. Our reefed rig, coupled with the power of the waves and the current of the Gulf Stream, proved to be a sailing machine! We were flying down six to eight foot waves, and our speed topped out at 11 knots! Don't think we will ever see that again...anyway we made the crossing in good time and Wayne once again did his cowboy imitation riding the huge waves into the Lake Worth inlet. Once inside, we dropped the main, started the motor for about 5 minutes and were soon enjoying a well-deserved "anchor beer". A convenient anchorage lies just to port of the inlet as you are returning from the sea, and our two friends were not far behind. Perhaps the crossing was a bit more adventurous than what I've portrayed: it's true that we both got a bit queasy, and the sight of the huge waves on the stern was impressive to say the least. But then again, perhaps it was just SO MUCH BETTER than last year's nightmare with lightening and howling thunderstorms that we've become a bit less impressionable. West Palm was fun, and Westerbeke/Universal treated us very well; the repair parts for the cam shaft/water pump job were there and our mechanic (Lee Ellis of Leeward Marine) was impeccable. The boat is now resting safely on the hard in Indiantown and is looking for a new adventurer to take her to her next destination. She is listed at
As for us, we've done the dream and have a new one: selling art. Looks like first thing may be a move to Ann Arbor, home of the University of Michigan and a return to civilization.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

An Obama Nation - Bimini and goodbye to the Bahamas

Our stay in Bimini was unexpectedly long due to a lingering high pressure system and continued 25 to 30 knot winds. We again enjoyed the hospitality of Weech's Bimini Dock - an institution since the Hemingway days. To our surprise, the Big Game Club marina was closed due to lack of business. Their loss may have been Weech's gain as there were a half-dozen or so boats at Weech's including one large luxurious sport fisherman. The facilities had been significantly upgraded with the addition of a four-stall, four-shower ladies' room with two washbasins with mirrors as well. This left the older 2-stall, 2-shower ladies room to become the men's room. Finally, it took the Bahamians to figure out gender appropriate bathroom configurations. They are not known for their great support of women's rights. Perhaps this is a model for some of the more astute capitalists to pursue.

Our first foray into the streets of Bimini brought us to the Dolphin House. This house has been entirely constructed from surplus materials by a talented man named Ashley Saunders. He comes from a very old, established Bimini family and explained that when he was young, he was granted a scholarship by the Bahamian Government to study in Wisconsin. He gained a baccalaureate degree in literature at the University of Wisconsin (Madison) and returned as per his scholarship requirements to become a teacher on Bimini. He has written poetry, books, and a two-volume history of Bimini filled with numerous photographs. He also constructed the astounding Dolphin House which is notable for it's mosaic walls both inside and out. I will try to add more photos of the house, and more when possible.

We spoke with Ashley at some length, who among other relatives mentioned his brother Aslin. Aslin is a bone-fishing guide, boat builder, and lay minister. Among his accomplishments are having been the captain of the boat that brought in the world-record bonefish somewhere in the last 25 years or's in Ashley's book. Because we had so much time and were enjoying learning about Bimini, we took the opportunity to walk to Aslin's boat building garage and have a peek at what he was up to.

A small hand-lettered wooden sign attached to a telephone pole marked the dead end street upon which Aslin's boat garage marks the end. As we approached the garage, a very trim, dark, slight, and freshly pressed man came out wearing dark blue slacks, a white polo shirt and a clean, crisp, navy blue baseball cap which read "Obama 2008". It did not take long for him to introduce himself as Aslin Saunders, and to invite us in to see the boat he was currently working upon. Wayne clearly enjoyed discussing the myriad different woods that went into the building of Aslin's special bone-fishing boats, as well as the techniques for hand construction of these marvelously beautiful wooden boats. Much of the wood he used was native to Bimini, but some of it was imported for the particularly important quality that particular species would provide the boat builder and boat. He and Wayne discussed the digging out of a particular tree root and stump in order to carve from it a strong, unified bow among other things as I looked around at the shop in general.

We have remarked again and again how well-loved President Obama is by the Bahamian people. Bumper stickers, t-shirts, baseball caps and even graffiti are greatly in evidence in all of the islands. Aslin had already proudly proclaimed his support of Obama by his baseball cap. Beyond that, however, one could see this is of central importance to him as at the very heart of his shop there is a mini-altar almost upon which stand a framed picture of Barack Obama being looked upon protectively by a small sculpture of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The story was forthcoming.

Having finished with bone fishing boat-building discussion, Aslin turned his narrative to bone fishing itself. Indeed, his most famous client was the same Dr. Martin Luther King, who came to Bimini for some peaceful bone fishing during several tempestuous times in his life. Aslin proudly recalled Dr. King's arrival just a few days prior to his acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize, and the joyous and profound conversation they shared in the gloriously alive and colorful world of the reefs of Bimini. Aslin is quite a poet and philosopher himself, and a fervently religious man in the Bahamian Christian manner. He recounted how they discussed the acceptance speech in addition to the broader aspects of the importance of this momentous occasion. The phenomenally beautiful Bimini-blue waters, abundant fishes and thick mangroves seemed a perfect example of God's great creation in peace and harmony. Aslin then remarked upon the fatefull change which he observed in the person of Dr. King upon his last visit to Bimini. Weary with his burdens, tired of the constant fight, and needing to find peace again, Dr. King visited Aslin one last time less than a week before his assasination. He looked as if he had aged a year for each month and had none of the excitement and passion he previously exuded. Aslin had written a psalm and dedicated it to Dr. King and was overjoyed to have this opportunity to recite it to the great man in person. An engaging and passionate orator, Aslin was kind enough to share with us the opening and closing lines of his lengthy psalm in a rapturous manner. The psalm is a celebration of the greatness of creation as seen within the simple magnificence of the abundant life in Bimini. With bittersweetness, Aslin explained that his recitation of the psalm gave some solace to Dr. King, who remarked that well it was he should be healed by this gentle spiritual man when his own faith did not seem enough any more. A remarkable man, a truly good man if there ever was one; Aslin Saunders. Less than a week later, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was dead. Well of course this story moved me to tears and is powerful still in the recounting.

In the simple streets and on the gorgeous beaches of Bimini, a gentle world envelopped us until the wind relented to the point at which we could attempt to cross the Gulf Stream. Only about 50 miles from Miami is another world - a third world place to be sure - where time is slow and easy and history is much richer than meets the eye. We will remember Bimini for so many reasons, including Ashley and Aslin Saunders.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sampson Cay to Bimini Bay

Sampson Cay Marina was a lovely, quaint haven tucked into a hurricane-hole like inside bay of the oddly-shaped cay. The buildings were stone and classic stucco, and the facilities more than adequate. A gravel road lead to one of the most stunning views available - an ocean beach on a rare sandy hillside which overlooked the back side of Fowl Cay and the intricate inter-cay passages running between Fowl, Sampson, and a number of other smaller cays. The incredible variety of shades of blue - from the narrow deep-blue deep water passages to the shimmering shades of the palest turquoise where the water skimmed over mere inches of white sand. There was a little pavilion at the top of the hill with a nice wooden plank floor and two large wooden beach chairs. It was a heavenly place to do yoga, pilates, read and just meditate with gentle ocean breezes and the sound of the surf making relaxation almost automatic. Add the vast sea of negative ions to this feast of color and warm sun and it is easy to see why the Bahamian concept of time is "relaxed" as well.

On our last evening at Samspon Cay, the marina owners held a little beach party and barbeque. Having learned my lesson at Black Point, we elected to cook on board, but could not pass up making an appearance. The school Easter vacation period was just ending, and a number of people were sad to be leaving for Nassau the following day as well. The little girl playing on the beach was the daughter of a cousin of the owners, and had been visiting with another cousin during her spring break. She was heartbreakingly cute and had been playing in the sand and water all day, hunting for crabs and bugs and whatever else she could find. I could not think of a more poignant image for this truly heavenly place.

Like the others, we awoke the next day for our own return to Nassau. In our case, however, this was a trip up to Norman's Cay and then a sail across the Yellow Banks. The trip to Norman's was ideal - a gentle wind, broad reach, and following sea pushed us up and into the shallow waters of the anchorage on the western side. The lee-side anchorage was calm and flat. We jumped into the dinghy and motored over to the beach for a reconnoitering and trip to McDuff's. We ran across some of our other cruiser friends from Nassau, and had a delightful conversation. We returned in the evening for dinner at McDuff's but were unpleasantly suprised to learn the prices had been hiked significantly and the younger generation of ownership lacked the gentility of the former. No matter, it's hard to ruin a good sail and good day in paradise.

The next day dawned upon our sleepy Norman's anchorage, and we raised the main for the sail to Nassau. This time the wind had shifted slighly and we were almost dead down-wind for the better part of the sail. Although it seems beneficial to have the wind and wave direction right on your stern, it is in fact a difficult point of sail. We tried to go wing on wing, but it just wasn't any fun and very hard to keep the Genoa full. There was, however, quite a bit of wind. We finally made the crossing on a reefed-down main and made Nassau in good time in the early afternoon. After flirting a bit with the idea of anchoring on the eastern edge of Nassau, we decided it was just too poor of a spot and went on the the Basra anchorage mid-harbor near the Harbor Central Marina. Great choice! Holding was strange but we traded our CQR in for the Danforth and hooked in well (luckily escaping most of the debris scattered about the bottom). The anchorage turned out to be more fun than we had imagined as the dinghy dock at The Green Parrot was always open to cruisers and they featured free wireless and a great happy hour. We dallied around Nassau for as long as needed in order to secure the right wind for the two-day trip to Bimini. We enjoyed a return to Atlantis and it's pools and aquariums as well as a walk around the old city. We met new friends and saw old cruising friends and had a great time in general. The weather forecast changed, and we saw what looked like a decent 3-day window to sail all the way to West Palm. So while others hesitated, we pulled up and headed out to once again face the tongue of the ocean - but this time with wind, waves, and current all pushing us in the right direction.

Pulling up the Danforth proved quite difficult, as was raising the main at the eastern end of the harbor. Wayne unfortunately aggravated an old back injury, but carried on bravely. This time we had a huge following sea to contend with - six to eight foot waves - but enough on an angle on the wind to sail up on a reach. About nine hours after lifting the anchor in Nassau, we arrived at our Northwest Channel Light waypoint and decided to keep on going as much as possible. We sailed until sunset and threw down the good old CQR in ten feet of water on the Great Bahama Banks. It was a rough and rocky night, but sleep was not the priorty. Making good time to BImini was our goal, and at the first hint of sunlight we weighed anchor and set out for the second-to-last leg of the journey. This time the wind was directly behind us, making for another diffucult sailing day. We let out the full main for a while, but the wind built and built and we had to reef it down again despite the loss of one to two knots of speed. We arrived near Bimini in broad daylight, and decided to take the "old way" into the harbor as the navigational buoys have still not been replaced. This involves lining up on a set of range markers on South Bimini and then simply reading the color of the water all the way in in order to avoid shoals and reefs. We've gotten pretty good at this. Now we are happily docked at Weech's Bimini Dock and having a SUPER time in Bimini. Our window disappeared as the wind and waves were too strong to carry on the next day but no matta, we're loving it here. That's the next story.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Incomparably Beautiful Bahamas!

Were unexpectedly way laid at Sampson Cay due to persistent strong northerly winds. It’s a good time to catch up with our adventures from George Town to this point. The best place to start is the sail from Cave Cay to Black Point.

One of the most pleasant sailing days we’ve had was spent on the scant 10 miles or so on a broad reach from Cave Cay to Black Point. The anchorage was practically deserted, so we sailed right in on the main and chose a perfect spot to drop the anchor. It was Easter Weekend, and it was our un-knowing good fortune to have arrived just in time for Black Point’s Easter Carnival. As the day wore on, the wind died more and more and the sun became intensely hot. We put up the bimini, plunged in the water a couple of times and went to explore the source of a constant dull roar of music and drumbeat.

We discovered the carnival booths in the center of town, offering games of skill, snacks, and cold beverages. The center of town is actually the basketball court of the schoolhouse, which is directly across from Scorpio’s Bar. It was mid-afternoon and most everyone was drinking a cold beer. For just one dollar, I played a game in which one was to stand behind a line and throw needlepoint hoops at a table loaded with prizes. To my great delight, I won a toothbrush which was something I actually needed. The place was teeming with small children with freshly braided holiday hairdos and loud, laughing Bahamian men with a Kalik in hand. Most of the shouting was coming from Scorpio’s so we went in to have a look. There were two main foci of interest; the NBA game on a big-flat screen TV and a game of dominoes happening at one of the tables. If you’ve never seen Bahamians play dominoes, you have missed something. They take turns slapping them down onto the table with a great smacking sound, while loudly discussing their various exploits and the relative ineptitude of their opponents. It is boisterous good fun.

We discovered that there was to be a number of tournaments the next day, including a pool (billiards) tournament and a dominoes tournament. We had hoped to play in the pool tournament, but the entry price was $20.00 per person and a little too steep for a game of pool. Instead we spent a couple of bucks on a couple of beers and had a chat with the guys around the bar. We met one particularly friendly guy named Steve, who claimed to work for JohnnyDepp at his Little Hall’s Pond Cay home. It appears the guy was totally legit. He said it was a great job as most of the time he got to just hang out in a luxurious island mansion with occasional visits from the Depp family. Steve had come over on a very fast boat, intending to spend some time in Black Point, as there was pretty much no other kind of action anywhere in this part of the Exumas on Easter Weekend. We laughed and joked quite a bit until it was time to get a bite to eat of dinner.

Dinner was limited to Jerk Chicken, peas and rice and cole slaw (Wayne selected beets instead…yikes!) as all of the fish had been sold out earlier in the evening. Everything tasted good, and we ate ravenously. Soon afterward, there was a Junkanoo Rush Out by a group from Nassau which proved to be the highlight of the evening. Moms, dads, grandmas, kids of all ages, black and (the few) white people were all soon dancing to the Bahamian beat and admiring the colorful costumes. Although I never managed to drink more than one beer, Wayne had one more and our evening ended up with a bit of sweaty dancing followed by a hasty retreat.

The next day I awoke to a gastric system in turmoil! Although Wayne didn’t feel too wonderful either, my symptoms were inexplicable due to anything other than the previous night’s meal which had basically sat around all afternoon with neither refrigeration nor heat being applied. Yes, the nurse in me knows that if you leave rice out all day, it is an excellent substrate for various naughty microbes that can wreak havoc upon the digestive system. Ah well. Fortunately the anchorage was as still as could be and we did not much more than swim around a bit and wait to feel better. A stash of canned Progresso chicken soup saved me from total starvation/dehydration, but I could not muster up the energy to go anywhere or do anything. Wayne rallied, however, and attended an evening outdoor rock concert that featured a well-known Christian rock singer. I enjoyed the music from the boat until I fell blissfully asleep. Wayne had a great time and the unique honor of being the only white person at the concert! (We are particularly proud to be able to talk about our current President and to say we worked to get him elected and are great supporters. The Bahamians love Obama as do we, and we are no longer embarrassed to say we are Americans. The “W” years were quite different in this regard.)

The next day was had a fine little wind to sail to Staniel – another 10 or so miles from Black Point. Big Majors Spot anchorage was full of immense motor yachts and catamarans, and one particularly enormous and beautiful dark and shiny mono-hull named Tenacious, whose mighty mast was visible for miles. We pulled in behind the fabulous giant 100+ foot long sloop and threw out the anchor. If you would like to see some incredible pictures, you can go to and look up this boat. She is a 35-meter Triton sloop designed by Ted Hood and boasts, among other accessories, her own seaplane for shuttling guests to and fro. Sixty thou a week is all it takes to book the Tenacious. At least we know we were in good company.

Having a few days to spend in the Staniel area, we decided to explore some coral reefs. We found a quiet little area behind Fowl Cay and had a bit of snorkeling fun. The winds turned unfavorable, however, and we considered anchoring behind Fowl Cay instead. The anchorage behind Fowl Cay is only accessible from the banks side via a “VPR” – visual piloting route. This means that if you are unfamiliar with the waters, you must have extremely good skills reading water depth by color and avoiding shoals and coral heads. It can be scary stuff in a stiff wind. So we decided to try to have a happy-hour cocktail at the beautiful Royal Plantation Island resort. You can check this out at:

Little did we know, one cannot simply show up there and have a glass of wine at the bar. The chef spied us looking lost, and offered to bring us up to the dining room and put a glass of wine for each of us on his tab (!) He then kindly brought up a number of promotional brochures and explained that, should we like to reserve for another day, we could have dinner and drinks for $100 per person. We managed NOT to choke upon the wine at that moment and give this option a real thought. You really have to visit the website to see how appealing this was, despite the steep price. We reserved for two nights hence and dinghied back to Cassiopeia, who looked phenomenally small in the shadow of Tenacious. In fact, it always looked like we were anchored far, far away from Tenacious, until we were right upon her. Our diminutive size coupled with not only the physical aspects of perspective but also profound unfamiliarity with a sloop of that size played tricks upon our minds. Still, she was a pretty sight to see just off our port bow!

Regrettably, the anchorage became so rough that we both suffered un peu de mal de mer or ocean-sick tummies. This resulted in more consulting of the charts to see where in the world we could tuck in. That morning I convinced Wayne to take the dinghy over to Sampson Cay, where there was a little marina that seemed very possible. We both found it to be charming and therefore sacrificed the elegant dinner at Fowl Cay for a slip at Sampson Cay. That’s the next story.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sweet sailing

We left Georgetown with a handful of other boats, out into the sound with the wind at our back and a following sea. Regretfully, it was quite rolly, making it a tough sail for me but thank goodness for compazine and a lovely, sunny day. We made it up to Cave Cay handily, actually outpacing the larger boats due to our light weight and captain Wayne's masterful sailing. We hit the cut right at slack tide, turned the motor on with the main up and sailed through no problem. A quiet night on the anchor was following by a beautiful little day sail to Black Point. There we enjoyed the Easter festivities for a couple of days, and then another little hop to Staniel Cay where we are presently. We arrived yesterday morning, and looked out upon a sea full of huge, power yachts at Big Majors spot. They all left after Easter Monday, and now we are again quietly anchored by our favorite "Swimiming Pig Beach". We got out and dinghied around Fowl Cay and the back cays, and did some wonderful snorkeling. The reefs don't look anything like what they did 30 years ago when I first saw them, but it's still quite an experience to see all the brightly colored fish and live coral heads. We will probably spend another few days here, then head up to Bell Island, Shroud Cay, Norman's Cay and finally cross the yellow banks to Nassau. We'll be able to post up some pictures of the Easter Junkanoo from Black Point as well as some of the gloriously quiet days on the hook. Heading north with the prevailings is just SO much better than beating into the wind and waves on the way south. Despite our slightly crippled motor, we don't anticipate any significant problems getting home.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Heading Home

We are poised to head out tomorrow, up to the Cave Cay cut and then duck in there for the night. We hope to move on to Black Point the next day, and then figure out a strategy to use the winds to get to Nassau. The engine can be run for about an hour at a time, so our sailing skills will be put to the test. The generally nice spring weather is on the plus side of the balance sheet, so although slow our sailing should be safe and pleasant. We'll update the blog when we get to Nassau in about 7 to 10 days. Happy Easter!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Still Down and out in George Town

The crazed, blistering pace of the Cruising Regatta has completely disappeared, along with most of the boats. Warm, indolent breezes have replaced the unusually brisk and cold winds that plagued this year’s “season”. Even so, boats are streaming out of the harbor each morning, announcing their farewells on VHF for the remaining pilgrims to mourn over. The few that are left behind mostly cherish this quiet time, and the opportunity to practice listlessly relaxing activities such as hanging out and walking on the beach.

With the change in weather, the oceanside beach has become calm, allowing the seashells to repopulate strategic coves and crannies. I say strategic, as Wayne and I are working every morning now at collecting a maximum amount of shells before any other lame-o cruisers get to it. Perhaps you think that shell gathering is easy work? Although rewarding to be sure, it is back-breaking, sweat-producing and damp. Today we brought two large bottles of water along, and drained them easily before half time. Sometimes, if suddenly changing from stooped and squinting to erect and squinting, your head spins and you feel like you may pass out. Some people call this positional low blood pressure or a vasovagal response. I call it dehydration, mixed with late-night bonfires and hot, hot sun. Wayne did remark we are getting pretty brown. Occupational hazard.

These last couple of weeks, we’ve been hanging out with a bunch of musician types. We first saw Chad and LeAnne from Cambration in Black Point. At that time I noticed that they were painfully young and thin. My maternal instincts reared up, and I insisted to Wayne that we would have to have them to the boat for dinner sometime to fatten them up. In the meantime, they managed to get married – first the “religious” ceremony in Staniel and then the “official” ceremony here in George Town. We had dinner with them and our new friend Lee from Krasna the other night aboard Lee’s boat. It was charming getting to know them, and hear their story of young romance. What was shocking, however was to learn that Chad had written a computer program which allows you to catalogue your boat lockers by content and location. He says he had to do this because they have $2500 worth of canned goods stored in various locations all around their boat. Sheesh, those kids have more food that we do!

So, Chad’s a great guitar player and singer, and Lee is also very fun. Lee has a more off-beat guitar playing style and a great baritone voice for which he stands out at sing-alongs. Lee is also remarkable for his great, piercing blue eyes, thick tangle of grey ponytail stuffed under a do-rag, and colorful past. The guy has been in jail any number of times, escaped three times under his own power and was unleashed by the US Embassy on various other occasions. Lee is a photo journalist who specializes in covering war zones. He can’t really recall all the countries (and jails) he’s been in but they include places like Colombia, Venezuela, Bosnia, Croatia, Afghanistan, etc. He spent the last 15 years living in the Czech Republic with his wife (a professional musician) and child but is now single-handing his 42-foot ketch as his wife decided their gig was up. He is a wonderful guy who has forgotten more great stories about his life than he can remember. We can only hope he’ll write a book someday.

The other musicians we’ve been hanging out with are Chris and Sarah from Moonraker and Gary and Celeste from Sol Surfin’. Chris and Sarah are small, dark, and delicately-boned. They live in the Chesapeake, not far from our intended new home of Chestertown, Maryland. Gary and Celeste are from California. To those of us from the UP, that’s about as exotic as being from the Bahamas so I’m tempted to leave it at that; but I really can’t. Gary looks too young to have such a fab boat – a large and gorgeous catamaran – and plays a mean guitar with a penchant for acoustic Led Zep. Celeste has long brown hair, lovely soulful brown eyes, and looks like a fertility goddess. She is totally adorable and a wild-ass party girl. Oh, to be young again. Last night the aforementioned usual suspects assembled at Sand Dollar Beach – about a 2-mile dinghy ride for us – for a bonfire and musical jam session. We were joined by a smattering of others and had a rip-roaring good time. Wayne and I were lucky to be back aboard Cassiopeia by midnight: last time we spent a musical evening aboard Sol Surfin’ we didn’t get back till two in the morning. We’re just too old for that anymore. (Sad but true.)

Now as to the engine; we have good news and bad. Wayne managed to hook up a 12-volt freshwater pump which bypasses the usual system and therefore we can run the motor with a careful eye on the temperature gauge and the RPMs. We hope to only have to run it for entering and exiting harbors and going back through the cut at Cave or Galliot Cay. Bottom line is that it works. We managed to obtain a spare pump as well from another friend. We are pretty sure we can make it back to the states with not too much problem. The other good news is that Universal/Westerbeke is willing to send the parts needed to repair the cam shaft to a marina in Lake Worth (Palm Beach area). The bad news is that we’ll have to buy a new water pump and pay for all the labor to effectuate this repair. The guy helping Wayne here in George Town is another cruiser named Roger Wrona aboard a big trawler named Rollsdoc. Roger is a Yooper! So’s his wife! His family comes from Bruce Crossing and she comes from Watersmeet. Small world. Roger already gave us a lot of help, and is willing and able to do the job for us if and when we get to Stuart, Florida. He’ll be on a mooring ball there and in fact it could all work out OK. At any rate, it has to work out OK one way or another, but it’s just funny how Yoopers pop up at the strangest and best time some times.

So that’s it for now. We expect to be leaving George Town in a week or two and hop slowly up the Exumas. Since we intend to sail primarily, these will be short hops. But that should offer us the opportunity to do some fine snorkeling and watching for the green flash. Hey, life could be worse. We could be in Fargo with imminent flooding at the same time as looming blizzards. Damn, now that’s some bad weather.