Thursday, May 23, 2013

Life’s a Beach... (final blog- posted from home in Owen Sound)

Life’s a Beach... or      
                        Recipe for an Excellent Winter Getaway

*The Sea of Abaco

*Generous amounts of rocks, reefs and sand
      ( found on and near Little Abaco Island, Great Abaco Island and surrounding cays)

The bluff at Powell Cay is typical of the limestone base of the Bahamian islands.   The soft rock has been carved by waves, dissolved and weathered by rains and winds.

What a treat for a rock lover like me!
These islands are near Treasure Cay, Abaco Island.

 Man Of War Cay

Abaco Island, also near Treasure Cay
Elbow Cay near Tahiti Beach

Fowl Cay Reef

Treasure Cay Beach
...voted one of the best 10 Caribbean beaches
 in a Caribbean Travel and Life reader’s poll.

Beaches were never crowded.

 We often had them to ourselves.

*a sprinkling of sea glass and shells...

an addictive hobby

Sea glass is weathered glass found on certain sections of beach.
The frosted pieces have interesting shapes come in a variety of colours, some rarer than others.
Sea glass is used to create 
jewelry or mosaics, and is fun to collect.  

small sea urchin, sea biscuits, coral, sea sponge and shells 

Some treasures are stinky, so we took a picture but left this dead starfish  and sea fans behind.

* Mix with living creatures  in all shapes and sizes

Curly tails enjoy sitting in the sun but scamper quickly out of sight

"The seemingly innocuous starfish is another conch predator and has developed a unique way of feasting on conch. Because the conch's operculum does not completely close off the entrance to the conch's shell, the starfish can insert one of its arms in the opening, preventing the conch from slipping further back. Then the starfish does an amazing thing; it forces its own stomach out of its body, sticks it inside the conch and digests the conch right inside its own shell."(taken from

This little crab was about 3 inches wide.
Its sideways movements make for interesting tracks in the sand.

Queen Conch

This hermit crab (aka soldier crab, purple pincher) moved into a lamp conch (I think).
It's not going to vacate for anybody!

Penny Poodle, our friends’ seafaring pup, knows how to stay cool on the beach.
I totally wasn't expecting to see these critters on the beach at No Name Cay.
  I just can't resist posting these pics again.

little piglets are sooooo cute
Sea turtles can be seen in anchorages, in rivers, and on the reefs.....
...and they can swim away faster than I would ever have imagined.  

Seeing dolphins riding our bow waves is an unbelievable thrill that never grows old.

This recipe is best served with sunsets....

.....and conch serenades.

To conclude this winter's blog, I'd like to share my new favourite saying:
   "May you always have sand in your shoes
                                         and a shell in your pocket."

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Powell Cay and the Old Rosie Music Video (this blog posted from the comfort of my living room)

We were really looking forward to going to Powell Cay, a small uninhabited island 24 km (15 nautical miles) from Green Turtle Cay.  It was a calm day so decided to put a line out the back of the boat.  As we motored along at about 6 knots the lure dragged just under the surface then intermittently bounced along on top of the water.

We propped up the fishing rod and I was supposed to be on watch.
Soon the reel began to hum and when I looked up (from my book) the rod was bent.
Hey, Ben...
Unfortunately, the first one shook himself free and took off .

 Fifteen minutes later, a second bite...

I didn't reel it in, just held the rod while Ben took a picture.

A great barracuda, about 50 cm.  Ben got the hook out and we threw it back.

Very soon after, we got another bite... thought it was another barracuda.

After letting it go, we looked at the photo again and checked in the Fish Book...
 decided that it was probably a Spanish Mackerel. 

We spent two nights anchored off Powell Cay.

Great beaches,

  Neat rock formations,

Perfect conditions for kayaking,

Sailing back to Green Turtle
It's rare to have a picture of your own boat underway, so it's always nice to take photos for fellow cruisers...

Fun days with Freedom 

Ed taking photos of Old Rosie
....and to receive pictures of our own boat.
Our friends, Chris and Ed also surprised us with our very own music video!

Check it out at

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Green Turtle Cay (We are home now, so I will post this and two more blogs from the comfort of my living room.)

Green Turtle Cay is west of the Whale Cay Passage and was our  last stop before heading across the Little Bahama Bank and eventually the Gulf Stream.
New Plymouth is the main settlement, and was founded in the 18th century.
 A few days ago there was a Canadian flag flying on the left. 

New Plymouth lies squeezed in between the harbour and the Sea of Abaco.

Streets are narrow and wind around homes and rental cottages, museums, stores and restaurants.

Some buildings show the effects of past hurricanes or hard times.
Many are beautifully maintained.

 Banty hens and roosters are plentiful, strutting their stuff and crowing all day. 
Even breakfast is served here.  One evening we bought a bottle of wine then walked over to....

.....the Crazy Love Cafe for dinner.
The Blue Bee Bar is home of the Goombay Smash.

We had been practising the Goombay Smash song with Ed and Chris. The owner of the bar, Miss Vicky, has a speaking part in one of the verses. Unfortunately the bar was closed due to a family emergency so we did not get to meet her.

 The Memorial Sculpture Garden
Paying tribute to the lasting contribution of Bahamians

and commemorating the landing of American Loyalists

Ye Old Jail

 Pink?  Seriously?
Wouldn't want to be in there!
Just a short walk across the island brings you to the Atlantic side, where you can do some surf fishing on the beach.

Ed caught some bonefish

Jane needs to practise her casting!

Getting together with friends at the Leeward Marina, Black Sound. We were on a mooring ball nearby and dinghied over for happy hour ....and a singsong.

Donna Nestler, the Banjolelelady

John's turn
(while we quench our thirst with Pat's rum punch creation)

Another beautiful sunset...