Sunday, 27 December 2015


We experienced our first Junkanoo last night here on Harbour Island. What a fun time. A Junkanoo is a Bahamian street parade with costumes, dance and music, usually held on Boxing Day. The time and effort that goes in to the making of the outfits and floats must be huge, they were just amazing. Apparently the floats, which are new each year, were made here on the Island.

 Look who else was enjoying the show. Greg Norman.  

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Where have all the sailboats gone?

 As we travelled down the US East Coast this Fall we were preceded and accompanied by hundreds of like minded cruisers all heading to points south in their boats.  Now, many will reach Florida and happily stay there for the winter. But that leaves many many more who will continue on to the Bahamas and beyond.  Where have they all gone?  We are now in the Eleuthera chain of Islands and I can count on one hand the number of cruising sailors we have seen.  Hopefully we shall run into more cruisers as we head south.

A Google Earth map of our route from Miami to Spanish Wells, Eleuthera

   When checking in to the Bahamas at Spanish Wells the customs officer actually wanted to see the boat, a first for us. So we tied up at the marina and then ended up staying there for several days. The officer didn't look around the boat at all, just came on board ( dirty shoes and all) filled out the forms, took our money and we were legal.

 Spanish Wells is a small community of about 1500 friendly people. As we walked around we were offered rides many times. The Island is small enough to be easily walked end to end but the roads are busy with locals riding their golf carts.

Spanish Wells harbour. Home to a large fleet of fishing vessels. 

Christmas in the Bahamas.

Spanish Wells 

Google Earth map of our route. Spanish Wells to Dunmore Town

  To reach Dunmore Town, Harbour Island, boats have to pick their way thru the reefs of the Devils Backbone.  The guide books all advise the hiring of a local captain for a safe transit. We took that advice.  At one point the route takes you within three hundred yards of the rocky shore, the waves crashing upon them. Closer than one normally likes to be in a boat with those sea conditions.!

 Dunmore Town is a delightful, busy town, originally the Capital of the Bahamas. A bit more "upscale" than Spanish Wells. A short walk across the Island takes us to the beautiful three mile long pink sand beach, fabulous for walking on especially at low tide.  Again, we have found ourselves mostly staying in a Marina. It is SO easy to be able to walk off the boat and not have to bother with a wet dingy ride. Other advantages to this Marina stay are the use of their fresh water pool and loungers and umbrellas at the beach.Who could resist !!  Oh well, once we leave here we will have to toughen up, back to life on the hook ( anchor) for us.

Main street, Dunmore Town

side street, Dunmore Town

local grocery store

we got a selfie stick!  On the beach.

  It's now Christmas Eve. I have spent the last hour working on this blog while Ian has been watching awfully bad movies!  We are missing both Samantha and Ryan this year. Next year you two. Somewhere hot and sunny!!    We will Skype with family tomorrow and then walk the beach. No turkey dinner but life is pretty good!  

Monday, 7 December 2015

Charleston to Miami

We left Beaufort, NC ( pronounced BO-fert) on Tuesday 10th November. It was a good sail thru the night in bumpy seas until the morning when the wind died and the engines came on. The seas died down quickly and we had a pleasant day motoring on calm seas. That night we were treated to an absolutely spectacular sunset. I was so busy enjoying it that I didn't think to take a picture, duh!!   Oh well.  We had an easy entrance into busy Charleston harbour and quickly got tied up at Charleston City Marina. We had come to Charleston mainly to switch out our mainsail. So that morning Ian and I got our old main down and the next day Jeff ( Antares) came to the boat and helped us get the new one up and properly adjusted. We couldn't have done without him. Many thanks to Jeff !!

Typical marshland scenery along the ICW, South Carolina 

 We spent a couple more days in Charleston, walking around the beautiful downtown, and then we were off heading down the ICW again to Beaufort, SC ( pronounced BU-fert).  We had some tense moments picking up a mooring ball in the downtown mooring field. I managed to get us attached first try but with the opposing wind and current Zooropa was swinging all over the place, with the mooring ball at times disappearing completely underneath us, not a good feeling. We were way too close to the other boats ( monohulls) near by and so decided to drop the ball and go anchor further out in the harbour.  We accomplished this and after ensuring that we were well stuck in we dingyed in and had a pleasant walk around the downtown area.

Beautiful Civil War era homes. Beaufort SC  

Large old trees covered in Spanish Moss. Downtown Beaufort, SC anchorage

   Our next stop was Hilton Head Island.  We spent a few days here at the Skull Creek Marina which was located within the Hilton Head Plantation, a large gated community with multiple golf courses and tennis courts.  We were able to borrow bikes ( no gears or brakes) and go for pleasant rides along the many bike paths.  Hilton Head is a busy Island with many cars but they have managed to keep the buildings well hidden behind the heavily treed landscape.

 We left Hilton Head on Monday 23rd November, heading outside for a two night sail to Fort Pierce, Florida, and hopefully some warmer weather. It was a chilly 4 degrees celsius the morning we left.  We had a rough and squally two night passage and were very glad to arrive at the Fort Pierce inlet at slack tide and have an easy ride in . It felt really good to get tied up at the Fort Pierce City Marina, especially as the winds continued to increase as the day went on. For the next few days we were completely pinned onto the dock.

  No problems though as we were busy visiting with friends from back home.  On Thursday Rebecca and Kent put on a delicious Thanksgiving dinner for fourteen of us, it was a fun evening in their lovely Florida home. Again, no pictures. What were we thinking!

first picture with selfie stick.  Kent and Rebecca with us on Zooropa. 

We had rented a car while at Fort Pierce so were able to get to Walmart, West Marine, Publix etc and stock up on lots of provisions.

 Another over nighter and we had made it to Miami, our last stop before heading over to the Bahamas.

Entering Miami Harbour

 We stayed at the Miamarina at Bayside in Miami. The marina is in need of repair but is ideally situated right downtown and an easy Uber ride ( my first, what a great idea!) to South Beach.  Samantha joined us here for a few days. We had a lovely visit with her as always but unfortunately the weather was rather wet!

Sammy at Muscle Beach, Lummus Park, South Beach. No rain but windy.

  It's now Monday December 7th.  Sammy left this morning and we had considered crossing over to the Bahamas but decided that the weather forecast wasn't ideal.  As of right now, it looks like a Wednesday crossing. We shall see.