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Month: March 2019



March 31, 2019 Sunday Hope Town, Elbow Cay to Lynyard Cay 23.1 nautical miles.

26°21’30.8″N 76°59’03.7″W
26.358555, -76.984368
Elevation: 0 ft

Along the Way

Today was a blast. We connected up with other Looper boats THE BLESSING (Jay and Barbara), LETS GO (Marshall and Judy) and KNOT JUST DREAMING (Shawn and Cindy). The flotilla was off with THE BLESSING Jay as the Commodore heading out to snorkel a blue hole.

Getting to the blue hole area was the start of the adventure. We needed to take our dingys about 1.5 miles towards shore, past rocks and through skinny water. It was not a straight shot in.

Blue Hole:
26°20’42.3″N 77°01’48.4″W
26.345081, -77.030100

There were a lot of fish and a big old turtle in the blue hole. Mary also saw a big eel. The water in the hole was chilly but the water all around it was warm.

Dang I miss my underwater camera. Too bad I fried it ☹ The blue hole pictures would have been awesome. I tried talking pictures with my regular camera but they just didn’t turn out.

We flotilla-ed on to Pete’s Pub and Gallery in Little Harbour. This was not a straight shot either. After securely anchoring the big boats we took the dingys around Tom Curry’s Point and into the harbor. Swells from the Atlantic were crashing into the point. We needed to circumnavigate the
Tom Curry’s Point with great care … in our little dingys.

Last, we relocated to Lynyard Cay for an overnight sleep over. The anchorage was full (boating barometer 20 boats) but we nestled right in there with them.


Sterno keep flies away. We didn’t have problems with flies in the Bahamas until we hit the northern end of Eleuthera. The Abacos has flies to. Restaurants and bars set lighted sterno cans on your table when you sit down. At first Mary thought it was to keep you warm. But why would they do that when it was 80 degrees?

Drolleries and Yuks

The best channel 16 radio calls we heard today were:
— Fish Camp calling Home Fries
— Tenacity calling Stubborn

This little light of mine

This little light of mine

March 30, 2019 Saturday Marsh Harbour Marina, Jib Room, Marsh Harbor, Abacos  to Hope Town, Elbow Cay 8.2 nautical miles.

26°32’30.6″N 76°58’02.2″W
26.541827, -76.967275
Elevation: 0 ft

Crossing to Hope Town on Elbow Cay.

It’s endlessly fascinating to watch the wave break over the barrier reef not matter how far or how close it.

Along the Way

First stop was the iconic red and white candy stripped lighthouse on Elbow Cay.

Up you go!

Hope Town 360 from the top of the lighthouse.

After Mary took way too many lighthouse pictures we were off and wandering. Definitely looking like tourists when a gentle man stopped his golf cart and offered us a ride. Never to turn down an opportunity we said yes and were on our way. Sherman, the golf car owner, had just finished cleaning out his friends rental house and had the left over beer on the car. Never to turn down an opportunity we said yes to the beer too. A little ways down the road Sherman let us off at near the Da Beach Bar and Restaurant where there was a great beach for us to walk. Sherman owns the Elbow Cay Cart Rentals  If you are ever in Hope Town and need a cart get it from Sherman!!!!!!

Thanks Sherman for the ride and the beer! You made our trip to Hope Town memorable.


I’m fascinated at the location the wave and the sand boil.

About town

Just in case your forgot your junior high American High history class…..
Loyalists were American colonists who stayed loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolutionary War. When Great Britain lost the Revolutionary War the Loyalist took off. Many people moved back to England, Canada, or south to the British Caribbean.

Today Dale Fixed

Da dingy motor. After pondering over the Suzuki manual and a brief discussion with the Marsh Harbor Suzuki dealer Dale fixed the dingy motor. The manual lead him to a fuel value that had been bumped probably while lifting/lowering the dingy and was partially shut. Opening the valve put the dingy full into speed ahead.


The 89 foot Elbow Cay Lighthouse was built between 1862 and 1864 to warn mariners about the Elbow Cay reef. The light was renovated in the 1930s. To keep the light on, lighthouse keepers must wind the turn mechanism (426 turns) every two hours. This turns the enormous 7,000 pound Fresnel Lens assembly, which floats in liquid mercury around a fixed kerosene burner. The lighthouse is still operational! The Coleman Company has been helping keep the lights on since 2012 building custom mantles.

Bread Rich

Bread Rich

March 29, 2019 Friday Marsh Harbour Marina, Jib Room, Marsh Harbor, Abacos   0 nautical miles.

26°32’49.0″N 77°03’13.8″W
26.546930, -77.053841
Elevation: 0 ft

Along the Way

Yesterday we bought two loaves of bread, a wheat bread at the Island Bakery and a coconut loaf at the Da Bes Yet Bakery.  Today we took
Looper boat LETS GO neighbors Marshal and Judy in the rental car bread shopping.

Of course we bought a loaf of coconut bread from the Island Bakery so we could taste compare it to the coconut bread we bought yesterday at Da Bes Yet Bakery. We really needed to try the white bread from the Haitian Bakery too.

The Haitian bread was baked as long loaves placed next to each other on a sheet pan instead of individual bread pans. The loaves looked like GIANT hot dog buns.

Besides the 4 loaves we’ve bought in the past two days we are still working on the jalapeno cheddar bread we bought at Authur’s Bakery at Dunmore Town.

The coconut bread from both bakeries is first rate. We are bread rich!

We said good bye to the Buick at noon….. Dale did a great job driving on the left side the road. The many roundabouts were the most challenging. It was fun.

The evening ended with delicious home made chocolate walnut pie at neighbors Marshal and Judy on Looper boat LETS GO.

Today Dale Fixed

We’ve had this gosh awful smell in our aft cabin for the past couple of days. So awful we’d taken to sleeping in the forward v-birth. Yesterday Dale isolated the smell to the bilge and dumped bilge cleaner in it. Today he pumped it out into our blackwater tank. Yuck.

Source of water into the bilge was an issue with the shower sub-pump. Problem solved. Tonight we are headed back to the master stateroom.

A first rate job Dale!

Nauti Words

First rate – From the 16th century on until steam powered ships took over, British naval ships were rated as to the number of heavy cannons they carried. A ship of 100 or more guns was a First Rate line-of-battle ship. Second rates carried 90 to 98 guns; Third Rates, 64 to 89 guns; Fourth Rates, 50 to 60 guns. Frigates carrying 20 to 48 guns were fifth and sixth rated.

Birds on the Brain

Birds on the Brain

March 28, 2019 Thursday Marsh Harbour Marina, Jib Room, Marsh Harbor, Abacos   0 nautical miles.

26°32’49.0″N 77°03’13.8″W
26.546930, -77.053841
Elevation: 0 ft

Along the Way

Mary was on a mission today. She wanted to see the brass sculpture foundry in Little Harbour and the Abaco parrots found in the southern Great Abaco Island pine forests. The Abaco parrot is a subspecies of the Cuban Parrot.

First stop breakfast.

Mary had the traditional Bahamian breakfast or yellow grits and steamed corned beef. The steam corned beef was kinda like sloppy joe meat. Dale had the traditional american breakfast.

Road to Little Harbour

Little Harbour

Little Harbour is an artist community centered around the Johnston family brass foundry and sculptures.

Abaco National Park and Abaco Parrot Preserve is on the south east side of the island. The park has parrots, wild horses and wild pigs. (of which we saw none).
25°59’36.5″N 77°17’23.7″W
25.993476, -77.289908
The road we wanted to take said 4 wheel drive only. No rental cars. Below is the good road, the road we took. I really wonder what the other one looked like.

Sandy Point on the south west side the island.
26°01’50.4″N 77°24’05.6″W
26.030659, -77.401558

Other points along the way

We toured (were chauffeured in a golf cart) Schooner Bay to see the man-made island and marina.  The community thinks itself so exclusive you cannot take picture of it. The prime minister of the Bahamas owns a cottage on the little island. It sleeps 4-6 and rents for $350 a night. The marina has transient slips and would be a good Looper stop if a waypoint is needed between Marsh Harbour and Eleuthera.
Schooner Bay’s visions is to be a self sustaining community some day. Eleven years into the project and they are still a LONG ways off. The community looks a bit like the gulf coast of Florida. If you are shopping for unaffordable housing, go with Florida. You get more bang for you buck.

We never saw a darn parrot the entire trip 🙁 The locals said it was a little too windy for them to be moving around. The closest we saw ….

Consolation prize was spotting this wild pig (He was not inside the park).

One amazing thing about driving around the island is that there is NO road kill along the sides of the road. I haven’t seen any deer, rabbits, squirrels or other rodents. I’m not sure what there is to hit other than chickens.

Speed bumps. Great Abaco Island is speed bump crazy! In some areas you can hardly drive more than 1,000 feet to .2 miles with out hitting a speed bump. Little Harbour had the best speed bumps. Large, 4 inch diameter sections of rope.

Nauti Words

Cup of Joe – This was named after Josephus Daniels who was secretary of the Navy under Woodrow Wilson.  One of the changes that he made was the abolishment of the officer’s wine mess aboard Navy Ships.  From that point on, the strongest drink aboard a Navy ship was coffee.  Sailors eventually started referring to the caffeine laced drink as “Cup of Joe”.

Westward Ho

Westward Ho

March 27, 2019 Wednesday Marsh Harbour Marina, Jib Room, Marsh Harbor, Abacos   0 nautical miles.

26°32’49.0″N 77°03’13.8″W
26.546930, -77.053841
Elevation: 0 ft

Along the Way

We rented a car and headed west (and north).

At first there was a lot of tall pine slowly switching over to the othern kinds of trees and foliage. All the pine trees did surprise us. None of the other Bahamas Islands had pines. It was still all pretty much scruffy and rocky.

Little Abacos

Picture Break

Our Buick rental car came with unlimited mileage. Not sure if that is because the odometer is not working or Great Abacos is not big enough to have a concern about excessive miles on rental cars. All the safety warning lights were on in the car but the air condition worked and it drove well.

The hardware store in the picture below is about the size of my living room in Lake Elmo.

Westward Ho! Crown Haven, the western tip of Little Abaco. You can’t drive any further west than this.
26°54’40.9″N 77°49’12.6″W
26.911371, -77.820153

Return trip

The Bahamian government built a new port north of Cooper’s Town, Great Abaco. It was completed several years ago but never opened.

Cooper’s Town had sidewalks! A rarity for small towns (most towns) in the Bahamas. New side walks running the entire length of the main road. We are guessing they were put in about the time the new port was built………

Treasure Cay is an exclusive community and probably all white. Million dollar homes and a golf course. I have to wonder, if you had that much money why did you get a house here? All the Bahamas have to offer is crappy land and beautiful water. It’s a better deal to get a house on the gulf side of Florida.

I skipped the pictures of unaffordable housing at Treasure Cay. I did like the below.

Affordable housing. The homes either look like the the ones below or they are well over $1,000,000. There is not a lot of middle ground. We read a local free paper and it had about 8 pages at the end with $1 million plus homes for sale. None of them looked like the ones below. I found the boards over the window interesting. At least half of the houses had them. I’m guessing it is protection from the wind. When people are home the front doors are wide open to let the air in. As we drove by we could see people through the doorways doing things inside. For the most part no lights were on inside. Probably too expensive. There were people walking to the local R/O water faucets to fill containers to talk home.


The Exhumas had an abundance of junk boat trailers. I can understand that. Someone gets a new boat and it gets shipped in on a trailer. Then what do you do with the trailer one you put the boat in the water? The islands are so small you aren’t going to pull it around. Here in the Abacos there is an abundance or junked cars kinda like in the poorer areas in the southern USA, like Arkansas.

We stopped at a little restaurant The Bae on the west side of Great Abaco.
The view was pretty. (We don’t know the people in the picture.)
26°33’45.2″N 77°08’15.8″W
26.562546, -77.137708
The view was pretty. (We don’t know the people in the picture.)


Sign from Budda’s, Spanish Wells
Working on the Abs

Working on the Abs

March 26, 2019 Tuesday Egg Island, Eleuthera to Marsh Harbour Marina, Jib Room, Marsh Harbor, Abacos   71.3 nautical miles.

26°32’49.0″N 77°03’13.8″W
26.546930, -77.053841
Elevation: 0 ft

We wanted an early start. Mary the optimist set alarm for 5:30am not 6:30am. We had a nice leisurely cup of coffee.

To the Abs

A final check of the weather and waves in Windy and we were off to the Abacos crossing the Providence North East Channel with the Atlantic on our starboard beam.

Wind and Wave predictions. The light the blue the better.

Marv’s also looked good.

The prediction was for wind under 10 knots and 3 feet 7 second swells. Not bad for this water and this time of the year. Indubitably do-able. Neptune was looking out for us.

Sunrise good bye Eleuthera

Along the Way

Our Providence North East Channel passage was across massive undulating mounds of water. Giant rolls of 3 to 5 foot swells. Some of the swell tops were 15+ feet across. Then we were sweeping down into equally massive gullies. It felt like riding on giant a merry-go-round.

With the weather in our favor we cut straight across the open water to Marsh Harbor rather than hitting the south east tip of Great Abaco and bouncing along the shoreline to anchor at Little Harbor as planned. Not having a functioning dingy motor also played into the decision. It’s boring to anchor and not have a dingy.

“I got one!!!!!! I got one!!!!!!” it was game on for Dale. Mary slammed the engines into neutral.  The fish was jumping. The fish was running. The fish was beautiful.

47 inch dolphin fish (mahi mahi) It was a noble fish and fought hard.

Guess what we had for supper.

Blue and Orange, Atlantic Ocean and Sargasso seaweed. This is a tiny raft. There were LARGE rafts of sea weed (They did not photograph well). Dale caught the mahi mahi in an area where there was a lot of seaweed. We need to check our strainers tomorrow.

Hello Abacos!!

Coming into Little Harbour Cut. They all look the same. The differentiating factor is how populated they are.
It did.

Working our way to Marsh Harbour

Marsh Harbour

Portside. Coming into Marsh Harbor. Bumps along the way
Marsh Harbour. It is unbelievable how many sailboats are anchored here. Some were anchored over the magenta line path into the harbor making it challenging to get to our marina. We had to meander in and out between them.


“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than those you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
~ Mark Twain

Ready, Set …

Ready, Set …

March 25, 2019 Monday Papa Docks, Spanish Wells, St. George’s Cay, Eleuthera  to Egg Island, Eleuthera 9.8 nautical miles.

25°29’44.2″N 76°53’07.7″W
25.495611, -76.885461
Elevation: 0 ft

Along the Way

Ready, set and tomorrow Go to the Abacos. Au revoir, sayōnara, auf
wiedersehen, adieu, adios to Spanish Wells and relocated to Egg Island for our ~60 mile jump to the Abacos tomorrow.

Today we are anchored just off a small sand beach on the west side of Egg Island that is at the tip of Eleutheras north west archipelago. According to Walter (see Full Worm Moon March 20, 2019) and some other historians, the is where Columbus first landed in the New World. Not San Salvador. I am certain our anchor is dropped in the same place the Santa María’s anchor was dropped (but we have better anchor, a Rocna Vulcan anchor). I can also see places where the La Niña and the La Pinta must also have dropped anchor.

The Santa María was probably a medium-sized, about 49 to 59 ft (15 to 18 meters) long on deck. Not much larger than Yes Dear.

Quite likely after anchoring Columbus called his coxswain and asked him make him a Bahama Mama drink and to drop his cock. (Well, maybe the
Bahama Mama drink isn’t true. It could have been a Goombay Smash.)

Egg Island is the quintessential Bahama cay with a small beach, ragged rocks and mangrove lake center. Mary summoned her coxswain to go ashore.

Mangove creek stuff.

The spiny sea urchin reminded me of sputnik ornaments Dale’s mom had on her Christmas tree. Anita’s sputniks were white and glistened. They were beautiful.

And then there was the dingy ride back to Yes Dear. I neglected to mention the dingy motor died on the way to Egg Island’s beach. Mary waded it in through chest deep water while Dale tried to get the motor started. It’s probably a fuel filter issue. We weren’t over concerned because we had oars.

The water held other amazing creatures. Reef sharks. Dale got to push the dingy out this time. (Mary at least let him wait until it looked like the shark had moved on.

The evening ended with 2 for 1 fishing. Dale caught about a 2.5 to 3 foot barracuda. A second barracuda followed the caught barracuda up to the boat just to see what was going on.

Bahama Blues

I thought I’d seen all the the shades of blue the Bahamas waters could offer. Wrong. New shades of blue.


PS. We saw the best green flash yet tonight.


By tradition Spanish ships were named after saints and usually given nicknames. The Santa María’s original name was La Gallega. La Niña’s actual name was the Santa Clara and the Pinta’s real name has been lost to posterity.

Nauti Words

Coxswain: a boy servant (swain) in charge of a small cock. This cock was for the captain’s use only. The cock was a small boat used to transport the captain to and from the ship.  Thus, the cock was a vessel used to deliver seamen to fertile shores. (I didn’t make this stuff up). This term has its origins all the way back in the 15th century. It has since been replaced with “helmsman”; “helmsman” can also refer to the person currently in charge of controlling the actual ship itself and not just the small cock.

Flight Practice

Flight Practice

March 24, 2019 Sunday Papa Docks, Spanish Wells, St. George’s Cay, Eleuthera  0 nautical miles.

25°32’34.7″N 76°45’38.2″W
25.542958, -76.760596
Elevation: 0 ft

Mary loves it here!

Along the Way

Mary’s camera took a break and was on vacation today.

Dale took the drone out for some flight practice. It has been several months since he last flew it.

We spent the afternoon walking the shallow waters off the western side of Spanish Wells.

Evening was topped off with Docktails with POLAR BEAR and MOUSKA MOON.

Mary loves it here.


Model airplanes are not drones. Pilots fly model airplanes within their line of sight. A model airplane cannot move out of a pilot’s periphery of vision, which disqualifies it as a drone.

Drolleries and Yuks

Sign from Budda’s in Spanish Wells.
Show a little backbone

Show a little backbone

March 23, 2019 Saturday Papa Docks, Spanish Wells, St. George’s Cay, Eleuthera  0 nautical miles.

25°32’34.7″N 76°45’38.2″W
25.542958, -76.760596
Elevation: 0 ft

Mary loves it here!

Along the Way

Waiting for the Dunmore Town, Harbour Island ferry

18th-century houses painted in watercolor pastels line the narrow lanes ringing the Dunmore Town harbor. 

Heading into Dunmore Town from the Government Dock

Mary’s first stop was the famous Authurs Bakery in the old town area for a turnover and to get the jalapeno cheese bread.
Wessely Methodist Church built in 1843.

Pink Sands Hotel for the rich and famous. One bedroom one person starts at $850 per night.

About town. There must be over 1000 golf carts in this town.

Valentines Marina. This is the big fancy marina on Harbour Island.

Return trip to Spanish Wells

Harbour Island is Bahamas prettiest island we’ve visited, hands down. Dunmore Town is lush and green due to imported plants and trees I’m sure. …. Pallet of sod delivered and waiting to be picked up.

Mary still love Spanish Harbor the best!

Chinese Tourists


And what to my wondering eyes should appear?  Canadian blow boats POLAR BEAR and MUSKOKA MOON. POLAR BEAR is in this picture. We’ve been bumping into them off and on since we arrived in the Bahamas Feb 3.


Grocery Shopping. A liter bottle of vodka is $10.10. A half gallon of orange juice is $12.88. We bought the vodka.

Billionaire Bill Gates has the only house on Harbour Island with gates. 

Ferry on

Ferry on

March 22, 2019 Friday Papa Docks, Spanish Wells, St. George’s Cay, Eleuthera  0 nautical miles.

25°32’34.7″N 76°45’38.2″W
25.542958, -76.760596
Elevation: 0 ft

Mary loves it here!

Along the Way

We were at the Government Dock at 9:30am with bikes for today’s adventure on Eleuthera Island. For $20 ($10 each) we both had round trip tickets.

Yes Dear is located where the red arrow head is. We ferried across to north Eleuthera Island the biked the 3 miles across. This area looks like it has the chicken pox with all the rocks and corral heads.

There must have been 20+ cars parked at Gene’s Bay dock landing. The only car rental on north Eleuthera Island is several miles a way at the airport. If you want to rent a car you can arrange it by credit card and they will leave a car for you at the Gene’s Bay dock with the keys in it. Likewise when you return it, just park it and leave the keys in it. There is virtually no car theft in Eleuthera. If you steal one, where are you going to go?

Taking our lives in our hands we were off on our bikes to look for the Sapphire Blue Hole and Preachers Cave.

Then on to Preachers Cave. In 1648 William Sayle and, a group of Christians seeking religious freedom from Bermuda, were shipwrecked off the Devil’s Back Bone reef and took refuge at Preacher’s Cave after coming ashore. The island’s first religious services were held here and for about 100 years afterwards, earning the cave its name. A rock in the back of the cave was used as the alter.

The Atlantic and Devils Back Bone was a short walk.

To the west a boat was crabbing through Devils Backbone cut to the Atlantic. Glad it wasn’t us with 5+ feet waves hitting on the beam. We will not be doing this. We will be leaving Spanish Harbour from a different route.

Then around Long Point in the east came a pilot boat its customer through Devils Backbone. The safe passage line is surprisingly close to shore through this section. The charts minimally recommend you hire a local pilot the first time you navigate these waters. The sand shoals are rearranged every time there is a storm. Dangerous waters and they too are taking it on the beam. Yes Dear will not be doing this either.

The morning was still young so we ventured on to Long Point.

HA. All we saw at then end of the road was a no trespassing sign so we turned around and went back.

Returning to Spanish Wells

The car ferry service is provided by a Mennonite large family that lives on North Eleuthera. They are fairly well known in the Mennonite faith community so it is not unusual for Mennonites to visit this area.
Ferry passing freighter being unloaded.

And then there was laundry to do. There are no public laundromats in Spanish Wells. The woman who live is the house in front of the dock will let people use her washing machine for $4 a load. No dryer. So we hung things out to dry. With beautiful weather like this clothes and towels were dry in under 2 hours.

Mary loves it here!


The conversion rate for Bahamian money to USD money is 1:1. The Bahamian and the USD money can be used interchangeably as legal tender.  One thing we have noticed is that if you pay in USD the merchants try to provide your change in USD.

Drolleries and Yuks

A sign from Budda’s restaurant
Living Large

Living Large

March 21, 2019 Thursday Papa Docks, Spanish Wells, St. George’s Cay, Eleuthera  0 nautical miles.

25°32’34.7″N 76°45’38.2″W
25.542958, -76.760596
Elevation: 0 ft

Mary loves it here!

Along the Way

Living large. The owner of the Papa Docks marina where we are staying let us borrow her buggy (golf cart) for the day. Road Trip!!!!!! St. George’s Cay (a.k.a. Spanish Wells) is  ~1.5 miles long and Russell Island is ~3.5 miles long.

First we wanted to re-trace many of the places in Spanish Wells that we bicycled yesterday.

Morning rush 10am buggies, ferries, freighters and cars

Check out what’s new in the harbor. Pinder’s Taxi is being brought back on a car ferry from Eleuthera mainland.

Next stop Kathy’s Bakery

Kathy’s Bakery. Fresh loaves set out rise. Johnny Cake rising under the pastry cloth.

We bought Johnny Cake from Kathy. Johnny Cake on Spanish Wells is not like Johnny Cake in the USA as there is no corn meal in it. Johnny Cake is sold in two sizes, the traditional frying pan size and the smaller 5-6 inch size. In the USA we call the smaller size Johnny cakes English muffins!

And then off to Russell Island.

Russell Island Bridge

Russell Island Harbor

Property lines along the harbour were delineated by low rock fences and with a row of trees. There were no buildings on any of the plots.

Russell Island Harbor Entrance

Houses. The houses were neighbors. Both coral and blue.

Orchards and Agriculture

There were several men clearing land with machetes. At another location we saw a man manually digging holes in the very rocky landscape to plant banana trees.
Hard hot work!
Russell Island north – the waves are crasshing about a mile out. The water depth out to the waves is 3 feet or less (most of it less and dry in low tide).
Russell Island south

People were jumping off the Russell Island bridge when we returned to Spanish Wells.

Bridge jump. One mid air. Two on deck.

Living large. Our last adventure of the day was to find fresh lobster for supper.

Our new friend Tim from Budda’s told us to check out Deek at his dock around 2:30pm.  Score!!!! Two 3# spiny lobsters for Mary and Dale. Deek dressed them out for us.

Supper was heads and tails prepared two different ways. First course boiled heads and legs. We were surprised at how much sweet meat was in the antenna bases and the legs.

Second course barbecued tails marinated in a little olive oil, Worcestershire sauce and garlic, as Deek recommended.

The lobster was as good as it looks! They were so large we could only eat a 1/2 tail each. Left overs tomorrow!

Mary loves it here!


Spanish Wells is the spiny lobster (langouste) capital of the Bahamas. Bahamas’ lobsters, called crawfish by the locals, are prepared and boxed for export by Ronald Seafood processing at the Spanish Wells dock. Ronald Seafood supplies the Red Lobster restaurant chain, as well as many high-end European eateries.

Crawfishing started in Spanish Wells about 20 years ago and quickly transformed the community from a hard-luck fishing village into one of the wealthiest settlements in the Caribbean.

Full Worm Moon

Full Worm Moon

March 20, 2019 Wednesday Papa Docks, Spanish Wells, St. George’s Cay, Eleuthera  0 nautical miles.

25°32’34.7″N 76°45’38.2″W
25.542958, -76.760596
Elevation: 0 ft

Mary loves it here!

Along the Way

We took the bikes off the boat and were out and about.

North West side of Spanish Well looking towards Russell Island and the Atlantic.
There is a vast area of very shallow water between the island and the reef. The dot in the middle of the picture is a man out walking around in the shallow water. Much of this is dry at low tide.

Grocery Store. As you enter there is a section where local vendors sell their wares. PostIts on the shelves identify the names of the vendors. Local breads are made by Tony, Bonnie and Marilyn. Local preserves and spices are by A&K, Lizzy and Katie .

The local cemetery was really colorful with all the plastic flowers on loved ones graves.

The anchor on this sailboat dragged last night in the big blow. Hopefully, but doubtful, with the super moon tide they will be able to get it into deeper water.


The lovely bartender Paige and charming patron Tim.
Budda’s is a great place!

Houses and Yards

Mary loves it here!


Men at work. The pig guy, Walter, Dale and the kid.
The guy in the green shirt owns the pigs on the local pig island. He has two boats on the dock next to ours. Dale and Walter were giving him advice on how to put in a fresh water pump for the pigs.

Walter and his wife have a huge catamaran on the other side the dock we are on. Walter has dual citizenship with USA and Portugal. He is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish and French. Last year he was invited to present a paper in Lisbon, Portugal disputing San Salvador Island as the first island Columbus landed on. Walter believes Columbus first landed on Egg Island which is about ~5 miles west of Spanish Wells. (San Salvador Island is ~150 miles south east of Spanish Wells ) He has read/studied all of Columbus’s manuscript accounts in the original language and sailed around both Egg Island/Spanish Wells/North Eleuthera and San Salvador Island.


The term equinox has been derived from the Latin word Equinoxium. It means ‘equality between day and night’.  When Julius Caesar established the Julian calendar in 45 BC, he set 25 March as the date of the spring equinox.  (you probably knew this)

Now ponder this. Equinox is a phenomenon that can occur on any planet with a significant tilt to its rotational axis. Saturn gets in on the equinox action too and like Earth has an equinox every spring and autumn! The equinox places its ring system edge-on facing the Sun. With a trip around the sun taking Earth 30 years, Saturn’s equinoxes occur about every 15 years. The most recent exact equinox for Saturn was on 11 August 2009. Its next equinox will take place on 6 May 2025.

Bonus points – Tonight is the last super moon of 2019.

Traditionally , according to the The Old Famer’s Almanac, the full moon we see in March is called the Full Worm Moon. At this time of the year, the ground begins to soften enough for earthworm casts to reappear, inviting robins and birds to feed—a true sign of spring. Roots start to push their way up through the soil, and the Earth experiences a re-birth as it awakens from its winter slumber.

At the boat wash

At the boat wash

March 19, 2019 Tuesday Papa Docks, Spanish Wells, St. George’s Cay, Eleuthera  0 nautical miles.

25°32’34.7″N 76°45’38.2″W
25.542958, -76.760596
Elevation: 0 ft

Mary loves it here!

Along the Way

At the boat wash. Today was a clean the boat day. Yes Dear hadn’t had a good bath since Cape Coral, Florida. We scrubbed her down using the brackish water from the hose on the dock.

Weak minded doing brite work. It isn’t so much as Mary is working but to show you Papa Docks, the dockage we are at. It’s 3 docks behind a house on the creek. (The creek is really a narrow saltwater channel between Isle St George and Russell Island.)

Big event for the day was walking to the grocery store for milk and lunch meat.

Tire Guy

Harbor side hotel. Jim and Suzie you would love it here.

Fresh catch corral

Happy hour. We didn’t stop.

Traffic jam.

House with flowering fruit tree! and shell garden.

The reason we are in this dockage for the week arrived at 5:00 PM. Wind changed 180 degrees and picked up 30+ knots. The skys darkened. Mary reworked the spring lines while Dale battened hatches. Then it rained. And rained. Driving rain. Water surged down creek. Yes Dear rocked and the spring lines did their job.  OMG when a gust hits! Yes Dear got her fresh water rinse down from this mornings wash.

The wind is supposed to drop around 4:00 am tomorrow morning.

Mary loves it here!


The sailboat had a fouled mast line. I wonder how they were able to get the power company utility truck out to help.
Neighbors behind. Low tide and high tide. Approx 2.5-3 feet tide.

BTW. We here at Papa Docks for a week. $125 plus electricity. One heck of a deal. No potable water though.


“Confronting a storm is like fighting God. All the powers in the universe seem to be against you and, in an extraordinary way, your irrelevance is at the same time both humbling and exalting.”
~ Francis LeGrande

I’m glad we are secured to a dock.

Mary loves it here!

Mary loves it here!

March 18, 2019 Monday The Bluff Settlement, Eleuthera to  Papa Docks, Spanish Wells, St. George’s Cay, Eleuthera  3.5 nautical miles.

25°32’34.7″N 76°45’38.2″W
25.542958, -76.760596
Elevation: 0 ft

Mary loves it here!

Along the Way

The Tobin’s snuck into Spanish Wells from the back door entrance.

Once through we hung a port and continued down the ‘creek’ to look for our dock.

Walk about.

Marina shipyard. Boats are pulled out on the rails and stacked on the blocks to work on them.

Shipyard Point looking across to Gun Point. Gun Point to Harbour Island is the most dangerous water in the Bahamas. Doesn’t really look that ways does it? There is a huge coral reef called “The Devil’s Backbone” that has brought down many boats. Many insurance companies require you to follow a pilot boat (~$100) the first time you navigate these waters. We are skipping this and going out another way.

Shipyard Point looking across to Gun Point.

Mary loves it here! It’s quaint. Almost every house is immaculate and freshly painted.

Transportation on the cay is primarily golf carts. Lots of them! And crazy drivers! I never new golf carts could go that fast. There are cars and other vehicles too.

Spanish Wells front door entrance.

Spanish Wells front door entrance.
Notice the garbage/recycle boat tied to the portside wall. Not sure where it is headed. We saw another one when we were in Governors Harbour.

Of course we needed to stop where the welcome sign suggested. Budda’s Snack Shack.

Dale’s Kalick beer, the free Miami Vice rum drink the bartender gave us when she made too much and Mary’s Dizzy Budda. The color is a little scary on the Dizzy Budda. Miami Vice drink??? I’ve never heard of it before I was in Eleuthera. I’ve now heard of it the second time in less than a week. Am I behind times?

Spanish Wells does have a swimming pig island. We’re not going to visit it.


Steve on boat FREE PRAYER is a real pirate! Traveling solo, he was a neighbor for all of 2 hours then left for the Current Cut headings towards Government Harbour. Loved the earring.

Under our boat

Unlike The Exumas and further down Eleuthera, we don’t hear or see chickens 24×7. A barking dog is a rarity. I kinda miss the chickens.

The flies, mosquitoes and no-see-ums are terrible.


Spanish Wells originated from a ship wreck off “Devil’s Backbone” in 1647. Among other, later, groups of settlers were Crown loyalists, who left the United States after the American Revolutionary War. It is noticeably more caucasian and more affluent than any town we’ve visted in the Bahamas so far, except for Nassaua.

HA! The water at Spanish Wells is not drinkable.

The Current

The Current

March 17, 2019 Sunday Glass Bridge, Eleuthera  , Eleuthera to  The Bluff Settlement, Eleuthera  24.6 nautical miles.

25°29’39.1″N 76°44’47.3″W
25.494199, -76.746484
Elevation: 0 ft

Happy St Patricks Day. No corned beef for us today.

Along the Way

Glass Bridge – Last Look

Current Cut is a very fast and strong current in a narrow 100 yard wide cut, reaching depths up to 60 feet, between Eleuthera at Current Settlement and Current Island. The water moves at speeds up to 10 knots.

We planned out all the contingencies, studied the chart, tides, and depths, and talked it through a million ways from Sunday before deciding to go ahead. As you pass through, there’s no room for error as the water churns even on calm days and slack tide.

The Current Cut considered by some to be one of the top “drift dive sites in the world. Definitely one of the top in The Bahamas

Tonight’s anchorage.

The Bluff Settlement. Yet another area of Eleuthera that could benefit from Parrot fish (the sand pooping fish).


I am speechless.

Swiss Cheese Holes

Swiss Cheese Holes

March 16, 2019 Saturday Government Harbour, Eleuthera to  Glass Bridge, Eleuthera  24.6 nautical miles.

25°25’57.0″N 76°36’08.0″W
25.432502, -76.602232
Elevation: 0 ft

Governor Harbor pulling anchor. As close as this blow boat anchored to us they should have invited us for breakfast.

Along the Way

Alice Town Hatch Bay Harbour was our original destination for today. It has a narrow cut and a huge inside natural bay. The day was young and the weather cooperative so we wandered on, preferring not to be in a settlement (town) with other boats.
Gregory Town Pitmans Cove – The chart book says there is room for one boat to anchor. Looks like they all ready have their one.
Stalagtite Wall just north of Pitman Cove

Stairs – If there is a will there is a way. Imagine all that work! All that labor moving rock, laying cement, building stairs. $$$$$   Further more, what are you going to do when you get down to the water? No beach, no dock. Nothing but Swiss cheese rocks.

Glass Bridge – The Glass Bridge high is the narrowest point on Eleuthera. Only 30 feet of rock separate rich blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the calm Bight of Eleuthera. The weather was cooperating with us. The spectacular beauty of waves were not. When winds are from the east waves surge through under the bridge. Not today.

The original Glass Bridge was destroyed in March 2018 by high waves from Winter Storm Riley and replace later that year. Pretty ugly bridge, huh?  Next time it is replaced hopefully it will benefit from some civil engineering design.

Glass Bridge

Glass Bridge Bar.

There is a lot of communication and electrical cable on the bottom of the water through out The Bahamas. Many anchorages have cautions and instruct you to watch where you anchor. This area was heavily laden with cable.

Swiss Cheese rocks

Queens Bath Bahamas Heritage Site (Queens Swiss cheese) – Cooperative Weather != Spectacular beauty of Waves.

So long old friends. I doubt you will be able to last through another walk with the bottoms falling off and Swiss cheese holes through the soles.


Lenny Kravitz has a place just south of where we are anchored. You’d have gotten a picture had I known it when we when by.  The beach on his property is the local nude beach.


A conch shell is 95% calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate is not broken down by biological processes. This explains why there are so many mounds of old conch shells.

Fish Fry

Fish Fry

March 15, 2019 Friday Rock Sound, Eleuthera to  Government Harbour, Eleuthera  0 nautical miles.

25°11’36.5″N 76°14’55.0″W
25.193475, -76.248615
Elevation: 0 ft

Getting ready to pull anchor. Anchor chain and drag pattern in 8 feet of water. We moved around a lot before the wind settled down.

Along the Way

Mary’s bummed that has to wear more clothes in the Eleuthera than she did in the Exumas. In the Exumas she was overdressed when she wore her swimsuit and beach cover-up, primarily because her beach cover-up really did cover her up. Here in Eleuthera she needs to put on shorts and shirt. Civilization!

Government Harbor Bay

Governors Harbor harbor looking north from Cupids Cay. Governors Harbor town is on the right. Yes Dear is on the left.

Cupids Cay – Home of the first Parliament

Site of the First Consulate General of the United States of America. Established in July 1789

Government Harbor town

Movie Theater. Sign in window ways ‘No Movie having technical problems.’ There probably hasn’t been movies here in years! I heard you can get a good hamburger here.
Haynes Library. Built by Governor William Frederick Haynes Smith in 1897. It is the oldest Government Complex on the Eleuthera
Provincial Governor’s Mansion. Currently and administration building. Why are government buildings always pink?

The conchs are from The Exhumas. Per the Conch Ninja, it is illegal to harvest conch on the Caribbean side of Eleuthera.

There are more chickens here than on a poultry farm!


Fish Fry and Conch Ninja – The part was here on the beach tonight (and every Friday night from 6pm to 1am). There were several hundred people here.


The word yacht is of Dutch origin, meaning hunter, and referred to the type of vessel that was preferred for local pirates and brigands—handy for quickly seizing goods and making an escape.

Fishing and Shelling vs Catching and Finding

Fishing and Shelling vs Catching and Finding

March 13/14, 2019 Wednesday/Thursday Rock Sound, Eleuthera to Tarpum Head  7.9 nautical miles.

24°54’58.9″N 76°12’28.4″W
24.916366, -76.207880
Elevation: 0 ft

I’ll take Thursday. Wednesday was a bust. It was so windy we didn’t leave the boat even for a short dingy ride to the dingy dock.  Thursday was windy too but not as bad as Wednesday. Mary MADE Dale take her into shore Thursday. Dale had a severe case of boat fever (like cabin fever) and Mary needed to get him off the boat!

Dale was back to his wonderful self by the end of the day.

Along the Way

Top o’ the Morning in search of the Boiling Hole and Catherdral Cave Bahamas National Trust eco park about .6 mile south of town.
The Boiling Hole is a blue hole that connects to Rock Sound Harbor near sea level. It wasn’t boiling today because the wind was from dead east, the wrong direction.
The Signing Tree

Cathedral Cave Entrance

We were amazed to see the wooden rails and stair cases. This ‘park’ is part of the Bahamas National Trust. Explains why…

Boiling Hole and Cathedral Cave are part of the Bahamas National Trust.
Next stop Groceries at the north end of town! OMG. Dale thumbed a ride.

Around town

Frigate’s restaurant

Dale again succumbed to Mary’s nagging moved Yes Dear to a different anchorage out side the harbour where we could dingy to a beach Mary could walk.

Mary was in her glory walking the beach looking for shells and anything else she could find in the water. Dale obligingly yes dear followed here with his fishing pole. The afternoon was spent fishing and shelling, sadly not catching and finding.

Top and bottom. There were colonies of palm sized starfish. Most of the were red with a few of this type mixed in. Red ones didn’t have the highly defined feet.

Mary’ had some great pictures but she managed to fry the underwater camera so that’s over and done with ☹

HA. When we got back to the boat Dale said he had a great day.


Eleuthera has a lot of caves.  It also has a lot of cenotes (“ocean holes”) and thousands of sinkholes. Eleuthera is kinda like the land of swiss cheese. Very sharp swiss cheese. The Lucayan people (early Bahamians) believed that caves were the gateway to the afterlife, and thus buried their dead in caves.  Centuries-old Indian remains are still occasionally discovered in remote caves.

Shall we stay or shall we go?

Shall we stay or shall we go?

March 12, 2019 Tuesday Highbourne Cay, Exhumas to  Rock Sound, Eleuthera   41.1 nautical miles.

24°51’42.7″N 76°09’36.6″W
24.861869, -76.160160
Elevation: 0 ft

Shall we stay or shall we go?  We shall stay in the Bahamas and not go back to the US, yet. The transmission and the generator are purring. Good bye to the Tongue of the Ocean and The Exhumas. Hello Exuma Sound,
Eleuthera Bight and Rock Sound Eleuthera.

Along the Way

Fate was with us. We has a smooth passage all the way to Eleuthera.

Exhuma Sound – Unbelievably blue water at over 1000 feet deep
Davis Channel is the only safe route from Exuma Sound to the Bight of Eleuthera. The water through this passages is 9-14 feet. We could see fish and nurse sharks as we traveled through.
Duecy Rocks Welcoming Committee. The only other time we saw dolphins in The Bahamas was when we were in the Berries.
Rock Sound looks more like a town from the harbor than what it is really is.
Fresh fish sale at the dingy dock. Lots of people were diving their cars down to buy fresh grouper. When we walked by the first time the table was mounded with grouper. They cleaned and sold fish the entire time we walked around town.


No green flash tonight as we are looking across land on the west side of the bay.
OMG. Rock Sound has street lights!


Captain William Sayles and a group of Puritans, known as the Eleutheran Adventurers, sailed from Bermuda in search of religious freedom. Along the way, they found this beautiful gem of an island and named it Eleuthera. From the Greek word “eleuthero” or “eleuther”, Eleuthera means “free” or “freedom.”


Just about anything bigger than a rubber raft or a surf board can be called a boat. Submarines are always called boats.

Any yacht can be called a boat (but you might offend the owner). There are plenty of boats that can not be called yachts.

A boat becomes a yacht when it is capable of sustaining one or more people, for several days and nights in “relative” comfort.
IE. The boat has an enclosed cabin or interior space (safe from the weather) that has accommodations for:
– space and at least minimum necessary equipment for sleeping for one or more people;
– space and at least minimum necessary equipment for cooking and preparing meals and storage for food and water;
– space and at least minimum necessary equipment/facilities for taking care of bathroom needs and storage thereof.

Yes Dear is a yacht. (Mary thinks it sounds pretentious)

A yacht is a mega-yacht at the point where the skipper, deck officers and the engineer need a proper qualification.

There are no mega-yachts in here in Rock Point Harbour. There are twenty-one sailing vessels and one other motor vessel.

Love the Days – Hate the nights

Love the Days – Hate the nights

March 11, 2019 Monday Normans Cay , Exhumas to  Highbourne Cay, Exhumas 11.3 nautical miles.

24°42’50.2″N 76°49’48.0″W
24.713933, -76.830007
Elevation: 0 ft

Wow. We completely missed daylight savings yesterday. No wonder Mary was confused between the tide charts and the seman’s eye.

Along the Way

Iguanas at Allan’s Cay.

Shelling. Dang they were alive so I couldn’t keep them ☹

Tulip Shell

Helmet Shell – I hope it makes it.  The tide was out and it was frying on the beach. Mary carried it out to deeper water.

Snorking around the anchorage. It’s really hard to take good pictures of fish.


Electric Hydrofoil Surfboard

So what’s it really like being in Bahamas?

Love the days and hate the nights.

I’ve mentioned this before and have to do it again. It is windy here! There is either too much or too little. Rarely is there a happy medium.

The water is beautiful and there is always a place to explore. The wind may be annoying sometimes but never a kill joy.

Now for the nights, it’s a different story. When it’s windy Dale doesn’t like the rollies when we sleep in the aft cabin. Mary doesn’t like the thumpwacking wave noise of the fore cabin when we sleep up there.

It is plain old Minnesota hot and sticky when there is no wind so hard to sleep. There is no crispness to the sheets. The humidity makes them stick to you. The hatch in the fore cabin does make it a bit cooler.

Water and batteries are ongoing challenges. Yes Dear is currently not set-up to be a long term Bahamas boat. It would be nice to have solar panels to keep the batteries topped off when anchoring in the same location for more than a night. The house battery completely depletes if we sit and the generator can’t run all the time. Essentials like the refrigerator, head (toilet) motors and water heater are battery draining. We use the solar lights at night and apply the rule “If it’s yellow let it mellow. If it’s brown flush it down”. Mary uses one head and the Dale the other.  

We try to limit the generator under 3 hours a day when we need to sit in one location for more than a day.  Running the boat engines about 2+ hours everyday keeps the batteries near the sweet spot.

Then there is the water thing. Great showers, drain the water heater showers, are not an option if you’d like potable water for cooking, doing dishes, washing hands and brushing teeth. The best we get is a spong bath or a wash in the the salt water then a rinse from the outdoor shower. Just like planning for fuel we need to plan for where we can get water.

From what I can see  it’s about the same for many of the other ‘normal people’ boats too. The $$$ boats I’m sure don’t have these ‘normal people’ issues.

Are we still having Fun? Absolutely.


Mary’s Boat Demographics SWAGs (Single Wild Ass Guesses)

**** Boat Length **** ( MV = motor vessel )  
MV Yacht >200 0.5%
MV Yacht 100-200 4.5%
MV Yacht 50-100 4.0%
MV Yacht <50 2.0%
Sailing Vessels 89.0%
Total 100.0%
**** Sailing Vessels ****  
Catamaranas 30%
Other sailboats 70%
Total 100%
**** Port of Origin ****  
Canada 60%
US 35%
Other 5%
Total 100%


Vessel vs Boat vs Yacht vs Ship???? It’s confusing. Definitions for Vessels, Boats, Yachts and Ships vary from source to source.

On occasion, State law enforcement agencies, manufacturers or other interested parties will ask the Coast Guard what laws and regulations apply to a particular device being used, or considered for use, on the water. The Coast Guard’s first step is to determine whether or not the particular device in question is a “vessel”. The process begins with the definition of the word vessel found in 1 USC 3, which is: “The word “vessel” includes every description of watercraft or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water.”

The following have been determined to be vessels by the Coast Guard.

  • Paddleboard
  • Argo-Amphibious ATV
  • Kiteboard
  • Float Tubes
  • Gold Dredges

Interestingly, this determination is limited to the application of regulations administered by the U.S. Coast Guard and does not reflect the opinion of any other department or agency of the federal government.   One dictionary source I looked at simply defines vessel as a ship or large boat.

U.S. Coast Guard §174.3 provides definitions for Vessel Types. (You can look that up). Additionally, the U.S. Coast Guard defines a yacht as a vessel over 26 feet in length.

In another other definition I found, yacht lengths range from 10 metres (33 ft) up to dozens of meters (hundreds of feet). A luxury craft smaller than 12 metres (39 ft) is more commonly called a cabin cruiser or simply a cruiser.