Thursday, December 31, 2009

Back in Green Turtle Cay, Abaco, Bahamas

Sunday, December 20 - Thursday, December 31, 2009
Apologies to everyone...we're getting behind on our blogging! Christmas has passed since our last update, and today is New Year's Eve. Queue the party music! We've settled quite well into the "Island Time, Mon" mentality, where nothing seems too pressing, and just about anything can be put off until tomorrow. Don't worry, be happy!

As expected, the weather kept us in Marsh Harbor through Christmas. We had hoped to return to Green Turtle Cay in time for Gary's (S/V Breakaway) Christmas Eve brunch and Brendal's Christmas Day potluck. As luck would have it, we ran into Gary in Marsh Harbor a few days before his brunch. The "Bolo" ferries go from Green Turtle to the ferry dock on Great Abaco, and many people rent a car to drive the 15 miles from the Abaco ferry dock to Marsh Harbor for major provisioning. Gary and two other cruisers had done just that, and we walked right past him on the way to the grocery store. We got to visit with him for a few minutes and wish each other a Merry Christmas. We also learned that Gary was friends with our anchorage neighbors, Frank and Rose on Local Knowledge, so we were able to dinghy Gary to their boat after our shopping run. It's always entertaining to see just how small the cruising community can be. We've met so many people on our travels, and the more you talk to them, the more you find cruising friends in common.

We had a "just the two of us" Christmas Eve dinner on the boat, followed by a Christmas Day potluck at the Jib Room. Stacy cooked like crazy - Beef Braciole (steak stuffed with ground meat and spices in a tomato sauce), mashed potatoes, bread, and cherry cobbler for Christmas Eve, plus a pina colada cheesecake and mini quiches to take to the potluck. The galley looked like a tornado had struck, but the food made it well worth it. (P.S. I've had a few requests for recipies, so I'm going to add a recipe section to the blog...eventually!) There were probably 40 people at the Jib Room potluck, and we had a great time visiting with fellow cruisers Valerie and Ed on Wind Swept, Alan on Joyous, and Boo (aka Linda) and Tom, owners of the Jib Room.

The weather finally broke on Boxing Day (December 26th for the Americans in the audience), and we were able to make it back across Whale Cay Passage. Big surprise (I could say "as expected"), the weather forecasters were wrong again in terms of the wind direction. Winds clocked to the NW in the morning instead of waiting til the afternoon, so we had them on the nose again. (Rene's wondering if he'll EVER get to sail again!) Fortunately the seas in the Whale were MUCH calmer than our first trip over thanks to two days of south-easterly winds, and Tawny-kitty even managed to keep her breakfast down.

We're happy to be back in Green Turtle, and have had a chance to reconnect with old friends and to meet some new ones: Gary on Breakaway is here but will likely head south next week; we had a chance to see Frank and Rose on Local Knowledge before they left for the Exhumas; Cam and Jan on Te Amore are good friends of Gary's and spend every winter in the Bahamas; Linda and Rick on Sojourner bought their boat in Kemah and lived in Watergate for a few months - they're heading towards the Chesapeake at the same time we are, so we may get to be boating buddies this summer; and of course, our Dutch friends Nicki, Larry, and Babette in the cottage next to our anchorage.

We also had a great surprise when friends Tracy and Seann came to visit earlier this week. They're staying on Spanish Cay through New Year's, and have a fast boat that allows them to island-hop without spending an entire day doing it! We met up with them at Pineapple's for a drink, and they invited us back to Spanish Cay for the night. We got to ride in the Intrepid, and it took about 30 minutes to make the 10 miles from GTC to Spanish instead of 3 hours. What a deal! We got to visit with Tracy, Seann, his parents, and their friends, and met up with another Dutchie (Spanish Cay's harbormaster/manager), Richard. We had an amazing dinner prepared by restaurateur, yacht-builder, and owner of Spanish Cay, Don Davis, and finished up the night with karaoke, politics, and too many G&Ts. Seann brought us back to the boat the next day, and we hope to see them again before they go back to Ft. Lauderdale. It's so much fun to meet up with friends in these random places!

We kind of started celebrating New Year's last night with dinner at Nicki and Babette's, followed by dancing to the music of the Gully Roosters ("the #1 band in the Bahamas!") at the Green Turtle Club. The fun continues with a 4-course meal and more dancing tonight at the Green Turtle Club, followed by the after-party at Rooster's Rest in New Plymouth. Rumor has it the party goes til 5am, just in time for breakfast. Before you even think about getting some shut-eye, it's time to head back into town. Local vendors start setting up their tents mid-morning, and the Junkanoo parade kicks off at 2pm. Now is it time to sleep? Noooo! The real full moon is today, Dec. 31st, but the full moon party at Sundowner's has been postponed until tomorrow so as not to compete with the New Year's Eve celebrations. We're told it's a party not to be missed. What a way to end the holidays!

We wish all of our family and friends a very happy New Year. Here's to a fantastic 2010!

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