Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mom's Here!

Tuesday, March 9 - Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Please welcome our first (and only, considering we're leaving in two weeks) visitor to the Bahamas: Stacy's mom!! Mom flew in to Treasure Cay on Tuesday afternoon to join us for a week in the beautiful Abacos. We'd met a local cab driver through Ron a few weeks back, and hired him for the round trip to Treasure Cay airport to pick up Mom. We were back on the boat by 4pm and had the chance to introduce her to a few of our friends on neighboring boats. We had happy hour on the boat, taught Mom how to play Mexican Train (dominoes), and called it a fairly early night. We had a busy schedule planned for the week and wanted to get an early start!

Wednesday began with Happy Birthday wishes to Rene, along with the best cinnamon rolls in the Abacos at Florence's Bakery & Cafe. Breakfast was followed by a beach walk along Treasure Cay, where we ran into Linda from Sojourner doing her daily walk and was happy to take a few group shots of us. We went further down the beach than we'd planned, and were surprised to find it nearly 1:30 before we got back. We still needed to shower, shop for groceries, call Rene's mom, and bake a birthday rum cake, all before setting sail for Guana Cay and the Wednesday night potluck at Grabbers. How were we ever going to get all of this done?!

We finally left the anchorage around 3pm to begin the 2-hour trip to Guana. Between the late start, the rum cake prep, figuring out what to make for the potluck, and what looked like an oncoming squall, Stacy was getting a wee bit stressed out. (Author's note: now that the only real stress in my life involves anchoring, weather, and hitting/being hit by other boats, I go a little crazy when pressed into a tight schedule!) But of course, the black storm clouds eventually turned away from us, the rum cake baked en route to Guana, and the winds even let us do some motor sailing for the first hour. Mom got to see Pipe with the jib up, and we had an easy trip across the Sea of Abaco. Stacy went a little crazy again trying to figure out what to make in a 30-minute window once we reached Fisher Bay, but a simple pasta dish and a sundowner eventually cured all. We made it to the potluck, met a few second homeowners and Spring Break-ers, and had a fantastic night.

Thursday brought a 3-day run of lousy weather, so we made a mad dash to Marsh Harbor to hunker down. We debated where to hide out - Marsh vs. Hope Town - and decided we'd rather show Mom Hope Town at its best once the sun came out again. We found a good spot with plenty of swing room in anticipation of the high and clocking winds, and later joined Art (Destiny) and John & Ginger (Be Leaving) at the cruiser happy hour at the Jib Room. Mom had a lot of fun meeting more fellow cruisers, and we made plans to get everyone together for the Jib Room's steak night on Saturday.

We managed to show Mom the highlights of Marsh Harbor on Friday morning before it began to rain...and rain...and rain. We've never seen so much water in our dinghy! Unfortunately, Mom realized Saturday morning that she'd left a porthole in her bedroom open overnight. She thought the water had only pooled on the shelf under the window, and asked us to do a quick check. Rene began to get worried when he found more water at the far end of the shelf...and more so when he opened the first locker to find wet clothes. Nooooo!! The rain water managed to drip from the shelf above to the locker floor below, and kept running backwards through the next two lockers. Anything on the locker floor was soaked, and clothes that were hanging but touching the bottom of the locker acted like sponges. Even the mattress, sheets, Mom's purse, and some of her clothes got wet. What a mess! Thank god Saturday was a beautiful sunny, windy day, and we quickly hung EVERYTHING out to dry. There wasn't an empty spot anywhere on our clothesline and lifelines. By that night, we were more than ready for a good dinner at the Jib Room and a bottle of wine!

Sunday we left bright and early for the hour-plus trip to Hope Town. The winds let us motor sail again, and we arrived near high tide to make it across the shoals outside of Hope Town Harbor. Hope Town is always busy during bad weather, so we were relieved to spot an open mooring ball in the back corner of the harbor. As (bad) luck would have it, the winds had the boats turned toward us, so we had to make a nerve-wracking circle through the mooring field to get ourselves pointed in the right direction for the approach. We were within a few feet of other boats more than once, and we all breathed a huge sigh of relief when we finally got secured to the mooring ball.

Hope Town was as charming as ever, and we made sure Mom got to see some of the highlights: a walking tour of the village, a stop at the beach, lunch at Harbor's Edge, and breakfast the next morning at the Hope Town Coffee House. We also thought it would be fun to rent a golf cart for the day to see the rest of Elbow Cay, and made our way to Tahiti Beach on Monday morning. What a gorgeous spot! Rated one of the top 10 beaches in the Bahamas, Tahiti Beach is fringed by palm trees and extends into a long sandy spit at low tide. We watched kite boarders do jumps and flips in the shallows, and hunted for shells and sea glass on the Atlantic side of the beach. After a beer stop at Sea Spray Resort's tiki bar, we enjoyed a picnic on the beach near White Sound. The only other person on the beach was a woman waiting for her lobster-hunting hubby. We soon spotted him near the reef with a mutton fish and lobster tail in hand, holding both up and yelling frantically while he backed up toward the beach. A juvenile black tip shark had been attracted by the blood from the speared mutton fish and thought it would enjoy an easy lunch. No such luck, as the guy managed to make it back to the beach with his dinner in hand (after nearly losing his swim trunks).

Tuesday morning we got up early to sail back to Marsh Harbor. Rick & Linda's kids were also visiting, and they were on the same flight as Mom. We piled the three of them back into Sidney's taxi for the hour-long trip to the airport. We hated saying good-bye and wished Mom could've stayed longer. She promises to come back next year when we're in the Exumas...this time with Ken!

Three sets of posted pictures with this chapter:

1) Pictures recovered from our now defunct underwater camera

2) Pictures from the Barefoot Man concert weekend

3) Pictures from the week with Stacy's mom

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