Saturday, January 28, 2017

Water, Water

Today was a banner water-making day. Well over 200 gallons. We were low, obviously. It was a good travel day for it, especially compared to yesterday. Yesterday we got salt spray on the solar panels and the stack pack (sail cover). Marks of a rough ride. We fished anyway. At one point I saw a huge splash behind us, with a delayed hard spin on the reel. The reel spun out so hard and so fast, Myron thought he might lose all the 80 pound line. He slowly applied the brake, then there was nothing. We reeled in a mangled mess that was formerly a pre-rigged ballyhoo. The wire leader was coiled like a slinky, the hooks were partly straightened, and not a bit of ballyhoo left. All we can figure is a large shark. That was our only action.

Yesterday's south wind gave us a little roll at the Royal Island anchorage. About midnight, our wind shift alarm went off. That is what I call our mizzen halyard. It sounds the alarm of banging, quite loudly, against the mizzen mast when Hold Fast is perpendicular to strong gusts of wind. We had a small squall come upon us out of the north. It chilled us off nicely. No real rain, or the salt would have been washed off the enclosure, solar panels and all. No, just wind enough to sound the alarm for us, and anyone near us, and make us happy we scoped the anchor chain well.

We got too much sun today and feel the affects, such as a nap after our shower without even bothering to eat dinner. Many times I was mesmerized watching the bottom go by under 30 feet of crystal blue water. We saw two brown footed boobies today. A rare site around here. We think today was the last calm day for a while. One forecast says we have weather coming in the next 16 hours that we should take seriously, the other forecasts are ho-hum. We prepared for the worst, abandoned the fishing trip, and will hang out on the west side of Rock Sound until the winds turn north.

We are looking forward to reuniting with Pastor Brad and family, and all the teacher, kids and other local friends. Hopefully Tuesday.

Love to all,

{GMST}24°52.19'N|076°11.31'W|7:31 PM|{GEND}

Royal island

We left Lynyard cay about 7am and arrived Royal Island about 4:45pm. It was not one of our best passage but it is done.

{GMST}25°30.94'N|076°50.68'W|1:44 AM|{GEND}

Thursday, January 26, 2017

And More Pictures...

This is the last of our pictures for a bit, at least any of volume.  Enjoy!

Newly arrived sprouts in the greenhouse:

Myron and Chris inspecting microgreens...yummy!

Red lettuce almost ready:

It is a large greenhouse, and all automated.  Very nice:

Inspecting watermelons:

The beginnings of a passion fruit orchard:

Dena (machete) and Giavanna (hatchet) on a mission to get coconut milk.  It took forever to get us to have a serious face...more like a frightening face!  Do not mess with us.

Myron and Dena leading 'Susie Q,' and Endeavor 43', into MOW harbor entrance.

And then onto a mooring ball.  Always so much better to have help into this harbor the first time around.

Love to all,

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Sharing Giavanna's Pictures

Something is making Jan and me bet is Myron...

We found one of the boats Uncle Willard made, at Orchid Bay

While roaming around Orchid Bay, before heading to the farm, we ran into Steve, from Jacksonville, FL (Sailor's Exchange).  Never know who you might see.

Jan and me on the Bird Walk:

Joined by the guys on the Bird Walk, as Chris explains some of the vegetation, including wild orchids.

The farm just HAPPENS to have a beach...

Chris and Myron at the greenhouse

More later...

Monday, January 23, 2017

Waiting Out Weather

We were all set to head south last week until Myron discovered a HUGE low crossing the US.  The low was far enough south that it represented a potential problem for us at limited protection anchorages down in Ragged Island.  We could have ridden it out at Rock Sound or Georgetown, but we are having fun with friends at MOW Cay, so why leave in haste?

Giavanna and Myron in 'hippie' mode (Giavanna's words)

We saw on the internet the damage the low (centered around FL/GA border) did to Georgia and we are so sorry to hear of the lives lost due to tornadoes.  Since we are only dealing with the trailing cold front and not the low, we had no such tornadoes.  The cold front hit us this morning with strong winds out of the west/northwest.  The strongest winds were, of course, in the thunderstorms and I am pleased to share that we WERE low on fresh water.  Now the starboard tank is running over and the port tank is more than half full.  We cannot fill the bow tank from rain, that is the water-maker's job.

Due to our delayed departure, we got a few projects completed, I got to participate in the opening of the women's Bible study, the guys attempted to recover a bee hive from a house, we got to make the corn tortillas for fish tacos at Jan and Jay's, and we got a three hour tour of the new farm opened up on Great Guana Cay.  The green house was especially fascinating.  It is a very ambitious endeavor by Chris, Mike and their partner.  While it is much more acreage than our farm, Chris is much younger than us.  Plus he has hired labor.  (I have since repented the coveting of hired help, and I am thankful for the volunteer help we did receive - farm fairies.)  A couple weeks ago we purchased some mixed greens and arugula from Chris' son who was walking around MOW Cay with a red wagon full of greens!  They were excellent.  We wish them the best for their farm, which is the best outcome for the neighboring islands.  Grow local, buy local.

One of the projects: Repair anchor light.  Check.

Another project: Replace damaged halyard. Check.

Jay and Myron working up the smoker on the bee project.  It is odd to see people wear jeans on the island.

Myron (kneeling at house), Jay (next to Myron), and Dexter (third one out), geared up for bee recovery.  Ended up that bees were under foundation and not in wall.  Not recoverable:

Myron and Jay having tea before we start assembly of corn tortillas.

I hope to share pictures of the farm visit soon.

Love to all,

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Sugar Apple

Uncle Willard said the weather was warm unusually late and it tricked the sugar apple trees into a second fruiting.  We have never been here for sugar apple season.  Now that he handed one to us, we were not exactly sure how to eat it.

Days later when Jay jumped aboard, we showed him that the sugar apple had reached its appropriate softness, thereby exhausting our expertise on the matter.  Jay pulled it apart and had us scoop out the milky flesh with a spoon.  Other than communicating the sweet mellow flavor to the brain, the mouth is also responsible for separating the big black seeds from the fruit and spitting them out.  If the spoon came to close to the fruit skin when retrieving flesh, we got a bit of grit.  Do not bias the mind by thinking “apple” while eating it.  I would equate it more with sweet white yogurt, if, of course, that yogurt had big black seeds.  We both loved it and can only hope for the weather to play tricks on the trees again next year.

Our stay at Jay’s dock thus far has had its magical moments: we have been visited by fairies.  We step off the boat to tackle a project on shore, or for whatever reason, and come back to find treasures.  There is the citrus fairy, delivering key limes, lemons, sour orange and tangelos.  Yummy all by themselves, or juiced, or transformed into tart lemon bread.  There is also the fish fairy, having twice now delivered delectable strawberry grouper.  There is also the fresh hot bun fairy, visiting this time while we were still on the boat.  We were in nap mode after a night I only got 20 minutes sleep due to a cold front passage that blew us off the dock before the tide left us grounded with a 10 degree or so angle.  We were all straightened out the next day, snuggled under cover when we heard a knock on the boat and the announcement that fresh buns from the oven were in the cockpit.  We rolled over dreaming about warm bread and must have been in REM sleep and dead to the world when, hours later, the waffle fairy delivered two waffles – not into the cockpit, but all the way in to the galley.  We never knew it.  Glad it was the waffle fairy and not some malevolent creature.   We are not the only benefactors.  Barry and Jay were visited by the cinnamon roll fairy and Jan was visited by the pizza fairy.

No, we do not believe in fairies.  However, on this island compound of four structures and two docks, we seem perfectly incapable of finding each other when we want to deliver a kindness.  Why dwell on our incompetence?  I am going with fairies.

Love to all,