Saturday, February 25, 2017

Beth of the Sailing Vessel Shipp Mates I Stole Your Glasses

When Marc was living in Germany in the 80’s he bought a pair of Serrengetti sunglasses, they finally bit the dust in 2014. Admittedly they still looked pristine, hardly scratched considering he wore them constantly, the arm rusted off with exposure to the salt water. Marc is really conscientious of his belongings. I on the other hand, am really hard on glasses and watches. Thank goodness I have no need for a watch anymore, sunglasses thats a whole different story. I can never find a pair I like and they are so darn expensive. I occasionally steal a pair from Ashlee, but lately when I visit I don’t find them as accessible, I think she’s taken to locking them up. I should have bought some before leaving the land of plenty, but now I can’t bring myself to paying top dollar for dollar store glasses when I know I am kryptonite to sunglasses. So I have a pair I struggle with, that have so many scratches looking through the lens is like a sunscreen haze I cant get rid of. Marc often chastises and can recount my different glasses faux pas, every marriage has to have that one thing.   

In Marsh Harbor, we were getting a propane tank filled, that was to be picked up at 12:00, so we were out running around like crazy people, grabbing last minute supplies with the intention of being back on DevOcean at 12:15, getting the heck out of the harbor, sails up and on the hook in Elbow key as soon as possible. Shopping list; clothes pins, dingy gas and zinc, flipper straps. Essentials, when I spotted an ice cream parlor 11:45. I know we had a plan, but I can’t pass an ice cream parlor period. (BTW Tahiti beach, Elbow Cay has the best ice cream hands down in the Abaco, So far…) When we went into the parlor, a sailing couple we had waved at in passing many times over the past few weeks introduced themselves. Beth & George Shipp of the S/V Shipp Mates Whitby Municipal Marina. Anyway, we grabbed ice creams and joined them for awhile, while we enjoyed and talked tales. So, were does this all fall into place? I put my reading glasses on the table, and when we rushed to leave after our chat I put my reading glasses into my pocket 12:20 . As we had overshot our timeline to raise the anchor, we mindlessly put things away. 

Fast forward two hours later sailing on route to Elbow Cay I went to grab my glasses for a read and much to my annoyance couldn’t find them. There was no way I was going to once again confess my lack of responsibility to Marc when it came to my glasses. I  do have a pair of sunglasses with readers though so grabbed them hoping to put off the glasses conversation as long as possible. But, these weren’t them. They were scratch free, polarised sun glasses and they fit me perfectly!

So to the friendly Beth of the sailing Vessel Shipp Mates I stole your glasses…I will try not to scratch them until we meet again….Marc says he feels sorry for the nice glasses. 

In case you can't remember what the culprit looked like 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Blue Hole Old Robinson's Bight Little Harbor Abaco


I know I don't blog often, as I'm a man of few words. They say one picture is worth a 1000 words, I'm not sure how may words per video. This Blue hole is in Old Robinson's Bight near Little Harbor Abaco, during high tide you can access this interesting area. A blue hole is actually a large sinkhole that extends underground and is connected to the ocean. It is said that they provide submerged cave passages. This blue hole displays a plaque commemorating three divers who drowned while cave exploring.  You need to be careful during an Ebb tide as the marsh is draining and can make resurfacing against the current difficult. 

These Lion Fish are an invading species that have no natural predetor due to their poisonous fins. They have been described as "one of the most aggressively invasive species on the planet"  They feed on all other fish affecting the natural balance of the coral reef ecosystems. Bonus though we hear the meat is actually very good, but you need to be careful cleaning them.   

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Finally A Blue Post

Hello everyone.

It's been so long since my last Blue post that we are considering changing our blog name from PinkNBlueView to PinkNBlueish View. I will not put everyone through a recap as Linda did a great job blogging and keeping it up to date. So what I would like to talk about is what has been happening for me since we came back from an eighteen months sailing absence. First of all, let me tell you one thing, when they say sailing is hard on a boat, it's not as hard as sitting on the hard. Maybe it's because when you're sailing you keep up with the repairs. After a long period of sitting DevOcean's accumulated many repairs  and they all needed to be done before we launched. Not that I'm complaining mind you, I could be shovelling snow rather than working and sweating in an engine compartment. Some of the jobs that needed to be done were, new cutlass bearing, new engine panel, new contractor switch for the windlass that was advertised as water proof, new toilet pump, new pump out deck cap, new LED cabin lights and more.  These job take time, but the trips to get parts take even more time. One day I had to return to Ace Hardware four times. At one point I think the staff thought I just kept going back just for the popcorn. Yes Ace Hardware in Green Cove Spring has popcorn.   

Most people take their dogs or even cats for a walk or a drive. I'm a sailor so what do I do? I take my anchor chain out for a drive. Let me explain, our anchor chain is 200ft of 5/8" and was starting to rust. Now the job at hand was to use a wire brush to get the rust off, then use acid to clean it and then paint it with zinc paint. I would like to take the credit for this idea, but I think I heard someone mention it before.  I Attached the chain to the rear of the vehicle, then dragged it for a couple of miles on a gravel road. Do you know how long it would take to clean 200ft of chain with brushes? Thanks to our good friends Kim and Les from S/V Willamia, who owns a van with a trailer hitch, our anchor chain came back home clean 30 minutes later, mostly rust free. Sorry no pictures, I didn't want the animal protection society hunting me down thinking I was out dragging a pet around. 

                                                               Changing the cutless bearing 

Mind you not all our jobs were completed before we launched, as we probably would still be on the hard. Everyday I work a little to bring DevOcean back and stay on top of the repair. 
Don't get me wrong it's not just work and as most of you that reads our blog knows we are enjoying ourself immensely. We are and will be staying in the Abaco this year to throughly visit the area as much as possible. How can we complain, the water is crystal clear, snorkelling is great, fishing plentiful, it's warm during the day and cool at night making for perfect sleeping and best of all the sailings been fantastic. 

Life is good

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Man O War to Marsh Harbor

We are in the Abaco Islands this winter, which are considered part of the near Bahamas. Because of the close proximity to Floridas east coast this is a huge vacation destination for Floridians.  The Abacos is comprised of two large Islands, Great Abaco and Little Abbaco and the Abaco Cays, running approximately 150 miles from one end to the other. We zipped through here in April 2015 when we returned home from exploring Eluthra and the Exhumas. Our intent is to fully check out this area, then in following winters keep heading farther and farther south. We have so many friends that love the Abaco that we just didn’t want to miss out on exploring everything that this area has to offer.

So, we checked our chart books, questioned cruising friends and came up with a cruising plan. According to friends, there were about 15 must stops to make over our three month journey. Today we reluctantly hoisted anchor at our beautiful anchorage in Man O War Cay, one of the cleanest, prettiest little Cays, to explore Marsh Harbor, resupply with groceries and refill the propane tanks. 

We anchor DevOcean in the harbor, chat with the S/V on our starboard side, get advice on the dingy dock, where the grocery store is and get what the lay of the land is here.  We decide to have a quick walk about to check out the town.  About ten minutes into the walk;

Marc: I think we've been here before
Linda: No way honey, I would remember this place.
Marc: I swear we have been here, I’m sure I walked this way.
Linda: I don’t think so, did we anchor and you come to town with someone else?
Marc: No, Im sure we’ve been here. 
Linda: I’m checking the log, theres no way

Sure enough we had previously been in Marsh Harbor 2015! And from the look of my notes I was getting a little anxious, to get home, seriously so much for living in the moment. As an anchorage, snorkeling, bush wacking kinda girl I can understand memory laps. As a I need groceries to feed my captain kinda girl, I don’t know how I forgot this place. There is the biggest grocery store at the best prices I’ve seen since we’ve been in the Abacos. After we get groceries and propane we will be leaving to explore Tahiti Beach then Tilloo Cay. We will be returning to Marsh Harbor Feb 24 to 26 for the Junkanoo Weekend. I’ll bet I won’t forget Marsh Harbor after that week end. 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Treasure Cay

Pink N Blue blog was designed to be a sailing blog about cruising and living from two points of view, that has pretty much evolved into a pink blog with me venting endlessly about all the fun and cool stuff we do and see. I can’t help it, this adventurous girl is often a little loud, a little reckless and likes to be kept busy.

Sometimes Marc takes a backseat role in our adventures, but really he is the front seat driver. Marc keeps this machine going wether it’s sailing related or Linda related. My romance with Marc has always been fun, and a life full of pleasant surprises.

Treasure Cay, Great Abaco Island was one of those pleasant surprises. We have never seen such a beautiful beach, three miles of natural awe created of white sand and blue sky. A fantastic place to vacation if you’re running from the cold north for a week or two. But, the real delight for us here was exploring in the marsh on the west side just outside the harbour canal.

Of course, I never make Marc’s life easy. I can turn a simple exploration into a full out event. When is high tide? Can we go at day break? We should video tape this, is the GoPro charged. “Sharks, I need to see sharks”. He's pretty understanding even when my ideas are so irrational they are borderline ridiculous. Best of all though he gives me strength to live on the edge of my comfort zone, which can be kind of scary or bizarre to people who aren't the same way, seriously someone said there are hammer heads in there. 

Up early, coffee, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in hand, off we go. We poke about the marsh for hours, Marc points out spotted rays and turtles, while I squeal in excitement. We drift with the current, listen to birds, gather some really bad GoPro footage. It was a beautiful morning, a beautiful experience. And yes we spotted two sharks though they move way faster than us and they were probably more shocked to see us, than us them. 

So I guess where I wanted to go with this blog was to say thanks to my captain, without Marc I would never have been here, never had the courage to fill dreams past and present. Marc made this ok stop into something fun and interesting. I think loving Marc is the best adventure I’ve ever had. 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

He Who Shall Not Be Named: Green Turtle 20-26 Jan 2017

I had a minor tooth infection that antibiotics and anti inflammatories, a euphemism for pain killers, was keeping at bay, but wouldn’t cure,  A solid blow was coming in that required secure holding, our water pump screamed empty, it had been 17 days since I had last done laundry or bought groceries and please don’t get me going on a solid, hot water, running down your back shower. So, we decided to head to Green Turtle Cay. 

In the few days prior to heading to Green Turtle, Marc kept his needle nose pliers handy and continuously made, what he thought were funny jokes about pulling out my tooth. I personally don’t think he was joking but, rather sadisticaly hiding behind his laugh and those dam pliers. We found a dentist in Marsh Harbour and the earliest I could be seen was three long days away. Marc wanted to sail, but not feeling well, I honestly wanted the comfort of land so we pulled into Green Turtle Club & Marina.  The dentist was only about a 40 mile sail, eight hours.  By land, a ferry ride to Treasure Cay $21 round trip one person, $85 taxi, one way to Marsh Harbour. I had a stiff drink of gin and went to bed to wait out my appointment and count my pennies, who knew what a dentist was going to cost. That night the tooth fell out! I kid you not, the tooth fell out, the pain was gone, I was is a shinny marina, no pain, water, groceries, bars, what to do? What to do?  

Feeling better I stripped the beds, stripped the boat and stripped off Marc’s dirty blue T, I headed to the laundry. Four loads of laundry washed and dried $36.56, at this I was shocked, but Marc later reminded me that a Goombay Smash from the originator Miss Emily’s Blue Bee Bar was $7.50 US and a round of six Tipsy Turtles $78 US. I just heard the inhale of shocked cruisers across the Caribbean at that crazy word round, but… when six solid cruisers start playing our new favorite game of “he who must not be named” during a blow, fun just happens.  Now if my son is reading this and he’s probably not, he thinks I just made a Harry Potter reference, Im not. Weather is a constant conversation, Chris Parkers weather broadcast is most cruisers morning coffee companion, followed by daily greetings of “did you listen to Chris this morning?” Conversations through out the day often include “ Chris says the wind is 15 NNW tomorrow” and in the evening “off to bed, I have to get up to listen to Chris”. We decided to create a Chris free zone, no saying his name in any
content, do not dare to utter or mention CP’S name. Kirsten of the S/V Night Music  was really good at this game, she could be in the middle of what Im sure was an important conversation wink, wink and hear someone else mention that name clear across the table and … I know, I have just mentioned his name five times, it was unavoidable. 

Please don’t think this is how we spent a week, just a blip between snorkeling a fantastic ocean reef, exploring the town of New Plymouth, hiking to the cross and enjoying the pool.  Not every story is about blue water and hot sun, and no Daniel, of course your mom didn’t play any silly drinking games.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

I Loved Allen's Pensacola

There are so many different kinds of cruisers, we met friends the first year we were out, who run from marina to marina, exploring the Caribbean and when they need a break hop onto a cruise ship or relax in a resort. We have friends who yearly quickly slip along to George Town, enjoying the commaradiery that a ton of cruisers share. We have friends who have never touched George Town, like a plague, ferreting out the most remote anchorages they can find. Cruisers who have circumnavigated the world, one spot cruisers, pokey cruisers, zippy cruisers, part time cruisers and full time cruisers. We have friends that sail, motor sail, never raise a sail. Some have yachts, some boats, some haven't  got two nickels to rub together, but all, have a sense of adventure. I’m not sure where we fit in, probably a little of each, sans the circumnavigating, our hearts maybe there, but DevOcean just isn’t the right fit.  Panama maybe…

This week though, I really felt like I fit into a mold. I like Allen Pensacola, ok who am I kidding, I love Allen Pensacola Cay. What is there you ask, nothing and everything. Is it the place that makes the people stop or the people that stop, that make the place?
Allen Pensacola Cay is about three miles long, is located in the Northern Abacos and runs northwest to southeast. On the Ocean side there are long lovely beaches with soft sand that feels like corn starch tucked between out croppings. The bank side is scattered with numerous small secluded beaches. The cay is basically divided by mangroves. When the tide is low you can explore for hours. When the tide is high and the winds are blowing from the NE the power of the ocean is amazing. I know this is a popular spot, the evidence, left behind, by people here tells me that, but today, right now with just a handful of boats in the anchorage it feels like its all ours. 

We had been here a few nights when we were poking around at dusk and bumped into a couple that make Allen Cay pretty much their home away from home, except for two months a year. They talked with such excitement about the paths they and others had cut across the local cays, the hours and hours they had spent exploring, fishing the reefs, taking pictures with their drone, friends they made. Excitedly Betty Sue offered to teach me how to clean conk, Bill said he would take us exploring. 

Bill took us out poking around on the reef, within no time we had to stop fishing as we had more than enough lobster for dinner for our boat, theirs and another. And I know he did’t show me his sweet spot wink, wink. Bill, who I now affectionately refer to as the iron lung took us conk diving. Really, he snorkeled, we watched. Bill easily slips 20+ feet and swims along the bottom gathering conk, poking in the reefs, surfacing and passing his haul to his wife. Did I tell you he was 66? I think I could have followed him in the water for hours, except I watched my first black tipped shark swim by and I was done. Marc say’s how big was it? I don’t frigin know, it was just too big for me. 

It was the first calm night we have had in a while so after a fantastic dinner Marc and I sat on our bow enjoying the many stars, we stuck a light over board to see what was around and saw baby sting rays, a small squid and crabs squiring. 

The next day, the most calm beautiful day in weeks, the three boats that seem to belong in the anchorage were gone, parked out in the main channel, far away from the cay, odd. Odd until dusk fell and a million pesky, devilishly hunting no seeums attacked. Our screens couldn’t even keep them at bay. 

So now what to do? I’m in heaven, I found a mentor. Seriously, I want to be the pesky kid and follow these guys everywhere.  But my love, my sailor, says its going to be a great sail tomorrow to Green Turtle Cay, the waters low and another blow is coming. He says I can always come back.  

Conk cleaning 1O1, Betty Sue made it look easy, when she cut that muscle the conk slid out, me not so much. That poor conch didn’t have a chance. I ended up bashing and bashing covered in conk slime. Yuck, but it sure tastes good.