December 3, 2013

Bahamas 2013-14


This update is dedicated to our daughter/son-in-law’s neighbor, Andre’, who died unexpectedly on November 29th.  Andre’ was a very passionate, caring, inquisitive individual who became very interested in our travels.  He preferred to read hard copy, so Lisa would print out our updates and answer all his questions.  He regularly asked Lisa about our travels and during our summers in CT, would want to hear about them again from us.  He was a very special family friend and will be truly missed.

The Journey
We left CT on October 19, arriving in Stuart, FL, on October 21.  As in previous years, we stayed at our friend’s house, Lenora and Dan, while getting Duetto ready and provisioning for the Bahamas.  We left their dock on November 9, with plans to go to Ft. Lauderdale to wait for a good crossing window.

On November 11, we traveled to West Palm for an overnight and joined S/V Valerie Arden (owned by Peter and Val Nucci from CT) for Happy Hour.  They along with four other RMHYC motor vessels were planning to cross the next day, taking advantage of a very short weather window due to an arriving cold front.   In order to get across and beat the front to the next all-weather harbor, it would require traveling at night.  The sea state was not going to be as calm as we like; we went back and forth about whether to go or not, but there is something to be said about going with a group!

So, the next morning we decided to go out and see what the seas were like, knowing we could always change direction and go to Ft. Lauderdale if it was too uncomfortable.  Well, you know that once out there, you usually don’t change direction.  The seas in the gulf stream were uncomfortable for Duetto, but certainly not threatening.  It was also very comforting keeping in touch with the other boats along the way.  Once we got about 10 miles off the Bahama Bank, the seas calmed down and we passed the other boats.  We arrived in Great Sale Cay (110 miles) at 3:15 p.m. with the other boats joining us between 4:30 - 7 p.m.
We set our alarm clocks for 11:00 p.m., since we wanted to get to a safe harbor before the predicted front.  We pulled anchors at midnight and averaged about 8 knots in parade-like fashion, arriving off of Green Turtle Cay at 7 a.m. (60 miles).  Three boats went into GTC and the others continued on to Marsh Harbor.  Luckily, the front came through later than predicted.  DSC_1494

Green Turtle Cay
It took us a couple of days to recoup from the trip……from lack of sleep and anticipation/nervousness of our first night travel, in addition to getting bounced around in the gulf stream.  But, we were glad to have arrived in the Bahamas instead of hanging out at Ft. Lauderdale!

We spent five days in GTC with a total of six RMHYC boats.   Naturally, the ladies played Mah Jongg and the guys took care of boat issues.  We had a reunion dinner at the Lizard Bar & Grill, located at the Leeward Yacht Club where we docked.  IMG_0760 

Morning walks reminded Diane of the beauty of the Bahamas and why we return every year.
IMG_0749  IMG_0729IMG_0741

Hope Town
From GTC we traveled to Hope Town to spend a couple of days.  We were joined by three RMHYC boats at the Hope Town Marina and enjoyed this very picturesque Island.  Jim and Kathy on Fennders went fishing on their way to HT; we had a wonderful wahoo dinner.


Boat Harbour (Marsh Harbour)
We finally arrived at our dock in Boat Harbour on November 19.  There are only about twelve boats here so far, mainly due to lack of good crossing windows.

We had a great Thanksgiving dinner at Angler’s Restaurant and homemade dessert prepared by RMHYC ladies.  Our table was one of three, twenty-one members attended.  Imported Photos 01066

RMHYC Social Events
We now have our Social Committee hats on, working with event coordinators on the four major events planned for this season.  Our first one is the Holiday Party on December 10.  The January event takes place on the 14th, which is our “Souper” Bowl party, where the ladies will be making their favorite soup/stew recipes to be judged for prizes.  The Commodore’s Ball is in February, which is a nautical theme; and the last major event is the March Margarita Madness beach party.

We also implemented online registration for events and are rolling that out with the Holiday party.  John spent many hours this summer getting that in place.  It gives members the opportunity to register from afar and not have to worry about getting cash or check to the coordinators of events in Marsh Harbour.

We look forward to returning to CT for the Christmas/New Year Holidays, visiting with family and friends.    We will arrive December 11 and return January 2.


March 21, 2013

February thru March 17, 2013 - Abacos

This timeframe was very busy for us with social events and a visit from CT friends.  Below are highlights….

RMHYC Changing of the Guard

The first February event was the annual RMHYC meeting where the “changing of the guard” took place this year…..a new Commodore and Bridge (Board).  Following the meeting, there was a pasta dinner with over 100 members and guests.  The sailboats raised flags in honor of the new Commodore.IMG_0297

Visit from CT Friends

On February 14, Doreen and Frank from CT visited us for nine days, staying in the Abaco Beach Resort Hotel.  The resort offers a discount to RMHYC guests.  Below are the highlights of their visit……

IMG_0236Views from their Room IMG_0231

We rented a car for two days, which was a treat for us to see parts of the Abaco Island for the first time.  Driving on the opposite side of the road was interesting!  The first day, we drove to the most northern part of the Island, Crown Haven.  We had lunch at the Beach Restaurant on Treasure Cay.


The next day, we drove to the most southern point of the Island, Sandy Point.  We stopped at Crossing Rocks beach, which is known for an abundance of sea glass.    We enjoyed lunch at Pete’s Pub in Little Harbour.  Notice we are dressed for cold weather.


Frank took a half-day bone-fishing trip.  The next day we took a cruise on Duetto to Hope Town.


We all attended the Commodore’s Ball.  The theme was “Rat Pack”.


A couple of days were spent by the pool at the Resort….


Off-Shore Fishing

We went on our first off-shore fishing trip with Jim and Kathy Fenn on Fennders.  Since we don’t fish, this was quite an experience for us to see what is involved.  However, we don’t think we will get invited again because we didn’t get one bite on any of the many lines, which was a first for the Fenn’s in four or five years…..


Bocce Tournament

John played Bocce twice a week and developed a program to keep track of results.  Results were posted on the RMHYC website.  At the end of the season, semi-final and final playoffs were held, which included Rum punch and popcorn for the audience.   Unfortunately, Brian ran out of rum and had to use the prizes (two bottles of rum) for the punch.  The winners were presented with empty bottles.


Art and Craft Exhibit

Approximately 40 RMHYC members displayed their many talents at the Club’s fourth annual Art and Craft Exhibit held at Abaco Beach Resort on March 7.  One member has taught water-color painting to any member who was interested for the past two seasons.  Many beginning painters produced pictures which look as if they were painted by professionals.  The exhibit brings out all of the talented members in the Club!  We displayed Diane’s pine needle baskets and our sea glass jewelry.  Even though we haven’t had much time to work on either this year, Diane did create a couple of baskets….



After the show we had a Turkey dinner at Angler’s Restaurant with 88 members and guests.

Margarita Madness Party

Our final event of the season was a beach party at the Abaco Beach Resort on March 12.  This was our only open-bar event.   It was a typical hotdog/hamburger beach party with games, music and lots of food and drinks.  The event was open to members and guests and is typically our largest event of the season; this year 190 people attended.  The party ended with a bonfire and s’mores….and a beautiful sunset sky.


Barefoot Man Concert at Nippers

On March 15 we attended our third Barefoot man concert at Nippers Bar on Great Guana Cay.  We stayed at Orchid Bay Marina, which is walking distance to Nippers.  The concert was entertaining, especially watching the crowds.  The next day, we had a potluck St. Patrick’s Day dinner at the Marina with about 30 RMHYC members and guests.


End of 2012-13 Season

It is hard to believe that this season is ending.  This was a very different year for us.  Our social responsibilities offered many opportunities…..getting to know many more RMHYC members and the Abaco Beach Resort staff, working with many different personalities, getting more organization around events resulting in happier members and learning more about our club’s new website for supporting social events.  Ghee, it sounds like we have come out of retirement.  All in all, it was a very satisfying season!

The weather has also been very different this year.  December and January were very warm and humid.  February and March were cooler and windy with more rain.  That would be an average of about 75 day/60 night degrees and about five rainy days across the two months.