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.