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ADDITIONS TO THE BLOG as of January 2017 (BSET): Shamal and her Crew being Mum and Dad are in Bahamas * Should you want to contact us, you can do so by clicking on the Contact Us tab below. * PLEASE subscribe to the Blog, so that new posts are emailed to your inbox.

09 January 2017

Southern Abacos - Bahamas

Hello Again


Tender Dock, Marsh Harbour

Atlantic Side Elbow Cay
I finished our last posting with us arriving into Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco Island.  We are now in the area known as the Southern Abacos.  This is a nice easy harbour to enter, with plenty of room to anchor, and one is protected in all directions if the wind should be blowing strongly.  Also it is GREAT fishing in here.  We have not seen any one else fishing from the back of their boats, but the locals assure us that it is quite safe to eat fish from this harbour. So, we have our lines out each evening.  I have caught four mutton snapper, my biggest being 30 inches in length and weighing 10lbs. (see photo of Alec holding it)  The next was only slightly smaller, then a couple of lovely fat smaller ones.  Mark has also caught three which have been a good size.  I gave my second one to the local conch man who gave us a lovely conch salad.  Good trade.
Mutton Snapper

Christmas Festival
Marsh Harbour is the third largest town in the Bahamas with a population of around 6,000 residents.  The town has most of what one needs, apart from boating spares which the boys have been looking for.  Our starboard instrument panel has died on us, but at least we can still start the engine.  The trouble is, now that the boat is coming up for ten years old, (yes we have been going that long now, and how time has flown by, and, what an Adventure we are having) new models of these panels are out and we think it will be quite difficult to find a replacement.  Why do companies do this – discontinue an item that works well ?  Anyway, Alec is on-line doing some research as to where he may find one.  A job every Captain/Engineer has to do in some port somewhere.  At least it will not stop us from continuing on.


05 December 2016

U.S.A. To The Bahamas - The Abacos

Hello Again and Seasons Greetings.

Christmas Festival - Bahamas
Entrance To Manatee Pocket

Our last week in Stuart, Florida was spent checking and re-checking everything to make sure we were ready for the next cruising season.  We picked up our new sun shades for the back deck – which were not quite the correct fitting, but we had waited so long for them and I could make the necessary adjustments. On our last day we moved SHAMAL over to the fuel dock at Sailfish Marina for a final pump out, to fill up the diesel tanks plus the ten jerry cans, fill the four petrol cans for the outboard motor, and fill up the water tank as we have not been making water in Manatee Pocket as the water is filthy.  Then it was off to the markets for the fresh fruit and vegetables.  As for the tins and dry stores, once again I have stocked up with enough to go around the world again!!!  We have been told that we will find it more expensive out in the Bahamas, and, in Cuba most items will be impossible to find, so stocked up we are. Alec is now a little concerned how low we are sitting in the water!! 

18 October 2016

Life in Manatee Pocket, Stuart, Florida/Hurricane Matthew


Our Local Café and Bar

Yes we are STILL in the “Pocket”.  Three months have passed since we first dropped anchor here to start the next round of maintenance and repairs after leaving St. Augustine.

We have settled in and are now nearly one of the “locals”. To some we are somewhat of a novelty still, coming from that far away corner of the South Pacific – many have no idea actually where NZ is, and others surprise us saying they have travelled there. We met a lovely gentleman in his eighties in the supermarket and we are now the best of friends.  He and his wife have taken us out on a sightseeing drive around the area, then out for a meal.  They too were keen boaties up until about five years ago and have given us lots of tips about the Bahamas.  After some considerable consideration we decided as our jobs were taking longer than we first planned, that we would stay here for the Hurricane Season, well most of it,  and as it turn out that was a good decision.
A meal with new friends

Thunderstorms are still a very regular occurrence, but I can’t get use to them. About six weeks ago we had a phone call from friends whom we met in the St Augustine Marina, and who were then out in Freetown in the Bahamas.  They were devastated as their 52ft catamaran has been hit by lightning.  They have lost ALL their electrics. After a couple of weeks they managed to motor back into Fort Lauderdale, and have been hauled out of the water to start the job of major repairs.  Since then we have brought a lightning rod which Alec has fixed to the top of the mast.  Now no one can say for sure that they work, but we are prepared to give it a go.