Monday, May 13, 2013

SHE'S SOLD!!!

As earlier stated, we hung out in Guana a bit longer than expected... but it was all for a good reason. After talking at Kidds Cove about our plans with GM, a couple sitting across from us heard of our plans to sell her and became instantly interested. Nicholas and Kimberly then contacted us right away, wanting to see GM, with interest in possibly purchasing her.

So, we brought Kimberly and Nicholas out to the boat to show her off. We couldn't express enough of how sad we were to have to let her go, but how we needed to in order to begin the next leg of our adventure on a larger, more equipped boat. While Great Mysterious is perfect for island hopping, we want to eventually take the next step onto the Carribbean and Central/South America. While that is quite a ways away, we have something to get home and work towards, that's for sure.

She gets to stay in her Happy Place...

Kimberly and Nicholas spent a day on the boat and then we took them out sailing the next. They seemed to instantly fall in love with not only the boat, but with our lifestyle. It's unlike any other, and it takes a person with a true adventure sense to really appreciate it. After discussing the details and some numbers, a deal was made and a handshake was exchanged. GREAT MYSTERIOUS WAS S-O-L-D!!!

Between the four of us, no one could take the smile off of their faces. Nicholas and Kimberly, for a new chapter beginning, and us for one door closing in order for another to open. Dolby and I couldn't express enough of how happy we were with the situation. Instead of having to sail to Florida, strip her down, put her on the hard, and drive away, we are now able to leave GM in the islands, where she's the happiest. Fully outfitted and ready to cruise, she's getting a new owner who will love her as much as we do and use her to island hop here in the Bahamas, and possibly farther.

We've honestly been on cloud 9 since the exchange of hands of GM. Dolby and I haven't only found new owners of our boat, but we've met two amazing individuals whom we plan on keeping in contact with- a friendship that will last lifetimes. Kim and Nico are so similar to Dolby and I... it's absolutely fascinating. We've all hit it off, and have spent every day of the last week together having drinks, dinner, or just hanging out.

In the scheme of things, reality has started to set in. We need to get off GM, hand her over, and get home to Delaware. It's the exact definition of bittersweet. I find Dolby just staring off into space or rubbing the boat at times, and I can tell while he has a smile on his face, he's sad to let go of his "first love." We are in the process of packing up our belongings and shipping some home, while taking some with us on our flight home. There's a lot of work to be done before we fly home next Tuesday, but we're up for the challenge and ready. While we are so excited to get home to our family and friends at home, we are sad to leave the family and friends we've made here in the Bahamas.

We will keep everyone updated on the last bit of our trip, and our journey in finding the next Great Mysterious... while we've discussed different boat names, we just can't let the memories, stories, and expectations that goes along with that name go...

 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Great Guana Cay- Abaco, Bahamas

I've been slacking. Again. That's what the islands will do to you, for sure- we've definitely learned that over the last 8 months of traveling. Where to begin...

We arrived in Great Guana Cay after spending time in Hope Town... way over a week ago. Upon our arrival, we had all intentions of staying on the boat and moving on as soon as possible. With Guana being, by far, our FAVORITE island here in the Abacos, that was extremely hard to do. We had all plans to move North to Green Turtle, but weather was not cooperating and we were "stuck" here in Guana. Darn!!!

After 2 days of sitting on the boat, on Sunday, we finally gave in and decided to go ashore. Nippers- a beach bar- has a Sunday Pig Roast, and we wanted to find out what it was all about. So Why Knot was lowered into the water and off we went. We made our way to Nippers and were greeted with hundreds of partyers who had obviously taken "Sunday Funday" to a whole new meaning. There were people dancing, others wading in the pool, some sunbathing, and of course there were the ones hanging around the bar. We enjoyed some frozen Nipper drinks, a delicious grouper sandwich (we weren't all about the $22 pig roast when we can get that at home... but fresh fish... yum!) and I spent some time in the pool.

After about an hour of our "Spring Break" experience, we made our way down the road to a new bar we spotted on our way to Nippers. Kidds Cove was a little tiki hut that pulled us in immediately. There was a younger crowd hanging out, and we were intrigued. We soon learned that the owner was a guy our age who's family owned the house it was situated in front of along with quite a few other little shops and dives here in Guana. Forrest and Dolby hit it off immediately. Forrest had gone to college in the US and was interested in culinary- and after talking, we learned that he had plans to expand his bar, and even offer sushi! This caught Dolby's attention immediately! Sushi is something we haven't encountered in the Bahamas, which is wild with all of the available fresh fish here! So Dolby, being a sushi fanatic, got talking to Forrest and before I knew it, he was on his way back to GM only to return with a full sushi set up. Later on in the night, he was rolling sushi and serving the crowd outside! Needless to say, Dolby was in heaven!

Kim, Nicholas, and Forrest
Cinco De Mayo fun!!!!
Yellow Bird... Yummmmmmm!!!
Sushi prep

After hanging out at Kidds Cove for a while, we made our way to Grabbers for a drink then back to GM. A "day" hangout turned into 10 hours. OOPS-- but much needed and deserved! The following day we hung out a bit then made our way back to Kidds Cove where we enjoyed more drinks and Dolby helped Forrest with some more sushi. This place has it going on! Forrest has a great concept and he plans on expanding in the near future out onto the dock in front of his place and around the building. If you're ever in the area, PLEASE stop by, have a sushi roll, drink a Yellow Bird (their signature rum drink), and say hi to Forrest and the crew. You won't find a nicer group of people, and you'll find yourself sitting for there hours upon hours like we did with no concept of anything but a good time!

As the week progressed, we hung around Guana, unexpectedly. On Monday, we met an amazing group of visitors, whom were here for a week "get away" from the real world. Being frequent visitors to Guana, they were equipped with a house right on the water and a boat for fishing. Mark, Tracy, Sharon, and Kevin were the most friendly, fun group we've encountered in a long time. They were just genuinely nice and we hit it off in the Grabbers pool with some Kaliks in hand immediately! After talking (and a little issue with Dolby and his lighter--- just call him Fire Marshall Bill), Dolby was invited on a fishing trip with the guys the following morning! The next day, at 6:30 a.m. as they said, Kevin and Mark pulled up on their contender ready to go. Dolby jumped aboard and they were off. Many mahi later, and smiles on their faces, they returned for the afternoon!

Grabbers pool deck
Don't ask.
Fishing boys returning

Mark, Tracy, Sharon, and Kevin then invited us to their house to enjoy the mahi that had been caught along with refreshing drinks, good conversations, and a gorgeous sunset on the Sea of Abaco. We had such an amazing time with them, and will cherish their friendship. We could not thank them enough for their welcoming nature, endless laughs, and sincere hospitality! We hope to one day meet up with them once again down here in the islands for some more memories!

We even were able to meet up with Rob and Holly on Hampshire Rose, good friends we've had since Eleuthera! We were more than excited to see them pull into the harbor one morning. After going to their boat and talking, they invited us over for some drinks and munchies- an offer we never turn down! We spent a night in the cockpit of Hampshire Rose enjoying fresh conch fritters prepared by Holly, along with lots of drinks and laughs. These two may be some of our favorite cruisers we've met on this trip-- we all always have the best time together. I've found it so neat to form these friendships which have continued throughout the trip. Again, we cannot thank Rob and Holly enough for their amazing hospitality... Always!

Sunset ritual

All-in-all, Guana has been absolutely perfect. We've had the most gorgeous weather, and have made some of the most fantastic, unforgettable friends. We've truly lost the concept of time... If we have to end our trip in one nature or the other, this is the way to go!

 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Tahiti Beach, Hope Town, Guana- Abacos, Bahamas

We've spent the last few days traveling North through the Abacos. We've decided that our best tactic to getting back to Florida would be to work our way through this chain of islands slowly, but surely. Each day we've moved anywhere from 5-15 miles, making forward progress, but not feeling too rushed, and allowing ourselves to enjoy our last little bit of the island life.

Happy Captain with short hair!

On Wednesday we woke up, SO thankful to be in the Abacos (I can't stress that enough). We both vowed to NEVER do that passage again if we didn't have to... it was that horrible. We both also agreed that our next boat would average a little more than 5 knots. Shew. Averaging 5 knots means you usually do less... and that is just no fun when it comes down to it on long passages!

Castle on the sail to Tahiti
LOVE the name!
Putting those miles in!

We listened to the Marsh Harbor Cruiser's Net and decided to make the 15 mile trip up to Tahiti Beach- off the southern end of Elbow Cay. This was one of our favorite anchorages in January and such a tranquil place. We knew we could make it up there by early afternoon and have the day to enjoy... and we did just that. We got up to Tahiti, dropped the hook, and sat our butts in the cockpit just soaking in the sun and stillness! As a sailor, sometimes, you really get to appreciate sitting still here and there- especially when you're constantly on the move and on a mission! We decided to share some of our Mahi with our fellow anchor partner- Mike on S/V Trinity. He was excited to have some fresh fish and we were equally as happy to share it-- there's so much fish, we'll be eating Mahi every meal for DAYS at this point! We wound the night off with a delicious fish dinner and bed.

Not so much wind...
House on Lubbers Quarters
Tahiti Beach
Sharing Mahi and stories
Oh hey there, anchor!
Mahi sandwiches and chart marking of the dreaded crossing!!

Back to the simple life, we sailed a short 3 miles on Thursday up to Hope Town. Anchoring right off of the candy-striped lighthouse as we did before, we spent the day on the boat reading and napping. It was a cloudy, rainy one, and we took advantage of not doing a thing! Another Mahi dinner (who knew sautéed fruit cocktail could make a DELICIOUS fruit salsa overtop fish?!?!?!?) and a few more storms passing though made our night, but no complaining here!

Fruit cocktail makes for one DELICIOUS salsa on top fish!!! Yummmmm!!!

Today, Friday, we made our way another 10 miles north to Great Guana Cay. While the Cruisers Net suggested against traveling today, we were determined to keep going. We pulled anchor around 10 a.m. and sailed along the edge of a squall the entire way here. Once we got to Fisher's Bay, the skies emptied. Just in time for us to drop the hook, the winds picked up, and the torrential downpours came. Thankfully our anchor caught quickly and we were able to retreat down below to stay dry! Just in the nick of time! We've spent the day sitting on the back of the boat, as the sun has finally come out and it's been a gorgeous day! Mahi bites for lunch and Mahi again tonight for dinner... told ya we had A LOT!!! But nothing's better than fresh fish that you had the satisfaction of catching!

HAPPY DOLBY!!!
Anchorage
Bad day!
Gorgeous day here!!

Tomorrow we're going to cross the Whale Cay Passage and make our way to Green Turtle for some forecasted West winds. Then we're continuing the trip north. It looks as though we'll be in Florida by next weekend. I'm ready to get back, but definitely not ready to leave the life here in the islands. Talk about mixed feelings!