Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Change happens quickly sometimes.

After another week of cruising the Abacos we decided to catch a brief weather window to head back to the States. The weather pattern looked unfavorable in the coming weeks so we took advantage of a 48 hour break in the squally and unsettled conditions. Joined by SV Sheila, we made our way to Cooper's Town and then had a great sail to Little Sale Cay, smack in the middle of the Little Bahama Bank. We spent the night there and then, after waiting for some strong squalls to come through, we left for the States. It was a relatively quiet 23 hour crossing. Unfortunately, we ran the engine the whole way as the wind never picked up quite enough to move us fast enough on its own. 
During the last couple days leading up to our departure we had been in touch with a man named Ray who was in Miami and seemingly very interested in Momo. We agreed to meet him in Ft. Pierce, FL so he could see the boat. SV Sheila graciously agreed to accompany us so we would both still have each other's company on the crossing. When Ray saw Momo it took him all of 15 minutes to agree to buy her!  The one stipulation was that he wanted us to deliver her to Miami. 
So, we said a teary "see you soon" to our wonderful friends Tom, Tracy and Eva. They turned north towards Canada and we turned south towards Miami. 
Four days later, Momo arrived in Coconut Grove. These were long days, reminiscent of our earlier passage through these waters in December - too many hours of motoring and too many bridges. The worst part of this trip was on Sunday when we went right through the middle of "Boca Bash". A simple google search will shed some light on the mayhem and debautchery we had to navigate. The wind was in our face until yesterday when we were finally able to sail from Ft Lauderdale to Miami. It was a lovely sail and as it turned out, a fitting last voyage on our beloved boat. As of a few hours ago, we are no longer the owners of Momo. 
It has not really set in yet - especially because we are still moving our stuff into a rental van and will be sleeping aboard one last time tonight. I think tomorrow is going to be hard. We owe a lot to this boat. She brought our family on an incredible adventure, always keeping us comfortable and safe. We are going to miss her sounds and her gentle way of rocking us to sleep. Most of all we are going to miss the simple life she has allowed us to live.  She has been our home and for the girls it is going to be particularly hard. They feel such attachment to Momo. We take with us many wonderful memories. 
When we put her up for sale we never anticipated it playing out like this. We figured we would sail back to Duxbury and eventually sell Momo up there. However, selling a boat is not usually very easy so we figured we ought to see this through and we are glad we did. Best of all, we still have some time to adventure before the real world grabs us again...
Ray has some big plans for Momo and we think the two will be very compatible. We look forward to keeping in touch with Ray to hear about future Adventures with Momo. 

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Goodbye Exumas, Hello Abacos

It has been a month since our last post...GULP. So here are some highlights - 

After our second trip to Conception we returned to the Exumas to meet a new batch of visitors. First we picked up Jenny and Brian from George Town and had a wonderful week of Exuma Out Island adventuring. We enjoyed awesome snorkeling, beaches and sunsets as we made our way back to Staniel Cay, hitting some of our favorite spots on the way. We had so much fun with them!
In Staniel we picked up Cassie the day after Jenny and Brian flew out. We continued north with Cassie, hitting more of our favorites in the northern Exumas en route to Nassau. Again we had super weather, great underwater adventures and tons of fun. Cassie helped to spear some giant lobsters the last day of the season. 
In Nassau we said goodbye to Cassie and then spent a couple days living it up at the Atlantis water park. We left Nassau on a close haul port tack for a 55 mile trip to Hatchet Bay, Eleuthera. We had a nice week traveling around the northern parts of Eleuthera, spending our last couple days at Egg Island. This spot turned out to be a favorite. We anchored in a small sand patch surrounded by clear water and healthy reef. Calm conditions allowed us to do lots of snorkeling. 
We left Eleuthera under darkness for the 50 mile trip to Little Harbor, Abaco, closing the chapter on our time in the Exumas. 
We have now been in the Abacos for about 2 weeks. It certainly has a different feel than the Exumas and Conception. Much more development and many more people. 
We have been slowly winding our way north, stopping in places such as Hopetown, Elbow Cay, Man o' War Cay, Great Cuana Cay, and now Treasure Cay. We will continue this slow push north for about 2 more weeks. We anticipate making the hop to the East Coast sometime after that, depending on weather. Our route will also be very weather dependent, but for now we are aiming somewhere north of Florida and south of Cape Hatteras...we shall see. 

In other news, Momo is for sale! More details here: http://momoforsale.blogspot.com/

It was a little out of character for us but we decided to live it up for two days at the Atlantis, however, on a shoe-string budget.  We figured out that if we took a slip in a grungy marina in Nassau they would give us free passes to Atlantis water park and aquarium.  Heck yeah!

We have had so many wonderful snorkeling adventures throughout the Bahamas but I always wish Scout could experience what we are seeing.  It is probably a funny sight to see - we usually end up snorkeling with the three of us in the water reporting things we see to Scout who is in the dinghy being towed along side of us. We have also tried glass bottom buckets, glass bottom dinghies and glass containers but they just aren't the same.  Scout finally got her golden opportunity! 

Glass calm day and an artsy photo-op.

Not many people get to see and can claim to have caught a real sea-horse - pretty cool!

In the famous words of our favorite movie character, ''let's go fly a kite'.

One thing I am pretty proud of is the amount of reading this lifestyle has allowed us to do with our kids. Lucy has learned to read on this trip and is pretty self-motivated.  Also, note the apple shirt and striped bathing suit under the pink panties. 

Pondering things that make whales vomit.  

Friday, 13 March 2015

Long Island, Conception Redux

After our wonderful time in Conception we sailed back to Thompson Bay, Long Island. Once again we rented a car for a day to visit Dean's Blue Hole and a few other spots again. We explored the island with the crews from Sheila and Jaru - new friends we met in Conception. After a couple days in Thompson Bay, we sailed back to the north end of Long Island and spent a night at Hog Cay before jumping back across to Conception again. We continued our string of good luck catching fish, this time pulling in a 60" mahi that weighed 40 lbs! Having already eaten mahi for the previous 7 nights we gladly shared this fish with other boats at Conception.
Our second trip to Conception proved to be just as good as our first, cementing this place as our favorite thus far. We spent lots of time swimming in the crystal clear water, exploring the surrounding reefs, and even surfing a bit when a nice swell wrapped around into the bay one afternoon. On our last full day there we were invited by some scientists to help catch sea turtles for measurement and tagging. There is a mangrove lagoon on the island that attracts tons of turtles. The catching process consisted of us chasing a turtle around the lagoon in the dinghy for about 5 minutes until it became exhausted, and then leaping out of the dinghy and literally grabbing it. It was a lot of fun - all in the name of science! Afterward we assisted with the tagging and measurements.
Our departure from Conception a few days ago marked the turn-around point in our trip. Our bow is now pointed to the north as we begin to slowly make our way home. We will wind our way back through the Exumas, with visits from Jenny, Brian and Cassie, and then eventually make our way up to the Abacos for a month of exploration up there.

That little dark spot in the middle is a sea turtle as we are in hot pursuit.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Conception Island

We got the gang back together - Sheila and Momo sailed out of Georgetown together to Conception Island, a small remote uninhabited island 15 miles north/east of Long Island.  It was remote, stunningly beautiful and hard to leave.  It offered pristine clear waters that begged you to drop anchor and jump in immediately, and long crescent beaches with abutting cliffs to hike along. It was with very little protection from any unsettled weather so we had to high-tail it out of there for yet another blow but we loved it so much we are already planning our return in a few days.

Unfortunately, the weather this season has been such that one cold front follows another and we keep getting blown out of these beautiful places in search of protected harbors.  Therefore, we find ourselves faced with having to give up on the Raggeds and Jamentos.  However, we are happily settling on a plan to island hop around Conception, Cat and maybe Rum Cays.  We shall see...

51 Inch Mahi-Mahi!!!
Conception - The gang is perched on the cliff in the middle!

Sail to Thompson Bay.  Clearly, I just discovered this pano feature on the phone and love it!

Scout's 3rd Bday

Happy Third Birthday Scout!!!
Thompson Bay, Long Island, Bahamas
March 2nd, 2015

Scout, sporting a bruise on her cheek and her new can of play-doh. 

Birthday party on the beach with fellow cruiser families - not too shabby for impromptu!

Love seeing all these kids out here!

Monday, 16 February 2015


We are having an amazing time with Marmie and Di-dad (Ted's parents)!!!  We sailed again to Lee Stocking Island the day after they arrived and spent a few days exploring. Then, yesterday we tucked into Rat Cay with the intention of exploring the blow hole and tidal pools but when the surge was more than expected and the forcasted winds increased for the evening we decided to push on - back to Georgetown. We had a beautiful sail but unfortunately no fish. Tomorrow we will join some other cruisers for some beach trash pick-up and more island exploration. We are so glad they made the last minute decision to join us. 

Monday, 9 February 2015

Long Island back to Georgetown.

We had a great sail downwind in 20knots of wind and beautiful skies.  We traveled with 14 other boats, all escaping the upcoming weather.  We picked a protected and therefore popular spot to drop the hook. Lucy counted the number of boats in our anchorage throughout today.  We started with 21 boats at 7am and ended with 53 this evening - I suspect more will come tomorrow morning. 
Below, Scout (with Lucy) is belting out the lyrics to Rod Stewart and laughing, "where the ocean meets the sky I'll be sailing...whoohoo"