20 February 2007

Project-ville, Marsh Harbour

February 20, 2007

Internet connections leave much to be desired in Marsh Harbour. There are many different places to go online, however most of the free ones have poor reception and the local wireless service costs $20/day or $40/week. Thus, the reason for our blog being updated less frequently than usual.

We dropped off the cracked chainplate with CJ Welding yesterday morning and are crossing our fingers that he’ll have it repaired and strengthened by this afternoon. Meanwhile, we’re taking advantage of being stuck in Marsh Harbour and are working on some boat projects. Kristen has been varnishing handholds, hatchboards and other trim pieces while Hans is tackling the cockpit sole. Before leaving Fort Lauderdale, he constructed a wooden floor for the cockpit which not only looks nice, but also serves to keep our feet dry while sailing as the water flows underneath the wood and doesn’t slosh over our feet. Currently, Hans is constructing brackets for the wooden floor which will allow the floor to be raised flush with the cockpit seats and, with the addition of cushions, will create a double-bed for comfortable, outdoor sleeping.

This part of the Abacos is an interesting place. It appears to be owned and operated by one family, the Alburys. The story is something like this: Back in the day, Nellie Archer farmed a plot of land with her family on Man-o-War Cay. One day she heard voices from the beach and found several survivors from a wreck on a reef, including 16 year old Ben Albury. The majority of the residents of Man-o-War Cay can trace their roots back to Nellie and Ben. The local ferry service which shuttles people between the nearby cays is the “Albury Ferry Service”, there is an Albury taxi company as well as CJ’s Welding, the company working on our chainplate, which is owned by Charles Albury.

We biked to the Marsh Harbor Boat Yard to drop off the chainplate and bumped into an elderly gentleman on his daily walk. He was eager to show us a nearby beach where odd shells and pieces of shellfish wash up. Neither of us are very interested in beachcombing as we don’t have anywhere on the boat to keep bits of flotsam and jetsam, but we tagged along anyways. He was right; we were able to find quite a few interesting shells, vertebrae and even a piece of a jaw. We left the “treasures” but took a picture instead.

Hans looking for shells and potential lobstering spots.

The shells, etc. that we found.


Allaire said...

Hi Hans and Kristen!

I just read all your February posts and especially enjoyed the blue water, kitkat's perspective, and the cool shells and bones -- maybe you could make a sort of hanging rotating exhibit, somewhere outside the cabin, where you could display finds from your different excursions. Then ceremoniously get rid of them when a new batch gets found.

Winter is AWESOME up here in VT -- I've been skiing daily and we're doing a 50 km race next weekend -- and I'm ordering seeds for our garden.

Good luck with the projects!
Love, Allaire

Mary Frances Peery said...

Hi! My husband and I are planning to come to the Bahamas in April with our cat. We noticed you have a cat and we'd like the information that is necessary for the cat to clear customs. Did you fill out the paperwork when you arrived at West End? We'd appreciate a reply.

s/v Whisper said...

Hi Mary Frances
It is very easy to bring a pet into the Bahamas. You do, however, need to do the paperwork in advance. You first need to apply for a pet permit, which simply consists of filling out a form and mailing the form along with a check to the Dept. of Agriculture (run a google search for pet permit Bahamas and you'll be able to download a pdf version of the form). The Dept. of Ag. will mail you back the permit for your cat and you just need to have your cat looked at by a vet 48 hours before leaving and have the vet fill out the form that comes with the permit. We were lucky to have a friend who is a vet and she just signed our form for us. When I cleared through customs, I didn't mention kitkat and just waited for the agent to ask, which she did, so I handed over the form and she just put it in the pile of papers I had filled out. It is very informal and she didn't even look at the vet certificate. A lot of people just don't mention they have a pet, or lie and say they don't, which, after my experience with customs, I think is another option.
I hope this helps,
good luck on your cruise,