29 March 2007

Hope Town to Marsh Harbour to collect Ding Ding III

March 29, 2007

After returning to Hope Town to sell Ding Ding II, we met Mary from London who was in the Bahamas with her employer. Mary works as the private teacher for an English girl while her family is in Miami every year for three months. She wasn’t teaching the week she was in the Bahamas so she hitchhiked aboard Whisper to Marsh Harbour and caught the ferry back to Hope Town. As Hans says: “I didn’t complain.” Maybe we’ll make the cover of the sailing magazine, “Latitudes and Attitudes.”

Kit Kat's favorite game

Kit Kat's favorite game is "attack the bilge pump." She loves it when there is water in the bilge and she is continually trying to attack the water!

See you in the Exumas!

An update on our travel plans:
we're leaving Hope Town today to go to Marsh Harbour to pick up the new dinghy.
Friday: sail to Little Harbour which is at the southern end of the Abacos.
Saturday or Sunday: sail to Eleuthera
Sunday to April 13: make our way to Staniel Cay starting in the Northern Exumas and heading south.

We'll be out of communication for at least a week since we'll be stopping at small, uninhabited cays (islands) until we get to Staniel Cay. So in the meantime, don't worry about not hearing from us, we're okay and when we get to Staniel Cay we'll post some fantastic pictures of the Northern Exumas. How's that for optimism!

Hope Town's lighthouse

March 29, 2007

We realized this morning that we've never posted a good picture of the Hope Town lighthouse. We've really gotten to love Hope Town because it is a neat little town with a good bakery/grocery store, great beaches, easy day sails, of course the fun people, but none of that would be the same without the lighthouse. It adds a certain amount of character to the place.

Reaching the finish line

March 29, 2007

Today is Thursday, March 29, an ordinary day for a lot of people, but a very special day for the crew of Whisper. We’re meeting a distinguished individual at the airport this afternoon to join our adventures. His name is Ding Ding III and he is a 10’4” inflatable dinghy all the way from Connecticut. We’ve already picked up his means of propulsion, an 8hp outboard, and we can’t wait to meet him and zoom around the anchorages and to the reefs! Our dear friend Ding Ding II is leaving us today to join the crew of another sailboat, Goosebumps. We’ll miss Ding Ding II, but hope that he will be happy and well looked after in his new home. Farewell Ding Ding II!

We’ve been working out the intricacies of customs in the Bahamas in order to import our new dinghy without paying the 40% duty the Bahamas requires on all imports. We spent some time at the efficient and friendly customs office in Marsh Harbour where we paid the duty on Ding Ding II which allowed us to legally sell him and import Ding Ding III duty free. We’ve been hankering after a longer dinghy for a long time, not only to take us out to the reefs where we can’t get in Ding Ding II, but also to provide a more dry, stable and quick ride in the harbors. In Ding Ding II we’ve been getting soaked almost every time we go anywhere and have taken to wearing full length rain coats on hot sunny days! Well, as Kristen’s dad would say: We’re glad we’re able to provide so much humour to the anchorage!

Sunday night was meant to be our last night in Hope Town, so our friend Dave treated us and the crew of Gray Fox to dinner at the Harbor Lodge. The food and wine were excellent. It was a real treat to go out to dinner and it was nice to spend some time with good friends that we’ve met here in Hope Town before leaving.

We sailed to Marsh Harbour on Monday to take care of the customs’ paperwork and pick up a few supplies. On Tuesday morning we sailed over to the Southern end of Guana Cay and of course unsuccessfully looked for lobster. The season ends in a couple days so we’re starting to get desperate! Pass me the dynamite honey!

Yesterday, in the spirit of harvesting dinner from the sea, we sailed Whisper north and out into the ocean to do some deep sea fishing. It was a bit of a roller coaster, however, and after an hour or so Kristen started to feel really quesy so we turned around and sailed to Hope Town on the Sea of Abaco (the protected, shallow waters of the Bahamas).

Dragging the lures behind Whisper whilst deep-sea fishing.

let's check the first lure....seaweed.

anything on the second lure? seaweed again.

As a wise Mexican once said: When there's no fish for dinner, make tortillas! Dinner in the cockpit anchored off of Guana Cay on Tuesday night: homemade tortillas, black beans, tomatoes, green peppers, scrambled eggs. Yum!

What, Hope Town? You thought we left? No, the lighthouse in Hope Town always pulls you back. Actually, it turns out the guy who bought Ding Ding II is anchored in Hope Town so we sailed back to make the sale. We met up with Toby from the catamaran Lickety Split and spent a rousing few hours at Cap’n Jacks with, gasp, people our own age! It was very exhilarating, but we didn’t get back to Whisper until after 1AM and are feeling the effects this morning.

A schooner underway between Marsh Harbour and Man-o-War Cay.