Monday, May 26, 2008

Goodbye Fidelio

We enjoyed several pleasant days together. Jay and Sarah met every member of the Fort Pierce office of US Immigration, sharing enough quality time to remember their names and favorite hobbies. Once cleared, they were ready to make the long, but warmer trip back to Annapolis.

Time to Sail

Our short stay in the Bahamas was over and the relentless calender called us back to land. Sarah and Jay were also feeling the demands of their schedule. Early in the morning we joined Fidelio and began our sail back to the States. The winds were perfect for heading west.

Welcome back

A fast sail brought us back to Manjack in the late evening. Once settled in the anchorage, we heard the sounds of music and caught the faint smell of rum wafting from the shore. Quickly the dingy was in the water and we were off to investigate. There on the dock were Ben, Sarah, and Jay, working their way through the music of Dylan, Del, and Woody. Ben, from Oriental NC, had been living on the island for months. Jay and Sarah, from Great Britain, had recently arrived after a chilling January sail down from Annapolis. We sang, enjoying the stars and the night breeze.

Finally Sailors

Gradually the weather cleared, the winds moderated from abusive to lovely, and we had the sail that we had been dreaming about for days. It was just in time, before Peter and Ginny caught their flight back to real life and wwwwoorrr....

Best of all

The surprising high point of our visit was Peter's discovery of this STAINLESS STEEL JEEP in Marsh Harbor. All the rest of us could say was “be still my heart”.

What else did they do?

Peter and Ginny squeezed in many of the traditional cruising pastimes, crossing iron shore and gathering essential Vitamin D.

The Abigail

This lovely boat is one of Winer's children. Abigail lives on Manjack Cay and here is being taken out to her mooring by Ben. (More about Ben later)

Stumbling over history

In front of a tiny plain house was a small sign: “Can't accept any boat orders. Winer”. We had wandered by the home of Winer Malone, a descendant of one of the earliest settlers, Wyannie Malone, and a famous builder of traditional Bahamian sailboats. Winer, who is in his 90's, continues to make beautiful wooden boats using only hand tools. He hasn't stopped boat building; he has just decided that he already has enough orders to fill his remaining years.

Walking the towns

We really enjoyed walking in the small streets in the community of Man of War on Elbow Cay, one of the early Loyalist settlements in the Abacos. Not much room for cars here.

Fine dining

Peter and Ginny sampled Bahamian flavors.

Fine drinking

Despite the gales, we enjoyed ocean side life.

Problems with the weather gods

We were thrilled to see the Stacks, but disappointed that their visit came just as a cold northern front approached. Undismayed, even with the seas pounding, Peter and Ginny were in the water.

Company's coming

The passage to Marsh Harbor took us through rain and a few squalls. We were preparing for the much anticipated arrival of our friends from Rhode Island, Peter and Ginny Stack.

Grouper Lessons

Ben, a young man from the States was living on the island and taking the Manjack course of island life. The Grouper tutorial with Bill was a great success. Fortunately, Ben brought his guitar and gave us nights of music. While all the beauty of Manjack encouraged us to stay, we left with hopes to return.

Manjack Life

As usual, Leslie and Bill were tackling challenging and exciting projects. We always learn new skills when we have a chance to join them. This day's activity was replacing the worn out supports and re-thatching the palapas. Underneath its shelter, a table for drinks and seat swings make it a great place to sit on a hot day.

Another milestone

Some of you may have read our earlier post on the achievement of pony tail. Once back to the boat we discovered that Vinnie's hair had a new trick, the WAVE. His mother must have loved his little boy curls many years ago. We wonder what his dad would think of them now.

It all looks familiar

After George's funeral, our time ashore was longer than we had anticipated. It always seems as though we manage to arrive in time for all the major events of our family and friends. We also assume that they cruise along in a slow autopilot mode until our next return. How could their lives be so busy and full of important matters while we are gone? That would mean that we are missing ...

Somehow we tore ourselves away and returned to our boat, then the gulf stream, and finally the Bahamas. Once again we were sailing across the crystal water of the banks and reaching for Manjack Cay.