Saturday, February 28, 2009


The house site is hot, dusty, dirty, and loud with the scream of power tools. Sometimes it is good to be sent on a supply mission to the boat.

Open for Business

Of course, during construction Amanda also ran the first Bahamian salt water laundry. There is at least one good reasons why this is a seldom seen process;
the cloths never dry.

Crew Boss

Amanda was hard pressed to keep her energetic parents in order while balancing on un=nailed floor joists.
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Woman at the Wheel

Margo was right next to him, running equipment and juggling power tools.
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Work with a view

The whole family worked hard and for long hours. Larry managed to run up and down ladders at a frightening pace. Seemingly everywhere at once, he kept multiple processes going full steam.

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Post and Beam

While the bananquits were frolicking at Bill and Leslie's, the King family was still hard at work. We enjoyed walking over to visit and see their progress. The Kings overcame broken poles, waterlogged poles, and poles with a bad attitude. It was wonderful to see the house rise and take form.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

House Inspector

The Bananaquits have reviewed their work and approve. The birds are back in the house.
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House cleaning

Leslie, Nick, and Alex climbed high and worked hard to clean the upper windows.

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Other responsibilities

Not all our attention is consumed by mechanical challenges. Someone has to make sure that the Curly Tail Lizards are getting their daily requirement of fruits and vegetables. When their feeding has been forgotten, one or two of the more reserved lizard representative will come and wait in the kitchen until meals are provided. The more impatient will just crawl up any unwary leg for attention.
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After the transmission

When a challenging job is finally completed, it is great to sit back and enjoy a sunset.
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Friends Check In

Three or four days of work and the transmission was fixed and the motor reassembled. Annie, Neville, Lulu and Gigi all stopped in to check on our progress and celebrate the success. Thanks so much to friends for their help and encouragement.
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Delivery Run

Finally our parts came in and arrived in the airport, across the sea of Abaco. Thanks to Larry and his go fast boat Down and Out for speedy delivery.
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It's Out

Finally the transmission was out and ready to take ashore for reconstruction. But we still needed parts.
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Incarcerated again

The chain hoist may have made the job easy for some of us, but Vinnie still had to crawl in the cockpit locker to remove the transmission. As you can see, he was not in a smiling mood.
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Lifting the Motor

Before fixing the transmission we had to lift the motor and disconnect the it. Bill kindly lent us his chair hoist, since Maria was unable to manage the 300 pound motor. The hoist was more than adequate for the job. Our boat weighs 7 tons and the hoist is rated to lift 3 tons.
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Master and Mechanic with Vinnie

Fortunately for us, Neville was in the neighborhood. For those of you who do not know Neville, and that certainly is too bad for you, we should explain that he developed his expertise racing motorcycles and repairing diesel engines in Wales. He was very interested in our project and certain that it could be successfully managed.
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The Blessed Transmission

During one of our weekly fronts, we found that the transmission was slipping more and that this was making boat life frustrating and potentially dangerous. Fortunately, we had the diagrams for rebuilding it. This is the first of several explaining the process. All we needed were the parts.
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Oh Happy Day

It is very aggravating to have long hair while living on a sailboat. Finally it was long enough to donate. We hacked it off.  The ratlike braid is waiting for mailing once we are back to the States.
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Stress Management

After a couple of stormy days on the boat, it is wonderful to find a quiet place to rest and recuperate.
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International Rescue Team

The winter cold fronts which howl through once or twice a week often bring high winds and rough seas into our bay. If the anchor fails it can be midnight excitment. Fortunately, our last anchor dragging event occured during the day. Here Bill and Lulu recreat their heroic efforts to help us secure the boat at Manjack. They brought out THE BIG ANCHOR and helped us get it set. We sit happy and secure to this day.
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Full Moon

Most evenings are quiet, but each month when the full moon arrives, we travel across the island to watch it come up over the ocean. We build a bonfire, eat treats, and enjoy the view before heading back down a rough path in the dark, tempting orthopedic disaster at every step.
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Not everyone is retired

There are some very hard working people and we watch them with awe and horror. Larry, Margo, and Amanda King are building their home on the north side of Manjack. They constructed the house in the states, disassembled it, and loaded it on a boat to reassemble here. Once all their heavy equipment, tools, and house components were dropped off on the beach; they had to clear a road through poison wood and sea grape to move it across the island to their building site. Their progress is amazing. Here they are raising 40 foot poles in holes that they've bored 9 feet into the ground. This is especially remarkable in light of the miserable poison wood rashes that they have acquired and Larry's unfortunate altercation with a chain saw.

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The Big Outing

Sometimes we take a sail to town for grocery shopping. On light winds and with a congenial crew this can easily become an all day event. Green Turtle Cay is only 6 miles away, but we take our time, share a cup of tea, sail sedately, and make sure that the anchor is well set. Once in town there are 3 grocery stores to check, one of them must have onions and Irish butter. The someone buys a loaf of coconut bread and we get off the side walk and gather around to enjoy it. By the time we finally wander back to the anchorage it is late afternoon and a very good time was had by all.
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