Archive for: ‘March 2015’

Anderson Visit Three

March 22, 2015 Posted by Deb

Mike and Carol, minus their two daughters this time, found a way to catch up with us in West End. They booked and cancelled flights, planned a “Plan B” road trip in Florida with us, and generally waited and waited until we were sure we were leaving to book the last two seats on a flight to Freeport. We arrived just 10 hours before they did. Even then we did not have a clue which direction we would head for their vacation or even if we would go anywhere by boat. The issue in the Bahamas is how to get back to Freeport if we took Neytiri down island to the Abacos. There are plenty of options by plane and ferry but timing and cost get a bit crazy for many of the options. Based on a conversation with the hotel staff and a car rental guy, we took off and did six islands in seven days.

Port Lucaya - Always Time for a Little Shopping

Port Lucaya – Always Time for a Little Shopping

West End's Joey Making Conch Salad

West End’s Joey Making Conch Salad

Grand Island

Grand Island

Double Breasted Coconut Hunters

Double Breasted Coconut Hunters

Surfing a 4-Knot Current

Surfing a 4-Knot Current

Spanish Cay at Sunset

Spanish Cay at Sunset

Popcorn for Movie Night

Popcorn for Movie Night

Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen

Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen

Tranquil Turtle Deck at Green Turtle

Tranquil Turtle Deck at Green Turtle

Sunset at Green Turtle

Sunset at Green Turtle

Playing Pickle Fish with Zianne in Foxtown

Playing Pickle Fish with Zianne in Fox Town

The final PTA solution (planes, trains, and automobiles) involved motoring back to Fox Town near Hawksbill Cay and anchoring for the night. The next morning at 5:30 a.m. we loaded up Mike, Carol, and their luggage and made the pitch dark run to the Government Dock where we had the promise that Janette would pick them up on her way to her job at the Crown Haven Ferry. The Crown Haven Ferry went across to Grand Bahama Island where the car rental guy from West End (the far side of the island) would pick them up and drive them to Freeport for their return flight at noon. That plan worked quite well with the exception that every dog in Fox Town starting going bat s@#t crazy when we pulled in. I’m sure the residents, who partied pretty hard the night before, were real happy with their dogs that morning.

West End, Grand Bahamas: Then and Now

March 15, 2015 Posted by Deb

West End is a special place for us because it was our first rookie crossing 22 years ago and our first foreign landfall, customs clear in, and marina. We were also stuck there by a monster storm for two weeks, made some good friends, and got into our first sailing group as we contemplated the famous Indian Cay Pass with primitive GPS and hand sketched charts.

Back then, West End had a marina but the connected resort had gone belly-up leaving 1,800 units, a 27 hole golf course, a fire department, and a worker village returning to nature. It was purchased and redevelopment started but the crash of 2008 put them into bankruptcy and what you see below in the “Now” pictures is what they have achieved on this attempt.

Buildings

West End Resort 1994

West End Resort 1994

West End Resort 2015

West End Resort 2015

Pool

Pool 1994

Pool 1994

Pool 2015

Pool 2015

Docks

West End Dock 1994

West End Dock 1994

West End Dock 2015

West End Dock 2015

Food

Food on the Beach 1994

Food on the Beach 1994

Grilling 1994

Grilling 1994

Food on the Beach 2015

Food on the Beach 2015

Grilling 2015

Grilling 2015

Beach

West End Beach 1994

West End Beach 1994

West End Beach 2015

West End Beach 2015

Golf

Golf at West End 1994

Dead Golf Course at West End 1994

No Golf at West End 2015

No Golf at West End 2015

Crossing

Reading for a Crossing 1994

Younger, Harnessed, Paying Attention 1994

Ready for a Crossing 2015

Older, Lounging, Reading a Book 2015

Braiding Hair

Braiding Hair 1994

Braiding Hair 1994

A Good Hair Day 2014

A Good Hair Day 2014

Escape from Ft Lauderdale

March 14, 2015 Posted by Deb

We said goodbye to friends and paid off the four crews that left footprints and debris all over the boat as well as a few wrap ups that were dumped in our laps like re-plumbing the galley (nice easy metric to US conversion) and mounting the new stove top. All propane and water pressure tests passed which left only provisioning and hiring Ingo to clean the boat from bow to stern (again). We left with four cases of beer and a couple gallons of rum and wine.

DinnerMcDaniels

FtLauderdaleDavidGailParty

FtLauderdaleAnthonyCountertops

FtLauderdaleThaiFood

FtLauderdaleChuckUnderSink

We didn’t have a going away party because we needed to rest up for the trip and we were a bit nervous about heading out without a sea trial on all the new stuff. The famous words of Kurt Russel in Captain Ron, “Don’t worry, if it’s going to happen … It’ll happen out there.” As it turned out, we should have also been a bit concerned about going down the New River in Saturday traffic on a St. Patrick’s Day party weekend. It was a great trip down through the five bridges with only one white knuckle event where we had to come close to grabbing a wall to let a monster cat go upriver.

FtLauderaleDebBridgeBike FtLauderdaleBridgeOpen1 FtLauderdaleBridgeOpen2 FtLauderdaleStPatrickDayParade

We grabbed a weather window that was supposed to be too rough for all but “salty” sailors and found it to be wimpy. That’s great if you don’t like being bounced around but not so great if you have to fight the mighty Gulf Stream. Neytiri performed quite well but we had to motor the final 30 miles into West End and arrived just before midnight. That passage was the only time our former boat, Sanity, outperformed Neytiri. We did the same trip 22 years ago about two hours faster.

The night arrival thing is something we are doing more often and it is not a great idea. Our new spotlight helped us get into West End’s “giant pile of rocks” breakwater and we rousted out a security guard to find a temporary home for the night. We heard that a “soon to be married” couple lost their boat at the entrance just a few weeks before. They went ahead and had the marriage ceremony at West End anyway … good recovery from a bad situation.