Tuesday, May 19, 2009


By now, the whole of the US East coast is being bashed by some serious gale weather and we in the Bahamas are getting our fair share with winds and squalls in the 30 knot range. Not fun, but the rain part is definitely needed in the islands. We have made it ashore in the dinghy, to a delightful little "Cafe-la-Florence", for a club sandwich,a bacon-turkey melt, a drink and some glorious fast speed internet.(Forgot what that was like). Out there in the rain, the yachts are 'rockin & rollin' but we are just "dandy and eatin candy".

Everywhere in the sand dunes we have found bushes of 'sea grapes' growing, but here in Marsh Harbor, we actually found sea grape trees. These trees were laden with unripe clusters and the leaves are the size of a six inch plate. We tracked down a Mrs. Paranell Darville from whom we bought some home made "SEA GRAPE JAM". Normally the birds get the grapes long before people do, but she still had some jars from last year's harvest.

Now here are two Classic yachts for you. "SVEA" on the right and this John Alden designed gaff-ketch " CARIB II" on the left. The white-hulled "CARIB II" was built in 1927, and as its age progressed, it became almost impossible to save it, because the planking had been fastened to the frames using iron fastenings, most of which had corroded away. The current owner then encased the hull in fibreglass, some 3/4" (20mm) thick and put a de-humidifier down below decks, to suck up the moisture from the planks. By the time he had removed more than 300 gallons of water, the yacht floated no lower than it did before, despite the addition of the fibreglass. A great solution worth bearing in mind when my skin starts to fall apart and my bones go rusty.

Boats really are fascinating. We met a delightful couple on a vintage Dutch-built steel yacht " MOANA", designed for shallow waters and with an enviable fridge/freezer, that would make even an urban dweller do a double take. We need to spend more time with Tom & Lorraine Serwatka, to learn the secret of this design since their fridge motor is the same as ours and we barely see the remains of where ice might once have been.
Amongst their many quaint fittings on board, was this signal flag locker. A work of art, now replaced with VHF and "Romeo, romeo, bravo, charlie stuff". Then again by the time you selected the flags and strung them up on your halyard, your signalling party would have left town and sold the boat..................... progress has its price.

Had to go into town to a hardware store to get some fittings, and saw the Queen strolling through the plumbing section. Caught her a few times looking enviously at some impossible hardware for a yacht. (Not exactly hard to figure out what she is thinking, now is it?) Caught her again, in the on-board shower later. This is a hard one to solve except that we manage to go ashore wherever we can, to take endless (and I mean ENDLESS)showers, to wash hair and clean the nooks and crannies. On shore showers are big and we can double-up to save water.


robin said...

Laurie, Watch out... the photos are becoming quite revealing... My, my... sure are missing you!

sir T said...

nice grapes. Great pictures. gday mate.

sir tommy said...

The little red flowers at the top of the page are fircrackers, we have some in our yard, very pretty.

Anonymous said...

Hi poppy Rob and Laurie....
It's Zac (well, Mummy typing for Zac)I am looking at your website AGAIN!! I love looking at all your pictures- especially the sharks and starfish.
I got my 4 yr old immunisation yesterday and I was very brave and didn't even cry.
Miss you
love Zac xx