Friday, March 29, 2013

Back to home base for now

We have been making our way back north over the last week, heading towards Ft. Lauderdale. When we are there we can get our engine and generator fixed and then head back down.

We have been waiting for favorable winds so we have been taking our time and enjoying the anchorages along the way. I'll post more about those when we're back to internet.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Eating like the locals

Nurse sharks waiting in the water below. They supposedly won't bother you
 but I wouldn't want to get my toe near one when it's chomping down on fish guts.
It's hard to see the mountain of huge spiny lobster tails on the ground but they're there, along with a few groupers and the pile of shelled conch. $20 a tail is a bargain for megayacht patrons that frequent the area. It's hard work diving for these bugs.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Island time

My name is Jennifer and I'm addicted to the internet. There I said it. Now you can laugh at me for moving onto a boat and sailing away from civilization.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


There are a lot of beaches in the Bahamas, all surrounded by the clearest blue water you have ever seen. Yes, I am stating the obvious but everyday I am surprised that we are able to have a new beach all to ourselves pretty much anytime we want.

Monday, March 25, 2013

What do those floating condos run you, anyway?

I spent $27,000 and all I got was this T-shirt. Oh, and
 $27,000 worth of equipment and services.
I have published our boat costs here, for those of you who are interested in doing this some day (and for those of you who are just curious). We will update the page with our monthly costs so everyone can see if our predictions about living more cheaply are accurate.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Does it seem like I have been talking about food a lot lately?

This was our dinner the other day. A grouper, four lion fish, and a slipper lobster made for a "fish feast" as Conrad called it. We only ate the larger lion fish but they want you to kill all you can because it is an invasive species.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mmmm, bacon...

Staniel Cay is famous for its swimming pigs. They hear the dinghy motor and swim right out to see what you have for them. These babies are very well fed. We learned that they prefer bread over vegetables and can get very enthusiastic about the food. One grabbed a piece of bread right out of my hand, quick as lightning.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Catch some rays

These stingrays are always around our boat. You can't tell how big they are from the picture but most of them are at least four feet in diameter. When we were cleaning fish, we got a lot of these and nurse sharks. That's why when Matt catches a fish, he holds it out of the water. We also had a remora on the side of our boat. I don't know why the boys don't want to swim off the side of the boat.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Lobster dinner, lobster salad, lobster sushi...

Conrad spotted these guys just walking together along the bottom of the reef. We shouted at Matt, who skeptically swam back over from the other side of the reef. While Matt got the first one, the second one conveniently stayed put.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Making room for what's important

This fish mobile made the cut and is hanging in one of the cabins.
Today we are Miss Minimalist's featured 'Real Life Minimalist.' If you came here from there, thanks for checking out our site.

When I was growing up, I had collections that I kept in shoeboxes: stamps, rocks, coins, beads, jewelry, you name it. I wanted to keep everything and I wanted to have everything.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Thursday, March 14, 2013


These guys are near Allan's Cay. Dozens if them will come right up to you when you get to the beach. It's kind of disconcerting. You're not supposed to feed them or let your dog eat them, as they are endangered and all but clearly people do (feed them).

Crossing from Florida to Bimini

This video shows a glimpse of our crossing from Key Biscayne to Bimini. There were breaking waves of 6 to 8 feet. Not the most comfortable ride, but it was a much shorter trip because of the good wind.

When we got to Bimini, another boat expressed surprise that we would come in with such big wind and waves. I guess because if anything went wrong, the boat would crash into the rocks. The alternative seemed to be what four other boats from No Name did and come in with flat water and almost no wind, probably motoring the whole way. We would rather sail.

And yes, Matt starts talking about pooping and clogging toilets at the end. So much for an idyllic sailing video. Boys.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The family that lives on a boat together, stays together--a lot

A day at the beach (still at West End) with kids from another boat.
Being on a boat with no place to go is like putting your family in a crucible. Any quirks or issues that irritated you even a little before are magnified a thousand times when there's no physical escape.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Fine, we'll just have pizza

The unseasonably cold weather means we are making a lot of
pizza, muffins, and cookies. Yes, 70's is cold.
Last night we went to the Berry Islands Club at Frazier's Hog Cay, which reportedly has the best conch salad (sort of like ceviche with conch). Unfortunately, you have to give the proprietor at least two hours notice if you want to order food. The cruisers that were there enjoying their food had not only ordered it earlier that morning, they had waited around for two days for the proprietor to come back to the restaurant. As we stood there--forlornly denied any food--one of the diners exclaimed enthusiastically, "This is the best conch I've had all season!" Matt turned and joked, "Really? You're going to rave about the food right in front of us when we can't have any?" The woman said, "Sorry. But it really is!"

Earlier in the day we had caught another barracuda--a little guy this time. Unfortunately, no eating those guys because of ciguatera.

Today we are anchored at West End on New Providence (the island where Nassau is). There is a nice national park here where we spent the afternoon. We can see this guy's place from our boat. It is all lit up at night and is quite a sight.

We were feeling bad because the cable for our wind instrument severed itself and will need to be repaired (cruising really is fixing your boat in exotic locations). But then we talked to the other catamaran owners that are anchored here (a Belgian family with three boys). They have been here for two weeks, and will probably be here another week, building their own rudders because the existing ones had rusted out. That is impressive anywhere and especially here. Fortunately we are not facing anything as serious as that. Yet. Never say never at this point.

It is unusually windy and wavy here today. When we were coming in, the normally clear channel was filled with breaking waves that we sped down as we entered. We held our collective breaths as we hit the bottom of the surf, hoping we weren't getting dumped into a shallow area on the other side.

We are headed out either tomorrow or the next day for the Exumas, gradually making our way to Georgetown. Internet access has been and will continue to be spotty, so we will update when we can.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Crossing over to the other side

Today we crossed over to Bimini, in the Bahamas. We made great time because of the strong winds. It was pretty wavy but everyone did reasonably well. We caught a big barracuda, which we threw back. The teeth on that thing were scary.

Unfortunately, when we tried to anchor, we snagged an electrical cable. The weight of it burned out a fuse for our anchor's windlass (the motor that brings the anchor up and down) so we had to dock for the night instead of anchoring out. We should be able to fix it tomorrow.

The good news is that no one was injured during the crossing and no damage was done to the boat. We enjoyed some Bimini bread and cracked conch (conch that has been lightly breaded and fried) from a place that the locals frequent.


Sunday, March 3, 2013

And we're off...

From what I have heard, ER docs or ones that have done memorable ER rotations have seen the gory details of car accidents. As a result, some become very risk averse. They always wear their seatbelts, buy the safest cars possible for their children and never drive on New Year's Eve.

Being in a boat repair marina has had a similar effect on us.