Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter


It's been a beautiful Sunday for us so far! We woke up early & got moving quickly to move Malaika to a marina for a day. My Easter surprise from Scott. We moved into a slip at Bluff House Marina....our favorite. (we've only stayed at 2 others, but hey..) We got to take real showers before hopping in the dinghy & heading to church. If you're a church goer.. I highly recommend "The Green Turtle Cay Community Fellowship". It's hard to find but ask around. It's worth it. The congregation is so full of love & the Pastor is one of the most dynamic, outstanding speakers I've ever experienced in the clergy. In today's Eastor sermon he moved me to tears. We left filled with the true spirit of Easter.

Now that we're in the marina...we've just been living it up marina style. Woo Hoo!

Scott got to watch some basketball!

Since we rarely splurge on marinas it's such a treat. Plus, many marinas offer a special deal called "Docking for Dollars". It works like this...they charge us a certain fee per length of our boat (at Bluff House it's $1.75/ft) BUT... you can eat & drink that equal amount in the clubhouse, essentially eliminating your dock fee. Of course, you can eat & drink too much if you don't keep track, which a lot of people do but Scott & I count every dollar so it ends up being a luxurious spoiled day for us for about $65.

Oh yeah, and as many showers as we want & high speed Internet.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Easter. Scott & I wish you much love & blessings. And also...we are so thankful for all our blessings. Now, enjoy some pics I've taken the past few days on Green Turtle. :) (I'm going to take every advantage of this high speed internet!)

Easter Egg Houses



Love--Michelle, Scott & Jib

P.S. turned out high speed Internet wasn't happening. Took 2 hours to do the blog. Oh well. Good thing it's Happy Hour..soooo..Scott & I have decided to take another shower tonight & maybe 2 more tomorrow before we leave....just cuz we can.


Friday, March 29, 2013

In Memory

It's been a sad few days here on Malaika as we mourn the passing of our dear friend Lylaine Gavette. You are such a wonderful soul Lylaine. You fought a brave fight against a difficult cancer. I know you are on to your next journey but Scott & I will miss you forever.

You are an amazing midwife & opened the door for so many other midwives. You are honest & kind & you do have a glow about you that could calm a stressful situation just with your presence. You lived your best life & MANY have been blessed to have known you.

Go in peace my friend... You deserve it. I miss you already.

Love--Michelle, Scott & Jib


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Daddy Long Legs

Scott's big catch today
Another successful hunt today for Scott & Matt! The guys sure are having fun with the diving these days. Every morning they get up, check weather, & call each other on the radio to make dive plans. The reef off of Ocean Beach is quite a ways from shore so they don't spear any fish unless we are there in the dinghys where they can just quickly dump it in a bucket. It is not a wise thing to swim 200 yards to shore with a bleeding fish. We don't see sharks often, they mostly just mind their business....but they are definetely out there. Our brother Danny saw a hammerhead hanging out right under our dinghy his 1st day in the water. 2 days ago the guys took the dinghys out to the reef & Scott speared a good size fish. He quickly swam to the dinghy (which was very close by) & hopped in only to look back at the water and see a 6 foot shark right on his tail. The adventures never end on the high seas!

Headin' home with dinner

Jib is always trying to make friends

Jib dug a hole & tried to bury the lobster....he's never done that before! Guess some instincts are kicking in.
While today was warm & sunny, the weather hasn't been great lately. Yesterday it rained most of the day & tonight we are expecting heavy winds. Green Turtle Cay is absolutely one of our most favorite places...

What's not to love?! seem to drag in this anchorage more than others. And for some reason this year, we seem to have a dragging magnet. Even other boaters are joking about it. Malaika has been dragged down on by other boats 5 or 6 times this season! On Wednesday night, a massive catamaran almost took us out. Scott had to get in the dinghy & protect us from hitting. At midnight of course. Just as that disaster was diverted, another catamaran dragged right past us & slammed into a beautiful million dollar boat. Hearing the crunch of fiberglass hitting is almost nauseating. Anyway, looking like its gonna be a long night. We'll probably go to bed early so we can take turns doing "anchor watch". As I mentioned earlier, the adventures never end on the high seas!


Tired Jib after playing on the beach all morning. Fell asleep almost sitting up.
Love & miss everybody!! XXOO

Michelle, Scott & Jib


Friday, March 22, 2013

Internet Quest we take for granted the high speed immediate Internet in America., Scott, & Jib walked 3.5 miles into town to update our Internet service. We knew the office was only open on Thursday (which you see in the sign, they are open 2 days a week) Anyway... We make the trek in only to find out they don't have the technology in Green Turtle Cay to do the iPad internet thing. Grrr.... I was told in Marsh Harbor "of course they can do it in Green Turtle! " After 2 hours of trying to make it happen, the gal working at Betelco gave me my money back & wished me luck somewhere else. There is nothing you can do in these situations except say "OK. Um...thanks...I'll just walk the 3.5 miles home accepting total defeat." we hitch hiked on the way home & thankfully got a ride about a 1/2 mile in. The thing is....we NEED Internet. Not just for the blog & fun stuff, but more importantly, for weather reports. Our radio sucks & we can't hear the cruiser's net anymore now that we are further north. We don't have SSB (the super hero of radio), so the Internet is really our ONLY source for weather info.

Heading across the Sea of Abaco in search of Internet I took a ferry to another island where there is a more sophisticated Betelco office. Me & one of my BFF's Dana, from s/v Corsair, crossed the Sea of Abaco to acquire Internet service.

It was actually a fun girly day in Treasure of my favorite beaches ever. Dana & I had lunch on the beach, did some grocery shopping, and took a great big sigh when we found out each taxi trip from the ferry dock to town was $25. Another's 8 miles!! $25 for 8 miles (x2) Plus money for ferry money spent at store....Internet is all of a sudden kind of expensive!

Gotta love Treasure Cay
But....I'm all paid up now & up to date with Betelco for our last 30 days in the Bahamas. While Dana & I are busy doing Internet errands, Scott & Matt (Dana's husband) go out diving & hunting. They are becoming very accomplished spear fishermen. They have speared nearly 30 lobster (we lost the exact count) & 4 fish in 6 days!

My hunter.
We never get sick of lobster!
So....we will be in Green Turtle Cay until Tuesday because of weather & then...headed to some new islands we haven't explored yet. Yay!!! So excited to see new places! I will try & do as many blogs as I can.

Love & miss everybody so much!!

Michelle, Scott & Jib


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Barefoot Man


As expected, the Barefoot Man concert was a blast. I think most of the boats here in Abaco were there. Singing, dancing, & rum is a combo that almost never goes wrong. Nipper's was packed with hundreds of middle age adults partying like spring breakers.


Jib even got some beads that were thrown from the rooftop.
The Barefoot Man festivities continue through today but we have a good weather window to move north so we're crossing the Whale today and heading for Green Turtle of our favorite places. I think we'll hang out there for a few days & then head further north to an island called Allen's Pensacola. Once we go north of Green Turtle, the islands become much more "remote" so we're hoping to get some good diving in. We need to stock up on lobster before the season ends on Marsh 31st!!! Of course all these plans depend on weather.... so as usual these plans are etched in jello. We'll just see where the wind takes us! So, I better get a move on...we're going to pull the anchor soon & I want to get this posted. The Internet has been painfully slow lately. The last blog took 5 hours to post. Grrrr....

Happy St. Patrick's Day everybody! Love & miss you

Michelle, Scott & Jib

Yesterday at a Rake & Scrape. These musicians use saws, rakes, etc. to make music!

Looks like the perfect spot to recover from Barefoot Man

Beautiful little wooden sailboat

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What Now?

Decision Time
It's so hard to believe but....we are starting to try & figure out our plans to start a slow trek back to the States. Our original plan for this year was to carry on south & head towards the Dominican Republic, Grenada, etc. Heck, we even thought of making a pit stop in Cuba. However, after much consideration & a more expanded knowledge of our boat, we think it's best to spend one more hurricane season in Florida getting Malaika ready for big blue sailing. We're almost there but there are a few crucial things we still need. For instance, we need to install SSB. (Single Side Band Radio) What's that you ask? Well, the easiest way to explain it is that it's a radio that has super hero transmitting abilities.

Our loyal but VERY basic radio set up
With our current radio situation we can hear people within a 10 mile radius. (which is pretty sucky actually. Most VHF's can do much better than that) With SSB, we can hear people in China. Seriously. We can also email via SSB, get weather reports, etc. A very important communication link when Internet is not a possibility...which is most of the time when you're at sea.

Another big project we need to do is our rigging. What's rigging you ask? Well, it's basically the skeleton of the boat. All those wires you see in the picture hold a major portion of the boat together...especially the mast. Obviously, a vital organ for a sailboat. If your rigging can be catostrophic. Our rigging is 26 years old. We decided last summer not to replace it yet, but at the very least, it needs a fine tuning.

I could go on & on with a list of boat projects....we need to revamp our fridge to make it more efficient, we need to fix our unoperational oven, our water tanks need updating (a huge project that will require tearing the floor out....we are undecided on that one...) Of course all these things cost a ton because they are marine we need to work this summer to pay for all this stuff. Last year, we learned how to sail. This year, we learned Malaika inside & out. Next year, Caribbean!

Our brother Danny having his "King of the World" moment

On a lighter note....we are getting ready for the big Barefoot Man concert this Friday!! Yay! Such a fun time. Barefoot Man is like the Jimmy Buffet of the Bahamas & is an AWESOME time!! We had a blast last year & can't wait for this Friday. We have decided to head north after the concert & explore some of northern Abaco that we have not seen yet. We were originally going to go south to the Exumas (another island chain here in Bahamas) but we did that last year & will probably pass through there again next year on our way to the Caribbean. So...we decided to explore some new places. While things are winding down....there is still plenty of adventure in our near future! So stay tuned!

You never know what the future holds!
Love--Michelle, Scott & Jib


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Family Treasures


This is what retirement looks like... :)
Okay... I must stop promising to do a blog within a specific time frame. I know I promised a blog immediately after the last one but I've was just having too much fun with the family to stop & write. Scott's parents just spent 9 days here & we had sooo much fun. Despite some of the worst weather we've seen since our arrival in November, we had some good old fashioned family time.

Papa is chillaxin
We spent a couple of days just lazing around the amazing beach at Treasure Cay, where the sand feels like flour & the sea reflects the color of the sky.

Jib's new BFF...Sophia
While we were all catching some rays, Jib made a new friend, Sophia. They played together non-stop all afternoon. Sophia is such a cutie & we were all so impressed how she & Jib seem to have a real friendship connection.

Scott dove the shipwreck nearby & speared 3 lobster which we all enjoyed in a yummy lobster pasta. No evening would be complete in the Bahamas without the traditional conch shell blow at sunset & it turns out the best horn blower of all is.....Momma Schapker.

On Sunday we decided to island hop over to Guana Cay for the weekly pig roast at the "world famous" Nipper's Beach Bar.

Trying to stay warm on our island hop from Treasure Cay to Guana Cay. I tried to remind Mom & Dad they were on a tropical island...

It is very difficult to capture waves on camera. They never appear as large as they are & this pic is no exception. Our ride over to Guana was very bumpy. We had 3-5ft waves directley on the beam (which means hitting us square on the middle of the boat) which causes the boat to roll significantley from side to side. Its enough to turn the inside of the boat upside down. Bottles turned over, books falling out of the book shelves, etc. While Malaika has certainly seen bigger seas...when it's your 1st time on a can be a little intimidating. Scott & I were so surprised by Mom & Dad's easy acceptance of a lumpy bumpy ride.

Finally made it to Nipper's!

The Sea of Abaco wasn't the only bumpy place! Check out the Atlantic just on the other side of the island.


A couple of Pirates at Pirate's Cove
We ended the day at Pirate's Cove with a couple of cold beers and some amazingly delicious coconut ice cream. What a fabulous day!

Today we sailed from Guana Cay back to Marsh Harbor to get Mom & Dad to the airport. The only bad thing about having family come to saying goodbye. :( Scott & I had a quiet...kinda of the day. The past 2 weeks having family here was so awesome. We hope y'all will continue to visit us as we sail on further south....wherever the wind takes us.

Love you all so much. XXXOOO

Michelle, Scott & Jib