Who lives like this??? Oh wait… We Do!!!

Can you think of a time where you’ve had to pinch yourself when you just can’t believe something is truly happening?!? We ask ourselves regularly “is this really our life now?”. Everyday we get to watch the glorious sun rise, look into beautiful blue clear waters, walk soft white sand beaches, meet people from all over the world and experience glorious sunsets in different locations from our boat! We are still in awe and pray that feeling never goes away.

Ahhhh, paradise!

Ahhhh, paradise!

The past 2 weeks have been a world wind of fun! We have traveled to 10 different locations! Crossed The Whale twice and saw five new cays we hadn’t seen before and five we went back to and can’t imagine getting tired of visiting these beautiful islands yet again if we decide to. We’ve been buddy boating with Philip and Teresa on s/v Sea Ya and truly have had the time of our lives. These guys are an amazing couple and so much fun to be around.

Tackling The Whale "again"!

Tackling The Whale “again”!

Hope Town fun with friends

Hope Town fun with friends

After Thanksgiving we headed over to Manjack Cay where we met Bill & Leslie who have the coolest piece of property with every kind of plant, veggie, herb, exotic and normal fruit trees and animals. (A rooster by the name of Fred Astaire – ūüėā) They are truly self sufficient on this island, they catch water from the rain, have a ton of solar panels for electricity and make their own cheese and wine. Absolutely some of the nicest folks around and they let me hold Fred and gave us some star fruit and fresh herbs from their beautiful garden!

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We got a picture of a pig out on Crab Cay, not sure how these pigs get out on the uninhabited islands but they seem to survive just fine.  And we find the stangest things while walking the beaches and shore lines.  We found a Nike shoe hanging from a tree so after finding another I just had to get a picture.

Beaches, Nike's & pigs?!?

Beaches, Nike’s & pigs?!?

We enjoyed a 3 day concert on Hope Towns Elbow Cay. This was a fundraiser event with many country music song writers from Nashville. All funds raised for the festival will support efforts of Every Child Counts, Friends of the Environment and Hope Town Fire & Rescue. These guys were incredible, they sing as well as write the #1 hits for country singers like Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and so many more. They put on 4 different shows in 4 different locations over 3 days. We all dinghy’g from location to location and were blown away at each show. One of the songwriters is also an actor, he plays Deacon on the show Nashville, Chip Eston and we got a picture with him. We also took a picture with a fabulous song writer Kendall Marvel who will be releasing his own CD soon. He has a great voice and will most likely be a big deal before long. Such a cool experience!

Hope Town Music festival

Hope Town Music festival

We all made it back to Treasure Cay on Monday December 5th and had an impromptu party on s/v Catatude with our good buddy Ed Horton and some new friends from South Africa Jon and Shirley from s/v Khaya Moya.

Boat parties are the best

Boat parties are the best

We headed over to Cocos Beach Bar on Tuesday night for the weekly bonfire. ¬†They just douse it in a few gallons of gasoline and poof! ¬†We practically had this bonfire all to ourselves because it’s still not crowded out here yet but we are happy because we have found ourselves enjoying all the very private and deserted cays and beaches.

Bonfire on the beach

Bonfire on the beach

I’m glad we made it back when we did because now we need to replace our raw water pump so we’ll be hanging out until we’re sure the boat is ready to make a big trip down south. Even though it is running we don’t want to run the engine so we towed it with a couple of dinghies closer to shore for protection from some upcoming weather. The things we find ourselves doing is truly comical.

Dinghy power ūüö§---‚õĶÔłŹ

Dinghy power ūüö§—‚õĶÔłŹ

We usually talk about our upcoming “plans” however, I think we’ll just play it by ear and let the wind take us wherever it blows, you know once the boat is fully operational. ūüėȬ† Everyone is decorating for Christmas which is fun to see the decorations go up, and they have a lot planned for the holidays here in Treasure Cay so if we are still here we will be around some really great new friends!

Christmas prep in the Bahamas ūüéĄ

Christmas prep in the Bahamas ūüéĄ

Thankful…

This entire week has been such a blessing! I thought it may be more difficult being away from our family for only the second Thanksgiving ever, however God has put some amazing people in our lives since we’ve been living on our boat! We’ve been wanting to sail north and see more of the north cays in the Bahamas and the weather finally started easing up to allow us to do just that. So we accepted an invitation and decided to meet up with some friends who were headed to Allens Pensacola Cay to spend Thanksgiving with some new friends of theirs. We enjoyed our day with Philip & Teresa from s/v Sea Ya and Bill & Betty Sue from m/v Teamwork. We had a delicious meal of steak, lobster, shrimp, porkloin and many sides. Even with Sea Ya’s propane regulator breaking we managed to get everything cooked and still have time to eat, drink and fly a drone for sunset pictures.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Drone photo op!

Drone photo op!

The long week out allowed us to brave Whale Cay again and we anchored at Crab Cay, Allens Pensacola, Powell Cay and we’re headed over to ManJack Cay tomorrow. All but ManJack are uninhabited islands with beautiful soft white sand beaches and so many great lobster hideouts. Thanks to our great friends we’ve had more fresh lobster than ever in our lives. We will get in and find our own soon but in the mean time it’s really nice when others are sharing their bounty.

Allens Pensacola -Dolphins, lobster and grouper

Allens Pensacola -Dolphins, lobster and grouper

Being live aboards on the boat has given us the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and see some places only accessible via boat. The places we’ve been and the things we’ve seen in just these past 8 months is something to truly be thankful for. We will most likely head back to Treasure Cay in a couple of days to say our goodbyes and wrap up a few things before making our way back down south Abacos to stage for our crossing and then continue our journey to Eleuthera and eventually the Exumas. We need to renew our passports to continue on in the Bahamas for the full year so we hope we have plenty of time to continue this amazing venture.

Powell Cay - beaches, hiking and Welk

Powell Cay – beaches, hiking and Welk

We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving because we sure did!

Rock fever, need to feel waves…

We have a touch of rock fever and need to get back out on the water! So we decided to drop the ball and head over to Waters Cay for the night! Oh my what a beautiful day to be out on the water, not a lot of wind which is ok it was a gorgeous day, flat waters and enough wind to get the main sail out for an autopilot day.

Flat calm water!

Flat calm water!


Autopilot is awesome!

Autopilot is awesome!


Shadow sailing

Shadow sailing


Bow riding

Bow riding

After anchoring successfully we took the dinghy and dogs to shore and walked around where we did some really cool beach combing and stretched our legs a bit. Such a pretty place and completely isolated! Needed to work on those tan lines anyway, just kidding I did not do that ūüėČ way to chicken to attempt that!

Beach combing

Beach combing


Our rides

Our rides


Isolation

Isolation

We grilled burgers and enjoyed an awesome dinner and a beautiful sunset. When the rolling began we decided to head over to Marsh Harbor or maybe Matt Lowes Cay, we’ll see once we get closer.

Burgers at sunset

Burgers at sunset

I know we have said no more night sailing but inside the sea of Abaco why not?!? The water is calm and the wind is perfect! We have both main and jib out and thoroughly enjoying a safe night sail. I’m sitting on one of the perch seats while writing this and could not be happier! God is so good and never fails! Love you all!

Night sailing

Night sailing

Weather, relaxation, baking and saying goodbye…

We often get the question “what do you do all day on a boat?” Lately we’ve been doing a whole lot of nothing. Well not really, we’re really loving this time in the Abacos. Even though I say it’s nothing it really has added up to a bunch of small things. Our boat project list has come to a slow period for the time being, other than regular maintenance stuff like cleaning filters and changing the impeller which kicked our butt the other day. I even managed to get in the cold water and scrape the bottom of the boat again. Man was it cold – but the growth from the last time was easy enough to clean up. I get to swim with all kinds of fish and phosphorous jellyfish, thank goodness these little translucent critters don’t sting.

Stupid impeller

Stupid impeller

Phosphorus jellies

Phosphorus jellies

We have found quite a bit of down time as well so we take a lot of walks on the beach or around the nearby neighborhoods.

Beach days

Beach days

Lovely morning walk

Lovely morning walk

We cook new recipes and lately I’ve been baking bread instead of buying it. Found some really great easy recipes that are delicious! I even made a Dutch Baby for breakfast, it was awesome!

Beer bread

Beer bread

Best Banana bread ever

Best Banana bread ever

Dutch baby baby!

Dutch baby baby!

Chickpea masala - oh yea!

Chickpea masala – oh yea!

We continue to meet new friends and get to take them around to some of our favorite places.

Conrad & Liz Clark

Conrad & Liz Clark

This week we say goodbye to our good friends John & Kristi Owens from m/v Revelation! ¬†We have spent so many days and nights with this couple and have gotten so used to our dock neighbors that it’s hard to see them go. ¬†We pray safe travels as they journey across the Gulf Stream in the coming days. ¬†Love you guys, thanks for all the laughs, meals and great fellowship!

Power couple!

Power couple!

Schooner Bay outing

Schooner Bay outing

With hurricane season slowly coming to an end we are seeing more residents coming back to the island. I’ve met so many great people hear and have gotten involved in a few activities like water yoga, bible study and also ladies luncheons. There are several other activities they’re about to begin like Majong, Bridge, aerobics and book clubs but I’d be gone every day of the week and sometimes these overlap so I have to pace myself. We are really having a great time and are so thankful for the friends we’ve met and continue to meet.

So I hope that answers that question as we have plenty to do. We are still in awe at this amazing opportunity before us and we are looking forward to seeing more from the boat once the winds and seas calm down enough to start making boat wakes again.

Hurricane, what hurricane…

We rode it out, the “it” for us was nothing like what was predicted nor what we planned and prepared for but we are ecstatic how it turned and only skirted the Abaco island! We can’t even begin thanking all of you who were standing in the gap, praying and commanding the seas to move! We are truly blessed to have such strong believers and passionate prayer warriors in our lives. God is so good and we can only continue to be amazed! Here‚Äôs the thing about faith: faith gives control over to God so that we don‚Äôt do things by our own strength, but that He does things through us!

We do ask for continued prayers for those who were in more of the direct path and will continue to spend their days cleaning up the aftermath. Haiti, Cuba the southern Bahamas and I’m sure there are so many others as Hurricane Matthew came to wreak havoc and be as destructive as it could but I believe with every fiber it could have been so much worse than it was. That was an enormous storm that sat out there and tried very hard to gain even more strength to cause even more destruction and devastation but God is bigger and stronger and heard our many prayers!

We spent a lot of time tearing down the boat as did so many others here at the marina! We started with 7 boat owners who worked tirelessly trying to safeguard our boats. We all became even better friends and went over and above helping each other. We taped Windows and doors, removed wind generators and solar panels, climbed masts to dismantle electronics and finally secured boats with every useable line we had on board our boats. At the last possible minute there ended up being approximately 25 or so boats left at the marina to ride out the storm. Captains we’re bringing in boats and had them tied down as quickly as possible before heading to safety. The winds were crazy nuts and the rain was on and off for much of the 2 days we were holed up in the condo. Several of us made many trips back and forth to the marina, checking lines and ensuring no damage was occurring to any of the boats.

It really is the same boat!

It really is the same boat!

We would radio each other and give updates about the water height and how the boats were holding up through the winds. We were so thrilled that we were not affected by the storm surge, they were predicting 7 to 10ft surges which could have been devastating to all the boats. The pilings are not tall enough to handle that kind of surge, the docks would have been completely under water but again by Gods grace we were spared any¬†kind of damage! Some of the neighborhoods suffered from flooding and the drainage system isn’t quite strong enough so it will take a few days for it to recede.
Jeff and I made several trips back and forth during the storm traipsing through the flooding parking lot but we were being extra careful and would tuck into the condo patios that face the marina so we could avoid the wind gusts as much as possible. Once on the dock it was much more difficult but we would take refuge behind the bigger boats and hold on to the pilings when necessary. The rain would sting as it came down when the wind caught it but it wasn’t so dangerous that we were afraid of being tossed off the dock. Pushed a little sure but not strong enough to be picked up and thrown in.

We lost power and therefore internet access and it was cloudy the whole time so finding a satellite signal for our texting device became much more difficult without going out into the storm. So we hung out inside, ran our portable generator from time to time to keep a fan blowing and keep the refrigerator cold. We are so incredibly grateful for how everything turned out! This beautiful island is still beautiful and still looks like paradise, the fallen trees and strewn palm fronds have already been cleaned up for the most part and things are slowly returning to normal. Today is Columbus Day in the states and Discovery day here in the Bahamas so we expect to see people back to work on Tuesday. The power to the docks was flipped on yesterday evening so we hope the internet will be turned on either today or tomorrow. Luckily we found the internet functional up at the restaurant so it allows us to walk over to update friends and family.

Minimal flooding and damage.

Minimal flooding and damage.

2 days after storm sunset and coconut gathering.

2 days after storm sunset and coconut gathering.

We can’t thank our friends (Wendy & Brian) and my niece and sister (Tanika & Angie) enough for all their help! They checked in, posted updates on FB and provided valuable weather reports back and forth. I have to say being off the grid is great however, in a storm like this one having some form of communication is priceless.

We are just about done putting the boat back together, luckily it went back together easier and much faster than tearing it down! The winds have kicked up to around 15 – 20 kts and should continue like this throughout the week. We’ve started talking about our plans from here but no definitive dates just yet. We will update again soon!

Love you all so much and thank you, thank you, thank you for the much needed prayers and well wishes. So glad we had you all around us during this!

Oy vey this hurricane…

Here is our current update with this crazy hurricane. We have nearly completed tearing down the sailboat “aka” our house! We have been spending countless hours pulling down anything and everything that could catch wind and possibly be ripped off the boat by either the strong winds or the potential tornadoes the winds could produce. (the list continues to grow)

I’ve managed to take pictures while we were destroying our boat so that Matthew can’t! It looks like a completely different boat now ūüôĀ

The last 2 days we had to take all of the Eisenglass off as well as the Bimini canvas covers and then we pulled down all of the framing to include the hard top dodger that was over the boat to create that wonderful shade and protection from the sun. Of course we had to do all of this in the blazing heat since we are in the middle of a high pressure system which is making our days extremely hot right now.

Nearly naked boat!

Nearly naked boat!

Once the Bimini tops and framing were down and tucked inside the boat we moved our attention to the 2 huge solar panels. ¬†By the way the inside of the boat looks like a boat exploded inside! ¬†The mess is driving us both insane. ¬†Can’t clean it just keep stuffing more inside it.

Boat pieces and parts everywhere

Boat pieces and parts everywhere

Boat tear-down- this is happening!

Boat tear-down- this is happening!

I believe those solar panels were built to never be removed but by the grace of God we figured out a way and safely got those beasts down. The panels and the hard dodger do not fit in our boat so Jeff and John hauled them down to m/v Revelation and safely stowed them in their front cabin. Thank goodness they have such a big boat with plenty of space.

Our solar panels inside m/v Revelation - possibly Jimmy Hoffa too!

Our solar panels inside m/v Revelation – possibly Jimmy Hoffa too!

We began one of the final pieces to securing the boat, that would be tie the hurricane lines which end up looking somewhat like a spider web. ¬†The difference in normal boat lines and hurricane lines is the normal lines stretch. ¬†These hurricane lines are extremely stiff and don’t have that stretch to them. ¬†We will use both for the final tie down because you want to be able to rise and lower as well as move from side-to-side with the tide and the water surge. ¬†They are anticipating the surge to be anywhere from 6-9 feet high!!! I can’t even imagine what that could look like.

The spider web begins

The spider web begins

The four of us (John, Kristi and us) have rented a condo to stay in once we have to leave the boats which is full of very nice amenities and large enough to accommodate all four of us and our combined 3 dogs. Luckily it’s just around the corner. ¬†The couple that own it have been extra generous by matching the resort price and allowing us to begin taking things over early before we actually need to “move in”. One of my sweet bible study ladies (Virginia) has also lent us their golf cart so we didn’t have to haul all of our stuff over on foot.

Our hurricane hunker hole!

Our hurricane hunker hole!

It truly is a community here that comes together in times of need and we are incredibly grateful for everyone’s generosity and willingness to help. The marina team has been awesome, Cliff & Jamal have been¬†walking the docks, retying lines and doing all they can to ensure the docks and all of¬†us are¬†as safe as possible. One of the marina office staff (Nelrose) continues to go above and beyond for us. ¬†We probably bother her several times a day but she always has a smile on her face and is very helpful. ¬†Some of the long time boat residents have been through this drill before and continue to remind us newbies how well protected this marina is. In the past they haven’t lost any boats during storms like this. Yes some damage due to high winds like losing wind generators and solar panels that were not removed prior but as for the boats themselves, no total losses inside this hurricane hole. (fingers crossed)

So we work and pray and watch the weather closely all day. We will ride it out from the inside of a hurricane safe condo. We know God is in control and we continue to thank Him daily for all He has done and continues to do.  We are very thankful for all of the extra strength and energy we have had these last few days.  We have been dog-tired at the end of every day but happy with the progress! (yawning РZzzzz)

Love you all, please keep those prayers coming. I believe they are working in mighty strength by confusing this storm and halting it in its place the last couple of days. We have yet to see the exact intended path, however we know fairly well we will be impacted to some extent. ¬†The weather updates have been very interesting to watch, it now looks like Florida will also see more of it than predicted so please pray for all who could be in hurricane Matthew’s path.

We will stay in contact through our satellite device via Facebook so send a friend request to SV Delayed Gratification to keep tabs on us and how we are weathering the storm.

Hurricane Matthew…

So there is a full on hurricane out there and its predicted to come this way by late Tuesday/early Wednesday! We’ve been watching this thing for days and it has increased in strength very quickly and is now a Category 4 hurricane. A cat 4 is considered a major hurricane with sustained winds of 130-156 mph. So we plan and prepare for the worst and pray for the best. We’ve begun tearing down the boat of anything that could be ripped off by high winds and then become projectiles.

We started with the Jib early this morning while there was little to no wind.

Pulling the Jib down

Pulling the Jib down

Like a trooper Jeff let me raise him up the mast so he could remove the electronic wind vane which is what tracks the wind speed and direction. An expensive piece of equipment so better take it down rather than replace it later.  After a few times of sending different tools up to him he got it all down.

"I need a different screwdriver!"

“I need a different screwdriver!”

All the while our little nurse shark buddy hangs out under our dock.

Fish are friends! What about sharks?!?

Fish are friends! What about sharks?!?

We then moved to deflating the dinghy and getting it stowed away.

Our limp dinghy (hehehe)

Our limp dinghy (hehehe)

We still have a list of things to remove and stow safely inside or tie down outside but we also have a few days to continue watching and praying that it changes direction. Even a slight change could be a huge relief since it’s currently predicted right over the Bahamas. We can’t be certain until it turns to the north then we will have a true idea of its intended path.

We knew that this is hurricane season and we knew that moving onto a sailboat would eventually put us in a path of a hurricane so it’s not surprising just a bit nerve racking.

We are already planning on hunkering down in a condo for the worst of it. I asked the ladies at the grocery store and one of them (Victoria) put me in touch with Elena and Yanicks who own a rental condo right here in the harbor. We’re meeting them tomorrow to work out the details about the condo. I believe from the 2 times I’ve spoken to Elena that she is a Christian and yet again I’m just in awe how Gods plans work out and we continue to meet some of the kindest most generous people here. ¬†Hurricanes are very big deals here on an island and people bend over backwards helping each other and not just the locals. We are feeling loved on and cared for and we have our great friends John & Kristi to ride this out with so it adds to the excitement as well as the entertainment.

I can honestly say Jeff and I are not scared, we are under some pressure to ensure we’ve thought of everything to secure the boat and thought of everything we’ll need to take with us when we leave the boat. We continue to pray about the storm and ask the Lord to command the wind and rain to cover and protect us. As always we ask for prayers and while you lift us up for His protection please know we are lifting up all of our family and friends daily as well.

We will keep you posted as we get information about this storm as it inches closer to us.

A change in plans…


As we are quickly approaching the end of the month planning sessions and lots of discussion about what to do and where to go are occurring daily aboard our floating home.

Boat-sweet-boat

Boat-sweet-boat

We ¬†originally planned to stay through the end of October, however with a bank account breach we were informed about several weeks ago the need to get back to at least Florida will change the “plans” and detour our current jaunt. ¬†Once our¬†debit cards got cancelled obtaining the temporary debit¬†cards was a near impossible feat but thankfully Visa managed to ship those. ¬†The bigger problem is since they’re temporary we can’t withdraw cash which ours is running quite low AND the temp cards expire in October (yikes)! ¬†Luckily most everyplace here in Treasure Cay takes a bank card but most also require a $20 minimum purchase. ¬†Jeff and I have gotten pretty good about planning our shopping trips around that minor detail. ¬†With¬†the looming expiration date and the on-hand cash dwindling rapidly going back to the states is critical. ¬†VISA will not ship permanent bank cards to the Bahamas, only to your permanent residence and then activation requires a stateside call. ¬†We could have asked our dear friends to help get the setup done and ship the cards to us here but the risk of activated cards getting lost or “hung up” in customs along with the astronomical shipping expenses we opted not to take such a risk! ¬†So hopefully that explains the main reason for the planning sessions and change in plans.

I believe when we crossed the Gulf Stream the first time we¬†may have mentioned we¬†never wanted to do that again, well here we¬†are planning for it again only 3 months later. (oy vey). Since we have to do it we’ve decided to take advantage of some boat projects once we get back. ¬†We are in need of a bottom boat paint job, we need to have our propeller zinc put on and we need to stock up on some boat parts that need to be ordered from different places. ¬†So we will be looking for a marina somewhere in Florida to haul the boat out, we’ll use their address to have our friends ship us our new permanent cards as well as have our boat parts shipped to us. We figured we could take care of a lot of things and spend the winter still in warmer weather like the snow birds do.

Jeff has been spending hours pouring over our charts and maps looking for the safest islands to anchor at while we plan our journey around Little Abaco island and then over to Grand Bahama island where we will most likely cross from West End Bahamas. ¬†There are many small cays and it’s a very well charted path which boats take all the time so we shouldn’t have any issues with the island hopping other than the questionable weather.

Where we are, where we need to get to

Where we are, where we need to get to

The weather watch dance has begun. To give you an idea of the crazy weather here the thunderstorms pop up usually in the afternoon so we plan to avoid them as much as possible and be anchored daily before they hit.  You go from a beautiful sunny day where the water is absolutely gorgeous to dark and gray and no sun in a matter of minutes.  Luckily you can see it rolling in and have time to take cover.

Daily weather changes

Daily weather changes

So in the meantime we play and work on the boat, it truly is a never ending job.  There is always something to do so we ensure we accomplish a project before we go play.  Dinghy excursions, golf cart rides, manatee, sting ray and turtle photo ops and just hanging out with our dear friends Kristi and John on m/v Revelation.  Love these two Рwe are having a blast with them!

Amazing friends!

Amazing friends!

Dinghy excursions

Dinghy excursions

Sea life

Sea life

Puppy love

Puppy love

Six months ago we would have been fretting over bank hassles and eating up lunch hours to take care of this-that-or-the-other which has been replaced with this life of meeting people, enjoying great fellowship, visiting other churches and diving into new cultures all the while living in paradise ~ so thankful for this adventure!  We will keep you posted on upcoming travel dates as well as our schedule.

 

On the hook…


With all these tropical waves that keep spinning up we have been playing it safe by keeping tucked into the marina where we could tie up securely and get to land quickly in the event of a hurricane. Getting to see a big manatee hanging out at the end of the dock was pretty cool too!

Such a poser

Such a poser

We have been so very fortunate that each weather threat would turn or completely dissipate which allowed us to sit back and relax some. Well last Sunday we decided to take off and enjoy the weather while we could so we headed out after church with our new friends on m/v Revelation (John & Kristi Owens) and made our way to anchor at our favorite spot Tahiti Beach on Elbow Cay.

Motor sailing & boat dogs

Motor sailing & boat dogs

We’ve been in the Bahamas for 3 months and the majority of that time has been in and around the Abacos. Jeff and I have been as far north as Fiddle Cay and as far south as Hole in the Wall so we’ve gotten pretty familiar with our surroundings here. John & Kristi showed up in late August and have wanted to get out to see more so we were happy to suggest and show them some of our favorite anchorages. We all went up to the famous candy stripped kerosene burning lighthouse in Hope Town and we walked the beautiful island of Man-o-War, we anchored at Matt Lowes Cay and even met the sweetest couple from Long Island (Mike & Mehgan Ioveno) and hung out with them a couple of times as well on Elbow Cay.

Beaches & breathtaking views

Beaches & breathtaking views

While Mike & Mehgan jumped in the dinghy with John & Kristi, Jeff and I took their golf cart around the island and back to the Abaco Inn resort where they were staying. It was a nice trade off for them as well as us. Most people travel by golf cart on the islands but renting them is quite pricey so we were more than happy to swap rides for a couple of hours.

By water or by land

By water or by land

We had such a great week on the hook which I like to remind people that anchoring out is completely free! No marina fees, no electricity fees just being one with nature out there on Gods beautiful Sea of Abaco. The Atlantic Ocean is merely a stones throw away on the other side of each of these islands and being in the calm waters where we anchor versus the much more chaotic waters of the Atlantic is truly amazing to stand and witness.

Tahiti beach in the sea of Abaco

Tahiti beach in the sea of Abaco

Atlantic Ocean

Atlantic Ocean

We have had the best time with John & Kristi, they will be hanging around Treasure Cay at least through the end of September so they will get plenty of blog mentions this month. ¬†We’ve been eating like kings out here with these two! ¬†The girl can cook and the food supplies they brought with them in their deep freezer is truly amazing. ¬†The amount of space on their beautiful 57ft pleasure craft is staggering. We’ve been sharing a lot of meals together and it’s been such a blessing to find friends who share the same interests and goals as we do. ¬†Jeff and I live on a budget and love being able to come under budget from time to time. ¬†The main way is by not eating out much or buying expensive drinks and John and Kristi do the exact same thing so it makes it easy to find ways with them to enjoy ourselves here without breaking our budgets. ¬†We frequent the beaches and just hang out on each other’s boats chatting. ¬†They also have a small sheltie named Chealsea who has made Jeff her personal play thing. ¬†She is the sweetest little girl too.

Kristi surprised by the tide pool

Kristi surprised by the tide pool

Sweet Chelsea girl - loves the beach

Sweet Chealsea girl – loves the beach

John waiting for the rain

John waiting for the rain

Even with the occasional rain storm we are having a great time and continue to thank God daily for the safety from the weather as well as this beautiful place we get to call home for now.  Have a blessed week Рlove and prayers to all of our friends and family!

New friends, old friends and hurricanes…

The last 2 weeks have been non-stop for us! We have met some incredibly generous and fun loving people. Even with the threat of hurricanes looming in the distance Jeff & I managed to take some extraordinary women from the Indiana and Ohio areas sailing; go snorkeling and see the swimming pigs at No Name Cay with another group of new friends we met at church, who just so happen to be from Texas, on their beautiful and fast ski boat; learn to cut open some coconuts with our machete and eat and drink for free; move our boat into the marina, tore it down and roped it up like a crazy spiderweb in preparation for a potential hurricane threat AND welcome our bestie Robert and his lovely wife Rhonda and their 2 adult children from m/v Vaya Con Dios back to the Abacos for a long exciting weekend! We also rented a car for the day and drove to Marsh Harbour to pick up a FedEx package and a few boat parts.

Yummy fresh coconut water

Yummy fresh coconut water

Hard work but so tasty

Hard work but so tasty

It all started Sunday the 14th at church where Cathi, one of the bible study ladies introduced us to Elmer and Sandra Doty and their good friends Fred and Cathy all from Dallas, right around the corner from where I used to work in the Prestonwood area. After agreeing to meet them all for lunch at Cocos Beach Club and getting to know them a little better later that day we ran into Dana, Marta, Jenny and Niki (our Indiana & Ohio friends) at the pool who were vacationing here in Treasure Cay for a week. After the introductions and a few jokes they invited us for spaghetti dinner that night. We hit it off immediately with all of them and planned a day of sailing and fun for Tuesday. We dinghied everyone over to the sailboat, dropped the moor and headed out to Water Cay where we hung out for a few hours then had a beautiful sail back. On Thursday they have pizza night up at the Junkanoo Java/ Tipsy Seagull where they set up tables and chairs all around the pool and everyone in the Treasure Cay area comes to indulge on pizza, live music and dancing. It always makes for big crowds and good fun. We ate with the 4 ladies and ran into the Doty’s and their friends who invited us out on Friday to go snorkeling and go see the swimming pigs. We had such a blast on their fast boat and after stopping for lunch we went snorkeling and then headed over to No Name Cay to see the famous swimming pigs. They will swim right up to you waiting to be fed, we decided to stay in the boat and just take pictures. There’s something to be said about 100+ lb pigs all jockeying for the food in your hands. It was such a great day the water was flat calm and we skimmed across the water at about 35-40 mph. Made us miss our Sea Ray for a brief moment.

Enjoying this beautiful fast boat ride

Enjoying this beautiful fast boat ride

Helmut Chonch - snorkeling

Helmut Chonch – snorkeling

Dem some big ole pigs

Dem some big ole pigs

Saturday we said our goodbyes to the ladies and started planning out our boat prep for the tropical wave that was projected to hit the Bahamas. Sad we didn’t get pics on our sailing day!

Marta, Niki, Jeff, Jenny, Dana & Cristol

Marta, Niki, Jeff, Jenny, Dana & Cristol

Love these ladies!

Love these ladies!

Ran into a bit of a snag with our credit/debit cards so Visa fedex’d us some temporary cards but they won’t deliver to Treasure Cay so we had to rent a car to drive over to Marsh Harbour to pick them up. Made a day of it in the backwards Japanese car and Jeff did quite well driving on the wrong side of the road and wrong side of the car, he even got the hang of the roundabouts without going the wrong direction.

Everything is on the wrong side and in Japanese!

Everything is on the wrong side and in Japanese!

When we got back Bob and his wife were here and we got to spend time with them before their kids came in. We all had such a good time cooking together and hanging out at the beach and the pool. The weather was warm but we were soaking it up knowing that it would change soon enough with that storm¬†out there. Once the kids flew in we got an impromptu jam session at the pool ate at some good restaurants and just enjoyed everyone’s company.

Bob, Rhonda, Elise, David and us at Coco Beach Bar

Bob, Rhonda, Elise, David and us at Coco Beach Bar

Pool side jam session

Pool side jam session

We decided we should pull the boat into the marina on Thursday before the weekend weather change so we spent most of the day tearing the boat down, basically taking down anything that could blow away or get damaged by the high winds. We flipped the boat around a bit trying to get it in the right spot and get it tied up securely. We definitely did more than we needed to but since we’ve never prepped for a hurricane before we wanted plenty of time to figure it all out and pack stuff away since we were planning on staying on the boat if the winds stayed under 60 mph. Well thank God the storm went another direction and we didn’t have to worry about it too much other than some rain and wind the last couple of days we were able to put the boat back together some and sit back and relax.

Bob’s kids left on Sunday and he and Rhonda left on Monday so we are enjoying the AC which we’ve been without since some time in May. We’ve even met another 2 couples on Trawlers here in the marina and plan to head out to see some nearby sites together, maybe this week if the weather holds up. There’s already another tropical wave off of Africa and we won’t know which direction it’s planning until later in the week. We may be tearing down the boat again by Thursday depending on the spaghetti model of the storm. Such is hurricane season but we are not complaining because we have been incredibly blessed with the people God has put in our lives and we’ve even gotten to share our beliefs with the ladies last week around the dinner table. Jeff let them know that we wanted to bless the food first which they were completely onboard with then found out that after we had dinner with them the first night they started saying Grace before their meals as well! God is so good and continues to give us such incredible opportunities! Starting this Wednesday I get to lead the women’s bible study for the next month while Cathi heads to the states to visit her family and friends – just another example of His goodness!