“Team Exit” Eleuthera or bust…

I think it’s gonna happen, we are 1 of 15 or so boats anchored out at Lynyard Cay which sits right on the edge of Little Harbor Cut waiting for the winds to clock around and for the seas to calm so we can all head south. This is a very common anchorage to stage yourself before making the crossover to Eleuthera. It’s extremely memorable for Jeff & I since we came into the Abacos through this very same cut 7 1/2 months ago. Our route was definitely backwards as most people come from Florida through the north side of the island, which is truly a safer and much shallower route but we have some great and not so great memories of doing it backwards 😁 We have met most of the cruisers out here at an impromptu bonfire on Saturday night and had one of the best times sharing food and memories!

Bonfire blast & lighted hoola hoop!

Lynyard Cay staging zone

(s/v Sea Ya, s/v Catatude, s/v Nightingale, s/v Seldom Silent, s/v Rat Catcher, s/v Silhouette, s/v Cloud 9, s/v Te Amor, s/v Ain’t Misbehavin)

So today we prepare for the 50+ mile journey across the Atlantic with depths of 13,000+ feet of water which we all plan to head out at first light on Monday morning (Jan 16). I know 50 miles doesn’t seem far at all if you’ve ever driven the North Dallas Tollway from Frisco to Downtown Dallas and back, however imagine driving it going only 5 miles per hour with hills and valleys spaced out every 20 to 50 yards 😳⛵️🌊😖 This little 50+ mile outing will take us approximately 10 hours give or take as we have to incorporate the wind, waves and swells. With the wind in the right direction we could pick up speed which could shave off an hour or so, however if we haven’t timed this weather window right we could be fighting the wind which could make our crossing very uncomfortable and longer than expected. The goals for us are 1. Get there safely 2. Sail preferably over motoring and 3. Anchor well before the sun sets. So today along with writing this I’ll be baking some bread, mixing up a huge batch of chicken salad and cleaning while Jeff is doing an overall engine inspection by tightening and checking all fluids to ensure everything is in tip top shape. We try to prepare for a long day where we may not have safe access to the galley to cook so everything will be quick and easy to grab if we need to go below while underway.

One final lunch in Little Harbor at Petes Pub with friends…

Little Harbor @ Pete’s Pub – got solar?!?

Tonight a group get together aboard s/v Te Amor (thanks Jan & Cam) enjoying Lobster Chowder to discuss logistics of pulling up anchors and finalizing last minute details. With a group consisting of approximately 10 boats we want to be able to communicate easily and clearly while out on the water. We’ve come up with a group name so hailing each other while underway will be much more organized – Team Exit has been established! I would say we are both excited and anxious but so ready to see more of the Bahamas!

Some great Abaco lasts…

So we’ve stayed in the Abacos Bahamas 🇧🇸 way longer than we could have imagined but we have zero regrets because it has been absolutely amazing these last 7 months! We feel like we know the Abacos like the back of our hand as we’ve been back and forth to many of the most sought after cays for those who vacation and frequent the Bahamas.

Time to say goodbye!

We left Treasure Cay (our home away from home) on Tuesday December 27th after saying goodbye to all of our friends and temporary church family while there. Treasure Cay will always have a special place in our hearts. From the small church family who accepted us so easily, to the ladies bible study family who welcomed me in so many ways to the marina friends we made and saw daily (Dewayne, Ria & Nellrose), it wouldn’t surprise us if we found ourselves back there sometime in the future.

We headed over to Great Guana Cay for the last anchor there for a couple of nights. We were joined first by s/v Catitude who we helped decorate a golf cart and joined the golf cart parade. S/v Sea Ya joined just in time to jump in and enjoy the evening. So many creatively decorated carts.

LOL – genius

This parade was planned out in great detail as all golf carts and guests would begin the night bar hopping from location to location (5 different bars) while enjoying free appetizers at each spot before heading to the next and ending at Great Guanas famous Nippers way up on a hill overlooking the Atlantic dancing the night away with a cool fireworks display to round up the night. Such a cool way to say goodbye to Great Guana Cay.

Golf cart party of 5

Great Guana golf cart parade – Fun fun fun!!

@ anchor in Great Guana

We managed to get some great last sunrise pictures in as well.
We already knew we wanted to spend New Years in Hope Town so we headed over early on Thursday December 29th to secure a mooring ball since we’d heard this was the place to be for New Years Eve. It definitely got crowded but we had so many friends there with us we couldn’t have planned it any better. By the 31st everyone was anchored, moored or in a marina and we began the night on m/v Vaya Con Dios (remember our bestie from Little Harbour, Robert Wendorf who we met early June) he and his lovely wife Rhonda opened their boat to 5 other couples so there were 12 of us including them. This was their first meeting of everyone other than Jeff & I so just goes to show why we love this couple so much and know we will be lifelong friends.

Our Florida bffs!

New Years gang 2016–>2017

The fireworks right over the bows of our boats was incredible! We can definitely say one of the best we’ve seen yet and maybe just because of the proximity but we all had an amazing time. We stayed in Hope Town for the next few days and worked on a toilet issue that was truly one of the crappiest issues we’ve had (hehehe) but my very smart and determined husband who will not give up figured it out and now all is well again aboard s/v Delayed Gratification. And again we managed to take some beautiful last sunset pictures in Hope Town before leaving. Now if you ever need a great Bahamas trip, do not pass up Elbow Cay, this is where Hope Town and the famous last kerosene light house is, Sea Spray, Fire Fly, Abaco Inn and Tahiti Beach are all located. Such a quaint Cay.

Beautiful Bahamas sunrises {sigh}

Hope Town – love this group and this place!

We left Hope Town on Wednesday January 4th headed to Marsh Harbor for the last time for a couple of reasons. First, I still had to get my immigration extended passed February so on Thursday the 5th I flew to West Palm Beach, FL at 10:05a just to walk right back through security and get right back on the exact same plane that was scheduled to leave at 12:05p. We didn’t need to do any shopping in the states so no need in staying the night and renting a car like Jeff did earlier in December. I was back in the Bahamas by 1:30ish with a new Bahamas stamp in my passport giving me another 6 months here legally. The second reason we wanted to be in Marsh Harbor is because of a cold front that was scheduled to hit on Sunday with winds somewhere in the 30-40mph range. It decided to show up a day early and there’s good protection from those north winds here so we sit here with s/v Sea Ya waiting it out before our next trip over the Atlantic and over to Eleuthera! Nasty squall blowing in as I was typing this up 🌬☔️. It didn’t seem to last long but sure looked ugly.

Ugly squall- beginning of the cold front??

There are several of us planning to head south to Eleuthera, m/v Vaya Con Dios (Bob & Rhonda) have already made it. We hope to have a couple of buddy boats to make this next trip and Jeff & I are ready as soon as the seas and winds calm down a bit. Even though it’s a sailboat we still prefer not to take risks because things break in high winds and we just prefer to enjoy the ride.

Please pray for fair winds and a safe journey as we plan to head out in a few days weather permitting. Love you all and know we continue to send up prayers over all of our friends and family on land and on water.

“We travel not to escape life but for Life not to escape us!”

Christmas festivities, immigration & repairs…

Christmas in the Bahamas who would have thunk?!? It’s Christmas Eve and Jeff and I will be greeters for the final time here at Treasure Cay Community Church this evening. Over the past couple of weeks we have been crazy busy with all the Christmas festivities that Treasure Cay has planned as well as trying to get everything in order so we can begin making our way south.

Here’s a run down of everything we’ve been doing. We had to order a part for the boat, book travel for Jeff to fly to Florida to pick up said part and get his immigration restarted for 6 more months. We attended the first Treasure Cay Christmas golf cart parade, attended the Christmas tree lighting to include the lighting of their giant Ginger Bread house at the Spinnaker restaurant. I attended the ladies Christmas party for the community, Jeff flew into Palm Springs on Monday and had a whirlwind shopping spree, slept in the car after a midnight trip to Walmart in order to return on Tuesday. I along with a couple of friends took a car into Marsh Harbour to restock and provision the boat, visited a cool old local artist shop and hung out at a blue hole not far from Treasure Cay. We replaced the raw water pump on the boat (yay it’s working again), Thursday night was the Christmas boat parade right here in the marina harbor. We watched it from m/v Deja Vu Too with some new and old friends while making homemade pizza (pictures were added to FB page Cooking on a Boat). We’ve scheduled my very quick trip into Florida for my immigration restart for right after the first of the year and we will be leaving Treasure Cay tomorrow or Monday to make our way over to Elbow Cays Hope Town to bring in the new year. We hope to meet up with our friends Bob & Rhonda from m/v Vaya Con Dios, Ed Horton from s/v Catatude and Philip from s/v Sea Ya. If the weather cooperates we hope to have a fun New Years celebration. {whew} I wasn’t kidding about being busy!

Tree lighting, golf cart & boat parade

Tree lighting, golf cart & boat parade

Giant ginger bread house

Giant ginger bread house

Local artists Don Woods Originals

Local artists Don Woods Originals


Beautiful Blue hole

Beautiful Blue hole

Raw water pump replacement $$$ 😖

Raw water pump replacement $$$ 😖

We are excited about leaving, however we will truly miss all of our friends here as well as this beautiful place. We managed to learn more about our boat, maneuver some shallow waters in and around the Abacos Islands as well as dare those deep ocean waters a time or two. We have Eleuthera in our sights and then Exumas soon after! Loving the Bahamas and looking forward to what the new year has in store for us.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone! Praying for many blessings, much healing and restoration over all of our lives and lifting up the newly elected administration for guidance and wisdom for this next term!

Love you all,
Jeff & Cristol

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 – 😂) 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 🚤---⛵️

Dinghy power 🚤—⛵️

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. 😉  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 🎄

Christmas prep in the Bahamas 🎄

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 😉 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’s the thing about faith: faith gives control over to God so that we don’t 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 🙁

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 – Zzzzz)

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.