Thursday, July 28, 2011

All the way to Memphis

Whirlwind style... Woke early Monday morning thinking about taking Istaboa over to Lauderdale for a little maintenance and to resupply before heading back to the islands. The internet had a glitch so I walked to the office to unglitch that. Discussed future projects with Tucker, then sauntered back down the dock to the boat and heard the phone ring.
Next thing I know is— Crew Istaboa is loaded in the Albury and Tuck is screaming down Pipe Creek taking us to Staniel to catch a plane for Lauderdale to link up with another plane to Memphis.

Though we've been expecting my mother's demise, the actual act took us by surprise. After fighting a hard fight for more than 2 years, ultimately she had succumbed to a very painful illness. She finally let go. Good for her.

We had never flown out of the Exumas before so I took my little camera and got some very interesting shots.

Bird's eye view of our little paradise

It turned out to be a group effort to get us home and I really appreciate everyone's kindness. 
Tucker swiftly running us to Staniel where we discovered we had left our cruising certificate on the boat as well as Radar's health papers that are required for re-entry to the US. 
Ginger and Will hustling around after I called them in the air over Andros and asked if Will could get the papers from the vet in Stuart and send them to Ginger in Memphis so she could digitally transmit them to my Iphone before landing in Fort Lauderdale and customs. Amazingly, they pulled it off. Yes, even more amazing, the US customs guys were nice enough to accept a PDF on my Iphone as Radar's health cert and let us pass. Whew! 
Next, there's Karen waiting in the parking lot at customs to take us to her house to spend the night before driving us to the airport to catch the early flight out the next morning, and cooking us a great steak dinner. Thanks to Steven at Delta Airlines for bending the rules and getting us a pass on the non-stop to Memphis, even though Mel has retired. Yes, it was a group effort and thanks again everybody.

More on page 2.

On the flight back to the states we got some great shots. We had never seen Andros and it turns out it has some very unusual terrain. Almost like another planet. Check it out.

The Great Bahama Bank

Leaving the Exumas you see a lot of the above as you pass over the bank. Interesting texture and miles of it.

We landed at Mangrove, Andros to pick up a fellow before heading to FLL. Not sure what creek this is, but it's close to Mangrove's air strip.

The next shots are of interior Andros. Not the usual ultramarine colors one nornally sees in the Bahamas. There were miles of this marshy stuff. Still beautiful colors, just different.

The western coast of Andros

So today we bury my mother in the grand traditional ways of the Southern Baptist Church. She'd orchestrated and paid for this many years before and we're following her wishes to the letter. 
Been years since I've worn a suit.

Thanks for all the kind words and emails. Thanks to Mark and Theresa, Crew Lucky Jack, for going to the trouble to show for my mom's visitation.

It's the end of an era. 

Tomorrow we move on, start planning our return to the islands, and our life.



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