Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Been busy...

... enjoying the islands and not blogging about it.

So... now I will try and catch up.

With the WIFI project wrapped up as good as it gets (which is quite fast), we treated the guests at Compass Cay to a Smokey Dog BBQ feast.

Seems everyone had a great time and really enjoyed Will's BBQ. A good time was had as the sun sank beneath the horizon.

The next day was Will's last so he and I went out snorkeling on the grass flats in search of Conch. We did quite well. We needed a dozen to make a good sized Conch Salad and a dozen we found.

So after the harvesting was done, we unloaded them at the fish cleaning station. The one where the famous Compass Cay pet sharks like to lay on to be scratched and fed.

Then Will went to work on cleaning the slimy little critters.

 Actually made a youtube video on cleaning and preparing Conch on page 2.

Friday, May 27, 2011

A fabulous day in the Exumas

  Tucker and Will installing new WIFI access points for Compass Cay WIFI

This day started out on top of Tucker's office at Compass Cay. Will and I have ran proper harsh environment cabling to all the new WIFI access points at the marina and the last step of this project was to put a directional antenna up as high as possible in an effort to link to boats at anchor on the bank in front of Compass Cay. Will was a bit tentative about crawling up the ladder that we had leaned against the pipe that's being used as a mast. Tuck laughed and said he had no problem with this. He said, "I been climbing palm trees for water since I was a boy, that's nothing."

So after work was done we all jumped in the Albury and ran south for about 30 miles to Farmers Cay. Along the way we stopped at Great Guana Cay to check out a cave.

 More on page 2

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Nicely overcast day @ Compass

The weather has been pleasantly cool. Though overcast, the wind is just a gentle breeze that keeps the bugs away. The locals are all hoping for rain as it's been dry for a while, so we hope for rain also. Here in these island even a rainy day is a good day.

As we arrived here at Compass a couple of days ago we were welcomed back to the Exumas by Dick and Patra: Crew Sapphire. Nice to hear from them.

Putting the Albury to good use, we ran down Pipe Creek to Staniel Cay and the yacht club. Best BLT ever.

More on page 2

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Exumas once again

Highborne last night. Compass today.
Before we took off from Highborne we ran out in the Albury and caught our nights dinner.
Fresh Mahi Mah!
Will and I can both lay claim to this fish as the damn thing hit both our baits. We weren't losing this one.

 Smallest Mahi Mahi we have ever seen. 
Obviously Dolphin eat their young.

 Bahamian Humor

Not much net for now, but we'll have plenty when we arrive back home @ Compass.
We know the guy who provides WIFI for the island so we should have big bandwidth.



Saturday, May 21, 2011

Shopping day in Nassau

Look closely... A very diverse shopping list.
I think we are well supplied.



Back in Nassau again

It's been a couple of years and the place hasn't changed a bit. As we pull into Nassau Harbor Club, there's Peter the Greek standing on the dock. With his long bushy hair flying in the breeze, he starts barking his usual orders, telling us how we are supposed to dock, even though we have docked here many times before. He is a bit of a wildman. The Crazy Greek. Behind his back is Frenchy the boatwasher who is laughing at Peter's rants and offering to help us tie up before he washes our boat. Some things never change.

Then stepping around the corner is our old German friend Thorsten who along with his old pal Dieter are aboard Sandpiper, a Nordhavn 40. Thorsten has a warm welcoming smile and is very happy to see us though disappointed that they are leaving the next day. After we check in with customs Thorsten comes back for a warm beer as Crew Istaboa enjoys the traditional celebratory bottle of Champagne that marks the end of another successful crossing. Almost 24 hours exactly from Palm Beach to Nassau.

The sun rising in the east as we sail pass the Berry Islands to the west.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It's true...

We have finally left the dock.
Got the Albury on a short leash while we ease through the bridges at Jupiter. The water is so clear at Jupiter and the HDR shot with the iphone saturates it nicely.

Back in the USA

 Screen shot of Outbound entering the Port of San Diego

As our friends aboard Outbound are reentering the USA, we are preparing to leave.

Yes, finally, we are firing up Istaboa and heading east for the islands. After a quick shake out run down to Palm Beach, we'll do an all night cruise to Nassau. Should be good weather and a big fat moon will shine it's light on us all night.
Plus...  to add to our island experience — we are towing the Albury behind us. We are excited!!

More on the Florida Yacht Interior, Chase Camacho story later. Short version... Still not happy.
But....  soon we will be in the islands and we won't care.



Monday, May 16, 2011

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Two steps forward...

... three back.

Still waiting on the prestigious Florida Yacht Interiors to finish up the interior project. Have to say, we're not overly impressed with this company. Fit and finish of the salon cushions is not what we had hoped for.
Besides the interior snafu, the weather is not cooperating at all. It's looking like Wednesday could be our day. Can't do anything about the weather so we're taking this time to do some more preparing.
But... no complaints... Life is Good!



Monday, May 9, 2011

Outbound update

It appears our friends aboard Outbound have arrived at Cabo San Lucas. It's been several days at sea and we imagine land is a good sight to see for the crew. Bet tonight will be a big one. Looking forward to an update from the crew.

Meanwhile in Stuart.... We are still waiting on Florida Yacht Interiors to deliver (project due date was May 2) us something to sit on. We feel like we are camping out in our own boat. Florida Yacht Interiors is an upscale yacht interior design firm out of Fort Lauderdale and we were told to expect great service and quality work. Hmmm... more on this story when it finally unfolds.
The pilot house chair, a Stidd, was a project they [FYI] declined on because of the complexity of tearing it down and putting it back together. We gave that job to Capt. Will and a young fellow here in Stuart named Scott Valentine. Will and Scott delivered right on time and it looks great.
Will dismantled the hardware, which was a daunting task, and Scott reupholstered what was once Purple... or burgundy as Mel likes to call it.
Anyway, the end result.

 this was
 once this.

Hopefully that will all be behind us this weekend as we leave for the islands.



Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sunset over a swollen river

Photo by Mark Weber
The river is predicted to crest on Tuesday
18" below the 1937 Record... which is good news

Friday, May 6, 2011

As the river level reaches new highs...

Memphis hits new lows... Today, we made Drudge Report :-(
Article here
Commercial Appeal article here
Maybe we should all live on boats.



Thursday, May 5, 2011

Back aboard Istaboa...

...and very happy to be.
The interior project is still (begrudgingly) in the works. Seems nothing works out as one expects these days, but we're sure it will all wangle out to our liking in the end.

Today as we flew out of Memphis we circled downtown's riverfront and caught a bird's eye view of how much Ole Man River has broken from his banks. I've lived on this river my whole life and never seen it so swollen.
Made me think of an old Zeppelin tune.
If it keeps on rainin', levee's goin' to break,
When the Levee Breaks, first recorded by Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie after the 1927 flood, later by Led Zeppelin

And, if it does break, my little home town in Arkansas will float away.



Wednesday, May 4, 2011

We are outta here!

Had fun Memphis...Storms and all.  Hope Memphis in May is a blast, the creek don't rise much more, and the levee holds.
Our next post will be from Stuart and aboard Istaboa.