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.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

More YouTube videos

While poking around in YouTube, I found a lot of videos of the Exumas. Most are done with GoPro HD video cameras. These little cameras are amazing. I've gotta get one.
This is a good one by a fellow who tags himself MrSThayer. He has others... very entertaining, even the one of the helicopter crash to his face.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Interview with Tucker Rolle

Our buddy Tuck is on YouTube...  Alpheus Tucker Rolle

But this is not the first time... many have come to Compass to film Tuck's beautiful island.
Just this summer alone there have been numerous crews on-island doing shows and shooting photographs for national publications.

This crew was shooting a young lady who has a show on Nickelodeon called somebody's?? Great Big World.
Forget her name, but she must be known amongst the youngsters. She travels around with other Nickelodeon Network kids on a big yacht and films it. Ask a kid, they probably know her.

And this guy shoots for National Geographic as well as many other publications. Heck of camera for sure. He was really getting intimate with with the sharks here at Compass. He spent hours in the water with them.

Ahhh... Tuck's little paradise that he shares with us.



Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Nassau, the other side.

We've been at Compass so long now our stores have run low. The fuel boat was scheduled to arrive, which meant we had to move, we needed a big city fix anyway as well as supplies,  so we left Compass and ran to Nassau for a few days.

So we woke at the crack of dawn and motored out of Compass, across Yellow Bank, and into Nassau Harbor. As usual we tie up at Nassau Harbor Club and as usual there's crazy Peter the Greek standing on the dock waiting for us. We had the boat washed, she needed it badly, and settled in for a quiet night after a long day. But, the quiet night was marred by the rough water at NHC. We're not sure why, but it seemed much rougher than we had ever noticed in the past. Tired we were, so we just stayed put. The next morning the boat was so far off the dock and was rolling so badly we could hardly get off to walk Radar. A decision was made to find a calmer marina. We decided we had never been to Atlantis... so why not, let's try it out.

Never thought to ever see this site.
Istaboa pulling into Atlantis?

Crew Istaboa is not the touristy type of cruiser. We always shy away from large crowds, especially those with lot's of children, but we decided to give it a shot.
Atlantis, without a doubt is impressive. Huge yachts border the outrageously decorated buildings. Think Disney World for boats.
Still, after time we realized, this is not for us. But... they had really good internet and I'm in the middle of a family crisis right now, so that was good.
Yesterday afternoon we felt the far edges of T.S. Brett. With some serious thunderstorms, it rolled in and rained buckets for 3 hours. When it was done, right at dusk, the sky was crazy. These pics were without a tripod so they're a little blurry.
Photographs on page 2.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Time changes everything

Even Compass...                                        Compass cay then...

Compass Cay circa ?
While tinkering around in the marina office today I found this post card under an old printer. No one seemed to know how long ago this picture was taken.

Compass now...

Things have definitely done some changing. More house... much more marina... more fun I think. I wasn't around in those days.

Worth watching

This group of people save a Humpback Whale who was entangled in a gill net. They are rewarded by an amazing show.
Nice Job!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Winding down

 Dee Light at Warderick Wells

Things are really starting to wind down here on Compass Cay. Last night we said Adios to our friends aboard Dee Light... Carol, Marv, and Autumn. Meant to get a pic as they were leaving, but they eased out while we weren't looking.
That just leaves Istaboa and Total Return...  and Russ, Molly, and Myc are leaving in a couple of days.
There are several very large boats here waiting on charter so we're sure new crew friends will be made.

Found a new burger recipe that's sure to please... maybe today for lunch.

So here's to safe and happy travels for Dee Light.



Saturday, July 9, 2011

New Crew Pic

 Crew Istaboa

Thanks to our buddy and fellow Paradisian, Marv on Dee Light, we now have a new pic of Crew Istaboa.
Usually I'm taking pics so rarely am I in one, but now we have finally been captured. (yup, Radar and I are gettin a little wooly)
Thanks Marv.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Quite an interesting day

We're nearing completion of the internet project here on Compass and after spending the morning tightening up loose ends on the system we decided to run over to Sampson and pick up a few things.
Before leaving, Tucker asked me to call on Wild Tamarind Cay. The caretakers of the island heard we had done a good job of installing the communication system here at Compass and wondered if something similar could be done at Wild Tamarind.

Wild Tamarind was once called Rat Cay

So off we go to Wild Tamarind; It turned out to be a fascinating little private island.

The run from Compass to Wild Tamarind is an easy boat ride down Pipe Creek and within 10 minutes we were easing into their harbor. Once there, we were greeted by Vinny, who takes his job of being the island guard dog very seriously.
With his hackles standing straight up on his back, his teeth bared, and using his bark as his way of warning us to not even think of setting foot on his island; he got our attention as he ran the length of the rock quay that borders the entrance to the harbor, threatening at times to jump into the water to ward us off. He makes an effective deterrent.
Then we saw Leonora, the caretaker, walking down a path and waving. Vinny didn't let up.
Leonora helped us tie up the Albury, but Vinny was still nervous about our presence on his island. Mel asked if he would bite and Leonora said, "Yes, he has bitten many people.", then Mel asked, "Will he bite us?", and she said with a smile, " Well, let's see."
Not what we wanted to hear...  and why was she smiling?
More on page 2.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Catchin up

Can feel the season starting to slow a bit. The Mega-yachts aren't dominating the marina, folks are moving north, slowly making their way back to the states, Staniel Cay Yacht Club marina was giving slips away for free if you came in for dinner and 4th of July festivities, even got rain late yesterday.
There are only two of us cruiser types that have made no plans yet. Crew Istaboa and Marv and Carol aboard Dee-Light... I think it's a standoff to see who leaves first.
But none of this has stopped us from doing what we enjoy most. Yesterday we ran over to Sampson to visit our old dock neighbors from Pickwick. We accidentally ran into them a few days ago. Fellow Memphians, Doug and Pam, aboard Triple Treat. Nice folks who just bought a new boat and this is their first run in it. It's truly a beautiful vessel. We had lunch then took the Albury over to the park and did some snorkeling. Fun day.
Then last night was our 4th of July Potluck and fireworks show. All the usual suspects were there. The Fratelli Crew, Josh and Bryan... aka Biscuits and Gravy... Marv and Carol, Russ and Molly, Loan, Tucker, Dave, Radar, Autumn, Preston, even the Barcardi crew showed, but it started raining, then only the die-hards stayed. It was a typical Compass Cay celebration... extremely casual.

30,000' perspective

This is where we are... now you see why we love it so much. So much blue. Guess it's not for everybody, some folks enjoy a little more development. e.g. restaurants and shops. For us this is it. Peace and quiet. Blue and bluer.
One of the yacht captains, who frequents Compass carrying charter, even said yesterday, "Don't you guys ever leave?" Our reply, "Not till they make us. Whoever they are."

The only downside to this island life, if you want to call it a downside, is that manana state of mind... or as a learned friend recently put it — cognitive dissonance.
May be, but you know what?  It's not bad.
Sometimes I think, we all think too much. Sometimes I think, we all need a mental flush. A little thought fasting never hurt anyone if done in moderation.
Reality is still out there and waiting to grab hold. For us? — just not yet.

But for now, we are enjoying our little place in the sun.

Pretty soon we will, once again, follow that gull back across the Gulf Stream to the land of Best Buys and Costcos, but this time I don't think we will stay long. Were working on plans to be back here for a while. 
There are folks over here who really need our services. Who really appreciate the work we do because it makes their life much easier and less expensive.
Tucker was amazed when he picked up one of the phones we've installed and was able to make a call to his little daughter in Germany. His old phone system, which rarely works, is very expensive for international calling.

It's kinda like icing on the cake. Here we are in our favorite place in the world, making a difference. Making things better. That's a good feeling, feeling like we belong. We may become card carrying Paradisians. We shall see.

We shall see, indeed.



Saturday, July 2, 2011

Calamari anyone?

Seems 3 guys fishing out from our homeport of Stuart, Fl found something interesting.