First Days Back Aboard

Hello everyone,

I had a wonderful visit in Ottawa with Jeremy, Cynthia and Matthew. I arrived there on Friday the 13th and departed on Monday 16th. From Ottawa, I flew to Toronto traveling business class. That was a treat – huge seats, hot washcloths and attentive stewards. In Toronto, I spent a short night in the Days Inn, near the airport. As I was on an international flight, I arrived at the airport at 3:30 to find that the airline check-in desk didn’t open until 4:00. Then, we were ushered into a waiting area for US Immigration. They don’t open until 5 am. Why they tell you to arrive 3 hrs prior to your flight, I don’t know. Finally I arrived at my gate to be told that we would not be fed on this flight, just juice or coffee. Luckily, I had packed a nutrition bar in my carry-on.

We arrived in Miami in time and I was directed to the terminal to catch my next flight to Nassau on Bahamasair. Unfortunately, to get there I had to go out of the security area. After a long walk, I arrived at the check-in area only to be told that I must buy a return ticket as I couldn’t prove that I was listed as crew of the vessel Windswept IV. The return part of the ticket was refundable in Nassau at their office downtown. Now it is time to join the security line again. Man, it stretches forever. Luckily I have an hour before my flight. Finally I am through and hurrying to the gate. I am the last person aboard.

As I got settled, the captain announced a delay due to a malfunction of the radar unit. So, I had time to catch my breath. A lot of time actually. When we finally backed away from the gate, we still had to wait in line for take-off so the flight was delayed about an hour.

Rain and overcast skies greeted us in Nassau. The highway was blocked by a traffic accident. By the time I arrived at Crocodiles, Murray had almost given up. But, he was still there! Looking handsome as usual and soooo tanned.

We loaded my gear into the dinghy and headed up the harbour to Windswept IV. She looked lovely sitting there off of Paradise Island, across from Nassau Harbour Club Marina.

Murray had a chilled bottle of champagne awaiting my arrival. We talked and hugged between sips. For dinner, he prepared a wonderful lobster tail with garlic butter for dipping. I was exhausted, so once the dishes were done it was straight to bed for me.

The next day we walked to the Bahamasair office only to be told that the ticket could only be redeemed at the airport. That was two $27 taxi rides away! We walked and walked and studied our options. Maybe a bus close to the airport? We arrived back at Crocodiles, a local bar/restaurant. Murray talked to the bartender to find any other solutions. The owner overheard us and offered to drop us off on his way to the other end of the island. And, if we were finished when he was on the way back, he would pick us up again and return us to Crocodiles! What a deal.

Finally, refund in hand we were back at Crocodiles. Time to enjoy some lunch with these nice people.

Dinner that night and the following one was provided by sailing friends in the harbour. Man, am I spoiled!

We motorsailed out of Nassau at 7:30 on Feb 20th and bashed into waves to Norman’s Cay, Exuma. Only 8 or 9 boats were anchored inside, so there was lots of room for us.

Friends arrived the next day and we went diving and beach walking. Cocktail parties blossomed everywhere for the coming nights. Life is back to normal.

As for my health, I am feeling well. A little tender now and then, but I will take it easier than usual. The incisions are almost completely healed and looking good. Soon, I will forget this little bump in my road.

Our plans? Well, to rest here for a while and then head northward. To Ship Channel Cay, Rock Sound, Royal Island, Spanish Wells, and the Abacos. But, all is written in jello as usual.

Stay warm up in the north country and we will see you all soon. Hugs,

Murray & Heather

Update

Heather had her gall bladder removed on Feb 3rd at the St Thomas Elgin General Hospital in St Thomas, Ont.

She is still currently an in-patient but expects to be discharged soon. The surgery was done laproscopicaly and recovery should be quite fast.

Once she is discharged, then plans can be made to re-join Murray in the Bahamas for the remainder of the winter.

Murray ( aboard Windswept IV ) and Heather ( ashore and sore )