Hi everyone,

We are having trouble leaving this island chain!! Not boat trouble, just motivation trouble. The water is so blue and clear and the islands so pretty. We keep putting off our departure ” just one or two more days”. We have stocked the frig, fuel and water supplies on two separate occasions, but have yet to make the move. We know we will not be able to swim much when we get into the ICW – and it’s real hot over there in the US.

But we do have to leave – probably by the end of this month. Then we will make long days of travel and boogie-boogie northward. Perhaps we will be able to sail as far north as Charleston when we leave the island chain.

I just figured out why they call it a chain – cause it holds onto you !

We still plan to head towards the Chesapeake Bay and store the boat for a period. Then we will fly, drive, bus or crawl to Ontario for July & August.

My shell collection is growing by leaps and bounds. Yesterday we spent several hours and walked completely around a spoils island that was created by dredging. It is covered with shells!! But some were inhabited by hermit crabs ! We were going to place a couple in my herb garden. but decided to leave them on the beach.

The herbs are growing well. I bought seeds before we left Florida but then had difficulty finding bags of potting soil. I didn’t want to just take a shovelful of dirt from the islands because I didn’t want to chance bringing bugs aboard. I finally bought a 25 lb bag and took what I needed and left the rest for others. The bag was only $7. I planted basil, chives and parsley and they are all poking up. I gave away many baby basil plants as I had to thin them out. Other boaters are very glad to get them.

We met up with Charisma V, a Kanter boat that was launched in Port Stanley 2 years ago. We met Bob and SueEllen in Port Stanley and spent some time with them before they left there. Just the other day, they sailed into Marsh Harbour and we re-newed our friendship. They have been aboard for two years and have been down as far as Venezuela. Now, they are returning to the US for the summer and will probably sail to the Virgins again in the fall. Last evening they had us over for cocktails to celebrate both our one year anniversary of living aboard and our 31st wedding anniversary. It was a lovely evening.

The annual re-evaluation of our lifestyle took place while we sailed yesterday and the consensus of opinion is WE LOVE IT!! I think that means that we are on for another year. Ha, Ha.

Another week has past since I wrote this! We have met up with Tundra – Brian & Kathy Marsh aboard. We traveled all the way from the Erie Canal with them last fall and have hung around here for them to catch up with us again. They spent the winter in George Town, Bahamas and have had “too much fun”. We are going to show them around our favourite spots and head for Florida. Still plan to leave the islands by the end of the month but that is coming soon – so…..

For Don Wilson – a PDQ 32 cruising cat charter boat flipped over in the Whale Cay passage recently. He was traveling at 20 knots under reefed main and jib. The reason for the capsize is not known but all agree he should have reduced sail further. Speculation has been that a micro=burst and heavy seas caused the incident. Other vessels (monohull sailboat and sportfish ) were nearby and came to their assistance. The PDQ was damaged while being righted, passengers all were OK.

For Robin & Jane Hewson – report on unfinished houses on Eleuthera. They build them as they can afford them. Perhaps one row of blocks at a time. One women took eight years to complete her home. The roof and windows are very expensive, as you can imagine, so I think that is why so many where at that point in construction.And Robin, Murray asked if you found out if our Magellan Meridian XL GPS needs updating for year 2000.

Well, I hope everyone is well and happy up north and enjoying the spring weather. The racing must have started in Port Stanley and most of the boats in the harbour are launched. Astabula is probably well into their racing schedule as well. But that water is sooo cold. Spring planting will also be well underway if the fields aren’t too wet. I hope the weather is good for everyone’s needs and hope to see you all soon.

Heather & Murray Rand
aboard Windswept IV
Ham Radio VE3 ZUA