Bahamas Again!

Saturday morning was spent at the Green Market, in West Palm Beach,
loading up on fresh veggies and pastries. Especially the pain au
chocolat! Chocolate croissants, yumm. The debate continued on the best
time to depart for Lucaya. But, the plan had been made to go at

In the afternoon we hauled the outboard and secured it to the stern
rail. The dinghy we would haul out later, when the wind died a little.
It was whistling in the rigging, just a little too much for a large
rubber sail aloft! By late afternoon, we hauled the anchor and headed
closer to the inlet to the sea. Just as we dropped anchor, our friends
called and said “Why don’t we go right now?” So, we rushed around,
hauled the dinghy and stowed everything down below that could move
and/or crash. By 5:30 we were headed out the inlet.

It was starting out to be not a great crossing for me. The wind was
higher than I liked and we were heeled over about 15 degrees. That
means that I stay put, as the stairs to below will be on a steep
sideways angle and tricky for me to use. It was also going to be a
long, dark night with no moon.

But eventually the wind settled down, the boat became more upright, I
could move around more easily, the stars popped out and the glow from
cities in Florida and Bahamas gave us an idea of where the horizon
was. By early morning, we were just off of Freeport and continued on
towards Lucaya, arriving there before 9 am.

Check-in was very painless and both boats headed off to find a spot to
drop anchor and sleep. It took some time to find a spot but eventually
both boats settled in and, after brunch, we snoozed the afternoon

Today, a walk up to the Batelco office was needed in order to get the
MiFi connected here. That took some time but eventually we had
success! And that is what I am using right now, to connect to the
internet. A jitney ( the local bus ) took us to the International
Bazaar in Freeport. Shocked, we noted that most of the stores were
closed. A local woman told us that all the businesses had moved to
Lucaya. She told us all about the last few years and their tough times
as she put a few braids in my hair. Yes, I now have about 10 braids
with beads. Murray will take a photo so that I may send it to you.

So back to Lucaya and walk the market there. Lunch and ice cream, in
that order. Both delicious, by the way. But our long nights were
catching up to us and everyone was fading. It was time to go back to
the boats for another nap.

Tomorrow we will head on to the Berry Islands to fish, snorkel, walk
the beaches and do some shelling. Fresh fish! Another mmmmm.

Take care and hugs from us both,
Heather & Murray
cruising again


Our plans have changed a zillion times in the last month. We’ re going, no we are heading home, maybe we’re crossing, we’re not crossing. My head has been spinning as we weigh all of the options. But, finally, a decision has been made.

We are crossing to the islands for a while and returning home earlier than usual. Mom is relatively settled in the nursing home of Caressant Care in Woodstock. She is not very happy with her room at this time but is awaiting a move to a more permanent spot there. Once she is in a permanent bed, she can request a private room with more space for some of her belongings. With her own things around her, I think she might be happier.

So, we are taking this opportunity to cross over to Lucaya on Grand Bahama Island, probably tonight or very early tomorrow morning. Once we are checked in etc, I will notify all of you of our safe arrival. Friends on a large catamaran, MarNel, will be accompanying us. Pete and Lani have been as far south as Venezuela and Panama but are just cruising to the Bahamas this winter. They are great fishermen and divers, so they will push us to do more and catch more, I am sure.

Once we are in the islands, I hope to promote my book and get more distributers and orders. So, we may even go to George Town, Great Exuma, this year as there are many potential buyers anchored there. I also need to check in with Bernadette Chamberlain in Staniel Cay, the illustrator for The Pig That Couldn’t Swim. I sent her a copy of the new book about Penny and want to see if she is interested in illustrating this one as well.

I hope to get the MiFi up and running in the islands and, if so, we will be able to use this e-mail address all winter long. But, I will keep you informed of which address to use to contact us more easily.

All our best to everyone ashore, love and hugs,
Heather & Murray

The January Warmth

Hello everyone

It is a gorgeous sunny day here in West Palm Beach as we sit at anchor. But it hasn’t always been this lovely and warm and we have had several major issues since our last report.

In late December, we pushed hard and motored over 200 miles in the first few days of our journey. But Murray noted that our stern was more sooty than usual and we were also burning through the fuel at an alarming rate. This indicated to him that we had injector problems and needed to have them re-built before we could continue on our journey south. Using the MiFi ( I LOVE it!! and will write a report about it for the website) I checked the internet and found a couple of repair shops south of Vero Beach that specialized in injectors. One of these was very near to our friends, George and Nancy who have a place on a canal in Hobe Sound. They offered their dock for the duration of the repair and we took them up on it and arrived at the dock on Wed, 28th. They had left their house open, guarded by Katie , the springer spaniel, who greeted me with a lick and a wiggle. I remembered where to find the car keys and we delivered the injectors right away. Maybe Friday, maybe Tuesday was the promised delivery date.

George and Nancy do a lot of entertaining and we always seem to arrive when a party is planned. They volunteer at a local school and had invited some teachers and their spouses to dinner. It was a lively group that shared the table that night and the conversation flowed freely. Two nights later, they had a group of 17 workers and spouses from the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store ( where they also volunteer ). This time I was able to assist Nancy with the preparations and again a wonderful time was had by all. We were especially happy as our injectors were repaired and ready to be re-installed the next day.

New Years Eve day found Murray buried in the engine room. Three injectors came out easily and were replaced by the re-built ones but the fourth gave him difficulty. George came up with a can of PB Blaster ( as seen on TV ) which did the trick. We were repaired and the larder was full. Departure was planned for the next day.

It was not to be. I received a Skype call from our son, Steve, who told me that Gramma was back in hospital. I spoke to the nurses and was told that she was improving but had chest pain and shortness of breath. Her bleeding time was also prolonged. They were going to keep her for a few days and that she may need a nursing home bed sooner than expected. After the New Years holiday, I contacted CCAC ( who administer the long term care beds ) to change her priority for placement. The CCAC caseworker from the hospital, Lisa Eichler, called back and we spoke extensively about the issues. Her plan was to support Mom in her current room with Personal Support Workers until a bed became available. With that news and the word that Mom was much improved and would be discharged very soon, we departed our friends’ dock.

It had been bitterly cold the previous nights, with temperatures reaching into the high 30’s and even frost in some areas, so leaving the umbilical cord of power and heat was a difficult move. But, a window to cross to the islands was in the offing and we were loaded to go. During the trip south from Hobe Sound, we found that the boat gremlins had again been at work. Our external speaker for the VHF radio wasn’t working! What the heck? It HAD been working! As it is an important piece of our safety gear, on Friday the 6th, we headed a little more south to an anchorage south of Flagler Bridge. Friends sitting there told us of a nearby marine supply place and we arranged to pick up the required speaker. Returning to the boat, Murray quickly installed the speaker and fixed our last ( we thought ) problem. I checked the weather once again, and made hard boiled eggs and cheese biscuits to eat during the passage. Now to get the charts organized, set up the route on the computer…..

Then the phone rang and everything changed once again. Mom had been deemed unable to return to the retirement home, even with assistance. She will need to stay in hospital until a nursing home bed is found for her. Murray gave me a hug and said ” I think we should go home”.

So, the plan has changed once again. Thank goodness we never write them in cement but always in Jello! We will continue our cruise for the balance of this month, staying in touch with the hospital and family the whole time. By early February, we will arrive back in Green Cove Springs, prepare the boat for haul-out, load up the car and head north. By mid February, we should arrive back in Tillsonburg. These dates are very flexible and subject to change as usual. If time permits, there are several cruising friends that we would like to visit on our way north.

So, hold on to your hats!! We will see you all soon. Much love and hugs,

Murray & Heather
still cruising after all these years

Christmas Travels

Here we sit, in our cosy boat, in a very quiet anchorage near Daytona.
Beside us is the SeaRay factory but it is quiet for the holidays.
There is only one other boat in our anchorage and he is a quarter of a
mile from us. Today was a long one, about 69 miles in total. I know,
that is just one hour by car!! But, a good day for a boat.

Early tomorrow morning, just after the dawn, we will slip out of here
and head on south. Ormond Beach, then Daytona Beach and then New
Smyrna Beach will all pass by before we anchor somewhere in Mosquito
Lagoon. It is much better than it sounds and we will again be alone in
a large expanse of water, with dolphins and pelicans stopping by for a
visit. I have a turkey breast to roast in the oven, along with some
potatoes. We will have stuffing, carrots and even a surprise dessert!
The wine won’t flow too freely, as we will be at anchor and anything
can happen.

But, when we lift that glass of wine, it will be in a toast to all of
our friends and family. May you have a wonderful and happy Christmas
and may 2012 bring all good things for you and yours.

Much love,
Murray and Heather
cruising again.