Saturday, April 7, 2012

Well, it's not been as easy to update as we had hoped. Wifi does not have a strong signal and we don't have an antenna. But there are bars on every major island and most have wifi available, so we will make hay while the sun shines! We launched into the Gulf Stream last Sunday night, April 1, around 10pm. We arrived in Bahamian waters to a beautiful sunrise Monday morning. It was a little sketchy when we started out and the prospect of ten or more hours of that was less than thrilling. But, as the night wore on, the seas calmed (as predicted) so that we weren't hanging on with each swell, and we settled into a decent crossing. We're learning quickly what we need and don't need, and continuing to learn as we go. We do need an antenna for the single sideband so that we can get good weather reports. We do need a wifi antenna if we want to do any Internet from the boat. Mostly, we needed the anchor windlass (which we had installed shortly before leaving Jax) as Tom's back would not have held up! Took us 5 tries to find a spot with good holding at Green Turtle Cay! Thank goodness friends Rob and Lauren ("Arita"/"Southern Comfort") encouraged that purchase.
The new deck is fantastic! We don't miss the teak in the least. With the sun beating down on the deck all day, the teak would burn your feet, and our new deck is nice and cool.  Not to mention the rain does not drip on Tom's head while he is sleeping anymore...yay!
We have marveled at the color and clarity of the water, wandered through a couple of towns, gone for an evening swim, caught up with friends here, checked in with Customs (Terri was a wealth of information and made checking in a pleasure) and made our first visit to the bank. We didn't take as leisurely a time this first week as we had hoped, but we wanted to get past the Whale (cut out to the ocean and back into the more southern part of Abaco) before the weather turned. We are anchored in Marsh Harbour now probably for a few more days as the front passes. Then we plan to start island hopping in earnest! 
This truly is a paradise and we know how fortunate we are to be living our dream. You may not be aware, but this is something we've hoped to do for many years, and it is exhilarating! There are compromises with everything, like getting up to listen to the weather at 6:30 every morning, and nudging into a crowded anchorage to lay low for a weather day or two, and learning what works and what doesn't, but overall, it's pretty cool!
After nudging into our anchorage here, we determined we were really a little close to the Tianna next to us. Jim confirmed that for us as he graciously (he truly was very gracious) came by in his dinghy to see if we were comfortable with the closeness. So, after Tom fixed the hose leaking into the bilge, we nudged into another spot and we are all more satisfied with the outcome.
We are going to have a few issues posting pictures because we still haven't figured out how to do that on the iPad and we don't really want to carry the laptop to shore. So, we'll keep plugging along and figure it out as we go.
Thanks for traveling with us!