UPDATE #7 03/09 thru 03/16/07

Howdy Everybody,

The period 01/19/07 thru 03/08/07 has been covered in Updates 1 through 6.  We continue with UPDATE07 #7.

 UPDATE07 #7   03/09/07 through 03/16/07.

     Welcome back to the new Adventures of the trawler AMARSE.  At last update, we were enjoying life to the fullest at Marsh Harbour in the Abaco Islands of the Bahamas. 


     The rain poured all day today.  Sometimes, it was very heavy.  In keeping with our water conservation program, we had Mother Nature’s assistance in washing down the boat.

     Most of the day was confined to indoor activities like computer stuff and just plain relaxing.  It is so nice to have the WiFi access right here inside the boat at our dock.  Lots of places, you have to go up near the office to avail yourself of the WiFi connection.  Some of the other marinas even charge a very steep amount for good access.  Here at Boat Harbour Marina, the service is included.

     Leslie from HAPPY CLAMZ came by to visit and we enjoyed that time together very much.  For dinner, Judy fixed up more Chicken and Biscuits using the leftovers for the base and supplemented with additional ingredients.  Yummy stuff, my friends, yummy stuff.

     Featured on the big screen tonight, Spiderman II.  I really can’t say which I enjoyed most, the original or the sequel.




     I spent a good portion of the morning setting up a SKYPE program.  For those unfamiliar with this, it is a really cool communication program.  It consists of a free, download software program that enables the user to use the computer like a telephone.  It requires that you have a small headphone and microphone.  To call another SKYPE user, one simply clicks on the others ID code.  The phone type connection is then Free.

   They also have an add on feature called SkypeOut.  This enables the user to input any regular phone number and the computer will make a connection.  For this added service, the user pre-pays the minimum amount of $10.  Minutes of connection are then charged off at $0.021 per minute, so, for slightly over 2 cents a minute, you can make voice calls.  So cool.  It does require that you have a high-speed internet connection.  If the connection speed slows down, the voice gets a bit garbled and dragged out.  All in all, it is a fabulous service.  You can purchase the simple headset from Wal-Mart, or the like for about $15.  Here is a great  benefit, cell phone calls in or out of the Bahamas cost between $3 and $4 per minute.  This is huge in my book.  With Skype, you can talk for minimum money or even free.  If any of you want more info or would like to set it up, you can google the word “Skype.”   Let me know what your Skype ID is so we can chat from time to time.  Our Skype ID is  amarse1  .

     You can also use the instant messenger feature to communicate by keyboard message.  This is free between Skype users.  Try it, you’ll like it.

     We didn’t have a headset/microphone so we toddled our way to town in quest.  Most of the stores close down for the weekend at noon and some don’t open at all.  We tried several shops before finding a suitable set.  The counter girl said they didn’t have any, however, we spotted two on a wall display rack.  Twenty bucks later, we were in business.  We had walked all over the town and the feet were mighty tired.  We garnered enough strength to pick up some groceries at the two closest stores, Price Right and Maxwell’s.   The walk back to the marina seemed very hot and very far.

     It was fun setting up and calling several of our friends on the new Skype phone throughout the afternoon.

     Tonight was the night for the big, big event, the Abaco Pathfinder’s Annual Charity Auction.



  It was an affair attended by the most of the Who’s Who of Marsh Harbour and the surrounding islands.  I am pretty sure that they netted over a half a million dollars through some hefty bids.  Everything went for far more than we could find in our budget.  Lots of bids went for many, many thousands of dollars.  We sure enjoyed the dinner, cocktails, and the people watching was incredible.






     During the wee hours, our clocks and watches somehow leaped forward a whole hour in compliance with the congressional mandate.  I will enjoy the extra hour in the evening.  Breakfast was scheduled for 9:30 am Eastern Daylight Time.  HAPPY CLAMZ was hosting a special pancake event.  Doug and Leslie prepared both plain and rum-raisin hotcakes.  LIONHEART’s Richard and Sue brought Orange Juice and Sliced Ham.  Judy combined sautéed potatoes and onions into a delicious casserole dish.  Before we knew it, the entire morning just flew past.



     It was a gorgeous day here in the islands paradise.  We lowered the dinghy from the sundeck roof and setup for an afternoon cruise.  Our plan was to swing around the point and visit the main bay of Marsh Harbour.  This little voyage requires the passage of a channel through several small cays, a crossing of a reef, and several miles across the Sea of Abaco.  We enjoyed the protected portion of the trip, however, it didn’t take long in the open water to realize that it had become too rough for these little boats.  I’m glad we made the decision to turn around and head back.  It was even rougher on the reverse course.

     Several dinghy loads of folks headed to a remote beach to go shelling.  Judy and I didn’t stay out long because we didn’t have tough enough shoes on for the rough coral.  The others found some nice shells for their collections.  We were glad to relax and swim in the lovely pool at the resort.

     Doug and Leslie joined us for a light dinner of Cajun Soup and toasted Bahamian bread.  Everyone had enjoyed a very full day of activities and we were quite tired.




     Judy filled my bowl with cheddar cheese grits and served it with a grilled bagel and lots of hot coffee.  What a gal !!!!

     Using our new Skype communications, I phoned Boat/US and upgraded our towing service package to the Unlimited version.  Last year, we utilized SeaTow for that coverage, however, with the implementation of several TowBoat/US facilities here in the Bahamas, we decided to switch over.

     On the chore list was the installation of a small bilge pump in a little recess of the aft cabin.  This left plenty of time to visit the resort beach and take a swim in the pool.  The seawater seemed a little too cool to swim.  We are such wimps.

     One of my favorite meals is Hot Dogs and buns.  I like to slather them with mustard and relish before chomping them down.  For tonight’s entertainment, the cinema marquee listed “The Fugitive” starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones.  There is no shortage of action and excitement in this flick.




     In preparation for tonight’s big event, Judy joined the decoration committee responsible for turning the large meeting tent into a 50’s High School Gym set up for the Sock Hop.




  Judy and I were assigned to help with the ticket sales and membership positions at the door.  At 4:30pm, we started the check in of the large group of attendees.



  As many as 200 RMHYC members had found ways to assume a 50’s look through costume, dress, hairstyle, and action.  Most of these folks were in the mainstream back then and it was great fun to reminisce about the past.  Almost everyone had some interesting stories of those days long past.



  Judy looked really ‘groovy’ in her pedal pushers and her unique freckles.  Obviously, I had a lot of trouble finding enough hair for my curly tip on the forehead.




     The dinner and drinks were very good.  The dance floor was put to the ultimate test as people danced more vigorously than they have in years.  Some of the moves were almost startling.  It is a wonder that we didn’t have to call the ambulance for assistance.




  This RMHYC (Royal Marsh Harbour Yacht Club) group is fabulous and there is never a shortage of fun things going on or in the planning stages.  It is our pleasure to be a part of it all.




     Somewhere, Judy found another spurt of energy and tackled the formidable task of cleaning the hull of the boat.  From the floating dinghy, she worked her way around the entire hull to clean the accumulations away.  She starts with a spray bottle filled with lemon juice concentrate, applies a generous amount of elbow grease to scrub using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, and makes the boat look like new.  What a gal!  How did a guy like me get so lucky?

     About all I was good for this afternoon was a nap.  At last, I found something that I excel at.

      Dock #7 curves around the Boat Harbour Marina basin.  This area has been recently christened “Ocean’s 7”.  It joins the names like “Rodeo Drive”(dock #4) and “Fifth Avenue”(dock#5).  Ocean’s 7 even has a genuine “Conch Tree”.



    The boater residents of this dock arranged a wonderful party to be held at the Oceanside palapa hut at their docks. Everyone was asked to bring a heavy hor’dourve and any special drinks.  The group provided gallons and gallons of Rum Punch, ice, etc.






  They hired the famous “Brown Tip” to perform for everyone’s listening and dancing pleasure.



    It was fabulous watching and dancing with the nearly 100 guests.  There was a wide variety of foods ranging from shrimp to pizza.  As the loosening effects of the punch manifested, the dancing became a display reminiscent of John Travola’s fame.



     Frank from PEACEKEEPER was really getting’-down on the “Rake ‘n Scrape”.   He had his long hair put up in cornrows especially for the party.  Life is good and so is the Rum Punch.



     I thought for a while that Judy might run off with Brown-Tip.



     Or, worse yet, she seemed a bit too interested in this young, 26-year old Bahamian lad with all the cool dance moves.  I think all the girls wanted to dance with him and did.



     Fortunately for me, she saved the last dance for me.  I sure do love that gal.



     Once again, we managed to hang on until almost the end of the festivities.




     “Beware the Ides of March”.  For Julius Caesar, it was an ominous warning of a very bad day.  We were not sure if there might also be a message there for us today.  We had tentatively planned to take AMARSE out for a cruise to Treasure Cay.  The wind was quite brisk and we were unwilling to undertake any kind of unpleasant trip.  We opted to stay put and enjoy the day in other ways.  The boat next to ours attempted to depart but the wind pushed him into the boat on the other side of him putting some nasty gouges in the fiberglass of that boat.  I’m glad the wind was blowing him away from us.

     Margo came over to inspect AMARSE for safety considerations.  She is an officer of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary and specially qualified to conduct equipment safety inspections.  Her complete inspection process revealed that AMARSE was in full compliance with all the rules and regulations.  She issued the annual 2007 sticker that is to be displayed on the exterior of the boat.



  Our special Thanks is in order for these folks that volunteer to help make boating safer and more enjoyable for everyone.  Thanks!!

     With the trip plan cancellation, Leslie suggested we “Do Lunch”.  The suggestion was to walk into town and try the Golden Grouper Restaurant.  We strolled along the waterfront taking a little side excursion to visit the Union Dock were folks come in to use the public dinghy dock.  This facility was donated and is maintained by the RMHYC.  For our lunch, Judy and Leslie selected the grouper sandwiches and I enjoyed the grouper fingers.



  Doug had an open-faced sandwich of grouper salad (like tuna salad) sprinkled with parmesan cheese.  I am pleased to recommend this restaurant as an excellent lunch choice.

     We continued our walk all over the town and visited numerous stores.  After picking up a few groceries, buying a new, small bilge pump, and wandering around, we returned to the marina almost too tired to do much of anything.  Judy and I managed to get enough energy to make it to poolside.  The water was cool and refreshing.

     Our dinner included Eggplant Parmesan and fresh bread.  Doug and Leslie brought a warm, cherry pie when they presented their tickets to the AMARSE CINE 1.  Showing on the big, flat screen was “Crimson Tide” starring Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman.  This is a fabulous action-packed movie about a US Navy Nuclear Submarine and some extreme tension aboard.




     At 8 am, we listened to the morning meeting of the RMHYC on VHF channel 78.  Three times a week (Mon, Wed, Fri), the club provides members with updates of events and activities, as well as, the opportunity for the general membership to pose requests and offer advice.  This last only about 15 minutes.

     At 8:15 am, most ears are poised to listen to the Abacos Cruisers’ Net on VHF  channel 68.  For an hour or more every day, cruisers get up-to-date info on weather, events, and general subjects.  Today, I had an email message to relay from a cruiser in Florida to a sailboat out in the harbor at anchor.  It is a great way for people to keep in touch.

     The wind was still honking today and forecasted to freshen above 30 knots.  Judy began the arduous task of preparing the teak wood rails for refinishing.  She sanded and scraped for most of the day.  She managed to even apply a coat of sealant to the main salon doors.  The whole process will take many more days of hard work.  She does such a nice job and the results are quite beautiful.

     I installed, or should I say replaced, the small bilge pump in the aft cabin.  The one I put in earlier this week had already failed.  I had to buy the new one yesterday in Marsh Harbour.  I can tell you that anything like this is many times more expensive here than in the states.  Oh well, nobody said that cruising would be inexpensive.

     Our looper friends, John and Sue Hague aboard LA GARZA VERDE arrived here at the marina this afternoon.  We were pleasantly surprised to see them and were happy to help them with their dock lines.  They have been cruising in the southern Bahamas for the last couple of months.

     Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day and it is also the big date for the Reef Ball.  The Reef Ball is the event of the year for the Who’s Who of the Abacos.  It is a formal affair that somewhat exceeds our personal dress code.  Although we will not be attending, we are looking forward to some people watching as the guests come and go from the event.  I am guessing that this will rival some of the high society affairs of Eastern city folks.

     So as not to interfere with the big-show, Snappa’s Bar and Grill issued tickets for a St. Patty’s party to be held tonight.  With tickets in hand, we converged on the waterfront bar at 5 pm.  Green clad leprechauns and leprechaun-ettes guzzled beer and green cocktails.



 Judy said the big burger was pretty good.  I focused on the Barley/Hops soup (beer).



     Although decorated nicely, the event was poorly planned and terribly noisy.  I must say that the view of the Marsh Harbour anchorage sure was pretty.  Lots and lots of boats crowd into this bay every day and night.  When the wind comes out of the North, the anchorage is reportedly quite lumpy.  Tranquility reigns this evening.



    Unimpressed by their disorganization and poor service, we were on our way out before 7:30 pm.  Fortunately, it allowed me some more time to devote to these update pages.  It is my hope and pleasure for y’all to enjoy them. 



        Our plan is to enjoy this resort marina for the entire month of March and into the first week of April. Judy’s Brother, Dean Ordiway, is flying in from Olathe, Kansas to visit with us near the end of the March. We hope to take some side trips to other cays and islands while maintaining this as our home base.  Please let us know if you have any special suggestions and thoughts.

       We sincerely hope that you enjoy these email UPDATES.  We thank those of you who have contacted us recently and we are looking forward to hearing from each of you in the near future.  Thanks for allowing us to share our life and adventures with you.

     REMEMBER:  The website is now fully active and you can visit it at any time.  You can review any of the 2006 or 2007 logs and learn more about the crew and our plans.  Enjoy.



   While we are in the Bahamas, we will not have any regular telephone service.  We have set up a SKYPE account and can make outgoing phone calls through the internet.  If you have this service, you can contact us at Skype ID:  amarse1 . Otherwise, if you would like to contact us, you can send us emails.  The marina has Wi-Fi connections that are pretty good but drop off frequently.  It is certainly better than we expected.  Of course, when we travel to the off islands, we probably will not have much contact if any.  That shouldn’t be too much though.

  Please Skype or email us if you like, we’d really like to hear from you.



"AMARSE".  is pronounced "AM-ARE-SAY".  Our website is:   www.amarse.net   .

Check it out while we will attempt to keep you informed via email

  We would like to hear more about what is happening in your lives.  Let us know as we very interested in what’s going on with our friends and family.  Please call or email us with your thoughts and comments and ideas too.  Thanks



Lot of Love,

Fred Reed and Judy Law