UPDATE #9 03/25 thru 03/31/07

Howdy Everybody,

The period 01/19/07 thru 03/24/07 has been covered in Updates 1 through 8.  We continue with UPDATE07 # 9.

 UPDATE07 #9   03/25/07 through 03/31/07.

     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.


     Once again, the weather was absolutely beautiful even though the wind blew briskly.  The calendar boldly displayed the date of the eagerly awaited “Barefoot Man Concert”.  Fans of the island music star were anticipating a fabulous day of food, drink, dance, and, of course, lots of the fun-loving tunes made famous by this much loved musician.  His style of music consists of lively island melodies combined with spirited, jovial lyrics that most often have a humorous twist.  I have become quite fond of his unique brand of musical frivolity.  If the listener pays attention to the lyrics carefully, they soon find themselves cheerfully singing along.

     At 9 am, we questioned the new operator of the Abaco Ferry.  Their service to Guana Cay would leave at 10 am, but they would only run one return at 8 pm.  We didn’t want to be that limited.  We could have take AMARSE, however, with the fresh breeze approaching gale force, we concluded that she was safer and more comfortable remaining in slip #321 at Boat Harbour Marina.  Our alternative proved to be through Albury’s Ferry Service.



    They were running numerous, specially scheduled vessels from their fleet of 14 boats on runs to and from Guana Cay.  We boarded the 10:30 am departure for the 30-minute ride across the mildly angry Sea of Abaco that would occasionally heap up waves that would send huge sprays completely across the enclosed ferry. 



     Nipper’s Beach Bar is definitely an Abacos’ and Guana institution.


    Perched upon a sand hill, the location nears tropical perfection with a stunning view of the palm trees, white sand beach, surf-splashed reef, and deep blue of the ocean beyond.  As the crowds awaited the musical event, the quests and crew of a huge luxury yacht threw hundreds of strings of Mardi Gras beads out into the group.



       A huge, cheering crowd welcomed the Barefoot Man to stage.  A keyboard player and a percussionist accompany him.




    When the bar was first conceived many years ago, few people thought that the beach joint would have much chance for survival.  History has proved that they were very wrong.  Anyone who visits the Abacos would have to be sequestered inside a conch shell not to have heard of this place.  Traditionally, they serve their own version of a “Pig Roast” on every Sunday afternoon of the year; today would be no different in that respect.  The bar staff handled financial affairs by selling coupons and tokens for food and drink exchange.  In as much as the “Barefoot Man” freely offers this annual concert to show his appreciation to his many fans, there is no entrance fee. 

     Once again, being a member of the RMHYC (Royal Marsh Harbour Yacht Club) yielded more special benefits.  A large, elevated cabana was reserved for the membership.  The view was terrific and the shade of the overhead roof provided welcomed relief from the intense sun and restrained the stiff breeze.

     We have heard of others that raved about the pig roast.  Frankly, we were quite disappointed with the food.  Next time, we’ll try the burgers.

     Atop the roof across from us, a fun-loving group of the local, Guana Cay residents demonstrated their expertise in drink and dance. 



     At every level, the energetic crowd clambered around to partake in the afternoon’s fun.



     These lovely island natives, affectionately known as “Bahama Mamas” were enjoying the respite from the intense sun in one of the two pools.



     That crazy Canadian, Dennis Starkey, from “Christine Marie”, hopped up on the roof to be playfully attacked by this bevy of beauties.  His friends in Canada now have even more reason to be envious of his Bahama adventure.



     Hey! Wait just a minute here, How did Dennis get into that pool with these gals?  One of the Barefoot Man’s songs sports the lyrical line, “I want to dance with a big panty woman, I want to dance with a big panty girl”.  Perhaps Dennis is getting a little to liberally literal with that particular song.


     All in all, the concert was absolutely super with nonstop music and fun.  The Barefoot Man played for 3 solid hours, Sean McGregor filled in for a couple hours, and then the Barefoot Man was back again.  Everyone was dancing, singing, and having a great time.  The party never did get as wild as we had been warned it might.

     The 6:30 pm ferry shuttled us back to Marsh Harbour.  These two tired kids enjoyed a quiet, peaceful dinner of toasted tuna sandwiches and potato chips. 




     We had rested well in the peaceful surroundings of the marina.  Judy made some special recipe French Toast for breakfast.  Exercising our knees and legs, we walked over and back to the ice docks and grocery store.  We continued around to the town center visiting the huge Bristol’s liquor store, the local bakery for coconut and white bread, and the Price Right store for more supplies.  Carrying the groceries and all, the walk back was just a bit too much for me today.  In the future, I think I will only attempt to walk one way and taxi back.

     I sure enjoyed my time at the pool this afternoon.  The water is refreshingly cool and clear. 

     After a delightful dinner of Eggplant Parmesan, we enjoyed the movie, “Mambo Kings”, starring Antonio Bandaras. 





     For breakfast, that fresh Coconut bread was hand sliced, dipped into a batter blending the milk and eggs with generous amounts of both coconut and banana rums, a bit of cinnamon, and, then, pan grilled to a golden brown.  Judy has this delightful version of French Toast down to a science.  WOW!

     The laundry chores turned into a painfully slow process because too many other folks had the same idea and the machines were overly busy.  While Judy worked on another coat of varnish for the teak rails, I did internet stuff and worked on some photos for several friends. 

     It was my turn to make lunch today with Chicken Breast Salad sandwiches on toasted Bahamian Bread, Chips, and light beverages filling the bill nicely. Much of the afternoon consisted of chatting with friends alongside the beautiful pool.

     Lots of boats left the harbor today because the winds were starting to lay down.  The section of the Sea of Abaco known as “the whale” can be very treacherous when winds are brisk.  None of those that left made it through that pass that was churned way up by wind and sea.  Most of them hope that conditions will improve for a passage tomorrow.  At the marina, the electricity was off for most of the afternoon. 

     Judy’s dinner menu consisted of delicious Pot Roast of Beef served with Penne Pasta.  A few slices of buttered, Bahamian bread went perfectly with the meal.




     Judy worked hard on the teak varnishing project.  It has been especially frustrating because these brisk winds have caused drying problems.  The solvents in the varnish evaporate from the surface much too fast and in advance of the main part of the coating.  This results in shrinkage under the surface skim and causes a wrinkling in that surface.  When this happens, she has to sand out the entire coat and start again.  We just haven’t had the ideal conditions for high-gloss, exterior varnishing.  Once again, I worked on computer projects and stuff.

     The afternoon was fun time.  We soaked up some more sun and swam in the pool.  Somehow, I managed to squeeze in a nap.

     Tonight is Wednesday night, therefore, the Jib Room Restaurant puts on their weekly Baby Back Rib feast.  There is no question, these are the best ribs “en todo el mundo”. (Spanish for, “in all the world”).  We had the good fortune to share the table with Fran and Milt (Sea Fox), Jonathan and Judie (Double JJ), and Jerry and Laurie Jenkins from Toronto.

     Once again, the limbo contest was our constant source of amazement. 



     As usual, the incomparable, Desmond, proved just how low you can go.  They say that in his younger years, he could slither even lower than he does now.  No one else even comes close to his flexibility. 



     Henry is one of our cruisers from the RMHYC (Royal  Marsh Harbour Yacht Club).  He captains a Island Trader motorsailer and hails from the Hawaiian Islands.  His wife is visiting friends in Guatemala for a couple of weeks so Henry was ready to party down, Bahamian style.



     Judy joined in to celebrate with dance.  Her partner was quite the dancer and I think he was “light in his loafers” in more ways that one.



     This member of the band was a true master of the “Rake n’ Scrape” style of island music.  It is a traditional musical form somewhat unique to the Bahamas.





     It had been a while since we ran AMARSE’s twin Lehman engines.  We gave them a successful little test by running them for about 15 minutes to circulate the fuel and oil.  Judy continued her varnish sanding project.  Unfortunately, it was still too windy to attempt another coat.  She turned her attention to straightening and cleaning the boat.  We both are quite excited that her brother, Dean Ordiway, is coming to stay for a week.  His plane is due to arrive this evening.

     After a quick lunch at a local food stand, we continued our walk to the bakery and grocery store in the town.  We obtained all the ingredients to make a special Lasagna dinner for Dean.  Back at the marina, I assembled the Lasagna and found enough time to soak in the sun and in the pool.

     About 6:30pm, Dean knocked on the side of the boat.  Cocktail time arrived simultaneously.  After dinner and chatting, we strolled around the marina introducing Dean to all of his new neighbors.  Judy and Dean practice their skills with the ring and hook.  The idea is to swing a 2” ring suspended on a string at just the right force and angle to land it on a fixed hook.  They were both successful after many, many attempts.     



     The long trip from Kansas had tired Dean out completely and he was ready for bed.  It makes me quite happy to see them together here in paradise.  They always get along so well together.  This is going to be a fun week especially for Judy and Dean.




     Dean was awake and had the coffee pot brewing before our usual wake-up time.  These folks that are cursed with the work ethic have a tough time slowing down to island time.  Hopefully, we can ease him down that twisty road toward relaxation over the next few days.  Judy made a nice breakfast and we enjoyed the morning chatting and reminiscing.  We again walked around the marina meeting and greeting.  It was still quite windy, but Dean wasn’t complaining at all.  The weather was a far cry better than what he left in the Midwest.

     We hung around the pool and just generally enjoyed each other’s company.  Somewhere in there, Dean found time for his running exercise.

     On Friday evenings, Snappa’s Bar and Grill hosts happy hour with snacks.  Tonight’s special consisted of meatballs and chicken wings.  The drinks kept coming to wash down the hors’dourves.



     The sunset view of the main anchorage in Marsh Harbour is such a lovely event.



     Dean is not normally known for being shy.  It didn’t take him long to become friendly with this waitress.



     I don’t know, for sure, whether Dean was just tuckered out from all the party life or whether he was just plain bored.  What do you think?





     Again this morning, Dean was out early for his jogging exercise.  It brings to mind a Jimmy Buffet song.  The lyrics go, “You call it jogging, I call it running around”.  In this case, my guess is that he was really jogging this time.

     We took a walk into town to show Dean the sights.  It certainly isn’t the big city, but it’s one of the best in all the islands. 

     Saturday night is steak night at the Jib Room.  We joined Richard and Sue Van Gemert from “Lionheart” for the dinner extravaganza.  Once again, it was quite good.




     After dinner, the guests are entertained with the island sound of “Rake n’ Scrape.”  Tonight, owner/manager, Boo, grabbed up the saw and joined in the revelry. 



     The limbo contest continues to amaze me.  It was easy to see the total disbelief in Dean’s eyes as the master, Desmond, wiggled low n’ slow under the burning limbo pole.  I don’t know why we couldn’t convince Dean to try.    





        Our plan is to enjoy this resort marina for our final week here and to depart during the first week of April. Judy’s Brother, Dean Ordiway, is flying home to Olathe, Kansas on Wednesday, April 4th.  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