UPDATE# 6 02/21 thru 02/29/08

Howdy Everybody,

The adventures of 2008 from 1/1/08 through 2/20/08 have been published on the website.  We continue with this edition, UPDATE 2008 # 06.


 UPDATE 2008 #06   02/21/08 through 02/29/08.

At last update, AMARSE was at our winter home at ABACO BEACH RESORT and BOAT HARBOUR, in sunny Marsh Harbour, Abacos, Bahamas.



      Much of the day was enjoyed with the normal relaxing and routine excitement of everyday life in the tropics.  You know, things like the women’s “Walk ‘N Talk”, puttzing on the computer, visiting with wonderful friends, lunch, and the true joy of an afternoon nap to the gentle rhythm of a tropical rain shower.

      At 5:45pm, we started our walk to the downtown area.  The setting sun peacefully silhouetted the anchored boats in tranquil Marsh Harbour.


     The huge Junkanoo festival has been long awaited here in the islands.  It is normally held in late December or January, however, there were not enough funds available to host it then.  Tonight, the funds, the spectators, both Bahamian and visitors, and the dancers were ready, willing and able to put on this traditional spectacle.

     Junkanoo is a Bahamian national festival and is a kaleidoscope of color and sound. The rhythmic sounds of cowbells, goatskin drums and whistles, accompanied by an array of brass instruments, provide a hypnotic musical beat that will definitely move you.  The diverse and brilliantly colored costumes capture your eyes and create a unique visual delight.

     The true origin of Junkanoo is unknown, however, its roots can be traced back to West Africa. The most popular legend states that the name originated from John Canoe, an African tribal chief who demanded the right to celebrate with his people even after being brought to the West Indies in slavery. During pre- and post slavery, Christmas was the greatest time for celebration in The Bahamas, and Junkanoo was the highlight. This tradition still remains today.
     In the past, Junkanoo was a spontaneous event, and less commercialized. The original Junkanoo Parade consisted of simple costumes of cloth, fringed paper and facial painting. There was also the use of sea sponges and other natural materials such as, leaves, on a type of netting worn over the body. The basic instruments that were used still remain the same, however, modern instruments have replaced some homemade instruments such as conch shell horns and poinciana pods. Today, the addition of brass instruments helps to create the melody of the music.


     The festival was scheduled for opening ceremonies at 6pm.  In a true display of island time and the laid-back attitude of the tropics, the clock showed after 8pm before signs of activity were observed.  I must say that the wait was well worthwhile.

     The Juniors led the Junkanoo parade.  Angel academy portrayed the theme of Humpty Dumpty for their youthful dancers.


     All the King’s Horses and all the King’s Men…….


     Crossing Rocks Elementary paraded to the theme, “Creatures Of The Seas”.


     The school systems are using this uniquely Bahamian tradition to foster their heritage and history.  The groups have been working all year long preparing for the event.



     A special exhibition group from Nassau came to Abacos to thrill the spectators with their accomplishments.  They have been winners in the national contests.  The group reveled to the theme of, “From C.R. Walker, With Love”.  It was nothing less than magnificent.


     The costumes and the choreography were stunning.



     As most of you know, I take lots of pictures.  Out of the many, once in a while you manage to get a lucky shot that captures that special feeling.  I think this next picture is one of those rare, special photographs.





     Following the exhibition group, Treasure Cay Primary arranged to the theme, “It’s Party Time”.




     This clown, a true Bahama Mama, served up slices of cake to those spectators willing to dance for a sweet treat.  No dance, No cake!


     Junkanoo originated in the Bahamas around the 17th century as a masquerade. Slaves, their faces hidden under a flour paste, celebrated on Boxing Day, the day after Christmas. Later, wire masks held on a stick replaced flour paste.  This group simulates the flour paste with modern makeup.  The facial expressions are priceless; the colors amazing.


     Central Abaco Primary, Or C.A.P., constructed this huge float to present the story of “Moses, Let My People Go”.  The judges awarded this group a well-deserved “First Place” in the Junior Category.


     Starting with Moses in the Nile River in a woven basket, the storyline continued through the phases of Moses’ life.




     This float depicts “The Mighty Pharaoh’s Court” complete with the soldiers that inflicted immense hardship on Moses and his people.


     This next group followed a theme connected with life in and around the seas.



     This lovely costumed gal danced continuously to the rhythmic beat. 


     Once again, I was fortunate to capture a very special photograph.  I believe that this may well be one of the greatest photos that I have ever taken.


     Under the sea…….



     In Junkanoo, the passages of the groups are known as, “Rushes”.  After a significant delay, the groups returned along the opposite route for their “Second Rush”.


     This next picture makes me wish I had the palette and brush skills to paint it to canvas.



     The exhibition group from C.R. Walker in Nassau soon followed for their second rush.  Amazingly, you get a whole different perspective of the parade in the reverse direction.







     It was well after midnight when the “Senior” groups of the Junkanoo festival made their first rush.  Although most of the winter residents, tourists, and boaters had left the streets for the night, we, in the company of mostly Bahamian natives, opted to continue the enjoyment of this fantastic display of Bahamian Tradition.  The costuming was more spectacular than we could have imagined.  I am so glad that we persevered.


     If you notice closely, this charming reveler is playing a homemade instrument constructed from plumbing parts and sink drains.  Historically, all the instruments were fabricated from odds and ends.


     How’s this for great color and design?


     As the tropical breezes blew, the effect on these high costumes made it a challenge.



     The theme for the G.T.C. Rockers was in keeping with the origins from Africa.


     This man-powered costume float is entitled “The Jungle”.


     Chief Crazy Horse received tribute with this spectacular costume float.


     You have to love the creative aspects and use of stunning color throughout the Junkanoo event.


     This complex costume bears the huge display of an African Warrior mounted above the costume wearer.  Imagine the strength of the participant to carry around this gigantic outfit.


     The Africa theme carries to this intricate float depicting a skeleton riding atop his steed. 


     Cowbells and whistles accentuate the rhythmic beat of the goatskin drums.



     With a theme of “Where Have All The Flowers Gone?”, this beautiful gal clearly proves that they are right here.


     The Spring City Rockers chose to present the theme, “Outta Africa”.


     This unbelievably fantastic costume was immense.  That wingspread must be over 15 feet wide and the top must reach 10 feet high.  Above the wearer is a huge, molded paper-mache head bobbing under a banner proclaiming, “Spirit of Freedom”.  This was clearly the most spectacular of  spectacular displays.


     We left at 2:30am when we thought the event was concluded.  We later learned that the Senior groups made another rush and that the party continued until after 3 am.  I’m sure glad we found the strength to see it all.


     At the end of the night, the battery in my camera was so fully depleted that the lens would not even retract.  My chip had stored 314 pictures this evening.  I have tried to show you a nice segment of the highlights.  I took slightly over 100 of them and made a Video DVD with music to play on our TV.  I’ve had some very positive comments on the production.  All I can say is that it takes a tremendous amount of time to assemble these compositions.


     Even though we had been up very late last night at Junkanoo, I had to get up to present my third in a series of announcements for the upcoming Rock ‘N Roll Sock Hop scheduled for March 11TH.  Judy and I have accepted the Chair positions for the event.  I have been composing special and unique messages to build the hype and spark the interest of the yacht club members.  So far, it’s working and we get lots of positive comments from our listeners every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at the 8am radio broadcast of our club program.

     I was too awake and alert to go back to bed, so I began the long process of sorting and editing pictures.  Judy was the smart one and she managed to sleep late until 11:15am.

     After lunch, we were both exhausted and Judy headed for the pillow.  I wasn’t far behind for our nice afternoon nap.

     It was an enjoyable cocktail hour on Dock 4.  Everyone had a chance to catch up on the latest negotiations with the Resort management and the doings of the day.

     JOHN HENRY is a 47-foot Great Harbour trawler enjoyed by Wink and Wilma Thornton.  They found themselves hosting 14 folks for game night.  The card game was called “Apples to Apples”.  There were lots and lots of laughs and comments as the group enthusiastically participated.  Sherry (CHIPKA FIRE III) ponders her card hand as Pat Dwyer (SALTY DAWG) laughs aloud.  Scott Coles (MASCOT) comments as  our host, Wink Thornton (JOHN HENRY) slouches in his recliner.


     Paul Graham (ODYSSEY) listens intently, as does Mary Coles (MASCOT), while the other Pat Dwyer (SALTY DAWG) reads her green card response.


     It was lots of fun and everyone laughed himself or herself silly.  Others not shown were Andy Allen (SEA DEE), Brian Beckwith and Jan Dennis (ROVING SEAS), Sue Graham (ODYSSEY), and our hostess, Wilma Thornton (JOHN HENRY).  What a great group of friends we have here in Boat Harbour!



     Today was a day to catch up on general stuff.  Of course, Judy faithfully walked the 4-mile trek with the gals and I worked on computer and photo stuff.  It was another laundry day for Judy.  She is so good to take care of the boat and us like she does.  Nobody could ask for a better mate, companion, friend, and lover.

     Cocktail hour this evening was aboard Chipka Fire III at the invitation of Sherry.  Roger and Jacki Arrowood (PELICAN) were also invited aboard.

     After dinner, we finished up Season 5 of the Sopranos Series with the 13TH episode of that year.



      On Sundays, Judy stays here on the boat with me all morning.  I took the opportunity to make banana pancakes with fresh bananas and laced with banana rum.

      I worked most of the day editing and compiling Junkanoo pictures into a DVD presentation complete with music and titles.  It has been very frustrating because the Roxio program’s DVD Builder is not working correctly and causes the program to crash.  All of these days work may be for nothing.

     On a much happier note, there were lots of folks for the cocktail hour on Dock 4 tonight.  To add to that, Judy was making my absolute favorite dinner of Chicken Breast in her special Mushroom sauce and served with herb stuffing.  That gal can really cook!

     Connie and Galen Siler (R-JOY) are entertaining her sister Sherrie this week.  They came to AMARSE to play that fun dice game, Farkle.  Galen enjoyed beginner’s luck; we all enjoyed sipping Carolans Irish Cream over ice.  Roll ‘em, Connie!


     Connie’s sister, Sherrie, caught on quickly and seemed to have a great time.  I’m confident that there is yet another Farkle convert in the crowd.



     The beginning of the week had Judy back in the groove with the morning Walk ‘N Talk.  I continue to be frustrated with the DVD programs that I’m trying to use to compile the Junkanoo presentation.  I have finally managed to get a prototype master transferred to disc.  Further attempts at modifications and enhancements have been totally unsuccessful.  With the nice weather prevailing, lots of the boats have gone out for local cruising.

      At 5:30pm, we strolled over to Dock 5 for cocktails.  Often, there is a challenge to find space at the get-togethers, however, with lots of folks out cruising tonight, we enjoyed the company of the fewer.

     Bob and Rita Wieczorek invited us to dine with them aboard their beautiful MAGNUM OPUS.   We thoroughly enjoyed the evening and the meal of salad, chili, coconut bread, and blueberry pie dessert.

     It was lucky men’s night for the Farkle games.  Bob won a game and Fred won a game. 


     With 400 points sitting on the table, Judy rolls a Farkle and looses 500 points.  Ratz!


     Rita ponders her next move with only 50 points on the table.  My hunch is that she rolled again with 4 dice.



     I was up and around at 5:30am.  The wind had freshened significantly and the deck chairs were skittering around noisily on the sundeck.  Do you think I could get back to sleep?  NO!  This crazy man had thoughts racing through his mind at 500 plus miles per hour.  I was all worried about the Sock Hop and announcements and posters and decorations and entertainment.  What a nut-case!

     Judy awoke at the normal time to participate in the morning walk.  I fixed a mess of scrambled eggs, toast, and bacon to go with my next cup of coffee.  Of course, work continued organizing for the Sock Hop and Rock ‘N Roll party coming up in about two weeks.

     Riding her bicycle to the grocery store, Judy picked up some fresh ground beef to make Chopped Steaks with Mushroom Gravy and Mashed Potatoes for a terrific dinner.

     Season 6 of the Sopranos is now playing on the big screen aboard AMARSE.  We enjoyed the first two episodes tonight.



     The intermittent rain showers didn’t dissuade Judy from heading out to the morning walk.

     Those same showers may have dampened his shirt but his million-dollar smile continued to shine through.  I enjoyed a visit from my longtime friend and sailing mentor, Joe DeMaris (ADAMAS DE MARIS).  Coffee anyone?


     Having spent the last few days traveling about the islands of the Abacos, Robert Wilson brought SEA ISLAND GIRL into her slip just as the rain started to pour.  After we had them all tied securely and hooked up, the showers suddenly stopped.  Could it be that he planned it that way?

     I worked all day on updates and logs.  My hosting company seemed to be intermittent today and I had problems creating a new email address specifically for the upcoming Sock Hop Party.  I created some posters advertising the party and placed them on the bulletin boards around the marina.  Several copies were taken to other marinas in the area.  Judy took off with Paul on his motor scooter to look for decoration items to brighten the party atmosphere.

     Judy is designing and sewing a bright pink Poodle Skirt to wear to the Sock Hop.  It really looks cool.  I think she is sparking interest from several of the other gals to have her help them.

     New England Clam Chowder and fresh, hot, flaky biscuits made for a delicious evening meal.  Our guest, Joe DeMaris, seemed delighted with the Bill of Fare.  After dinner, we watched the DVD movie, King Arthur.  It certainly defined a blood and guts movie.  Perhaps it accurately portrayed the horrifying aspects of those extremely hostile times in man’s history of war and brutality, however, I think I prefer a lighter, more relaxing form of entertainment.



     It was a somewhat cooler morning that was very nice.  Judy toddled off on her walk while I puttzed with computer stuff.  Of course, I am still babying this damaged leg of mine. 

     A lot of time was occupied with party planning.  Judy worked on a prototype of the sock hop centerpieces.  She is very creative and the idea is great.  I set out to visit and coordinate with Commodore Robert Wilson; Rear Commodore of Social Events, Jim Fenn; Marvin, Resort Activities Manager; Kevie, Resort Event Manager; Rita Wieczorek,  Rear Commodore of Communications; and volunteer entertainers, Henry Jamrozinski (OH HENRY) and Jan (TE AMOR).  We had some more posters distributed for the Sock Hop.

     On our way out to tonight’s event, we chatted with Andy Allen (SEA DEE) aboard his Great Harbour N37. 


     A large group was gathering at Mango’s Restaurant for the annual “People to People” event hosted by the Bahamas Tourist Department.  Cocktails, music, and free food always guarantee a substantial turnout.


     The sunset view over Marsh Harbour is very attractive from the patio of Mango’s.


     Here in the Bahamas, we seem to don a light jacket whenever the temperature drops a few degrees into the high 60’s to low 70’s. I was pleased to take this great photo of our friend, Sherry (CHIPKA FIRE III), enjoying herself at the event. 


     When the food buffet line opened, the mob swarmed like a herd of famished jackals in heat.  The Mango’s restaurant has been closed for most of the winter and has just re-opened.  If they were trying to impress the main customer base, they failed miserably.  Very few folks were impressed by their offerings.


     The Department of Tourism arranged for a demonstration by one of the local Junkanoo bands.  The Spring City Rockers put on a mini-version of their performance.  Although very enjoyable, the downscaled display paled in comparison with the main event of last week. 






     As Pat Dwyer (SALTY DAWG) was spontaneously dancing around to the beat of the music, one of the locals placed this headpiece on her. Much to her surprise, she instantly became a stunning participant.


     Brian Beckwith (ROVING SEAS) was as jovial and spirited as ever with the combination of rhythmic music and the local Sands Beer.


     The more subdued trio of Judy Law (AMARSE), Sue Graham (ODYSSEY), and Jonathan Jenkins (DOUBLE JJ) seem to be staving off the chills of the evening breeze.


     Jonathan Jenkins (DOUBLE JJ) donned a Junkanoo headdress.  Somehow, he doesn’t look all that Bahamian.



     All in all, it was another fun evening here in Marsh Harbour, Abacos, The Bahamas.




     Just before 9am, a specially invited group of guests assembled at the end of Dock 4 to board ODYSSEY for a day trip to Great Guana Cay.  How about this bevy of beauties?  (L to R back) Susan (SUSAN’S COVE), Sue Graham (ODYSSEY), and Judy Law (AMARSE).  (Seated L to R) Connie Murgo (THE ROSE) and Judie Jenkins (DOUBLE JJ).


     The fuel dock and shed on Dock 3 preceeds the nearly empty fishing boat dock #2 at Boat Harbour.


     Our Captain, Paul Graham, skillfully piloted ODYSSEY out of the breakwaters of Boat Harbour, across the Sea of Abaco, to Guana Cay.


     Paul Murgo (THE ROSE) was the previous Rear Commodore of Member Benefits for the RMHYC.  Although THE ROSE, another Great Harbor 37, is moored in Marathon in the Florida Keys this year, Paul and Connie flew over and rented a cottage home for a week to visit many good friends.  You may remember that we celebrated Paul’s birthday in Brunswick, Georgia last fall.


     As we pull up to the somewhat dilapidated day docks, Earl lends a proficient hand helping us to tie up.  Sue maintains constant intercom contact with Paul during docking maneuvers.


     It wasn’t long before we arrived at the world famous, NIPPER’S BEACH BAR.  After Sue G. made a feeble attempt at a pole dance, Judy said “Let me show you how it’s done”.  I don’t know where the girl learned her stuff but she sure gets my attention.


     Va-Va-Va-Voom!  Ain’t seen nuthin’ like that since the Bada Bing.


     We all enjoyed the drinks and burgers under the palapa.


     Take a good look at the dance floor area.  This is a normal Friday afternoon at NIPPER’S.  Remember this when you see the Barefoot Man Concert pictures in the next update coming in early March. 


     The one constant here is the incredibly beautiful beach on the Atlantic Ocean side of Guana Cay.  WOW!  Need I say more?


     Look here, friends, the bar is almost empty today.  (NOT FOR LONG, BAREFOOT MAN IS COMING MARCH 2ND).


     Susan (SUSAN’S COVE) told us lots of tales about her former years living on Guana Cay before electricity and running water.  The stories reveal a peaceful life in pleasant but primitive conditions.

     We listened intently as Susan (SUSAN’S COVE) recounted the story of how a bunch of gals got together one night, years ago, and decoratively painted this old loader.  TOO COOL!



     As the T-Shirt says, “Just Walkin’ Up That Old Dirt Road to NIPPER’s Always Puts a Smile On My Face.”


     Another view of the tranquil harbor at Great Guana Cay.


     On the way back to ODYSSEY, we stopped by another famous watering hole called GRABBERS.


     Located on the Sea of Abaco side of Guana Cay, the GRABBER’S Sunset Beach overlooks the anchorage at Fishers Bay.


     The Great Harbor 37 (ODYSSEY) has a shallow draft of around 3 feet.  This allowed Paul to navigate through the narrow channel behind Matt Lowe Cay and Sugarloaf Cay.  The lower level of this house is the one being rented by Paul and Connie Murgo (THE ROSE) this week.


     In case you thought the day might be over, guess again.  A big get-together was arranged under the palapa hut at Boat Harbour in honor of the visiting Paul and Connie Murgo.  Also being honored were family guests of Robert and Carolyn Wilson.


     Carolyn Wilson (in red)(SEA ISLAND GIRL) hoists a Kalik Beer to toast her sister, Barbara (from Philadelphia) and niece, Coleen (from Baltimore).


     Once again, we had a great time with Paul and Connie Murgo (THE ROSE).


     The month of February has been full of wonderful experiences made possible by great friends.  We are indeed fortunate to be enjoying life here in the Bahamas again this year.  As we move into the month of March, we look forward to lots more fun. 

     This concludes this edition of the AMARSE Update logs.  We hope you will join us again soon for more adventures coming in the month of March.



       We sincerely hope that you will review the previous years of compilations to give context to the current editions. Please let us know if you have any special suggestions and thoughts.

     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, 2007, or the upcoming 2008 logs and learn more about the crew and our plans.  Enjoy.



   You may contact us via email.  Our cell phones have been turned OFF.  We do have occasional SKYPE connections at ‘amarse1’.


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


Lot of Love,

Fred Reed and Judy Law