adventures of 2006, 2007, and 2008 through 11/25/08 have been published on the
website. We continue with the
2008 #32 11/26/08 thru
last update, we had just completed our crossing of the Atlantic Gulf Stream from
Florida to the Little Bahama Bank.
WEDNESDAY HAWKSBILL CAY to
SPANISH CAY to BOAT HARBOUR
A relatively weak cold front made its way through our anchorage sometime
in the middle of the night yielding a some rain showers and a wind change coming
from the north.
The anchor was up and being washed clean at 6:20am.
We had been fortunate to find good holding in a thick, sandy bottom.
CHABLIS started out of the anchorage area a few minutes behind AMARSE but
soon found her way around the slower boat.
There was a breeze from the north and that had the seas kicked up to at
least 2 feet. The air temperature
was almost 70 degrees already when the sun poked itself up at 6:38am.
We heard ROYAL SERF and CANADIAN ODYSSEY chatting at the Great Sale Cay
anchorage. We were able to make
contact with them and wish them good sailing toward Boat Harbour.
They will be on dock #5 again this year.
In the middle of what seems to be no-where, we approached the “Center
of the World Rock”.
Since we have not yet cleared Customs and Immigration, we were required
to fly this yellow quarantine flag. No
person or vessel is allowed to make landfall or visit anywhere before clearing
Spanish Cay lies ahead…
At precisely 9am, we tossed our lines to the wooden pilings at Spanish
Cay marina. The Customs lady met us
briefly and said she had to make a run to the airport and would return soon.
In less than 15 minutes, she held true to her word and boarded AMARSE to
help us finish filling out the required paperwork.
This is really the quickest place to obtain clearance anywhere in the
Bahamas. The inspection agent is very efficient and completely helpful
in every way. She is cheerful and
hopes that even more cruisers will make this their first port of call.
We paid our $300 dollar fee and received our clearance papers and our
fishing license with spearfishing endorsement.
We had a quick visit at the docks from Fred and Sherry aboard
CHIPKA FIRE III. They had just
finished the clearance process and were ready to proceed to Boat Harbour too.
The docks were surprising empty. I
would hope that they develop some kind of special marketing plan to attract more
visitors. Those marinas that have adopted special amenities and pricing
strategies for the cruisers have been quite successful in increasing their
At 9:33am, we were off the docks and underway.
Although doable, the Whale Cay Passage sounded a bit lumpy for a
comfortable ride. We decided to try
the shallower route through “Don’t Rock Passage”.
The water can become too shallow in the lowest tide conditions.
Seeking a smoother circumstance, we figured it would be worth the try.
The tide tables indicated that we would be only 1 hour from dead low tide
when we got there. I donned my special polarizing sunglasses that enable me to
see more clearly through the water and to “read” the depths visually.
The glasses are affectionately nicknamed, “the blast shields”.
They work remarkably well and I reserve this pair exclusively for
occasions like this when I desire enhanced visual conditions.
Combined with some good waypoints in the GPS chart plotter, we slowly and
cautiously made our way through the area. Without
this sunlight angulation, the passage would have been much more tenuous.
Under the circumstances, we didn’t see anything much less than 5.7 feet
in depth. Remember, YMMV (your mileage may vary).
If we had arrived late in the day, the sun would have been too low to
make accurate readings of the depth. Perhaps
you can even see in this picture where the shallowest areas stretch out from
Don’t Rock. We passed Don’t
Rock at 12:40pm.
Remember NOT to try this passage either when the Whale Cay is very bad
and in rage condition. The rolling waves and wind chop will bounce you around and
will stir up the bottom too much to get any visual cues. In those types of conditions, the prudent mariner will seek a
safe harbor like at Green Turtle Cay.
Once through the Don’t Rock Passage, the Sea of Abaco opens up to
provide comfortable depths.
By mid afternoon, we had the sea wall of Abaco Beach Resort and Boat
Harbour Marina in sight. We are almost home…
A couple of VHF radio calls had friends, fellow dock mates, and Howard,
the dockmaster standing by to help with lines.
As the song says, “Gee but it’s good to be back home again”.
Around here, it’s any excuse for a dock party.
Our dock mates quickly and spontaneously organized a sunset party under
the guise of our welcoming get-together. “Hot
Lips” Graham faithfully accomplished the tradition of sounding the conch horn.
Wink lorded from this relaxed position seated on his “kingly throne of
Royalty”. The thought crossed my
mind, “…It’s a good thing to be a King”.
Maybe, you’ve heard the old saying, “Once a ‘King’, Always a
‘King’; but, Once a ‘Knight’ is often enough?”
I don’t know; maybe, maybe, not.
It was a great gathering with visitors from the other docks too.
What a great way to start off our season here at Boat Harbour.
THURSDAY MARSH HARBOUR,
THANKSGIVING TO ALL THE USA FOLKS.
The morning was clear, bright, and fantastically beautiful.
We have an unimpeded view of the resort complex main office and welcome
center. Soon, all of these open
slips will be filled with trawlers, yachts, and sailboats.
The reservations are in and they’re on the way.
We’re looking forward to meeting them and having lots of fun.
We have so much to be thankful for in this life…
I was just thinking, we are a lot like the Pilgrims of 1620.
Although this is our third season at Boat Harbour, it is really our first
Thanksgiving Day here in the Abacos. Similar
to their first Thanksgiving, we will be enjoying a traditional Thanksgiving
feast with a group of our closest friends.
Much like the Pilgrims, we arrived by “boat”.
I think that someone even said that MAYFLOWER spelled backwards is AMARSE.
I’m not sure I believe them on that one.
Wink and Wilma came by to say “good morning” and “Happy
Thanksgiving”… I had the
thought that he just might look a lot like Myles Standish this morning.
What do you think?
AMARSE, “looking good in the neighborhood”…
This is the view looking out into the main anchorage area of Marsh
Harbour. There are still a lot of
prime anchoring spots available for the choosing.
All of that will change rapidly as more and more sailors make their way
Seen at Long’s Landing, this poignant sign has a succinct way of
expressing its thought-provoking message.
The luxury, resort condominiums are now completed and available.
On the upside, the landscaped grounds are immaculate.
On the downside, our beloved Tiki Hut is gone forever.
Oh, well, I guess we’ll just have to find some other place to
congregate. I haven’t had a tour
of the insides yet but the building sure looks nice on the exterior.
Maybe you’d like to place an offer for one of the end units.
Tony and Fran Relow were just arriving in their fabulous, Fleming motor
Caught in the act… “Whatta
we gonna tell your Mama, Whatta we gonna tell your Pa, What are you gonna tell
our friends when they say Ooh-La-La?”
The dock #4 group of slips at Boat Harbour Marina at the Abaco Beach
The two buddies, Judy Law (AMARSE) and Barb Bluto (CHABLIS)…
We were invited to join the feast of Thanksgiving aboard the Great Harbor
47, JOHN HENRY. Captain Wink Thornton was standing by to welcome us on board
for the festive dinner at 2pm.
The gals got together and decided what each would bring to the table.
Each one volunteered something of a favorite; the tables were soon filled
This crab trap made for an elegantly nautical serving table for a
picturesque appetizer platter. Those
black olives won’t last long with Wink and me around.
Salads, potatoes, savory stuffing, oyster dressing, squashes, green
beans, noodles, gravy, cranberry sauce, and the legs and slices from two big
turkeys were some of the culinary treats arranged for the feast.
All of it was wonderfully delicious.
Thanksgiving dinner for 10 aboard JOHN HENRY topside…
In pic: (L to R in pic): Janet and Ken (Sue’s daughter
and son-in-law), Judy Law and Fred Reed (AMARSE), Wink Thornton (Host and
Captain of JOHN HENRY), Sherry and Fred (CHIPKA FIRE III), Sue and Paul
Graham (ODYSSEY). Wilma Thornton was taking the picture.
The weather cooperated perfectly for the outside dinner.
Wilma (aft) passed around the brownies for dessert while Judy cut
generous pieces of chocolate-pecan pie.
On this fabulous day, all around the marina seemed peaceful and
This is the sport fish weigh-in station.
The summertime is more active for the fishing tournaments,
Even the swimming pool area was strangely quiet.
I guess since everyone has been eating constantly, it becomes impossible
to wait a whole hour after eating before going swimming.
Let me think about this, “Eat or Swim?”.
It must be sunset because “Hot Lips” Sue is puckered up big time.
I wonder if she can play “B-17”?
Dressed to the Nines, my dear friend, Rita Wieczorek (MAGNUM OPUS),
looked absolutely fantastic. She
was joining with another large group to dine at the Angler’s Restaurant.
Everyone raved about the great dinner presentation put on by the Abaco
Inside their main saloon aboard JOHN HENRY, Wink and Wilma hosted an
encore performance for leftovers at 7pm. I
wonder if the Pilgrims had leftovers too.
It has been a great day, in a great place, with great food, and, most
importantly, with great friends. It
is no wonder that we are all so very thankful.
FRIDAY MARSH HARBOUR, ABACOS,
Dock #7, affectionately called “Oceans 7”, is located around the
marina nearer to the Sea of Abaco. They
enjoy a very nice, tree-lined grassy area perfect for hosting.
The resident group of cruisers organized and invited everyone to join
together for cocktail hour. Per
usual, everyone brought their own drinks and some snacking things for the
The late afternoon view southeast revealed an unusually passive Sea of
Abaco. I can’t remember ever
seeing it in this calm of a state.
I seems as though Fred (Chipka Fire III) has captivated the
attentions of all these gals. I’ll bet he’s telling tall tales of heroic adventures of
SATURDAY BOAT HARBOUR to
We were just thinking about ways to enjoy this wonderfully sunny day when
Bob Williams (SHADE-MOR) came by to invite us to join a group of friends aboard
their beautiful, 65-foot Hattaras motor yacht for a day trip to Nipper’s Beach
Bar on Guana Cay.
Susan Harward (SUSAN’s COVE) and Judy Law…
Susan was poised to enjoy the trip, especially since she is a former
resident and was a landowner on Guana Cay for many years.
I like it when she tells of the earlier years when the little island was
very rustic and secluded. There is a famous song that asks, “What happened to
little island I used to know?” Of
course, she still knows nearly everyone on that Cay (pronounced, “KEY”) and
they all know her.
Wilma and Wink (JOHN HENRY) and Janet (Sue Graham’s visiting
Janet and Ken…
Karen O’Brien (CHRISTMAS), Sue Graham (ODYSSEY), and Judy Law (AMARSE)…
Steve O’Brien was celebrating his birthday.
Happy Birthday, Steve… Do
you think he’s telling the truth about being 39?
I always thought he was much younger than that.
Sue Graham (ODYSSEY) and Judy Law (AMARSE) are very close friends.
They share many of the same interests and hobbies.
Dick Cunneen (RAGGEDY ANN) and Paul Graham (ODYSSEY)…
Janet and Ken, Becki Boelke (POKEY), and Karen O’Brien (CHRISTMAS)…
After an hour or so of cruising in the Sea of Abaco, we arrived at these
brand new docks in Guana Cay harbour. The
old place was always called, “Earl’s Dock”.
Everyone knew that he didn’t own them but he was always there to help
with lines and collect the small fee for daytime dockage.
All that has changed as the old docks have been torn down and Earl is
An interesting focal piece of island charm…
Folks will tell you that the outboard motor was running just yesterday.
Are they pulling my leg?
Susan remembers when a group of gals got together and painted up this old
scoop loader… I guess it was kind
of an island beautification project…
Wink and Wilma Thornton (JOHN HENRY) at the entrance pathway to the world
famous, Nipper’s Beach Bar…
The ocean side beach at Guana Cay…
Little Johnny, Alexis, and their Mom, Amy…
If you remember, Amy gave me lots of good advice when my leg was injured
How’s this for a perfectly romantic and secluded wading pool at the
Guana Cay oceanside.
Sirenas (mermaids)… A bevy of RMHYC Beach Babes at Guana Cay...
(JOHN HENRY), Judy (AMARSE), and Sue (ODYSSEY)
Judy Law “in the land of the sun, sand, and sea…”
Fred Reed (AMARSE) and Wink Thornton (JOHN HENRY)…
“Look - - It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Superman”...
No, Fred, it’s just another seagull…
Judy says, “The sand feels soooo good between my toes”.
Wilma and Wink… Hey, what do you guys think you are, Rock Stars?
How beautiful is this? As
the song says, “I’d rather be here than in Chicago, I rather be here than
Toronto, I rather be here than in Miami, I’d rather be here than Calgary…”
The pool at Nipper’s…
Maybe you better ask Sue if the Fish Sandwich is as good as it looks.
I’d bet you already know the answer.
Kathy Sales (LO KEE) and Judy Law (AMARSE) at Nipper’s…
SHADE-MOR patiently waiting at the dock in Guana Cay harbour for 33
RMHYC guests to return from Nipper’s...
Grabber’s waterfront bar looks out on Fishers Bay and the Sea of Abaco
from Guana Cay. Mooring balls are available from Troy at Dive Guana on VHF
Anyone not on board at 3pm can plan to find alternate transportation back
to Boat Harbour. It is an excellent way to ensure that everyone keeps to the
schedule set by the Captain.
Sue (ODYSSEY), Kathy (LO KEE), Audrey Crone (JAFTICA), and Henry
Jamrozinski (OH HENRY)…
Wink (JOHN HENRY), Tim Boelke (POKEY), Sue (ODYSSEY)…
Wilma (JOHN HENRY) and Judy (AMARSE)…
Our fabulous and gracious host, Judy Williams, Admiral of SHADE-MOR, told
us a heartwarming tale about a problem with Bob's car. The real problems
began when she decided to adjust a couple of loose nuts.
At the upper helm station, Ann Cunneen (RAGGEDY ANN), Susan Harward (SUSAN’s
COVE), Dick Cunneen (RAGGEDY ANN), David Crone (JAFTICA), and a gal that was our
hosts’ guest from Michigan. Wink
(JOHN HENRY) and Tim (POKEY) chat in the foreground…
The beautiful, waterborne chariot, SHADE-MOR, which so comfortably
carried us to Guana Cay under the capable hand of Captain Bob Williams…
We had a spectacular dinner tonight.
Wink and Wilma gave us two beautiful, spiny Bahamian lobster tails.
I sautéed them in lemon butter and served them with rice.
Thanks, Wink… Thanks,
SUNDAY MARSH HARBOUR, ABACOS,
MOST SINCERE CONDOLENCES to GEORGE GRAFER AND HIS FAMILY
Sometime during the night, Miriam Grafer passed away in her sleep.
We extend our deepest sympathies to George and their family.
Miriam will be sorely missed and fondly remembered by all those who knew
George and Miriam were in the midst of their cruise toward south Florida
in their boat, TIME OUT. They were
anchored out near St. Augustine, FL at her passing.
This is a personal loss that we are feeling deeply.
They had become treasured friends over the years since we first met in
Today in the Bahamas, the early morning started out dark, overcast, and
Nobody else was walking today so Judy dawdled along with me today.
She normally walks much faster and further when she is with the girls.
We walked out toward the beach at Mermaid Reef on the other side of the
point. All along the way, we felt
the pangs of anguish at Miriam’s passing.
Continuing to the Jib Room, we walked their docks before tracking back
toward the marina. We also made a stop at the commercial fisherman’s docks and
Skagg’s Market. We were gone
about an hour.
The island has lots of these lovely trees about.
They are called “Christmas Palms” because of the stalks of red and
green berries. They are quite
interesting and add lots of tropical color to the walking route.
Judy got the bikes down today. I
attached a white, plastic crate carrier to this one and a red bag to the other
bike. These are the used bikes that
Judy bought when we were back in Brunswick.
It was especially fun because this is the first time that I have ridden a
bike in many, many years. I have a
feeling that we will ride a lot more this year.
Later in the day, the wind continued to increase from the south and
southwest. It got much cooler and
there were occasional showers throughout the afternoon.
Everyone around kind of just hunkered in to keep comfortable.
In the evening, the wind was jamming AMARSE hard against the dock piling
at amidships. It was an above average high tide and the main blue fender
slid away from between the boat and the piling.
Judy and I tried our best to push the boat away to reset that fender but
our efforts were to no avail. The
blowing forces against all of AMARSE’s windage were more powerful than we.
Fortunately, I had attached a fender to the dock and piling that served
to absorb the brunt of the contact but the rub rail still made a very slight
rubbing on the piling. Of course, we will rearrange the protective fenders to
preclude any further occurrences as soon as possible.
Late this night, I received a deeply saddening email from George Grafer.
Not knowing how to say it any other way, I will share that email message
TO ALL OUR FRIENDS,
MY WIFE MIRIAM DIED LAST NIGHT IN HER SLEEP. WE WERE ANCHORED IN ST
WILL BE MAKING ARRANGEMENTS TOMORROW TO BRING HER HOME.
KEEP ME & OUR CHILDREN IN YOUR PRAYERS.
Our hearts ached with sorrow and grief.
We found ourselves tearfully mourning her passing.
In contemplative thoughts and quietly spoken words, Judy and I pensively
reflected our remembrances of Miriam.
We first met Miriam in Marsh Harbour, Abacos, The Bahamas.
In that season, TIME OUT was docked in the same slip that AMARSE now
occupies. AMARSE had just completed
the America’s Great Loop cruise and George and Miriam were interested in
learning more to help their planning. The
following summer, they guided TIME OUT through that Loop adventure.
Last spring, we had the good fortune to meet up with them just a few days
after their Loop completion. In the
company of several other “Loopers”, we shared an evening of joyous reunion.
Both gals were serious about their jewelry-making art.
Miriam was an artistic master of the ‘crocheted wire’ style of making
necklaces. She kindly shared so
many of her talents, hints, and techniques with Judy. This photo of Miriam and
Judy was taken while anchored at Cumberland Island just north of the
While relaxing in Georgia, we had the great opportunity to share a lot
more memorable moments with George and Miriam.
We visited lots of places together and we enjoyed every minute of every
day. We will cherish our memories of Miriam and she will always be
remembered for her great smile, adventurous spirit, and loving friendship.
As he asked, we will keep George and their family in our thoughts and
This wonderful photo of George and Miriam was taken at the sandy shores
of St. Simon’s Island, Georgia in the spring of this year.
UPDATES ARE IN PROGRESS…
WATCH FOR THEM, COMING SOON…
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.
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 anytime.
for allowing us to share our life and adventures with you.
Reed and Judy Law
is pronounced "AM-ARE-SAY".
Our website is: www.amarse.net .
Fred H. Reed
www.amarse.net © 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011