UPDATE#14 03/16 thru 03/31   

  Howdy Everybody,

The adventures of 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 through 03/15/09 have been published on the website.  We continue with the latest edition.

 UPDATE 2009 #14  03/16/09 thru 03/31/09

At last update, we were savoring life aboard AMARSE in the Abacos, Bahamas.




     In anticipation of our rapidly approaching departure time, Judy and I have been steadily crossing off items from our chores list.  Today, we tackled the isinglass around the canvas enclosure that protects us at the upper helm station.  We have been successful using a product called B-210 for cleaning and polishing.

     At 1pm, we attended a class teaching western style dancing.  Wink and Wilma Thornton (JOHN HENRY) are our resident dancer team that have been kind enough to attempt the instruction of a group of folks that have more interest than natural talent.  Even with this many left feet, we all seemed to be getting the basic moves down.


      Joan and Jim (CHRISTINE) look on as Haldine and Kent (DARLING) practice their coordination. 



     Bill and Mary Russell (HARBOUR REACH) take center floor to show us their best two-step dance moves.


     Wilma and Wink patiently explain and demonstrate each set of steps to the attentive group.


      The cruisers of Dock 4 set up a group party inviting all the other dock folks to join in.  Simultaneously, we were also celebrating the “big 60th” Birthday for Jim Elliott (CHRISTINE).   


     Shirley Zellers (M/V TALLY HO) pals around with Ann Cunneen (RAGGEDY ANN).  You’ve just got to love Shirley’s tropical, cocktail sunglasses.


      Joan had a specially prepared, Pineapple Upside-down cake for Jim.  It is his favorite. 


      Carolyn Wilson made up an amusingly special packet and message in commemoration of the big day.



     Happy Birthday, Jim…  Joan will help him cut big pieces for everyone to enjoy.



     The Bahamian flag waves over the Abaco Beach Resort.


     One of the charter fishing boats returned with these two lovely Dolphin fish.  Unfortunately, they did not offer to share any with us.



     After the party, we had the enjoyment of joining Paul and Sue Graham (ODYSSEY) for a delicious Pot Roast dinner.  Judy and Sue went over to JOHN HENRY for a card game session of “Apples-to-Apples”.  I was just too tired out to join them tonight.


03/17/09   TUESDAY


       Much of the day was spent at the computer keyboard working on picture files and log updates.  I assisted Robert Wilson (SEA ISLAND GIRL) with markings on his anchor chain.  We painted a bright red section at the 75-foot mark. 




     Sue Graham (ODYSSEY), our RMHYC “Rear Commodore of Socials” arranged for the usage of the tent for a potluck dinner celebrating the “wearing of the green” and St. Patty’s Day.  She had everyone preparing the traditional dinner fare of Corned Beef, Cabbage, Potatoes, and Carrots.  Of course, there were salads and dessert offerings. 



     David Crone (JAFTICA) knows, firsthand, that it’s a good thing to be Irish today.



     Of course, it was B.Y.O.B.  A few of the folks were seen enjoying colorfully green beer and green wine.



     After an appropriate blessing, the food lines were attacked with more fervor than you might expect from a herd of famished jackals.



     This Dock 4 group of singers was comprised solely of folks enjoying their first season here at Boat Harbour Marina.  Judy Koetitz (LO QUE SE A) put some very excellent and cleverly written lyrics about their winter experiences to a familiar musical tune.


     Ray Vallerie (LAST DANCE) played DJ and had everyone dancing.  Joan Elliott (CHRISTINE) prances ‘the stroll’ to strut her stuff in turn.


     Rose (WILD ROSE) was dancing and singing out loudly to her favorite, Caribbean song about Alice…


     Judy (AMARSE) and Joan (CHRISTINE) had all the right moves but I don’t think that is how you do the “Irish Jig”…



     The tables had been cleared away and the floor was open while Judy and Wilma were stepping to the tunes.




     Judy made and decorated a fabulous chocolate cake to celebrate the birthday of our dear friend, Susan Harward (SUSAN’S COVE).  We were invited to come to ODYSSEY by Paul and Sue Graham for the party evening.





     Wink and Wilma planned another session of afternoon dance lessons.  There is so much to learn and I don’t think that we are the fastest learners on the planet.  I must say that we are beginning to catch on and we are sure having lots of fun trying.  Perhaps, we will skip the auditions for “Dancing with the Stars” this season.

     Wink demonstrates with Judy the correct hand and arm positioning for this dance step.



     Wilma and Wink are great dancers and great teachers.  We sure appreciate their infinite patience.



     This afternoon’s group was a bit smaller due to the inclement weather.  Heavy rains throughout the day kept many of the boaters hunkered down in their cabins.



     At 7pm, we went up to Angler’s Restaurant for the weekly “Talent Night” program.  Dave from S/V Déjà Vu sang and played the mandolin.



     Robert Wilson sang a lovely ballad accompanied by Steven Colebrook on keyboards and Bob Kramm on drums.




     Bette has departed aboard TAR HEEL leaving the water aerobics class in need of a leader.  Wilma Thornton (JOHN HENRY) took up the challenge and has been leading this group of gals in their morning exercises.



     Mike and Pat Beneville (LIBATIONS IV) are always fun to visit with.  Mike’s chair back kept slipping down giving us all a bit of a chuckle.


     RMHYC club members gathered for a “Manager’s Social Hour” at the outdoor patio of the Angler’s Restaurant.

(L to R) Rose Dowling (WILD ROSE), Kathy Sales (LO KEE), Gretchen Dirksen Cronkhite (KINJA KAT), Judy Law (AMARSE), and Rita Wieczorek (MAGNUM OPUS)…



     As more and more of our club members are departing back to the US, there are fewer folks to enjoy these gatherings.




     For dinner this evening, Wink and Wilma (JOHN HENRY) invited us to join them along with Paul and Sue from ODYSSEY.

     Both Wink and I have a continuous hankering for black, ripe olives.  As a humorous gift idea, Judy and I brought him this huge can full of pitted olives.  If we weren’t leaving soon, I’d be willing to bet that we could polish off that can in not time flat.



     Wink was the master chef and prepared an absolutely perfect caldron of Lobster Bisque.  His special recipe Fried Rice dish was exceptional too.


     Judy (AMARSE)…


     Paul and Sue Graham (ODYSSEY)…


     Sara (JOHN HENRY)…


     The delicious dessert was peach cobbler.  Wilma was wearing an honorary headpiece of Hawaiian derivation that was handmade by Wink’s sister-in-law, Stephanie.  Wilma has kept it preserved in the freezer for many weeks waiting for this special occasion.



     Wink showed us some of the fantastic underwater photography that he has been taking with his new camera.  The shots were outstanding.



     Judy and I rode our bicycles to the Marsh Harbour port area to have our tourist cards extended at Bahamian Immigrations.



     Our dinner guests aboard AMARSE were Robert and Rita Wieczorek (MAGNUM OPUS).  After cocktails, we started with a blue cheese dressed, tossed salad.  Everyone enjoyed the hot biscuits and my recipe for Red Sweet Pepper and Black Bean Soup.  The Wieczorek’s brought a nice bottle of wine and some scrumptious, frosted brownies for dessert.  It was a great evening to relax and chat with good friends.



     I finished making arrangements to have the hull bottom of AMARSE to be painted at Edwin’s Boatyard at Man-O-War Cay.  They have an excellent reputation for good workmanship.

     I was able to snap a few photos of the marina and remaining vessels from Peter and Sally’s patio balcony in the new residential complex at the resort.  Many of the wintering boats from the RMHYC have already departed for the season.  This next picture is of dock 4.


     This photo shows dock 5…


     Looking toward the south and over the end of dock 4, you can see docks 3, 2, and 1.  This winter season, most of the boats for RMHYC members were berthed on Docks 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. 


     The dining table aboard AMARSE was set to host Robert and Carolyn Wilson (SEA ISLAND GIRL).  Judy made a beautifully colorful tossed salad and hot biscuits.  I made a big pot of delicious, homemade Chicken Rice Soup that was chock full of great fresh ingredients including those very flavorful jumbo carrots, celery, and onions. 

     Judy’s chocolate cheesecake was fabulously delightful.  At the evening Farkle game, Judy snookered us again.  We always have so much fun playing the dice games with the Wilson’s.




     Knowing that we would be leaving this paradise in the near future, we temporarily relocated AMARSE to the resort fuel dock and added some additional gallons of diesel to assure adequate reserves for our return to the USA.  Whenever possible and practical, we prefer to help out by giving our business to the Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbour Marina.

     Bill Russell (HARBOUR REACH) was diligently whittling away at the mounting cradle for his new inflatable dinghy.  Soon, it would be nestled perfectly and securely.



     With even more folks scheduled to depart for destinations west in the coming days, the Dock 4 gang decided to hold another “last chance” party and farewell gathering.  Represented here are SILVER FOXES, M/V TALLY HO, S/V TALLY HO, KINJA KAT, PUFFIN, SALTY DAWG, HARBOUR REACH, JOHN HENRY, CHRISTINE, OUR TIME, ODYSSEY, LO QUE SE A, AMARSE, ISLA RIKA, RAGGEDY ANN, AND SEA ISLAND GIRL.


     The dock 4 “Newbies” (folks here for their first year at Boat Harbour) sang their original theme song again lamenting that they don’t want to leave the Bahamas and offer their promise to return.  Weather permitting, a lot of vessels are planning on leaving in the morning.




     The morning was beautiful but turned out to be windy with the forecast for continued stiff breezes.  CHRISTINE decided to add a bit more fuel over at the fuel dock so Ed Zellers volunteered to help Jim with the dockhand tasks.



     CHRISTINE is a Gozzard built, Pilgrim 40 trawler.


     This is how you stay young in the Bahamas.  Lois Lantz (PUFFIN) wanted to do her hair in little braids and beads, so that exactly what she did.



     The onset of the windy conditions was enough to induce many cruisers to remain tied to the docks.  Three boats from Dock 5 braved the breezes heading west.  Although the infamous Whale Passage was not in “Abaco Rage” conditions, the mounting seas were enough to violently toss around a couple of those boats.  At least one of these larger boats had numerous items broken or damaged inside.  It was reported to be a very uncomfortable event.

     The group from Dock 4 decided to postpone their departure until conditions improved.  Come to think about it, what better place could there be than right here to enjoy more of the good life with your friends?

      Ed and Shirley Zellers (M/V TALLY HO) invited a bunch of us to dinner.  She had slow-cooked some pork and veggies in a large crock-pot.  Everything was delicious.  I know Judy (AMARSE) enjoyed it very much…


     … as did Carl and Lois Lantz (PUFFIN)…

… as did Gene and Judy Koetitz (LO QUE SE A).



     Our hosts, Ed and Shirley aboard M/V TALLY HO…


     Shirley has absolutely excelled at creating these beautiful basket artworks made from Abaco Pine needles and raffia. 


     Shirley has been experimenting with other types of binding materials to add dimension and color to her creations too…



     Shirley and Ed have located and collected many beautiful shells during the season.  Of course, it takes a lot of hard work and patience to clean them up, but have you ever seen a more beautiful example of a Queen Conch?  The depth of natural color is absolutely amazing.


     As Carl (PUFFIN) looks on intently, lucky Shirley rolls the dice for her round at “Farkle”.  Judy and I introduced them to another dice game called “Ship, Captain, and Crew”.


     It was a lovely way to bring our stay here at Boat Harbour Marina to its seasonal close.  Knowing that this was our last day here until next winter, we had to say, “Au Revoir” and “Hasta Luego” to so many of our dearest friends.



     The day had come and we couldn’t put it off any longer.  AMARSE would be motoring out of the Boat Harbour Marina this morning.

     It was still very early when Wilma Thornton (JOHN HENRY) came by for a last-minute hug.



     Coming to say goodbye and help with our lines, a bunch of the Dock 4 gang was lined-up to “shove us off”. 

(Front to Back) Lois (PUFFIN), Wilma (JOHN HENRY), Andrew (S/V TALLY HO), Judy (LO QUE SE A), Shirley (M/V TALLY HO), Mary (HARBOUR REACH), Gene (LO QUE SE A), Bill (HARBOUR REACH), Ed (M/V TALLY HO), and Jim (SILVER FOXES)…


     The wind was still a bit brisk and the Sea of Abaco was a little choppy. 



     At the South Man-O-War cut that connects to the Atlantic Ocean, the entire span was in rage condition.  This cut is not a normally recommended passage route even in passive conditions; this would be a very dangerous and extremely hazardous situation to attempt today.  Fortunately, our route will stay clear of here.


     In little more than an hour, we were at the dockside of Edwin’s Boat Yard in Man-O-War Cay.


          Scheduled for hauling this morning, AMARSE will have the bottom of her hull cleaned, scraped, sanded, and re-painted. 

     This historic yard has been providing excellent services for many decades.  They still adhere to the tried-and-true methods that have been proven successful for all those many years.  A rail and wooden cradle would be used to extract the vessel from the water.  The yard workers custom fit the wooden braces to fit AMARSE’s hull shape.



     The cable-driven cradle was lowered down the tracks…


     Even with the extra breeze adding difficulty, AMARSE was skillfully positioned.


     As the cable tightened, AMARSE began to rise up the rail tracks…


     Judy looks on as AMARSE rises “up, up, up”…


     Standing in the little wooden dinghy, Blake ensured the proper positioning of the braces while Angel tended the lines from the deck…




     A small diesel engine powers the cable mechanism and winch drums for the marine railway…


     The soft growth on the bottom was significant.  If you remember, it wasn’t that many weeks ago that Paul Graham (ODYSSEY) helped me to scrape the bottom in the water at Boat Harbour. 



     Especially around the thru-hull fittings, hard and crusty growth was built up.


     The running gear was quite encrusted too…


     This propeller shaft strut is loaded with hard, marine growth…


     On the wooden cradle, the side supports are positioned to keep the boat upright.  The actual weight of the boat rests on its keel and the stout center beams of the cradle.



     Jimmy started right away with the process of manually cleaning and scraping the hull bottom…


     The office, marine store, and bathroom facilities at Edwin’s Boat Yard are new and immaculately kept…



     Even with today’s stiff breezes, the waters of the northern bay at Man-O-War Cay harbor appear tranquil…



     In this boatyard, they do not use a pressure-washer.  Instead, everything is done by hand in the old-fashioned way.



     With the soft growth stripped from the bottom, the rest of the bottom surface looked to be in excellent shape.  Of course, the running gear would require a lot of extra work to clean up.


     During our walk around, this lovely example of a wooden Abaco sailing dinghy was a delight to the eyes…


     Let's talk about “Banker’s Hours”.  This establishment is only open 4 hours per week.  One thing is quite probable here, I don't think that there will be any Bahamian Government bailout for this bank.


     The flowers in full bloom were excitingly colorful…



     Out on the Atlantic side, the waves were breaking all along the reef line.


     Just think of the possibilities, a little Windex and a few gallons of Sherwin-Williams…


     Meanwhile, back at the boat, this side-mounted through-hull fitting evidences the tenacity of the harsh marine environment…


     A coat of Muriatic Acid was brushed onto the running gear to break the bonds of the hard growth…



     Jimmy hand-sanded and scuffed the existing paint using 3M pads.  It is a dirty, labor-intensive project that Jimmy does very well.



     Here at Edwin’s Boat Yard, they utilize two parallel marine railway unit.  Note the receding tide level.


     More evidence of the heavy growth and the tenacious marine life… 



     The acid wash and scraping required lots of man-hours of labor…


     We took a walk out toward the “Narrows” at the northern part of the cay.  Although subsiding, the surf was still powerful on the reef.


     Our access to AMARSE was via this tall ladder.  We will be staying aboard this week during the maintenance work.


     Although this old wooden boat has seen her better days at sea, it still serves as an interesting photo shoot on land…




     The wind was still brisk out of the southeast in the north anchorage at Man-O-War Cay.



     Although they don’t normally work on weekends, Jimmy was on site at 7am to continue work on the bottom job.


     The trim tab surfaces were a big challenge.  Jimmy resorted to the use of a power disc sander to tackle the nearly impenetrable growth.


     The rudder surfaces were disc sanded clean and smooth…


     …as were the props and struts…



     All the docks around are of the fixed variety.


     The diurnal tides have a range of about 4 to 5 feet.


     Judy worked on some of her creative basket weavings…


     In the Abacos, the fire departments are all volunteer organizations and are self-funded, receiving no support from government sources.  This old fire truck is still a beauty.  Many US fire departments send their older, used equipment to the islands to serve out the rest of their useful lives.


     Being outside all day, perhaps I had endured a little too much sun and wind.  I was totally exhausted and went to bed by 8pm without any dinner.  I suspect that I might have let myself get a little dehydrated too.  People need to be very careful in the tropical weather to avoid that problem.  The temperature was about 83 degrees and the wind SE at 25 knots (almost 30 miles per hour) and gusts higher.



     Another day of the same type of weather was in store for the Abacos.  On this island cay, almost everyone takes the day off for family and church events.  It is a very religious group of people with an honest and dedicated Christian ethic.


     Around midday, MARINETTE, an Island Packet 30 sailboat came into the marina.  Passing through the infamous Whale Passage, she had broken a shroud resulting in a toppled mast.  Snapping like a twig, the aluminum extrusion parted at the spreader junction.



     It must have been a very scary few seconds while that huge hunk of metal and sail came down upon them.  Fortunately, no one was injured.  I’ll bet it will take an extra long wash cycle to clean out their underwear.



     The wind and the waves don’t seem to bother this Kitty Cat basking in the warm sunrays.



     Our extended walk along the Atlantic beach area was beautiful.  The waves have subsided and there was little breaking on the reef.



     Judy walked among the huge clumps of sea grass and weeds that have mounded up on the beach having been driven in by the previous days of high waves.



     It was still cool enough for Fred to warrant a light jacket on the beach.



     The local cemetery utilizes solid concrete crypts to hold the deceased.  The graves should remain well founded in times of hurricane surge and wind.



     Everywhere you choose to look, there are beautiful flowers and foliage.




     About the only thing open this evening was the local coffee shop/ice cream parlor/internet café.  Of course, we were obliged to patronize the business.


03/30/09  MONDAY   MAN-O-WAR CAY

     The running gear and bottom were ready for painting.  Angel applied a coat of Sea Hawk brand, Hi-Build, two-part, Epoxy paint to all of the running gear surfaces.  Hopefully, this will provide a good, primer base surface for the anti-fouling paint to adhere to.



     Meanwhile, Jimmy wielded the brush to apply the first coat of Sea Hawk brand, Island 44 Plus paint to the hull.  They don’t use rollers here at Edwin’s.  Everything is hand brushed.



     By days end, Jimmy had put in a consistently hard and long day of work.  Of course, he earned a bit of an extra tip for his outstanding efforts and conscientious work ethic.



     All of last night, the electric power had been out of service.  Judging by the number of big, privately-owned generators seen throughout the island cay, it must be a fairly regular occurrence.

     Jimmy was back working steadily from 7am this morning.  As you can clearly see, the tide was up and Jimmy had to stand on a box to keep out of the water.


     By days end, the job was nearing completion.  Hopefully, the generous applications of this especially hi-grade, anti-fouling paint will stave off many years of marine growth attacks.



     Note the extra protection for the running gear provided by the keel design of AMARSE.  This is a great design feature that is non-existent on many other makes of twin-engine boats.



     Judy finished this wonderful hand-woven basket design today.  The lovely “bun basket” was created with raffia from the palm tree and the extra-long needles of the Abaco Pine tree.



     As the month of March slides behind us, we are anxious to get underway again tomorrow morning.  It was three years ago tomorrow that we embarked on our cruising adventures aboard AMARSE.  It has been a wonderful and exciting lifestyle of interesting and captivating sights.  More importantly, we have had so many wonderful opportunities to become friends with the greatest people on earth, our cruising friends and family.  Stay tuned for the continuing adventures of AMARSE and crew.






       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 2008 logs and learn more about the crew and our plans.  Enjoy.



   You may contact us via email anytime.

Thanks for allowing us to share our life and adventures with you.

Lotsa Luv,

Fred Reed and Judy Law




"AMARSEis pronounced "AM-ARE-SAY".

        Our website is:   www.amarse.net   .