UPDATE#14 03/16 thru 03/31
adventures of 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 through 03/15/09 have been published on
the website. We continue with the
2009 #14 03/16/09 thru 03/31/09
At last update, we were savoring
life aboard AMARSE in the Abacos, Bahamas.
MONDAY BOAT HARBOUR
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JIM ELLIOTT (CHRISTINE)
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
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
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.
ST. PATRICK’S DAY
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
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.
WEDNESDAY BOAT HARBOUR
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SUSAN HARWARD (SUSAN’S
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
THURSDAY BOAT HARBOUR
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RICK BRENNEMAN (LADY DI)
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
Wink demonstrates with Judy the correct hand and arm positioning for this
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
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.
FRIDAY BOAT HARBOUR
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.
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.
SATURDAY BOAT HARBOUR
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
Wink was the master chef and prepared an absolutely perfect caldron of
Lobster Bisque. His special recipe
Fried Rice dish was exceptional too.
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.
MONDAY BOAT HARBOUR
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.
TUESDAY BOAT HARBOUR
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
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.
WEDNESDAY BOAT HARBOUR
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
THURSDAY BOAT HARBOUR
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
FRIDAY BOAT HARBOUR to
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
Coming to say goodbye and help with our lines, a bunch of the Dock 4 gang
was lined-up to “shove us off”.
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
The cable-driven cradle was lowered down the tracks…
Even with the extra breeze adding difficulty, AMARSE was skillfully
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
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
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
Just think of the possibilities, a little Windex and a few gallons of
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…
SATURDAY MAN-O-WAR CAY
The wind was still brisk out of the southeast in the north anchorage at
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
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
SUNDAY MAN-O-WAR CAY
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
TUESDAY MAN-O-WAR CAY
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.
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 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
Our website is: www.amarse.net .
Fred H. Reed
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