Bahamian National Police Marching Band!!

The night before weighing anchor to Nassau, we went ashore for the Georgetown x-mass tree lighting ceremonies. The highlight of the evening was the Bahamas National Police Force Marching Band. Made me want to pick up the glocenspeil and start hammering away on the keys again!! They were terrific! Also great were some of the young Bahamian youth dancers. Made me remember the times when I chaperoned the Kanopy Youth ensemble to Wales with Kristi. Much of the local population of Great Exuma Island turned out for this auspicious occasion. Topped the evening off by trying some of the local chicken soup, otherwise known as Sousa. Delicious!!! Unfortunately, was a very wet dingy ride back across Elizabeth Harbor to Bel Ami. Oh well, thats whats its all about!

Georgetown to Staniel Cay

The time has finally come to depart Georgetown Bahamas to head to Nassau to meet friends and family for x-mass and New Years. The morning of our departure I checked the main engine coolant, which seemed to be overly filled and brackish colored. Hadn’t flushed the cooling system in forever, so it was time to flush and refill. That brought us back into town for a trip to get the coolant, where we had to hitchhike in the back of a picktruck to get to the store. Back to the boat, I finished the job, and then Casey and Stephanie sailed by on their way down island. We set sailed by mid afternoon, and overnighted at Black Cay. Had a fabulous dinner of steaks and potatoe pancakes, ymmmmmm. Then sailed the next day to Staniel Cay. Went to the SC marina last nite, and the dingy area was filled with friendly sharks and sting rays. Bad weather has been expected, so we are now holed up in the Thunderball Cove on a very secure mooring ball to wait out the weather. It is starting to blow pretty hard, but still very sunny skies. Very Happy to be here!! In the process this morning of baking some French bread. My rye bread attempt came out like a brick! Oh well…

Claudia from Romania!

On Monday, Dec 7 I was joined by crewmember Claudia who hails from Vancouver (by way of Ireland/Guam/Japan/Romania). Claudia is a consummate sailor with an incredible passion for living a life on the oceans of the world. She was enthralled by finding a couple conch shells on the beach, as the photo shows. Later in the week friend Bob Cronin had a “party from India” for a few friends (see previous blog). The food was fabulous as was the entertainment: 4 beautiful belly dancers. The ladies had practiced their routine for about a month prior to the party, and led by Louisa, they put on quite a show. Not to be outdone, the men then quickly organized their own belly dance of sorts, the results of which Michele went all out!! (or just about all undressed!!) A wonderful time was had by all. Crewmember Claudia has become a wonderful friend and companion and will remain onboard through the Christmas and New Years season, after which she will be making further passages on the oceans of her life. She came up with the great idea of throwing an open boat party for my birthday tomorrow (Monday, Dec 14—I turn 59!!), and we spent the better part of the day creating invites and distributing them by dingy to all the cruising boats in the harbor. I get to play accordion to my hearts content! Afterwards, we will be weighing anchor, and will sail from Georgetown bound to Nassau for their great x-mass Junkanoo celebration.

Bob's India Party

Has been a most interesting week. Friend Claudia (from Romania by way of Ireland, Japan, and Victoria BC) came aboard as crew, and will be sailing on Bel Ami for the next month or so. We were invited to a great party the other nite, and as you can see for yourself in the pictures below, a good time was had by all. Several of the guys decided for an impromptu response to the ladies belly dancing. As you can imagine, the guys won the show!!