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People, Boats, and Stories => SB/LD Cruisers => Topic started by: Pixie Dust on August 25, 2006, 08:34:11 AM

Title: Pixie Dust
Post by: Pixie Dust on August 25, 2006, 08:34:11 AM
I met the buyer of the house Wed.  Guess what she does for a living??  Travels the state speaking to Marina's teaching them how to be Clean Marina's.  She is with the Clean Marina Federal program!  We hit it off immediately.  She is a single lady about my age moving here from Pensacola.  I really liked her and it helped me tremendously with all the wild emotions I was feeling about turning my home of 19 yrs over to someone.   It is like finding a good home for a pet, or your loved boat.  You want it to go to be cared for and loved.  I feel so much better now.   :D.   I needed that.   Let's hope it all goes through now.  Looks like I am going to be homeless around the first of October.   :o  WOW!  A little scary, but exciting. 
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Captain Smollett on August 25, 2006, 09:51:23 AM
Hey Connie, that's pretty cool.  That sounds like a karma moment!  Be sure to tell her about SailFar - she might like the attitude around here (and it never hurts for this crowd to know someone who knows marinas!  ;D ).
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: AdriftAtSea on August 25, 2006, 09:57:35 AM
Connie-

You're not going to be "homeless".  It is just that what form your home takes is going to be changing drastically. 
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Pixie Dust on August 28, 2006, 09:50:04 PM
Connie-

You're not going to be "homeless".  It is just that what form your home takes is going to be changing drastically. 
At least I will not have to mow the grass and trim the shrubs, not to mention, a much smaller humble abode to clean. :)   Bummer that she has backed out.  I was really excited about her owning my home.  God has his plan for it all and it may not be exactly my timing, but it will work out like it should..... I just wish he would listen to me.  He must be a man.  :D :D ;D  (just teasin guys)
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: AdriftAtSea on August 29, 2006, 08:16:29 AM
You'll probably be pleasantly surprised when you see what happens next. :D
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Pixie Dust on November 17, 2006, 11:11:54 PM
OK- Was not sure if I should post here or "Where have you been"  I have really been out of touch for the last few weeks.   Lots going on in the world of Pixie Dust.  Her Capt... (moi) has been traveling a lot with work, but (drum roll)  I have a contract on my house, deadline for backing out and getting refund on deposit has passed, inspection is complete, appraisal completed and couple have been approved.  It is looking good.  Closing is scheduled for 12-29.  I am excited, but overwhelmed.  On top of work travel, I now have to squeeze in packing up a home I have lived in for 19 yrs.   :o  I have a lot of stuff.   :)

Here is a list of what all has been done recently to Pixie Dust.  This is why I have not had much internet time. When on, I am searching for good deals.  :) I am almost to the end of the TO DO list.  YE Ha!
I pulled my girl out of the water and I had an awesome assistant come and help me to do major work on her bottom and do some big projects that were over my head.  Thank you Capn K!!!!  Our Capn does good work and I can give him high recommendations!!
Old thru hulls removed and replaced with Bronze.  Installed  3   (1 lg 2 sm.)  Greased with Marine Grease thanks to input from Sailfar.
Cutless Bearing replaced - what a bear!!
Prop pulled, cleaned  (Pixie looked like she was wearing an nice piece of jewelry when this was done)
Shaft checked for alignment ok
Phlange repaired where stern tube comes out of the hull- HUGE JOB!  I had major water coming in around this.  One of 2 bolts had rusted out, the other was loose and a lot of the caulking was gone.  Thank goodness I did not head across the Gulf with this situation.  It could have been an ugly outcome.  Kurt glassed in part of the trough so a long bolt could replace the rusted out one.  All nicely done and recaulked.  Pixie has not had a drop of water enter and the bilge has not kicked on even once in a month.   ;D ;D ;D
Water pockets between helm and glass  aka Blisters sortof, opened, drained, dried
     Epoxy placed, sanded, glassed  Another huge job and big Karmas to Capn K!!!!
2 coats petit Trinidad red needed 1 gal 1 qt
Air vent replaced in hull for waste holding tank
Turning block mounted on cabin
Cleat mounted on Mast
Buffed and waxed hull
Cove and boot stripe repainted with Burgundy
Repacked stuffing box
   Boat is dry as a bone!!! WOOWOOOO
Covers replaced for cockpit drains 
Replaced Life Lines with Coated 3/16” cable from W FL Wire and Rope
Caulked holes under galley cabinet and starboard lazarette in hopes of stopping      water in those areas when heeling.   Dry bilge should help and pump lower       bilge should resolve this problem. Too be determined????
13 gaL Waste holding tank installed Replaced old 6 gal aluminum box  built for tank to fit in, allows for step and protection
All new hoses installed, new hose clamps from head to discharge and tank.
New bilge discharge hose installed  12’ for 1500 Rule Bilge pump
1500 Rule Bilge Pump Installed lower in bottom of bilge
Ran new electrical wiring to everything bilge related
Batteries 2 Golf Cart purchased and placed in built box in Port Lazarette.   They will be the house batteries.   They did not fit where the batteries used to be, so new wiring had to be done.       
Extra Anchor roller installed.  35# Claw and 22# Delta now on bow.   Small Bruce will be stern anchor and I have a 13# US anchor (danforth style)
Dinghy Purchased 9-06  Mercury 8’9” hypalon  Busters Marine
Outboard Purchase Tohatsu 3.5 HP  4 stroke   I have had so much fun breaking it in and getting outboard experience.  I am already an expert rower.   :D  The outboard has been fun.
 MP3 Player purchased  Getting all my CDs downloaded
Toshiba Laptop purchased  getting it set up
Teak oil on inside wood
Hatchboards and table cleaned and stain applied.

She is almost ready to take me to fun places.   I have really missed reading the updated entries on the site.   I hope everyone is well!!!
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Zen on November 18, 2006, 01:11:22 AM
Hey Connie, Good to hear from ya luv.

Glad you got things coimng together with the home front & PD.
Sweet!
 
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: AdriftAtSea on November 18, 2006, 06:10:23 AM
You certainly have good reasons to be MIA for a while.  :D  Congrats... and it sounds like the work on PD is coming along nicely.
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: CharlieJ on November 18, 2006, 08:41:19 AM
Connie- sounds like you've been way busy. Glad we at least had a chance to phone while you were running;)

I do wish I hadn't seen this on your list

"Replaced Life Lines with Coated 3/16” cable from W FL Wire and Rope "

Coated cable is highly unencouraged on offshore boats and the racoing assns won't allow coated life lines- they have to be bare. Not a problem for a few years I'm sure, but do keep a close eye on them. Corrosion can start under the coating, right where it comes out to the end fittings, or in ANY small cuts or nicks. Just watch them.
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: AdriftAtSea on November 18, 2006, 01:13:10 PM
Charlie-

Good point... covered stainless cable tends to suffer from crevice corrosion far faster than plain stainless cable does.  It also will leave ugly rust stains once that starts to happen.  Generally, as a rule, lifelines aren't to be trusted anyways. :D
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Fortis on November 19, 2006, 04:37:02 PM
We went over to Spectra for our lifelines. much softer landing if it comes to it, just as strong as stainless cable of the same diameter....And if you ever need to haul someone back on board and cannot let go of them to go forwards and loosen the pelican hooks, or get them  back on deck by going over or between the lifelines, then you can just cut them with your personal knife right where you need to.

But 99% of the time it is because they are more comfy to live with.


Alex.
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Pixie Dust on December 29, 2006, 08:55:23 AM
COOL NEWS!!  House closed successfully on Wed.   I went straight to Orlando and spoke with my boss.  I gave a 1 month notice... Last day of work will be Jan 27th.  I will be working and provisioning PD in the interim.  The first good weather window after Jan 27th,  I am heading South!!!!   6 months to 1 yr of me and Pixie.  How cool is this?????!!!
I am headed out on the water in a few to spend New Years with friends on their boats.   I hope to find some time to do some catching up on this fun website.  I miss being in the loop on what is going on in the Sailfar world. 
Have a wonderful New Year's everyone!!!!!!!
 ;D ;D ;D ;D       I am one happy, excited girl.   :D ;D :-* :-*
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: BobW on December 29, 2006, 10:02:06 AM
Congratulations on the house, the job, and especially your plans to go cruising! 

I'm new around here, but have enjoyed perusing your posts.

Congratulations again, and good luck to you!
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Zen on December 29, 2006, 03:18:54 PM
wahooo ! Finally!

Great way to start off a new year Connie. Congrats

More Grog for eveyone... Connie's treat !  ;D
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Captain Smollett on December 29, 2006, 04:31:03 PM
Way to GO, Connie.  Get on out there, Girl, be safe and have fun.

Grog to you.  Keep in touch when you can.

 :) :) :) :) :) :)
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Frank on December 29, 2006, 09:42:12 PM
Congrats !!  Glad the house deal closed OK.  Looks like Jan 28th is  'the 1st day in the rest of your life'... new life that is....ENJOY !!!!
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Cocoa Moe on February 15, 2007, 09:49:37 AM
 :)Where are you now? 8) I'm in Key West if your coming this way look me up  8)  COCOAMOES (at) aol. com  8) 305-295-6368   


Edit: to protect email from spambots
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: CapnK on March 06, 2007, 07:50:58 AM
Just got word that Pixie Dust has left the dock...

Bon Voyage!!!  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: AdriftAtSea on March 06, 2007, 08:59:08 AM
Yay!  Go Connie... Go Pixie Dust... :D
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Pixie Dust on March 11, 2007, 09:51:32 PM
Ahoy everyone!!!   I am currently in Cortez, Florida, anchored off Desoto Point  I left Panama City on Tues 3-6, did an offshore run to Port St. Joe, anchored behind the Cape for the night, then ran the ICW to Appalachicola.  I wanted to sail a little to see how the weight was distributed and then motor a little to see how she was running prior to starting across the Gulf.  Tues was an awesome day of sailing.  Sweet beam reach all the way up the beach, making 5-5.7 knts.  I was loving it!!!  Wed was a little stressful since I had the water coming into the trough from aroud the  top of the rudder post.  I pulled everything out of the lazarette.... OMG how did I get all this stuff in there?  LOL  Crawled back and determined I do not have a stuffing box or packing.  Several calls back and forth to a mechanic buddy in PC, determined it to be caused by a heavy boat and hydrostatic pressure.   Nice to know I was not going to sink.  :)) It would stop coming in once water level stabilized.   I just would hand pump the manual bilge every hour just to make sure all was ok and the bilge pump was not having to work too hard.  It also only comes in while running the engine.  I have a good bit of ground tackle on board since I will be gone during hurricane season and I am not willing to part with that.  I was extra loaded with fuel since I was making the crossing and my tank is so small.  All is good!  I am sure it will get lighter as I go.
Jenny and I left Appalachicola at 6:50 am on Thurs morning in tandem with another boat called Naked Lady.  They are a couple from Panama City too.  We arrived safe and sound Friday night at 6:50 PM.
The crossing was wonderful.  We unfortunately had to motor the whole way because winds were only 1-3 knots.   During the night they picked up to about 7-9 and I was able to sail for about 1 hr, then again on Friday morning for about an hour, rest of time was listening to the iron genny.   Porpoises entertained every few hours which is always a thrill.  We also had a large sea turtle surface by the boat.  Sunrises and sunsets have been wonderful.  Thursday night I was the lucky girl to be on watch for the moonrise and what a fabulous site to see.  The stars were incredible over the Gulf.   I had so much adreniline flowing from the excitement of the trip, that I felt almost giddy and did not even feel like I needed to sleep.  :)  Coast Guard circled us in a helicopter at one point on Friday afternoon.  I think my mom may have had something to do with that.  ( just kidding) 
Tampa Bay channel was deserted coming in.  No traffic at all which is unusual since it is a major shipping channel.  Several freighters and a cruise ship were anchored off the channel, but not moving.  Lucky for us!!!  You all know how I love to eat.... I made a loaf of yeast bread in the pressure cooker and it turned out great, even browned on top!!!!   I made it on the crossing, then while it was cooling, I cooked a pot roast with all the fixings.  I assure you, Jenny and I pigged out.  I will not go hungry on this boat.  LOL
Some small engine issues, nothing major.  Parts are ordered.  I also fixed the depth sounder that went out while underway.  I am becoming a bit of a trouble shooter and repair girl.  :) I have a good bit of ground tackle on board since I will be gone during hurricane season and I am not willing to part with that.  I was extra loaded with fuel since I was making the crossing and my tank is so small.  All is good!  I am sure it will get lighter as I go.
The couple we traveled with know folks here in Cortez and they had dinner waiting for us at the Seafood Shack Marina when we arrived.  They live on their boats.  They also fed us Cracked Conch!!  How cool is that.  I am not even in the  Bahamas and I have already had a meal of cracked conch.  Gotta love that.
Jenny headed back to Tallahassee on Sun morning.  I am sure gonna miss my buddy.  :)  I really appreciate her crowding onto this little boat with me to help out with the crossing.   We had a great time!  Girls Rock as my niece says.  I actually sent a bunch of clothes and some items home with her that  I have already realized I can do without.  I hope my storage unit can hold some more stuff. 
I sailed on Tampa Bay today!!  A blast.  Gorgeous day for sailing.  Rocking along when I realize I am being hailed on the radio.  One of the folks who cooked for us was participating in a race (actually he calls it sailing with others)  He had spotted me on the water and he was currently in last place...probably the reason he calls it sailing with others.  LOL. I fell in beside of him.  He has a 30' Pacific Seacraft.  We sort of had our own fun little race going on.  I snapped some picts of his boat under sail with all his crew waving.  I then tacked and headed javascript:replaceText(' ;)', document.postmodify.message);
Winkback to sail up Manatee River to an anchorage while I was still in the lead.  LOL  What are the odds of running into someone you know on Tampa Bay!!!!!   :D
So many areas to explore here. I plan on taking the dinghy in tomorrow to explore the Fort area.  I also plan on sailing under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and probably heading up to Vinoy Basin in St. Petersburg for a night or two.  I will be hanging out here through next weekend so I can get my boat parts and make the little repairs.  I will then head to Venice Florida. 
So far the weather has been great and sounds like it is going to continue for a few days.  I am having a great time!!  Even with the initial stresses of working some kinks out, the trip has been funfabulous.
Get your little boats ready guys and join me!!!  It  is fun out here on the water.  ;) ;D 8)
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: AdriftAtSea on March 11, 2007, 10:01:48 PM
Sounds good Connie... I hope you are going to be posting some pix soon... :D
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Pixie Dust on March 25, 2007, 08:10:19 AM
I am loving this!!  I thought it would take me about 3 months to decompress from the world of work and fast pace, but I think I am an accelerated student.   This was the best decision I have ever, ever made in my life. After recovering my dropped claw anchor (dumb story, but it is back on the boat)  tee hee,  I had a wonderful sail along the beach from Cortez to Venice.  East winds, set the sails and read.  AHHH yes, 6 hrs, no engine and beautiful scenery.  I grounded coming into a little anchorage area, no biggy, just used the powerboaters who do not believe in no wake zones to help bounce me off.   Kurt has taught me how to chart via the keel braille method.  LOL Finally came into this little free dock at Higel Park.  I walked about 5 miles to downtown Venice yesterday, had lunch, ice cream and happened upon a fee outdoor symphony in the park.  On the way back, went down to the beach, then laid in my hammock at the boat and read.
One older gentleman that had stopped by my boat the evening before to chat, came back by to tell me that I had inspired him to get on his sailboat and go.  He has been  retired for several yrs but did not want to go alone.  I gave him a good pep talk and apparently it made sense to him as he went home to think about it.  He came back by to take a picture of the boat and its Capt that inspired him to go.  He promised to see me in the Exumas in about 3 months.  LOL
Some exchange students visiting here from Venezuela and Argentina came in with the gentleman they are staying with.  They had burgers, corn and baked beans, but no grills at the park to cook them on, so I played short order cook last night and fixed them their dinner.  Smiles were on every face.  :)  Had to show a little good ole USA friendliness. 
Leaving this am and heading to Boca Grande, Caya Costa park for a couple of days. 
Oh yeah- remember Lairds from Sailfar?   He came into Cortez while I was there and I got to meet him and his buddy Dale.  Heck of a nice guy! He is headed back to Panama City.
Life is good folks.  Time to drop the lines and move on.  :)
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: AdriftAtSea on March 25, 2007, 09:07:58 AM
Glad to hear it's going well.  Where to next? 
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: skylark on March 25, 2007, 10:20:18 AM
I am loving this!!  I thought it would take me about 3 months to decompress from the world of work and fast pace, but I think I am an accelerated student.   This was the best decision I have ever, ever made in my life. After recovering my dropped claw anchor (dumb story, but it is back on the boat)  tee hee,  I had a wonderful sail along the beach from Cortez to Venice.  East winds, set the sails and read.  AHHH yes, 6 hrs, no engine and beautiful scenery.  I grounded coming into a little anchorage area, no biggy, just used the powerboaters who do not believe in no wake zones to help bounce me off.   Kurt has taught me how to chart via the keel braille method.  LOL Finally came into this little free dock at Higel Park.  I walked about 5 miles to downtown Venice yesterday, had lunch, ice cream and happened upon a fee outdoor symphony in the park.  On the way back, went down to the beach, then laid in my hammock at the boat and read.
One older gentleman that had stopped by my boat the evening before to chat, came back by to tell me that I had inspired him to get on his sailboat and go.  He has been  retired for several yrs but did not want to go alone.  I gave him a good pep talk and apparently it made sense to him as he went home to think about it.  He came back by to take a picture of the boat and its Capt that inspired him to go.  He promised to see me in the Exumas in about 3 months.  LOL
Some exchange students visiting here from Venezuela and Argentina came in with the gentleman they are staying with.  They had burgers, corn and baked beans, but no grills at the park to cook them on, so I played short order cook last night and fixed them their dinner.  Smiles were on every face.  :)  Had to show a little good ole USA friendliness. 
Leaving this am and heading to Boca Grande, Caya Costa park for a couple of days. 
Oh yeah- remember Lairds from Sailfar?   He came into Cortez while I was there and I got to meet him and his buddy Dale.  Heck of a nice guy! He is headed back to Panama City.
Life is good folks.  Time to drop the lines and move on.  :)

This is the most awesome post ever posted on teh intarweb. 

Have a good one Pixie Dust!

grog to yah.
Title: Leaving...
Post by: CapnK on April 13, 2007, 11:31:35 PM
Connie is sweating it.

Her first big crossing. She is @ Long Key (IIRC), approx 95 miles from Bimini. She's been cruising along with a couple on a 38'er. They are leaving @ 2AM for Bimini (where they have cleared before), and Connie (kind of) wants to cross with them, & they have encouraged her to do so. They are planning on beating the coming front, arriving, with the help of a good Gulf Stream boost, sometime tomorrow evening. Winds ahead of the front will be SE and light tomorrow, eventually clocking around more from the South, then to the SW and building to perhaps 20-25, just ahead of the frontal weather.

Yet - 95 miles in a 27' boat - ahead of a serious low pressure system/cold front. I'm thinking that she could expect 4-4.5 kts, but there is the boost from the Stream she'll be getting, at least up around the corner - that could add 2-3 kts/hr. So what would seem to be a 24 hour crossing might be considerably shorter. The addditional 6 or so hours she would get crossing only 65 miles be leaving from further up the coast just might be somewhat negated.

The forecast for the area of Miami up and over to West End keeps things pretty calm, much calmer than up north here. Fer example, the West End forecast:

Quote
Saturday
Scattered Clouds. High: 80° F. / 27° C. Wind ESE 11 mph. / 18 km/h.
   Saturday Night
Chance of Rain. Scattered Clouds. Low: 77° F. / 25° C. Wind SSE 11 mph. / 18 km/h. Chance of precipitation 20%.
   Sunday
Scattered Clouds. High: 79° F. / 26° C. Wind South 15 mph. / 25 km/h.
   Sunday Night
Chance of Rain. Partly Cloudy. Low: 68° F. / 20° C. Wind West 13 mph. / 21 km/h. Chance of precipitation 30%.
   Monday
Clear. High: 71° F. / 22° C. Wind NNW 11 mph. / 18 km/h.

and for Ft Lauderdale:

Quote
Rest of Tonight
Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 70s inland to the mid 70s near the coast. East winds 5 to 10 mph.
[partlysunny]    
Saturday
Partly sunny. Slight chance of showers. Highs in the upper 80s inland to the mid 80s near the coast. Southeast winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 10 percent.
» ZIP Code Detail
[nt_partlycloudy]    
Saturday Night
Partly cloudy. Slight chance of showers after midnight. Lows in the lower 70s inland to the mid 70s near the coast. South winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 20 percent.
[rain]    
Sunday
Breezy. Mostly cloudy. Showers likely and chance of thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 80s. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 60 percent.
» ZIP Code Detail
[nt_partlycloudy]    
Sunday Night
Breezy. Partly cloudy. Much cooler. Lows in the mid 50s inland to around 60 near the coast. West winds 15 to 20 mph becoming northwest 10 to 15 mph after midnight.

She's gonna call me on the cell at 2AM, I'll give her the latest weather, and some input.

Have anything you'd care to contribute, above and beyond good wishes perhaps?

Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Captain Smollett on April 13, 2007, 11:49:55 PM
The NOAA Marine Forecast (http://weather.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/fmtbltn.pl?file=forecasts/marine/coastal/am/amz671.txt) does not look QUITE as 'calm' for Saturday and Saturday night as the one you posted, but not too bad either.  At least there is some sea state info there.

The input I can offer you (and she) have already thought of; added only for emphasis.

If she has ANY doubt about making this crossing with this particular weather window - don't do it.  Certainly don't do it because of wanting to sail in company of another boat. 

Trust her instincts and all that.  She "knows" if it feels right from where she is.  Remember Frank's crossing a couple of months ago: his instincts were right on the money, and the forecasts (overly general for too large an area) did not predict what he experienced.

Not trying to be negative - just the opposite.  I just got a little "worried" when I read the motivation seemed to be sailing with the other couple.
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: AdriftAtSea on April 14, 2007, 06:08:27 AM
I have to agree with Capn Smollett.

She should definitely trust her instincts and not go if she has any doubts whatsover.  Sailing to a schedule, or to keep company with a larger boat is not a good idea.

And she should remember the old adage about "reefing when you first think of it."
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: skylark on April 14, 2007, 08:06:01 AM
Good sailing weather.  No north winds to buck the stream.  If it smells right, GO!

Did she make the jump?
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: CapnK on April 14, 2007, 06:38:47 PM
She wound up not going.

The other boat captain and crew decided not to try and race the cold front, so that made it easier for her. I was mostly asleep when she called :) but I remember her saying that they would move up closer to Lauderdale, find a good spot to anchor till the front pushes thru, and then go across afterwards.

I'll pass along the messages and etc when/if I hear from her again - I believe she has cancelled cell service in anticipation of being where there ain't none... ;D
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: AdriftAtSea on April 14, 2007, 09:33:16 PM
good enough... trying to beat a weather system gets pretty dicey... why do it if you don't have to.   Good for Connie... ;)
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Frank on April 15, 2007, 07:15:55 AM
This scenario brings up another whole topic...possibly worthy of a seperate thread. While sipping 'sundowners' last winter on a morgan 38, the 5 of us got to discussing cruising in tandem.This topic came up on other occasions as well. There IS fun to be had and an element of saftey while cruising in a group, but I am of the thought "my intention is to head to ?? or that erea, when you get there,watch for me and try a call on cruisers net" This way you are free to leave as you please,sail as you please ,anchor where you please etc. All too often I see people anchoring when they wanted to keep sailing,sailing when they want to anchor and then it continues ashore......going to see a 'potter' when ya just want to sit and have a beer etc. As I've posted before..the people you meet are THEE best thing about cruising ....but I am very protective of my time and decisions made.If things work out for others thats GREAT....BUT it will remain MY TIME and DECISIONS on my vessel. Some may think that is selfish but I think others who have been  'out there' will agree.      Bottom line ..Connie...make your OWN calls, go by your own 'gut' ...and if it happens another boat is going the same dirrection...GREAT.  PS..a 95knm sail northward in the Gulfstream IS attainable in daylight hours.On a windy reach 2 yrs ago with Revival,the gps showed steady 10's 'sog' and a max of 11.4.  Had a fast sail from Bimini to Lake Worth Inlet. Gotta love the 4-4.5 knot push ;-)
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: CharlieJ on April 15, 2007, 08:34:20 AM
Can't agree more. One time  I got into a tandem cruising setup- never again. We felt like we were obligated to go where THEY wanted to go. Mostly we wanted the same place, but the times weren't the same. After a month, we separated. The other times we cruised with other boats, it was on a very loose- "see ya there when we get there, or if not, then the next anchorage."

Run on your OWN schedules- you'll have a much better cruise.
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Pixie Dust on April 15, 2007, 05:51:46 PM
Hi Everyone!! 
I am back in Boot Key Harbor, Marathon on a Mooring ball waiting out this nasty front.  We just got the SW winds portion of it and are expecting the winds to clock to the N NW over the next bit with gale force warnings.  Winds were around 30-43 and a lot of mooring ball dancing was going on.   The worst of it went south of us greatfully.  Not sure what to expect with this next deal coming in.  Beats the heck out of the other night when I was anchored here in Boot Key and an unexpected heavy blow came through around 2:30 in the morning.  It was all about bumper boats at that time.  By 10 the next morning, I had attached myself to a mooring ball.    LOL  Long night that night.
Several things about the crossing etc.   The couple I am with are from Panama City too and they are wonderful!!  We did a tandem crossing on the Gulf of Mexico, then parted ways in Tampa.  I just caught back up with them here.   All the pressure regarding the crossing was me putting it on myself unneccesarily.  We thought we could beat the front and probably could have...probably being the operative word.  We took off Thurs afternoon and went to Long Key at Channel 5.  Got in there at 6pm, dropped the hook, was going to nap and take off at 2:00 am for the 95 mile bouy to bouy run to Bimini.   I was not having good vibes at all.... extremely anxious.   This latest front was coming in and was supposed to get here on Sun afternoon, heavy storms possible in front with nasty winds in the forcast including winds clocking North.   The local winds were already blowing higher than forcasted which would have also made for a bumpy crossing.  I kept thinking that if my engine went out or any other issues developed that would slow me down, then I am dealing with an approaching nasty front with no room to play.  Lots of soul searching went on with me and needless to say, I was not able to nap.  I just decided I was not mentally ready to make this crossing for several reasons.  1.  Weather was not optimal and weather is crucial with regards to the Gulf Stream.  2.  I am a 27' boat with a small diesel, not like you can outrun anything.  3. 95 miles is a long long trip single handing, esp if conditions deteriorate, things break or any other variable.   I had also been unable to sleep and my gut was yelling at me to Not Go Now.  4.  I am not on any schedule, so why try to beat a weather window?   Too many things that just did not feel right.   My friends are great and were not the type to put pressure on anyone.  "I" wanted to cross with them because they have tons of experience and have done this trip many times. 
Around 1230 I lay in my bunk listening to the 17 knot blow and decided, the only reason I am crossing now is because I want to cross with them.  My gut tells me this is not the time for me.  I decided to not go now and to wait for a better weather window and a time when "I" feel excited about it.  That is when I  finally fell asleep.  At 1:45.  I called them and relayed my decision and they said they had been talking and decided not to push it either.   Sweet!!  I slept great the rest of the night.   The next morning, they were coming back to Boot Key.  I know this area is a great place to ride out fronts and I have made numerous friends here, so what better place to spend a week?  I had a great sail back... but as I was sailing back, my brand new metal radar reflector,  chaffed through the line and fell to the deck. COOL, I was able to snatch it and put it below before it went overboard, then, I had just dropped the main to prepare to come in Sisters Creek when the adjustment line for the topping line snapped and the boom dropped.  COOL the boom was held by my lazy jacks and did not fall on top of my new bimini, but was banging into the side of it.   Grabbed the halyard and pulled it up, got it secured and then headed in the channel...very shallow channel on low tide.  Right as I came in to the markers, my depth sounder went blank.  (*&^  It remained blank until I was turning into Boot Key.  I was able to snag the very, very last mooring ball.  So like railroad tracks, there is good and bad in everything.    These little things, could have been a whole lot worse. 
I realized that I have always had good gut instincts and this was not a time to second guess them.  I so appreciate your input and Capt K.. Thank you for the weather updates and being a good sounding board. 
My cell phone will remain on, however I had stopped my phone as a modem for internet access that afternoon and was unable to look at radar.  I have since reinstated my internet access until I make the crossing. 
I am still having a great time!!  All is good.  I felt very good about the decision not to go.  Bottom line, I am on the water, cruising and loving life.   I am in a safe harbor with good friends, lots of rum and plenty to eat.  What more could a Pixie want? 
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Pixie Dust on April 15, 2007, 06:50:02 PM
Funny little thing.  I called on the handheld VHF to snag the mooring ball and he told me he was having difficulty hearing me on the radio.  He asked for my boat name.   When I went into pay, he asked me the name of my boat x2 and had a puzzled look on his face.  I looked up on their board and they had written "Pigs Feet Dust" as the name of my boat.    ;D :D :)
My new mooring ball friends have gotten quite a kick out of that and now at times will hail me as Pigs Feet Dust on the radio.   I think I will have a T shirt made... Front will be sunshine and a smooth anchorage with Pixie Dust,   back will be nasty weather with a dragging boat, mud on the deck from hauling the anchor and resetting it and it will be titled Pigs Feet Dust. 
The really funny thing is, I had clay all over the bow of my boat from the bumper boat night when I went into the office.   Pixie truly looked like a Pig Pen that morning.   :D
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: AdriftAtSea on April 15, 2007, 07:15:46 PM
Funny little thing.  I called on the handheld VHF to snag the mooring ball and he told me he was having difficulty hearing me on the radio.  He asked for my boat name.   When I went into pay, he asked me the name of my boat x2 and had a puzzled look on his face.  I looked up on their board and they had written "Pigs Feet Dust" as the name of my boat.    ;D :D :)
My new mooring ball friends have gotten quite a kick out of that and now at times will hail me as Pigs Feet Dust on the radio.   I think I will have a T shirt made... Front will be sunshine and a smooth anchorage with Pixie Dust,   back will be nasty weather with a dragging boat, mud on the deck from hauling the anchor and resetting it and it will be titled Pigs Feet Dust. 
The really funny thing is, I had clay all over the bow of my boat from the bumper boat night when I went into the office.   Pixie truly looked like a Pig Pen that morning.   :D


That's priceless.... :D
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Frank on April 15, 2007, 08:37:32 PM
 Glad you are safe,snug and having fun. Keep following your 'gut'...it will seldom let you down. And keep having fun !!   Very happy for ya  ....dirty boat and all ;-)
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Frank on April 21, 2007, 08:09:50 PM
How goes the adventure Connie??  "are ya there yet?" ....I see blue/green water in your future ;-)     
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Pixie Dust on April 22, 2007, 10:44:00 AM
Ahoy everyone.  Pixie is STILL in Boot Key Harbor Marathon waiting on the North winds to clock somewhere else.  They are blowing 15-20 with higher gusts.  Lots of boats waiting to head to the Bahamas, so I figure the flotilla will be quit large.  Maybe Wed or Thurs. we can get out of here. 

I took the bus into Key West on Friday.  $3.00 one way, 1 hr ride and gorgeous scenery. Had a great day hanging out down there.   Awesome Worst Marine down there.  Lots of goods.  I bought a Weather Fax kit to hook into the SSB receiver and be able to obtain on the forecast for 24-48 hrs on the Laptop.  Normal price is 235, now 125.  I could not pass it up and feel like it will be a valuable gadget in keeping abreast of the weather, esp. since I will be there during the Hurricane Season. 
I have ran new topping lift line since mine broke coming in the other day, placed pulleys on my eyepads on the spreaders to I can haul the radar reflector up easily and not chaff the lines.  Solar panels are doing great keeping the Engel running and the batteries charged.  Have still not had to run the  diesal to charge batteries.  I took the Dinghy to Sisters Creek, right at Sombrero Beach.  Beautiful location.  I worked 3 hrs scrapping barnacles and grass off the bottom of my new dinghy.  I think I can honestly say, it is broken in and does not look new anymore.   4 Stroke Tohatsu is running great, however 3.5 has a tough time getting the dink onto a plane.   If I knew how easy the hoist and motor sling made getting it on and off, I would have purchased a 5 hp.     Boot Key is notorious for the fast bottom growth in here, so I think I will start pulling the dink out of the water at night.
Found time to hang out in the hammock yesterday, read and watch the manatees play.  One swam right beside of my boat.   Humidity down here is low, cool nights and great breeze during the day.  Awesome location to be waiting on the next weather window. 
Pixie is still all smiles and loving the decision to do this.   YES SIR REE!!!! 
Grog for the Sailfar folks!!!!

Zen-  I loved the picts!!!!!  Craig, I loved the fish on the keel.   Way too KEWL 
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Pixie Dust on April 26, 2007, 08:43:52 PM
WOOWOOO WOO , I am cutting loose from the mooring ball early in the morning, heading up to Rodriguez Key which will be about a 9 hr day, then anchoring for the night for an early start the next morning to the Bahamas. Should be in Bimini by Sat. evening.   There will be 3 boats of us.  I am sailing with Naked Lady and Ecstasea.  We are all excited and ready for an early start.  Should be great weather for the crossing.
Will let you know how it goes when I have internet connection again. 
Fair Winds to all my sailfar buds. 
I am also setting up a blog on Google and will post the site later when I get to the other side. 
I am so excited.   :) :D ;D :o ;D :D :)
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: AdriftAtSea on April 26, 2007, 09:11:15 PM
I hope you have a safe and fast passage... and fair winds..

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.  :D
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Frank on April 26, 2007, 10:04:33 PM
I've been watching the weather thinking of you...figured the next post would be from the Bahamas...have FUN..fair winds.  PS..don't under estimate the current ;-)
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: maxiSwede on April 27, 2007, 06:16:28 AM
You are one lucky woman, Connie!  All the best!  ;D

...you don´t happen to have any spare room on board do you?   ;)
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Zen on April 27, 2007, 11:56:26 AM
Kool and Very Kool

Fair winds!
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Pixie Dust on April 27, 2007, 08:52:27 PM
Just a quick note to let you know we all made it to Rodriguez Key.  Awesome day with a great broad beam reach the whole way.  This morning was a little more wind and seas than expected, winds were around 17 knots, seas 4-5, but not bad, just a little bumpy, but it laid down nicely by late morning.  NOAA as in not always accurate assesment, got it by 50% today.  :)
Pixie was loving it and so was her captain.   We all three had anchors down by 4:15 this afternoon so we made great time.  Happy hour on Extasea and then I had chicken cordon blue and baked sweet potatoes for dinner on Pixie.  Life is not bad on the water!
We are in a beautiful spot.  I snorkled as soon as I had the anchor down.  Beautiful sandy/grassy bottom.  Took some time to clean the boat bottom a little too.  Diesel tanks are topped off and we are all ready for a 6 am start tomorrow.  Weather should be perfect for us.   Do I sound excited??   I am!!
I will no longer be able to get onto internet using my cell as a modem after tonight, so updates will be via internet cafes and wifi.   As soon as I can send out an email to let you all kinow I am ok, I will.   Don't worry, boat is running great, I am traveling with awesome folks and I have an EPRIB and a big mouth for yelling if all else fails.  :)  Not to mention, it just feels right in my gut.   Big plus.  :)

Thank you all for your wonderful words of encouragement, prayers and good wishes.  I am so blessed in so many ways.  By tomorrow afternoon, Pixie Dust will be in another country, yet we will all be watching the same sunset. 
God is good!
Fair winds to all.
John- good luck on your boat move!!
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: skylark on April 27, 2007, 09:30:53 PM
have a great passage!
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: s/v Faith on April 28, 2007, 09:51:02 PM
....G O D  is good!
Fair winds to all.
John- good luck on your boat move!!

  O'Dark thirty this morning, onboard the Smollet 30 Kurt called Connie, and John and I joined in on an conference call with the very excited Capt of the good ship Pixie Dust.

  She was 15 minutes or so from getting underway on her first crossing, and Kurt and I were 15 minutes into sharing John's maden voyage aboard his new boat.

  Fine day indeed.   ;D

Praying you had a good day Connie!
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Frank on April 28, 2007, 10:57:10 PM
thats the most 'majical' post I've read....had to be a very special moment for ALL involved. Hope the 'sailfar' crew had a great day..where ever they were sailing
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Captain Smollett on May 03, 2007, 12:02:43 PM
Has anyone heard from Connie since Saturday morning?
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: AdriftAtSea on May 03, 2007, 12:35:53 PM
She's probably too busy snorkeling and enjoying the warm waters and weather down there to be on the computer... besides.... getting that far out must make high-speed internet a bit more scarce.
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Frank on May 03, 2007, 02:01:14 PM
Word has it she was last seen drinking 'Bahama mama's' and skinnydipping in aqau green water ;-)
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: skylark on May 03, 2007, 02:04:40 PM
This thread is useless without pics!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: AdriftAtSea on May 03, 2007, 03:45:04 PM
Hmmm... Frank posts that Connie is skinnydipping and then Skylark wants photos... ;)
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Norm on May 03, 2007, 06:56:52 PM
One wonders if the reverse would be true, too!

Seriously, it is great that Connie is not in contact with us home-bound sailors.  It means she's having the time of her life.  Is that not the point?
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: AdriftAtSea on May 03, 2007, 07:14:22 PM
LOL... I am glad that Connie's voyage has been going so well thus far.  It is most certainly the point, and hopefully the rest of us will not be far off in following.
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: CapnK on May 11, 2007, 01:32:19 AM
Spoke with Connie last weekend ($0.50/min!), and she was in the 'hamas and having a blast. Received an email from a mutual friend, a forward from the folks that Connie is traveling with, re-printed here (Sorry, no pics... ;) )

Quote
Mon,5/7/07,6PM
Our gang of 3 sailboats returned to Great Sale Cay yesterday to have protected
anchorage for the somewhat nasty weather we were expecting. We had up to 30
knot winds with a little higher gusts after midnight last night & continuous
blowing at 20-25 knots all day today but the anchorage has not been too bad (2'
waves once in a while) & a nice sunny day with no rain at all. All of us have
made it a "stay on the boat day" (Gigi has passed the boredom state I think). A
good day to do things that have
to be done because you know better days are ahead for fun things & you won't
have time to do those "have to be done things". Life is great in the cruising
world.  . Jimmie
caught a couple of fish on Sat & we enjoyed fish chowder on Sun night (what a
treat). As you can tell our diets, have gone by the wayside. Maybe we will be
able to make another move on Wed when the winds let up a little. We're having a
great time as we know you all are also (just different). Talk soon.
Audrey & Rick
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: AdriftAtSea on May 11, 2007, 06:28:54 AM
Thanks for the update CapnK.
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Pixie Dust on May 15, 2007, 10:30:00 AM
HI Everyone!!  Pixie is alive and having an awesome time/experience.   Frank!!  How did you know??  :)
No picts guys, must be present to see.   I do have some great picts, but Yahoo is not allowing me to download and send.    Hopefully the postings below will catch you guys up a little on life aboard Pixie.  Man, what a time of my life.  :)  Miss reading the Sailfar postings!!  John, Kurt said you guys had a great time moving your girl home.  So glad to hear it.  Take care all and come and see me!!!

5-8-07 Tues night
Sorry for so long in between postings, but I have not had internet since the states and my phone cannot be a modem in the Bahamas.  Life has been great and so much has happened.  I will try to summarize and hit some of the highlights.
I am currently in the Bahamas!!!! WOOWOOWOO 
3 boats left Boot Key Harbor Marathon on 4-28-07.  Extasea, Naked Lady and Pixie Dust.  We sound like a Rave Party with these boat names.    It was difficult to say goodbye to many new friends we had made at ot Key, but it was time to go.  I had been there 3 weeks and Naked Lady for a month waiting on a good weather window to cross the Gulf Stream.  While there, we had watched manatees daily, gone to the beach, walked numerous miles to West Marine, Home Depot and Publix, dingied to Dockside and Burdines and had lunch at Keys Fisheries.  We took one day and road the bus to Key West. $2 bucks each way, 1 hr ride and gorgeous scenery.  Fun day in Key West, then back to our boats for a quiet night of rest.  I needed to leave Marathon or I was going to run out of money before my time.  The day we left, conditions were a little uncomfortable for ½ a day from Boot Key to Rodriquez Key which is close to Key Largo.  Midday, the seas laid down and became much more comfortable for us.  9hrs later we anchored off the Key and watched a beautiful sunset.  Water was gorgeous here and the seas became still as the moon came up.  Millions of stars were out and I was so excited about my crossing that I had trouble sleeping.  This time I felt very good and excited about the crossing.  It felt right.  We had anchors pulled by 6:00 am the next morning and as we were leaving the anchorage, we were greeted by a beautiful sunrise.  Coffee in hand, snapping picts over my shoulder, and watching the depth sounder, we all set out for the next leg of our adventure.
+++Insert pict of sunrise here+++
All the sudden, 1 hour out, the depth sounder went from 80 feet to blank.  We were now in the Gulf Stream.  You could also tell because the paddle on the knot meter registered 5.2 but the GPS registered 7.5 and eventually 8.2.  WOW, Pixie had never gone so fast.  The stream has a very strong current going from S to N and will really give your vessel a lift.  Nice way to save on fuel.  The Gulf was flat calm, small amount of wind and the water was the most beautiful sapphire color I have ever seen.  It looked as though lights were shimmering under the water.  I put up my jib and was able to catch a little wind to assist.   9hrs later, I could see the makings of land in the distance.  Bimini was appearing.  Funny thing, I never got bored or felt intimidated.  It was exhilarating.  Nothing in site but water and the 2 other boats.  I did not actually show depth again until right before we were entering the new channel into Bimini and then it was 70’.  That quickly shallowed up to 12’ as we entered the channel into N. Bimini.  We got slips at Bimini Bluewater Marina.  This is the first marina I have stayed in since Bradenton March 9.  Customs prefers this. 
Very intimidating going in with the current and unknown territory, but my anxiety level dropped to ½ when I saw the security guard “Big C” standing there waiting to grab my lines.  Another nice sailboater also assisted and all 3 of us were tied up by 5:30.  Our trip was close to 10 hrs.  We immediately got our things together, paper worked filled out at the marina and went to customs and immigration.  I was so excited just raising my quarantine flag prior to coming into the marina, but I was extremely excited to raise my Bahamian courtesy flag on my starboard spreader after clearing customs.  I could not believe that me and my little boat had actually came from Panama City to the Bahamas.  Clearing customs was a breeze and for all of you questioning the pistol issue, no problems Mon.  It is considered part of your boats equipment. 
We all got together on Extasea and celebrated my first single handed crossing with Pixie Dust!!!   I cannot begin to tell you how I felt.  What a cool high!!!! 
The water here is amazing.  Crystal clear, you can see bottom everywhere you go.  I could see sea urchins and fish under my boat in the marina.   As we came in, some guys were cleaning fish and conch and a huge nurse shark was in behind the boats snatching the left overs.  A huge ray would glide through periodically as well.  The next day, Bubba Shark must have gathered up his buddies, because there were 3 in the basin, just nonchalantly gliding through.   They really are beautiful creatures to watch swimming, although, they do tend to give me goose bumps when I see them.   
We enjoyed 4 days in Bimini, sight seeing, eating lots and lots of cracked conch and conch salad.  I also experienced End of the World Bar, owned by Sara.  The place had to be torn down due to termites, but when they rebuilt it, they wanted it to be like the old one, so they put concrete floors down, then poured sand over.  It is basically a wooden shack with sand floors, small inside, music playing, bras and underwear hanging everywhere and names on the boards of visitors.  My name, boat name and date are now on the wall along with thousands of others.  That is where I tasted my first conch salad and it is delicious.  It is raw conch chopped, marinated in lime and lemon juice, hot sauce and then onions, tomatoes, celery all mixed together.  YUM. 
The next day, we located some conch to buy from a local.  $1 a piece, cleaned.  What a good deal.  24 is enough for almost 3 meals for all 3 boats.  We had a feast on Tues night, Rick and Audrey made cracked conch, Gigi made Conch Salad and I made Black Beans and Rice.  It was a meal fit for a king.  I also quickly located how to score loaves of Bahamian Bread.  I could not wait to get some loaves of that.  The coconut makes wonderful French toast.  I also bought white and raisin.  You have not had bread until you have had Bahamian Bread.  I hope to discover their secret ingredients. 
We have found that everyone here is extremely friendly and helpful.   Did I mention how wonderful the bread is here?    Election day was coming up and lots of golf carts with loud speakers, mopeds running the streets, group gatherings and politicing.  They do not allow any drinking on election day until 6:30 that evening when the polls close.  The day before election day, the streets started becoming very loud and noisy.  Apparently it gets really crazy on election day.  With that in mind, we decided it was finally time to move on, so we headed back out into the stream to head up to West End on April 28.  We had planned on going to Chub Cay (pron Key) in the Berries, but the winds would have made that a miserable trip, so we altered course for the Abacos.   A very long day we had anyway.  The seas were about 5-6 rolling and breaking all day long and again, deep, deep water.  Winds were more than predicted, imagine that.    Made for an uncomfortable 11 hour day.   Another one of those all engine days since the wind was not favorable for sailing.  I had trouble in sitting without hanging on to something for support.  We dropped anchor behind the marina on West End of Grand Bahama.  Strong current, scoured bottom made for light sleeping that night.  Luckily, none of us dragged anchor this night.  All of us had to set anchors x2 to get them to hook. 
We left early the next morning and that was a different day altogether.   When we hit the Little Bahamas Bank, I could not believe the beauty.  It was calm for us, but better than that, the water depth was 10-12 feet, crystal clear, turquoise water and you could see starfish, fish, urchins, sea cucumbers, etc on the bottom.  I put the hammock up on the bow, (thank you again Kurt)  brought my remote up with me and rocked to the rhythm of the sea while heading on.   I now had my second wind.  The beauty is indescribable.  Another 9 hour day, but it went fast.  I read, watched the bottom and just thanked God for this glorious experience.   We anchored in Great Sale which is a great anchorage with lots of room and good holding.  A little tour of the area revealed a small beach, but mostly mangroves.   The next day we left and headed for Double Breasted which in my opinion is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.  Rock outcroppings all around, beaches that are covered and uncovered by the tides and the water is the most brilliant combination of hues I have ever seen.  Again, you can see bottom at all times.  We had the anchorage to ourselves except for one other boat.  I had a barracuda hanging underneath my boat for 2 days, a large orange starfish under my stern.  We went snorkeling and spear fishing (Hawaiian slings).   Jimmy snagged a hog fish and a snapper.  We would do drift dives pulling the dinghy behind.  I found my first conch!  We got 14 and Rick and Audrey gave me conch cleaning lessons. Trust me, 1 buck for cleaned conch is a deal.  What a job!!  Worse than cleaning scallops by 1000x., but worth it!!!!!
 I also picked out a beautiful one and Rick and I worked on it and made me my very own Conch Horn to blow at sunsets.  It is gorgeous and I was able to blow it right off the bat.  I need to practice on holding the sound though.   When I get back to the states, I will let all my friends have a hand at it.    Rick says all cruisers have to have a conch horn on their boat, so I guess that makes me a real cruiser.  I look at it with great pride.  That night, Audrey made conch fritters for all of us and we all brought side dishes to go with it.   As you can tell, nothing has changed.  I still love to eat and we are all eating very well.   We often get together and everyone brings something and we end up with a meal to die for.  Rick, Audrey, Jimmy, Gigi and Danielle have become like family.  I cannot tell you how wonderful they are.  Everyone watches out for each other and being a single female, it really is comforting to know they are within yelling distance or radio distance.  I am so fortunate to have met them and they are so much fun to be around.  Rick is the jack of all trades and I think he can fix most anything.  It is not unusual for him to hear someone on the radio having a problem and he is right there to help them with it.  Danielle is being home schooled for the rest of this year and I think I am going to start helping her grandmother with this.  Maybe my teaching skills will be put to good use and it will give them a break from each other.  I think it would be fun to “be back in the classroom” in this environment.
I am getting my experience at setting 2 anchors.  Not crazy about it since it is a challenge from a single handers point of view.  It puts me through a workout, but it is necessary in some cases and in the long run, you can sleep easier.  So far so good from this standpoint.
Rick heard strong winds were headed our way on Sunday night possibly, so we reluctantly left Double Breasted and headed back to Great Sale so we could have a safe anchorage.  We got in late afternoon, set 2 anchors and spread way out, let out lots of scope and it is a good thing we did.  Around 1230, all heck broke loose.  Winds blew 25-35 from the N and NW for 2 days.  As of this evening, it is finally laying down and now I have soft lapping against the hull of the boat as opposed to the pounding we have been enduring.  I got a lot done though.  I finally got weather fax on my computer and got it to working, I did laundry, cleaned the boat and did some more organizing.  I made soup and successfully cooked cornbread in my pressure cooker.   I worked on my charts, read some more in the cruising guide, cut my hair, downloaded pictures and caught up on my journal.  I never seem to get bored.   As for laundry, let me give you a brief description of doing laundry on your boat… Take a large dark garbage bag, put clothes in, small amt of laundry detergent and enough water that they will slosh.  Tie it and throw it in the cockpit.  The wave action rolls it around and the sun heats the water.  I then have 2 buckets and I rinse, wring out and hang to dry.  With the winds blowing 17-28 today, that part did not take long.  I know some of you are now saying… “She is crazy!”  Yes, I probably am, but I am a happy crazy.  
The places we have been other than Bimini are uninhabited, so no access to computer, phones etc.  The internet café at Bimini was closed due to family emergency, so I apologize for the delay in communication. 
All is well and I am having the time of my life.  The surroundings are beautiful, the villages colorful, the people are friendly and cruisers are the nicest folks I have ever met.  We are headed to Fox Town tomorrow, Hawks Bill Cays and gradually working our way down to Green Turtle, Marsh Harbor area.
I know this is long, but I want to put you here with me, if not in person, then in your imagination and daydreams.  So many of you are at jobs and computers and hopefully this may take you away for  little bit from the reality of what I have come to call “the real world.”  It is really going to be difficult for me to check back into the real world.  This is a wonderful place to be.  I have now been gone 2 months as of May 5 and it seems like yesterday.   The days fly by, the nights are incredible.  I watch the moon rise often since I can look out of my hatch and see the sky, I am amazed at the number of stars in the heavens on a dark night, I love to hear the water lapping the boat hull, the soft gentle rocking at anchor, the group gatherings in a cockpit to share a glass of wine, a glass of rum and to watch the sunset and share food.   I love to see the sun come up and each day the sky appears to be a different hue as it rises from the earth and sinks back in at the end of the day.  I love to hear the wind in the sails and the wonderful silence when you can turn the engine off and just let the sails glide me and Pixie across the water towards the next destination.   I love the anticipation of the next beauty awaiting me at the next Cay, the next underwater exploration, the next land hike.  I love meeting nice people and I trust me, the world is full of wonderful people.  We hear so much bad in the news, on TV and talk radio that I think we forget how wonderful, helpful and interesting the majority of people really are.  I cannot tell you how many unbelievable nice folks I have met in just the last 2 months.   
Carpe Diem my friends.   
Love to all,
Connie

5-15-07
Thought this would get to go the day after I wrote the entries above however, once again, no internet access atFoxtown, Coopers Town, Double Breasted or Crab Cay.  The first 2 are settlements, very small, but full of smiling friendly folks.  Saturday off Coopers Town on Great Abaco Island, we watched what looked like all the towns children swimming all day in the Sea of Abaco.  They were laughing, splashing and climbing on the dinghy dock roof and jumping.  2 were little girls!!  2 little girls went up to a sail boater and asked for money and when a local man was walking by and heard them, he sternly told then NO, do not let me catch you doing that again.  The children wave and smile and call us white people.    They are adorable. 
We had an awesome day the 13th, snorkeled in the Atlantic on some gorgeous reefs.  Saw Bonefish for the first time and saved a baby bird floating in the water with twine all around his little leg.  Yesterday we high tailed it for Green Turtle to weather yet another front and low.  Winds have been holding at 17-27 East since yesterday afternoon.  2 anchors holding well!!  I dive the anchor at every location to ensure good setting.  We are in a very safe anchorage off Settlement Point at Green Turtle.  I love this place!  Bright painted houses, great cracked conch, and the best Bahama Bread I have had yet.  I got a loaf of Coconut that had just come out of the oven yesterday afternoon.  Rick, Audrey and I started eating it immediately.   I have finally found internet access!!  $10 unlimited.   I have not been able to find it since I left Rodriguez in the states.  Now that I am in the central Abaco’s of the Bahamas, I should start finding it is easier to locate.   We have had issues even getting good weather reports in the N. Abacos and out islands.  We have spent a good bit of time getting to good anchorages to weather different wind directions.  This is supposed to continue until the weekend.    Next stop when the weather breaks will be Marsh Harbor.  I cannot express how beautiful the town of Green Turtle is.  I love it here!!  It is a growing community too with good grocery stores, hardware stores etc.   McIntoshes, Ms Emily’s and Laura’s Kitchen!!!  Best cracked conch you will find in the islands except for what we fix on Naked Lady.  :)
All is still good!!!!!!  I am fine and I am so sorry to have so many of you worried.  Just unable to get word out as often as before. 
 :) ;) :D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D 8)
and on a really windy day with sails up and boat heeled with rail in the water  :o :o :o ;D  The other day, I had reefed jib only, Pixie was doing 6.4 with rail in and out of the water... what a ride!!!!!!
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: AdriftAtSea on May 15, 2007, 11:04:24 AM
Connie-

Great update... and glad to hear the floating Rave is going well. :D What's up next???
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: s/v Faith on May 15, 2007, 11:19:08 AM
Connie,


   I just sent a link to your post to Rose.  As if we are not excited enough, between you and Frank I CAN"T WAIT!!!!!!

   ;D ;D ;D

Really glad to hear it is going so well, and look forward to more updates.  ;D
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: cubemonkey on May 15, 2007, 11:55:55 AM
Connie,
Thanks for the wonderful post! I'm so glad you wrote as you experienced things, and then sent it all to us, instead of editing it down, or waiting until you had access.

So many things reminded me of our trip to the Caribbean. I had never watched sunrises and sunsets over and over and experienced that magic, with every one different from the one before. Or how the night sky is so full of stars. How easy it is to just be, even though it is hours or days of sailing. Folks back home don't understand how this is NOT boring. I haven't had the fun of cruisers' company. We were just our own crew of three for 14 days. But I am definitely looking forward to that aspect of cruising.

I love your idea for laundry!!!! On our trip from Antigua to Barbados, I did laundry in a bucket. Not easy, and not great results. Your method sounds much more effective.

So glad you are safe and having a ball!

-elizabeth
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Captain Smollett on May 15, 2007, 11:58:33 AM
Hey Connie, good to hear from you.  Sounds like you are having a blast.  Keep the reports comin for us dreamers.

I mentioned your trip to a friend on another board, and he asked if you were going to have a chance to check out the Atlantean Stones.  Look 'em up on Google for more info (and an arial view).  I'd never heard of them.

Here's some pics:

(http://atlantis.haktanir.org/bimini13.jpg)

(http://www.csicop.org/si/2004-01/Shinn-fig.7.jpg)

It's an interesting formation/phenomenon. 
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Frank on May 15, 2007, 12:26:30 PM
Connie...say hello to Violet for me at the Blue Bee from 'Frank the Canadian'. Sundowners has awesome conch fritters too. I WANT TO GO BACK NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Have fun. ;)  PS..the best is yet to come!!
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: skylark on May 15, 2007, 04:18:02 PM
excellent tale, thank you!
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Lynx on May 16, 2007, 03:37:03 AM
About what I had thought. Sounds like you are having a Great Time.

I would be interested on the 2x anchoring problem that you are having. I was thinking about keeping the 2nd anchor on the stern and just letting the bow anchor out enough to set the stern.

Atlantean Stones - when I was in Bimini in March '06 I saw the Atlantean Stones. I was not really impresses. As I came to them the cracks in the ocean floor became more and more square looking. Oh well.

Going to Little Harbor soon?

James M/S Lynx
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Bubba the Pirate on May 16, 2007, 09:26:30 AM
Congrats, Connie!! 

You are giving me hope and energy as I'm working on In A Mist.   It _is_ getting warmer here in Michigan.   :o)

TrT
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Pixie Dust on June 06, 2007, 03:35:48 PM
Ahoy all!!  I have internet today, so here is a lengthy update from Pixie Dustings.  I hope all is well in the States and Canada!!   If any of you make it over, hail me on Channel 69.  That is our chat channel.
I will post in 2 postings since it is soo long.  :)

5-24-07
On 5-11 when we left Fox Town , we thought we would scoot over to Allens Pensacola for the day/night.  Weather was not great, but did not sound like it was going to be too bad.  Well, it rapidly got too bad.  We got into Allens Pensacola and by the time we started to set anchors, the winds had rapidly increased to 20 knots and were rolling into the anchorage.  This location does not have good holding or protection from N, NE winds and that is exactly what we had.  We all finally got our anchors down, but no one was comfortable.  The beach was in the lee shore, just a short amount of yards from our sterns.  The boats were rocking hard and porpoising and I was just not comfortable leaving the boat in these conditions even to take a walk on the gorgeous beaches behind us.  We all voted and immediately decided to pull anchor and locate a safe harbor to ride out, yes, another N, NE high wind adventure.   I had some challenges with this little activity.  Pixie just has a 10 hp diesel; winds were running hard through the cut I had to go out, rocky lee shore and now 20-23 knot winds on the nose heading out.  Pixie was struggling to get any speed against those conditions.  I pulled the anchor up and got most of the rode into the locker, except for the 30’ of chain.  I had to get back to the helm due to the small area I had to maneuver in and figured I would tend to it as soon as I got out of the anchorage.  Bad move on my part.  When I started through the cut, Pixie was riding high up and down and rocking hard.  I was trying to get far enough out, that I could put out some jib to help the engine out and gain some speed, when the chain decided to roll off the port side of the boat.  *&^%    I got far enough out that I felt safe enough from the rocky shore, pulled out some jib to stabilize the boat, put on life vest, tethered myself to the boat and headed to the bow.  I was not a happy girl to be up there.  I had water coming over the bow, boat was heeled way over, about 15-20 ft of chain hanging over the edge of my boat.  I braced myself with one leg on a stanchion and wrapped an arm around another one while I pulled up chain and safely secured it in the chain locker.  WHEW… I will sleep well tonight.  It was a bit of a challenge.   That day, we had 17-25 knot winds.  I sailed with Jib and again was making 6 plus knots.  Too much again for the autopilot ( Tracy , steering mechanism that keeps the boat on course for you J), so I actually was the autopilot that day.  We headed to Coopers Town and
anchored off the beach of Coopers Town for 2 days.  Lots of fires burning on Great Abaco Island .  They have really been dry and there are fires burning on each side of the settlement.  Nice little town.  Good grocery store within walking distance of dinghy dock but no fuel or water in close proximity.  Hurricane took the docks and they have not been able to rebuild them.  The service station/liquor store was closed because the owner went out of town and did not have anyone to mind the stores.  J Only in the Abacos.  After 2 days, we finally had a wonderful calm, no wind night and we all rested peacefully.  Prior to, the winds were strong, but the shoreline provided great protection from the swells for us with good holding.  Plus, if you dragged anchor, you would just keep dragging into the Sea of Abaco , so “no worries Mon!”  Lots of poverty here and in Foxtown, but folks are smiling, warm and friendly.
 
Left there on Mothers Day 5-13 and headed to Manjack Cay.  Anchored between it and Crab Key.  Great little protected area with good holding.  Great little spot to snorkel in.  Went to the Atlantic side and located some reefs, toured the little creeks that run through the island and saw baby conch. They were so cute and bright bright pink.   Saw some nice fish on the reef but nothing to spear for dinner.  Mostly pretty reef fish.  Did not see any Bahamian Bugs either, of course they are out of season right now.  I loved this day.  I definitely want to come back here and spend more time, but weather is once again steering us in a direction to find really good holding and protection due to yet another weather front.  We opted to be in Gr. Turtle for this one so we could at least get off the boat and do town stuff if needed.
Did I say in the last posting how much I love Green Turtle?  Great little settlement town to spend time in.  It is a little town with so much character, beautiful scenery, friendly folks and great food of all kinds.  Tues 5-15,  I had homemade mango ice cream, home made coconut cake, conch fritters at the Wrecking Tree and then we walked to McIntosh’s where they were just taking fresh coconut bread out of the oven.  I bought a loaf of that and had them slice it so Audrey, Rick and I could have a piece right then.  Amazing that I have not gained weight with the amount of food I consumed in Green Turtle.  We took the dinghy into White Sound and spent some time.  We then walked up to the Bluff House and met up with other boaters where we enjoyed the incredible view of the sounds and Sea of Abaco .  We saw the House Boat titled Stranded Naked.  It has a sign that says, “Don’t laugh, your daughter may be here.”  It is owned by the lady who owns the line of bathing suits titled Stranded Naked and hosts the Stranded Naked Party during the Sailing Regatta the first week of July.  On the way back to the boat, we saw a kids float toy floating off the beach.  We decided to rescue it and take it in to the child.  That led to us going to Pineapples for a water front happy hour while watching the sunset.   Fun, fun day.  We ended up boat bound on Thurs 5-17.  We had rain all day long that day.  Islands across and to the south of us did not see a drop.  I put out my rain catcher in the cockpit and caught 7 gal of fresh water for the tank.  This was a good relaxing day of reading, boat cleaning and cooking.  Nothing has changed for me, I still like to cook and eat.  Being on the boat has not slowed me down at all regarding that.
5-30-07
The next day Friday 5-18, we decided to weigh anchor and take advantage of calm water and light winds.  We have not seen much of that since arriving in the Hamas.  The water was crystal clear that morning after a day and night of rain and squally conditions. My anchor chains looked like snakes circling around on the bottom.  I was floating over top of one.  Those babies had really dug in with all the wind we had the 2 days prior.  It is so easy to pull up 2 when the wind and seas are calm and one is lying right underneath your bow.  J.  I almost forget the fact that I would appreciate a windlass on those days. ( Tracy- a windlass is mounted on the bow and electrically pulls up your anchor lines for you rather than you sitting on the bow using your own muscle power. J)  After weighing up 2 anchors with 100’ of line and chain each, I am usually ready to eat again.  LOL
We headed towards Whale Pass.   This is a Pass that you have to leave the Sea of Abaco , go on the outside into the Atlantic for about 2-3 NM, and then cut back into the Sea of Abaco .  These passes can get quite rough and dangerous and need to be treated with utmost respect.  People can wait long periods of time to get from Central Abacos to Northern Abacos due to the conditions of these passes.  There is Whale Cay on one side of the pass where water crashes into the shoreline and on the other side is a barrier reef that you can see water breaking over if seas are up.  We expected it to be swelly due to the weather we had been having and it did not let us down.  We were just praying it was not breaking and it wasn’t.  We had pretty large swells, but no breaking seas thank goodness.  It was interesting to say the least.  We did lots of rocking and rolling, but Pixie handled it beautifully.  Long periods in between gave her lots of time to ride them up and surf down them.  Once you get to the other side of the cut, it is marked with a buoy system.  Disney for a short period of time brought a cruise ship into Bakers Bay in Guana.   Everything was marked great for it.  Due to the unpredictability of Whale Pass , they stopped coming in and just left the markers, docks, buildings etc in place.  I felt very pumped after making my first pass through this often talked about cut.  We dropped anchor at Bakers Bay which is the N end of Guana Cay and it looks like an island paradise. Palm trees line the shore, beautiful pink sandy beaches, tall rocky shoreline behind the beaches, and sapphire blue water with a reef that runs off the beach with rollers breaking on it.  Nice grass beds in area which made for some fun snorkeling.  Where you anchor, you can look down and see sand dollars, seabiscuits, starfish and urchins on the bottom. The starfish are very large and deep red.  We saw some baby conch, still in the growing stages.  After a great lunch, we pulled anchor and headed on down to Fishers Bay for a safer anchorage for the night.   Did a little more snorkeling, mostly to verify setting of the anchors.  Anchorage here has a grassy bottom with hard bottom under, so anchor setting can be a bit of a challenge.  There is a little coral reef right in the middle of the anchorage marked with a pole in the ground and a radar reflector tied to the top.  This anchorage is beautiful too.  We dinghyed to shore and visited Grabbers, checked out Orchid Bay Marina , met some other cruisers and went to Nippers…. Now Nippers.  It sits on a bluff  and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean .  It has a reef running along it, large rocks along the coast and a wide sandy coastline.  Did I say Gorgeous??  It is gorgeous.   They also have 2 saltwater pools to play in while you relax and laz your afternoon away.  They have a vonnage phone were you can call from for free if you can hear over top of the jammin music playing.  On Sundays, they have a pig roast that really brings in the hordes of cruisers.  On the way down the hill from Nippers at a new little establishment (name skips me) I got to talking to some folks whose spouses were from the Panhandle.  They had spent lots of time in the Destin, Panama City and Pensacola areas.  Another fun day and fun to talk with folks familiar with home stomping grounds.
 
Once again, winds picked up and had us rocking in the morning, so we weighed anchors and headed for Marsh Harbor .  Forecast was not sounding pretty for the next several days and little did we know how many days that low pressure  was going to affect us.
We arrived in Marsh Harbor on Friday 5-18th and anchored in the bay off the docks.  I filled up with fuel here.  Extasea, Naked Lady, Carefree II and I are all anchored in fairly close proximity.  We made reservations at the Jib Room for Sat Steak night.  OH MY awesome meal.  They only serve dinner 2 nights a week and Sat is steak night.  Delicious!! I met a whole table of folks from WV, my area, west side, Belle, Sissonville.  They were Jones’, but not related.  For my WV buds, they know Burl Jones well.  They were here renting a house for a couple of weeks.  Small Small world.  We knew the same areas.  The Jib Room had music and limbo going on, so we did a little limbo until we realized we were too old and lacked the flexibility to keep up with the Limbo King of the island.  We let him win the kitty that night.  Marsh Harbor is an area that is like a big city harbor.  They have everything here that you need or want.  They have very well stocked super markets, an airport, shops, motels, marinas, etc.  It also has a very large anchorage with good holding….. Thank goodness.  We have had 20-30 East, NE knot winds sustained, gusting higher since arriving.  I have my little delta out with about 8-9 scope and it has held great.  As long as I have held, I am sure there is no reason to put out 2 anchors.  My new motto is “Why use 2 if one will do?”  Everyday I think it cannot get worse, however last night and today has been 25-30 consistent.  This is thanks to a trough sitting right over us.  They are not expecting this to let up until Sunday or Monday.  That was wishful thinking.   Sea of Abaco is too rough to go anywhere in.  A sailboat that was on an outer island broke loose last night, engine failed and they ended up over here on the beach at Marsh Harbor on their side.  We walked over there today and watched until a squaw chased us back to the boats.  They have a beautiful boat with teak decks and my heart was crying for them.  There was a young couple on board.  They were waiting on high tide and 2 boats were supposed to come out at high tide and try to help pull them off.  They had a stern line out attached to a wench to keep them from going any further onto the rocky beach.  We were all praying for them.  I got a thrill later that evening when I looked out and saw the 2 power boats leading them into the anchorage.  They were ok, the boat was ok!!!!  Looking at that beautiful vessel laying on her side at the mercy of the 30-35 knot winds out there, breaking seas, wind increasing and squall approaching was just heart wrenching for me.  My heart went out to the couple trying to save their boat.  Happy Happy ending to that story. 
Weather is very unusual here for this time of year.  Even dingy rides to shore are rough at best.  Everyone here is ready for summer weather to arrive with gentle winds.  The marina’s and anchorages are full of boats trying to get back to the states or further south.  I talked to 2 boats trying to get to Bermuda and the Azores and have been waiting on weather for a month. 
We all loaded on Extasea and Naked Lady 2 days ago and just went out around the corner outside of the anchorage so they could make water in cleaner water and fill their tanks.  They also made Pixie about 10 gals to top her tanks off.  Their water makers are great.  The water tastes great and is about 98% pure.  The water here in this particular anchorage is very dirty so they cannot make it in here.  We took a dingy ride into a protected beach cove and you could almost forget the wind was blowing in there.  It was still and calm.  Nice reprieve from the singing rigging and howling winds taking place just 300 yds away.  In this kind of weather, you clean your boat top to bottom, I even oiled all my interior wood, did some boat projects, read and J caught up on journaling.
Winds here continued to howl for 10 days.  In the interim, Audrey and I both caught a little flu bug that lasted about 36 hrs.  We were not our perky little selves for a couple of days.  Those of you who know me well, when I cannot eat, something is definitely going on.  2 days of sleeping and then all was well again, just in time for the weather to let up so we can finally get out of Marsh Harbor .
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Pixie Dust on June 06, 2007, 03:37:13 PM
On day 10, 5-28-07 we excitedly weighed anchor and headed back to Great Guana to anchor off Fishers Bay .  For the next 4 days we snorkeled, explored, walked and fished.  We took a day and went dingy exploring down the beaches on the Abaco side.  I picked up some really unique pretty shells that I hope to make some jewelry out of later.  The water looks just like bath water and we took the time to just enjoy the beautiful paradise surroundings.  They will not allow you to walk to the interior of the island in this area.  They are building a new resort, golf course and marina.  The locals are very much up in arms about this and a legal fight is in the works.  Some local islanders are arguing pollution and ruination of the reefs, developers are forging ahead while both parties wait for the judge to make a ruling.  Signs against the development are very visible all around the island settlement.

That afternoon I went fishing from the dinghy with Carefree and we caught enough grunt, porgy’s and triggers for a fish fry for all 4 boats.  Easy to catch on conch parts.  We just fished along the rocky shore and looked for rocks in the shallow water to fish around.  Another fun evening was had on Extasea before Mark and Katie on Carefree were heading back to the states the next morning.  We really hated to see them go.  They have been a lot of fun to have around.  As of the next morning, we were back down to the 3 musketeers.   They circled us before leaving using the air horn to let us know they were off to the states.  Story is, they are going to get the boat upgraded some, add a water maker, generator etc and then head back over once the house sells.   
 The next day, I cleaned my boat bottom and then snorkeled the reef which was awesome.  I had a beautiful sea turtle that seemed to have no problem swimming with me.  I hovered over him/her as it glided along gracefully.  The sunlight danced off the beautiful golden brown designs on its shell.  It would stop and hang on the bottom eating grass, then gracefully glide along again with me right there with it.  I loved that.  I also saw a large mangrove snapper, a school of grunt hanging in a huddle on the bottom, a school of ballyhoo, numerous tropical fish of all kinds.  The reef was so colorful with the sunlight reflecting off its many shades of both plant and animal life.
My day took a little turn for the worse when I rode into shore with Audrey and Rick to go walking.  I had my big back pack on and on my way up a very tall ladder at the dinghy dock, I lost my balance and fell all the away to the bottom (as if there is any where else to fall) onto a cross board that supported the ladder.  Yes, I am very black and blue, luckily I did not need stitches or worse yet, break my pelvis.  It was a little tense and very painful until I could assess the damage and apply lots of ice to various locations.  Being able to walk was a blessing.  I think my guardian angel helped with that one.   It could have been so much worse.  We even ended up taking a shortened version of our walk a couple hours later.   For those of you wondering, the answer is “NO, I had not even had 1 beer that I could use as my excuse.”  This was all me.
6-6-07
On Thursday, I headed to Hope Town located on Elbow Cay, one of my favorite locations.   Welcome back 20 knot winds!!   I had 18-20 on the nose, stiff chop and sea spray all the way there for 3 hours.   I also entered the harbor on extremely low low tide which I do not recommend to anyone other than a planing boat or a dinghy.  How I ended  up not grounded was once again sweet luck.  My depth sounder registered 2.7 at one point and I need 3.6.   I utilized the ferry wake and throttled up to get past that hairy location.  I made it in, but I was kissing the bottom in some areas.   I snagged a mooring ball on the first attempt, cleaned up the boat and made ready for some more nasty storms headed this way. 
I love Hope Town.  As you enter the Harbor, there is a red and white candy striped working light house that sits at the mouth of the harbor.  You can even go up to the top for a wonderful view of the island and surrounding waters.  Inside, the harbor has brightly painted houses and restaurants all around the perimeter.  Hope Town Lodge sits up on the hill overlooking the harbor and the Atlantic .  As you walk up the stairs to it, you have the sweet smell of various flowers greeting you.  I have always wanted to stay there, and I had the opportunity to do so this trip.  It was fun getting off the boat, having nice hot water whenever you wanted it and as much as you wanted, being in a nice room where you could look out and watch the storms, knowing that your boat is safe on a mooring ball and no worries about anchors dragging.  When you are doing it, you really don’t realize how nice it is to just have that little break from the stress of being on the boat in heavy winds, storms and on the hook.  The room had a little porch off it with Adirondack chairs overlooking the pool and the Atlantic .  It was a full moon weekend which made all tides extreme.   I am so glad I had this opportunity to enjoy this beautiful establishment for longer than just an afternoon at the pool.  A day of dinghy exploring of tidal creeks, the harbor etc took place in the rain on Saturday. Even in the rain, it was fun.   I located another Com-pac 25 anchored in a little hurricane hole, but no one was on board.  Sunday entailed a long walk to Turtle Hill for a beachside restaurant lunch, then onto White Sound to check out Abaco Inn and Sea Spray.  A few games of backgammon ended up with Pixie here being the hands down champion.  J
Back to Hope Town, this time via van, for yet another wonderful meal.   Food in Hope Town is wonderful.  If you ever get a chance, spend some time in Hope Town, grab a mooring ball, get off the boat and explore Elbow Cay.  You will not be disappointed.  It is a great place to meet up with family or friends for a vacation like atmosphere in beautiful surroundings.  It also is a hot spot for weddings.  Several were taking place during my stay there.  The golf carts were decorated with flowers, white sheets and or coconuts.  Everyone was smiling, even in the rain on Saturday.
 Things happen in 3’s and on Thursday, I had a very sore little knot on my back, but by the weekend, it was terrible.  Large, painful, and obviously infected.  I immediately started self medicating with antibiotics, warm compresses, and antibiotic cream, however, it was not improving.  All clinics were closed in Hope Town until Monday morning, so I went first thing.  The nurse tortured me and then recommended I see an MD in Marsh Harbor .  I really wanted to be a sissy girl and cry, but kept telling myself that it would do no good and would not make it hurt any less.  Long story short, I have been bitten by a spider, assumed to be a recluse.  That darn thing must have gotten me good.  I have a lot of necrosis and the MD is not pleased with the looks of it.  He has changed my antibiotic, tried to clean it up, but it is too much for a clinic.  He is giving the antibiotic until Friday and if not improvement, he is sending me to Nassau for surgery to remove the necrotic tissue.  L  It is a very large place and he is concerned about the outcome without surgical removal of the damaged tissue and poisoned area.  This is such a bummer, because right now, the winds are wonderful, the sun is shining, the seas are calm and I am ready to go, however I have to stay in Marsh Harbor until Fridays verdict.  I am not allowed in the water, so even swimming is out.  The weather has definitely changed and instead of the N, NE cool winds and cool nights, we are having S, SW and muggy hot days.  I could at least be content if I could get in the water.  I am not the happiest of girls right now.  Again, crying will not change the course of events.  The bright side, Naked Lady is making plans to stick with me through this.  I keep telling I will be OK, but they are wonderful and caring and I could just cry thinking about how lucky I am that Jimmy Bus put me in touch with them.  It sure makes my family feel better and I feel as though I have family here with me.   If I have the time, we could have the boats to Nassau in 3 days, otherwise, I will have to fly in for the procedure.  More to come on this one.   Since this is #3 ordeal in the last 2 weeks, this should be it for a while.  J  I cannot complain, it could always be worse. This is just a little life challenge, nothing major.
 
Hope all is well with everyone.  Here is hoping I am heading towards the Berry ’s soon for swimming and diving and not towards Nassau for the knife. 
Love and Friendship to All
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: AdriftAtSea on June 06, 2007, 09:21:25 PM
Connie-

Ouch... I hope you get well very soon. 
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: cubemonkey on June 09, 2007, 01:19:39 PM
Long story short, I have been bitten by a spider, assumed to be a recluse.

Oh Connie, that sounds truly nasty. I hope you get good medical care.

I love your narrations. You have a good way with words, that really allows us to share your experiences. I enjoy feeling your enthusiasm, surprise, charm, dismay, pain, disappointment, courage. Did you ever think of publishing your stories?

Do get better.

-elizabeth
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Zen on June 09, 2007, 08:06:19 PM
the last word from Connie was she is doing much better, the doctor checked her over an things have improved. I think she was heading out soon with Pixie Dust.
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Lynx on June 09, 2007, 09:28:49 PM
Connie - if you have not done so already, take everything out of the boat and spray, close up for a while and then vent well.

Good luck.
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: CharlieJ on June 09, 2007, 09:33:45 PM
Would be good advice except----

She's loaded for cruising, anchored out, in the Bahamas. Where's she gonna PUT it all while she has it out of the boat?
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Lynx on June 10, 2007, 09:54:16 PM
I realize that this would be a tough and in her condition as well. From what I have read about boats that have gotton everything wet cruising, they find a good beach and unload to dry. I do not know if that would be better than leaving it inside and just moving everything around to clean or putting some in the cockpit one section at a time. Not really a bad idea to do every year.

If she got bit inside the boat there may be more.  I need to work this out myself as I want to spend some time in the Everglades and cruising rivers.

Anybody have trouble with spiders in their boats? Any harder to get rid of than other bugs? Any prevention?
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: AdriftAtSea on June 10, 2007, 10:32:35 PM
Might be worthwhile to read this webpage (http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef631.asp), as it has some good advice on Brown Recluse Spiders.  I get the feeling that this may be due to another spider or some other sort of infection, since the brown recluse and related species are not local to Florida or the eastern seaboard in general. 

Quote
It is estimated that 80% of reported brown recluse bites may be misdiagnoses. The misdiagnosis of a wound as a brown recluse bite could delay proper treatment of serious diseases.[3] There is now a ELISA-based test for brown recluse venom that can determine if a wound is a brown recluse bite, although it is not commercially available and not in routine use.[18] [3]

There are numerous documented infectious and noninfectious conditions (including pyoderma gangrenosum, bacterial infections by Staphylococcus and Streptococcus, herpes, diabetic ulcer, fungal infections, chemical burns, toxicodendron dermatitis, squamous cell carcinoma, localized vasculitis, syphilis, toxic epidermal necrolysis, sporotrichosis, and Lyme disease) that produce wounds that have been initially misdiagnosed as recluse bites by medical professionals; many of these conditions are far more common and more likely to be the source of mysterious necrotic wounds, even in areas where recluses actually occur.[3]

While they are native to the southern central states, it seems peculiar that one could have hidden on Pixie Dust for so long before biting Connie, since it appears unlikely that the spider came aboard in either Florida or anywhere east of there.
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: CharlieJ on June 10, 2007, 11:03:05 PM
That's an excellent point. I had forgotten that that spider was not found in Florida or the east coast as a general rule.

 It could possibly have been a mis-diagnosis in the Bahamas also I suppose.
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Lynx on June 11, 2007, 08:22:04 AM
I would hope that Connie does not have those sort of things mentioned above but, if not a spider bite, an infection that got out of hand as can be done swimming in salt water and that she will be OK very soon.

Cruising is an adventure and not Disneyworld. We all need to make the best out of what we have. It would not be 1/2 the fun if not for the risk and challenges.

Before I forget, I have found that those rashes and little cuts will heal better if rubbed with hand sanitizer. Don't rinse off.
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Pixie Dust on June 15, 2007, 11:36:53 AM
Hi Guys.  Lots of spiders over here, especially on Guana.  I have spoken to numerous folks over here who have been nibbled on while on Guana with all the same symptoms etc.  The MD feels 95% it was a brown recluse and I feel certain due to the timing, I was nabbed while walking on Guana.   The bite is much much better.  Still cannot get in the water, but hoping by Monday, I will be able too.  Finished the antibiotics last night and thewound has closed up considerably in the last 3 days.  The redness is also gone.  I think I am going to live!!!!  LOL   They are nasty, nasty, ugly wounds.  Wicked little venomous creatures. 
That spider is not on my boat, I feel certain.  I only hope he strangled on the sun screen that day.  :)
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Pixie Dust on June 15, 2007, 11:38:08 AM
6-15-07 Friday
Ahoy!!! A rainy day in Abaco. 
Well, since last posting, Naked Lady and Pixie Dust left Marsh Harbor on Saturday June 9th in the morning after a wonderful doctor report on Friday and lots of rain in the harbor.  We both filled our water tanks with wonderful fresh rain water, topped off fuel and was ready for another adventure.  We had planned on attending Junkanoo on Friday night, which is a Bahamian Street party, but the rain ended up canceling the event.  It is a parade with lots of colorful costumes, dancing, street bands, and local food.  They were flying entertainers in from other islands.  Touted to be a very fun and lively event.  We were disappointed, but maybe next week.
We headed to Tilloo which was about a 2 hour run.  Wind of course was variable and on the nose as is so often the case with us sailors, but the run was beautiful.  We skirted the edge of Great Abaco gliding along in the Sea of Abaco, enjoying the beautiful coastline, colorful homes and gorgeous, gorgeous blue water of varying shades.   It took about 1 ½ hours to just get around the corner coming out of Marsh Harbor to Boat Harbor on the other side of the Island.   The scenery was lovely under the beautiful sunny blue sky.  As we neared the anchorage at Tilloo which is an out island, we looked back and it was rainy and stormy on the island we had just left.  We watched the storms on the other side of Sea of Abaco all day while we had sunshine and sweet breezes.  The anchorage at Tilloo is beautiful.  The water is clear and the bottom is active with sea life and grass beds.  A few private homes is all that is on the island.  We took dinghy’s into shore for a nice walk on the beach and then a dinghy exploration ride around the rocky coastline until we came to a reef that opens into the Atlantic.  That night, it was a moonless sky and the stars were unbelievable.  No ambient light to distract from the starlight glow in the sky.  It just takes my breath away to lie on the cabin top and just look at the night sky when you are in a secluded area and the night sky has the opportunity to show its true designs. 
The next morning, I took the dinghy to shore for a wonderful adventure.  I still cannot get in the water and swim until this little hole in my back heals, but I waded to my knees in perfectly clear water.  I watched as baby barracuda swam close to shore.  Thousands of little neon minnows surrounded them in a circular pattern, leaving a wide empty circle between them and Mr. Cuda.  It reminded me of kids in a school yard with the “it” in the middle and how they circle calling come and get me, but skirting just far enough away to provide the safety zone so they don’t become the “it”.  It was funny to watch this game of cuda and minnow (cat and mouse)    I saw bright red starfish about 10” across lying in the calm shallow surf.  I watched 2 huge fat sea cucumbers inching along.  I saw lots of trails in the sand, tiny little holes in the sand trail line.  When I followed it, I came upon baby queen conch, the size of the palm of my hand.  The little holes are the spines that they have to pull.  I watched it inch about ¼ " then stop to rest, another ¼” then stop to rest.  Very, slow process.  These were everywhere.  Sea urchins were prevalent with their long black spines and other little fish darted in and out of the soft surf.  On the beach, folks had left seats of boats and old rattan sofas to sit on.  There were also volley ball poles, home built table tops on stumps and grills.  This was all sitting under a pine grove area overlooking the beach.  This was a nice way to spend my morning coffee time. 

At high tide, we weighed anchor and headed to Little Harbor, passing N. Bar Channel, another opening into the Atlantic.  The water here is the most beautiful shade of turquoise I have ever seen.  I am not sure the crayola box has a color to match this beautiful shade.
We anchored outside around the edge from Little Harbor where we would have some breeze.   You could hear the surf breaking against the rocky jetty that separated us from the harbor and the Atlantic.  Audrey and Rick draw a little too much water and would need a really high tide to get in the harbor.  We jumped in the dinghy and headed to famous Pete’s Pub.  Pete Johnston is the owner and also does bronze work.  He has a gallery there and a work shop for his bronzing and jewelry making, a trade he learned from his father.  His parents came here, lived on a boat and they even lived in the caves on the island until they were able to build a home.  Quite a story and quite an interesting man.  We had the opportunity to chat with him at his beach side establishment.  He had on a very large sharks tooth necklace which was set in a shark at the top.  The gold chain was large with a shackle connecting the shark and tooth to the chain.  Quite an interesting piece.  Pete’s Pub is an outdoor little restaurant and bar with fun written all over it.  A big traffic light hangs off the front of it with numerous tee shirts and under garmets hanging from the rafters with lots of boat names and memory events.  We ran into some friends, Cyndi and Eddie on Cyrano from Marsh Harbor who had driven down for the day.  They introduced us to some locals and the conversation was lively and very interesting.   Talk of hurricane shelters, island history, boat names and of course, spider bites were just a few of the topics. 
The next day, NL was waiting on a little water to float her boat again,   I took off for shore to explore the island.  I walked up to a high point on the harbor (Little Harbor is also on Great Abaco)  This is where the old Pete’s Pub and home used to be as well as the old lighthouse.  Now it is a lighted tower.  The walls of the old place are still standing with some roof structure.  The walls were about 12” thick with tall skinny windows.  The cistern is still there as well as an off structure with a fireplace.  Over the point, the Atlantic has dug way back into the rocks creating a cave like appearance as the water rushes in and crashes against the rocks.  On my way down and walking along the harbor, a local the we met the previous evening came by on a 4 wheeler and offered me a tour of the island by ATV.  That was fun and I got a little more island history as well as some beautiful scenery of the beaches and hilltop sights.  Larry is a treasure hunter during the winter months and offered me a position on his search boat if I chose to be really adventuresome.  All dives are mostly in 40’ or less of water.   Maybe I will have a new career…. Treasure hunting on sunken Spanish Galleons.   (it is ok Mom, I don’t see me doing that just yet )   NL finally was floating and her team came to shore where we had an awesome lunch at Pete’s Pub.  The tuna and the grouper sandwiches were the best that I have ever tasted anywhere!
We stayed there 2 nights.  We took the dinghy and explored creeks, tidal areas and mangroves.  There is supposed to be a blue hole too, but we did not locate it.  Lots of wonderful sea turtles and many, many of the bright red starfish were seen in this location.  The water again was crystal clear.  You get up in the morning and see what is under your little floating home.  It is like being on the surface of an aquarium.

Wed. afternoon 6-13 we headed for Lanyard Cay, a whole 40 minutes if that, cruising back over to the other side of Sea of Abaco to another out island.   Lots of corals around this anchorage and poor Naked Lady discovered one around midnight when their boat shifted and the tide dropped.  No problem, just pull anchor and move the boat out a little further.  Next day, Audrey and Rick snorkeled the anchorage and I dinghied and looked over the side at the fish and underwater scenery.  It is killing me not being able to jump in, but by Monday, I should be good to go.  Later that day, we fished the coral heads and caught enough fish for a great little fish fry that night.   At 4:00, we weighed anchor due to shifting winds and the need to not be on a lee shore.  We were going to Snake Cay, but when we got there, the wind was a little more than anticipated so we decided to go ahead to Marsh Harbor.  Rick has parts coming in and I need a couple of parts as well as changing engine oils etc.  4 hrs later, we entered good ole Marsh Harbor, 8:00 at night, anchored up and fried the fish with some cheese grits and bean salad.  YUM!!!!!!!!
Thurs 6-14, spent time doing engine work on the boat and searching for a new thermostat.  No luck yet, but I have not given up.  Today is Friday, 6-15 and we are going to hang here tonight and try the Junkanoo again.  It is rainy today, so we shall see if they get to have it or not.  It is supposed to be squally this weekend, so as soon as that is past, we are headed to the out islands and probably up around the Whale again to enjoy the snorkeling on the areas we missed coming down.   I promised myself that I would go back and enjoy them under more favorable conditions and the summer weather has finally kicked in to allow this.   Life is good in Abaco.  I keep hearing the song in my head, “It is all right now, I learned my lessons well, you can’t please everyone, so you gotta please yourself.”   That I am doing!  All smiles on this end…plus, I got to talk to Ethan this morning.  I love and miss my babies.   Hugs and kisses to all!
Love and friendship!
Connie
PS  Craig and Rose- Hurry and get here.   Sorry to miss your retirement celebration, but if you get to the Hamas while I still am here and have money, we will celebrate big!!!!!!!  You will love this!!!!
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: AdriftAtSea on June 15, 2007, 03:52:58 PM
Glad to hear you're doing better and recovering.  :D 
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: s/v Faith on June 28, 2007, 09:50:47 AM
Connie,

  Thank you so much for the updates, and info.  Rose and I are really excited, and hope to see you there soon!

  Here is a link to Connie's sailfar blog (http://sailfar.net/blogs/?page_id=12).
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Zen on June 30, 2007, 06:53:20 PM
The lastest From SailFar's own Connie the Wandering Gaget Girl aboard s/v Pixie Dust
have been posted in the blog section.

New entry starts with 6/15, stroll down til you see it.

Fair Winds
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: AdriftAtSea on June 30, 2007, 07:35:20 PM
Thanks for the heads up Zen.  :D
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Zen on June 30, 2007, 09:48:54 PM
She is really having a FUN time!
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Captain Smollett on July 08, 2007, 09:45:47 PM
I've never been to the Abacos, and thus I was having a bit of trouble picturing the journey of Pixie Dust.  So, I broke out a chart image and followed her track over the last two months.

Below is my interpretation of her travels so far.  I make no pretense that this is 100% accurate, especially the dates and actual paths.

First the chart:  (Click Here, then click the image itself to open a window with the image full size (http://sailfar.net/gallery/displayimage.php?album=81&pos=0))

(http://sailfar.net/gallery/albums/userpics/10005/normal_PixieTrip01.png)

Route Plan, with dates only shown where I was reasonably sure.  Color of text keys roughly to path on chart above.

North Bimini (4/28)
West End, Grand Bahama
Little Bahama Bank

Great Sale
Double Breasted
Great Sale
Foxtown
Cooper's Town

Double Breasted (not shown on chart, I may have misunderstood this part).

Crab Cay/Manjack Cay
Green Turtle Cay (5/14)
Whale Pass/Whale Cay (5/18)
Great Guana Cay
Marsh Harbor (5/18)
Great Guana Cay (5/28)
Elbow Cay (5/31)
Tilloo (6/9)
Little Harbor (6/10)
Lanyard Cay (6/13)


Marsh Harbor (6/13)
Great Guana Cay (6/17)
Manjack Cay (6/19)
Cooper's Town (6/22)
Powell Cay (6/22)
Allen's Pensacola (6/24)


Manjack Cay (6/24)
Green Turtle Cay (6/27)


I will try to update the chart as we hear more from Connie.
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Zen on July 10, 2007, 03:53:36 PM
The latest info has been posted, received via Connie's travel companions on s/v Naked Lady
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: s/v Faith on July 13, 2007, 05:35:51 PM
Pixie Dust… the voyages
Our friend Connie’s Sailing adventure…

some of these post are direct from her others are 3rd party from her sailng partners on Naked Lady…

4/18/07 - Bahama Bound:

Hi Everyone. I know I am behind on the journaling, but lots going on. I am in Boot Key Harbor, Marathon. Planned once to cross to Bahamas, but turned around due to weather. Planning on leaving in the morning around 7:00 am and heading to Rodriquez Key for the night, then leaving 2:00 am and heading to Bimini to clear customs…. providing the weather does not turn into winds from the north.
All filters are changed, water topped off, fuel topped off and provisions stored. It has been beautiful here the last few days, but still had to wait for the front to move out.
I will be traveling with Rick and Audrey Shumaker from Panama CIty on Naked Lady. We are excited and ready for the next leg. If weather deters us and anything changes, I will let you know. Hopefully we will be waiting out the next front in Bimini.
Today while getting the boat ready, I had 4 manatees playing beside of the boat. I also had a`sting ray fly out of the water about 4 ft off my beam. Another beautiful day in paradise. I have 2 boats on each side of me from Pensacola. There are about 6 boats here in all from Pensacola and Panama City. All going different places.
I hope all is well with each of you. Find your dreams and live them folks. It is all good!!!
Love and friendship.

False Alarm:

False alarm!!!!
Updated forecast for next several days is now wind out of North 10-15. We do not want to be in the Gulf Stream with north winds blowing. Seas would be a might uncomfortable. Guess I will have to suffer here in Marathon just a few days more. Not sure I can take it.
I might get a chance to catch up my journal and fill you in on all the fun I have been having. Tomorrow I plan on going dinghy exploring in the canals and then to the beach. If seas are good, a group of us may go to Sombrero Key and go snorkeling. Supposed to be a beautiful reef.
Sorry to send another false alarm. As you can see, weather can change plans pretty quick. We may be able to get out of here around Tues.
Stay tuned.  )

4/26/07

Bon Voyage again… I think.  It looks as though we are going to get there this time. Winds are finally clocking to a favorable direction and according to weather forcasts, seas are subsiding. Plans are to head to Rodriquez Key early in the morning, anchor over night and then on to the Bimini to clear in. Should arrive Sat. afternoon or early evening. I will be traveling with 2 other boats, Naked Lady and Ecstasea. We will probably stay there 2-3 days before moving on…. of course, we could get winded in again and who knows. Not 100% sure of next island, but will probably be Chub Key. We are excited!!
I am also the new proud owner of a macerator.  This means I can now pump my own holding tank overboard when needed. Awesome, especially since pumpouts are not always convenient and can be a little costly. Rick on Naked Lady installed it for me yesterday morning. Thank you Rick!!!
Life is still great on Pixie Dust. Having a great time., nonstop smiling. I was able to talk to my boys and see my new grandbaby on Skype this evening. Ethan was not sure what to think about seeing Mimi on a computer screen. That was a definite highlight!!!!!!!!! I miss my babies.
It will be good to have a new anchorage to hang out in, but it is always tough to say goodbye to your new friends. I am sure many of us will cross paths again.
I hope

5-8-07 Tues night
Sorry for so long in between postings, but I have not had internet since the states and my phone cannot be a modem in the Bahamas. Life has been great and so much has happened. I will try to summarize and hit some of the highlights.
I am currently in the Bahamas!!!! WOOWOOWOO J
3 boats left Boot Key Harbor Marathon on 4-28-07. Extasea, Naked Lady and Pixie Dust. We sound like a Rave Party with these boat names. J It was difficult to say goodbye to many new friends we had made at Boot Key, but it was time to go. I had been there 3 weeks and Naked Lady for a month waiting on a good weather window to cross the Gulf Stream. While there, we had watched manatees daily, gone to the beach, walked numerous miles to West Marine, Home Depot and Publix, dingied to Dockside and Burdines and had lunch at Keys Fisheries. We took one day and road the bus to Key West. $2 bucks each way, 1 hr ride and gorgeous scenery. Fun day in Key West, then back to our boats for a quiet night of rest. I needed to leave Marathon or I was going to run out of money before my time. The day we left, conditions were a little uncomfortable for ½ a day from Boot Key to Rodriquez Key which is close to Key Largo. Midday, the seas laid down and became much more comfortable for us. 9hrs later we anchored off the Key and watched a beautiful sunset. Water was gorgeous here and the seas became still as the moon came up. Millions of stars were out and I was so excited about my crossing that I had trouble sleeping. This time I felt very good and excited about the crossing. It felt right. We had anchors pulled by 6:00 am the next morning and as we were leaving the anchorage, we were greeted by a beautiful sunrise. Coffee in hand, snapping picts over my shoulder, and watching the depth sounder, we all set out for the next leg of our adventure.
+++Insert pict of sunrise here+++
All the sudden, 1 hour out, the depth sounder went from 80 feet to blank. We were now in the Gulf Stream. You could also tell because the paddle on the knot meter registered 5.2 but the GPS registered 7.5 and eventually 8.2. WOW, Pixie had never gone so fast. The stream has a very strong current going from S to N and will really give your vessel a lift. Nice way to save on fuel. The Gulf was flat calm, small amount of wind and the water was the most beautiful sapphire color I have ever seen. It looked as though lights were shimmering under the water. I put up my jib and was able to catch a little wind to assist. 9hrs later, I could see the makings of land in the distance. Bimini was appearing. Funny thing, I never got bored or felt intimidated. It was exhilarating. Nothing in site but water and the 2 other boats. I did not actually show depth again until right before we were entering the new channel into Bimini and then it was 70’. That quickly shallowed up to 12’ as we entered the channel into N. Bimini. We got slips at Bimini Bluewater Marina. This is the first marina I have stayed in since Bradenton March 9. Customs prefers this.
Very intimidating going in with the current and unknown territory, but my anxiety level dropped to ½ when I saw the security guard “Big C” standing there waiting to grab my lines. Another nice sailboater also assisted and all 3 of us were tied up by 5:30. Our trip was close to 10 hrs. We immediately got our things together, paper worked filled out at the marina and went to customs and immigration. I was so excited just raising my quarantine flag prior to coming into the marina, but I was extremely excited to raise my Bahamian courtesy flag on my starboard spreader after clearing customs. I could not believe that me and my little boat had actually came from Panama City to the Bahamas. Clearing customs was a breeze and for all of you questioning the pistol issue, no problems Mon. It is considered part of your boats equipment.
We all got together on Extasea and celebrated my first single handed crossing with Pixie Dust!!! I cannot begin to tell you how I felt. What a cool high!!!!
The water here is amazing. Crystal clear, you can see bottom everywhere you go. I could see sea urchins and fish under my boat in the marina. As we came in, some guys were cleaning fish and conch and a huge nurse shark was in behind the boats snatching the left overs. A huge ray would glide through periodically as well. The next day, Bubba Shark must have gathered up his buddies, because there were 3 in the basin, just nonchalantly gliding through. They really are beautiful creatures to watch swimming, although, they do tend to give me goose bumps when I see them.
We enjoyed 4 days in Bimini, sight seeing, eating lots and lots of cracked conch and conch salad. I also experienced End of the World Bar, owned by Sara. The place had to be torn down due to termites, but when they rebuilt it, they wanted it to be like the old one, so they put concrete floors down, then poured sand over. It is basically a wooden shack with sand floors, small inside, music playing, bras and underwear hanging everywhere and names on the boards of visitors. My name, boat name and date are now on the wall along with thousands of others. That is where I tasted my first conch salad and it is delicious. It is raw conch chopped, marinated in lime and lemon juice, hot sauce and then onions, tomatoes, celery all mixed together. YUM.
The next day, we located some conch to buy from a local. $1 a piece, cleaned. What a good deal. 24 is enough for almost 3 meals for all 3 boats. We had a feast on Tues night, Rick and Audrey made cracked conch, Gigi made Conch Salad and I made Black Beans and Rice. It was a meal fit for a king. I also quickly located how to score loaves of Bahamian Bread. I could not wait to get some loaves of that. The coconut makes wonderful French toast. I also bought white and raisin. You have not had bread until you have had Bahamian Bread. I hope to discover their secret ingredients.
We have found that everyone here is extremely friendly and helpful. Did I mention how wonderful the bread is here? J Election day was coming up and lots of golf carts with loud speakers, mopeds running the streets, group gatherings and politicing. They do not allow any drinking on election day until 6:30 that evening when the polls close. The day before election day, the streets started becoming very loud and noisy. Apparently it gets really crazy on election day. With that in mind, we decided it was finally time to move on, so we headed back out into the stream to head up to West End on April 28. We had planned on going to Chub Cay (pron Key) in the Berries, but the winds would have made that a miserable trip, so we altered course for the Abacos. A very long day we had anyway. The seas were about 5-6 rolling and breaking all day long and again, deep, deep water. Winds were more than predicted, imagine that. J Made for an uncomfortable 11 hour day. Another one of those all engine days since the wind was not favorable for sailing. I had trouble in sitting without hanging on to something for support. We dropped anchor behind the marina on West End of Grand Bahama. Strong current, scoured bottom made for light sleeping that night. Luckily, none of us dragged anchor this night. All of us had to set anchors x2 to get them to hook.
We left early the next morning and that was a different day altogether. When we hit the Little Bahamas Bank, I could not believe the beauty. It was calm for us, but better than that, the water depth was 10-12 feet, crystal clear, turquoise water and you could see starfish, fish, urchins, sea cucumbers, etc on the bottom. I put the hammock up on the bow, (thank you again Kurt) brought my remote up with me and rocked to the rhythm of the sea while heading on. I now had my second wind. The beauty is indescribable. Another 9 hour day, but it went fast. I read, watched the bottom and just thanked God for this glorious experience. We anchored in Great Sale which is a great anchorage with lots of room and good holding. A little tour of the area revealed a small beach, but mostly mangroves. The next day we left and headed for Double Breasted which in my opinion is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Rock outcroppings all around, beaches that are covered and uncovered by the tides and the water is the most brilliant combination of hues I have ever seen. Again, you can see bottom at all times. We had the anchorage to ourselves except for one other boat. I had a barracuda hanging underneath my boat for 2 days, a large orange starfish under my stern. We went snorkeling and spear fishing (Hawaiian slings). Jimmy snagged a hog fish and a snapper. We would do drift dives pulling the dinghy behind. I found my first conch! We got 14 and Rick and Audrey gave me conch cleaning lessons. Trust me, 1 buck for cleaned conch is a deal. What a job!! Worse than cleaning scallops by 1000x., but worth it!!!!!
I also picked out a beautiful one and Rick and I worked on it and made me my very own Conch Horn to blow at sunsets. It is gorgeous and I was able to blow it right off the bat. I need to practice on holding the sound though. When I get back to the states, I will let all my friends have a hand at it. J Rick says all cruisers have to have a conch horn on their boat, so I guess that makes me a real cruiser. I look at it with great pride. That night, Audrey made conch fritters for all of us and we all brought side dishes to go with it. As you can tell, nothing has changed. I still love to eat and we are all eating very well. We often get together and everyone brings something and we end up with a meal to die for. Rick, Audrey, Jimmy, Gigi and Danielle have become like family. I cannot tell you how wonderful they are. Everyone watches out for each other and being a single female, it really is comforting to know they are within yelling distance or radio distance. I am so fortunate to have met them and they are so much fun to be around. Rick is the jack of all trades and I think he can fix most anything. It is not unusual for him to hear someone on the radio having a problem and he is right there to help them with it. Danielle is being home schooled for the rest of this year and I think I am going to start helping her grandmother with this. Maybe my teaching skills will be put to good use and it will give them a break from each other. I think it would be fun to “be back in the classroom” in this environment.
I am getting my experience at setting 2 anchors. Not crazy about it since it is a challenge from a single handers point of view. It puts me through a workout, but it is necessary in some cases and in the long run, you can sleep easier. So far so good from this standpoint.
Rick heard strong winds were headed our way on Sunday night possibly, so we reluctantly left Double Breasted and headed back to Great Sale so we could have a safe anchorage. We got in late afternoon, set 2 anchors and spread way out, let out lots of scope and it is a good thing we did. Around 1230, all heck broke loose. Winds blew 25-35 from the N and NW for 2 days. As of this evening, it is finally laying down and now I have soft lapping against the hull of the boat as opposed to the pounding we have been enduring. I got a lot done though. I finally got weather fax on my computer and got it to working, I did laundry, cleaned the boat and did some more organizing. I made soup and successfully cooked cornbread in my pressure cooker. I worked on my charts, read some more in the cruising guide, cut my hair, downloaded pictures and caught up on my journal. I never seem to get bored. As for laundry, let me give you a brief description of doing laundry on your boat… Take a large dark garbage bag, put clothes in, small amt of laundry detergent and enough water that they will slosh. Tie it and throw it in the cockpit. The wave action rolls it around and the sun heats the water. I then have 2 buckets and I rinse, wring out and hang to dry. With the winds blowing 17-28 today, that part did not take long. I know some of you are now saying… “She is crazy!” Yes, I probably am, but I am a happy crazy. J
The places we have been other than Bimini are uninhabited, so no access to computer, phones etc. The internet café at Bimini was closed due to family emergency, so I apologize for the delay in communication.
All is well and I am having the time of my life. The surroundings are beautiful, the villages colorful, the people are friendly and cruisers are the nicest folks I have ever met. We are headed to Fox Town tomorrow, Hawks Bill Cays and gradually working our way down to Green Turtle, Marsh Harbor area.
I know this is long, but I want to put you here with me, if not in person, then in your imagination and daydreams. So many of you are at jobs and computers and hopefully this may take you away for little bit from the reality of what I have come to call “the real world.” It is really going to be difficult for me to check back into the real world. This is a wonderful place to be. I have now been gone 2 months as of May 5 and it seems like yesterday. The days fly by, the nights are incredible. I watch the moon rise often since I can look out of my hatch and see the sky, I am amazed at the number of stars in the heavens on a dark night, I love to hear the water lapping the boat hull, the soft gentle rocking at anchor, the group gatherings in a cockpit to share a glass of wine, a glass of rum and to watch the sunset and share food. I love to see the sun come up and each day the sky appears to be a different hue as it rises from the earth and sinks back in at the end of the day. I love to hear the wind in the sails and the wonderful silence when you can turn the engine off and just let the sails glide me and Pixie across the water towards the next destination. I love the anticipation of the next beauty awaiting me at the next Cay, the next underwater exploration, the next land hike. I love meeting nice people and I trust me, the world is full of wonderful people. We hear so much bad in the news, on TV and talk radio that I think we forget how wonderful, helpful and interesting the majority of people really are. I cannot tell you how many unbelievable nice folks I have met in just the last 2 months. J
Carpe Diem my friends.
Love to all,
Connie
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: s/v Faith on July 13, 2007, 05:41:25 PM
5-15-07
Thought this would get to go the day after I wrote the entries above however, once again, no internet access at Foxtown, Coopers Town, Double Breasted or Crab Cay. The first 2 are settlements, very small, but full of smiling friendly folks. Saturday off Coopers Town on Great Abaco Island, we watched what looked like all the towns children swimming all day in the Sea of Abaco. They were laughing, splashing and climbing on the dinghy dock roof and jumping. 2 were little girls!! 2 little girls went up to a sail boater and asked for money and when a local man was walking by and heard them, he sternly told then NO, do not let me catch you doing that again. The children wave and smile and call us white people. J They are adorable.
We had an awesome day the 13th, snorkeled in the Atlantic on some gorgeous reefs. Saw Bonefish for the first time and saved a baby bird floating in the water with twine all around his little leg. Yesterday we high tailed it for Green Turtle to weather yet another front and low. Winds have been holding at 17-27 East since yesterday afternoon. 2 anchors holding well!! I dive the anchor at every location to ensure good setting. We are in a very safe anchorage off Settlement Point at Green Turtle. I love this place! Bright painted houses, great cracked conch, and the best Bahama Bread I have had yet. I got a loaf of Coconut that had just come out of the oven yesterday afternoon. Rick, Audrey and I started eating it immediately. I have finally found internet access!! $10 unlimited. I have not been able to find it since I left Rodriguez in the states. Now that I am in the central Abaco’s of the Bahamas, I should start finding it is easier to locate. We have had issues even getting good weather reports in the N. Abacos and out islands. We have spent a good bit of time getting to good anchorages to weather different wind directions. This is supposed to continue until the weekend. L Next stop when the weather breaks will be Marsh Harbor. I cannot express how beautiful the town of Green Turtle is. I love it here!! It is a growing community too with good grocery stores, hardware stores etc. McIntoshes, Ms Emily’s and Laura’s Kitchen!!! Best cracked conch you will find in the islands except for what we fix on Naked Lady.  
All is still good!!!!!! I am fine and I am so sorry to have so many of you worried. Just unable to get word out as often as before.
PS- Mike, I tried to go to Complete Anglers and have a drink for you, however, the only thing standing is the fireplace, some concrete block walls and the door. It burned 1 yr ago. I had a cold beverage on the steps of it though. J
Ahoy All!!
Here is another book exert for your viewing pleasure. Hopefully it is more exciting than your day at work.  

5-24-07
On 5-11 when we left Fox Town, we thought we would scoot over to Allens Pensacola for the day/night. Weather was not great, but did not sound like it was going to be too bad. Well, it rapidly got too bad. We got into Allens Pensacola and by the time we started to set anchors, the winds had rapidly increased to 20 knots and were rolling into the anchorage. This location does not have good holding or protection from N, NE winds and that is exactly what we had. We all finally got our anchors down, but no one was comfortable. The beach was in the lee shore, just a short amount of yards from our sterns. The boats were rocking hard and porpoising and I was just not comfortable leaving the boat in these conditions even to take a walk on the gorgeous beaches behind us. We all voted and immediately decided to pull anchor and locate a safe harbor to ride out, yes, another N, NE high wind adventure. I had some challenges with this little activity. Pixie just has a 10 hp diesel; winds were running hard through the cut I had to go out, rocky lee shore and now 20-23 knot winds on the nose heading out. Pixie was struggling to get any speed against those conditions. I pulled the anchor up and got most of the rode into the locker, except for the 30’ of chain. I had to get back to the helm due to the small area I had to maneuver in and figured I would tend to it as soon as I got out of the anchorage. Bad move on my part. When I started through the cut, Pixie was riding high up and down and rocking hard. I was trying to get far enough out, that I could put out some jib to help the engine out and gain some speed, when the chain decided to roll off the port side of the boat. *&^% I got far enough out that I felt safe enough from the rocky shore, pulled out some jib to stabilize the boat, put on life vest, tethered myself to the boat and headed to the bow. I was not a happy girl to be up there.. I had water coming over the bow, boat was heeled way over, about 15-20 ft of chain hanging over the edge of my boat. I braced myself with one leg on a stanchion and wrapped an arm around another one while I pulled up chain and safely secured it in the chain locker. WHEW… I will sleep well tonight. It was a bit of a challenge. That day, we had 17-25 knot winds. I sailed with Jib and again was making 6 plus knots. Too much again for the autopilot (Tracy, steering mechanism that keeps the boat on course for you J), so I actually was the autopilot that day. We headed to Coopers Town and
anchored off the beach of Coopers Town for 2 days. Lots of fires burning on Great Abaco Island. They have really been dry and there are fires burning on each side of the settlement. Nice little town. Good grocery store within walking distance of dinghy dock but no fuel or water in close proximity. Hurricane took the docks and they have not been able to rebuild them. The service station/liquor store was closed because the owner went out of town and did not have anyone to mind the stores. J Only in the Abacos. After 2 days, we finally had a wonderful calm, no wind night and we all rested peacefully. Prior to, the winds were strong, but the shoreline provided great protection from the swells for us with good holding. Plus, if you dragged anchor, you would just keep dragging into the Sea of Abaco, so “no worries Mon!” Lots of poverty here and in Foxtown, but folks are smiling, warm and friendly.
Left there on Mothers Day 5-13 and headed to Manjack Cay. Anchored between it and Crab Key. Great little protected area with good holding. Great little spot to snorkel in. Went to the Atlantic side and located some reefs, toured the little creeks that run through the island and saw baby conch. They were so cute and bright bright pink. Saw some nice fish on the reef but nothing to spear for dinner. Mostly pretty reef fish. Did not see any Bahamian Bugs either, of course they are out of season right now. I loved this day. I definitely want to come back here and spend more time, but weather is once again steering us in a direction to find really good holding and protection due to yet another weather front. We opted to be in Gr. Turtle for this one so we could at least get off the boat and do town stuff if needed.
Did I say in the last posting how much I love Green Turtle? Great little settlement town to spend time in. It is a little town with so much character, beautiful scenery, friendly folks and great food of all kinds. Tues 5-15, I had homemade mango ice cream, home made coconut cake, conch fritters at the Wrecking Tree and then we walked to McIntosh’s where they were just taking fresh coconut bread out of the oven. I bought a loaf of that and had them slice it so Audrey, Rick and I could have a piece right then. Amazing that I have not gained weight with the amount of food I consumed in Green Turtle. We took the dinghy into White Sound and spent some time. We then walked up to the Bluff House and met up with other boaters where we enjoyed the incredible view of the sounds and Sea of Abaco. We saw the House Boat titled Stranded Naked. It has a sign that says, “Don’t laugh, your daughter may be here.” It is owned by the lady who owns the line of bathing suits titled Stranded Naked and hosts the Stranded Naked Party during the Sailing Regatta the first week of July. On the way back to the boat, we saw a kids float toy floating off the beach. We decided to rescue it and take it in to the child. That led to us going to Pineapples for a water front happy hour while watching the sunset. Fun, fun day. We ended up boat bound on Thurs 5-17. We had rain all day long that day. Islands across and to the south of us did not see a drop. I put out my rain catcher in the cockpit and caught 7 gal of fresh water for the tank. This was a good relaxing day of reading, boat cleaning and cooking. Nothing has changed for me, I still like to cook and eat. Being on the boat has not slowed me down at all regarding that.
5-30-07
The next day Friday 5-18, we decided to weigh anchor and take advantage of calm water and light winds. We have not seen much of that since arriving in the Hamas. The water was crystal clear that morning after a day and night of rain and squally conditions. My anchor chains looked like snakes circling around on the bottom. I was floating over top of one. Those babies had really dug in with all the wind we had the 2 days prior. It is so easy to pull up 2 when the wind and seas are calm and one is lying right underneath your bow. J. I almost forget the fact that I would appreciate a windlass on those days. (Tracy- a windlass is mounted on the bow and electrically pulls up your anchor lines for you rather than you sitting on the bow using your own muscle power. J) After weighing up 2 anchors with 100’ of line and chain each, I am usually ready to eat again. LOL
We headed towards Whale Pass. This is a Pass that you have to leave the Sea of Abaco, go on the outside into the Atlantic for about 2-3 NM, and then cut back into the Sea of Abaco. These passes can get quite rough and dangerous and need to be treated with utmost respect. People can wait long periods of time to get from Central Abacos to Northern Abacos due to the conditions of these passes. There is Whale Cay on one side of the pass where water crashes into the shoreline and on the other side is a barrier reef that you can see water breaking over if seas are up. We expected it to be swelly due to the weather we had been having and it did not let us down. We were just praying it was not breaking and it wasn’t. We had pretty large swells, but no breaking seas thank goodness. It was interesting to say the least. We did lots of rocking and rolling, but Pixie handled it beautifully. Long periods in between gave her lots of time to ride them up and surf down them. Once you get to the other side of the cut, it is marked with a buoy system. Disney for a short period of time brought a cruise ship into Bakers Bay in Guana. Everything was marked great for it. Due to the unpredictability of Whale Pass, they stopped coming in and just left the markers, docks, buildings etc in place. I felt very pumped after making my first pass through this often talked about cut. We dropped anchor at Bakers Bay which is the N end of Guana Cay and it looks like an island paradise. Palm trees line the shore, beautiful pink sandy beaches, tall rocky shoreline behind the beaches, and sapphire blue water with a reef that runs off the beach with rollers breaking on it. Nice grass beds in area which made for some fun snorkeling. Where you anchor, you can look down and see sand dollars, seabiscuits, starfish and urchins on the bottom. The starfish are very large and deep red. We saw some baby conch, still in the growing stages. After a great lunch, we pulled anchor and headed on down to Fishers Bay for a safer anchorage for the night. Did a little more snorkeling, mostly to verify setting of the anchors. Anchorage here has a grassy bottom with hard bottom under, so anchor setting can be a bit of a challenge. There is a little coral reef right in the middle of the anchorage marked with a pole in the ground and a radar reflector tied to the top. This anchorage is beautiful too. We dinghyed to shore and visited Grabbers, checked out Orchid Bay Marina, met some other cruisers and went to Nippers…. Now Nippers. It sits on a bluff and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. It has a reef running along it, large rocks along the coast and a wide sandy coastline. Did I say Gorgeous?? It is gorgeous. They also have 2 saltwater pools to play in while you relax and laz your afternoon away. They have a vonnage phone were you can call from for free if you can hear over top of the jammin music playing. On Sundays, they have a pig roast that really brings in the hordes of cruisers. On the way down the hill from Nippers at a new little establishment (name skips me) I got to talking to some folks whose spouses were from the Panhandle. They had spent lots of time in the Destin, Panama City and Pensacola areas. Another fun day and fun to talk with folks familiar with home stomping grounds.
Once again, winds picked up and had us rocking in the morning, so we weighed anchors and headed for Marsh Harbor. Forecast was not sounding pretty for the next several days and little did we know how many days that low pressure was going to affect us.
We arrived in Marsh Harbor on Friday 5-18th and anchored in the bay off the docks. I filled up with fuel here. Extasea, Naked Lady, Carefree II and I are all anchored in fairly close proximity. We made reservations at the Jib Room for Sat Steak night. OH MY awesome meal. They only serve dinner 2 nights a week and Sat is steak night. Delicious!! I met a whole table of folks from WV, my area, west side, Belle, Sissonville. They were Jones’, but not related. For my WV buds, they know Burl Jones well. They were here renting a house for a couple of weeks. Small Small world. We knew the same areas. The Jib Room had music and limbo going on, so we did a little limbo until we realized we were too old and lacked the flexibility to keep up with the Limbo King of the island. We let him win the kitty that night. Marsh Harbor is an area that is like a big city harbor. They have everything here that you need or want. They have very well stocked super markets, an airport, shops, motels, marinas, etc. It also has a very large anchorage with good holding….. Thank goodness. We have had 20-30 East, NE knot winds sustained, gusting higher since arriving. I have my little delta out with about 8-9 scope and it has held great. As long as I have held, I am sure there is no reason to put out 2 anchors. My new motto is “Why use 2 if one will do?” Everyday I think it cannot get worse, however last night and today has been 25-30 consistent. This is thanks to a trough sitting right over us. They are not expecting this to let up until Sunday or Monday. That was wishful thinking. Sea of Abaco is too rough to go anywhere in. A sailboat that was on an outer island broke loose last night, engine failed and they ended up over here on the beach at Marsh Harbor on their side. We walked over there today and watched until a squaw chased us back to the boats. They have a beautiful boat with teak decks and my heart was crying for them. There was a young couple on board. They were waiting on high tide and 2 boats were supposed to come out at high tide and try to help pull them off. They had a stern line out attached to a wench to keep them from going any further onto the rocky beach. We were all praying for them. I got a thrill later that evening when I looked out and saw the 2 power boats leading them into the anchorage. They were ok, the boat was ok!!!! Looking at that beautiful vessel laying on her side at the mercy of the 30-35 knot winds out there, breaking seas, wind increasing and squall approaching was just heart wrenching for me. My heart went out to the couple trying to save their boat. Happy Happy ending to that story.
Weather is very unusual here for this time of year. Even dingy rides to shore are rough at best. Everyone here is ready for summer weather to arrive with gentle winds. The marina’s and anchorages are full of boats trying to get back to the states or further south. I talked to 2 boats trying to get to Bermuda and the Azores and have been waiting on weather for a month.
We all loaded on Extasea and Naked Lady 2 days ago and just went out around the corner outside of the anchorage so they could make water in cleaner water and fill their tanks. They also made Pixie about 10 gals to top her tanks off. Their water makers are great. The water tastes great and is about 98% pure. The water here in this particular anchorage is very dirty so they cannot make it in here. We took a dingy ride into a protected beach cove and you could almost forget the wind was blowing in there. It was still and calm. Nice reprieve from the singing rigging and howling winds taking place just 300 yds away. In this kind of weather, you clean your boat top to bottom, I even oiled all my interior wood, did some boat projects, read and J caught up on journaling.
Winds here continued to howl for 10 days. In the interim, Audrey and I both caught a little flu bug that lasted about 36 hrs. We were not our perky little selves for a couple of days. Those of you who know me well, when I cannot eat, something is definitely going on. J 2 days of sleeping and then all was well again, just in time for the weather to let up so we can finally get out of Marsh Harbor.
 

Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: s/v Faith on July 13, 2007, 05:43:05 PM
On day 10, 5-28-07 we excitedly weighed anchor and headed back to Great Guana to anchor off Fishers Bay. For the next 4 days we snorkeled, explored, walked and fished. We took a day and went dingy exploring down the beaches on the Abaco side. I picked up some really unique pretty shells that I hope to make some jewelry out of later. The water looks just like bath water and we took the time to just enjoy the beautiful paradise surroundings. They will not allow you to walk to the interior of the island in this area. They are building a new resort, golf course and marina. The locals are very much up in arms about this and a legal fight is in the works. Some local islanders are arguing pollution and ruination of the reefs, developers are forging ahead while both parties wait for the judge to make a ruling. Signs against the development are very visible all around the island settlement.That afternoon I went fishing from the dinghy with Carefree and we caught enough grunt, porgy’s and triggers for a fish fry for all 4 boats. Easy to catch on conch parts. We just fished along the rocky shore and looked for rocks in the shallow water to fish around. Another fun evening was had on Extasea before Mark and Katie on Carefree were heading back to the states the next morning. We really hated to see them go. They have been a lot of fun to have around. As of the next morning, we were back down to the 3 musketeers. They circled us before leaving using the air horn to let us know they were off to the states. Story is, they are going to get the boat upgraded some, add a water maker, generator etc and then head back over once the house sells.
The next day, I cleaned my boat bottom and then snorkeled the reef which was awesome. I had a beautiful sea turtle that seemed to have no problem swimming with me. I hovered over him/her as it glided along gracefully. The sunlight danced off the beautiful golden brown designs on its shell. It would stop and hang on the bottom eating grass, then gracefully glide along again with me right there with it. I loved that. I also saw a large mangrove snapper, a school of grunt hanging in a huddle on the bottom, a school of ballyhoo, numerous tropical fish of all kinds. The reef was so colorful with the sunlight reflecting off its many shades of both plant and animal life.
My day took a little turn for the worse when I rode into shore with Audrey and Rick to go walking. I had my big back pack on and on my way up a very tall ladder at the dinghy dock, I lost my balance and fell all the away to the bottom (as if there is any where else to fall) onto a cross board that supported the ladder. Yes, I am very black and blue, luckily I did not need stitches or worse yet, break my pelvis. It was a little tense and very painful until I could assess the damage and apply lots of ice to various locations. Being able to walk was a blessing. I think my guardian angel helped with that one. It could have been so much worse. We even ended up taking a shortened version of our walk a couple hours later. For those of you wondering, the answer is “NO, I had not even had 1 beer that I could use as my excuse.” This was all me.
Hello Everyone:
Here is the latest update on Connie’s travels.
Sat,6/2/07,11:15AM
It’s been almost 2 weeks since we have bored you all with email from the
Bahamas, so-o-o here it is! After a week & a half in Marsh Harbour (MH) the 4
boats in our little group were ready to go elsewhere (needed to be able to wake
up in the morning, walk out of the cabin, & be able to see the bottom in
beautiful water). About an hour across the Sea of Abaco we reanchored at
Fisher’s Bay on Great Guana (much prettier than MH). Carefree II (with Dad &
Daughter-Mark & Katie) deserted us last Tues
AM to go back to Stuart to that “job” thing. Those guys were great fun & we
miss their smiles (& M ark’s fresh fish & seafood). We’ll meet up again sooner
than later hopefully. The forecast of TS Barry carried the other 3 boats of us
to better anchorages on Thurs (Extasea to Treasure Cay, Pixie Dust to Hopetown &
Naked Lady to MH again). We are anchored (Connie moored) & all safe &
protected. Our winds in the harbours have only been up to about 30 & it is
rather wet today, but the Bahamas need
the rain as much as FL does. We’re hoping by Mon or Tues we’ll have calmer
seas. Pixie Dust will join us again Mon & after we hear on Tues about water
maker parts that we ordered, we’ll be out & about to other islands in Abaco
paradise. We’re great as we hope you all are - talk again soon.
Audrey & Rick
PS-We filled our water tank from rain water today (great new tarp Bruce with
Rick’s PVC additions, tie downs, etc.).

6-6-07
On Thursday, I headed to Hope Town located on Elbow Cay, one of my favorite locations. Welcome back 20 knot winds!! I had 18-20 on the nose, stiff chop and sea spray all the way there for 3 hours. I also entered the harbor on extremely low low tide which I do not recommend to anyone other than a planing boat or a dinghy. How I ended up not grounded was once again sweet luck. My depth sounder registered 2.7 at one point and I need 3.6. I utilized the ferry wake and throttled up to get past that hairy location. I made it in, but I was kissing the bottom in some areas. I snagged a mooring ball on the first attempt, cleaned up the boat and made ready for some more nasty storms headed this way.
I love Hope Town. As you enter the Harbor, there is a red and white candy striped working light house that sits at the mouth of the harbor. You can even go up to the top for a wonderful view of the island and surrounding waters. Inside, the harbor has brightly painted houses and restaurants all around the perimeter. Hope Town Lodge sits up on the hill overlooking the harbor and the Atlantic. As you walk up the stairs to it, you have the sweet smell of various flowers greeting you. I have always wanted to stay there, and I had the opportunity to do so this trip. It was fun getting off the boat, having nice hot water whenever you wanted it and as much as you wanted, being in a nice room where you could look out and watch the storms, knowing that your boat is safe on a mooring ball and no worries about anchors dragging. When you are doing it, you really don’t realize how nice it is to just have that little break from the stress of being on the boat in heavy winds, storms and on the hook. The room had a little porch off it with Adirondack chairs overlooking the pool and the Atlantic. It was a full moon weekend which made all tides extreme. I am so glad I had this opportunity to enjoy this beautiful establishment for longer than just an afternoon at the pool. A day of dinghy exploring of tidal creeks, the harbor etc took place in the rain on Saturday. Even in the rain, it was fun. I located another Com-pac 25 anchored in a little hurricane hole, but no one was on board. Sunday entailed a long walk to Turtle Hill for a beachside restaurant lunch, then onto White Sound to check out Abaco Inn and Sea Spray. A few games of backgammon ended up with Pixie here being the hands down champion. J
Back to Hope Town, this time via van, for yet another wonderful meal. Food in Hope Town is wonderful. If you ever get a chance, spend some time in Hope Town, grab a mooring ball, get off the boat and explore Elbow Cay. You will not be disappointed. It is a great place to meet up with family or friends for a vacation like atmosphere in beautiful surroundings. It also is a hot spot for weddings. Several were taking place during my stay there. The golf carts were decorated with flowers, white sheets and or coconuts. Everyone was smiling, even in the rain on Saturday.
Things happen in 3’s and on Thursday, I had a very sore little knot on my back, but by the weekend, it was terrible. Large, painful, and obviously infected. I immediately started self medicating with antibiotics, warm compresses, and antibiotic cream, however, it was not improving. All clinics were closed in Hope Town until Monday morning, so I went first thing. The nurse tortured me and then recommended I see an MD in Marsh Harbor. I really wanted to be a sissy girl and cry, but kept telling myself that it would do no good and would not make it hurt any less. Long story short, I have been bitten by a spider, assumed to be a recluse. That darn thing must have gotten me good. I have a lot of necrosis and the MD is not pleased with the looks of it. He has changed my antibiotic, tried to clean it up, but it is too much for a clinic. He is giving the antibiotic until Friday and if not improvement, he is sending me to Nassau for surgery to remove the necrotic tissue. L It is a very large place and he is concerned about the outcome without surgical removal of the damaged tissue and poisoned area. This is such a bummer, because right now, the winds are wonderful, the sun is shining, the seas are calm and I am ready to go, however I have to stay in Marsh Harbor until Fridays verdict. I am not allowed in the water, so even swimming is out. The weather has definitely changed and instead of the N, NE cool winds and cool nights, we are having S, SW and muggy hot days. I could at least be content if I could get in the water. I am not the happiest of girls right now. Again, crying will not change the course of events. The bright side, Naked Lady is making plans to stick with me through this. I keep telling I will be OK, but they are wonderful and caring and I could just cry thinking about how lucky I am that Jimmy Bus put me in touch with them. It sure makes my family feel better and I feel as though I have family here with me. If I have the time, we could have the boats to Nassau in 3 days, otherwise, I will have to fly in for the procedure. More to come on this one. Since this is #3 ordeal in the last 2 weeks, this should be it for a while. J I cannot complain, it could always be worse. This is just a little life challenge, nothing major.
Hope all is well with everyone. Here is hoping I am heading towards the Berry’s soon for swimming and diving and not towards Nassau for the knife.
Love and Friendship to All
6/8/07
Pixie is getting back on top of her game!! Wonderful News!!!!!! He said it is 1million x’s improved. He cleaned out some more necrotic tissue, (torture was much less today- anesthetic actually took) feels like he is fully into good tissue now and my body will continue to heal it from here. I will remain on Cipro, stay out of the water, clean and dress it 3x’s per day and it should be fine. Swelling and redness is 95% improved just since Tues night. He wants me to go to an MD immed if it takes a turn for the worse or stops progressing. I really do not think that is going to happen. WOOOWOOOWOOOO
I am so happy to get this news. I felt certain it looked much much better, but was not sure it was going to be enough for his approval.  Who would have thought a spider bite??? Shark, jelly fish maybe, but not this. He said that spiders are prevalent down here.
We are pulling anchor tomorrow and heading further south. YIPEEE. Rainy day today, but that is good. I have my water catchers out for some much needed tank topping off.
Jeff True, an MD from the states will also be flying in this afternoon to go to his home on Guana. He is going to take a look at it for me too. 
All is good again in Abaco.
I want to thank everyone for their wonderful emails, prayers, good wishes and additional contacts for information. I am lucky to have all of you as friends!!!!
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: s/v Faith on July 13, 2007, 05:44:44 PM
6-15-07 Friday
Ahoy!!! A rainy day in Abaco.
Well, since last posting, Naked Lady and Pixie Dust left Marsh Harbor on Saturday June 9th in the morning after a wonderful doctor report on Friday and lots of rain in the harbor. We both filled our water tanks with wonderful fresh rain water, topped off fuel and was ready for another adventure. We had planned on attending Junkanoo on Friday night, which is a Bahamian Street party, but the rain ended up canceling the event. It is a parade with lots of colorful costumes, dancing, street bands, and local food. They were flying entertainers in from other islands. Touted to be a very fun and lively event. We were disappointed, but maybe next week.
We headed to Tilloo which was about a 2 hour run. Wind of course was variable and on the nose as is so often the case with us sailors, but the run was beautiful. We skirted the edge of Great Abaco gliding along in the Sea of Abaco, enjoying the beautiful coastline, colorful homes and gorgeous, gorgeous blue water of varying shades. It took about 1 ½ hours to just get around the corner coming out of Marsh Harbor to Boat Harbor on the other side of the Island. The scenery was lovely under the beautiful sunny blue sky. As we neared the anchorage at Tilloo which is an out island, we looked back and it was rainy and stormy on the island we had just left. We watched the storms on the other side of Sea of Abaco all day while we had sunshine and sweet breezes. The anchorage at Tilloo is beautiful. The water is clear and the bottom is active with sea life and grass beds. A few private homes is all that is on the island. We took dinghy’s into shore for a nice walk on the beach and then a dinghy exploration ride around the rocky coastline until we came to a reef that opens into the Atlantic. That night, it was a moonless sky and the stars were unbelievable. No ambient light to distract from the starlight glow in the sky. It just takes my breath away to lie on the cabin top and just look at the night sky when you are in a secluded area and the night sky has the opportunity to show its true designs.
The next morning, I took the dinghy to shore for a wonderful adventure. I still cannot get in the water and swim until this little hole in my back heals, but I waded to my knees in perfectly clear water. I watched as baby barracuda swam close to shore. Thousands of little neon minnows surrounded them in a circular pattern, leaving a wide empty circle between them and Mr. Cuda. It reminded me of kids in a school yard with the “it” in the middle and how they circle calling come and get me, but skirting just far enough away to provide the safety zone so they don’t become the “it”. It was funny to watch this game of cuda and minnow (cat and mouse) J I saw bright red starfish about 10” across lying in the calm shallow surf. I watched 2 huge fat sea cucumbers inching along. I saw lots of trails in the sand, tiny little holes in the sand trail line. When I followed it, I came upon baby queen conch, the size of the palm of my hand. The little holes are the spines that they have to pull. I watched it inch about ¼ ” then stop to rest, another ¼” then stop to rest. Very, slow process. These were everywhere. Sea urchins were prevalent with their long black spines and other little fish darted in and out of the soft surf. On the beach, folks had left seats of boats and old rattan sofas to sit on. There were also volley ball poles, home built table tops on stumps and grills. This was all sitting under a pine grove area overlooking the beach. This was a nice way to spend my morning coffee time.
At high tide, we weighed anchor and headed to Little Harbor, passing N. Bar Channel, another opening into the Atlantic. The water here is the most beautiful shade of turquoise I have ever seen. I am not sure the crayola box has a color to match this beautiful shade.
We anchored outside around the edge from Little Harbor where we would have some breeze. You could hear the surf breaking against the rocky jetty that separated us from the harbor and the Atlantic. Audrey and Rick draw a little too much water and would need a really high tide to get in the harbor. We jumped in the dinghy and headed to famous Pete’s Pub. Pete Johnston is the owner and also does bronze work. He has a gallery there and a work shop for his bronzing and jewelry making, a trade he learned from his father. His parents came here, lived on a boat and they even lived in the caves on the island until they were able to build a home. Quite a story and quite an interesting man. We had the opportunity to chat with him at his beach side establishment. He had on a very large sharks tooth necklace which was set in a shark at the top. The gold chain was large with a shackle connecting the shark and tooth to the chain. Quite an interesting piece. Pete’s Pub is an outdoor little restaurant and bar with fun written all over it. A big traffic light hangs off the front of it with numerous tee shirts and under garmets hanging from the rafters with lots of boat names and memory events. We ran into some friends, Cyndi and Eddie on Cyrano from Marsh Harbor who had driven down for the day. They introduced us to some locals and the conversation was lively and very interesting. Talk of hurricane shelters, island history, boat names and of course, spider bites were just a few of the topics.
The next day, NL was waiting on a little water to float her boat again, J I took off for shore to explore the island. I walked up to a high point on the harbor (Little Harbor is also on Great Abaco) This is where the old Pete’s Pub and home used to be as well as the old lighthouse. Now it is a lighted tower. The walls of the old place are still standing with some roof structure. The walls were about 12” thick with tall skinny windows. The cistern is still there as well as an off structure with a fireplace. Over the point, the Atlantic has dug way back into the rocks creating a cave like appearance as the water rushes in and crashes against the rocks. On my way down and walking along the harbor, a local the we met the previous evening came by on a 4 wheeler and offered me a tour of the island by ATV. That was fun and I got a little more island history as well as some beautiful scenery of the beaches and hilltop sights. Larry is a treasure hunter during the winter months and offered me a position on his search boat if I chose to be really adventuresome. All dives are mostly in 40’ or less of water. Maybe I will have a new career…. Treasure hunting on sunken Spanish Galleons. (it is ok Mom, I don’t see me doing that just yet J) NL finally was floating and her team came to shore where we had an awesome lunch at Pete’s Pub. The tuna and the grouper sandwiches were the best that I have ever tasted anywhere!
We stayed there 2 nights. We took the dinghy and explored creeks, tidal areas and mangroves. There is supposed to be a blue hole too, but we did not locate it. Lots of wonderful sea turtles and many, many of the bright red starfish were seen in this location. The water again was crystal clear. You get up in the morning and see what is under your little floating home. It is like being on the surface of an aquarium.
Wed. afternoon 6-13 we headed for Lanyard Cay, a whole 40 minutes if that, cruising back over to the other side of Sea of Abaco to another out island. Lots of corals around this anchorage and poor Naked Lady discovered one around midnight when their boat shifted and the tide dropped. No problem, just pull anchor and move the boat out a little further. Next day, Audrey and Rick snorkeled the anchorage and I dinghied and looked over the side at the fish and underwater scenery. It is killing me not being able to jump in, but by Monday, I should be good to go. Later that day, we fished the coral heads and caught enough fish for a great little fish fry that night. At 4:00, we weighed anchor due to shifting winds and the need to not be on a lee shore. We were going to Snake Cay, but when we got there, the wind was a little more than anticipated so we decided to go ahead to Marsh Harbor. Rick has parts coming in and I need a couple of parts as well as changing engine oils etc. 4 hrs later, we entered good ole Marsh Harbor, 8:00 at night, anchored up and fried the fish with some cheese grits and bean salad. YUM!!!!!!!!
Thurs 6-14, spent time doing engine work on the boat and searching for a new thermostat. No luck yet, but I have not given up. Today is Friday, 6-15 and we are going to hang here tonight and try the Junkanoo again. It is rainy today, so we shall see if they get to have it or not. It is supposed to be squally this weekend, so as soon as that is past, we are headed to the out islands and probably up around the Whale again to enjoy the snorkeling on the areas we missed coming down. I promised myself that I would go back and enjoy them under more favorable conditions and the summer weather has finally kicked in to allow this. Life is good in Abaco. I keep hearing the song in my head, “It is all right now, I learned my lessons well, you can’t please everyone, so you gotta please yourself.” That I am doing! All smiles on this end…plus, I got to talk to Ethan this morning. I love and miss my babies. Hugs and kisses to all!
Love and friendship!
Connie
Sat,6/23/07,9:30AM
Another week has gone by since our last email update (my, how time flies).
After all these years of cruising the Bahamas, we finally made it to the “pig
roast” at Nippers on Great Guana last Sunday (great friends, great music, great
food, great fun). Naked Lady & Pixie Dust have been enjoying some of the outer
islands since Sun. Baker’s Bay on Mon - Rick & I snorkeled & tried to find the
honey hole for seafood but failed (although we did see a lot of fish life off
the reef area on the north end
of the island). Can’t remember whether we stayed anchored at Baker’s Bay 1 or 2
nights (that’s what happens whe n you’re on island time). Our trip out in the
ocean around Whale Cay was uneventful - nice sailing all the way to Crab Cay.
Pixie Dust did a sail into the anchorage since her boat would not crank after
strictly sailing for a while (just a broken wire on the starter - Capt Rick to
the rescue). We’re having a great time - caught a few little fish, even though
we were hoping for bigger
ones. The anchorage at Crab Cay got pretty bouncy on Thurs but calmed down for
some good rest during the night, then Fri AM we woke up to winds & bounce again
so pulled anchor & headed to the other side of the islands to Cooperstown for
protection from the west winds. A local Bahamian (with lobster for sale)
visited us Fri afternoon - guess what we had for dinner Fri night (6 for $20 &
we ate the “whole” thing). Lobster & our few little fish we had caught made a
great dinner - man, can’t get any
better than that. Our plans are to go to Allans-Pensacola today - the weather
forecast is looking OK. The sailing regatta will begin at Fiddle Cay on July
3rd with the kickoff party, then for the next week it will be all sailing &
partying (with local foods, drinks, etc.) so we’re in this area for the next 2
weeks. Talk again soon.
Audrey & Rick
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: s/v Faith on July 13, 2007, 05:46:15 PM
6-15-07 Friday
Well it rained and we did not get to go to Junkanoo. They had it anyway this time because we could hear the music from our boats, but it was raining a little too much to make the trek across the sound. Besides, we were busy catching water for our tanks. This has become a thrilling challenge for us, to see just how much we can catch. LOL
6-16-07 Saturday was a good day. Weather was a little unsettled and rained a good bit so we opted to stay in Marsh Harbor another day and wait for better weather to move. I was able to get a little running around done in the morning before the rains came. That evening, we went to the Jib Room at Marsh Harbor Marina for their awesome steak night. Those folks do it right! We had a table full of friends anchored in the harbor with us and a good time, great meal was had by all. The rains quit that night and allowed a sky full of stars to shine through. On sunny days, my 165 watt solar panel keeps up with the Engel refrigerator, VHF, stereo etc, however on cloudy and even partly cloudy days, I have to run the engine in the morning and sometimes before bed to charge the batteries. I have a Microlog battery monitor that Kurt installed for me before leaving PC and it has been great to keep me apprised of my battery situation. Easy to install, affordable and gives me all I need to know for both the starter and house batteries. Simple system and simple to use. My boat has not been hooked to shore power since the 2 days in Cortez back in March, so the solar and engine has been my total battery charging source. I have learned that when cruising, it is necessary to run the engine, sometimes even when under sail to get the batteries charged back up where they need to be. I have also come to really trust my Delta Anchor. 30 ft of chain is plenty for my boat and with me pulling anchors, it is really plenty! J I have not had to put out 2 anchors in quite some time. Even in Marsh Harbor, winds at 20-35, the delta held beautifully. I am a firm believer in methodically setting the anchor and allowing 5 to 1 scope, but usually having out 6 or 7 to 1 if the anchorage allows the luxury. It is amazing how much better anchors hold if enough scope is allowed. The boat that ended up on the rocks only had about 50 ft or so of anchor line. No wonder they dragged that night. We saw them at the Jib Room and they are doing fine!
6-17-07 Sunday- Day to relocate! YIPEE. Early morning phone calls from shore to wish everyone a happy Fathers Day, then back to PD to weigh anchor. Winds are sweet, Sea of Abaco is calm, and Great Guana is calling our name. Naked Lady and Pixie pulled anchor and headed to Fishers Bay where we anchored, then went to Nipper’s for the famous Pig Roast. Oh My. Great place to people watch. Lots of Marsh Harbor folks had the same idea as us, so it was like old home week on Guana. We met Susan and Tom on Soon Reach out of Ft. Lauderdale and I ran into a couple I had met in Maxwell’s while grocery shopping in Marsh Harbor on that rainy day. She laughed when we saw each other and told me I cleaned up well. I met their grown children and grand children who are here cruising with them for a couple of weeks. Food was good and lots of it. They had live music, lots of dancing, 2 pools and a gorgeous beach to look at. I am avoiding spiders hopefully. J This is the island I had my encounter. We left late afternoon and Audrey and I found a little shop where the few things left were ½ price. We both got a sarong and top outfit for a whopping $12.00. We were happy girls. That evening we dingied around the anchorage and met our neighbors. Another fun day in Paradise.
6-18-07 Monday- Audrey and I had fresh hot cinnamon rolls calling our name, so I picked her up and we dingied into shore to the bakery. They were still making them, so we sat in rocking chairs on the front porch and enjoyed the peaceful view of the harbor and the breeze. We watched a beautiful sunfish close to shore. They swim with their pectoral fin slapping the top of the water. They make quite a noise and splash while doing this. They are pretty good size. We waited 1 hour for our cinnamon roll, but my, my it was worth it. Every Bite!! Another fresh loaf of Bahamian bread for the boat and we headed back. We weighed anchor and headed a whole 2 miles up the island to Bakers Bay to enjoy paradise. I encountered some engine issues, leaking radiator cap, but Capt Rick had an extra on board and it is working fine. Thank goodness. I had fluid leaking out even when the engine was not under load. Once I got that issue resolved, I headed to shore for a wonderful long walk along the pink sandy beach. I also took sand and cleaned a little soft growth off the dinghy bottom. I cooked a nice dinner and watched a tow boat and barge entertain me as it pulled it away from shore and then spent about 1 ½ hours getting it prepared for moving around Whale Pass. This anchorage is right at the Whale. This is the area they are building a huge resort and marina. Should be open Nov of 08. I love this spot of paradise. Again, there is no phone reception, towers, stores and very few boats in the anchorage.. Stars are brilliant in locations such as this.
6-19-07 Tues I went under the boat (bite is all better and I can now get in the water) and had a heart attack when I saw all the growth on Pixie’s bottom. I had never seen my bottom so encrusted, which is no wonder I was going so much slower. It was horrible. I worked a good while on the hull /rudder area, but will need to put on the tank to complete the job. Thank you Boot Key Harbor Marathon for this nasty bottom growth.
Late afternoon, we headed around the Whale, out into the Atlantic and back in heading to Manjack Cay. I could not believe how much more speed I had with just the belly of the boat being cleaned. I actually turned off the engine and had a wonderful soft easy sail with winds actually somewhere other than on the nose. I loved it. When I went to head into the anchorage, my engine would not start, so I let NL know that I was coming in under sail. Winds were perfect for it, anchorage large and not crowded. Once in, anchor down, the problem was quickly found and resolved. I had a wire break on the starter. My mechanic, Capt Rick, came over and confirmed my findings and before you could open a beer, he had a new connection made and bingo!!! The engine fired up.
6-20-07 Wednesday What a cool day. Took a dinghy ride to a hiking trail on the North End of Manjack in a little cove and walked to other side of the island where a gorgeous secluded beach was found on the Atlantic side. Lots of beautiful white sand and you could watch fish feeding right off shore. Then back to the anchorage and snorkeled a sunken sailboat and barge where lots of fish were observed. Had my pole spear, but there was too much rusted structure to get into where the “good” fish were hanging out. I think they knew they were in safe territory. Got my fishing pole out and caught several small grunt, but the larger snapper were not coming out of the rusted structures. There was also a decent size Cuda hanging out around the area. Audrey, Rick and I got a little skunked this time. Oh well, hamburgers tonight and more bait to fish with.
6-21 Winds kicked up again and it was overcast, but a good day to clean stainless. It was not too hot and it was too bouncy to go running in the dinghy. I started to just do the bimini frame, but being the type A that I am, I could not stop there. I ended up cleaning all the boat stainless and even some of the brass. No more rust spots! Rick radioed me and said I was wearing him and Audrey out just watching me. J. Later that afternoon, I went dinghy riding anyway and got to the backside of the Cays in the creek areas and was able to play a little there.
6-22-07 Headed over to Coopers Town to get a better protected anchorage from the wind direction. Coopers “Town” is a bit of a misnomer. The guide book says there are lots of things there, however, most of it was destroyed in a hurricane and has not been rebuilt. There is not one Batelco pay phone on the island that works. All the locals use cell phones. There is a laundry mat, grocery store with very marked up prices, a gas bar, liquor store convenience store all in one. (Yes, the sign says Gas Bar). Still the people are very friendly and the Bahamian children spend all day swimming in the Sea of Abaco. Mostly unsupervised. They are full of laughter and big smiles. A small boat came up to Pixie with a very smiling Bahamian who had fresh seafood for sale. What a deal and meal we had. 6 nice big lobsters for $20. He also had conch, $2.00/each. If any of you have ever cleaned conch, that is a deal!!! They are not easy to clean. Yes, the lobster is out of season, but he says they do not go after the small guys making a little extra money, they go after the big guys, Pirates, as he called them. I sent him over to Naked Lady and he and Rick had a long conversation. Rick was probably thrilled to have an opportunity to be a boy rather than one of the “girls”. J This guy had been in a bad auto wreck in Nassau where he used to live. He has lost total use of his right arm, it is basically just a hanging limb, but this obviously has not dampened his spirit or willingness to work. He relocated to Coopers Town where he had some family. He had a nice little boat with a nice outboard and he was working hard. He also had an award winning smile. Rick introduced him to a Hawaiian Sling and gave him some ideas for gathering the lobster from under the traps without having to chase them down. Here, they put out big “doors” which are basically large wooden structures for the lobster to house in. They lift these boards and begin chasing the little Bahamian Chicken Bugs all over the bottom. Rick suggested a net at one end and use a poker to run them into the nets. The guy was quite interested in that idea. We had just heard on Radio Abaco 93.5 (that station is a story all in itself) that a guy on Grand Bahama had been arrested for having 80# of lobster in his fish house. The fine for 1 lobster or 80# is $2000 fine and/or 1 yr in jail. We cooked (microwaved and fried) and ate the lobster immediately and then threw the shells overboard. No evidence unless they pump our stomachs and then they would have had lots of it!
That afternoon I donned dive gear and cleaned the bottom of the Pixie good. YUK. Those guys who clean bottoms deserve every dime they get. Her little bottom was the worst I had ever seen it, thanks to Boot Key Harbor, Marathon. I think that basin is a fertilizer for bottom growth. She looks good now though. I had to use the whole darn tank of air just to get it all done. At the very end, I am taking off my gear in the water and look over and there is a nice Barracuda, just checking out the neighborhood around my boat. I picked up at least 1 knot of speed just by getting the growth off. I will keep up with it now!
6-22-07 Friday Headed to Powell Cay for a beautiful anchorage that we had all to ourselves. The wind was blowing 17-19 knots out of the W, so we were now getting pounded in Coopers Town. You are anchored right on the Sea of Abaco at Coopers Town and so you also get all the big boat wakes as they go by. Groups of &%$# Sea Rays with their bows in the air and there sterns in the water throw huge wakes that travel for miles, especially when there are 10-12 together. I will spare you the ranting and raving on that issue. J ANYWHOO Great little sail across the Bay to Powell and lots of good snorkeling here. This Cay has great protection from the East. Nothing here but nature. Gotta Love It. We found a sunken sailboat right off the beach and saw lots of fish including a lion fish. They are not native to the Bahamas but several have been spotted. These fish are dangerous and should not be touched, but they are absolutely beautiful to see and watch. Check them out on internet if you do not know what they look like. Gorgeous piece of God’s creation. There is also beautiful snorkeling at the N end of the Cay. A great beach and reef area with a nice drop off. Powell is now one of my most favorite places to be. The sunset that night was spectacular. The Cay is relatively high with some nice rocky cliffs along it. It is a wonderful place to dinghy explore along the rocky coast. Again, the water is so clear, you feel like you are looking into an aquarium. Next time I go back here, I want to take the dinghy around the SE tip of the island and go to Soldier and High Cay. Looks like there may be some good reef snorkeling there too.
We also did a little pole fishing here and got enough little stuff for a fish fry. I love these areas; we do not spend any money and still eat well!
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: s/v Faith on July 13, 2007, 05:48:07 PM
Sunday 6-24-07 We pulled anchor and headed North again to Allen’s Pensacola Gorgeous Here!!! A must see location. This is the island we went to previously and the winds were so bad, we immediately pulled anchor and went to an anchorage where we could have better protection. Trust me, going in with no winds is very different than going in with 23 knots of rolling and breaking seas. The water color here is dynamic with multiple shades of blue, aqua, turquoise and brown green and white. You feel like you are looking at a paint palette. We jumped in the dinghy with snorkel gear and went on the N Side between AP and Guineamans Cay to the Atlantic Side of the Cay and found a big rock where we snorkeled it, and then did a drift dive down the rocky shoreline to the other end of the island. Rick had the dinghy in tow. We saw grouper, 2 barracuda, a nurse shark about 4 ½ ft. and a wonderful kaleidoscope of tropical fish. I saw the largest file fish I have ever seen in my life. It must have been 2 ft. long with lots of blue markings. I watched it for the longest time. I also saw huge red parrot fish. As I am watching these barracuda swim along with us, I realize I still have on my gold jewelry. Not sure how much of the gold on, cuda curiosity, missing ear is true, but it made me breath a little faster thinking about that than the shark we saw. The shark was in a very big hurry to keep on moving past us. The Cuda liked hanging with us, either below or beside us. I kept a wary eye on their positions. This has been the best snorkeling yet! As we rounded the corner between Guineamans and Umbrella Cay to come in the pass, the current was letting us feel as though we were flying. Audrey and I kept looking at each other wondering just how fast we were cruising while Rick was trying not to get ran over by the dinghy he was pulling behind him. Then they appeared!! Bahamian Chicken still in the shells. YEE HAW We quietly, sneakingly collected 12 for our dining pleasure. Quick!!…to the beach, hurry and clean them before anyone spots us. While cleaning them, we had a huge ray that just loved our company. I think he has been lonely for some time because he just would not leave the premises. He wanted a mate and he was not picky about it being the dinghy, Rick, Audrey or me. He was not even eating the conch, err Chicken parts. We were in ankle deep water and he kept coming right up to us… which made us skedaddle out of his way. He had no fear of us, that is for sure. Days like this are at the top of the list of being awesome. We had conch salad for dinner, the folks from Wenches, Peter and Anna joined us and a good time was had by all with another beautiful sunset in the background. Wenches brought fried Mahi Fingers that were great!!
Monday 6-25 Still in Allen’s Pensacola We fished the rocks today and caught enough for Rick Audrey and me to have a little fish fry. J YUM We walked to other side of the island on the Atlantic side, literally running from the biting bugs. This is the worst we have seen yet. For the most part, it has not been a problem. It was worth it! We found the swing, took lots of picts, walked the beach and read all the buoys and hanging artifacts with all the boat names and dates of folks who have visited the location. Often folks pick up trash on the beach, turn it into works of art by placing their boat name, dates of visit etc on it, then hang it from the trees for everyone’s viewing pleasure and photo opts. It is really quite cool and looks neat. Some folks really go all out. I have photos for later. We knew wind and squalls were coming, but was not sure when, so we opted to just continue to enjoy this day in this fabulous location for all it was worth. What a beautiful day and night it was, but by morning the winds were picking up fast and shifting so we knew our time had come to weigh anchor again. Plan was to head to Coopers Town for laundry, but the wind and direction became too much for this to be an area of any anchoring at all. We headed back to Manjack, our favorite anchorage for strong winds out of the N, E, and SE.
Tuesday 6-26-07 WOW 20-23 knots on the nose and the Sea of Abaco gets nasty quick. You can not run down the lee of the islands in this area due to sandbars, so we had to go out to the W. side of the bay and take quite a little pounding. We went through a few small rain showers, nothing major, bounced a little bit, but sailboats really handle this stuff pretty well, just slow! Top speed in this mess with my little engine was only about 3.9-4.1 knots so it made for about a 5 hr run to go 21 NM. Once inside the anchorage though, it was quite nice and protected.
Wed 6-27 To Green Turtle from Manjack to do laundry and get some groceries and diesel. Very squally, rainy windy. Was able to get some diesel in Black Sound, did laundry at Abaco Yacht Club which is a boat yard with 2 washers, one dryer and very costly. Nothing like spending $20. to do 2 loads of laundry. YEP, back in civilization. Trips to shore over the next 3 days were very limited due to the continued rain, squalls and dreary conditions. Days like this, you read a lot, clean the boat from top to bottom, put on foul weather gear and clean your boat deck with soap in the rain, look for little leaks that pop up, fix broken items and nap. When you get breaks, you run into shore and take advantage of whatever quick chores you need to do on shore. It has been too bad to take the computer in to the lab. I can honestly say, Pixie is clean from her bilge to her topsides… oh yeah, even from the bottom of her keel from the other day. I even got into the dinghy and scrubbed it in the rain and while I was in Powell, I snorkeled Tinks bottom and cleaned it too. My little vessels are Mr. Clean clean. NOW bring on some sunshine so my solar panels can keep up with the Engel Fridge. I have had to run the engine 2x per day to keep the batteries charged in this weather.
Friday- Donned my foul weather gear and headed to town, just to walk a little, look in some shops and pick up some fresh vegetables and fruit. I found a great Bahamian cookbook with lots of dishes in it I cannot wait to try. Rick and Audrey got here today from Manjack and we were visiting last night when all the sudden, the storm clouds started parting and left us with a gorgeous red sky shining in part behind the billowing white thunder clouds. There was even a rainbow off to the SE amongst the darker clouds. It was like the sun was trying to remind us that it was still there and brighter days were right around the corner. It was a wonderful glow of all dimensions covering a variety of sky. A nice rainless night with calmer winds. The squalls have really not been too bad here. We have had lots of rain, but no lightening or thunder and winds have not been above 30. Very manageable in safe anchorages. I remember when I would have been stressed to the max in 30 knot of wind, now, it is just an inconvenience in paradise. You just prepare. I have my second anchor ready to drop if needed, I let out lots of scope, make sure my anchor is set, and keep an eye on what is going on when the squalls run through. You also have to watch for other boats that may break loose, but mostly all is fine, with a few occurrences that give you stories for later. Amazing how your comfort zone changes with different experiences. As oif this minute, the sun is shining and I am excited about seeing the full moon tonight! Supposed to be viewed as the largest of the year. We can all see it and think about each other looking at it at the same time.  Maybe we won’t feel so separated.
That is the latest!! Hope all is well in everyone’s life. To my family, the pay phone in Gr. Turtle is out of order, so as soon as I get to a working phone, I will give you all a call. Miss and love you greatly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We are headed around the the island in the next couple of days for the Regatta Race week, so not sure about phones in that area. Miss everyone!!!!

Love and friendship!!
aHar
- Connie
Sat,7/7/07,10:30AM

We hope everyone’s 4th of July celebration was great! We have had quite a bit
of rain in the Abacos, but it is never an all day affair so it hasn’t been too
bad. The Stranded Naked (this is a sportswear company that puts on the party)
kick-off party at Fiddle Cay for regatta week was great. There were less people
in attendance than in previous years & it seemed there were more power boaters
involved but everyone had a good time - cheeseburgers (Rick actually lined up
for food this year Espen)
were wonderful & beverage refreshments were grand as usual. Naked Lady crew
called it an early day (with thoughts of e vents from previous years). Pixie
Dust hung out a little longer & enjoyed greeting & meeting new friends from the
Bahamas boating world. We were still able to enjoy happy hour on the Naked Lady
in the evening. There were only about 30 sailboats racing on Wed the 4th but a
good time was had by all & the street party that night in Green Turtle Cay
turned out some great local food
& drinks (on the house). Enjoying old & new friends is always fun (even ran
into a few girls I went to high school with in Lake City - what a small world).
There are always things on boats to work on - our new battery charger purchased
in Marathon has quit charging so we are charging batteries either by running the
engine or solar panels - & on our trip around Whale Cay Channel Thursday our
temperature gage started reading 220 degrees. As we turned back to get away
from the channel rocks we had
a couple of squalls hit us - proved a l ittle exciting since our engine was
running hot. Come to find out, as we turned the engine off (for about the 5th
or 6th time since we needed it for the squalls) & put up our head sail, Rick
worked frantically to discover that it was actually the temperature gage & not
the engine running hot - so we proceeded around the Whale Cut again & anchored
at Baker’s Bay for the night (not with the regatta partying crowds). We
encouraged Pixie Dust to continue around
the Whale Cut as we were having our boat problems which turned out to be better
for her since the one squall she was in didn’t have the higher winds. She
continued with the regatta crowd & even crewed on the Bahamian race boat on
Friday (we have yet to hear her stories on that one - will catch up today).
Parties will continue this week & we are in Marsh Harbour again to enjoy. Naked
Lady will have to start thinking about our trip out of the Bahamas in another week - we’re thinking through the
Berry Islands (any suggestions in the Berries?). Here’s hoping you all are
having a great summer. Talk again soon.
Audrey & Rick
Title: Re: Pixie Dust 13 July 2007
Post by: s/v Faith on July 13, 2007, 05:49:57 PM
Fri,7/13/07,10:30AM
The parties are over & most people are headed home. Naked Lady is fueled up &
ready for some outer islands again (non-civilization). It has been another fun
year with old & new boater friends. Naked Lady & Pixie Dust left Marsh Harbour
again (about the 5th exit from there) yesterday AM. Both boats of us are
hanging close to this area & maybe visit Nippers on Guana Cay for their pig
roast on Sun then maybe Mon or Tues head south toward Little Harbour to get
ready for our trip to the Berry Islands.
It sure would be nice if we could have good winds (like Jimmy & Gigi had) for
our sail across the N ew Providence Channel. We’ll keep you guys informed about
our route home. You know, once you start back to the states you’re listening
for that weather window & when it happens you make decisions quickly. All
“plans” can change drastically. Our plans are still to be back in the states
maybe the 1st week in Aug. We look forward to a few more exciting days in the
Bahamas. Talk soon.
Audrey & Rick
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Zen on July 13, 2007, 10:48:50 PM
do you know we are double posting?  ???
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Zen on August 15, 2007, 08:02:27 PM
the latest from Connie on the sailfar  blog

stroll down to : 8/15-posting
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Zen on September 19, 2007, 07:50:59 PM
New blog entry on the Voyages of the Pixie... this time put into a general post with date, the other is getting too long.  :D
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: AdriftAtSea on September 19, 2007, 09:03:01 PM
thanks zen. :)
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Zen on October 08, 2007, 10:40:47 AM
New Pixie Dust update in the Sail Far Blog
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: s/v Faith on October 08, 2007, 09:03:31 PM
Quote
I have had a change in plans….big time.  I am not coming back to the states yet with Pixie.  I have found paradise in the Exumas, esp. Staniel, Sampson area and I love it here.  I have been dragging my lower lip at the thoughts of returning home with regards to returning to the rat race and I have just decided to stay here longer and see how it goes.

Congrats Connie!

Woo HOO!!!  Rose and I hope to corss some time within the next week or two, we plan to go down to the Exumas with just a couple stops in the Abacos so we hope to see you soon!
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: s/v Faith on November 02, 2007, 09:41:07 PM
Has anyone heard from Connie?
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Zen on November 03, 2007, 02:33:25 AM
Glad you are doing well and enjoying. Nothing from Connie lately
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: CapnK on November 03, 2007, 06:40:33 AM
We chatted on the phone just a couple nights ago. She's in Tallahassee, visiting family for a bit - I think for another week or so. Pixie the Boat is in Nassau at a private dock, and is OK despite the storm having popped up. For C, there's been some employment offered (legally) by an int'l company, so it looks like she's going to be able to stay down there. I'll tell her to get in touch with y'all. :)
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: AdriftAtSea on November 04, 2007, 12:42:34 AM
Thanks for the update Capn K
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Bubba the Pirate on November 04, 2007, 11:53:37 AM
Sounds like 'Livin' the Dream' to me!! 

Thanks for the update.   


TrT
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: s/v Faith on December 08, 2007, 10:01:56 PM
We chatted on the phone just a couple nights ago. She's in Tallahassee, visiting family for a bit - I think for another week or so. Pixie the Boat is in Nassau at a private dock, and is OK despite the storm having popped up. For C, there's been some employment offered (legally) by an int'l company, so it looks like she's going to be able to stay down there. I'll tell her to get in touch with y'all. :)

Any updates?
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: CapnK on December 11, 2007, 10:44:01 AM
Nothing recent, Craig - I'll send her an email, but I think she is 1) busy with the new jobs, and 2) net access isn't really easy.

She remarked to me that it seemed you get much better reception than she does. I told her about the USB antenna w/long cable...
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Zen on December 23, 2007, 11:53:05 AM
Hello to all!!!
I know I have been terrible about getting out an update, but all is well in the Exumas!!   I have been busy having new experiences, lots of fun and experiencing a new season in the Bahamas.  I had the opportunity to fly to the southern Bahamas and land in a sea plane at an old wreck on a reef in the Atlantic.  We anchored the sea plane off the wreck and then snorkeled it.  It was an old boiler ship and was still amazingly in tact after all these years of sitting on the bottom.  She was in about 20-30 foot of water.  We then flew over several islands and then landed out again where the surf was up so the guys could catch a little surfing action before returning home.  Landing and taking off in a seaplane in the Atlantic is sooo much fun!!!!!
My friend Jenny came for a visit and spent 10 days with me.  Croc took us down island for a helicopter ride and we went over to Cat Island for lunch at Hawksbill Resort and then landed on a few beaches to look for special shells.  We also flew her over some of the ruins of old settlements and plantations on the islands.  It was so much fun sharing the beauty of the Exumas with her.
I went on a salvage/recovery of a 51'  Beneteau that ended up on a reef off Conception Cay last week.  The 3 folks on the boat were rescued off in the middle of the night with a USCG helicopter.  I cannot believe the boat survived, but we were able to rescue her from the reef without any holes through her hull and tow her back the 90 NM to Sampson Cay so she can be reunited with a very happy owner.  All she is going to need is a new rudder.  That was a really neat experience although it was exhausting and challenging to the crew.
I continue to love the islands and the experiences.  I went with 2 boats on a spear fishing and lobstering trip over to Green Cay. (close to Andros) That evening and the next morning, the guys went Goat hunting.  It was so funny to see these guys spear fishing like crazy all day in wet suits at different reefs along the way, then they changed into camouflage jackets, hats and shorts and head onto the island with rifles in hand to goat hunt.  The Bahamians love goat meat and this particular Cay is overrun with goats.  The goats have eaten off all the lower foliage and some are starting to starve, so they encourage hunting to reduce the population on the Cay.
SOOO since the last update, I have now eaten Lion Fish, which have poisonous spines to touch and are not indigenous to the Bahamas.  They have been introduced here from the S. Pacific and are growing in prolific numbers with no predators to control the population.  The meat however, is not poisonous and it was very good.  White, flaky and mild in taste.  We did not fall onto the deck drooling or with seizures, so I can vouch that they are safe to eat.  I have also eaten Barbecued goat which was also delicious.  (Yes, the goat hunt was successful)  It seemed funny to me to see fish being cleaned one minute on the boat and then a goat strung up getting cleaned the next.
I am learning to run a twin screw boat which I am enjoying and also outboards that go 35 knots as compared with my little 5 knot sailboat.  Good learning experiences and going fast is not all bad.
I arrived in Tallahassee Friday night about 8:00 to spend the holidays with my family and will return to the Bahamas on Sat the 29th just in time for a pirate party that night at Staniel Cay Yacht Club.  Apparently New Years in the Exumas is full of fun during NY week.  They have Regatta races for the kids, cruisers and races on the Bahamian sloops for anyone that wants to experience the ride.  I had the opportunity to do that in the Abacos and it is great fun!!!  I am looking forward to the upcoming events in the New Year.   It is wonderful to be home for the holidays and to get another chance to hug and love on the grand-babies and my family.
The beauty of the islands continue to capture my heart and lately a family of Spotted Eagle rays have been coming into the harbor where Pixie is.  They swim by casually in the mornings and evenings and occasionally excite anyone watching with an out of water flight and huge splashdown.  So much to see and enjoy.  Each island has its own heartbeat and pulse.  I continue to meet amazing and interesting people that just make me realize how lucky I am to have this wonderful experience and to share the history and experiences of others. 
I need to scoot and do the Americanized programmed process of the holiday happenings.
I hope this quick rapid update finds all happy, healthy and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday.
Much Love and friendship,

  - Connie
Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile. Try it now.
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Pixie Dust on January 10, 2008, 03:15:03 PM
I am doing a little work over here which is great.  I am learning how to operate a twin screw.  I still have a long way to go on that, but it sure is easy in open seas.  We saved a 51' Beneteau that ended up on a very nasty reef about 90 miles SE of here.  They lost their rudder, but this group of guys got her off without even a hole in her hull.  They were amazing.  I kept them all very well fed and took my regular watches.  I am learning to read radar, operate water makers and generators.  All very new to me since I live on a little 27 footer.  :)  All good experience.  I also was home schooling a little girl on a boat from the states for a while, but they have now headed home.  Home schooling is not an easy task.  As an ex school teacher, I think it is easier to teach a class of 30 than it is to teach 1.   It is funny though, the kids go to school in a dinghy, have class on a boat, lunch on the beaches, go for swims on their breaks and have no idea how good they have it.  :)
I have decided that when my cruising permit expires in April, that I am going to renew it for another year.  I absolutely love living on my little boat and am digging the island time.  It is amazing how busy you stay!! I just repaired my auto pilot.  It only took me about 6 wks to get the belts over here to the islands for the repair, but no problem mon.  :) 
I will be rebuilding my seawater pump in the next couple of weeks.  I have the parts for that. 
I was able to go home for my youngest sons post wedding celebration in Nov and back again for a quick 1 week visit over Christmas.  I absorbed as many hugs and kisses from my grandsons as I could get. They were probably glad to escape from Mimi.  :)   I have no plans to return stateside anytime in the next several months.  One walk into Walmart makes you want to fly back to the Bahamas as fast as you can go!! :)  I love the island life and have no regrets about dropping those dock lines and heading out.  If you are worried about single-handing, don't be.  If I can do it, anyone can do it.  There are so many wonderful people out here, but you have to step out of your comfort zone and allow yourself the opportunity to meet them.   Lately, I have been too busy to journal during the day and too tired to do it in the evening.  :))   I am having the time of my life!!
Here is to blue skies, aquamarine water, seeing your anchor on the bottom and lots of rum on board.  (glad I hit the Bahamas before Craig and Frank.. I might not have found any grogg left ;))   I also shot the guys an email today to check on their location. 
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Frank on January 10, 2008, 08:09:51 PM
What struck me on Pixies post was 'leaving you comfort zone'....she gave up her job and home of many years....yet she is VERY happy.Seems the old saying is true..."jump, and the universe will provide the net"  ;)
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: LauraG on January 10, 2008, 09:51:32 PM
Aw Frank. I wanna jump so bad I can taste it. It's difficult to read about everyone being out there while I'm here trying to put a few more boat bucks in the bank. Soon....soon.....
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: AdriftAtSea on January 10, 2008, 09:55:16 PM
Good to hear from you Connie. 
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Zen on January 11, 2008, 12:01:17 AM
WONDERFUL luv, fair winds!  ;D
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Bubba the Pirate on January 11, 2008, 09:37:21 AM
I'm still jealous!   But I'm still working on my plan.    Hope to be out there next year. 

TrT
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: CapnK on March 27, 2008, 02:54:52 PM
Spoke with Conne/"Pixie" on the phone today, she's in the States for a quick unplanned family visit. All is well with her, she's lovin' the life still, and her job with the salvage operation in the Bahamas is working out well. Her 'net access there is severely limited and slow.

She said to tell everyone "Hello!".

:)
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: AdriftAtSea on March 27, 2008, 04:38:43 PM
CapK-

Tell her we all said Hi. :)
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Zen on March 27, 2008, 05:10:49 PM
(http://photobucket.com/albums/v480/ashlynmm/smileys2/th_bloww.gif)
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: CapnK on March 27, 2008, 10:07:50 PM
Zen is smitten. ;)




Too bad for Connie that you met Lady Zen first. ;D





(Cool graphic!)
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Frank on May 29, 2008, 04:15:01 PM
Anyone with an up-date on Connie?
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: CapnK on May 29, 2008, 04:47:14 PM
Got an e a week or so ago - she's doing good! Was away from Pixie for 3 weeks - 1 of those for a big regatta, 2 for $alvage work. :)

One of her sons and his wife are visiting this week, so she was really looking forward to showing them around, and anticipated enjoying their visit.
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Frank on May 30, 2008, 11:43:48 AM
I'm sure she will both enjoy their visit and being 'tour guide' to her new life as well. GOOD for her !!
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: driftingnowhere on September 11, 2008, 11:53:55 AM
Don't leave me hanging!?!  WHat happened???  No updates???
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: s/v Faith on September 11, 2008, 12:18:27 PM
THis is the last update I got;

Quote
Hi everyone.  We arrived back at Sampson Cay yesterday from down island at Samana.  We had planned on being gone another 2 wks, but we kept listening to the weather and decided we needed to head back pronto and prepare for Hurricane Hanna.   

  I found my first glass ball on Samana!!  What a treasure.  It is a beautiful green glass that was used by the Portugese on their fishing nets.  This old green glass ball made it across the ocean without getting broken and I found it mostly buried high up in the dunes.  I was thrilled to have found one of these.  I saw some cannons and found some really cool old anchors off of wrecks.  One was off a boat from the 1700-1800's based on its design.  It was lodged in some reef.  We did lots of towing which I love. 

  The reefs in that area are spectacular and you see so much marine life including sea turtles and yes, even sharks.  The anchorage was beautful and conch were in abundance right under the boat.  We ate seafood of some sort most every night.   

  Now, about this storm.  We are listening faithfully to Chris Parker at 6:30 am and 7:00 pm for the Carribean weather updates, so we were up on all the storms from the beginning.  We had not planned to leave Samana until Sun, thinking that would allow us plenty of time to get back to the Cay (20 hrs running time at 9 knots), but then his Sat evening forecast changed and we left first thing Sat morning.   We have been working all day preparing boats and the Cay. 

  Pixie has 2 bow and 2 stern anchors set and they are heavy ones with extra heavy lines and lots of chaffing gear on. I have all canvas down, solar panel down and all lines taped.  Everything I could remove has been removed and stored below.

  Tomorrow morning we are taking Grace to a mooring that is a huge anchor of about 9000#.  We are going to ride out the worst of the storm on Grace, since we feel that is the safest place to be.  She is steel hulled has huge bilges and lock down doors for several compartments.  We will also be able to run her generator so we can hear weather updates, eat, have AC, eat, take hot showers, eat.  :)   We are not expecting it to be above a Cat 1.  Hannah is currently where we just left.  It sounds like she may pass on our East side which is great.  This morning the wind was 18-22, now it is blowing 25-35 and we have had a few rain squalls today, but not too bad.  We have moved the yellow Maule into the hanger with the chopper and all the whalers have been pulled up into the bush.  Hopefully she will not circle around and hang out here a few days.  :) I really feel that it is all going to be fine and we will not see the maxium winds, not that 75 isn't a lot, but we only have to worry when the wind is coming out of the N, NW during that part of the clocking.   All other directions are very protected.   I feel pretty secure here and we have worked hard to be as prepared as possible. Wish us luck and I will send updates when I can get on internet. 

  - Connie "We must be willing to let go of the life we had planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us."[/size]
Title: Any Connie updates??
Post by: Frank on October 26, 2008, 09:24:54 PM
Wondering if anyone has heard whats new?
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Pixie Dust on December 04, 2008, 07:49:34 PM
Hi everyone!  I am so excited to be able to do a little catching up on Sailfar.  I am currently in Ft Lauderdale taking a Medical Person in Charge Class.  It ends 12-12 and then I will head back over to Pixie Dust and the Exumas.  YEAH!! This class is really good, especially to refresh me on emergency trauma, suturing etc.   Hopefully I will be better equiped for any possible emergencies that may arise both on job locations, local island emergencies and regatta events. 

The advantage to being stateside is having internet working and fast so that I can see what is new in your worlds! :)  It really is good to see your familar names again.  I have to tell you though, I still love being out there.   The Exumas are wonderful!!  I can honestly say that I just do not see myself coming back stateside to "that" life again unless finances force me in.

I hit this area in the Exumas and I just feel like I have found paradise.  :)  The folks in this area are really warm and friendly too.  Life is still outstanding.  If any of you are cruising the Exumas, please look me up!  Carl at Staniel Cay still makes the best pina colada's around.  If any of you hit any of the regattas, shoot me an email.  We finally got the internet up and running again on the Cay although it is slow, at least it works!!!
Smiles!!


Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Lynx on December 05, 2008, 12:54:04 AM
Cool. If you are comming to the Keys, I am in Marathin for a while. Let me know.
Title: Pixie Dust
Post by: Pixie Dust on December 24, 2008, 07:01:33 PM
I just wanted to wish my SailFar team a wonderful and blessed holiday, filled with happiness, health and love.  May your holiday be peaceful with time to reflect and give thanks for all your blessings. I am spending my Christmas here in the Bahamas.  The Cay is quiet as far as people are concerned, but everyone will be returning the day following Christmas.  It has rained all day today and the wind has been howling at around 20-30 knots for the last few days, but I am hoping for a little sunshine tomorrow and 18 knots  :D.  This quiet time affords me the opportunity to reflect on what a wonderful life I have and how lucky I am to have so many caring and kind friends and safe places like Sailfar to come to for info, support and humor...Not to mention I am living in Paradise in so many ways.  Hugs and smiles to you all. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!!!!  Pixie wishes all her little boat friends a happy holiday too.  :)
Connie
s/v Pixie Dust
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: dnice on December 24, 2008, 07:13:29 PM
Merry Christmas Connie!!

I don't know you, but I'm very happy for you to have found your paradise. You are on the top of my list of heroes (this list is becoming huge ;D)
Are you planning on staying there indefinately? Keep in touch... I hope I can run into you 2-3 years from now when I can finally cut loose  and head down that way :)
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Joe Pyrat on December 25, 2008, 03:51:01 AM
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Connie.

I'm here in Charleston, but will start heading for the Keys again around the second week in January.  Hope to meet up with you down there some day.

Fair winds,
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Frank on December 25, 2008, 03:40:35 PM
        Hi Connie. Best of the season to you.Hoping 09 brings you continued health and happiness.I'll be in the blue/green water in a few weeks...see ya there  ;D
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: AdriftAtSea on December 28, 2008, 04:03:13 PM
Connie-

Hope you and your family had a merry Christmas.  And I'd like to wish you and yours a happy New Year. 
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Chattcatdaddy on January 27, 2009, 10:18:55 AM
I have just been reading almost this entire thread and what an adventure! A real inspiring story that just gets better with each update. Its so rare on some of these forums to get a chance to follow a individual from the start of the process to actually out there cruising. So many times a member will post their dream adventure and then nobody ever hears from them to see how it turned out. Way to go PIXIE DUST...and keep going!
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: CapnK on July 21, 2009, 11:54:17 PM
Spoke with Connie today on the tele. She is doing great, full of life and lovin' it. 8) She said that they have had a crazy busy summer down there, told me a few tales.

One was about a 80' power yacht that someone took out into the Tongue of the Ocean (http://tinyurl.com/n9yu5l), tied open all the ports, doors and hatches aboard (including the garage door), opened the seacocks and unbolted the strainers, and took off. It sank all the way 'til just the tip of the bow was showing above water, thanks to a honeycomb-cored hull. A fisherman spotted it and drug it over to the side of the Tongue. Seems that some rich fella (or formerly rich fella...) decided he'd rather have insurance money than a yacht. Now's he's got neither, and another set of worries, too. ;D 'Connie's crew' floated it, stabilized it, then towed it to the Miami seabuoy, where a US company took over.

She took Pixie down island for a little while late spring, knocked off the cobwebs and unwrinkled Pixie's sails. :) She said to tell everybody "Hi!", and that she's looking forward to see some sailFarer's Scooting in to the Bahama's next spring, some time after CJ and L have made it over there. ;D
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: CapnK on July 22, 2009, 06:15:16 AM
Remembered this as I was racking out last night, another bit from the conversation...

Connie said that they have had a lot of work due to boats that have been hit by lightning this year. That a bunch of these have been sailboats rendered unsailable because the winches or furlers or whatever were electric, and the lightning took those systems out.

So remember, when you "upgrade", make sure your winches have that little socket on top, no matter how big they are. ;)
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Chattcatdaddy on July 29, 2009, 02:44:06 AM
Good to hear she is doing well. Really enjoyed reading thru her story and seeing her cruising take shape. Keeps me Inspired.
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: newt on July 29, 2009, 09:57:50 AM
That brings up an interesting question Capt K. Will a in mast furler become unusable from a lighting strike?
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: CapnK on July 29, 2009, 10:34:43 AM
If it was electrically driven, sure could. Until you get to very large, posh boats, though, most of the in-mast furlers are mechanical, so short of the lightning 'welding' something together, those would keep working. I've worked on up to 50-60'ers that were using mechanicals.
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: CapnK on July 23, 2014, 11:40:44 AM
Got a short email from Connie today - she is in Georgetown (Bahamas) for a bit, has had Florida kids and grans coming over to spend time. All in all, life is going well for her still, and she says Hi to all. :)
Title: Re: Pixie Dust
Post by: Captain Smollett on July 23, 2014, 12:34:40 PM

Got a short email from Connie today - she is in Georgetown (Bahamas) for a bit, has had Florida kids and grans coming over to spend time. All in all, life is going well for her still, and she says Hi to all. :)


Excellent.  Please tell her "Hi" back when next you speak.

Also, you might mention to her that her registration her probably still works.   ;)