12 April, 2016

Hello Strangers,

It’s been a loooong time since we’ve had decent internet, so I’ll try to cram some pictures up into the ether, and get caught up on the last few weeks. It’s the 18th of April, and the kids have come and gone.

Jeremy, Jodi and Mikaela arrived right on time, as Suz and I waited for their taxi at “Red Boone”  in Georgetown. We all had the $10 Burger and a Beer special with a couple of ala carte brewskies.  After that, the obligatory stroll through the few gift shops and knick knack shacks there.  The weather window was open, so the next morning, we ran the ten hours up to Cambridge Cay and grabbed a mooring.  Unfortunately, little Miss M had a case of the Mal de Mer, but was a trooper all the way.  The next day, Jody and Mikaela had their first snorkel lesson from Yours Truly before we set out to explore the grotto at Rocky Dundas.  There, we swam through the narrow passageway (exposed only at low tide) into the large cave with a hole in the roof, the sun pouring through and illuminating the interior.  Next, we dinghied to Compass cay, where we hiked to “Rachel’s Bubble”, a frothy tidal pool there.  Back to the girl for lunch, then the 2 mile dinghy ride to “The Aquarium” for a little reef snorkel.  On the way home, we checked out the sunken plane off the coast of Pasture Cay, then beached the tender in search of iguanas-none were found.  Next day took us to Staniel Cay, where we saw the swimming pigs, then dinghied to “Thunderball Grotto”, so named because some scenes from a James Bond movie were filmed there.  The current was fierce, but our new snorkelers kicked its’ butt.  One group of touristas was leaving as we arrived, and we had the place to ourselves for a half hour before the next group of revelers arrived-sweet.  On the half hour ride back to “Alizann”, the winds came up, and the blue/black skies opened.  As our friend Andy would describe it, “A real turd floater.” All we could do is laugh, as we drove into the 30 knot winds, sunglasses on, to keep the driving rain from tenderizing our eyeballs.  The plan was to shower and return to the Staniel Cay Yacht Club for drinks, but squall after squall nixed that program.  We had a spirited night of cards instead.  Ohhhhh……weather.  We had planned on a stop at Rudder and Lee Stocking Cays on our way back to Georgetown for their plane, but increasing seas and winds dictated a change in plans.  The Admiral and I did NOT want the vacation to end on a seasick note, so we opted for a run to Emerald Bay Marina before the weather, where we could all spend a day poolside, with cocktails from the tiki hut.  It turned out to be a great call, we missed some sights, but we made up for it by snagging 2 Mahi, a Wahoo, and a ‘cuda.  The girls, avid freshwater fishers, were ecstatic, even though a shark hit one of our Mahi’s taking off the tail while reeling in.  It did, however, make it a lot easier to bring in.  The pool day was perfect.  For $50/head we were allowed to use the facilities at Grand Isle Resort, and enjoyed the day, with lunch and cocktails around the pool.

April 7th was turnaround day.  We all got up early.  Availed ourselves of the free laundry facilities at Emerald Bay for towels, sheets, etc., and cleaned the Girl inside and out.  Having rented a car for the day, we dropped J,J,&M off at the airport, and picked Ali and Ben up, as they had flown in on the same plane that was carrying the rest of our gang out-how convenient.  Same program.  Into Georgetown for beer, burgers, and the tourist thing, then back to the boat by way of “Prime Meats”, a specialty butcher shop.  Besides gorgeous cuts of meat, the butcher there makes a chicken salad that I’ve been lusting after since our stop there a couple of weeks previously.  The weather permitting, we had decided to run the “Boatguest Circuit” again, so we headed back to Cambridge Cay, then work our way back to Georgetown.  There, we hiked the Cay, and got Ben (another first time snorkeler) hooked.  Struck out on iguanas again, but hey, it’s all in the process.  Next, it was Staniel Cay, where we DID get to have docktails at the yacht Club after hiking the south end.  We departed Staniel on the 11th, headed for Farmer’s Cay for the evening.  Along the way, we anchored off Black Point on Great Guana Cay in order to stop at “Lorraine’s Mom’s” house to see if she had any fresh bread for us.  Jackpot!  Raisin Cinnamon Coconut, and just plain old coconut loaves were warm out of the oven.  We made our way down to Farmer’s Cay by late afternoon, anticipating a good day of fishing on our way to Georgetown the following day, as we had been skunked on our way to Cambridge.  We weren’t disappointed.  We boated 3 Mahi, and lost the biggest one (which Ben had fought for over 30 minutes) due to my inability to get him gaffed when he came alongside the boat.  He straightened out the hook (literally), and swam off.  I’m pretty sure I heard him laughing over my curses.  Our videographer discovered the challenges of filming with rolling seas, and left her breakfast on the deck.  BUT….she did get some good footage of her hubby reelin’ in the lunkers.  Once at anchor outside Georgetown, I found out how handy it is to have a Chef as a son-in-law.  Together, we had those fishies butchered in no time, sharing a few techniques along the way.  A spirited game of cards ended their last night with us.  (By the way, the Wells family kicked the Tuck family’s butts for the week).  Seems to be a pattern here.  Maybe we’ll play dominoes next visit.

April 12th.  The taxi doors weren’t even closed, and I was feeling pretty empty.  We were so lucky to have our kids with us, but I wanted more.  Strange, how when they’re growing up, you take it for granted that they’ll always be there as you chase the almighty dollar.  Then, they’re gone, and you wonder where all that time went.

I’ll do the 13th-18th later.

-Just Me and Ma for awhile.

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