April 2012 – Bahamas
Through our travels, we have been amazed by how small the cruising community is which makes it a very small world.
Well, we experienced another fun coincidence in Georgetown. We had always heard that Georgetown
was full of cruising kids so our crew was eager to get there and meet some new friends since we hadn’t really cruised
with any families since crossing the Atlantic. So after our last night of quiet, we anchored right in the
middle of the herd at Volleyball Beach and immediately dinghied into the action. As soon we hit the beach,
the kids ran off to play and I started to meet the other Moms. As always with cruisers everyone was excited
to meet a new family with kids and we all started talking about “Where we’ve been and where we are going”.
One mom right away said that our kids and boat named seemed familiar to her. But since they had
just left the US and started their adventure and we were finishing ours, we couldn’t find a connection. Then Ashlyne excitedly put 2 and 2 together and realized the
she and her husband, Ross, had followed our website for years and had even emailed us for home schooling advice.
Wow, how fun to find a “fan”. We quickly became good friends with them and their son
Kyler on the boat “Good Trade” and spent many nights talking about our trip and learning about their plans.
We had to say good bye to Fred in Georgetown as he flew home
to FL. We were so happy that he made the spontaneous decision to join us, although it was definitely a
difficult visit without Margot. We all felt her absence but were glad that we could provide a diversion
for Fred during these very hard first months.
As we waited for our next guests to arrive, we spent the next week enjoying Georgetown. This unique
place is also known as “Chicken Bay” because so many people from the East Coast of the US get this far and never
go any further which is why so many boats spend the whole season here. This cruising
community has become almost its own “town” on the water with volleyball tournaments, weekly poker games, beach
church service, and almost any activity that you could want to do. In one sense, it’s a fun little
place but in another sense it’s sad because it definitely seems as though many dreams have ended here. At
the church service that we attended, someone announced that we had recently arrived after sailing around the world.
We actually received a standing ovation and after the service many, many older cruisers came up to us with congratulations
and expressed that they had always wanted to do what we did but were now too old. But what a beautiful
place to retire!!!!
Our next guests, the Witte
family, arrived into Georgetown. We were so excited to have Scott, Melissa, and 18 month old Olivia from
New Orleans meet up with us. Scott, a great friend of ours from Purdue, has been one of those people that
we could count on through our entire adventure. Every time we got to a new country and had a new phone
number, one of the first people to call was Scott. As a Marine reserve, he was a huge source of information
and support during our frightening days in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden so we wanted to make sure that their visit was
fun, relaxing, and memorable.
our new friends, Good Trade, we quickly left the herd in Georgetown and started our exploration of the beautiful Exumas.
The Exumas is a group of 365 small islands and islets, many uninhabited, that spread N/NW from Great Exuma toward Nassau.
These islands hold some of the most beautiful water and best fishing grounds in the world. We were
determined to see as much of it as we could. Good Trade had already been down the chain and with their
great diving and spear fishing skills, they were perfect guides for us. We stayed in beautiful anchorages
throughout the Exumas and ate like kings with fresh fish, lobster, and crab. We walked the empty beaches
and found sand dollars, conch, and even fed the giant iguanas. We finalized the Witte vacation at Staniel
Cay, with 80 full time residents, it is one of the more popular islands in the Exumas. With the wild swimming
pigs, James Bond grotto, secluded beach, nurse shark lagoon, and abundant sea life, it was the perfect place to round out
their stay. Thanks to Scott, Melissa, and beautiful little Olivia (our youngest guest) for making the trip
to join us.
2012 – Easter in the Exumas, Bahamas
We have spent the last few weeks, just relaxing and enjoying the abundant sea life of the Bahamas
with our friends on Good Trade and Anastasia. Most of our days seemed like Groundhog Day but in a good
way. We wake up in some absolutely gorgeous anchorage to start the day. Most mornings
the kids and I do school while Marc works on boat projects as we prepare Imagine for sale. We take a few
breaks throughout the morning to swim in the crystal clear water (PE class) and then finally end the school day after lunch.
Then we all hit the dinghy for an afternoon dive for dinner. Seriously, almost every day in the
Exumas, Marc or our friends have speared or caught our dinner; crab, conch, grouper, hogfish, lobster (in
season), etc. If we feel like it we move our boats to another beautiful anchorage, if not, we don’t.
Then we all end the day with a feast of fresh sea food. Then we started over the next day…..not
a bad way to end our adventure.
We did have a wonderful Easter celebration at Little Farmer’s Cay. We
started the day with the annual egg hunt on Imagine and then church service at the local Baptist Church. What
an experience!!! The two hour service of raised hands and voices, yelling “Amen” and “Halleluiah”
seemed a world away from the catholic services that we have attended around the globe. But we all participated
and had a ball. The kids said that it was one of the best churches that they ever attended.
After church, we went to our favorite little anchorage on Big Farmer’s and enjoyed a day of games on the beach
with Anastasia, Good Trade, some vacation home owners, and local kids. We played volleyball, wheel barrow
races, egg toss, etc. and had an absolute blast. Since this might be our last holiday on Imagine, I can’t
think of a better way to have spent it.
After Easter, we were so excited to meet up with our good friends on the boat Mehari.
We first met Eric and Rachel and their six kids (yes, 6) in Israel. We spent a lot of time together
in the Med but last saw them in the Canary Islands at Thanksgiving time which was almost 5 months and a lot of miles ago but
it felt like yesterday. They are just a wonderful, warm family and it was so good to be back together with
music nights, bonfires, and just plain fun.
Now we are on our way to Nassau to meet our next guests, the
Lynch family. We can’t wait to see them and spend some time enjoying the Atlantis resort!!!!
Splurging on the marina at Atlantis is our gift to the kids for a little circumnavigation party.
April 2012 – Nassau, Bahamas
We were so excited to spend the time with the Lynch family. Mark, Annette, Max, and Jack
are great friends and we were thrilled to be able to spend some of our last cruising days with them. We
started out the visit at the amazing Atlantis resort. Although we definitely saw the world over the last
four years, much of that was on the “cruising budget” so we promised the kids when we completed our circumnav
that we would splurge and visit the famous resort. Little did we know when we made the promise but we could
still get the “cruiser” discount at a place like Atlantis. Although it was by far the most
expensive marina that we ever stayed in, at $220 per night for a slip for the boat and 24 daily passes to the waterpark and
all of the other amenities, staying at the Atlantis Marina seemed like a bargain. One
of the biggest bargains was that we didn’t even have to eat at the pricey Atlantis restaurants, we just came back to
Imagine for lunch and our own steak dinners. We all had a ball relaxing in the lazy river, braving the
many slides, and even just watching free movies at the full size theatre. What made it even more special
was being there and celebrating with the Lynch’s.
After our fun in Atlantis, we all sailed back to the Exumas to enjoy
the beautiful water, abundant sea life, and remote islands with our guests. We went back to some of our
favorite spots, like Staniel Cay, and enjoyed more of favorite activities like bon fires on the beach, swimming, and fishing.
Although the weather didn’t always cooperate we still had a blast and the time flew by. We
were so thankful to spend this time with good friends and we thank the Lynch family for making the trip.