Silver Maple Blog

Retirement adventures Canadian style

Its beginning to feel a lot like Christmas…not!

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Crista and Fritz from Switzerland have gone home, and we are carrying on with our visits to various spots in the Abaco Islands of the Bahamas. Although its just a few days from Christmas, it certainly doesn’t feel like it. Even with the decorations the locals have put up and those that other cruisers have hung on their boats, somehow the 80 degree F weather just doesn’t give you the same holiday spirit as the snow. Regardless, we continue to have a great time and are meeting lots of wonderful people and cruisers, like us.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8th — DAY 109 (Snorkeling and scuba diving in Man-O-War Cay, Bahamas)

On Saturday morning we head out from Man-O-War Cay with a local dive guide named, Michael (Dive Time) to Fowl Cay where there is a great reef and protected area for snorkeling and scuba diving. It is a beautiful day — sunny, 80+ degrees F and not too windy or wavy.  Randy, Michael (the guide) and a fellow from the UK named, Graham, scuba dive while I go along with them watching from above with my snorkel.  We see lobster, ray, turtle, barracuda and schools of large fish. Just fantastic!

Silver Maple in Man-O-War Cay

Silver Maple at the dock on Man-O-War Cay

On our way to Fowl Cay in the Dive Time boat

On our way to Fowl Cay in the Dive Time boat

BOAT TRIP Hope Town with C&F to Marsh Harbour 020

The scuba diver, ready to go in

Ready to go snorkling!

Ready to go snorkeling!

When we get back to Man-O-War Cay, Crista and Fritz are there having lunch. We agree to meet up later in Great Guana Cay and have dinner at Grabbers along with their nephew, Mark, and his girlfriend, Julia.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9th to WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12th — DAY 110 to 113 (Wrapping up visit with Crista and Fritz)

When we get up on Sunday, it is cloudy, but looks like the rain will hold off. It doesn’t.  Just after we pull away from the dock the skies open. It rains sideways. We, and everything on the boat are soaked. When we arrive in Hope town it is still raining. Later we hear that we have received over 2 inches of rain.

Leo getting very wet in the pouring rain -- and not happy about it

Leo getting wet in the pouring rain — and not happy about it

Having fun in the rain that is coming down so hard that you just have to laugh

Having fun in the rain. Its coming down so hard that you just have to laugh

The next day we spend in Hope Town cleaning up and trying to get things dried out. Later we have cocktails on Silver Maple with Deana and Ted from Annapolis who just arrived on their boat, ‘Odyssey.’

Back in Hope Town on a beautiful morning

Back in Hope Town on a beautiful morning — thankfully the rain has stopped

Tuesday we head back to Marsh Harbour and spend the day with Crista and Fritz. They have rented a car, so we drive around the island. It is very rural and mostly reforested pine forest.

Rental car reminds you that in the Bahamas they drive on the other side of the road

Rental car reminds you that in the Bahamas they drive on the other side of the road

Out for a drive with Crista and Fritz

Out for a drive with Crista and Fritz

Taking a break at Pete's Pub in Little Harbour

Taking a break at Pete’s Pub in Little Harbour

Near the end of the day, we stop at a new real estate development area where Fritz was told by the car rental people is the best place to see the endangered Abaco Parrott. When we stop the car, Fritz says, “well, lets roll down the windows and see if we can hear any parrots.” As if on cue, four parrots fly towards us and land in the tree next to the car. Unbelievable and very funny since we really weren’t expecting to see any.  The birds aren’t the least bit afraid of us as we get out of the car and take pictures.

The endangered Abaco Parrot -- we see four!

The endangered Abaco Parrot — we see four!

Wednesday, Crista and Fritz leave ‘Cloudy Bay’ at the dock and join us on Silver Maple for a sail. We anchor and have lunch by Fowl Cay. Unfortunately, the current is too heavy to do any snorkeling, but its a lovely day.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 13th to SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16th — DAY 114 to 117 (Treasure Cay and back to Marsh Harbour)

On Thursday, Crista and Fritz fly back to Switzerland and we head out in on Silver Maple to Treasure Cay. We have heard from other cruisers that it is a lot like Florida. When we get there, (once again in the pouring rain) we find a real estate development of condos. Not very interesting so the next morning we go back to Marsh Harbour.

As we enter the harbour, we see ‘Promises Kept’ moored in the bay. We met Debbie and Dennis when we were in West End and spent a few days with them in Great Sale Cay, but haven’t seen or heard from them since. Great to see them! We agree to meet later for happy hour and dinner.

The last two days we have spent here at the Marsh Harbour Marina. Its a very friendly place, so we aren’t in any hurry to leave. Yesterday we rode our bikes into town to the farmers market. Later, we had dinner at the Marina restaurant and watched a rake and scrape band. Rake and scrape music is basically played by keeping beat using a screwdriver that you rub over a saw blade.  I get up with one of the other women, Sharon, to give it a try. Fun!

Today we did our cleaning chores and we are now relaxing.  We are thinking of heading to Sandy Cay early in the week to do some more snorkeling and anchor out for a few nights if the weather is good.

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