Silver Maple Blog

Retirement adventures Canadian style

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Another sailing season comes to an end…

Saturday, April 1st to Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

It is a sure sign of spring… Silver Maple is wrapping up its sailing season. Hard to believe it is over. We’ve had a great time, but we are always happy to be heading home.

We arrive in Green Turtle a few days before our scheduled haul out date to give us time to do some chores around the boat. It also gives us time to catch up with friends and enjoy Green Turtle. Always lovely and quiet here, but this year between road construction, forest and dump fires, staying at the Green Turtle Club is less than perfect. We move over to the Leeward Yacht Club in the next sound over which is a bit further away from the dust and smoke to wait for our day to pull out the boat out of the water.


Dinner at the Green Turtle Club with Linda and Vince (Fortnight)


Beautiful sunset at Green Turtle Cay


Sunset over Silver Maple at the Leeward Yacht Club on Green Turtle Cay


Silver Maple at the newly renovated Leeward Yacht Club. Very nice!

When the day finally arrives, we are ready and the weather is perfect. She is pulled out of the water without a glitch. We then spend the next four days cleaning and putting her to bed. Always a big job.


Ready to go!


…and she is out of the water!


Putting Silver Maple on blocks in the Abaco Yacht Services yard


All tucked in and put to bed


Saying goodbye for another summer


Lovely view from our apartment in New Plymouth on Green Turtle Cay, in the Abaco Islands of the Bahamas

Randy with his mean machine, our transportation while we are putting the boat away on Green Turtle Cay

We fly out on Tuesday, April 11th. It takes two days to get home, so it feels like a very long trip. Randy is invited for a weekend golfing with the guys in Florida, so Lee leaves him in Ft. Lauderdale and carries on home via Washington, DC while Randy drives to Port Charlotte, FL for the weekend.


Lee waiting for the ferry to take us to the airport at Treasure Cay


Randy at the ferry dock and ready to go


Gear ready for loading onto the ferry to go to the Treasure Cay airport


Treasure Cay International Airport


Our favourite airport lounge


Randy enjoying his last Bahamian Sands beer


Waiting at the gate. Okay, there are seats inside too, but we like these!



Randy’s first day golfing in Florida. Oh oh! Looks like he is guarding it!


Hmm…what could go wrong here?



He’s not going to let it go. Guess it is his ball now! Yikes!

Back at home in Canada, the weather feels spring-like, but there is still ice on the lake. Great weather for raking and cleaning up before the bugs come out.


The lake is still frozen at home, but looks like the ice will go out soon

Well, that’s it for another season. Wish you all fair winds and following seas. Until next time! Cheers!

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Barefoot Man, Jackson, and then off to Green Turtle Cay

Friday, March 17th to Friday, March 31st, 2017

Our last few weeks here in the Bahamas have been busy, busy, busy. Well, okay, not really. Its still pretty low key and laid back. Who are we kidding!

The weather gets nice so we head to Great Guana Cay and the Nipper’s Bar for St. Patrick’s Day Barefoot Man concert. The Barefoot Man is kind of the Bahamas’ answer to Jimmy Buffet. The concert is a lot of fun. We dance and meet up with boat friends from Hope Town and Marsh Harbour.


Sails are up as we head to Great Guana Cay for the St. Patrick’s Day Barefoot Man concert at Nippers


Barefoot Man concert in a great setting


Our friend Sharon (boat Emerald Lady) having a blast at the Barefoot Man concert


Sunrise over Silver Maple in Fisher’s Bay at Great Guana Cay, Bahamas

Then, a few days later Jackson arrives! We have two great days of weather, so we take off to visit Lynyard Cay and anchor there. In the afternoon we go via dinghy to Little Harbour to visit Pete’s Pub. It is a beautiful day! Afterwards we take a swim at the beach and enjoy a gorgeous evening.


Jackson arrives!! Woohoo!


Heading to Lynyard Cay, Bahamas


Jackson enjoying the ride


Silver Maple has her full crew back together!


Parking at Pete’s Pub


Bellying up to the bar


Randy and Jackson enjoying the Pete’s Pub signature drink, the Blaster


Lee and Jackson at Pete’s Pub over looking Little Harbour


View of Little Harbour from Pete’s Pub


Randy and Jackson going for a swim on the beach at Lynyard Cay with forest fires burning on the horizon


Beautiful sunset at Lynyard Cay thanks to those nearby forest fires

The next day, we take the dinghy in search of the Abaco blue holes that are said to be nearby. After some searching, we finally find them. The mangrove lagoon is less than 2 feet deep until you reach the holes then it drops away into darkness. Apparently they connect to the ocean which is about two miles away. Divers have died trying to explore the underwater caves and a memorial is located on shore.


The Lynyard Cay anchorage in the morning


Randy pulling us in the dinghy into the lagoon to search for the blue holes. The entrance is too shallow for the motor.


Lots of turtles in the water


A blue hole!


Cruising the lagoon around a blue hole


Memorial on shore to divers who died exploring the Abaco blue holes


Chilling on our way back to Hope Town. It is too calm to sail. Boo!


Still gorgeous!


Clear Bahamian waters where you can see a star fish at a depth of 15ft

When we get back to Hope Town, the weather turns ugly for the rest of Jackson’s visit, so once again we are stuck at the dock in high winds and intermittent rain. Regardless, we keep busy playing games, biking and catching a few rays at the pool when the sun shows its face.


Back in Hope Town!


Out for dinner at our favourite pizza place in Hope Town called Sip Sip


Stopping to enjoy the view while on a bike ride around Elbow Cay, Bahamas


Lunch break from our bike ride at On Da Beach restaurant

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After our bike ride waiting on the dock for our shuttle ride back to the marina


Jackson boarding the ferry to Marsh Harbour to catch his flight. Bye!

And then when Jackson is gone, the weather turns lovely again. Of course! And, it is time to start heading back north to prepare to put Silver Maple to bed for another season and head home, but since the weather is so nice we make a couple of stops along the way. Our friends, Joanne and Toby on their boat Comocean join us on the trip as far as Great Guana’s Fisher’s Bay where we anchor for the night before heading out to do the Whale Cay ocean crossing. Then, we have a lovely night at Manjack and arrive safe and sound at Green Turtle Cay.


Silver Maple on the way to Great Guana Cay. Photo courtesy of Comocean.


Captain gets the big sail out!


Nice to see the gennaker up! It does not happen very often.

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Silver Maple looking colourful! Photo courtesy of Comocean.


Heading off towards the Whale Cay ocean passage on a beautiful day


Silver Maple anchored at Manjack Cay


Sunset and moon rise at Manjack Cay


Silver Maple safe and sound on the dock at the Green Turtle Club on Green Turtle Cay


View of sunset off the back of Silver Maple on the dock at the Green Turtle Club

Silver Maple gets pulled out of the water next week and put into storage for another season. Lots of chores to be done to get it ready before then, so it will be a busy week. Its very sad to have another season of sailing wrap up, but we are ready to go home.