Silver Maple Blog

Retirement adventures Canadian style


Living the dream in 2018…

Friday, February 2nd to Monday, February 12th

The weather has been windy and rainy since we got here, so we haven’t been able to get off the dock. Regardless, we’ve been enjoying Hope Town and all the fun people we meet here. Lee is feeling much better and is pretty much back to normal. Yeah! We keep busy with boat chores and just hanging out. Randy has been doing lots of varnishing and waxing. Silver Maple is looking great!


Captain hard at work varnishing the cockpit table


Randy’s work pays off! Table looks amazing!

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Randy gets a visit from the resident Manatee while he is waxing the hull

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Saying hello!


Likes a little pat on the head and belly rub. Too cute!


Hope Town harbour looking like a postcard


Lee joins the painting group in Hope Town for the morning


Curly tail lizard poses for Lee while she is painting. Sorry, painting trees and ocean today!


Happy Hour with all our boating friends


In the bar at the Hope Town Inn watching the Superbowl. Yeah, Eagles!


Great a capella group called Shere Khan from Princeton University gives benefit concert in Hope Town

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Out for dinner at the Abaco Inn on Elbow Cay with friends Gloria and Jim (from Charlotte, NC on Jimandi), Debra and John (from Annapolis, MD on Mandalay) and Louise and Guy (from Vancouver, BC on Miss Ellie)


Out for a beach walk on Elbow Cay


Stopping for a cocktail at On Da Beach half way though our beach walk


Bellying up to the bar at On Da Beach. Lovely spot!


Sunrise over Hope Town Harbour


Hope Town Marina looking lovely at sunrise on Elbow Cay in the Bahamas

Good news! This week, the weather has changed! It’s been gorgeous so we take a trip down to Lynyard Cay and Tahiti Beach.

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On the water again, finally!

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Gorgeous day!

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Sails are up!

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Lee at the helm

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Captain says the sails are looking good

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The delivery boat on its way into Hope Town bringing supplies to the island

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Captain Randy!

Next week we have visitors coming, Stacia, Paul, and their kids Celia and Andrew from Ann Arbor, MI. It will be cozy with all of us on the boat, but should be really fun. Looking forward to it! Yeah!



The 2018 sailing season is underway…finally!

Thursday, January 11th to Thursday, February 1st, 2018

The start to the 2018 sailing season wasn’t as smooth as we would have liked, but we are here in the Bahamas now, so life is good. Lee contracted something called Valley Fever when we were in Scottsdale in the fall, so Randy went down alone to Green Turtle Cay in the Bahamas where Silver Maple is stored to get her prepped and into the water. Then, he single-handed her from Green Turtle Cay, through the Whale Cay ocean passage to Marsh Harbour, where he picked Lee up about a week and a half later after the doctors finally gave her the thumbs up to travel. The sailing season is finally underway!

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Silver Maple being loaded on the crane at Abaco Yacht Services on Green Turtle Cay


Going into the water


Ready to go!

So, our Bahamian sailing season is underway, but Lee is still taking it easy and continues to recuperate. Much better to rest and heal in the warm weather than in the winter at home in Canada.


Lee with her feet up recuperating


Coffee time!


Beautiful day for a run from Marsh Harbour to Hope Town


Captain Randy is happy to be back

When we arrive in Hope Town, it was like we had never left. All our boating friends are here, as well as some new folks to join the crowd. Randy plays in a Bocce Ball tournament and although he doesn’t win, he somehow manages to score the best looking partner when they do the random draw for teams. Hmm..


Silver Maple settled into her slip at the Hope Town Inn and Marina


Out for lunch at Cracker P’s with cruising friends, old and new


Hope Town Marina and Hope Town Harbour are looking full


View off the back of Silver Maple in our slip at the Hope Town Inn and Marina


Hope Town Inn and Marina


Randy and his Bocce Ball partner, Molly, from Denmark


The competition is fierce… ha!


Game spills onto the beach


More Lee’s speed as she continues to recover

We’ve been mostly taking it easy so Lee can get back on her feet, but there are always chores to do on the boat to keep busy. The weather has been a real mixed bag, with cool temperatures one day, rain the next, then heavy winds and some beautiful warm sunshine thrown in. Next week the weather is supposed to be nice, so hopefully we will be able to get out on the water for some sailing.


Hope Town Lighthouse overlooking Silver Maple


Coffee on a cool morning


Blustery weather


Beautiful day in Hope Town

Stay warm, Everyone!


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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.

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Fun with friends!

Friday, February 24th to Monday, March 16th, 2017

Well, the theme of this year on the boat has been relaxing and hanging out since that is pretty much all we have done. Last week, our friends Ruth and Bruce from Canada came to visit. They are recently retired and have been staying in Florida, so they took the short flight over from there for a few days. So great to have them here!! Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate so we were on the dock most of the visit.

The day before Ruth and Bruce arrive, we take Silver Maple over to Marsh Harbour to meet them. When they get in we chill by the pool and then go to Rib Night at the Jib Room Restaurant at the Marsh Harbour Marina. Afterwards, its dancing and limbo party!


Silver Maple settled at the beautiful Marsh Harbour Marina and Jib Room Restaurant awaiting Ruth and Bruce’s arrival


Relaxing by the pool with Ruth and Bruce after they arrive


Amazing Limbo by Desmond at the Jib Room


Ruth and Lee dancing up a storm at the Jib Room

The next day we hit the water! Its is a perfect day for a sail. We head back to Hope Town because unfortunately, bad weather is moving in and we need to get tied back up to a dock. In Hope Town we show Ruth and Bruce all the sites and play lots of games when the weather is bad.


Captain Randy and Bruce enjoying a perfect day for sailing


Thumbs up from the new sailor. She loves it!


Randy and Bruce checking out the sails


Ruth getting salty


Arriving in Hope Town Harbour


The lovely Hope Town Harbour at Sunset


We head over and climb the Hope Town lighthouse, the only kerosene burning lighthouse left in the world


View of the Hope Town Harbour from the top of the lighthouse


This guy wakes us up VERY early every morning with his crowing. Ugh!


Ruth chases the rooster down as payback for the early morning wake up calls


Ruth at the Hope Town Inn and Marina


We stop for a beverage while out for a bicycle ride on Elbow Cay

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Heading out for dinner on a cool evening in Hope Town


Sunrise over Silver Maple at the Hope Town Inn and Marina

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Bruce playing Bocce ball with Randy, Ron (Legacy) and Brian (Miss Informed)


Ruth and Lee playing Mahjong with Linda (Fortnight) on a rainy afternoon


Ruth and Bruce heading out to catch the ferry back to Marsh Harbour for their flight back to Florida. Bye!

The day Bruce and Ruth leave the weather turn nice again. Of course! So, we head out for a few days of sailing and anchoring at some of our favourite spots: Tahiti Beach and Lynyard Cay. Shortly after we arrive and anchor at Tahiti Beach, our friends Sharon and Pete arrive on their boat, Emerald Lady. So great to seem them and what a nice surprise! We go for lunch together at Cracker P’s, a bar on a nearby island. In the evening, we meet on Emerald Lady for cocktails and games. Great to be with our old friends!


Heading towards Tahiti Beach


Captain loves to be on the water!


Lunch at Cracker P’s with Sharon and Pete (Emerald Lady)


Lovely view from Cracker P’s at lunchtime


Sharon and Pete (Emerald Lady) at Cracker P’s


Sharon and Pete (Emerald Lady) in their dinghy heading back to our boats after lunch


Moon over Tahiti Beach

The next morning we head to Lynyard Cay. It is dead calm and the weather is supposed to be perfect all day. The weather man neglected to inform mother nature of that though, so when we arrive at the anchorage and a unexpected squall blows in. We anchor in 24 knot winds. Crazy!


Anchor up and heading to Lynyard Cay on a beautiful day


The calm before the storm…

After the rain passes, we go to the beach for a walk and a swim. It is a lovely day on the boat. We head back to Hope Town the next day and we’ve been being dock potatoes since then.


Randy walking the beach at Lynyard Cay


Randy swimming at Lynyard with Silver Maple anchored in the background


Sunset over Little Harbour from Lynyard Cay

Last night we had a Jack and Jill wedding shower for our friends, Cassie and Brian (Miss Informed). They were very surprised. And, since the season is wrapping up it was one of our final ‘get-togethers’ before folks start to head home. What a great group of people and wonderful friends we have met this year.


Sunset over the Hope Town Marina taken from the back of Silver Maple


Surprising Cassie and Brian (Miss Informed)


Toasting to a life of love, happiness and fair winds…


The happy couple!


Great group of fantastic people!


Brian and Cassie (Miss Informed) enjoying the party


Such fun friends! (from the left) Cassie from Ancaster, ON (Miss Informed), John from Halifax, NS (PrimeraVista), Thomas from Peterborough, ON (Hope), Lee from Boston, MA (Shalaylee), Brian from Michigan (Miss Informed), Lee, Randy and Sheryl from Boston, MA (Shalaylee)

We are now looking forward to Jackson’s arrival next week for a visit. Woohoo! Fingers crossed the weather will cooperate.


Chillin’ in the Abaco Islands

Friday, February 10th to Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

When we arrive in Hope Town we spend some time getting back into the Bahamian pace of life… slow! And now that Randy is fully recovered from his cold, we head back out on the water. Woohoo!

We have a great trip over to Great Guana Cay and spend the day strolling on the beach with a stop for lunch at Nippers. Fisher’s Bay at Great Guana Cay is one of our favourite places to spend a quiet day and evening. It is just beautiful.


Silver Maple moored in Fisher’s Bay, Great Guana Cay, Bahamas


Leaving Silver Maple in the dingy and heading to shore for a walk-about


Grabbers Pub on the shore at Fisher’s Bay, Great Guana Cay


Lee on the beach in front of Nipper’s Bar and Grill


Lunch at Nippers


Full moon over Great Guana Cay at Fisher’s Bay anchorage


Morning in Fisher’s Bay with full moon still in the sky

After a day at Guana Cay, we head over to Tahiti Beach just off Elbow Cay. It is another gorgeous day. We walk the beach near Sea Spray Resort and have lunch in the new restaurant at the resort.


Back on the water on our way to Tahiti Beach


Beautiful clear water of the sea of Abaco


Captain checking the anchor is well set


Sunset while anchored off Tahiti Beach on Elbow Cay, Bahamas

A few days later when we are back in Hope Town, it is the annual Hope Town Songwriter’s Festival which hosts the writers of some of country music’s most popular songs. They tell the stories of how the songs originated and play some great music. Fun even for non-country music fans!


Fun group of friends enjoying the cool evening at the Hope Town Songwriters Festival at the Hope Town Inn and Marina


Great music… even for non-country music fans!


Lee and Randy at the Songwriters Festival

This month we also attend the Man-O-War Flee Market which is a big fundraiser for the community of this small island. We take the dingy over. It is a four and a half mile trip and a bit rough. Unfortunately, on the trip back it is even worse. Couple of sore butts for a few days after that trip!


Entering Man-O-War Cay harbour in our dingy


Dingy parking at the Man-O-War Flee Market


Gorgeous day at the Man-O-War Flee Market


Sunrise over the Hope Town Inn and Marina. Photo taken from the back of Silver Maple.

Back in Hope Town, life is good and the weather is fine. Our friends Ruth and Bruce arrive next week to spend a week enjoying the islands with us. Looking forward to that! Stay safe and stay warm everyone!



Back on the Water!

Sunday, January 21st to Friday, February 9th, 2017

Well, its been a challenging few weeks since we arrived, but we are back on the boat and happy to be here. Nothing serious, just viruses and weather to contend with as well as things on the boat to be repaired.

Lee is sick with the flu before we even leave for the Bahamas and within hours of arriving, Randy comes down with a bad cold too. Nonetheless, we manage to get the boat prepped and into the water. While we are working on the boat we stay in a cute cottage on the ocean called ‘The House on the Point’. Very rustic, but very nice.


Our rental cottage called ‘The House on the Point’ where we are staying while prepping the boat in Green Turtle Cay


View from ‘The House on the Point’


Our wheels while in Green Turtle. Golf carts are the main mode of transportation here.

We spend three days cleaning and putting things together to launch on the Monday, but unfortunately, the weather turns bad and a storm front moves through the Green Turtle area just as we are scheduled to launch. Our Launch is moved to Tuesday and even then, the winds are pretty high. Once Silver Maple is in the water, Randy tries to fire-up the engine. Nothing. Dead battery. The bow-thruster battery is dead too so both are replaced. And, the winds are so high that we don’t move beyond the wall where they put us in the water. We just tie Silver Maple on and spend the night right there.


Silver Maple being moving to the launch area


Lowering her in


Back in the water! Woohoo!

The next day, the winds are calmer so we head over to the Green Turtle Club in White Sound, the next sound over. We spend the day doing final prep and putting sails up.


Captain is under the weather but glad to be back on the water


Silver Maple safe and sound at the Green Turtle Club

In the morning, we are up early and on the water to do the short ocean crossing through the Whale Cay passage and into the Sea of Abaco. It is a beautiful morning and we have a great sail over to Marsh Harbour where we spend the rest of the day provisioning and stocking the boat with essentials like wine and groceries.


Heading out towards the Whale Cay passage on a beautiful morning


The captain at the helm


Good to be sailing again


Waves hitting Whale Cay as we pass by


Making great time and doing well over 7 knots most of the way to Marsh Harbour


Gorgeous day!


Sunset over Marsh Harbour


Out for dinner at Curly Tails in Marsh Harbour

In the morning, we are off to Hope Town. Randy is still sick so we lie low once we arrive until he gets his health back on track. To make things worse, on the day we arrive, the marina has a power surge and our battery charger blows. Ugh! That was over two weeks ago and Randy has spent every day since trying to arrange to have a new one shipped to us here in the Bahamas. The good news is that it appears to be close now. Last we heard Fedex has it in Nassau. Fingers crossed we will see it next week.


Silver Maple in her slip on the dock at the Hope Town Inn and Marina (in front of Hope)


The beautiful Hope Town Inn and Marina


The flowers are blooming in Hope Town


The first day Randy is feeling up to venturing far from the boat we take the dingy over to Cracker P’s for lunch


Securing the dingy at Tahiti beach for a beach walk after lunch.


Beautiful Tahiti Beach


Lovely Hope Town Harbour


Silver Maple at sunrise at the Hope Town Inn and Marina

It seems that we have been tied to the dock in Hope Town forever, but now that Randy is feeling back to normal, we are planning to take off tomorrow and get back out on the water. Yeah!