Bahamas - 2009

June 11 to 17

June 11, 2009 - Man-O-War Cay to Marsh Harbor

We woke up at 7:00 and started the day. Bob had some boat maintenance to do and I did some boat chores, too. We had to wait for the fuel barge to leave before we could pull out.

 
 
We made a few calls with our new Skype plan and enjoyed talking with people back home via the computer. We paid our bill at the marina and pulled away from the dock at 10:15. We didn't meet any other boats going through the narrow entrance channel this time and took a slow 6.9 mile ride to Marsh Harbor, arriving at 11:15

 
 
We followed the buoys into the large harbor and were surprised to see it so empty.

 
 
We dropped our anchor in the harbor near Sitting Duck and settled in.

 
 
I got on my knees and said a prayer that our anchor would hold tonight! Marsh Harbor is the hub of civilization and activity here in the Abacos. All the services and supplies you would ever need, you can find here in Marsh Harbor. It is the 3rd largest city in the Bahamas with a population of about 5000. Only Nassau and Freeport are larger. It was a warm, humid day with very little wind. We took our dinghies to shore to shop for the cheapest fuel and dockage prices of the 4 marinas in town and walked the docks.

 
 
We would be staying at a marina for the next two days so that Sitting Duck could reprovision and because the weather prediction was for strong winds the next couple of days.We stopped and had a beer at Curly Tails Bar and Grill,

 
 
 
 
and checked out a few of the shops along the way. Bob stopped at the roadside stand to get some freshly made conch salad and chatted with George. We took the salad back to the boat and picked up Murphy for a ride to shore.

 
 
We took the dinghies across the harbor to the Jib Room and Marsh Harbor Marina and checked out prices there too.

 
 
With the slowdown in the economy and fewer people cruising around the area, some marinas are willing to make a deal. We were trying to find the best one. Bob, Murphy, and I returned to the boat to get out of the sun, while Bernie and Barb took their dinghy over to town. The three of us sat on the bridge in the shade and breeze, watching the activity going on around the harbor.

 
 
The clouds around us were pink, white, gray. and ever-changing. There were storm clouds to the south of here and we were secretly praying for rain to cool everything off a bit. We heard thunder off and on, but the sky remained blue above us. A few boats entered the marinas to anchor and do business. Some were private and some were chartered. We watched 2 people row their collapsible dinghy with a sail to shore. It was so small that Bob thought if one of them sneezed, it would sink the dinghy. We laughed about that! They looked pretty silly!

 
 
Bernie and Barb returned from their town exploration with some goodies from the liquor store and relaxed on their boat awhile before coming over for "happy hour".

 
 
We watched the ferry come and go in the harbor delivering people from other places, and listened to music most of the afternoon. Bernie and Barb came over about 4:00 for drinks and appetizers. Bob shared some of his conch salad and Barb made some delicious deviled eggs-my favorite. We enjoyed their conversation and stories about their beagle named Dixie until it was time to make supper. They left to go back to their boat and we relaxed a little before dinner.

 
 
Bob grilled our lamb chops as the sun went down and we enjoyed a cooler evening sitting on the cockpit until the mosquitoes came out. The setting sun turned the clouds a bright shade of orange in the sky.

 
 
We took Murphy to shore and got attacked by mosquitoes. The sky was clear and filled with millions of stars. We watched a DVD before going to bed. We've got a busy day planned for tomorrow.

June 12, 2009 - Marsh Harbor

It was a calm, peaceful night at anchor..finally. We woke around 7:00 to a steamy, sunny day of 79 degreesalready. There was NO breeze at all! We had breakfast and pulled up anchor at 8:00 to go get fuel at Harbor View Marina. It took us about 30 minutes to fill up with the fast pump there. That would be enough fuel to get us to Florida. We were off in no time to take a slip at Mangoes Marina.

 
 
That was where we found the best deal at $.95/foot. We don't even see those prices back in the states. As in Florida, most slips require you to back the boat in, so that you can get off your boat because the piers are so short. Bob did an excellent job of backing in and we got all tied up in no time. It was shady in the cockpit, so we did a little cleaning and rinsing with fresh water. We put on the AC and did some wash, now that we have $5.00/day unlimited water usage. As you can probably tell, fresh water is always at a premium here in the Bahamas and treated like gold. We worked on the computer with high speed Internet at the marina for awhile and waited for Sitting Duck to arrive after getting fueled up too. Bernie and Barb took a slip right next to us. Their goal was to do laundry, grocery shop, and pick up water. Barb and I decided to take a walk and check out some of the shops. We found everything for sale from tourist trinkets to high end jewelry within walking distance. Bernie and Bob were going to take a walk towards downtown which was the other direction and check out the manly stores. They stopped again at George's Conch Salad stand and bought the last 2 quarts he had. That stuff is really good! We all got back to the marina about the same time and got together on Sitting Duck for a drink before dinner.

 
 
Tonight we treated ourselves to dinner out at Curly Tails. We enjoyed a great seafood meal on the second story balcony where it was cooler and the view of the harbor was great!

 
 
Late this afternoon dark clouds had moved in and by now we could hear the rumbles of thunder and see rain off in the distance.

 
 
The clouds hung around and made it a little cooler for our mile walk to the Junkanoo festival grounds at Goombay Park.

 
 
We passed Snappa's Bar where we heard music playing from a local band.

 
 
The festival started about 6:00 and there would be food, fun, and games. We got there around 7:00 and there were mostly tourists there. As time went on, more and more locals arrived. Bob won a prize by being the first to answer a question that was asked by the MC of the festival.

 
 
The question was: "Where is the center of boat building in the Abacos?" The answer was Man-O-War Cay and he won an "All T'ings Bahamian" word search puzzle book. He had to do a little jig before they would give him the prize. A few groups performed while people milled around and ate at one of the many colorful booths serving food. One was the Royal Rangers Drill Team that put on a marching display of maneuvers with good precision.

 
 
The main attraction was the Royal Bahamian Defense Force Marching and Pop Band.

 
 
It was well worth the wait! Their uniforms were something to see. They danced and played to the crowd's delight!

 
 
We watched for awhile, but left there before they were finished because we had a long walk back in the dark. The 3 local marinas all had live music playing that we heard from the streets. They were competing for customers, so there was a jumble of Bahamian music in the air. When we got back, we took Murphy for his evening stroll and relaxed a little before going to bed. There was no rain on us again today for the 4th day in a row. It might be that the summer weather pattern has finally settled down a little. We hope so.

June 13, 2009 Marsh Harbor

Happy 1st year retirement anniversary to me! Time sure flies when you're having fun. Well, it's another steamy day in Marsh Harbor. We had a leisurely breakfast and did a few things on the boat. Bob wanted to take a walk to check out Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbor.

 
 
It was a short, hot walk, but we walked the docks looking at all the big sportfishing boats and huge yachts there.

 
 
We got caught in a rain shower and stood underneath a tiki hut while we waited for it to stop.

 
 
As we walked along the sidewalk back to the main road, we passed under a low hanging branch. Stuck to the branch was a yellow duck sign. The sign said "duck". I thought that was very cute and clever.

 
 
On the way back, we stopped in some shops to cool off in the AC. We also stopped at the Moorings office to see if we could get a tour of the 47' Catamaran that they have in charter service there. We had thought about chartering one of those at one time and wanted to see the layout inside.

 
 
Bob and Bernie took a look around too.

 
 
I wanted to get another conch shell so we stopped and asked George (from the conch stand) if he was willing to part with one of his. He did and also told us how to clean it to make it look shiny and sparkling. We noticed a wall of rain moving towards us from the harbor entrance, so we made a beeline back to the boat as the drops of rain began to fall. It didn't rain very long. Once it stopped, I cleaned my conch and then Barb and I went to revisit a couple of shops nearby. When we got back, Barb and Bernie took a walk to the grocery store and Bob and I took Murphy for his afternoon walk. We relaxed and enjoyed doing nothing. I worked on the computer while Bob took a walk. Bob was out walking the docks when the rain began to fall again. This time it came hard and fast with thunder. We couldn't see the harbor entrance at all! Bernie and Barb still weren't back yet. We bet they are getting soaked. It rained for quite awhile. I guess it made up for the last 4 days where we had none because it rained 3 times today. They finally got back and were drenched, even though they took a taxi back to the marina.

 
 
We waited for the rain to stop and then we went over to have cocktails on the Sitting Duck. We heard all about their shopping exploits in the rain. It made for a good story. While we sat there, the electricity on the dock went out, so we had to go back to the boat and run the generator. I guess it's not uncommon for that to happen. The skies were pretty clear for the rest of the night, but clouds started building on the horizon. We had dinner and enjoyed a movie before walking Murphy and going to bed. Tomorrow we would leave for Hope Town on Elbow Cay.

June 14, 2009 Marsh Harbor to Elbow Cay, Hope Town

The air felt cool this morning and a little less humid after the rain we had yesterday. The blue sky was interspersed with gray clouds as we prepared to leave for our next destination of Hope Town on Elbow Cay. Bernie and Barb caught the school bus which would take them to church this morning at the local Catholic Church about 2 miles away. They were picked up at 8:00 for the service at 9:00. We got ourselves ready to leave and would meet them over in Hope Town later. Bob filled our water tanks and secured the dinghy. We stowed away all the loose gear and were ready to leave by the time Bernie and Barb got back at 10:30. Before we left, we went up to the gazebo area and made a Skype call to my dad to wish him a Happy Father's Day (a week early, by mistake)oh welland walked Murphy. I tried out the hammock while Bob did some Internet business.

 
 
I always wanted to have one of my own, but we never had two trees close enough to tie it to. Murphy and I gave the swing a try.

 
 
Then it was time to go. Rae, the harbormaster, helped us untie the lines and we were pulling away from the dock by 10:45. We made the short 9.19 miles ride to Hope Town, through a rain shower, to sunny skies over Elbow Cay. We slowed down our speed as we were engulfed by a dark cloud that pelted us with rain.

 
 
The visibility changed and it made it difficult to see, but it wasn't long before we were driving out from under it and we had blue skies again. We entered the channel leading to Hope Town and passed the end of Matt Lowe's Cay. The Lowe family is famous in these parts.

 
 
Entering the channel, we saw the familiar red and white striped, candy cane Hope Town lighthouse. It's also a famous landmark in the area.

 
 
We tried to pick up a mooring in the harbor, but found that it put us too close to the other boats around us. We dropped that one, and moved up ahead a little to pick up another mooring that was more in the open. We got the boat secured and noticed that a black cloud was following us into the area.

 
 
It looked like rain, but this time it passed right by us. It's a beautiful anchorage and we have the lighthouse right outside our back door with the harbor entrance in view.

 
 
Bernie and Barb radioed that they had left the marina and were motoring slowly through the same rainstorm that caught us. They would be anchoring outside the harbor with a few other boats and dinghy in when they got all settled. We saw a couple who looked like they were headed to the beach.

 
 
We settled in and took the dinghy to shore to explore the town.

 
 
Since it was Sunday, most establishments were closed, but we did find a restaurant, Harbor's Edge, and 2 boutiques open for business.

 
 
As we left there, we were joined by a red dog that I called "Rusty" for obvious reasons. He followed us for awhile and then stopped to cool off in the water. He ran up to the bank when he noticed some minnows swimming around his feet. I guess that surprised him a little.

 
 
We walked along the Queen's Highway, a shoreline road, to the point at the harbor entrance.

 
 
From the point we could see Sitting Duck anchored near the harbor entrance.

 
 
We checked out one of our favorite spots, the Hope Town Villas, or the "Pink Place" as we call it. We always thought it would be fun to rent one of the waterfront villas here. They have a great location, with a view of the water and the harbor entrance. You could sit in or around the pool all day and watch the boat traffic come and go. It would be perfect!

 
 
By this time, Bernie and Barb brought their dinghy into shore and met us at the Harbor's Edge for a drink. It was cool to sit on their covered deck under the fans. We all headed back to our boat for afternoon cocktails and relaxed in the AC for awhile. Bernie and Barb left and went back to their boat for the evening. We took Murphy to shore and took a quick dinghy ride down the Back and Nigh Creeks to see what we could see. We had to get back to the boat by 5:00 because we had made previous arrangements to do a Skype to Skype video call to Madison, where Bob's family was gathered in honor of his sister, Suzy's visit from Denver.

 
 
We got hooked up really well and talked with people there. It was so much fun to see everyone, including his mom and the new baby, Abigayle. Will the wonders of technology ever cease? We sat on the bridge for awhile waiting for a callback when his other brothers arrived at the party, but we lost our connection. We would have to try another time. It was pretty warm on the bridge, but there was a nice cool breeze now and then. Around 6:00, we listened to the church bells chime some hymns for about 10 minutes and then we went down to start dinner. There were quite a few boats in the anchorage when we arrived, but there were still a lot of mooring balls available. Only 3 or 4 boats came in to pick up a mooring ball for the evening. Things were pretty quiet. Being on a mooring ball will give us better peace of mind than being at anchor tonight.

 
 
We ate a later dinner because it was pretty hot in the cockpit for grilling and then enjoyed the evening. We watched a DVD, took Murphy to shore for the last time today, and checked out the stars. What a beautiful night!

June 15, 2009 Elbow Cay, Hope Town

The sun came up hot in Hope Town. Some boats had already left and were on their way to somewhere.

 
 
Today we have plans to explore the shops and businesses in town this morning before it gets too hot. This afternoon we'll go to the beach and do some snorkeling. We would also like to catch a view of Hope Town from the top of the lighthouse. Hope Town is a very picturesque settlement founded in 1785. The lighthouse was built by the British Imperial Lighthouse Service in 1863. The lighthouse is still in operation and the light can be seen for 20 miles. The town has many charming houses, some of them beautifully restored. The ocean beach has powdery pink sand and is protected by an offshore reef. Hope Town provides many services for its visitors. One of my favorites is Vernon's Grocery, which includes the Upper Crust Bakery where pies and breads are baked daily. This is where I go for homemade Key Lime Pie and fresh Bahamian bread. Vernon never disappoints..except maybe when he's all sold out before I get there. We had a leisurely breakfast as the town woke up. Around 8:30, we heard a knock on the hull. It was a man who came by dinghy to collect the mooring ball fee of $15 for the night.

 
 
We cleaned up and got ready to tour the island by foot. Bernie and Barb come over around 9:00 and we took our dinghies into shore. We left them at the public town dock. Barb and I walked into town to do all the shops and made some nice purchases.

 
 
We passed the town cemetery which was nicely kept.

 
 
I climbed up the top of the hill to look out at the ocean and the beach. It was empty except for one lone woman walking the beach. I looked back at the town from the top of the hill and caught sight of the town and the lighthouse across the harbor.

 
 
Bob and Bernie started in the other direction towards the point of the island and then would meet us in town. Barb and I also stopped at Vernon's to find out that the pies will be ready at 2:00. We met up with the guys again around 11:00 and took our dinghies across the harbor to the lighthouse.

 
 
 
 
Bernie and I climbed the winding stairs to the top for the spectacular 360 degree view.

 
 
Bob and Barb sat in the shade below waiting for us. The view was awesome.

 
 
You could see water in every direction and the sky was clear enough to see a long way off. (You can see us anchored in the lower left hand side of this picture below.)

 
 
There was a great breeze from above. After descending the steep stairs, we stopped back at our boat to change into our swimsuits and walk up and over the island to the beach. Bob and Bernie found shade under a tiki shelter and a stray dog came along and shared the shade with them.

 
 
Barb joined me on the beach while I did some snorkeling.

 
 
I checked out the darker areas to discover they were sea grass and not coral, so I spent most of my time snorkeling near the shore along the ridges and drop-offs. I did come across some coral, but it was in too shallow of water to snorkel over, and the waves were coming from the wrong direction to easily snorkel around. As I was swimming along, I noticed 2 angelfish swimming just up ahead of me. Aside from that, I didn't see any other fish, but I enjoyed finding some unusual shells,

 
 
pieces of coral, and numerous pieces of colored sea glass.

 
 
It was a treasure trove of interesting things. The sand here on this beach is laced with pink coral pieces to give it a look of "pink sand". I found a big pink piece of coral rock which is where the sand gets its color from.

 
 
I snorkeled for about an hour while everyone else made good use of the shade and was excited to show everyone what I had found. We went back to our boats as the skies darkened and we heard thunder.

 
 
We got back to the boat as the rain started to fall. I rinsed off from the saltwater in the warm rain. It brought back memories of being out in the rain in our swimsuits as kids, running around the yard. What fun! The rain passed and the sun came out in scattered areas. We watched the Albury Ferry make numerous trips in and out of the harbor carrying passengers and cargo no matter what the weather.

 
 
Around 1:30, Bob, Murphy, and I went to shore to take Murphy for a walk and to get one of Vernon's pies. We got there a little early and he was not back from his lunch yet, so we went to have a mango smoothie on the upper deck of the Hope Town Coffee Shop. Murphy got some water, too. We stopped at the Fish Market and Bob picked up 2 lobster tails for a special dinner later this week. When we got to Vernon's at 2:00, he was late getting back and a line started to form. Bob was the first in line! He was the first one in and out with our still-warm Key Lime pie. Yum! The sky really got black and we got back to the boat just in time before it started to pour. We relaxed for awhile doing some reading and Internet stuff. The rain finally ended and around 4:00 we took our dinghy over to the Sitting Duck for cocktails.

 
 
They were anchored just outside the harbor and had a very pretty view of the other islands from there. After awhile, we decided to take a dinghy ride over to another part of the island where the 4 of us had once rented a house called Buttonwood Hammock.

 
 
We had come in April during my spring break and rented the house and a center console boat for a week. It was a really great time and I wanted to see if the house was still there after the hurricanes of past years had passed this way. We tied our dinghy to the same dock we used when we were here last and walked the short distance to the house. It was pretty much the same as we remembered. We passed a beautiful flowering plant and had to take our picture next to it.

 
 
We walked around the block and got eaten by mosquitoes, so we made it a quick walk with a short stop at the beach. It brought back some good memories!

 
 
We had a speedy dinghy ride back to the Sitting Duck to drop off Bernie and Barb.

 
 
Bob has a need for speed.

We would head back to our boat to relax a little before dinner.

 
 
The anchorage had filled up with charter boats and was pretty crowded for the night. The skies finally cleared and it looked like the threat of rain was gone for the day. Tomorrow we would move on to Treasure Cay. Elbow Cay and Hope Town are two of my most favorite places! It was so much fun to be here again! We grilled burgers for dinner and finished watching our movie from yesterday. Murphy got his final trip to shore at dusk and we had an unexpected event happen. We pulled the dinghy up to the ferry dock. That was no problem..the ferry wasn't running. As Bob was getting back into the boat carrying Murphy, he had one foot on the ladder and one foot on the boat. The boat started slipping away from the dock and you guessed it, Bob ended up strattling the ladder and the boat. But not for long! He ended up in the water with Murphy, who was dogpaddling for dear life. I climbed down the ladder to help Murphy as Bob struggled to get into the boat. He finally pulled himself into the boat while I hung onto the ladder with one hand and held Murphy with the other. After all 3 of us finally got into the boat, we motored away. Then he remembered he had the fob for the hydraulic lift in his pocket. Thank goodness we had a spare because this one would need some drying out. Bob and Murphy were totally drenched and rinsed off with fresh water back at the boat. I had a strained wrist and couldn't believe what had just happened! Maybe we'll laugh about it tomorrow. Thank goodness no one was taking pictures and it was dark enough that probably

no one saw us. I'm sure someone must have heard the screaming though. We cleaned ourselves up and settled in for a good night's sleep!

June 16, 2009 Elbow Cay, Hope Town

Last night Bob and I talked it over and decided that we would stay here another night and let Sitting Duck move on. They need to be home for a flight to WI on July 3 and we have no time constraints, so we decided that we would spend another week here in the Abacos. We missed out on a week's time when we had our mechanical problems, so we thought that since we are here already, why not enjoy our time here at a leisurely pace. With that decision made, we let Bernie and Barb know. We had breakfast this morning and stayed with our plan of going out to Tahiti Beach and Cracker P's. Bob and I took Murphy to shore and took a walk on the shaded Queen's Highway along the water.

It is the main highway to the rest of the island and the only one where you can still drive motor vehicles on it. The streets in Hope Town are restricted to foot traffic. We walked past Hope Town Harbor Lodge

 
 
and the Home Town School. It was a cute white building on the bluff with a view of the ocean.

 
 
As we were leaving the harbor, we passed a 38' "go-fast" boat that belonged to the Coast Guard. We could hardly believe it!

 
 
Sitting Duck had to wait for a higher tide, so around 10:30 we took our dinghy out to them and hooked it up to the back of their boat.

 
 
We would take a leisurely 3 mile cruise on Sitting Duck over to Tahiti Beach towing our dinghy behind it. We enjoyed the slower pace and the scenery along the way. Sitting Duck dropped her anchor just off of Tahiti Beach and the 4 of us took our dinghy to shore. The tide was coming in but there was plenty of beach left to walk on. It is such a beautiful, pristine beach. Off in the distance we saw dark clouds over the ocean and were concerned that we would see some rain, but nothing developed.

 
 
It was pretty calm looking through Tilloo Cut to the Atlantic Ocean.

 
 
There were other boaters there enjoying the beach as well.

 
 
I walked in the shallow, cool water looking for treasures and found a few. The guys went exploring down the beach along the homes. We waded in the water for about an hour before deciding to move on to Cracker P's. Cracker P's is a cool 2-story bar on Lubbers Quarters' Island just across the way.

 
 
As we brought the boat to shore, I spotted a red starfish in shallow water. Everyone went inside, but I had to see if that starfish was dead or alive. I picked it up and put it into the boat while we were inside the bar. It didn't move or show any signs of life. (This picture was taken while the starfish was laying on the floor of the boat.)

 
 
When we returned a short time later, the starfish had moved, so I guessed it was still alive. Back in the water you go! Too bad! That would have been a great find. We had a Kalik at the bar and enjoyed the view from above.

 
 
We dinghied back to Sitting Duck, picked up our cooler, and Bob and I started back to Hope Town. The Sitting Duck would be spending the night at Baker's Bay. On the way back, we stopped at the Sea Spray Marina. It was a place we had been to before, years ago, and wanted to see how it had changed. The marina was pretty much the same, but now it had more expensive homes lining the shore.

 
 
We got back to Hope Town around 1:00 and noticed that a freighter had pulled in to drop off some fuel at the Lighthouse Marina. It was pretty big to be in the small harbor and must have had to come in at high tide.

 
 
We made a quick stop at the Ebb Tide boutique to check it out before going back to the boat. That was one that I had missed when Barb and I went shopping. We also had to stop for a cold one at Captain Jack's bar and restaurant just to make it official. We sat on the covered pier/patio with a view of our boat in the harbor. A cool breeze was blowing and took the heat of the day away.

 
 
We got back to the boat and just cooled off in the shade. We heard thunder and saw dark clouds off in the distance, but nothing developed. That was the way it was all day. We tried to do a Skype call with Bob's sisters, Mary and Suzy, but we lost all connections. We napped a little as the afternoon cooled off a bit. We tried to stay cool as best we could. Three sailing vessels came in to take moorings for the night. They were filled with young scouts on a chartering expedition. Their adult supervisors ferried them to shore for an afternoon of exploring and fun. More boats came in to anchor for the night. It was a pretty full anchorage. We ate an early dinner and took Murphy to shore before the mosquitoes came out. This time no one got wet. We relaxed with a movie as the sun set and the stars came out. We heard it rain late in the evening, but were too tired to care. We got up to close the hatches and went right back to sleep.

June 17, 2009 Hope Town to Marsh Harbor

The morning air heated up right away. We made preparations to leave after breakfast and head back to Marsh Harbor. We wanted to spend a relaxing day at Mangoes Marina. I unhooked the lines from the mooring ball at 8:30 and we were on our way. We took a leisurely pace at 8 knots and covered the 9.03 miles in 90 minutes, arriving at 10:30. The water was like glass with no wind to speak of.

 
 
Even at 8 feet deep, the water was so clear that at this speed you could see all the way to the bottom.

 
 
We saw many red starfish from the bridge of the boat and maybe a dolphin or a large turtle, we weren't quite sure. We arrived at Mangoes Marina with Rae, the harbormaster, waiting for us. He welcomed us back and helped us tie the lines. We were settled in within minutes and ready for a day of relaxation. I started the wash and with Bob's help we did a few loads. Murphy got the luxury of sleeping in the AC and all was good. The sky darkened with huge black clouds and the thunder we heard was a little disheartening.

 
 
After 3 weeks, we've finally come to the conclusion that the dark clouds don't necessarily mean rain for us, and you can't let them detract you from your plans for the day. With that in mind, I really wanted to snorkel on Mermaid Reef just around the corner from the harbor. We noticed the small boat day buoys and the boats at the reef on our way in, so we knew it would be an easy dinghy ride. Mermaid Reef is just north of Marsh Harbor. It is part man-made and part natural reef.

 
 
We got together our snorkel gear and made the short ride out to the reef. The water clarity was excellent and once we put our masks in the water, we immediately saw all the fish swimming around the reef. There were quite a few boats and even more snorkelers.

 
 
We swam over to where everyone was gathered to see more for ourselves. We found an amazing number of fish of all sizes and colors. There were black fish with glowing blue faces, small black fish with glowing white dots, large pink, turquoise, and green fish to name a few. There was a huge grouper hiding in the coral and many Yellowtail Snappers. We saw coral of various colors and purple sea fans. Everything was so beautiful. It made me wish I had brought my underwater camera from home. Some of the other snorkelers were feeding the fish some frozen corn. The fish were swarming all around them, eating the corn out of their hands. We snorkeled for about an hour in the cool water, enjoying every minute. We took the short ride back and decided to take a swim in the pool to rinse off the saltwater.

 
 
The water in the pool was cool and fresh. We sat in the double swing and whiled away the afternoon watching the boats and people moving around the harbor. We had cocktails and appetizers on the deck by the pool. A few other people had gathered there. We chatted about boats, politics, and world affairs. Then we headed back to the boat to make dinner. We ate an early dinner and took Murphy for his walk. We saw a beautiful sunset,

 
 
watched a DVD, and then called it a night. What a wonderful day!

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