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Our Mark on Boo Boo Hill

Our Mark on Boo Boo Hill

As the saying goes, every good rule has an exception. This is no different in the Exumas park. Typically it is a “take only pictures, leave only footprints (or bubbles)”, but at Boo-Boo hill you are welcome to leave an offering to the spirits for good weather and safe passage.

The story goes that on a wild, stormy day many years ago an unlucky schooner sunk off the coast of Warderick Wells. Sadly, no one survived the disaster and no bodies were ever found. Local people say that if you climb to the top of the highest hill on a full moon, you can hear the voices of the lost souls. Boo-Boo hill is named for the sounds of the ghosts.

Today, cruisers that pass through here leave behind driftwood with the name of their boat. Full disclosure, and all those who know me know this already: I have next to zilch in artistic talent. To make matters more difficult we also have no “art” supplies onboard. We decided to burn “Carpe Ventum” onto the wood.

I did the best I could, okay? The end is a little frumpy as we ran out of lighter fluid. Oh well, final product looked like this.

So we hiked, and hiked and hiked, and finally made it. My sign was really put to shame as I looked at the neighboring ones.

We added to the pile, took in some fresh air, and more importantly scrammed for a little wave of 3g signal to call mom and dad. I am guessing due to the elevation the cell phone magically worked long enough to send news home that all was well (after 10 days of being digitally isolated).

Glass Bridge and Queens Baths

Glass Bridge and Queens Baths

We were eager to leave Royal Island the second weather permitted. It was the perfect anchorage to hold out a storm, but it had served its purpose and we (I) had some serious cabin fever. We were ready to find a beach.

The next leg of the trip was to continue south through Eleuthra. This included going through a place called current cut. Just imagine why it gets that name…

We were advised to take the cut 2 hours past high tide in Nassau to avoid being thrown around like a washing machine or moving backwards despite maxing out your engine. Of course, we tried to olblige as much as possible to the advice, however found ourselves just at the entrance of the cut about 20 minutes past high tide. Our options were to anchor and wait it out, or power through. We decided to go through. If it wasn’t slack it was close enough right? And any current still there would be going with us, not against. We made it through unscathed, but phew it was a ride. Our boat, that when fully revved up gets us at or just below 6 knots, was flying through a 10.5 kn. Quite a ride indeed, but we could feel that we had full control throughout the cut.

Just on the other side the winds picked up and we run our spinaker all the way into the anchorage. We had a beach to ourselves and a few key places to visit on land.

The first was the Glass Window Bridge. This used to be a thin little piece of land that connected North Eleuthra to South Eleuthra. A few years ago a hurricane destroyed it, so in place today is a man-made bridge. From it, you can see to one side the beautiful, tranquil, and turquoise waters of the Exuma sound, and to the other a very angry, dark blue Atlantic Ocean. I suspect even angrier after 3 days of storms and heavy NE winds. Needless to say, we were thankful to be on the calm side.

Exuma Sound side
Space under the bridge, where water flows from Atlantic to Sound
Atlantic Side

Along our walk to the bridge, we ran across a blow hole in the ground, that as the Atlantic waves crashed in created a natural salty fountain.

The last was a visit to Queens Baths. I suspect we hit this spot at the wrong end of the tides, as any bath in these waters would be the last bath you would take, ever. It was still beautiful and another place to admire the crashing of the ocean waves. They undoubtedly demand respect.

Life aboard thus far

Life aboard thus far

It’s been 6 months since we turned in the keys to our NYC apartment. While it may not be fair to say we have been living aboard this whole time, we have fully embraced the nomad life.

From June through early July, it was all new and wonderful. As we hopped from town to town down the east coast we started to get used to life onboard. Cooking in a one burner kitchen, cold showers, sleeping with minimal foot space, bumping your head 5-7 times per day and constantly rocking, just a little bit. We had a few great sails, which gave us the chance to test (and be very pleased) with our new B&G autopilot, intermingled with a lot of motoring through the ICW. Before we knew it, we were packing up the boat and catching a plane to Brazil.

In mid July we flew to Rio de Janeiro, my home town, to spend the (northern) summer. I moved away from Rio at a young age, and ever since have been visiting 1-2 times per year, but always a short vacation. I had always wanted an opportunity to spend a bit more time there, giving me the chance to travel around a little bit of Brazil. During our 3 months there, we did just that. We visited some beautiful small towns, and gorgeous beaches. We also had some quality family time (though this required jumping over the atlantic for a few weeks in London and Lisbon). Aprehensively, we watched from far away as Irma, Maria and Harvey destroyed so many boats and destinations. Since our boat was still in North Carolina, we were not directly affected by the storms, but very saddeded by the devastation they caused in many of the places we have dreamed of visiting. We know recovery efforts are in full blast and are still looking forward to sailing to these places.

Since October, we have been back in the states. We were eager to get back to the boat and launch. That process took a bit longer than we would have liked, with a never endling list of projects. The biggest of these was building a refrigerator/freezer. Previously, we had only had a engine powered sea-frost, not ideal as cruisers. This would have required running our engine at least twice a day to cool down the fridge (and no freezer). Stephen worked through several scenarios to avoid a full out custom build – but alas nothing else would have worked with the space and/or budget we had in mind. In addition to the fridge, we also worked on re-wiring our anteana, some teak restoring, and a good ol’ boat polish. We were back in the water by the end of October. Our first stop was Charleston, SC; followed by Beaufort, SC; Savannah, GA; and finally Miami, FL where we are now. Stephen’s dad lives in Miami, we are were able to spend Thanksgiving with family and alternate between staying on the boat and in their home while we prepare to head to the Bahamas.

Hello, blogging world!

Hello, blogging world!

A first post! Finally, after years of promises and months of stalling I am finally working on our little piece of the internet.

So, where have we been whilst all this stalling? Since leaving New York City in June, we have hit up the north east coast, down to North Carolina, USA; Rio de Janeiro, BR; Ouro Preto, BR; London, UK; Lisbon, PT; Bahia, BR; Paraty, BR; and the rest of the east coast, down to Miami, USA (phew). Now, we are about to cast off the US coast and due South.

We hope of friends, family, new friends we make along the way, and anyone looking for any inspiration can use our blog to follow along on our year of adventures, sandy toes, and salty, well, salty everything!