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I’m On A Boat–Downsizing Your Sailboat

Before Motu Iti, Amelia’s parents had cruised and sailed two other bigger 40 foot sailboats.  One cruise was to the Bahamas for a year with a young family, the others summer cruises as a couple and with a young family.

Tiny Motu Iti

They chose Motu Iti because her smaller size makes her easier to handle and take care of.  Here is a video discussing the best aspects of downsizing to a smaller sailboat!!  And, see Motu Iti’s blog on the topic here.

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I’m On A Boat–Using a Nature’s Head

The Nature’s Head Composting Toilet has been a great solution to rid ourselves of stinky holding tanks, repairing valves and finding pump-outs.  Even better, being ecologically friendly on the boat has become effortless for us.

In Georgetown, Bahamas, the pump-out boat went through Elizabeth Harbor every morning, $5 for a pump out.  We thought, I hope he doesn’t notice we don’t need one, because we have the Nature’s Head.  The pump-out guy would get angry on the VHF radio when he wasn’t getting a lot of business, saying outrageous things like “you cruiser’s must like to swim in your own discharge” and various such proclamations.  We thought, how rude, I hope he realizes people have composting heads  now and are considerate to others.

Then, we were blown away when we met two other cruising boats openly proud of their complete disregard for proper discharge, in a crowded cruiser’s harbor too!  Like it was an inside joke they were letting us in on and they were such rebels.

But really it was disgusting and inconsiderate, and there is no excuse, none, especially with a Nature’s Head.  Part of the reason we love to cruise is to be outside and enjoy nature, so even if it’s just something small like our discharge,  we take pride in doing what we can to protect the sea!

Here’s a video from Motu Iti about using a Nature’s Head:

Happy Birthday to Grant!!–and other adventures

Sometimes we wonder why so many people, us included, live in places that are so dreary and cold a good chunk of the year. We are reminded of this every time we use Grant’s birthday as an excuse to visit a tropical locale. Three years running. Last year was on Velocir in Spanish Wells, Eleuthera.

by Velocir

We made a delicious turtle cake, making do with whatever baking pans were available.

by Velocir

For dinner, we skipped the sunset cruiser’s raft-up to enjoy some fine dining. We watched the sunset and the moonrise about 30 minutes apart.

Besides birthday celebrations, we’ve been reading, knitting, snorkeling and walking the beach.  Relaxing in the Caribbean!

by Velocirby Velocirby Velocir

We stopped our lazy ways and got to work, taking Motu Iti out for a sail!  The forecast was 10-15 kts with light chop.  Sailing the Sea of Abaco, Motu Iti did a fine job gliding through the water, not wanting to heel too much even with some puffs.

by Velocir

At the end of our sail, Amelia got in the dinghy and anchored it, while Motu Iti sailed back and forth to get some great photos.

by Velocir

It’s hard to have good sailing pictures of your boat when you’re always on it!

Here’s some fun video of the sail:

Good bye snowy Annapolis, hello Bahamas!!

We awoke at 0230 to drive to the airport. Three inches of snow on the ground…..great. We drove with one highway lane cleared and little salt on the road. We were almost to the airport parking lot when we slid sideways to a stop inches in front of a pole. Luckily, it was all very slow motion because we were not driving fast. Definitely the right time to get out of Annapolis, leaving Velocir in the snow, and head for the Bahamas to visit Amelia’s parents on their cruising sailboat, Motu Iti. (www.sailmotuiti.com)

Motu Iti by Velocir

Goldwin and Nancy have been relaxing in the Abacos this last month, and we are very happy to join them. Our first day was a bit breezy, but we headed over to a favorite of ours, Tahiti Beach, for some low tide nature viewing. The beach is a long sand bar that appears at low tide. The area is full of starfish, sand dollars, juvenile conch and other creatures.

Starfish by Velocir

Even though we have explored these waters before we always find something new, like this green starfish.

Conch by Velocir

A rare sighting, this juvenile conch came out of its shell for us (trying to turn over).

Conch eyes by Velocir

The eyes always get us, they are oddly adorable making them extremely hard to turn into a meal.  Luckily this one is not legally large enough to eat.

Runabout by Velocir

We zoomed around to a few good snorkeling spots. When Grant goes spearfishing he uses a pole spear with an elastic loop at the end (making it a homemade Hawaiian sling), dive weights to help him get down to look under crevices, a knife for safety and gloves to protect his hands from sharp lobster etc.

Snorkeling by Velocir

He found a spiny lobster in a grassy bank offshore, and speared it for dinner.

Lobster by Velocir

We also speared a few Lion Fish, an invasive species with no natural predators and dangerous spines.  It is very much encouraged to spear them.

Lion fish by Velocir

To finish our great day, Amelia made some conch fritters out of fresh-caught conch and a local batter Nancy had gotten.

Conch Fritters by Velocir

Ringing in the New Year

We celebrated the New Year with family in Hopetown, Abaco Bahamas.  There were great fireworks show and junkanoo celebration on the streets.  We went out for a delicious dinner of stuffed lobster!DSCN0312

The midnight fireworks were really great!  We are staying in a house right now and slept in a real bed, had real showers and put ice in our drinks for the first time in months.

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Velocir is having some alone time by the picturesque lighthouse in Hopetown.  We sailed her over from Marsh Harbor.  It is a lot more charming here and bustling, with many tourists and boats all over the harbor.  It is the nicest place we have been to in Abaco.DSCN0353

New Years day we went snorkeling on the reefs and then went to Nippers.  Last time Amelia was at Nippers there was literally no one there.  Not another person except her family and the staff.  Nippers is a really popular bar overlooking the beach that cruisers always talk about going to.

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It was pretty crazy on New Years day!  It was swarming with scantily clad drunk young people.  Having lunch with my family with all of this going on was a little comical.

We wondered where all these people come from, maybe there is a resort nearby?

DSCN0385

We have enjoyed having a runabout and going out to the reefs for snorkeling. We did a morning fishing trip Monday, but had no luck. It is getting a bit cold here, but we’re hoping for a couple more sunny days before family leaves. Things should warm up again until the next cold front!

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