Take a bow, sir.

Poor Dave. He was casually pulling away from a group of about 16 dinghies, most carrying two people when he unexpectedly  became “the turn”.

It was early evening. The group were participating in what is known in boating circles as a dinghy drift. It wasn’t really my scene. A staged get together, albeit in dinghies tied together, mostly with people you don’t know. I’ve done years of chatting to random people at dinner as part of work so I’m a bit more selective these days. Or maybe the word is anti-social!

The group had drifted by us as we mooring up and several people tried hard to cajole us to get in our dinghy and join them. We politely declined to be part of the main event but about 15 minutes later hopped on our paddle boards to cruise by so as not to be wholly antisocial but to do it on our terms. We could easily escape and I wouldn’t feel hemmed in. Helen doesn’t like being hemmed!

We’d had a belter of a day prior to the dinghy thing. Dave landed us our first two lobsters. We’d caught up with our friends Thomas and Gabrielle who we originally met in the boatyard in North Carolina a year previous. We shared dinner and stories aboard their boat then the following morning, Thomas pointed out a good area to snorkel. So wetsuits on and armed with our spear off we set. 30 minutes later we had two of these bizarre fine tasting creatures. Thomas got a brace too so happy crews all round as we upped anchors after lunch and sailed our seperate ways .

In fact we’ve had a lovely few days. Some great short sails, travelling in company with our Halifax friends Rob and Betty Ann, a blue hole, lots of turtles, spotted rays, a great beach bar and several different anchorages. The paddle boards make for great journeying and as you’re high up looking down into the water,  it’s easy to spot creatures in the water. We can get to places too shallow even for the dinghy and outboard so they are proving their worth.

The paddleboards were the cause of Dave being “the turn”. Or he may argue it was me but he’s not writing this. In departing the dinghies, I’d set off and was rounding the group and to contour round the circle made a bit of turn to the right. Dave chose that moment to put a few powerful strokes in behind me and oops, collision, splash. Well actually SPLASH. In front of everyone. There was no hiding. Other than when he was under the water.

He hauled himself up, delivered a theatrical bow to the audience and we paddled off. 25m apart.







You remind me of…..

My belief is it happens to us all. You meet someone or see someone and think, “oh that person reminds me of……” It could be someone nominally famous or maybe just someone who has come into your orbit before.

Although I’ve never actually had anyone say to me, you remind me of…… Well it happened a couple of days ago. We were gently sailing around the Sea of Abaco on our way to anchor off Tiloo Cay. About a mile and half offshore, a bloke is standing in the deck of his sail boat waving his arms at us. The boat appears to be anchored so it’s not in any danger.

He seems pretty stressed. We cruise by. “My engines overheating and I can’t start it.’ Dave, coolness personified says, “well, not sure I’ll be able to help but I can take a look if you like after we’ve anchored up.”

Dave became the marine equivalent of bicycle repair man over the next 36 hours, spending several hours in an engine bay. He managed to get the engine running but the overheating issue will require further investigation. Not enough water was getting through the cooling system. He also helped retrieve a dropped lost anchor. The bitter end is called the bitter end for a reason and tying it off is a top tip.

As recompense, the seemingly mismatched and kind couple fed us dinner and we came away with a selection of dock lines in much better condition than ours and a fishing spear. Thank you.

We did find time for a bush whacking walk on Tiloo Cay. The atlantic side was being battered by waves and as it’s all spiky volcanic rock, few people will ever choose to walk there. Sadly it’s aspect to the ocean means is collects plastic and the scene was littered with coloured unwanted offerings. Sobering. We did find a brand new round fender which became booty and now has a home on the boat.

The inland side by comparison was flat calm, the water wholeheartedly transparent and sparkling. We were able to create a circular walk though the overgrown interior with only a few scratches and scramblings.

So have you worked it out yet? Who do I remind you of? I’ll give you a clue. Icelandic singer. It’s oh so quiet. Perhaps you have to be of a certain age to get this one.

BJORK! Yes I know. It seems far fetched to me to me too. BJORK. Words that initially came to me were…mad crazy eclectic bizarre. I politely queried this comparison and the answer was ‘Like Bjork, there’s something about you’. Let’s just leave it at that. 😀


When we kept Grace in Goole, then Hull, in the UK, the water was always brown. Seeing your own feet in a few inches of water was impossible. Although thinking about it, I don’t actually remember getting that close to the water. For very good reasons.

Swirling chocolate coloured currents harried up and down the Humber river, changing direction twice a day. Solid mud banks form and morph with the river action so the water upstream of Hull is constantly being surveyed. The channels marks are moved after each survey to show the recommended route for river traffic, including big commercial barges which still ply their trade up to Goole, 40 miles inland from the open sea.

I remember one summer not long after we bought Grace coming back up the river. It was always a somewhat fraught passage as the river runs fast and you don’t want to screw up. I was looking through the binoculars to spy the upcoming channel marks, which would indicate our safe passage. The starboard channel mark seemed to be moving. What the blinking heck is going on here? Or some similar words I exclaimed. We chased the tug moving the mark hoping our route would take us over deep water. All was well and I don’t miss the Goole run. At all.

The Bahamas is not like Goole. The water is crystal clear. Here it’s possible to drop your anchor and see the sand eat it up as the chain straightens out and the anchor holds the boat. A tightly nestled anchor means a happy Dave. Well our home is hanging off the end of a lump of metal and a few links of chain so if this combined pair is immovable, that’s positive.

Life revolves around the water here so we’ve been embracing that way of life. The paddle boards have carried us on excursions around bays and the mangroves. We’ve sailed super short passages , maybe 5 or 6 miles from one anchorage to another to reposition ourselves from the winds as they rotate their direction.

We had a great day with our friends on Muktuk when we took their boat plus a couple of dinghies out to the reef off the north coast of the Abacos and snorkelled for a couple of hours. They caught two lobsters and a couple of parrot fish. We saw all kinds of colourful reef fish 🐠, some large, some small. Not sure of any names but the iridescent blue ones were my favourites. Karl was apparently stalked by a couple of barracuda, although I didn’t see them. A little bit of underwater excitement.

Small village madness came to New Plymouth on Green Turtle Cay on New Years Day. Junkanoo is a annual procession round the streets. I suppose it’s similar to carnival in Brazil or Notting Hill, just much much smaller. This year’s theme was hurricanes. It’s loud, slow, colourful, well attended and involves street food and beer. We ate conch salad and partook of a couple of beers. And bumbled around bumping into people we know, mostly boating folk but a few locals too.

It proved a fine way to spend a few hours on New Year’s Day. We had after all had a late one the night before. Think we made it to 9.30pm. Late for us!

I tried again with piccies but green turtle cay WiFi seems to be on a go slow. Ah well…..