We Started to Feel Like We Were Growing Roots!

We Started to Feel Like We Were Growing Roots!

Aaaahhh….finally got some real sleep! And, now that we were fully rested, finally got a chance to see just how clear the water below us was, and how beautiful our surroundings were. Being here felt like a dream and we had to keep pinching ourselves to realize it was no dream and we were definitely in the Bahamas! After spending a peaceful night at anchor at Manjack Cay, we headed south a few miles to White Sound in Green Turtle Cay where we picked up a mooring ball for $100 for a week. The winds were really supposed to be kicking up over the next several days, so we just wanted to hang out somewhere with some protection from these winds.

First order of business was getting the dinghy back in the water so that Jim could head over to the customs and immigration office in New Plymouth to get us officially checked in to the country. He dug out a nice collared shirt (we’d heard that you want to dress nicely when checking in), gathered all our documentation and $300 in cash for the check-in fee and was on his way. A quick 45 minutes later and he was back. Our boat could now stay in the Bahamas for one year, and the two of us for 90 days (we will renew this for another 90 days before the first 90 are up). Our $300 fee also includes a fishing license and an endorsement to use our new pole spear.

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Jim all spiffed up to go check us in to The Bahamas
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Customs office in Green Turtle Cay

While Jim was working on making us legal, I was back on the boat (only the captain is allowed to step off of the boat until you’re all cleared in to the country) tearing apart our v-berth. Ugh. On the passage across the Gulf Stream the bow had been pounding into the waves and we apparently have some sort of leak from the anchor locker into the foot of our bed. When we take water over the bow, some of it inevitably makes its way into the anchor locker, which has a small drain going back out the front. However, something in this drain must be compromised and there was a good bit of water which made it under our bed, and into the storage area below the v-berth (where our precious beer is stored!). Sooooo….while Jim was checking us into the country, I was busy spreading our sheets, mattress pad, mattresses (we modified two twin mattresses to fit into our v-berth space) and other miscellaneous items all over the boat for the world to see!

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Getting ready to raise the courtesy flag. Notice the mattress on the left and the sheets drying on the right…

When Jim got back, we replaced our quarantine flag with a Bahamas courtesy flag and then it was time to start exploring our new surroundings! We were anxious to start doing some snorkeling and seeing some marine life, but the ocean side of the island, where the reefs are, was just too rough during most our stay at Green Turtle. We did get in a time or two, but really didn’t see too many of the beautiful reef fish we were hoping to see, or the lobster we were hoping to spear! We did see several HUGE starfish (they had to be 18″ to 24″ across!), sea anemone, a turtle, sea cucumbers, and sea urchins. So, all in all, not too bad.

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Carrying around my snorkel gear hoping to find a good spot!
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And…if we can’t find somewhere to snorkel, reading on the beach is always a good backup plan!
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Fun sign pointing us in the right direction
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Keep Goin Mon…almost to the beach
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Made it!

We ended up spending just over two weeks on the mooring ball at Green Turtle Cay, and during that time we explored almost every bit of the island that we could. We spent time beach combing, enjoying the wildlife, and doing boat projects. We checked out the three little grocery stores on the island, bought a loaf of hot out of the oven delicious coconut bread from Moma’s Suga Shak (the local ice cream store!), and found a bakery where we bought a rum cake (which we ate on the beach for breakfast that morning!). We enjoyed Goombay Smashes at Miss Emily’s Blue Bee Bar, watched the Super Bowl with a bucket of Kalik beers at the Bluff House Marina (on a very cold and windy night!), and celebrated our arrival with a champagne toast on the bow of the boat. We bought grouper and mutton snapper to cook on the boat, ate conch fritters, and taught ourselves how to break into coconuts.  We went to a local flea market, played cornhole at a beach bar, and did mini workouts on the beach. We tried to help our friends who had run aground coming into a channel near low tide, helped some older folks who were unsuccessfully trying to grab a mooring ball, and watched anxiously as a catamaran dragging anchor got to within about six feet of us before finally getting their anchor off the bottom so they could re-anchor elsewhere.

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New Plymouth is the main settlement on Green Turtle Cay
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Time for a little celebration!
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Happy hour celebration on the bow of Radio Waves
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Love the colors of all the buildings here!
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The famous Miss Emily’s Blue Bee Bar
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Home of the world famous Goombay Smash, which was a mighty tasty coconut, fruit juice and rum drink
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Scary…found this shipping container washed up on the beach. Wouldn’t want to run into this with a boat!
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The same shipping container on a different part of the beach a couple of days later…
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Hmmm….super heavy…and it’s pointing right at me!

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Lots of work to get in, but sooo worth it! Nothing tastier than fresh coconut and coconut water!

It felt like we were starting to grow roots, and the winds were finally dying down, so we knew it was time to leave. The day before heading out, we filled our diesel tank and jerry cans ($3.949/gallon) to replace what we’d used crossing the Gulf Stream. The next day, we did a load of laundry ($5 per load) at the marina, and hung it out on the lifelines to dry because I just couldn’t bring myself to pay another $5 to dry them! While the clothes were in the washer…we couldn’t help ourselves…we snuck into the marina showers and had a nice long fresh water shower. Aaaahhhhh! Felt so good to be clean and salt free for a few minutes! We also made sure our fresh water tanks were full, and for possibly the first time in our lives (we have well water at home) we had to pay for fresh water at $0.25/gallon. And finally, we untied from the mooring ball and were on our way!

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Fun sign on the beach near the Bluff House Marina beach bar


  • Angela Thomas

    March 27, 2016 at 6:31 pm Reply

    Wow! Wow! and WOW!!! This is absolutely awesome! Thanks for this wonderful update. So happy for you all.

    Happy Easter, sweet friends! Be safe!

    Love, the Thomas team

    • Chris

      March 28, 2016 at 10:38 am Reply

      Thank you! Hope you had a wonderful Easter as well!

  • Kathy Walden

    March 27, 2016 at 11:22 pm Reply

    Such interesting reading and beautiful pictures. lt’s almost like being there with you on your adventure. Can’t wait for the next one. Safe sailing.

    • Chris

      March 28, 2016 at 10:39 am Reply

      Thank you!

  • Evan Davila

    March 28, 2016 at 7:21 am Reply

    Glad to hear you guys are having fun , looks like you guys are having great weather, we’re finally having good weather up here in the frozen north. Happy Easter!

    • Chris

      March 28, 2016 at 10:40 am Reply

      Glad to hear you guys are thawing out! Hope you had a great Easter!

  • Robert M Kansa

    March 28, 2016 at 7:59 am Reply

    Have a most blessed Easter!

    • Chris

      March 28, 2016 at 10:40 am Reply

      Thank you! Hope your Easter was wonderful!

  • M Hinkle

    March 28, 2016 at 8:43 pm Reply

    What an amazing adventure. Thank you for sharing the beautiful pictures.

    • Chris

      March 29, 2016 at 12:07 am Reply

      Glad you are enjoying the pictures! The majority of them are taken by Jim, so I will let him know! Hope you are all doing well!

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