Sunday, March 12, 2023

Snorkel Extravaganza

We have been in the Bahamas for just over two weeks.  During that time we have had numerous snorkeling opportunities, and if you know anything about us…we live for snorkeling opportunities!  

Keith and Eddie decided to try the hookah (the diving kind, not the smoking kind:).  They both liked the hookah dive, but getting the hoses sorted, after, was a bit of a task.

From here I will shut up and let you enjoy a few of the underwater sights we have experienced in the past two weeks.

When you are floating on the surface, looking at the bottom, lobsters are hard to spot.  Do you see a lobster in this picture?

They like to hide under rock ledges and in holes.  Usually, you will only see an antenna sticking out, and that is all that is visible in the first picture (unless you really zoom in).

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Bahamas Bound

This post will take you from Fort Myers, Florida to Hoffman Cay, Berry Islands Bahamas.  Due to excessive strong winds, the past month has been full of ‘hurry up and wait’.
We spent five days in Fort Myers visiting with our friend Steph, and gained Callie as a new friend…good times!

Damage from Hurricane Ian is still very evident.  We saw a lot of roof and window damage

And a few total collapses.

Since we had a rental car, we decided to complete our BIG provisioning trip before leaving for the Bahamas.  We spent $1000 packing the freezer and pantry, but this much food will last us a very long time!

After leaving Fort Myers, we traveled along the west coast of Florida and anchored off Everglades City very close to a sandbar where a flock of white Pelicans were settling down for the night.  They must sleep there often, because the strip of sand was too odiferous for them to have just landed…stinky!

From here we traveled around the southern tip of Florida to the Keys.

Key Largo was our destination.  We planned to anchor in Tarpon Basin to wait out a windy forecast, and prepare for our crossing to the Bahamas.  We know we are in Key Largo by the amazing water color, and the constant white trail our props create because the water is so shallow…even through the channel, we are churning up the sand.

Tarpon Basin did not disappoint, as a well protected anchorage with very friendly manatee who visit regularly.  The forecast, however, did disappoint!  We stayed in Key Largo for 17 days waiting for a favorable forecast to cross the Gulf Stream.  Fortunately, the timing worked to allow us to catch up with friends (Eddie & Gail on Seaquel, Tara & Allan on Follow Your Arrow, and (later) Julie & Randy on Knot Dreaming) who were also waiting for a weather window to cross…so we had a great time hanging with our tribe!

Seventeen days is a long time to stay in one place, but we did accomplish several boat projects, and we did a lot of playing!
We visited toilet seat cut.

Took several kayak and paddle board explorations through the mangroves.

Abandoned a day of snorkeling after getting a royal butt kicking from waves and wind as we attempted to take our dinghies 3 miles offshore to a reef.  These smiles are after we tucked back into the safety of the mangroves and stopped for lunch in a calm location.

We rented a car for a day and visited Key West.

Finally, on Feb 19 we were ready to move north to stage for a crossing on the 21st.  

The crews of Right Hand and Seaquel joined a volunteer organization committed to humanitarian and community building projects throughout the Caribbean.  The current project is to increase food security by supporting home gardens.  The Hope Fleet organization has partnered with the Bahamian Agricultural Ministry, and a Midwest U.S. University to design a program to teach participants the skills necessary to make gardens successful in the harsh conditions of the Bahamas.  Upon graduation from the class, each participant is given a bucket of supplies to get them started.  In this model the buckets will be used for drip irrigation, and the seeds are specially selected for the environment.  

Our part in this project is to transport and deliver the buckets.  The day before our departure we were able to tie up to the wall in No Name (that’s actually the name) Harbor to make loading easy. 
It actually was not easy…we loaded a LOT of buckets!  Right Hand was able to fit 170 buckets, and Seaquel loaded 130…woohoo, 300 buckets would soon be delivered to Nassau!  If you would like to learn more, please visit

At first light on the morning of February 21 we left Biscayne Bay for an amazingly smooth and easy crossing.

Here are Seaquel and Knot Dreaming with Miami in the background.  We checked into the country at Great Harbor, and quickly headed for Hoffman Cay for a little rest and relaxation!

This is our anchorage at Hoffman Cay.

The most amazing helmet conch I have ever seen! Keith found it while we were conch fishing (I’ll get into the details of that activity in a future post).  This is not the type of conch you eat.  We brought it ashore to show the others, and get some pictures…then we returned it to a grass bed in deeper water.

Hiked to the blue hole.

Old age is awesome!

And now we are eight!

If you enlarge this picture and look towards the top, you will see our four boats at anchor.

Hoffman Cay is the island where Keith and I isolated for 8 weeks during the first Covid lockdowns in March 2020.  We were so happy to return and share this amazing place with our friends!

Island Hopping