So what’s the plan for winter?

When we first heard that Dorian had struck the Bahamas we were on our passage down the Jersey coast.  My Uncle Ken messaged me, but we didn’t have great internet service at the time so we weren’t fully aware of the magnitude of what was happening.  We were shocked, and I was in tears, when we saw the pictures the next day.  Even though we had only spent about six weeks in the Abacos last winter, we were enchanted by its beauty and friendly residents.

We’ve been talking over the past few months about wanting to get a bit more connected with a community by staying in one spot for a while – in the states and in the Bahamas – and we had decided to spend at least a few weeks on a mooring in Hope Town this winter.  As of now it looks like that plan will have to be put on hold.

But what about the rest of the Bahamas?  Most people watching the news probably think that “the Bahamas” are devastated.  We would have thought the same thing before going there last winter, but we knew that Dorian spared the vast majority of the islands.  Nevertheless, we debated whether we should go to the Bahamas at all this winter.  To me it sort of felt like vacationing in San Diego if Los Angeles was lying in ruins from a cataclysmic earthquake.  Jeff pointed out that our tourism dollars are now more important than ever (even if they do represent a tiny drop in the bucket), and as the days have passed various Bahamian organizations have been delivering that same message.

So we are definitely going, although I’m still not sure how that cognitive dissonance will end up resolving itself (we met a woman in Rock Hall yesterday who is also going this winter with her husband on their boat, and shared the same concern).  We were originally planning to spend the winter in the Exumas before heading north through Eleuthera and the Abacos, and that won’t change except for perhaps the Abacos part.  At this point well meaning and good-intentioned amateurs would likely be more of a hindrance than a help.  But we’ll see how things develop.

In the meantime our hearts go out to the wonderful people we were so lucky to meet, who were unfailingly warm and welcoming.  The happy participants and crowds at the Junkanoo in Marsh Harbor, and the kind woman who explained to us how the competition would work while we stood in front of her church (now flooded).  The funny, soccer-obsessed owner of Abacom where we bought enough DVD’s to keep us entertained for hours during a two-day blow (status unknown).  The talkative taxi driver in Marsh Harbor who told us they hadn’t been hit by a hurricane in decades.  The cashier at Maxwell’s (damaged) that complimented my tattoo before we swapped tattoo stories.  The friendly shopkeepers of Sid’s (heavily damaged) with the fantastic bread at Green Turtle Cay, who laughed with us as we bought all of the Hill brand Chocolate Cookies that they had in stock – you have to buy them when you find them!  The young lady with the beautiful smile at the fuel dock in Hope Town (heavily damaged) who patiently tallied up our water purchases ten gallons at a time as we brought our jerry jugs back and forth, back and forth one afternoon.  The funny bartender at the Hope Town Harbor Lodge (heavily damaged) where we ate fantastic conch fritters.

The places may be damaged or gone, but we hope that the people, at least, are alive and safe.

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Junkanoo, Senior Division, Marsh Harbor.
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Hope Town.
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Lighthouse at Hope Town.
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Green Turtle.
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Hope Town Rummage Sale.
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Junkanoo, Junior Division, Marsh Harbor.
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Hope Town.
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Sunset in our hidey hole, Green Turtle.

11 thoughts on “So what’s the plan for winter?

  1. How did you get info from Marsh? Email? Phone? We have several people we’ve been trying to get in touch with on Grand, too. No avail.
    Should be back out in a couple weeks. We went on the hard during Dorian.

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    1. Hi William, I found out about the condition of the church and Maxwell’s through Google and Facebook forums and looked for a consistent status report from multiple sources before writing it down, but I couldn’t find anything about the plaza that Abacom was in (nor the owner, Malcolm) so that’s why I left it as unknown. I didn’t want to presume. I really hope you’re able to track your friends down soon. Hugs. Kimberly.

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  2. Hey Kimberley and Jeff. Syl and I have been thinking about you. I can certainly understand your concerns. If I were in your shoes I would definitely go South in the Exumas. We loved it while there. Lots of uninhabited islands and the occasional place to shop and see what’s going on in the world. Have never been beyond Highbourne. I agree that you would be doing something good by being there. Good luck and keep us posted.

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    1. Thanks, Norm! We appreciate your thoughts. We will absolutely be spending quite a bit of time in the Exumas this winter. Hope you and Syl had a great vacation with plenty of sailing (rather than motoring). Kimberly and Jeff

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      1. It was arduous, in a nutshell. From Essex to Fishers Island we had a steady 35 on the nose gusting to 43. Heavy seaway and our engine crapped out. Beat for about 15 miles and dropped an anchor at Bushy Beach. Checked the engine in the morning and it started right up. Motored up the Sound, through Watch Hill Passage, holding my breath. Motorsailed for a short time in 4-6, and the the engine quit again. Eleven hour beat up to Newport. Eleven hours! Steady 35 on the nose. Grandchildren, 7 and 10, riding the rail and having a ball. Turned the corner at Pt. Judith, things calmed down and the engine started. Likely the seaway tossed us around enough to set debris in motion and fouled the pick up in the fuel tank. No problem the rest of the cruise. We are still recovering. But had great stories. Lots of black and blues. Report called for 15 out of the North. We got ENE or East. Hope you avoid, what you quaintly term, sporty conditions.

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      2. Wow! I would say that far exceeded sporty conditions, at least in my book! Arduous is an understatement. Ah, I wish I was a kid again and was blissfully unaware of when I was supposed to be worried. 🙂 Well, as you said, at least you have great stories. Enjoy the rest of the season, and may be it bring nothing but 10-15 knots on the beam! Kimberly and Jeff

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  3. Hey Bonehams…certainly a mixed bag as you head to the Bahamas. Knowing you two, I am sure that your generous spirit would be welcome. And you will be able to tell when you are able to be of help or be in the way. Sail well, dear friends.
    Hugs Deb and Wen

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      1. Sent another ton of stuff off to the Bahamas today. Last weekend 70 boats went over, but it’s just making a small dent. It’s like Hiroshima minus the radiation over there.

        Operation 300 has a site built on Amazon where we can order stuff and they’ll handle everything else.

        https://www.amazon.com/wedding/bahamas-relief-dorian-operation-300-premier-realty-group-stuart-september-2019/registry/31GUYPQDQX5A6?fbclid=IwAR207iFEfRBKWEnXt9U2TJJro7R2yZGu9ZXvpeCb4GC7e-rZFyAwu_MKJRc

        One good piece of news: although there’s always paperwork to complete over there, Customs is not worrying about duty and all those issues at least.

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