Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Hunkered Down

This is our first trip to the Exumas. We were aware when we made our plans that we would be here for the windy season. What we didn't expect was blow after blow with little relief. We've met cruisers who have been coming to the Exumas for decades that claim this is the worst winter they remember. Just our luck. It has been cutting terribly into the kids swimming time.

So last week, we decided to stop beating our way down the Exuma chain of islands and left Black Point with the hope of making a run to George Town before the next blow came through.  We made it as far as Galliot Cut where we had planned to cut through to the ocean and make the run to George Town. We checked out the breaking waves through the binoculars and decided to go to Plan B.

We  ducked into the narrow cut leading to Safe Harbor Marina on Cave Cay. We definitely found safe harbor in the round basin with 360 degrees of protection, surrounded by high hills. There were a couple of boats there already and we were soon joined by 8 or 10 more as boats filled the small marina looking for safety.

This marina definitely had some sort of story. At one point it had been built for luxury - concrete floating Bellingham docks, beautifully tiled showers, and nicely appointed buildings and homes. However, it all had a feeling of neglect. The homes were deserted and nothing else appeared to be there but the marina and an airstrip.

But it was just what we needed. We spent four days in our safe haven. So what did Dylan and Dee Dee do?

What else? Just across the basin was a beach.

The kids went swimming!! You knew it was coming...

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Black Point

OK, the crew can already hear you moaning, "Oh no, not another stinkn' blog post about dogs swimming on the beach..." But wait. You would be so wrong.

First, there is no swimming because the water was only a couple of feet deep as far back as where the dinghy is floating.  So that's wading, not swimming.

Then, this is not a beach. It is a sandbar that came out of the shallow water at low tide. See how the water wraps around where Jeff is standing? So they are wading on a sandbar. Completely different from swimming on a beach.

And if none of that convinces you, then Dylan and Dee Dee think that's just too bad. It's their blog and they like to swim. They plan on posting tons of "dogs swimming on the beach" pictures over the next few months. If you don't like it, well, they suggest you go find a blog about cats...

Meanwhile, they've got some more swimming on the beach to do or wading on the sandbar - oh, who cares, as long as there's water and bumpers to chase.

Monday, January 18, 2016


After days of bouncing at anchor, the kids finally made it to shore for a romp on the beach at Highbourne Cay. They were more than ready.

Their dad got to practice his remote anchoring technique, with a little help from Dee Dee.

Once the dinghy was secure, the bumper retrieval began. Dylan let Dee Dee do the heavy lifting, waylaying her when she got close to shore.

Dee Dee didn't seem to mind as she swam after it again and again. Here's the great series her dad captured:

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Hello, Bahamas

The crew crossed over to the Bahamas on Friday. We had anchored at Rodriguez Key, pulling the anchor at sunrise to set off. The crossing was bumpier than we had planned but Dylan and Dee Dee proved yet again why they are the world's best crew members.

Each found their favorite spots and settled in. Dylan in front of the pilothouse door.

Dee Dee snuggled on the pilothouse settee.

We safely reached the Bahamas banks and settled into our first anchorage off Cat Cay. Dylan and Dee Dee kept a close watch but never did see any cats.

But they did spy some Bahamian dolphins the next day.

A couple more anchorages and the crew was checked in at Nassau, Bahamas. The three customs officials came to the boat, took one look at our ferocious crew, and asked the captain to come to the office instead.

Dylan and Dee Dee will be visiting new beaches, making new friends, and catching up with old buddies. They'll be visiting some remote places and working hard at having fun, so be patient. They will catch up their blog whenever they can.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Goodbye, Stock Island!

Everyone has been enjoying themselves here at Stock Island Marina Village. Mom and Dad have visited restaurants and bars downtown, walked the streets of Key West, and visited with friends and family.

But for the kids it's been mainly about the dog park. The marina built a lovely dog park right on the property that is watched over by Snoopy and Woodstock.

Dylan and Dee Dee have visited the park every day since we arrived, usually right after lunch. They know exactly when it's time to go.  It's a lovely park with small and large dog sections, benches, a kiddie pool and hose, and plenty of shade trees which also are good hiding places for the birds.

Some days there were lots of dogs.

Some days there were just a few.

Every day it was fun.

Tomorrow we throw off the lines and head back north to setup for a crossing to the Bahamas on Friday. We have many great memories of our time here at Stock Island and look forward to returning. So does the crew, but for Dylan and Dee Dee, it's all about the dog park.

Note:  Dylan and Dee Dee may not have good internet access in some of the more remote locations they will be visiting over the next few months in the Bahamas. They will give an update whenever they can.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

A Rainbow!

Dylan and Dee Dee were greeted this afternoon by a beautiful 180 rainbow!

It was so big there was no way to get it all in one shot from the bow. The aCappella crew thinks this is a good omen for 2016!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Another New Year!

Dylan and Dee Dee have certainly been enjoying holiday time here at Stock Island Marina Village. Santa decided to drop off two toys for Christmas. We're not sure if it was one for Dylan and one for Dee Dee or if both were for Dylan (our good boy). Since Santa didn't leave any coal we gave Dee Dee the benefit of the doubt.

There was a long serpent that squeaks and a stuffed dolphin. Both were hits.

The serpent was perfect for tug-of-war.

While Dylan couldn't believe he was allowed to have his own dolphin onboard.

Of course, in the end Dee Dee ended up with both of them.

It's been a great year for the aCappella crew. Tonight we move into the new year. Dylan and Dee Dee look forward to more beaches, more dog parks, and many new adventures.

Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!!

Dylan and Dee Dee are counting down to Christmas - there's less than 24 hours of being good. Dylan is hoping Dee Dee won't scare off Santa with a bark. Dee Dee is hoping Santa will give an allowance for being cute.

As for Mom and Dad, they think they have two of the best presents under their tree!

With Santa so near you'd think that being that good would come easy. You'd be wrong. That kind of good only comes from bribing with treats...

The entire crew of aCappella wishes you a very Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sans Kids

This morning we took the Stock Island Marina Village shuttle to downtown Key West - sans kids - for a day on our own. We walked Duval Street, looked in the shops, had lunch, and stopped at the Cuban coffee shop. There were two large cruise ships in port so the streets were bustling and all was decked out for a Key West Christmas.

The highlight for me was an early Christmas gift from Yours and Mayan, a free trade store that supports the Mayan Indians of Guatemala. I picked out two beautiful handcrafted birds - a chicken and a pelican.

They are smaller versions of a chicken I picked out ten years ago in Key West, the last time aCappella was here. Just to make it clear how much I loved the chicken, it was one of the few items that not only made the cut when we cleared the house, it actually made it onto the boat and rests on a ledge in the pilothouse. I think these two will go below in the stateroom to give cheer each morning and night.

As for the kids, they slept all day except for when they awoke at 4:00 pm starving until we returned just before 5:00. How do we know? Jeff set up a new webcam and we periodically peeked in on them. I'm pretty sure their sense of time is more accurate than an atomic clock.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Chill'n in Key West...

Dylan and Dee Dee have reached another milestone in their cruising adventures. They are now the farthest south they have ever been.

Dylan had previously been in Marathon but Dee Dee had only been as far south as Miami Beach last year where we waited for our Bahamas crossing.

Back in 2010, Dylan was in Marathon with Dyna. They had a great time swimming at Sombrero Beach every day. They romped with lots of other dogs including old friends Godiva and Cassie from September Song. Godiva has now joined Dyna in the huge dog park in the sky but Cassie and her people are currently docked kitty-corner to us here in Key West

We had a good run down with a combination of offshore days when it was nice and slipping along inside when it wasn't. The crew performed exemplary.

Daddy helped them spy dolphins and we had lots of them. Frankly, Daddy looks as excited as the crew...

Dee Dee loved being up on the flybridge offshore. It's something we haven't done too much with her because, well, it's a long jump down.

As the most seasoned crew member, Dylan helped show her the ropes.

For now we're safely tucked into Stock Island Marina Village in Key West. There's a dog park on site, dog friends nearby, and even some special dog treats from the staff. Dylan and Dee Dee think they're gonna like Key West just fine.

We plan to go even further south this winter as we travel to some of the southern Bahamas islands in the Exuma island chain ending up in George Town.