Following a night at Pusser’s we decided to return the next morning for a beach day. Our waiter from the night before told us that to get one of their chairs we’d have to pay for a drink, but that was untrue. She failed to mention that if a cruise ship was coming into Tortola then we’d have to pay about $20 for an umbrella.
The beach was far more packed then we expected. Rows and rows of beach chairs lined the shore and it was a stroke of luck that we found a few open to use about three rows back.
When we left for the beach I was prepared with The Handmaid’s Tale (which I couldn’t get through) and a swimsuit. My parents were far more prepared with their towels, books, snacks, swimsuits, and wallets. But even they aren’t perfect.
My dad forgot his phone which gave me the perfect opportunity to return to the boat to get my kindle and towel. I heard so many good things about The Handmaid’s Tale but I found it challenging to get through, the story is interesting and I wish I could read more but (most likely due to my age) the writing style was difficult to understand.
I may have worn a swimsuit, but that by no means meant I would get in. My parents running from the water screaming, “It’s cold!” was enough to keep me away. I’ve started to regret that decision when a pant-lined tan started to appear on my thigh, at least it’s better than my dad’s red arms.
When we got onto the boat our skin had lost any brown-tint we may have gotten from the months in the sun. We’d completely forgotten everything we’d learned on how to avoid sunburns. A few days into sailing my dad had a V-neck shaped tan on his chest and small circlets on his arms. I think he was embarrassed to go shirtless because of it.
Mark opted out of going with us, so when we returned, we spent the night with him saying our goodbyes. He’d be leaving early in the morning for the airport. He was originally going to take a cab but after our first night at Pusser’s we became friends with one of the waitresses and she offered to drive him.
The same day that Mark left, our friends Mandy and Joe from the boat SV Kuma Too arrived. The Virgin Islands is the home base for their chartering business, so they spent the afternoon showing us around some of their favorite spots.
The first place they brought us to was a bar called Quito’s where we spent most of the night. While my parents were talking at the bar, I was sitting on one of the high-tops reading. We ordered a few appetizers before moving to a second restaurant called Paradise Bar and Restaurant. The night ended with a game of Jenga where my dad played for me because I didn’t want to be crushed by the falling wooden pieces.
The next morning, we woke up a little later than usual to make up for the late night we had before Jost Van Dyke. We’ve already been to this island, but this time we were on the opposite side located near a restaurant named Foxy’s Taboo, owned by the restaurant Foxy’s that I mentioned in my last post.
I personally prefer this bar over the other because it’s more secluded with a smaller area and less busybody’s running around. We spent the day working at the restaurant before eventually ganging up with Kuma Too later in the day.
Mandy and Joe directed us around the bar to one of the trails that would lead us to the bubbly pools. We took one of the longer hikes up so we could see a cliff-like view of our anchorage. Besides seeing my life flash before my eyes a few dozen times, we got to the pools safely.
We saw a few goats (that I am almost positive are magical) on our way to the pools. Each goat was in varying coats of black, brown, and white. We saw so many that at some point we started naming them. Oreo. Brownie. Coconut. Well, I did at least.
The bubbly pool is a small circular pool with a sliver of space connected to the ocean. When the tide is up enough, water will crash through that sliver and fill the pool with water. Sea foam will flow in creating the appearance of bubbles. We didn’t come at the best time and the bubbly pool was slowly dwindling, with only a few bubbles to show for.
I initially planned to get into the pool but a few seconds in the frigid water with who knows what biting at my feet, made me opt for climbing rocks instead.
The bubbly pool is famous for its bubbles, but I think the entire area is like Elephant Rocks in Missouri. There are huge boulders that are just begging someone to climb them and not just goats. So, I did. I watched from the sliver of space between boulders for the good waves that would result in a bubble-filled pool so my parents could snap a decent photo of the area.
After we left the bubbly pool, we headed back to Foxy’s Taboo to share some drinks and talk. To be perfectly honest I didn’t bring much to the conversation because I was reading on one of the restaurant’s hammock chairs. Good drink + Comfy chair + Interesting book = Addison isn’t listening.
I was hoping to eat at the restaurant but instead we dinghied back to the boat and ate leftover burgers before parting ways and going to sleep.
Our final day in this area was spent working before heading to a famous bar called
B-Line. We did get to eat there. They have about five things on the menu and all of them are amazing. I assume. We ordered three separate dishes, two of one kind, two of another, and one of the last, to split between Mandy, Joe, my mom, my dad, and me.
They were out of one of the dishes and the other wasn’t something we could split among each other so we decided on three we would all enjoy.
For the first time in a long time, I didn’t read while we were waiting for food. Instead, I crushed all of them at cornhole. Not to brag…too much. We had a competition where each person squared off against someone else and the winner would face a new person. I had a royal flush and beat everyone, securing first place for myself.
I got increasingly worse as time passed. In the first round I got about eight in the hole, but by the final round I was almost neck and neck with Mandy, neither of us even landing on the board.
We quickly finished up our game when the food came out and set about creating a revolving idea where each of us would take a bite before passing our plate the person to the right. It didn’t end up working, so we just tried to eat a fifth of everything before giving it to someone who hadn’t had any of that dish yet.
You’d think the night would end there, but no! We went back to our boat with Mandy and Joe in tow to do G&P. G&P stands for Grab and Play, something we created for when we have friends over. We get out our music box of instruments, put on some music, and grab an instrument and play to the beat.
I went to bed early, so I can’t accurately say how long the adults were playing into the night. Using experience, I assume it was around 2:00 when they stopped.
The next day we returned to Cane Garden for our final night in the BVIs.
We all spent the day doing our own activities until the afternoon when we went over to Kuma Too for drinks. My parents had the drinks, not me. We spent a couple hours chatting until the guys decided to go in for a guy’s night with the girls prepared to take a separate dinghy for a girl’s night.
I was supposed to be with them for their girl’s night, but in the end, I drove myself back to the boat to read. Sometimes you just don’t feel like being around that many people and you want to be alone, with my parents doing their own thing it was the perfect opportunity. I’m not a crazy teenager, yet, so I didn’t do anything besides sit in the salon and read.
The next morning, we followed Kuma Too to customs where my mom and I would check out of the country before joining Mandy and Joe to the USVIs, then flying to Tampa.
I last left off was with us sailing away from what I imagined to be the best island to ever exist. Unsurprisingly, that title lasted all a week before a new island was awarded the honor.
After we left Mayaguana we made our way to Turks and Caicos, where we spent a day before continuing our slow progression to Grenada. Our plan is to try and get there sometime in either June or July for hurricane season, but we want to see anything and everything we can on the way.
We spent most of our day on Turks and Caicos sucking up sun light on a beach. We later regretted our decision to check out of the country so soon, but to check back it would be too costly.
Eventually we found ourselves in White Bay – Jost Van Dyke in the BVIs (British Virgin Islands) after a few days of traveling. I was less than merry when we finally arrived. You don’t know how precious sleep is until you miss six hours of it for watch duty. I didn’t even have to go on all my shifts. No one was out there with us and we were in thousands of feet deep of water, so my dad usually let me sleep for one of my two shifts.
It was our longest passage yet, with little to see beyond the endless water in every direction. As we pulled away from Turks and Caicos, I had my first look at a whale. We couldn’t identify it, but the assumption is that it was a humpback.
We spent our first few hours in White Bay searching for a mooring ball we could use. We began our search in a mooring field with a single open ball to use. So, we connected, spent 20 minutes on it before realizing it was rockier than any time we’ve spent on passage. And that’s saying something.
So, we moved to a deeper area to anchor and planned to snatch one of the mooring balls in the next anchorage, Great Harbor, the next day.
We spent the next day on our new mooring ball and cleared into customs. School still takes priority for me, so I had a good time on that before going in to explore. There’s a famous restaurant in Great Harbor called Foxy’s that my parents ended up going to for a date night.
The one restaurant we regularly went to had decent food. All island food is similar, so there wasn’t anything particularly interesting about the burgers and wings we ate. I did, however, discover that the restaurant was the perfect place to do school the next day.
One of my teacher’s had to call me the next day while I was in the restaurant. The music was blaring, and she asked me to move and all I could think was, “How do you tell your teacher it’s too loud because you’re in a bar in the Virgin Islands?”
When I eventually sat outside on the beach to finish our call, she asked me to move AGAIN, because it was too windy. I was snickering internally because I had no where to go. I was on a beach in the Virgin Islands and I couldn’t move too far from where my computer was still sitting within the bar. I just turned my back to the wind and hoped it’d be enough.
Apparently, it was, because we got through the call with only a few minor mishaps.
We spent the rest of our week jumping from one anchorage to another until we arrived in Cane Garden, Tortola.
Tortola was supposedly named by Christopher Columbus meaning “land of the Turtle Dove”. He originally called it Santa Ana, but the name was changed once the Dutch arrived. They called it Ter Tholen after an island that forms part of the west coast of the Netherlands. The last name change was to Tortola when the British altered the name.
I think a better name would be pelican. I did see some turtles swimming around, but they were nothing compared to the (with little exaggeration) hordes of birds around the water. Our plan for this island was to avoid spending money and eating out, we did far too much of that on the last island.
That rule lasted all an hour before we found Pusser’s. Pusser’s was our favorite restaurant to frequent when we went to Annapolis boat shows during the spring and fall. Our first assumption was that this was just some bar with the same name. It wasn’t. It is owned and operated by the same people. And what really melted our resolve was that they were having a pig roast that night.
We spent hours at our table happily munching on snacks and sipping on drinks while we waited for the pig to be served. We watched as the restaurant slowly filled with more people as the pork was almost done cooking. And rightly so. The food was so good.
After a delicious dinner we prepared ourselves to return the next day for a day on the beach.
When I imagined living on the boat I thought of hopping from island to island. I didn’t realize how much went into owning and living on a boat at the time. I always imagined the island would be small, a little run down but in the process of renovating, and a small community where everyone knew everyone. So far, the truth has been different from what I imagined. I love the boat and travelling, but no island has matched my design. Until Mayaguana.
I only spent one day on the island after we spent a day in passage from Georgetown, but I fell in love. When we first pulled up to the slab of concrete that served as a dock, I didn’t think much of it. All I could see from my viewpoint was a row of palm trees painted with various colors on their trunks. Red, white, green, and blue. Under the trees were a few picnic tables that I doubt anyone used.
We dropped off our trash at a little hut designed for waste and restrooms. There was a small path (maybe a car’s width wide) that we walked on to reach the tiny town.
The town was everything I ever dreamed. We had multiple people wave hello to us as we walked past buildings. On the side of a few buildings were paintings of the most vibrant colors. On the local government building there was a flamingo painted on the wall.
We spent little time exploring because there was little to see besides a few stores, a bar, and houses. My mom felt guilty dropping our trash without using one of their services, so we found our way to a little BCT hut (maybe one of the few air-conditioned places we could go and found an older woman who would help us find a store.
Another dream came true when she walked us a block from the BCT building and yelled someone’s name. A woman answered and opened a little store-about the size of our living room- for us. With a population of only 300 people, everyone knew everyone. Mayaguana had officially become my dream turned reality.
After that day, I regretted not going back to the town. We left a few days later for a two-day passage to Turks and Cacaos.
It’s been a while since we’ve been out sailing but we are at last in the final countdown! After months in a marina and weeks on the hard my mom traveled with a delivery captain to bring the boat to Ft. Lauderdale where we had our final boat projects done. My dad was busy with work – that’s the reason for the hired crew. For the first time in months we are living on the boat!
After upgrades, fixes, and several maintenance items the boat is better than ever. After almost a of year of being broken the fan in my room has been restored to its former glory. I now have a well-ventilated room that I can stand to be in for more than a few hours while awake! Which is perfect because now I can finally paint.
My parents gave me enough materials to complete my collection. It was among my favorite gifts from this year. Some of my favorite things I received was a gift card for books on my kindle, a Fitbit (that has informed me how out of shape I am), and some earrings I’d been eyeing for some time.
I was also very proud of the gifts I gave my family. All my dad wanted was some bracelets, so I made him one and gave him a little scented bottle meant to be calming. My mom gets headaches, so I gave her a face mask that can be chilled or heated to soothe. It was a very good Christmas.
Christmas wasn’t the only holiday to pass while we were on the boat. We were invited to a kid boat for New Years where we played games, ate, and talked. I got to know the kids aboard, though I spent a good portion of the night playing with their dog.
Their dog jump started a conversation I’ve been longing to have: Can we have a dog? I don’t know if I’m going to win this argument though. They add so much work to an already work-filled lifestyle. My mom is adamantly against it because she “knows” that she’ll be the one taking care of the dog. Until I do better on other chores, I can’t expect to see a dog in my future.
I’m not great at keeping up with my chores now. After months of living in hotels it’s an adjustment to wake up early and clean the kitchen. Or the deck. Or my room.
But I have gotten to do some pretty cool projects for our dinghy. I’d previously named the small boat Ladybug when we got it but after having custom covers made for the boat, the name we applied to the side was covered. My dad and I discussed ways to show the name again. We discussed painting the name on the chaps, painting the chaps similarly, and then finally we found the answer.
After a few hours of work, I had cleaned, sanded, and painted our motor cover to look like a ladybug. I was so proud of it. My grandma was there at the time and she helped me move it from place to place. I just loved it. I had meticulously carved tape to match the design I wanted.
I got into a little trouble with the marina security when I sprayed red paint onto our motor, but they just wanted to make sure I didn’t get red paint on any cars or boats. My grandma wasn’t very happy about that. She and I went to the parking lot and used soap and water to try and remove and red paint that got on the concrete. Security just waved us off and I was able to put the cover onto the motor.
We have yet to use the dinghy in action since I painted it, but we are planning to leave this marina in a few days with one extra crew member. Captain Mark is back on the boat and ready to help. He’s already helped us with provisioning and docking. We are ready to finally make our way back to the Bahamas and beyond!
I may not be sailing the ocean blues but I’m still travelling.
After our many issues with the boat we had no option but to have it placed in a marina until we could have it fixed. Until further notice we are living in hotels for the next few months. I don’t mind, I really enjoy staying at hotels. But what child/teen doesn’t?
Speaking of being a teen, I just realized something that is insane. I’m starting 8th grade this August, that means I’m one year away from high school! Highschool! My mind is blown.
Even though I technically start school in August that doesn’t mean I haven’t done any schoolwork this summer. Using FLVS (Florida Virtual School) I have been given the opportunity to take Geometry over the summer so that I can take Algebra 2 during 8th grade. It’s bittersweet. On one hand I’m getting ahead in school, on the other… I’m doing school over summer.
But I’ve been doing a lot besides school this summer. I’ve travelled to Mississippi, where I used to live and got to visit with old friends. While I was there, I also got to eat amazing food. I’m a foodie so I must mention it. There’s a restaurant in Mississippi called Cotton Blues that probably had some of the best fried chicken I have ever had. The restaurant had skillet cookies (the best kind of cookies) and homemade pickles. Yum.
We have a friend in Mississippi named Hampton that owns a restaurant named Sully’s that specializes in delicious steaks. We wet to his house while we were there, and he grilled us some prime ribeye. Anyone who does that for me, is a friend for life. We did go to his restaurant as well, though someone in our group of 15 paid for that meal too. People in Mississippi are so generous.
The day after my mom and I started heading to Missouri so we could visit my grandparents. While we were there I baked, hugged, helped, read, etc. Besides hanging out with my grandma the number one thing I did was write in my Whatever Journal. Which is basically a journal where I write or do whatever I want to do with it. Sooner or later it just turned into a quote book. I would ask people their favorite quotes and dedicate a page to each. I would write MY favorite quotes like-
“Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon,” or
“An eye for an eye makes the world go blind,” or
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
One of the peaks of the trip was when I got to meet up with one of my friends from a camp, I went to for two years during the summer. She and I were setting up this trip for long before my parents knew. When they did find out my mom took it over and planned it out more smoothly and with less waste of my and my friend’s money.
My friend was from out of state, so my mom and I drove almost two hours from St. Louis to meet her and her parents halfway in Indiana. But it was so worth it. She and I got to sleepover at my aunt’s house and we would do activities during the day. My favorite out of all the things we did was going to Elephant rocks, which is basically what it sounds like. It’s a park with huge rocks that are so fun to climb on. She and I are both very outdoorsy, so it was the perfect thing to do.
And then we met back up with her mom to drop her off. Right now, I’m stuck in traffic on the way back to my grandma’s after dropping my friend off. The street is backed up because water is overflowing from the fields it’s not supposed to be in anyway and the water is a foot above the street. Sometimes I have a large distaste for Missouri.
It’s Monday the 22nd and we decided to start our day in Key West, with desserts. Yum. Best breakfast ever! We went to a Café that has been around for over 100 years. My parents were craving key lime pie so that’s what they ordered (well I’m actually not sure, I’m pretty sure my dad got a coconut pie). Eric ordered alongside them and got the same thing. I however ordered an apple cobbler. I’ve started to really enjoy all things apple. Apple pie, apple cobbler, and apple cider. It tastes so homey and yummy. I stand by my order. I think mine was the best. My cobbler was crispy and sugary. It had cinnamon and a big glob of ice cream on top. Bon Appetit!
After our sugary but delicious snack, we parted ways as we had done for the last two days. However, unlike the past couple days Eric, my mom, and I did not check out historical landmarks. Instead we were tourists and just went door to door in shops near the water. My mom and I ended up buying some really pretty dresses that are perfect for the boat. My dress is pink but my mom got two, one is grey and the other is blue.
We finished our shopping and went to join my dad at a bar. We sat at that bar and listened to a woman sing while we munched on some fries. After we left we went straight back to the boat to end our day.
The next day we set out on our sail to St. Petersburg. We started our sail in the early morning and we had a peaceful day. We caught a few fish, none of which we could eat. Everyone took multiple naps to prepare for the night. The height of the day was when a sparrow flew onto our boat and stayed for almost the entire night.
On Wednesday the 24th we continued our sail, but we had an issue. At about 2:00AM a part of our boat broke and pulled the front of our boat with it. My parents had to rig some lines to take pressure off. Throughout this terrifying event… I was sleeping. We had to put down the sails and motor the remaining time. We debated going back to Burnt Store Marina, but thankfully we decided to continue towards St. Petersburg.
This blog post begins with chickens. Yes, you read it correctly. On Sunday the 21st we (Eric, my parents, and I) had lunch at a delicious Cuban restaurant before we went our separate ways. While we were there, however, we saw an adorable chicken with even cuter chicks. They were just so cute! Moving on… after a delicious meal of steak Eric, my mom, and I split off to be tourists while my dad found a place to finish up his work.
We started our tourist journey by stopping by what I think was a cemetery with information on the most important people to live in Key West. We didn’t stay too terribly long because (1) I was bored (2) we read all the information really quickly.
So after we did that we headed to Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, which is a museum about a man who found a sunken ship off the Keys. He found so much gold, emeralds, diamonds, jewelry, and other goods that he ended up with items worth millions! It was crazy! The museum even had some of the goods inside, it was really cool.
We continued our day by heading into Mallory square where we ran into a henna stand. I convinced my mom to get one! She got a simple drawing of our late dog, Jett, whom my parents have an actual painting of in their room. While my mom was getting that, Eric and I headed into a restaurant where we waited until my mom was done and she was ready to head to a candy store called It Sugar. It good…
After probably too much time in the candy store, we took an Uber to a fort that was converted into a garden. Whoever thought of doing that was a genius because it was gorgeous. There was a butterfly garden, bushes of flowers that smelled similar to honeysuckle, and an ocean view. 😊
My mom got a text from my dad right as we were leaving telling us that he was done for the day. My mom and Eric got their thinking caps on and decided for him to meet up with us at the lighthouse. We got in another Uber and arrived at the lighthouse with my dad minutes behind. With that we checked out the old Lighthouse keeper's house from decades ago and headed up the spiral staircase to the top of the lighthouse. My mom didn’t quite think it through and halfway up she started to get nervous because of her fear of heights.
She did, however, make it to the top and even spent some time on the ledge, granted it was only like 5 minutes… but still, my dad and I are proud of her. At the top they had little information plates that tell you where important waypoints are on the island and I think I was giving my mom a panic attack every time I would lean over the edge to point or look at the points. Hehe. So eventually my mom headed down with the rest of us in tow.
Once we all made it down, my dad suggested food. We all perked up and so we started heading towards civilization. Along the way we passed by a restaurant that Eric and my dad went to when they were in Key West previously. We almost missed it because it was so hidden in shrubbery. We were all so ravenous that we sat down and were happily surprised by the food. (The adults were more so excited because of the Bloody Mary bar)… and that was how we ended our day.
You can expect the rest of the week in a post tomorrow, but this is already pretty long.
We start this post on the 17th of April, a Wednesday. We continue a sail from Staniel Cay to Highbourne Cay. We arrived a little after midday. That night we enjoyed a dinner consisting of jerk chicken, squash, rice, and broccoli. I think of this as an early birthday dinner because it was SO good! Afterwards I cleaned the dishes and blew the conch horn at sundown. We were getting excited because we thought we’d possibly see the fabled green flash. That night I made a chocolate cake for my birthday celebration the next day.
The next day I woke up very late and by that time we were already going at a quick speed heading towards Key West. My mom setup an area in the salon for me that was similar to a bed and hand hanging pieces of paper that read something similar to: Happy 13! She also laid out some presents for me. I got some GoPro supplies, art supplies, books, and candy. I spent the entire day laying down in that area and reading whilst eating candy. It was great! Until that night…
After midnight the rocking got really bad and I couldn’t fall asleep because I got really scared.
Thankfully we arrived in Key West a few hours later and attached to a mooring ball. We didn’t go inland that day because everyone was exhausted! We debated ordering a pizza and picking it up but my dad didn’t trust me to drive the dinghy over to get it.
On Saturday Eric, my mom, and I discovered the island and checked out may interesting historical spots. We saw six-toed cats at Ernest Hemmingway’s house from before he died, we saw the southernmost spot of the U.S. and we spent time in Mallory square. Throughout this my dad worked in a bar that we ate at for lunch. It was a great week if you count out my seasickness.
*Multiple days have been left out*
We start this post on Sunday the seventh when we went to a local café. We had our lunch but we also learned the history of the café from the owner. She told us about how she fought hard to turn a small Superbowl party into a popular restaurant on the island. She told us how she acquired a dock outside the building and basically anything we wanted to know. It was very interesting, though I think my parents were a bit more invested in the story than me.
On Friday the 12th we had some issues… we arrived in Staniel Cay the day before but that morning my mom walked into our guest room and was utterly repulsed. It smelled like sewage! We started working out the issue and determined one of our worst nightmares was the issue: the pipes were blocked. We would have to send someone down to unplug the pipes. My dad was the generous “volunteer”. We couldn’t find a plunger so we used a rolling pin (which we later threw away) and the actual plunger part of a plunger. I don’t know how else to explain it.
So after a little preparation my dad was sent down plunge the underside of our boat and swim away quickly before waste overtook him. Well that didn’t happen. I don’t know what went wrong but it didn’t work, so my parents continued to crack the case while I went back to school. They eventually got it working again while I was in my room (thankfully).
Afterwards a boat pulled up.
Do you know what that’s boat name was? Dragonfly! Do you know what they also had? They had an only child who just so happened to be a girl who was exactly two days older than me. Where have these people been?! On their way back from Thunderball Grotto they stopped by and invited us to join them and a second boat, Sandy Feet, to the yacht club for some drinks and food. We happily agreed.
We arrived at the yacht club and met up with everyone, I was introduced to the two girls from Sandy feet who were 11 and 14. (Where have these people been?!) After drinks were ordered everyone sat down at an outdoor table and enjoyed talking, but the kids didn’t stay long. The four of us set off for a tour around the island. We stopped at everywhere from grocery stores, to docks, laundromats, the airport which was only too easy to get onto the runway, and outside liquor stores.
After some struggles we found our way back to the yacht club where a partially melted virgin mango daiquiri was waiting for. I slurped it down quickly before we set off once again, but not as far as before. We walked out onto the rocks lining the dinghy landing and sat down, after some failed attempts at communication I pulled out my playing cards and taught them BS. By the end we dropped only two cards into the water and recovered them successfully (they are waterproof thankfully) and I won all but one of the four rounds.
I was getting hungry and so were the others so we headed back to the adults where one was missing to look for us. Oops. My parents already ate so we were preparing to go. The others left after I exchanged Instagram accounts with them. My mom and I ordered food to go but we all stayed longer to enjoy what would probably be our last time eating at a restaurant in the Bahamas. It was a great way to end the week, we got new friends and fixed a major boat issue before it could get out of hand.
The beginning of this blog post starts with the 23rd of March (yes, I realize that was last week and month, but not much happened that week and it would have been 2 paragraphs for the entire week.) That day we had a rental car parked in the marina parking lot; it was… different from the rental cars in the U.S. To which I reply, “It’s the Bahamas Man!” We took our rental car around the island to buy groceries and check out the best restaurant on the island, Big D’s Conch Spot.
We got back to the boat, but my dad got one of his headaches that he had frequently since he got back from Australia. My mom and I used this time to go down to the beach after my dad repeated multiple times, “I just need rest, I don’t think there’s anything you can do for me.” On the way to the beach we passed 6 jet-skies and started to talk to their owners. The owners have a television show where they cross crazy distances of water on the jet-skies and they just crossed the Gulf Stream! My mom and I were both surprised that their lower body wasn’t in extreme pain. After we finished talking, we spent the remainder of the day sitting by the pool.
The next morning, we used the last few hours with the rental car travelling to a French restaurant that, for some reason, only had French customers. After an okay breakfast, we drove to a little pier and checked out a near non-existent dock.
On Monday night my dad’s headaches got worse. My mom came up with a brilliant plan to make him feel better. We sent him off to the showers while we prepared without him knowing. He returned to us in our hippiest outfits and my parents’ cabin was transformed into a spa room. Afterwards he said that it felt good and distracted him from the pain in his head. Fast forward to Saturday and our dock neighbors came over to have after dinner cocktails with my parents. Unsurprisingly during this time, I was reading and not being very social. I know I should but I have serious social anxiety.
The following day, much to my dad’s pleasure, we left the marina! It was an easy-going sail after we passed through the cut out of the marina. We had our Code Zero sail out, music playing on our portable speakers, and me occasionally going to the helm between my reading breaks. On the way we caught about two or three fish. Sadly, they were ALL BARACUDA and inedible. Also, during our sail, we relaxed on the trampoline and watched as we neared our destination.
I guess now is as good a time as any to reveal where we were heading. We were originally going to Big Farmer’s Cay, but we were making good time, so we decided to go further North. Do you want to guess where we went? Timer starts now! 3…2…1… we arrived in Black Point a couple hours before sunset. I know we’ve probably spent too much time in this town, but we all agree it’s just so quaint and friendly.
The next day I was preparing to make some pizza dough when; Oh no! The bread machine paddle was missing! After a little bit of investigating, I concluded that the day before, when I was emptying out my first failed attempt at pizza dough, the paddle went with the dough into the water. My bad! So, it was decided that later that day we would all go into the water (we went in later because the water was cold in the morning) to look for the inch-long paddle. Sounds like a great idea, right?
The morning came and went and, alas, it is the time for us to search. My dad and I were swimming while my mom was on the paddleboard. We searched and searched but the only thing we found were adorable white-colored crabs. At some point, when I was losing my patience, I found another crab and started following him. By some miracle, I looked to my left a little and, lo and behold, there was the paddle! I quickly swam down because my dad was only a few feet away and I wanted to be the one who found the paddle. And I was!
Later that night we went into town to do I don’t know what but ended up staying for pizza. We tried pranking each other over dinner since it was April Fools day but none of the jokes lasted long.
Skip a day and we’ve landed on Wednesday the 3rd and we made one of our best dinners yet. Pizza! I made a successful dough earlier that day and it grew 20% before we put it onto a pan and put margherita pizza toppings on half and pepperoni on the other half. It. Was. So. Good.
The last day on this post ended the week with a high note. SV Stargazer (I know we were supposed to see them for the last time many weeks ago) joined us in the anchorage. We had Terry over and visited. Sadly, Aeriss left their boat a while ago so I mainly read before we began playing BS.
*Many days have been skipped due to dullness, we’ve been in a marina so there isn’t much to do. *
On Sunday the 16th of March my dad got back from Australia! He gave us a thirty minute or so warning with a simple text that read “Did you hear a plane pass over you about 3 minutes ago? I’ll be there in 30-45 minutes.” I was really excited because I knew that upon his arrival I would be freed from chores! My mom and I had been cleaning the entire day, we were given the task of cleaning the inside of our boat thoroughly by my dad before he left. We wanted it to be clean when he arrived, so we were planning to clean on about Thursday.
Well… that didn’t happen. We couldn’t clean on Thursday because we were busy with school and work. So, you may be asking, “Why didn’t you clean on Friday. Were you just lazy?” The answer is no, the reality is that my mom got SUPER sick with what we thought was the flu, so I took care of her until we went to bed.
The next day she was still sick, so she decided to get off the boat and take shelter in the upstairs of the marina office (which is a lounge). I spent most of the day delivering crackers, water, ginger beer, and anything that could remotely make her feel better to her. A little after noon she came back to the boat and together we created a to-do list for me to complete so we could get some work done. So, no I was not lazy!
Back to my dad’s arrival: My dad walked down the dock to us and after a quick outfit change and boat look through, we decided to have lunch out. We went to the same restaurant at the nearby resort and had sandwiches, wings, and drinks.
On Monday it was the first day of my spring break and oh my could it have gone any worse? I slept in far passed what I usually do and spent most of the morning in my room chilling. My mom invited me to join her in the upstairs lounge that she frequently used as an office so, that afternoon I started heading over. We were going to play some checkers, but that plan was cancelled when I accidently slammed my toe into the front door and staggered my way up the stairs with a bleeding toe.
After a little freaking out my mom bandaged my toe which I would later learn I had a high likelihood of losing my toenail. On the way back I started off all fine and dandy but suddenly, my vision was (this is the only way I can describe it) being saturated. Everything started getting darker and I was having a hard time not stumbling, but my mind was set on the boat. I got onto our dock before I was forced to sit down. I closed my eyes for a few moments until I was able to regain my vision.
Apparently from the point of view of my dad when I continued walking down the dock he thought my lips looked blue. He also said that I was extremely pale and that as I was getting onto the boat, he was grateful he was there because at that moment I fainted. He told me that had he not been there I would have fallen into the water, who know if I would’ve hit my head. I did come to in a matter of seconds.
It’s a strange sensation to faint because I remember trying to get onto the boat then I open my eyes and my dad is leaning over me while I lay on the dock. I felt utterly fine, but my dad insisted on helping aboard, so he did and thank goodness for that because not a moment after we got inside my vision blurred again and I fainted for the second time.
Apparently, I was out for a little longer but not more than about 5 seconds but nevertheless in that time I was on the floor again as my dad was asking a man on the dock to get medical help. It turns out that the man was an EMT earlier in life, so he helped/supported my dad in the process following my fainting. They checked my blood pressure, pulse, and eye dilation. They also checked my blood sugar which was probably the most frightening part to me because I realized the would need to draw blood. I still don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing that that’s the only point where I started getting nervous.
The two men tried talking out what could be the issue and finally reached the conclusion: dehydration. After a few questions like, “How much water have you had in the last two days?” which I answered with about 2 cups the answer became plain. Just to be sure however my dad called his sister who is a nurse to double-check and ask what else he should have done to check me (but not before he called my mom who I’m surprised didn’t go into full panic.)
For the next two hours I was given constant water until the time came when we agreed for my parents to go on the date night, they already had reservations for. Of course, they wouldn’t let me off that easy and gave me a few water bottles I was required to drink that night and a reminder to text every 30 minutes to make sure I was okay.
The next few days I had lazy days the one huge difference being that on Wednesday I made a delicious and utterly irresistible teriyaki turkey dish.
On Friday the 8th my mom and I kicked off our girl weekend with a festival. Sadly, it was a major let down. We spent a total of 15 minutes at the festival if only for the food before beginning to venture through Georgetown. My mom and I didn’t really know what to do so we just went for food. We found ourselves at a restaurant named Choppy’s where we had gone to with Jonah and my dad once before. We enjoyed some wings and drinks before calling our driver (CJ) to ask if he would pick us up an hour early. Before he could pick us up my mom and I bought a butt load of groceries from the store which we happily stuffed into the driver’s backseat.
On the way back from the disappointing trip to Georgetown we had a picture taken of us in front of three rocks out in the water called The Three Sisters. Via the internet we learned that the rocks supposedly represent three sisters who all loved one man. The sisters all decided to confront him and express their love but before they could reach him they drowned, creating the three rocks. One of the sisters was pregnant so that’s why one of the rocks has a tiny bump on it. A little dark but sweet and fun all the same.
The next day was a pool day. My mom paid for us to have a pass to use the nearby resort’s pool, beach, service, and towels. It was a great day of reading by the poolside and sharing lunch with the occasional mango daiquiris. It was great! The day only got better, however, because as my mom and I started to eat our homemade pizza after showers four of the boys from SV Hekla walked onto our boat and asked, “Permission to come aboard?” I was so excited!
The rest of the night the boys stayed while we watched a movie, only stopping to have their own dinner. (Though they ate a bowl of Cheeto puffs and some of our homemade pizza…).
On Sunday everyone (the boys’ parents included) headed to the beach for another day of pretending to be resort people. We had people bring us drinks while I read, Tommy (one of the kids from Hekla) snorkled for golf balls, and Kenneth (another kid from Hekla) kite-surfed. Unlike the day before, I did end up getting in the water and after a few failed attempts at boogie boarding, I settled for swimming before heading back to our setup to read.
That night I sat with the family while they ate. While everyone ate the conversation of Harry Potter popped up so thus created, me guessing what all the boys houses would be if they went to Hogwarts. (For all non-Harry Potter fans that probably made no sense and I’m sorry because more references are in the next couple paragraphs). So, while his brothers did their chores Duncan (yet another Hekla child) took the pottermore quiz to see what house he was in. Lo and behold, he got Hufflepuff! He wasn’t very happy, and having to pay me a dollar because I guessed his house correctly and probably didn’t make him feel any better. Let it be known that even though he eventually took the test again, he originally got Hufflepuff and, therefore, is a Hufflepuff!
On the 10th of March I joined the kids from Hekla at the marina lounge for school. We all did our individual schooling, taking frequent breaks to play and test the other boys for their Hogwarts houses. I guessed wrong on two of the boys’ houses. I’m extremely happy that I did not bet on those. I’m also extremely confused, both boys got Ravenclaw, which is the same house as me. Sooner or later the boys left to prepare their boat to leave. We waved them off as they rocked out of the marina.
The next day I finished school early so that my mom and I could enjoy another beach day. We were supposed to go snorkeling but I had a hunch that there were no interesting fish at the nearby reef. I was correct in thinking that as my mom went to check it out while I read only to return with a frown and saying that there were only two fish. I never stepped into the water but read my book silently until we left.
That night we waited anxiously for, guess what, PIZZA! On our way to the beach we talked with a person who agreed to deliver pizza to our boat, meaning that I would have my first slice of margherita pizza since we arrived in the Bahamas. The. Pizza. Was. Delicious.
Wednesday went by smoothly and uninterestingly while my dad worked far away in Australia taking too good of sunset pictures.
Happy March! This week started on the first of March. This Friday was like any other day of the week, meaning that we all did our business, like me doing school and my parents doing their work. That afternoon my mom and I went to a restaurant called Chat N’ Chill for a little so we could have some drinks, when we left the restaurant my dad and Jonah replaced us. While the boys were gone I started making my first meal on the boat. Meatloaf! By the time the boys got back there was only thirty minutes left… or so we thought.
It ended up that I used our instant pot wrong, seeing as it was my first time using it. Oops! We thought it was broken because my dad had dropped it a few days before, but no. After two wrong attempts at using the machine my dad finally realized that I was using it wrong and fixed it so we could eat at last! So basically what could have been a 45 minute meal, took two hours.
On Saturday we discovered. We spent the day walking around Georgetown. We found a mini farmer’s market that had three booths. I wanted the honeycomb one of the booths was selling, but no it was too expensive. After that we walked up and down the streets checking out bars and restaurants. We found a restaurant called Choppy’s but decided to go there later that night when they supposedly had live music. * Instead we had drinks at a little bar on the road.
The next day was probably the best time I’ve had on the boat yet. Sometime in the early morning my dad shouted for us to come up to the bow because there were dolphins! The dolphins kept circling back to our hulls so out of impulse my dad jumped in, without any goggles, flippers, or a snorkel. He expected to swim with them for approximately 8 seconds but instead they circled around our boat and started following him.
My dad had climbed out of the water and grabbed the closest set of goggles and snorkel that he could so he could continue to swim with them, when they continued to stay he came up to get his flippers. It was a big surprise when the dolphins stayed for an hour and a half! During which time I was able to change out of my pajamas and put on a swimsuit to join them. All four of us (Jonah, my mom, my dad, and I) took turns swimming with them 2-3 at a time so at least one person could document the craziness.
Every time we thought they were leaving when they swam away, we would turn back to the boat and swim, only to hear the person documenting yell “They’re coming back!”. It was so much fun! They preferred when a person had flippers probably because it makes us more like them, but they would hover near you if you wore them. Near the end, the dolphins started getting really playful and started copying whatever we did. So if my dad tilted his head to the right, the dolphin would also tilt his head to the right. It was adorable!
Following the incredible dolphin adventure we went to the beach to continue our already amazing day. We used this time to swim, have drinks, and read. While we swam my mom found a starfish! Later that night we had drinks and a snack at Chat N’ Chill to end our wonderful day!
On Monday (March Fourth) we moved our boat to Emerald Bay Marina. I was so excited for two reasons. The first reason I was excited was because we would get air conditioning, warm showers, and multiple pieces of toilet paper, these are things that you forget to be grateful for. The second reason I was excited was because when we entered I saw the boat Hekla in the marina. The rest of the day I did school, my dad worked as did my mom.
On Tuesday we all did our separate work and had an ordinary working boat day. The most entertaining thing to happen was that after midday my mom and dad went down to the beach to work instead of staying at the boat.
The next day was an exact mirror, not including my parents going to the beach. That night, however, we went to a restaurant to have a nice, decent meal for dinner. The restaurant was on the beach so my parents already had some food from it the day before. It was peaceful and I’m pretty sure everyone but my mom appreciated the rule we made for the night: no pictures.
On Thursday, my dad and Jonah left. The two of them caught separate planes from the airport, my dad going to Australia for work and Jonah going back to the states to see his friends before school starts again. After they left, my mom and I did our chores and work/school until dinner time when we were hoping to get a pizza, it didn’t happen. Nevertheless we ate at the restaurant we are at with my dad and Jonah the day before.
*They lied, there was no live music*
February 22nd was spent reading and playing games. We played some BS at night and read our own books as well as doing schoolwork.
The next day we sailed! We had to get up super early so that we catch the tides to move from Farmer’s Cay to Rudder Cut Cay. I was so tired! We finally arrived at the island and celebrated by having a WWMOABD (Why We Moved Onto A Boat Day), we swam, floated, and read. My dad used our floaties to connect to a rope in order to not float away, he was all setup with a floating drink and sunglasses. I spent most of the time swimming up until my dad went up to read with my mom, at that point I took his spot.
Later that day we checked out the area on our dinghy to find places to fish and swim for the next day.
On Sunday I woke up to a yummy breakfast of biscuits, gravy, and bacon. Yum! It didn’t take long before everyone was in our dinghy prepared to go and swim. We dinghied a little away until we reached a cut with an island where we saw coral that we thought would hold delicious lobster. We were wrong, while it was a beautiful area with loads of fish and coral, my dad was unable to get his hands on food. Though the view made up for it in my opinion, there were angelfish that were yellow and black, grunts, a stingray as large as I am, and coral 5 feet high. My mom even found a shell to add to our collection.
After about an hour of swimming in that area we moved to another area where only my dad swam, he had to get out though because a six foot barracuda was chasing him. When he joined us in the dinghy we set out for our final destination, a piano and mermaid David Copperfield placed in the water. This was the point when we really wished we had an underwater camera.
The next day I woke up to sleepy people who woke about 2 hours before me at 5:00. Everyone besides me had woken up in order to sail to Georgetown. My mom realized I had woken up so she pulled out Oscar ballots that we had all voted who we thought would win. I got 2nd place, Jonah got 3rd, my dad got 4th and my mom won. My mom had first pick for candy, I had second and so on.
Before we arrived we passed SV Hekla heading the other direction. It took us a while to realize it was them but once we saw the yellow hulls there was no mistaking it. In passing we secured the time when the would be at the same marina as us, next Tuesday.
To celebrate our arrival we went ashore to a bar called Chat n Chill where I had a banana daiquiri and my parents had drinks.
The next two days were spent doing school and work, nothing that different.
On Thursday we heard on the radio that kids were invited to bring board games to play with each other at Chat n Chill, so that’s what my mom, Jonah, and I did that afternoon. Most of the kids there were around 8 years old until a girl named Nele (I think that’s how you spell it) came who was also 12; she is from Germany and lives aboard their boat. She and I played multiple rounds of the game she brought, only stopping when we climbed a tree to swing on a rope or get a sprite. After two hours I left and headed home. It was a VERY busy week.
The week started on February 17 aka Sunday. The day started off on a very high note, my dad FINALLY shaved off his mustache! My mom and I despised it, I personally hated it so much that I threatened to shave it off my dad’s face in the night. I’m honestly surprised that I didn’t. After breakfast that day my dad, Jonah, and I left to snorkel in Thunderball Grotto. If you don’t know what that is it’s a place off of Staniel Cay that you can enter at low tide and emerge in a cave with a skylight. It has all kinds of fish inside but not much coral sadly. That day the current was ripping and I’m slightly surprised I didn’t bump my head on rock more than once. It hurt…
We got back from Thunderball Grotto and enjoyed what I call a Why We Moved Onto A Boat day. This consisted of Jonah paddle boarding while I swam and my parents read in the sun. I later blew up my own paddle board (mainly so I could chase and annoy Jonah) though I ditched it a little later in order for me to annoy Jonah further. I had forced myself onto Jonah’s board, blocking him from returning back to the boat. We ended up drifting pretty far and I did end up helping Jonah get back to the boat. I like to say that the sun burn Jonah got from being out in the sun too long was pay back for my skinned knees and arms from when he swung me against the side of the boat when I wasn’t ready.
That night we had the crew from the SV Sailing Uma (they just hit 100,000 subscribers on youtube!). We made our introductions but I found myself on a harness off the side of the boat, what can I say, I’m anti-social. Jonah wasn’t burnt yet so he was still able to torture me while I swung, oh but he would learn…
A little later that night I joined everyone else and I’ve got to say it was really fun! The woman (Kika) and I had a conversation about bracelet-making, Harry Potter, and how they would have had to leave if my mom and I hadn’t watched Moana before. One thing led to another and our karaoke microphone was out and was blasting Moana music for Kika and I to sing along to, thus starting our night of G&P (Grab and Play).
The next day we had our final day at Staniel Cay. It was a Monday so everyone besides Jonah had something to do, so it wasn’t until dinner that we were able to have our last night at Staniel Cay Yacht Club. I sat at a couch in the corner while my parents and Jonah sat at the bar. I had mango daiquiris and a cheeseburger sent to me while I read, it was peaceful and a good way to leave Staniel. We did run into the SV Uma crew again though they were in a conversation with another group, we said goodbye to them then we left.
The next day we sailed over to Big Farmer’s Cay. The sail went smoothly and Jonah experienced his first sail on Dragonfly. My mom and dad took their posts at the helm throughout the entire sail, as they usually do, while I did school in my room and read. After moving the boat our day continued as usual, where I did school in my room and my parents worked while Jonah read.
On Wednesday we did our own personal business until later that night when we used our dinghy to travel about a mile to reach Little Farmer’s Cay. We left when the sun was still in the sky and arrived an hour or two before the sun went down. The dinghy ride to the island was sloppy and cold, the current continued to push us and made it extremely hard when we tried to enter through a cut to reach a dock. As much as the ride was annoying we were all happy when we reached the bar, which we didn’t even know if it would be open or not. The hours for the bar were priceless, to sum of it is “we may be here or we may be not, it just depends”.
No one was in the bar besides a man acting as host and a woman in the kitchen. It turns out it was the proprietor and his wife. We were finally in the kind of place where we just walked up to the woman and asked what she had for the day. Our options were: fish, burger, or lobster. We ended up all having fish served with peas and rice (aka rice and beans), while we waited for the woman to cook up the food we played with a trivia game that was lying on our table.
At last our food arrived, I (a person who despises fish) loved the fish. It tasted like chicken! *clap clap clap clap* to the chef. We all finished our food with barely a bite left, at this point it was pitch black and we wanted to wait until the moon was up before our dreaded dinghy ride back. I, being a curious person, found the ring game for us to play. I got a couple scores before the host showed us some funny angles to try throwing at. I’m honestly surprised at how well he did on them, I was having major issues trying them out.
Too soon it was time to go, daddy said we should go even though the moon wasn’t out yet. He regretted that decision instantly. We all did. It. Was. The. Worst. Dinghy. Ride. Ever. The current had picked up making the cut to get out even more hard, the wind got stronger so we got splashed continuously, the moon wasn’t out so we couldn’t see our boat’s mast, and we had to go fast so we wouldn’t be splashed as much which only made it worse for me who had to hold a phone with a map on it so my dad could see where to go. I didn’t want to go one-handed. After almost 20 minutes we found our boat and raised our dinghy. Honestly, we could have gone swimming afterwards and when we got out we would’ve been just as wet as when we got in.
On the 21st my dad, mom, and I went inland for a bit of exploring. Jonah had to stay on the boat to avoid sunlight, he had turned into a tomato. Anyway, we had seen goats on the island when we were pulling into anchor so we tried to follow the sound of them but ended up empty-handed. We came out of that exploration with scratches from trees we tried to walk through to reach the goats. Thankfully we found something that made the outing more interesting, a cave! It was very low and hard to get more than a few feet into but enjoyable nonetheless. Overall, it was a very interesting week.
Trouble…trouble…trouble…I got in trouble. My dad woke up before me to find dishes in the sink, which I was suppose to clean the day before. I forget to do my chores frequently and my dad lost his patience, I was sentenced to a full day of chores. Full day, meaning I didn’t get to do school. A little persuading and I got to work on school from 4:00-7:00.
The next day I was suppose to do another full day of chores but my parents agreed that as long as I learned my lesson, I could resume my normal schedule. Since I was freed from chores I spent the day trying to catch up on all the school I fell behind from the day before. Around lunch we had a guest arrive, my half-brother Jonah! While we waited for him to arrive via a tour boat from Great Exuma (we are still at Black Point, several miles North) we had drinks and stopped to get some fresh bread. We dinghied back to the boat, where he had a tour and got settled.
That night I dinghied all of us to Emerald Sunset bar for us to have some drinks and food. We played some BS with the cards that I packed in my bag. I got to drive the dinghy back as practice. I’m getting pretty good!
On Wednesday we all did our respective work and chores. Around lunch we went inland. My parents continued to work while Jonah and I walked to a reading spot my dad found last week. We sat there at this great little spot overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and for a little over an hour.
The next day was Valentine’s day. Everyone went to have breakfast at a restaurant on shore called Loraine’s. Granted the only reason we went is because they announced on the radio that they were serving guava pancakes. My dad is obsessed with guava! After breakfast, the rest of the day was like any other day until about 5:00 when my parents went in for a Valentine’s cocktail. Jonah and I were left to our own devices.
Jonah and I played on his computer, along with a round of chess…which I lost at. My parents returned late because they met another cruising family. They stayed for food at a restaurant we hadn’t been to yet, they said it was the best on the island. While my parents were away my dad gave my mom a heart patterned bracelet he payed me to make for him. She loved it.
On the fifteenth we went to a small island inhabited by iguanas on iguana island, I was seriously scared that they would attack me. I also swung on the side of our boat in a harness. This is the same thing I did on SV Hekla. That night we went onto land to the same restaurant my parents went the day before. My parents were right their food was the best.
On Saturday we moved to Staniel Cay again. We used our Code Zero sail for a couple of hours until we arrived. The wind was light so the water was nearly still and the view into the crystal clear water was amazing. We got to the island and enjoyed a delicious lunch of fish sandwiches and tacos. My favorite part was the mango daiquiri, though. We’ve had soda for far too long. My parents ran into Dan and Kika, the people from Sailing Uma on YouTube. We invited them to come to the boat for the next day. Jonah and I played some pool while parents talked and shopped. Overall, it was a great week.
On February 4th (aka Monday) I did school the entire day. I got a LOT done. The real interesting events were that night when I met up with the four out of six of the kids from SV Hekla. I still can’t get over the fact that they have six kids. My parents have a handful and I’m the only one on our boat! Ha! On a good note, I started the long process of learning all six of their names.
Two of the boys from Hekla picked me up after they had some burritos my mom made. Their names are Kenneth and Duncan. We had a quick dinghy ride into Staniel Cay Yacht Club where we met up with Jimmy and Mirabelle, who is the only girl on their boat besides their mom. I applaud her for not going insane with five brothers. I, for one, would have. We played a game of pool between the four of us, switching teams periodically. The boys ordered some fries from the bar and I ordered myself a mango daiquiri (obviously non-alcoholic). Our games of pool turned into randomly hitting the closest ball by the end of it.
The next day my parents and I sailed to Black Point. I was at the helm (not steering) as we made our way. I got straight to work on school once we anchored. By the end of the day I had stressed myself out because I was stuck on a problem on an algebra test so my parents went onto shore without me. But they were quick and bought some pizza and returned right back. By the time they were back I finished my test which I later learned I got a one hundred on. We were going to have a movie and game night but I just ended up reading in my room.
We headed inland on Wednesday to work. I did my school and finished it up for the rest of the week while my mom did laundry and my dad worked. We stopped by a local restraint for lunch then headed home. My parents and I agree that this was our favorite place yet. This was the first place that it actually felt like we were in a different country. My parents told me that while they were out the day before they saw people playing dominoes in the streets! You don’t see that in the states. The thing I found most hilarious was that their government house was navy blue and yellow. I prefer it over the neutral white and grey of places in the U.S. Overall it just felt…local.
That night we had some guests over, we had Becky and Dan from SV C’mon Girl and Harry, Darlynne, Eden, and Celeste from SV Bliss. We also had a another man join us but I don’t know his name or boat because I was in my room hanging out with Eden and Celeste whom we met up with because they were other boat kids. The three of us buried each other in my excessive amount of panda stuffed animals throughout the entire night.
On the 6th I had a very relaxed day since I finished my schoolwork early that week. My parents, on the other hand, worked the entire day. At lunch my dad even had to fix something on the back of our boat so we could raise our dinghy. We’re very glad we saw this breakage before a passage. If we hadn’t fixed it we could have lost our dinghy!
At around 5:00 we headed over to C’mon girl for happy hour. I expected that I would read the entire time we were there but instead I found myself actually included in the conversation! My mom and I joined Becky outside to watch Hekla sail into our anchorage. A little after that I was reading my book while the adults talked until 7:50 and then we left. We had to hurry home. Kenneth and Mirabelle from Hekla were coming over for games.
They arrived a little late but, never the less, we gave them a tour of our boat and played a couple rounds of PIT (you’ve probably heard of it if you read my other blog posts). At around 9:00 they had to leave- but wait! Their dinghy was missing from where we tied it to our boat!
Kenneth had to call his dad on the radio. He joined Kenneth and my dad on our dinghy for the search of their red dinghy. Mirabelle stayed back with me and my mom so I brought her into the Crew Berth to watch Gravity Falls on my phone while we waited. Sooner or later they returned with the dinghy in tow and a story about how they found it over a mile away.
The next day my parents and I went onto shore around lunchtime. Seeing as it was around noon we headed to get some lunch. We were about to be served when I saw it- a face, not just any face but Jimmy from Hekla. He was staring through the door window. After a little bit Kenneth and Duncan came into the restaurant. We talked for a little then they left. The boys returned a little after we were served. I tried to eat my food quickly so that I could go to their boat. I finished my food and did just that. I ended up spending the night, we slept in hammocks… for an hour or two. I headed in and slept in the salon, it was cold, uncomfortable, and it started to drizzle.
I woke up the next day and learned that I made a good call heading inside early, the two other kids who were also sleeping on hammocks ended up sleeping in their rooms because it started POURING on them. I was happy I didn’t get wet, I didn’t have a change of clothes.
Later that day we headed in and Duncan and Kenneth were kite boarding while I met up with my parents to see a blow hole. I went with Charlette (the mom of the six kids), Andre (the youngest of those six kids), Tommy, and parents. Tommy, Andre, and I started throwing sticks and shells into the blowhole pretending to make a potion. It is childish but I don’t care, it was fun. My mom and I eventually headed towards the restaurant, my dad joining us eventually. We all walked a little further to a bar we heard about to have lunch. It was goooooooood. We headed back shortly after. I made some brownies at my dad’s request to end the packed day.
On Sunday it was a lazy day. We had breakfast but I spent most of the day in my room reading. Around 2:00 my dad went to shore to explore. I made some cookies while he was away. My dad returned with tales of an amazing reading spot.
On Friday I woke up on SV Stargazer, I had to go home around 6:00 am since they would most likely be leaving later that morning. I quietly got onto our boat without waking anyone, I was surprised that that was possible. Even though I woke up early that morning I was able to sleep in since I finished all my school work for the week. I was free!
We went into Staniel Cay Yacht Club for the second time, we stayed pretty late but I got a chocolate cake and mango daiquiri out of it. Since I wasn't allowed at the bar I just sat on the side and read. I loved it! My mom and I played pool at the beginning and I won but I always ended up back to my book.
Saturday marked a lazy day, I spent the entirety of the day on the boat with Mark. My parents went onshore around noon. They had food that made be slightly regret my decision to stay on board. That night I had some fun with makeup and my parents for some crazy reason agreed to let me put makeup on them. It was funny to say the least.
Two days later I started school again. I didn't get as much as I wanted done but I still felt proactive. It was rainy and windy so we stayed inside all day, but at night we played. Everyone on the boat participated in a few games of BS (Butterscotch) before bed. I didn't win but...whatever.
On Wednesday I joined my parents and Mark in Staniel Cay once again. We all did the same things. I read, they had some drinks, I played pool with my mom, the usual everyday stuff. We had to go in since it would be the last night Mark was with us. We got to the boat and my parents had cocktails and we listened to Mark's classical music playlist.
The next day Mark was dropped off at Staniel Cay for his flight home. Multiple times that day I found myself forgetting he left and I was bummed when I realized he wasn't with us. It was...weird. Mark if you are reading this, I miss you!
February first was Friday and I was suppose to post a blog but... my time management isn't the best. We went inland to pick up our packages, we had three very large packages filled with instant pasta, computers, towels, and more.
The next day it was raining so I had to wash the deck, it was a wet experience. Sometime around noon the kids from a local boat invited us to a birthday party the next day. Most of the day was dedicated to watching shows with my parents, laying in bed, or Duolingo (an app that is awesome for learning a language).
On February 3rd (aka Superbowl) I went over to the birthday party after a long day of chores. I didn't have much time so I was only able to make the girl a bracelet for her birthday. Me, being a very anxious person around people I mainly talked with the adults until almost everyone was gone. At some point two boys Kenneth and Duncan ( i don't know if this is the way they spell their names) asked if I knew how to play chess, I did so we played a game. I lost...I never said I was good! After that somehow I ended up in a harness jumping on the side of their boat, don't ask how because I don't know. Sooner or later we left to hang out at the bar for the bar's superbowl party. Kenneth, Duncan, and their brother joined us soon after. The four of us kids played pool until they had to leave.
January 18th I worked on school while my parents moved us from just off O’Brien Cay to Thomas Cay. The two hour trip gave me plenty of time to finish up school and get ahead. SV Stargazer (the boat we buddied up with at Burnt Store Marina), left earlier that day and ended up to be about a mile north of us. A few hours after we anchored a man came over from a catamaran nearby. He introduced himself and told us that he had been in the contract to buy our boat before us but ended up with a different boat. Now we have a new boat friend, yay! I also discovered what I despise about the Bahamas. Flies! There are so many flies!
The next day, a couple hours before lunch, we took a dinghy to the compass cay marina. It is the prettiest and cleanest marina I have ever seen. It isn’t muddy like most marinas. It only had about four or five boats and in the back there was an area where nurse sharks collected. I didn’t swim with them like most people did because…sharks. We walked the trails on the island, discovering the hardship of trying to find the places you want to go. We ended up taking a picture on the edge of a decent sized hill that looked over the entire area. We could see our boat in the distance. We walked a little further after that to the beach and we spent a little time there to snack. None of us were wearing swimsuits so we mostly waded up to our knees and each ate a clementine.
That night we had dinner followed by the crew of Stargazer coming over for what might be the last time. The adults had cocktails while I turned Aeriss from SV Stargazer into my personal doll. We spent the night by doing “spa”. Aka me putting a peel-off mask on Aeriss, playing with her hair, and torturing her by putting her in a dress. (She agreed to it so therefore it was ok). She ended up staying for a sleepover since it may have been our last chance to see each other. Wel,l in person that is.
The following day Aeriss and I had breakfast before she returned home. The rest of the day was a lazy day, everyone did their own thing the entire day. I read and worked on my computer while my mom read. I don’t know what my dad or Mark did for the day.
On the 21st, I started my school week. After an hour or so we sailed to a new anchorage about a mile away from our old one. I was so proud of myself since I started off the semester with two 100s in Spanish. It’s a BIG deal to me because I really struggled in Spanish last semester. Around midday Mark, my mom, and I took the dinghy about a mile or two south to check out a pig beach. As we got closer to our destination we realized Stargazer would be around since we got a text from them that morning saying that they left the old anchorage and moved a few miles south. We were right! We found them surrounded by no less than 40 boats. We knocked up and down their hull until at last some crew came out. We chatted for a bit then something led to another and Aeriss was in our dinghy headed to the pig beach with us.
We arrived at the pig beach but didn’t go on land. Mark said that they could get aggressive/hostile if you had food or got too close…so we stayed in the boat. Many pigs swam to us expecting food but we were smart enough not to bring any. The pigs waded in the water and when they swam their ears and pig nose was all you could see above water. It was adorable! I don’t know how many pigs there were but there was a lot. There were pigs that were completely pink and some that were brown with black spots. It was very diversified. I was sad when we left since I wanted to stay longer but the winds were picking up. However, that didn’t stop us from stopping by SV Get Routty after we dropped off Aeriss. The captain of Get Routty had stopped by to say hi to us a few days earlier (aka in a different blog post. Check out this link to see that post.). He was the last person to possibly buy our boat before we did. We chatted with the crew for a bit but had to leave since the wind was really picking up.
That night we had dinner followed by me playing with each of my parents’ hair. I teased my dad’s hair and put both hairspray and mousse in it. Why? I don’t really know. My mom was about to go to bed so she didn’t want hairspray or mousse so I just brushed her hair, added four twirls meeting at the back and called it good. I was going to do Mark’s but he went to bed early. I don’t know what I would’ve done to his hair. It is about a centimeter long!
On January 22nd we had a normal day. I did school, my parents did work, and Mark did whatever it is he does to keep busy. I know he reads a lot. The one difference in our day was that night when we played some games like BS (All the adults know what that stands for, but us kids say Brown Sugar or Butterscotch) and a Stranger Things game that I only really have because it is Stranger Things.
The next day it was almost an exact mirror of the day before. The only big difference being that we played BS, Spoons, and Uno that night.
On the 24th we moved again! We moved our boat to Big Major Cay, which is where Stargazer was. It’s funny, I thought that earlier in the week it was the last I would see them. I did school while my parents worked for about an hour since we had already worked earlier in the morning and we were all hungry. So we headed into a Yacht Club to have lunch. It was kind of hilarious. Before our food reached us we came to a realization...we hadn’t eaten out in weeks. We had our meals then headed to get some packages with a laptop from my dad’s company and groceries we ordered. No one remembered if we had ordered oreos or not and I not-so-secretly was hoping we did. After a few more hours of school I headed to Stargazer and spent the night!
So, a lot has happened. First, I’ve learned I have VERY poor time management, especially when it comes to this blog. Since the New Year I started school, we moved the boat a few times, and started having battery issues. Because a lot has happened, I won’t go over what happened every day but I will go over the important details.
On January 1, 2019 we celebrated the New Year with some cake for breakfast. This is a very important detail, not really. Mark, my parents, and I went to a beach that had previously been taken up by charter yacht guests and played a game called Rollers. About a half hour after we got to the beach, the crew of SV Stargazer joined us and we all played together.
P.S. I had an amazing winning shot, though I only got second place.
On January 4th we sailed to Nassau so we could look for a boat part we needed and get a few more supplies. We arrived in Nassau and got right to work. Mark, my mom, and I went with Jerry and Keelan from SV Stargazer to shop. We purchased a SIM card, Starbucks, and propane. We walked back to the marina and I went to SV Stargazer with Jerry and Keelan while Mark and my mom continued to shop. I ended up sleeping over to hang out with Aeriss.
On January 5th everyone besides Aeriss and I went into town to get food. She and I spent time together up until lunch when I went home to help unload the groceries. Mark and my dad walked very, very, VERY far to get some delicious conch fritters and cracked conch. After we ate lunch, we started our light-winded journey to Rose island, again.
On January 6th we hoisted dad up the mast. I hate when we do that! I don’t like to bring him up the mast because I’m only the backup so most of the time I’m just occasionally pulling on a line so that if the main line holding him up breaks he won’t fall. It’s incredibly boring. My mom on the other hand despises when we do this because she is deathly scared of heights and putting my dad so high up makes her feel uncomfortable. Also, because his life is in her hands. We also met up with SV Dances with Dolphins again. We spent time on a beach with Aeriss then she and I went swimming for the rest of the night. We swam to and from each of our boats and blew our horns at sunset. I ended up sleeping on her boat for the night.
The next day everyone went with the crew of Dances with Dolphins onto an island where their dog would fish in puddles, Aeriss and I swung on a rope swing, and we could wade in the water. My favorite part was the rope swing, it was as big as me! Wes from Dances with Dolphins even tried to show my dad and I how to tell if a coconut is good. He couldn’t because the coconuts were already bad. *signal mua mua mua music*. The view from on top of the island was beautiful! Later that night when Aeriss was gone our boat crew played a bowling video game. I lost…but we don’t talk about that.
On January 8th we sailed to Norman’s Cay with Stargazer in tow. I’m happy to say that I finished my book from Christmas. It was ‘War Storm’ from the Red Queen series. A few hours after we anchored, we went with the crew of Stargazer to a bar named McDuff’s that we could only reach by dinghy and a short trek on sandy paths through short, stubby bushes and trees. The bar ended up looking like any other tourist trap except less charm. It had a small outside area where Aeriss and I sat while my parents had drinks at the bar. Like most tourist places the bar and food was incredibly expensive. I didn’t have any food because they stopped serving anything besides drinks at around 3:00 pm and we arrived at 4:30. The bartender got extremely annoyed with us since we stayed until around 6:00, even though the bar closes at 5:30. WHAT BAR CLOSES AT 5:30!? We got back to the boat and I had the most brilliant idea…we should have my dad sell his drinks! Profit! I’m still waiting on an answer for that.
On January 10th we ended up near Shroud Cay. We found a beautiful private island with its own beach, house, and forest! I didn’t get to see the house because it was so deep into the palm trees, but I did see the roof. The beach looked like what a travel ad would put on tv to make you spend money. The people on the island had three dogs that started barking at us the moment we dinghied within 1,000 feet of the island. Even though they looked like they would bark and bite me if I got close to them, I still wanted to pet the adorable puppy dog. Sorry my dog lover side kicked in. The house was surrounded by some of the clearest water I’d seen yet. The water was clear enough for me to see a blade of the seagrass that was all over that anchorage. Now I know what I want when I’m older. That night we went over to Stargazer and my parents played Farkle (a game I really don’t get why they have become obsessed with) while I hung out with Aeriss.
The next day we went exploring around Hawksbill Cay. We found beautiful clear water and The Russell Ruins (the ruins of a loyalist house). I must note that towards the end of hike my mom screamed bloody murder because there was a snake and she was too frightened to cross its path. Once it finally moved she was free to run like mad. Come to find out that very snake was called a Brown Racer and they are actually venomous but only to lizards and frogs. After we hiked the trail to see the house, I was given an assignment to teach us about these people. It was impossible! There is almost no information, but I found enough to try and put together my idea of what may have happened when the Russell’s were brought here. It’s probably not that accurate but I tried.
On January 12th my dad and I went on a hike through the island. We went to the other side of the island that was beautiful in a completely different way than the side we were anchored on. This side of the island had crashing waves that would mist you from a hundred feet away. The waves would crash on the rock and spray the water feet into the air. It was majestic. We decided to turn around when we saw rain clouds rolling in so we hiked for just a little longer so we could get a higher view point. Being at the top of hill/mountain gave us a gorgeous view of almost the entire island. The thing that was hilarious was that on the top we had the best signal strength on our phones than we had seen in a long time. We tried calling my grandma and uncle but when they didn’t answer we called my friend and had a video call from the top of a deserted island! I still can’t tell if she was impressed or not.
On the 13th I started school, then two days later we cleared out the crew berth and I set up my new favorite place on the boat my _________. I still haven’t come up with a name for it. It became my “office” and “just do whatever I want to do” room. The crew berth is the room attached to my own. It’s where we store our beach tools, snorkel gear, and code zero sail. In cases when a friend is visiting long term, we would take all of our gear out and lay down a mattress for me to sleep on while the guest would have my room. Right now the mattress is on its side and the gear is pushed towards the front, giving me a few feet of room to do whatever I please. I put a blanket down and two pillows so I wouldn’t have to lay on the stiff sail. I keep two books, my sketch book, a writing journal, fan, headlight, panda playing cards, and an old computer to play movies on a shelf that also holds the covers I would use if I slept in there.
On the 17th we swam near O’Brien Cay and snorkeled by fish that seemed unaffected by our presence and we could swim in the middle of their school and they couldn’t care less. I can only assume they are used to people snorkeling and feeding them since we were in a park and it was illegal to fish there. We dinghied back to our boat, only stopping to try and take a look at a plane that crashed and was now sitting on the seafloor. We didn’t get a good look but the crew of Stargazer did. We have some really cool photos from them. Fun fact: Johnny Depp’s island was right next to us.
On December 26th it really didn’t feel like Christmas was the day before, it’s strange to do Christmas in a completely different way, we went back to our schedules. I wrote the blog about Christmas, read my new book King’s Cage, and drew. My mom had to work as did my dad, though I’m pretty sure that they spent time playing around with their gifts too. Captain Mark read his new books and a book my mom lent him about Scientology by Leah Remini (if you haven’t heard about Scientology I suggest you read up, it’s…interesting). Sometime around lunch my dad and I went to the neighboring sailboats and invited them over for a sundowner they had to bring their drinks obviously, rum is expensive in the Bahamas.
That night, three of the four to six sailboats we invited came over. Everyone enjoyed snacks my mom laid out, while Aeriss (from SV Stargazer) and I played on the bow.
The next day we went on a snorkeling excursion with the crew of SV Stargazer, we went around the island we were anchored and found a secluded area, much different from the packed anchorage that left us no space to swim. Everyone went except Mark who hadn’t felt too well. My mom stayed in the dingy while my dad and I swam above the 20 foot water. I think it was the most beautiful reef yet, I’ll bet my dad thought so too. I saw parrotfish of all kind, reef coral, brain coral, small yellow fish that I don’t know the name of, and some white fish that we realized too late that we were allowed to eat. Once again we went home with no fish or lobster to show for.
Later that day we met up with the crew of Stargazer again for a lunch on the beach. The adults talked while Aeriss and I snorkeled near the shore. Mark, my parents, and I had some delicious burritos while we looked at the water that looked like it could be from a postcard.
On December 28th we moved the boat to the secluded area we had snorkeled at the day before, it was still in Highbourne Cay but a lot more private. It took longer than expected because we had to go a bit more offshore than usual so we wouldn’t bump into coral. We got to the secluded area finding two other boats, I guess more people were realizing that it was less crowded. Almost the moment we got there my dad was in the water, discovering a reef that topped the reef from the day before. I didn’t feel like getting in the water so I mostly stayed inside for awhile reading and on my phone. About an hour or so after we arrived in our new anchorage I finally got into the water, a few minutes later Stargazer anchored next to us.
The next day we had the SV Stargazer crew over for a lunch of hamburgers. Before the food was ready Aeriss and I hung out on the bow of our boat, doing who knows what. After lunch Aeriss and I swam for a bit, I got the pleasure of showing her the super cool reef. She and I swam until everyone was packing up to go to Allen’s Cay, a place known for it’s iguanas. After a short ride we arrived at a beach that within a second you could spot out an iguana. Aeriss had angered one so she and I were forced to the other side of the beach after a quick sprint. After about 10 minutes on the beach one of our crew pointed out a stingray, followed by the finding of 7 or so others. Our beach excursion ended a little after that. Everyone got back into their respective dinghies and headed back to our boat for a swim.
The following day was a normal day on a boat: chores, swim, read, draw, and any random stuff I came up with.
On December 31st I took a vote and it ended with making a chocolate cake to celebrate New Years later that night. The morning was spent like any other day, up until lunchtime when my mom, Terry (from SV Stargazer), Mark, and I went to a beach only to find it taken by a charter boat. After a couple more failed attempts we all went back to our boats.
Later that night I began to make my cake, after a few minutes of struggling to fit it into our small boat oven we finally succeeded. My mom began dinner slightly after, her food came out first. A little past midway through dinner I pulled out the cakes to chill. We finished our meal just in time, the crew of Stargazer joined us (except for Aeriss) shortly after. I took a vote of the seven people about which frosting I should use, chocolate had four votes in a row. I whipped up the frosting quickly and frosted the cake with some help from my dad (aka he did it). The cake was served with about a fourth leftover. We began our game night! We started off with PIT (the best game ever, you have to try) which I won, not to brag. A few minutes before we ended the game we saw fireworks! They were amazing, on level if not better than the firework show I saw in America for Fourth of July. We later learned that one of the charter boats set it up for their guests. After the show ended we began our second and final game, Dixit. My dad and I were on a team since he would have to go to bed mid-way through and also there were only six game pieces. I won, again, not to brag. At that point the crew of Stargazer went back to their boat, and my mom and Mark went to the bed.
My plan was to stay up to midnight reading, I failed. I woke up at 2:00 in the morning, I was so sad!
On Saturday, we left “The Donut” and finally had decent Wi-Fi! The next day my dad, mom, Mark, Terry and Aeriss (from SV Stargazer), and I went into Nassau for the day. We visited some of the historical sites like The Queen’s Staircase, one of their many forts, a pirate museum, and the Parliament building. My favorite site was The Queen’s Staircase. It’s a huge staircase of 65 steps, not the best after walking for a few miles but it was still beautiful. At the top of the stairs was one of their forts. I was able to pick up a pretty bracelet for my mom that was at a booth next to the fort and she loved it. The pirate museum was especially cool because it was all about the life and adventures of pirates. We read about some of the most famous pirates and how they lived. We also read about their codes and punishments for actions. Did you know that walking the plank wasn’t a thing? The Parliament building was a pretty pink color and at the front of the building was a large statue of Christopher Columbus. I got a really nice photo in front of it. After we saw those historical sites my mom, Mark, and Terry got in a cab and headed back to the boat, leaving Aeriss and me with my dad. We spent the rest of our time in Nassau shopping for last-minute Christmas presents. My dad really needed to shop. He hadn’t gotten anything for my mom yet! We started our trek back to the boat with a special-made lotion for my mom from my dad and presents for me from Aeriss.
Aeriss and I were extremely grumpy that my dad insisted we walk though we were both happy with that decision when we learned he was bringing us to a bakery we had walked past on the way to The Queen’s Staircase. One bite of the bread made the entire walk worth it. We walked a little further until we were able to flag down a cab. We ended up at the marina’s restaurant, The Poop Deck, and had wings, conch fritters, virgin daiquiris, and calamari. The rest of our group joined us to eat all of the food. After everyone ate we headed back to the anchorage at Rose Island.
I spent the rest of the day working on bracelets and wrapping up presents. On Christmas Eve we had a hearty breakfast then everyone wrapped and placed their presents around our tree to open later that night. We ate a yummy breakfast then went out for a snorkel. We spent almost an hour finding conchs (that were too small to eat) and watching pretty fish swim in the reef. At about 4:00, we started our Christmas game night. We always play about 4 games and have prizes for the people who do well. The four games we had this year were Scattegories, PIT, Dixit, and Clue. After the first game I was in last place, Mark was in third, my dad in second, and my mom in first. We had some time to ourselves while my mom prepped dinner. We began our second game while food was in the oven, I won this game (PIT). Before we started our next game we opened all the presents from each other. We began playing Dixit while our food continued to cook. Before we could start our final game, my mom got a migraine and had to go to bed, so my dad finished dinner. We ate our food then played Clue with just the three of us. I won and as a result I won the game night, my mom got second, my dad got third, and Mark was in last place. We opened our prizes and I received a miniature bag toss, my mom got a movie, my dad got a portable light, and Mark got hot sauce.
On Christmas morning, we all opened our stockings after having a delicious breakfast. We got back to the boat and checked the winds to find that we had a very nice weather window to go further south, and that’s what we did. We sailed Southeast in very windy weather and I may have gotten a tad seasick. We reached our destination on the west side of Highborne Cay and we all had a nice good rest, except me I was binging movies I got for Christmas.
Sorry this is almost a week late. Yeah.......
On Thursday, we sailed out of the marina and anchored by South Cat Cay. On Friday, we decided to motor to the other side of the island because the wind was making us a rock like crazy. I began my baking streak by making some delicious brownies. On Friday, I went snorkeling with Aeriss from Stargazer. After a couple hours of that we continued by streak by making some yummy cupcakes. On Saturday we began our passage to Nassau and I made some chocolate chip cookies while underway. After I baked them I saved some dough for later (when really I just saved it because I despise cold cookies and if I baked all of the dough there would be a lot of extra cold cookies). On Sunday we arrived in Nassau. I spent the day snorkeling with Aeriss and making another batch of cookies. I ended up spending the night on Stargazer. The next day I spent the day on Stargazer while my parents decorated and wrapped Christmas gifts. I am very happy that they did because I was starting to be disheartened by the lack of Christmas presents under the tree. On Tuesday, we snorkeled by the edge of the island. We floated above beautiful coral, fish, and stingrays. My dad brought a spear so he could catch a lobster, we left empty handed. He found a lobster but after an unsuccessful attempt at killing the lobster it went back under it’s rock, never to be seen by us again. After returning to the boat, my dad and Captain Mark left to see if we could dock in a place called “The Donut” while the winds were bad. While the boys were gone my mom and I swam down to the bottom of the water and retrieved three conch shells, sadly we threw them all back in that night. They smell! On Wednesday, we went onto the mainland of Nassau to provision. It’s funny being with Captain Mark, everyone knows him from all the years he spent chartering around these islands. My mom and I were assigned to the market while Mark and my dad did the marine store shopping. After heading out again we docked in “The Donut”. “The Donut” is a small inlet that is a roundish shape with a small island in the center, creating a donut like shape in the middle of Rose Island. It’s also a great place to head from the harsh wind. On Thursday, a boat named Dancing with Dolphins joined us in the inlet. On closer inspection we learned that Mark knew the members of the boat, as did my parents from close to ten years before. Everyone visited when they joined us, including the members from Stargazer. Aeriss and I had a picnic on the small island since we couldn’t swim due to wind. Everyone was preparing for dinner when we got back, since everyone was coming over to our boat. At dinner Stargazer brought pasta, Dancing with Dolphins brought conch salad made from the fresh conch they caught, and we handed out sangria, bean dip, and cookies (yes, I baked more). By the end of the night Aeriss and I were watching cheesy Christmas movies while the adults visited, Aeriss ended up spending the night with us. On Friday, Aeriss and I had a movie marathon of the Hunger Games, followed by cleaning up the blanket we had used the day before (it was covered with pine needles), and some island exploration to top it off. Aeriss was sent home as my family and I prepared for everyone to visit that night too. At around 6:30 everyone arrived, except Aeriss because she wanted to stay home. I spent the night reading while the adults visited, that is until they brought out games. Everyone joined in as we began to play PIT (the greatest and loudest game ever). The night ended on a high note, at least for me. I won the game with a score of 310 points, the second place winner with a score of 10.