Goodbye to 2018- Day 10

The last day of 2018 and our last full day here on island started with a spectacular sunrise.

After a lazy morning of coffee and french toast sticks, we meandered over to Ford’s beach for one last walk about. This beach is a prime shelling spot, but today the ocean wasn’t offering much. We did get two new to us shells though, so I shouldn’t get greedy.  We walked to the north of the boat ramp, further than we have walked here before.

It was getting close to lunch, so off to Max’s for one last lunch out on the island.  I had grilled wahoo, while Mike enjoyed the conch salad.  Finally we learned to carry bug spray with us and spray up before sitting at Max’s.  The no seeums can be brutal here.

On our return home, we stopped at this little roadside house.  Would love to know the story behind it.

Once at the house we  began the ritual of packing up, consolidating the collected shells and cleaning up.  Ok I did sneak in a nap, while Mike did most of the work. I did snap a picture  of our lovely beach. There were pig prints in the sand today, hmmmm.

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The homeowners came over before we went out for our sunset viewing.  They had just returned to the island and it was wonderful to meet them in person.

After chatting for a while we departed to watch the final sunset of 2018 at Galloway beach.  Upon entering the beach area we were both sad to see someone had taken the “happy rocks” that were there early in the week.

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The sun was as beautiful as she was this morning.  Thankful our last sunset of 2018 was dramatic.

Great island to say goodbye to 2018  and hello to a hopeful 2019 on.

Homebodies – Day 9

We pretty much remained close to the house today.  No far out exploring, rather we explored closer to the house.

Sunrise was lovely once again today.

As we were planning out our day I heard Mike yell “there is a big ass rainbow out here.” so off we went to capture it.

We then decided on a beach walk to the shelling spot on our beach.  What the sea gave us yesterday, the sea took away today. Shelling this morning wasn’t grand.

We made breakfast of ricotta pancakes and watched the seas for a while.

After breakfast we adventured over to Dunmore Plantation Ruins, within walking distance of the house.  Lord Dunmore ran a slave plantation that grew sisal, pineapple, and cotton.  From reports we read, we thought we would find the cistern and columns to the entrance way, however we really only found one fireplace, some stone footings and of course a spider!   If you do go, wear long pants and shoes that can handle rocks, no flip flops! On our way to the house we avoided a feral pig.

After exploring here went hopped in the car and went down the road a bit to explore Dunmore Caves.  We tried last April, but the amount of stinging wasps made it difficult to explore.  Today the wasps weren’t as bad so we could explore a little more.  Mike was the brave explorer and went into a pocket of the cave, while I remained outside.

After exploration we returned to a few hours of reading, lunching and just taking in the views.  Around 2 p.m. we decided to walk to the end of the beach, the south end again, but this time take our shoes to go by the abandoned house and see what was on the other side, we knew we would be walking on ironshore.  On our way there we passed the shelling station and Mike had a great find.  Once at the house, we wound our way around and explored the area. We found a great little pool that we floated in as waves rushed in.  We had a blast here.

On our return walk back, Mike was ahead of me and left me a message in the sand to discover the shells he picked for me!

After our 2 hour adventure we landed at the house and decided maybe we could adventure out for sunset.  We cleaned up, got some appetizers and beer together and headed out to Turnbull Beach.  We did have a green flash, but we weren’t able to capture it tonight.

We stuck rather close to home today and it was a great day, just hanging out and enjoying the beach and sea around us.

You Finish Where You Start – Day 8

Our morning started with a beach walk and you guessed it, it ended the same way.

Up early hoping the day would deliver calmer winds, clear skies, beach walks that didn’t involve waiting for the downpours and shells.

The day delivered and then some.

Morning started with a lovely sunrise that included blue skies!

We went on first morning beach walk of this vacation.  A big reason we rented this house was to walk the beach in the morning. Our last two rentals on Long Island didn’t have expansive beaches to stroll. We had heard there  was some good shelling going south on the beach, so we headed south.  Wow at low tide, shellers delight!

Back at our gazebo, we poured more coffee, wind was still a bit strong and some coffee became airborn as Mike poured!

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We needed food so back up the house we trekked and had egg sandwiches on the bread from the bakery.  Their bread is the best on the island!

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We threw around some thoughts on the day’s adventures and finally settled on going to Gordon’s beach and walking south this time, as far as we could go.  We heard rumors shelling was good going south and we had never walked to the end before.  We gathered our morning’s supplies and headed off.  Gordon’s was very busy, maybe a total of 5 family units by the time we departed, two hours later.

We told Pitbull the other day we would be back. I’m sure he thought we wouldn’t be, but we keep our word and stopped in for a beer.  We learned he sells fish.  Grouper season is over, but the guy has freezers full of grouper he caught in season.  For $20 he gave us a huge bag.  He didn’t have any lobster because the winds have been to strong and he hasn’t had a chance to go check on his pots.

We had two stops to make before we landed at “home”. Wanted to pick up two trivets at the guy who does straw work in Dunmore and ummm, we needed more Kalik so into Petty’s we went.

Once “home” Mike made a fish stew for dinner (actually for all dinners till we leave, it made so much) and we read on the upper deck in the shade.  I did sneak in a little nap too.

A little before 5 p.m. we went for a beach walk.  Mike turned around before I did, I continued on to the shelling spot to find more treasures and I did (sorry no pics of the shells I picked up). Not a bad deal, I shelled while Mike finished cooking dinner our fish stew served over polenta.

Even though we are on sunrise side of the island, sunset was beautiful on our side with the pinks lightly painting the sky.

Our day started on this beach and ended here.  This was the kind of day we have been craving all week.  It was nice that the day delivered!

Rainbow Watching – Day 7

It was a stormy, windy, rainy night.  It was crazy how hard the wind was blowing. The clouds obscured the sunrise and it was so windy, I swear the coffee blew out of my cup while I was trying to snap a picture for my coffee with a view series.

After breakfast we decided to head down North, visit Millerton School Beach to see if the bromeliads were blooming on the path and stop in Deals at Da Spot for lunch.

Whoa we were in for a surprise at Millerton School Beach when a huge radar appeared.  Our first thought was oh no did they cut down the dilly tree, second thought was did they block off the beach path and our final thought was hmmmm wonder if we will finally be able to see radar for the Bahamas with this thing.  The first two we found out the answer, it make take a while to find out the third.  Dilly tree remains, dillies were on it, just not ripe and the beach path is still available.

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There were a lot more bromeliads than in April, but we missed the blooms.

The beach was full of tiny shells, more than we had ever seen here.  If I was a crafter living on island, I would be here picking shells for hours.

After our hike back, we were hit with a rain shower, we drove on to a new place that opened a few months ago, Da Spot right on Deals Beach. The view was great from the back porch and the fried grouper fingers and lobster were good.

We had two more stops to make both in Clarence Town. One was to do a bit of shopping for straw goodies at Ena Major’s shop and the other was the bakery.

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At the bakery we purchased a fresh right from the oven loaf of bread and had a lovely chat with the ladies ranging from Bahamas Air to Amazon carts to books.  The owner has a started her own lending library in her shop, might have to bring a few kids books with me on our next trip, to leave here.

We finally arrived back at the house a little after two.  Winds had diminished some. The wind was so strong it moved the deck chairs while we out today.

We were able to sit by the water read and rainbow watch because the wind was less and the rain was staying away.   We kept having the rainbows pop in and out for us.

We spent most of the afternoon here and then realized we might have a chance at seeing the sunset. Once we realized this we got in the car and drove 20 minutes south to Fords to see if we could catch the sunset, we made it with 4 minutes to spare. Of course a cloud bank had settled in so we didn’t actually see the sun set.  Mike did have a good time making a new friend though.

We are hoping tomorrow the winds lessen even more and we can have a long leisurely breakfast down at the gazebo and maybe get a morning beach walk in, fingers crossed.

Island Life As a Visitor – Day 6

Today we have settled into our island life as a visitor.  It shouldn’t have taken us this long to get in our groove, but this time it did.  I think the whole luggage escapade threw us off our game.

Another windy, stormy day greeted us.  Coffee photos were taken quickly, praying the cup wouldn’t be blown away. We didn’t want to waste any of our good coffee that had finally arrived.

This morning I decided to try my hand at making johnny cake.  The owners gifted us with a Bahamian cookbook, so I had to make something. I did add a twist to it, put in coconut rum soaked raisins.  I was so happy when it turned out yummy!.

Next up was breakfast, french toast sticks with local bread.

Over breakfast the plan was made for at least the morning, go up south to the end of the island.  Our first stop was Fords Landing.  One of the first things we learned in the Bahamas was to know when tides were happening.  Our arrival at Fords would happen between low and high tide, so shelling would be better.

We continued on to Gordons, but first we become distracted by the ducks in a pond in Mortimers.

Finally we made it to the end of the road, to Gordons beach.  My favorite beach on this island.  Part of the reason we stayed up south this time was to be closer to this beach.  We also purchased our Suniela canopy for this beach.

We spent a little over an hour here, beach walking, swimming and snacking.  As we left, the gray skies came over and rain dumped on us as we sat in the car.

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Our next stop was PitBull’s place for a beer.  Sadly the only cold beer he had was Guinness, because he was just restocking the fridge, after the liquor stores were closed for a few days due to holidays.  Everyone drank him out of beer.  He did comp us a lovely fresh conch salad.  Funny a year ago we were on the other end of the island and were given conch salad.  Guess Dec. 27 is the day we find free conch salad on this island!

While there we had an interesting conversation with another patron on the state of U.S. politics.  Mike hit me to keep my mouth shut and not inform the man on how really it is.

After Pitbull’s we stopped at an abandoned church, just one of many on this island.  It seemed to be the church where the swallowtails and money moths go to die.

On the way back to the house we encountered more goats and even a pig, true island life.

Once at the house, we had leftovers for lunch. After lunch we headed out to a store to purchase more butter. On our way back we stopped at Dean’s Blue Hole.  We stayed in this area last April.  The winds were the strongest we have ever seen here and you couldn’t even tell there was a blue hole here.

We had one more beach to check out, across from Deans, by Lloyd’s Bar.  Turnbull beach is a lovely little area, but more rain was approaching, so we didn’t stay long.

And the rain came and came and came.  When we arrived back at the rental Mike had to push out the water from the screened porch, island life.

The remainder of our afternoon and evening was watching rain come in, running to shut doors and windows, making pizza for dinner, cleaning shells, playing with my watercolors, opening windows and doors when the rain stopped and having dinner.

We found over the years how to handle island life. It requires flexibility, ingenuity and a go with the flow attitude. It also helps to smile, wave and learn to listen to the locals. Maybe some year we will be lucky enough to be an island resident somewhere, we’ve been practicing island life since 2004.

Reunited and It Feels So Good – Day 5

I felt like a little kid on Christmas morning, all giddy with excitement knowing we would be reunited with our luggage today.

First things though coffee down at the beach watching the sunrise.  We finally have a rain free morning to get down to the beach.

After our first cup of coffee we returned to the house to make ricotta pancakes for breakfast.  This is the first time I added coconut to them and wow, it made it taste so tropical.  We topped our deliciousness with guava jam and bananas.  No need for maple syrup.

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After devouring this scrumptiousness, we headed to the airport. Once there Vern, our Christmas Angel, greeted us with  a big smile and went to her car to grab our bag.  We hugged her repeatedly and I gave her some fancy chocolates, I had brought from home that were actually in the bag that never left my side.  I had two boxes and I was able to give out both on this trip.  I think from now on I will travel with some of the nice chocolates, never know when you might need a thank you!

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Once we returned with our precious cargo, we unpacked the item that we missed the most and had really been suffering without first, our coffee.

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After unpacking the clothes and getting into proper fitting bathing suits, we headed out to revisit some of our favorite beaches.  We are staying on Lochabar Beach, however we love Lochabar Bay for the blues of the water and Clem’s blue hole, so we headed over there.  Once again it was high tide and choppy so any snorkeling and shell collecting was not going to happen.  But a beach walk was going to happen.

Our next beach stop was Galloway Beach to sit and eat our lunch.  You can guess what lunch was, our island lunch preference, pb and guava!

I started to pink, so it was time to head back to the house to rest and lotion up again.  Following the nap, we went into Clarence Town to the Boxing Day Bazaar.  We tried to go last year, but couldn’t find it. Which if you knew how small the town was, you would laugh at us.  At the bazaar we picked up a few tickets to purchase a homemade dessert spice loaf and some conch fritters.  While there we ran into a family that flew over with us.  Our luggage woes were nothing to compared to theirs come to find out. Their luggage is still in Nassau waiting to clear customs and these people have little people.  So really I can’t complain. We were here around 2 p.m. on the early side of things. We heard it really gets going after 4 p.m.

On our way home with our conch fritters, we stopped at one last beach for the day, Dunmore beach.  The wind had really picked up and we could see rain clouds approaching, so we didn’t walk far or for long.

Once home, we had appetizers of conch fritters and watched the rain approach. Sadly it looked like it was headed for Clarence Town and the Boxing Day fun.

We did have two good beach finds today, after visiting three beaches (four if you count ours).

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Our late afternoon fading into evening, was laid back and easy. Dinner of chicken enchiladas and cards to finish off the day.

So happy to have our bag back and even better knowing it wasn’t taken, just misplaced.  I am so excited for tomorrow’s cup of coffee, so good to be reunited with our clothes and good coffee.

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