Winter Solstice Brings Rainbows – Day 2

Happy Winter Solstice. We woke before sunrise to make sure we made it to the farmer’s market early. We knew the weather wasn’t prime for beach walks, so we enjoyed coffee by the tree before sunrise and had a lovely breakfast of eggs and veggies as the sun rose.

We have Christmas mugs this year!!

The sky began to lighten and I snapped a few pictures with the great coffee mug.

The wind was still howling and stormy clouds surrounded us, but the dramatic effect was beautiful.

We set out for the farmers market around 7:30 and kept getting delayed due to chasing rainbows as we drove to the middle of the island.

At the market, I dropped off fabric from my stash to Starfish Traders Ladies. Please if you come to the island, support the ladies and purchase a few of their items. Next we loaded up on greens, kale, arugula, and swiss chard. Mike purchased a bucket load of okra and added in some cilantro. We picked up lunch of chicken souse and conch stew. We also picked up another dozen eggs. It was a best haul of goods to date.

Salt Pond Farmer’s Market Haul

After that is was time to hit up all the grocery stores. We exited Hillside to a beautiful rainbow.

Rainbow as seen in the parking lot of Hillside

We continued merrily on our way, stopping at Midway, Kirtlands, Seawinds and even Under the Sun for frozen Wahoo.

Another stop was at the bakery in Clarence Town for bread, but we were 20 minutes early, so we returned to the house. Once at the house, we unloaded all those bags of groceries, made a jumbo salad and prepped other foods. About an hour later we returned to the bakery to get our fresh warm loaf.

We then had lunch of our chicken souse and conch stew, so delicious and you know we will be back for more next Saturday! I really wanted to nap, but knew we should go for a walk. Our ocean side would have sandblasted us, so we headed up south to Fords and Gordons for a bit of time. The clouds created such a dramatic scene for us.

We returned home to more food prep. We don’t mind cooking here because the view out of the kitchen is beautiful.

We puttered away the rest of the afternoon, till cocktail hour and Mike stringing lights on the gazebo. Where, you guessed it, we had another rainbow!

Dinner was wahoo on our salad and it was just perfect!

After dinner and the sun setting, we headed down to the gazebo to see the lights Mike strung. Oh how magical. Hopefully soon we will have a calm evening where we can sit down there and enjoy the lights!

It was lovely spending the first day of winter on an island, that gifted us with rainbows galore and dramatic views. Hopefully it is a sign of a new winter season bringing only good things!

Day 5 – Hitting Up Our Go To Spots

I was up early to soak in the morning calls of the birds and watch the day begin.

Our plan today was farmer’s market at 8 a.m. return to the house and revisit some of our favorite places, our go to spots.

We had breakfast of an omelet with toast smeared with locally made guava jam. After breakfast I had my second attempt at making johnny cake. I used a smaller pan, lowered the oven temperature and lessened the baking time. It worked I made johnny cake without a burn! It came out of the oven just before we left for the farmers market, perfect timing.

Well the farmers market today was not bustling, only a few vendors were around and not much food stuff. We picked up a papaya, starfruit jam, onions and passionfruit! We thought we would drive by a little later to see if more vendors would come. Well they didn’t.

View from the farmer’s market parking lot

We unpacked the few items and then packed up for the day. Our first stop was Dean’s Blue Hole, the world’s second deepest blue hole. On our first visit here, I was too chicken to swim over it, in it or near it. When we returned home, I was upset with myself and vowed next trip I would get over my fear. Yup over that fear. We snorkeled the hole and around the area. It was a workout as the current was very strong. We spent about an hour here, finding sand dollars and sea biscuits. We left our sea treasures behind and headed off to our next destination.

We drove up south to Ford’s Landing. We always walk to the right (amazing shelling here) but today we turned left, as there was more sand to walk on, hopped in the water and floated. The blues here always take my breath away.

After all that sun and water, we needed lunch. We turned towards the north and went to Galloway beach because we knew the casuarina pines would provide us with shade. We found a shady spot and enjoyed our sandwiches and my yummy johnny cake. After lunch we were beat and returned to our home base.

I had hoped to go for a snorkel when we landed at the apartment, but the tide was way out, so a snorkel wouldn’t work very well. Instead we went for a float. In certain spots the water was hot today, not warm but hot. You could compare it to pedicure soaking water hot.

After the float, we made a papaya lime no bake cheesecake. By then I was spent, I needed a nap and I took one. Mike researched our adventures for tomorrow. Dinner was leftover casserole and broccoli salad. We wondered why the horizon looked so hazy and come to find out it might be the Sahara dust blowing over us.

After dinner and cleanup, Mike went for his sunset swim, bringing me a gift from the sea while I sat absorbing all the beauty.

Today we revisited three of our go to spots for snorkeling, views and shade. It’s always good to have a few go to spots.

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.


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.


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.

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.


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.

It’s a Christmas Miracle – Day 4

We have a Christmas miracle and a Christmas Angel, Vern.  Vern found our luggage and will be getting it to us on Boxing day.  More on that later…

Our early morning wake up was to stormy weather, which  means coffee inside and food prep for a few days.


Breakfast was a potato, veggie, egg scramble with a slice of Bahamian bread and guava jam.


After our chores were completed for the morning, we headed out to the airport, leaving the rainy weather at the house, hoping for a Christmas miracle.

On our way there, the homeowner texted us Merry Christmas wishes and I explained our woes.  He helped us out and phoned the airport and told us to talk with Vern.  Once at the airport, Vern became our Christmas angel. She had a photo of our bag that was sitting all alone at Stella Maris airport on the island.  Somehow the tracking tags were removed and it couldn’t find us.  We hugged her (me multiple times) and yes I cried.  The airport where the bag was at was closed, but she  said she would retrieve it for us and bring it to Deadman’s airport on Boxing Day.  We love you Vern!

Yesterday when we were told, someone might have taken it and given the runaround, I told Mike just book us a ticket home asap.  As the words were spilling out I realized, I am home, where ever Mike is, is home, so flying back to CT would be pointless.  Glad he knew to ignore my request.

From the airport, we went to Ford’s beach for a little walk and some shelling.  On the way to the beach, the goat crew populated the road for a bit.

Ford’s beach is perhaps one of the best shelling beaches we have discovered here.  We arrived at high tide, so pickings were slim, but really we were on a high knowing we would be reunited with our clothes tomorrow, so we didn’t care.  The views here are just beautiful.

As we departed the clouds let loose and rain dumped.  At home we made our standard island lunch of peanut butter and guava jam on local bread.  We were able to go down to the gazebo for 10 minutes before the rain reached us.

And it rained and rained. This is a perfect napping house for rainy afternoons, so of course I did just that, while Mike read.  After the nap, I tried my hand at watercolors, I am not an artist by any means, but hey it was fun.


While I was playing around, Mike went out and decorated the tree with lights.  Yes yesterday’s bag had all our decorations, so we are a bit behind in getting the lights up.

As he was finishing, a magical rainbow appeared oceanside.  It hovered over the water and was stunning.

The skies cleared and were finally able to go for a long beach walk.

Following our walk, it was appetizer time, island style.


Time to have dinner after snacking, delicious grilled wahoo with the salads we made this morning.


After our delicious we had our tree lighting ceremony, followed by yahtzee.

Thanks to our Christmas Angel, Vern we got our island groove back.


Day 4 – Seashells and Goats

This island has an abundance of a two things, goats and seashells.  Today we encountered both, we cruised the shell highway in one spot and get held up in a goat traffic jam in another, awww island life.

Our first order of the day, after watching the changing sunrise sky was to make breakfast. We cooked up french toast sticks with local Bahamian bread topped with local pineapple jam and commercial guava fruit jam.  After breakfast we made dessert for the rest of the week, coconut lime bars, yummmm.


We planned our morning route, knowing it may turn into a full day affair, which it did! Our first stop was gas and in case you were wondering, gas was $5.42 a gallon. On our way from getting gas the door was open to the Hamilton Cave house.  I yelled “stop”, Mike did, pulled in and we arranged a tour to the caves for Wednesday morning with the owner of the caves, Leonard Cartwright. We’ve been waiting to explore the caves since last April, so today we made the appointment.

Our next stop was Ford’s Landing, where in December we found it on a whim and discovered the shelling was fantastic, and the views too are pretty spectacular. Today we loaded up on shells and I felt like I was cruisin’ down a shell highway.

After the walk and a few photos we headed out to Gordon’s, our favorite beach. Today we finally walked to the left of the beach. On our last two trips, we went to the right, but today no one was to the left so off we headed.  Sadly though, someone was at the entrance of the beach burning down the palm trees, not sure why, not sure if it was a controlled burn or just someone being a jerk.


We strolled to the pines, laid our stuff off and took off walking around the point. As we meandered back we hopped in the water to cool off.  Shelling to the left isn’t anything grand but if we had gone right, the shelling has been good there in the past. I didn’t want to be greedy, so we opted to stay on our side of the beach.

After our brief “swim”, we had our lunch of Max’s conch salad, hummus and chips and an ice cold Kalik.

On our drive out of Gordon’s we stopped at a tiny convenience store for a soda and just to peek inside.

We decided to follow a beach road that lead to a rock cliff, we turned around and took another side road off and came to a lovely little cove, that we spied two boats at. We walked the cove and decided in higher tide, we should return to snorkel.

On our way out we hit our first  goat traffic jam of the day.  They took over the Queen’s highway at this point and we had to wait them out, all the while shaking our heads, laughing at island life.

Our next side road took us to what we believe may be Watermelon Beach.  This is where we encountered goat traffic jam #2 on the way to the beach.  Once here we looked around, but didn’t walk the beach, our legs were tired.

The next adventure had us searching for Dunmore Settlement Plantation Ruins and of course this is where we encountered goat traffic jam #3.  We believe we took the wrong road and didn’t find the ruins. Mike will do more research and hopefully we can find them in the future.


On our way out of Clarence Town we stopped at Ena L. Majors Creations for some straw products.  We pass by this lovely little shop so often and today we decided to stop. So glad we popped in and picked up a few items.

By this time it was late afternoon and we needed a swim.  On our way home, we made a stop at Dean’s Blue Hole for a snorkel. The current was strong, the water silty, but we snorkeled anyways and were rewarded with three sand dollars.  As we left we ran into the people renting the cottage in front of us. We garnered  a piece of information about a resident living inside of the blue hole, a big ole barracuda that is pretty friendly.  You know with that piece of information, we will be back to make friends with him.


Once at home, we did the usual clean ourselves up, have dinner (salad with crawfish), read, wrote and waited for the day to turn into the evening. We enjoyed homemade dessert.


Our day had an abundance of cruisin’ seashell highways above and below the sea and watching goats cause traffic jams, just another good day of island life.


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