The week went so quickly! Just 7 short days ago Lisa and Ryan came to spend a week with us, and before it seemed like we even turned around they had to leave already. I guess that means the week went fast and that we had a great time!
It was so great to see Lisa and Ryan when they arrived last week Friday. We had not seen Lisa pregnant yet so it was extra-special! They are going to be amazing parents! After their arrival we had lunch in Georgetown and then headed to the boat. Lisa had been on the boat last September when we were in Boston, but Ryan had not seen the boat since the day we left Muskegon, MI, in June of 2018. They settled in quickly and soon they started the process of relaxing. They just got possession of their house a week before they arrived so their lives had been very busy with that whole process the past month and half. And that was on top of their already busy lives of Lisa finishing up her MBA, working full time, being pregnant and Ryan’s busy schedule of traveling and crazy schedules. So relaxing was definitely in order for at least a week!
Shortly after their arrival on the boat Sharon was able to give them the Baby Quilt she quilted on the boat during the past couple of months. It includes some quite sentimental squares, and within the quilt Sharon embroidered six sea creatures and one of our Creator (a cross). We hope their new child will be blessed by the Quilt!
The day after they arrived, Feb. 15, was Sharon’s 60th Birthday and it proved to be a wonderful day of celebration! After coffee and breakfast and a delightful morning, which included Lisa making a birthday cake, we packed ourselves into the dinghy and headed off to Hooper’s Bay in search of sea turtles. The Courcy family joined us and we were soon snorkeling with the most amazing turtles we have ever seen. There were three huge turtles which obviously loved the sardines we brought them and just kept circling our dinghies while we swam all around them. Check out some of the photos of them below.
Interestingly, just before we all jumped in the water, Tristan, the middle child of the Courcy’s, had had his feet dangling in the water and suddenly felt a sharp pain on one of his heels. A small fish was circling his feet and took a nip out of his heel! We don’t know what kind of fish it was but it was strange to be bit by a fish! Megan also got nipped by it, but after we all were in the water it seemed to disappear.
Later that afternoon the Courcy’s came to our boat and we all sang to Sharon and enjoyed birthday cake. That evening the four of us had a wonderful birthday dinner at the local St. Francis Resort restaurant, after which we returned to the boat and toasted to the amazing wife/mother/grandmother-to-be/woman of God Sharon is! We are blessed to have her in our lives!
Looking back on the week it’s hard to remember everything we did with Lisa and Ryan, but we seemed to keep busy. They attended Beach Church with us on Sunday, and we went for a number of walks on Stocking Island over the hills to see Exuma Sound. Lisa and Ryan even accompanied Sharon to the 9:00 am water aerobics class a couple of times and said they loved it! Later in the week Lisa took the paddleboard to the Yoga class at Chat ‘N Chill beach. Evening were often spent playing cards in the cockpit amid a lot of laughter and fun. We also had wonderful times of just sharing what has happened with all of us since we left on our trip, as well as about what the future will hold for each of us. Lots of changes coming up all around with their baby and their new home, and for us with our return to Michigan. I should also mention that during this week Kristi, our youngest daughter, and I booked flights to Australia and New Zealand to go on a tour and visit relatives for a couple of weeks in September!
But back to our week…
About 11:00 am Monday morning we pulled up our anchor and headed south. Our destination was Red Shanks, where we went a couple of weeks ago, and on the way we anchored the boat by a marked snorkeling spot and snorkeled around the most incredible coral heads. We had been there before but found some larger coral heads this time that held so many different types, colors and sizes of fish. It was so cool to see! Ryan was in his glory as he had not seen fish like that before.
We jumped back on the boat and by shortly after 1:00 pm we were anchor-down in Red Shanks – a distance of only about 5.5 miles from where we left. Red Shanks is a more secluded area that seems to be quite well protected from the SE winds, so we were able to enjoy a comfortable anchorage area as the wind was picking up a bit. Activities included dinghy rides, paddleboarding, swimming (we thought we lost Sharon at one point, but we didn’t!) and walks on one of the most beautiful secluded beaches around. What a great place to spend time with Lisa and Ryan!
We waited for the tide to rise, which was after lunch, on Wednesday to leave and we were soon anchored right off Chat ‘N Chill beach. What a contrast to Red Shanks in terms of numbers of boats and noise, but it was a good place to be to experience this cruising community. Lisa and Ryan seemed to enjoy this change of pace as well and even went on a “date night” for dinner at Chat ‘N Chill. Of course I had to drop them off and pick them back up in the dinghy and it brought back many memories of bringing the kids to various school events, etc., when they were younger. What fun!
Thursday was a bit more laid back, and soon they were starting to prepare to leave the next day already. The week flew by so fast! One of the great things we enjoyed with them this week was hearing of their excitement for their baby! Of course they are both quite nervous and apprehensive about being parents, but their love for their soon-to-be-born child (May) is so pervasive in all they talk about. It is going to be so fun for us to watch them and be a part of their new family. We’re also quite geeked about becoming grandparents for the first time, too!
Friday morning dawned with probably the calmest water we have ever seen here in Georgetown. The water was glass smooth, and as the sun started its climb we watched tons of fish swimming all around the boat in the clear, blue water. What a treat to see! After breakfast it was time for Lisa and Ryan to finish packing up their things and we headed off to Georgetown to catch their flight. We left a bit early to walk around the “town” and then had an early lunch at the Driftwood Café before they got their taxi to the airport at 11:30 am. It was a great way to end their week with us. Of course they are returning to a new-to-them house, baby, school, work, etc., but it was good to share just a few more minutes together.
We are now waiting for a weather window to leave Georgetown and head north. Tomorrow, Saturday, the winds are supposed to pick up like crazy and will last through Sunday. The winds will be from the NE and will kick up huge waves on Exuma Sound where we will have to go, so we will probably wait until Tuesday as it is supposed to settle down by then. They are also talking high winds from the N to NW (mid-20’s or so) toward next weekend so we will see how far we will be able to get north up the Exuma chain before we need to start finding protection. It would be cool if we could even reach Nassau by then, as there would be protection in West Bay, but we’ll have to see. Everything continues to be dictated by the weather so we’ll just take it a day at a time as we head back to the States.
P.S. Sorry there are a lot more pictures below than normal, but it was a lot harder this time to choose which ones to include. If there are too many for you to look at, then don’t look. (HaHa!) Otherwise, enjoy!