merlot poached pears with rosemary biscotti

by sarah hair Email

Goes great with poached pears! We had friends over tonight and made this for dessert. The biscotti was rather difficult, but it turned out that what actually happened was that my oven blew out. Twice.

Coconut Lime Biscotti

3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons flax meal (ground flax seed)
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup shortening or margarine
zest of 1 lime
juice of 1 lime
3 tablespoons water

mix together dry ingredients, mix wet, add them together.
stir until mixed, they should be rather dry, and should roll into a big ball easily. If it needs more water to stick together, add more water or even more lime juice if desired.

break into two halves. Roll into two logs. Place onto baking sheet and flatten. Bake at 325 for about 30 minutes.

Remove from cooking sheet and let cool. Cut into 1/2 inch slices. Place slice onto baking sheet and cook again for 10 minutes on each side.

Orange Rosemary Biscotti

3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons flax meal (ground flax seed)
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup shortening or margarine
zest of 1 orange
juice of 1 orange
3 tablespoons water

mix together dry ingredients, mix wet, add them together.
stir until mixed, they should be rather dry, and should roll into a big ball easily. If it needs more water to stick together, add more water or orange flavoring if desired.

break into two halves. Roll into two logs. Place onto baking sheet and flatten. Bake at 325 for about 30 minutes.

Remove from cooking sheet and let cool. Cut into 1/2 inch slices. Place slice onto baking sheet and cook again for 10 minutes each side.

Poached pears are just pour half a bottle of red wine with half a cup of sugar, some rosemary (about 2 inches if fresh, more if dried) some nutmeg, cinnamon stick, and a bay leaf. peel and slice the pears and remove the core by scooping. Put them into the wine and sugar mix and add water until they are covered. Boil until the pears are soft. Remove the pears, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf. Boil the remaining mix until it begins to boil over and is thick. Pour a little of the syrup onto the pears. Eat hot. Yummmmmmy.

rosemary polenta stacks

by sarah hair Email

Polenta Stacks

So, this is one of my favorite things to eat and to make. I think I like the architectural qualities. It is really simple, but time consuming.

I was cooking today from 12:00 until 12:00. This part of the meal took most of the time, though I was making biscotti all through the day as well.

Recipe is to make up some polenta (course ground corn meal) into porridge. Pour it into bowls so it is about 1/2 inch deep of the cooked polenta, then let it sit for an hour or so until it is totally cool.

Flop the circles of polenta patties out of the bowls and fry them in some oil one by one to give them a nice texture and crispy brown crust on the top and bottom.

saute a couple bags of spinach (like as much as you can fit into a pot, since it smashes down quite compactly) and add some garlic and salt. Put it aside when finished.

Make a tomato sauce, like a spaghetti sauce or whatever you like. I just cook tomatoes all day, which tastes great. Put it aside when finished.

Saute some baby portabella mushrooms in fresh rosemary. Put aside when finished.

Go to town putting layers of polenta with layers of sauteed veggies and sauces! Enjoy!

The green beans are my favorite. Green beans in garlic and walnuts. Blanch the beans first, then fry everything up together with a little oil or margarine. Salt to taste.

orange cupcakes with chocolate orange frosting

by sarah hair Email

sweet potato pancakes with walnuts and cranberries

by sarah hair Email

I was hankering for sweet potatoes for breakfast, so this is what I came up with.

I shredded the sweet potatoes, then put them in the pot with about an inch of water. Put the lid on, and applied heat for about 10 minutes, stirring every now and then. When they were bright colored, and a little wilted, I made up a pancake mix and just mixed it all together.

Pancake mix is:

flour
baking powder
cornstarch
salt
sugar
soy milk

I never actually measure it when I make it, so I don't really know for sure, but something like 2 cups of flour and maybe 2 t baking powder, 2 t cornstarch, 1/2 t salt, 2 T sugar, as much soymilk as it takes to be a nice batter.

Fry 'em up.

Adventures in VHF

by sarah hair Email

Most of our time out on the ocean we spend in complete solitude. This, I hear, is part of the alluring qualities one seeks when contemplating a a life on the high seas. I, on the other hand, prefer to listen to the vhf to grasp some sort of conversation, however one-sided, since no one in my family can talk to me. It is not that no one wants to talk to me. Perhaps they do. It is just that I am in a drug-induced coma whenever we go sailing.

I would like to talk with everyone, since I do tend to favor social aspects of our relationships over the non-social activities such as sleeping, however, my whirlwind affair with the sea requires stern prophylactics to restrain our passions from creating our love-children which are guaranteed to emerge from the depths of my stomach and birth all over our deck if I should for an afternoon stray and forget to take 'the pill.' It is an easy decision for me since getting sick is not fun for me at all. I suspect that I would make as lousy a bulimic as I would a heroin addict given my insane disgust to both needles and vomit.

The Pill does not just allow me fun in the sun without the repercussions of my endless bobbing and jostling around, but also gives me all the effects of a sound sleep without any of those nasty benefits. I can lie there in the cock pit and be completely aware of there being activities around me without having to actually know what they are all while appearing completely asleep to the untrained eye. THis brings hours of fun, me being aware and restless but not being able to gather my weary muscles and nerves enough to actually adjust to take care of my painful discomfort. Somehow the effects of the drugs are strong enough however that I don't really care. I can just lay there for endless hours, doing nothing but thinking about how unbelievably bored out of my mind and emerge exhausted and un-refreshed after a full 10 hours.

VHF radio comes to rescue me like a knight who recently fell off a horse and caught himself on fire. I can listen to the mindless questions and pathetic calls of everyone around me without my having to contribute or even roll over and get the cramp out of my leg. The drivel that comes to my ears from the VHF radio is exactly what I wait for when we go out for a sail. I listen to the pedestrian calls for bridge openings and innocent questions asking where the boat in front is going. All of this can be entertaining, but it is not the main event. Every time someone pushes that little button to speak, I am waiting for a report of some actual news. Maybe a call for help, an S.O.S, a man overboard, or some other catastrophe that I can listen to the unfolding of from the absolute safety of my cock pit where I lay sprawled out on my back unable to respond in my drug-induced near-coma.

I guess I am just a little sick that way, but I want something really exciting to unfold since my brain is still aware while my body is unable to move. It is not that I want anyone to be hurt or that I actually want someone to have fallen overboard, but seriously, some of these guys we hear on the radio honestly do deserve a little bigger thrill. There is this one Japanese man who calls every three minutes on the spot asking for the Miami port authority in the most unbelievably tedious drawl, painstakingly pronouncing every syllable along with several extras as he calls for the port and presumably identifies his vessel. THe only part that can be understood in English is the "Ma-ee-ah-mee Po-ro-to Ah-uh-tho-row-tee" part that he repeats thrice in every communication before losing me in a bunch of jibberish. He is completely ignored by everyone, receiving no calls back, which is better than I can say for two other vessels, who are trying the same gig. One of these other vessels has called about a dozen passers by asking silly questions and misidentifying landmarks. He was going on and on asking the Andrews bridge to open for him, when 3rd Ave finally asked if he wanted a lift, since he is in front of this bridge and not Andrews. He asks another vessel if he is getting fuel, to which the vessel replies, "Yes. I am at a fuel dock." He comes back with a weird thanks and I thought so remark, which makes an alert listener like me wonder whatever made him ask such a bizarre question. Other VHF traffic is still going on, the vessel for the twentieth or so time hailing a local marina finally gets an annoyed motorist to reply and tell him to use a cell phone, a remark that no one has offered to our Japanese friend hoping to reach the port authority of Miami.

As we sailed further and further out of range of bridge traffic I was unable to listen to the various requests for bridge lifts, though I did catch a bridge tender earlier who argued profusely with a captain over wether or not his boat required a lift. After a dozen or so exchanges, the bridge finally lifted, which seemed the only obvious move for the stubborn tender. Just in case it did need a lift, would you want to be the tender who opted to force the vessel through then pay for his broken fly bridge with your job?

Just far enough to be out of range of the river bridges, we could still hear the traffic from Port Everglades. The bustling center of Fort Lauderdale was rather more bustling than usual with this the first tolerable day this past month. There were calls from boats asking the pilots if they should wait for the cruise ships to exit before squeaking through - cruise ships which out mass and outweigh these boats by thousands of times. No one ever responded as I would have liked with a little, "Do you enjoy having your boat floating, or would you prefer to try to get there faster than this cruise ship who can't even see you?"

It is VHF radio however, and even the smartest assery is pretty low key. I think people do it like John, where they make all their smart remarks without pressing the button to talk, then say something cordial as they push the little button. So it goes, but I would have liked a little more action. That poor Japanese fellow is still asking every three minutes for the Port Authority, though he mixes it up every now and again changing it to the Miami Port or Port of Miami. No one answers him.

Then it comes! Totally unexpected and completely original with all the promise of a good adventure, some guy reports that there is a motor-cruiser in the entrance to Port Everglades and 'it has a lot of smoke coming out of it.'

Mumble mumble, more radio traffic, somebody tries hailing another vessel, that Japanese guy tries painstakingly pronouncing Miami Port Authority, sailing vessel yallo tries for the twentieth or so time to hail the marina, and I am left for several minutes without any information about the smoking motor cruiser. I thought the suspense would kill me, with my coma being pretty well set in and my body unable to respond to the most basic requests from my brain, I had to rely on John's able body to turn up the volume or kick the radio to another channel if the conversations moved elsewhere.

There is a call to the Coast Guard asking for assistance with what appears to be a vessel on fire. The Coasties ask where the vessel is and it is reported by an alert bystander that it is at the mouth of the basin in Port Everglades, basically right in front of the Coast Guard station. Some overstating of the obvious, such as a description of the boat by listing it as 'the one with all the smoke coming out' commences. There are some pleas for a fire boat, an astute call from TowBoat US who is always first on the scene of any catastrophe where there is money to be made, and a sharp call from the vessel operator who originally reported the smoke asking for vessels which are not on fire to please keep a wide berth in the channel, since this one is.

A full ten minutes of this extreme traffic on the radio continues until we can see large plumes of smoke from our position about ten miles off shore. There are new pleas asking if they should tow the vessel to a bridge or somewhere even less convenient to meet a fire truck since the fireboat has not yet materialized. The guy from Japan asks again for the Miami Port Authority a good seven times during this whole ordeal, and I am pretty sure he does not know enough English to realize that he is audio-witnessing a real life catastrophe which should not be stomped out with his repeat calls to an un-answering entity. Ten more minutes of extreme radio transmissions asking for help putting out the fire, giving directions to the fire, begging other boaters to keep out of the way, my little heart beating away in my chest while my body remains in a coma.

Twenty minutes from the time that the first observer witnessed smoke, the fire was out, and we witnessed the last of the smoke plume flying over Fort Lauderdale. The sailing vessel Yallo called again for the marina and received no reply. THe Japanese guy aboard Mistletoe, Missile Tow, or maybe even Ume Sato continued his failed attempts to contact the Miami Port Authority. John changed the channel to the NOAA weather station, we got the word that the winds were not after all going to be favorable, and we headed home, managing to miss the big event both coming and going.

We are now back in Fort Lauderdale, awaiting adventures via VHF, since real ones are not forthcoming until this Norther passes and we can get across the gulf stream. Maybe Wednesday or so of next week. Sigh.

sailing jewelry

by sarah hair Email

Our newest venture into monetizing our sailing adventures is now online and with any luck will take off before next Christmas. It took a good year to get Martial Arts and Crafts Jewelry up and running and it is paying our bills this Christmas, but we hope to do more of the sailing jewelry next year even if it is simply because we need to lighten our load of shells and beach glass which are much heavier and bulkier than the martial arts jewelry.

The new web site is Sailing Jewelry at sailingjewelry.com . We decided to go with the American spelling, even if every English speaking country in the world spells it Sailing Jewellery, just because it looks wrong that other way. Also, Americans will be able to find the web site with it spelled sailing jewelry and everyone else will just nod their heads muttering something about ignorant Americans. Well, if we are so ignorant, then how come it is all you other countries who can't spell jewelry correctly?

No matter how it is spelled, we have treasures from our sailing adventures listed on our etsy site and the new sailing jewelry web site has a live feed of products as well as a little bit of information about us.

Go visit the site. You can even fan us on facebook from there!

still in Fort Lauderdale... a little longer

by sarah hair Email

We are still in Fort Lauderdale! Some things that contribute both to our extended stay and to my not updating our blog include:

- John getting injured in Aikido and throwing his back out.
- Going to yoga every day (a 4-5 hour excursion each time with bike rides) to fix his back
- Being massively back-ordered for Christmas orders and needing to work on filling them so they only sit in my queue for a few days.
- Training the new ratty girls to get along with us and have a pleasant stay in our family.

So, the longer version goes like this... We arrived a couple weeks ago and were only staying for a couple weeks. THis puts us to where we expected to leave last weekend. Our first weekday here, some two days after arriving, we went to Aikido. John took the class, then for the first time ever, injured his back. His knee injury from last year still hurt as well, and after a while of waiting for appointments and such, we sent him off to the sports doctor.

John's knee has a torn miniscus, and back is fine, but the muscles are having spasms and it is very painful for him to move. Surgery is recommended for the knee, but it is unclear how many of our millions it will cost, since we live on the boat and travel between nations, there is no way to have health 'insurance' in the US. We discussed the merits of going to Mexico where we could obtain health care, so that is still on the table and might be in the works if we get the wind and weather we want.

We got our little girl ratties and they have adapted mostly well to the household. One little girl is heading full-boar into domestic life with us, has learned a couple commands, and is a beautiful little snuggle monster. THe other little girl has sequestered herself on a food and water strike in the top level of the cage where we can't help her. It is a social issue, she just is not used to us yet.

We are exploring strategies to get her used to us, mostly involving food and getting her to eat from our hands. We think she was horribly abused before going to the shelter where we found her, so it may be a bit yet.

We have been making tons of jewelry to fill orders for Christmas. So far, the longest wait-time was a week(!) but I have been steadily closing the gap and hope to be shipping everything within 2 days of the order. I had a weird run-in with the post office, and two packages arrived empty(!) but appeared untampered, so I am adding tamper-proofing tape to the packages from here on out!

We have all been gluing, sanding, stamping cards, drilling, assembling, packaging, addressing envelopes, everything. I even have finally made some new designs that people have asked for this past year. I hope to get them posted this coming week.

I don't know how long we will remain here, but I will absolutely post when we are ready to leave.

four days of sailing, in Fort Lauderdale now

by sarah hair Email

We left the Lucaya waterway in Grand Bahama, and headed for West End. We anchored in West end late at night and took out the next morning early to go see if the snorkeling was really as epic as claimed in Wood Cay.

Several hours later, thoroughly tired out from our swim, and impressed as well with the abundance of life and diversity we found, as marked it as "as advertised" and carried on with our sail to Florida. We never did make it ashore, just swam the reef that stretched on for what seemed forever and was too shallow to swim over to reach the shore. Next time, we resolved, we shall approach from the other side and make the shore landing to investigate the odd-shaped crescent with concentric rings.

After sailing for a night and a day, we made anchor in Palm Beach in the middle of the next night. A quick sleep break, and we were off the next morning for Fort Lauderdale.

All of this sounds very boring, I know, but it is sailing, so it is supposed to be relaxing, which is not too far off from boring anyway.

Other highlights include:

getting boarded by the US Coast Guard in Bahamas
getting grilled by the US Coast Guard in Bahamas
getting a "Gold Certificate" of compliance from the US Coast Guard (yay!!)
seeing a replica 'Bounty' anchored off Florida coast - we took pictures
seeing a suicidal pilot flying an ultra-light aircraft with a full-size inflated dinghy attached to the bottom, as the guy actually tried to land it on the water!! - got pics of this too!!
seeing the 'parking lot' of fishermen off the coast of Florida and trying our best not to hit them
seeing the awesome sliver of a moon set against the Fort Lauderdale cityscape from sea
playing several games of cribbage ON DECK (!!)
winning most of the games of cribbage (yay!!)
eating fresh-baked rosemary bread, made entirely underway (this is tough, y'all)
sleeping. Seriously.

Fooled you!

by sarah hair Email

But alas, we are still in Grand Bahama at the very same anchorage, having a bit of an elbow rub with the folks here at the sailing club.

We did, I swear, leave for Berry Islands on Thursday, as I had mentioned previously as our intention. We just got out for about an hour and had a bit of gear failure on our self-steering that we intended to return and repair. On our way back, we saw a flare shot out in front of us and after a couple hours searching for the origin and on the radio with the Bahama air and sea search and rescue association, we found out that our radio was reporting trouble as well. Nothing major on either piece of equipment, but by the time we returned to fix it we were so worn out that we slept through the night and missed our window for leaving at the front of this weather system.

Another event which has changed our plans a bit was that our beloved Tokyo passed away in the morning at the peaceful anchorage rather than on a sailing expedition. He died in my hands from what appeared a heart attack. He had been under the weather for a few days and was not well since we rescued him last year, so it was not a shock. We all needed a couple days to mourn for our huge loss none the less. He was a wonderful friend and companion and we miss him terribly.

Here he is in good spirits. Even at the last moment, he was trying to come to me to be patted and held, and he spent his final breath in my hand.

We will now be waiting it out for the next week or so as we see what the weather has in mind for us. It is VERY nice here though, so we are not in too big a hurry to leave.

I will post when we are getting ready again...

Our wind did not come... until now!

by sarah hair Email

After waiting for days and multiple days of staging and getting our waters together and such, treating every day as if it were our last in the island for a week now, our winds finally made it through tonight and after this web update, we are sailing off to hopefully make Berry islands for some long awaited rest and relaxation in the relative isolation of some far-away islands. lol!

In the anchorage by ourselves in Grand Bahama!

Here is a pic of us at Grand Bahama Yacht CLub near the ring toss game that we all became addicted to...

Staging for Berry Islands

by sarah hair Email

We eventually left the dock and headed to places unknown, ending up in a canal at the end of the island still on Grand Bahama.

There are bugs here, the likes of which one with fair skin will bear the scars for a lifetime. Madison and I are covered in such scars. Malia made out much better but still got some and John has had none to date, lucky bastard. The first couple days we could not leave the boat and bundled up under sheets with full compliments of clothing under them, including socks with the pants tucked in. Imagine such a stunt in 90+ degree weather! Due to the heat, cooking was out of the question, since the boat had to be shut up to keep the bugs from pouring in any further.

We made a trip into town to check out the Halloween festivities, and concluded that perhaps in foreign countries the people meant well but were not exactly sure how to really celebrate Halloween. It was fun though and we did find ice cream and french fries at the festival. The girls made their own costumes from some of their clothes and dressed up as geishas, which looked great! Super-creative and pretty.

We moved the boat the next day to a different spot on the canal to escape the bugs and totally lucked out by meeting some awesome people at a local yacht club. They had several kids sailing around in smll boats that day when we pulled up and the girls got to meet some of them as well. The yacht club has an amazing pool, tennis courts, shuffleboard, and promises a yoga class in the morning. We will try to check out the yoga class, since we have now successfully determined their pool and showers to be in excellent condition!

Tomorrow we plan to go to a small cay off the island and anchor there until we can make a passage South to hopefully the Berry Islands.

The past week or so has been very laid back and mellow and I have had the pleasure to put together a bunch of jewelry from our findings in Bahamas so far. I will get them posted to Etsy and to the blog once I can get them photographed and we have internet. Right now I am sitting in the dark under the full moon on someone's lawn using what I can only suppose is their open network...

Cruising Bahamas

by sarah hair Email

We finally made it North to Grand Bahama, some week or so after we had first intended, but it was worth it. Every time we tried to make our way out of Gun Cay, we would stage the night before, based upon the forecast for morning, and wake in the morning to find our winds exactly not what we had staged for. Finally, we got our opening, winds putting us on a flat sea with just enough wind to push us North at about 4 pleasant knots over our 70+ miles putting us in our new destination right after daybreak.

This worked all fine and well with the most pleasant sail ever until just after North Bimini. We had passed the "point of no return" just after North Bimini and put the girls below to sleep, when the next thing we knew we are hit by a couple of small squalls with some more aggressive seas. Expecting the seas to calm when the squalls passed, we pressed on as usual and I put off my home-made cinnamon rolls and hot cocoa until after the threat had calmed down. Little did I know that I would never get to have either until the following day.

The seas never died down, and the wind changed to about 30-35 knots from the South with building seas breaking waves in every direction. This was nothing close to the forecast, and we had no expectation of this blasted weather, so not knowing if it would die down or keep on, we reefed the main sail to try to stop our constant knocking down.

We bobbed about getting smashed down and flying forward eventually knocking just about every storage compartment open and throwing projectiles all about the cabin as John and I tried to just hold on up in the cock-pit. Not an easy task as the boat was thrown every random direction and there was no way to predict in which direction to brace oneself.

We broke our steering gear and had to steer manually the entire time. Neither of us could go to sleep, since it took the both of us to steer and handle sails. At several intervals I went below decks and tried to contain my seasickness while I repacked the lockers with the power tools, food, epoxies and solvents, etc. while being thrown over the cabin. I gave in once, and made it to the sink in the head, a task not to be underestimated during one of these kinds of sails.

The girls, apart from me waking them to ask if they were OK, slept through the chaos in the security of the aft cabin which barely moves. Malia helped me stack up power tools once, when the locker flew open and the contents flew through the only passage back to their room blocking my entry to the head.

We finally, after losing one jib sheet to the propeller, set up our engine and motored in to the harbor several hours before dawn. Our unexpectedly efficient speeds of up to 10 knots on our little sailboat with a hull speed of 7 put us here so far ahead of our anticipated arrival time that we had to make a *gulp* night landing in a new harbor.

Everything worked out and we made it in to the basin where we anchored and comatized until the Yacht Club opened and we could obtain a slip.

New beach glass and coral sailing jewelry posted on Etsy

by sarah hair Email

We have been working on these new pieces since we began the trip, but only just now got them photographed and listed on Etsy.

The Etsy site is http://sailingjewelry.etsy.com

We found a huge variety of corals. The corals are all different kinds, which we then cleaned, shaped, drilled, sanded, epoxied, mounted, or otherwise decorated to make the different jewelry pieces. Here are a few of my favorites...

We also found a lot of beach glass or sea glass. The whole family combed the beaches for many hours for the past few weeks searching for these sparkly gems. The gouges and scratches as well as the frosted wear from the sand give every piece a different personality. These are my favorites of the pieces we have already photographed. The bright green sailboat shaped one appears to be from the bottom of a bottle, and it curves around with a smooth inside.

We found more glass and coral in Bimini as well, and should have more items posted once we get those photographed.

shipping and shopping trip through Alice Town, Bimini, Bahamas

by sarah hair Email

We ventured out into Alice Town to ship several packages and look for goodies today. We shipped the packages and letters at prices ranging from .65 to $13.00. A three ounce package was $8.00 for surface mail and $13.00 for air mail, going to the USA. It was funny, since I had one going to Australia, I was expecting it to be a little more costly than the others. I guess I forgot that foreign countries are foreign countries, and since we are in one, then USA and Australia are both just as foreign. Never mind that we are about 50 miles away from Florida...

We have found a surprising number of goodies in the depths of 7-11ish grocery stores with no lights and inches of dust on every can. Today we got a tin of pie cherries, which we will add to the pile of goodies along with Silk brand soymilk, Veggie Slices soycheese, tins of stewed tomatoes, oriental Top Ramen (which I was unable to find in Florida for the past 3 years...), corn chips, plantains, tins of grapefruit juice and cranberry juice, and a box of grits. We did get two loaves of the famed 'Bimini Bread' since we were here, after all.

We were expecting to be well on our way to Grand Bahama today, but the wind had other plans for us. The weather report still insists the wind is East, but from where we are standing, it is almost entirely North. They are predicting it to be East tomorrow as well, so we are planning to wait and see what happens.

in Bimini, Bahamas

by sarah hair Email

We arrived in Bahamas last week. We left Biscayne Bay, off Miami late evening on October 11, and arrived at first light the next morning after having to go the long way around, heading South and actually sailing North for most of the trip.

John did all the sailing, with me relieving him only for short restroom or rigging-repair breaks since I was completely knocked out on my newest drug of choice - Dramamine. The sail itself was what John calls a "spirited" sail, and I refer to as nauseating or just plain "barfy."

There were some highlights, like the amazing glowing waves that sparked like a million glow sticks at a rave when we splashed through them. I heard that someone at some point saw dolphins, a sight which we had become spoiled on from Biscayne Bay, since they played near the boat every single day while we were there. I am sure there were other things too, but my memories were all of the Dramamine-induced hallucinations I received while bouncing in the v-berth unable to vomit despite the deep feeling in my gut. That drug is simply amazing. I think at some point it might show up as a recreational drug at the raves where the glow-sticks look like ocean waves.

Once we made Gun Cay at Dawn, we spent the next day sleeping it off and the following several days exploring the island and even checking out Cat Cay. Some highlights from this area included:
* snorkeling with the sting rays, which we love
* seeing the shark bigger than John, probably about 7-8 feet right in front of us about 15 feet off when we crossed over a deep hole while snorkeling
* taking the best shower of my life for about an hour in the rain. (this included washing and conditioning my hair, which is pretty impressive for just rain)
* snorkeling through a school of large baracuda
* snorkeling around a plane crash and seeing a scorpion fish and lobster
* bumming around cat cay even though we are not members of the island
* finding dozens of pieces of gorgeous sea glass for jewelry making during the days

We did not take many pictures (maybe not even any!) at this point, since we were resting up and my camera was under a ton of stuff packed away.

When we reached Bimini this week, I dug out the camera and took a couple snaps of the town. Here is one with the girls in the bright buildings. Bimini is a skinny island with two parallel roads running down it. It is two blocks across, but several miles long. The buildings are mostly painted in these bright colors, probably so cars (yes, they drive hundreds of cars here, even though there is only 2 blocks in one direction and a few miles in the other, and there is nothing at all to go to in any direction!) don't crash into them.

The people are super-friendly and helpful. The island is rather littered and dirty, the buildings are in ruins, the food is non-existent unless one is willing to eat everything from a can in one of the seven approved varieties available in the dozen grocery stores which most accurately resemble a Quick-E-Mart one might expect to find several years after the 'end of the world.' All things considered, however, the atmosphere, apart from the all-night karaoke blasting out across our eardrums, is surprisingly pleasant.

girls in Bimini

We are intending to make our way to Grand Bahama ISland tomorrow morning if the weather does indeed turn as predicted. We will just see what happens.

I have several jewelry orders I still need to pack before we leave this port, and I am hoping to post some of the new designs in found sea objects! We have found such an amazing variety of corals, stones, pottery, and glass pieces and the girls and I have been working on putting them together while we hang out during the day.

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