A 5 Star Visitor

Every once in a while, the stars align and even the best laid plans pale in comparison to “life just happening”. On day 1 we did everything I’d hoped and more.  And the “more” was a perfect fit- yep, this is how cruisers enjoy good times in anchorages. Since we’d gotten to Pole Spearing and Arts ‘n Crafts, etc with Benj but never got to Creative Blog Writing (or should I say “he never got to it), I focused my attention and scored a huge win when Cathy agreed to write about her visit. A few more days and she’d have been crew on any one of several cruising boats, but sadly we let her return to the snowy northeast.

Here is our guest blogger’s write-up for your reading enjoyment:

Looking outside, the snow has melted to a fraction of its depth last week, as I reminisce about my timely winter get-a-way aboard Ortolan in the Bahamas. An adventure right from the start, with 3 plane transfers, customs clearance, taxi to downtown George Town where I would meet my gracious hosts, Lori and Russ, at “the dinghy dock behind the market”, for a short dinghy ride to the mothership in Elizabeth Harbor. It was dusk and still the water was impossibly clear and the temperature so WARM!!! OMG how easy it was to relax and settle into the Bahamian/Cruiser laid back lifestyle!!

Morning brought a visit ashore Monument Beach where Lori led the ‘hike’ through the lush flora up to the monument for a view of islands and neighboring Exuma beaches,

Cathy masters rope climbing 101 on the path to the monument

Cathy masters rope climbing 101 on the path to the monument

refreshing swim afterward (LOVE the 70+ deg. water temp), with the most amazingly soft white sand; rum punches and fresh grouper sandwiches at the restored beachside Big D’s restaurant (will our autographs be there next year?);

The view, the view- just gorgeous

The view, the view- just gorgeous

dinghy to volleyball beach where I was immediately recruited for first of several friendly beach volleyball games;

Doin' the volley ball dance

Doin’ the volleyball dance

meet and greet with other Cruisers (some of whom were familiar characters from following the blog); intimate encounter with manta rays (who knew their skin felt like velvet?);

The rays come close expecting to be fed.

The rays come close expecting to be fed.

hailed aboard Insatiable for gin and tonics with lively Cruisers (steady supply of tonic is what you can make with a soda stream machine!), and home for grilled lobster and coconut rum brownies. Whew! and that was just the first day:-0)))

The next two days in Paradise were as fun-filled as the first, from what I thought was our perfect anchored home off Monument beach (seriously: calm beautiful aqua-teal water, beach access, FUN neighbors!!!,… why move?). Kayaked to morning yoga on the beach,

Head thata way for beach yoga

Head thata way for beach yoga

explored Honeymoon (?) beach and Sand Dollar beach, walked along shore in search of sea shells and sea beans (now that I knew what they were, I was super determined to find one… and did not). More beach volleyball, swimming, happy hours with humorous ‘temporary’ bachelors Cort and Frank,

Dinner- finally!

Dinner- finally!

cool Patti from infamous “Lutra”, while listening to Jimmy Buffett & Barefoot Man – exemplifying the lifestyle. Delicacies of fresh caught conch (chowder) and Russ’s famous artisan herb bread, coconut rum french toast… mmm. Dolphin spotting one afternoon off the stern… 3 of them, so playful, SO close, why didn’t I jump in??!!

An amazing time with amazing hosts, a million thanks to my friends for allowing me the glimpse into their unique lifestyle (again:)). Oh, and one last apology for my pre-dawn departure requiring a dark and wet dinghy ride back to shore!!

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