Fish, Friends and Food!!

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February 2nd 2017
Published: February 2nd 2017
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Map of Elizabeth HarbourMap of Elizabeth HarbourMap of Elizabeth Harbour

Earlier this month we started at Sand Dollar, moved to Monument, onto a mooring ball at St. Francis, back to Sand Dollar and now at Red Shanks.
There are times on the boat that it is hard to even keep up with what day of the week it is, never mind the calendar date. A week and a half has passed since we said goodbye to my family; and the days since have blurred together.

We have been in George Town for almost a month now; the longest we have stayed in one area. It seems that without moving to new locations, I lose track of what we have done and when. Not that we have been stuck in one spot.

It surprises me, many of the people we talk to in this area seem to “drop their hook” and then not move for the winter. A few have joked that they have seen us somewhere, then we disappear, only to reappear somewhere else; it’s almost like we are magic (hmmm…nope, just a motor and a propeller!) While we are still in George Town, we have moved from our initial anchorage at Sand Dollar, to a spot by Monument beach then onto a mooring ball in owned by St. Francis Resort during my parents stay. Since then we have been out fishing several times in the
Traditional Japanese BreakfastTraditional Japanese BreakfastTraditional Japanese Breakfast

Fresh shashimi courtesy Lukus' fishing; rice, miso soup, and pickles
deeper waters of the Atlantic, and each time we return to a new anchorage.

As I write this, we are anchored in one of our favorite spots so far called Red Shanks. Most of our previous anchorages were along Stocking Island, across Elizabeth Harbour from George Town and, while fairly spacious, full of boats. This anchorage is almost full encircled by rocky little islands , and it is quite secluded. I guess most people don’t come in here unless the weather really picks up, but it suits us fine to have more space between us and the neighbours (hey, like I’ve said, some days we enjoy not having to get “dressed up”).

Some of the greatest highlights of this week have been brought to us by friends, both new and old (not age "old"). Living on the boat, there have been times when a week or more can go by where we don’t see anyone other than each other (not that either of us would complain, we actually really like each other). But, this week has been full of socialization…guess we still don’t stink too bad; people are still inviting us onto their boats!
One Big LobsterOne Big LobsterOne Big Lobster

This lobster fed us for two full meals!

After leaving our mooring in what they call “hurricane hole 2”, we decided to head out for a day of fishing…aka, Lukus wheels the boat and trawls for fish, while I work – I am still working online in social media and marketing for Bossy Nagy Group in Tillsonburg, Woodstock and Delhi (they have been amazingly flexible through my schooling and this trip to allow me to continue working even if I am not able to be at the office – thanks Mike, Steven, Chad and team!).

Unfortunately, we didn’t catch anything big while out that day, but when we anchored back at Sand Dollar Beach, we (well, ok, not “we” so much as Lukus) did later cast the line and catch a porgy and snapper, or so we think. We are still learning to identify fish, but as far as we figure, if it is fresh, we can eat it?? We also caught a huge bluerunner, but he was so large we couldn't manage to get him on the boat before he had pulled the hook straight!!
The following morning, due to our fresh catch, after my workout and answering emails, I treated Lukus to a full Japanese style breakfast of rice, miso soup, pickled cabbage, and sashimi.

After spending a few days back at Sand Dollar, we decided to try our luck again and go out fishing. Once more, we didn’t have much luck snagging a fish, but later in the day, we snagged our amazing anchorage here in Red Shanks.

When we arrived here, there were only a couple boats in the cove. In the cove next to us, we saw a boat listing to it’s side as if they might be in trouble. Always the man who wants to help out, Lukus jumped in the dinghy (with me of course, as I am never one to turn away a chance to adventure out) to check it out. It turned out to be grounded and abandoned, and as we headed back to the boat, we stopped in at a neighbouring boat, Gamma LoLo to find out if they knew it’s “story”.

Although we didn’t get much of a story about the abandoned boat, other than it was just that – we did meet a pretty interesting couple. Don and LoAnn from Gamma LoLo are about as eccentric, interesting, generous and kind a couple as you will probably meet down here. They are definitely “outside the box” as most would say, but hey, so are we! Don is an avid fisherman, and shared his seemingly infinite knowledge of local fishing with Lukus (most of which he does at night), while Lo showed me pictures of blue octopuses, underwater snakes and lobster. That evening, Don led us out in our dinghys to pole around the reefs in the dark. It was eerily breathtaking to be exploring the rocky shoreline by flashlight; needlefish and green-blue minnows, circled my wrist and jumped around my hand as I held our light just below the water’s surface. As we meandered along, Don guided us to watch for the glowing red eyes of the lobsters, the pink iridescence of the shrimp and the blue luminescence of the octopus.

The following day, we awoke to a message that Don had a surprise for us. After our venture in the early night, he had headed back out and caught four lobsters. He wanted to share, and quickly brought over an enormous lobster; his tail was almost the size of a loaf of bread! That day, Lukus and I enjoyed a fabulous lobster lunch, with enough leftovers to make a lobster bisque (although I don’t know if it could be called that since have never actually had lobster bisque. But I made up a recipe of a thick white sauce with onions, celery and tomato and it seemed to turn out). Lo also invited us to her boat to make bread together (she has an oven!!). Sashimi, lobster bisque, fresh bread…pretty blessed to get to eat like that – all for less than $5 total!!

On Sunday, we attended our first “beach church” service. What an experience to attend church sitting on pews in the sand, clear blue skies above you and palm trees rustling as you sing! I laughed appreciatively as the service “facilitator’ ensured that, while they are a formal church with a faith statement and membership, they do not collect any tithes as the structure is all paid for and is continuously “upgraded” as nature grows!! Love it!

After church, we met another wonderful family. Turns out, they are on a boat that had asked for help earlier in the week with a small welding job. Lukus had graciously (as always) volunteered to help, but we had only met the husband. We found out it is a family of four, Andy, Summer and their beautiful daughters (Paige and Sky) who have been touring for a year on their sailboat. They had recently been to Isle La Vache in Haiti, and were able to share some helpful information with us…adding that despite most people’s advice to avoid Haiti, they fell in love with it there and with the people. It was immensely encouraging to speak with Summer, and I think both Lukus and I have a renewed enthusiasm to one day travel down to Haiti to help them in any way we can.

This week, during bread baking, fishing, exploring and eating; we also had friends of ours from Port Dover finally arrive in George Town on their boat {although I would call it more of a yacht at 70+ feet). We knew John and Deb were heading down on "Alexis:" and we were ecstatic to hear them on the radio when they finally arrived.

After letting them have a few days to settle in (and waiting for weather to give us a favorable window to cross the harbour to their boat), we finally headed over yesterday morning to say a quick “hello”. Well, that turned into a full day event. With a boat nearly 6 times the size of ours (capacity wise), 3 fridges, 4 bathrooms, a stateroom and 2 cabins, a full kitchen, all on 3 levels; they are well equipped to host guests. Which is what they have been doing. By early afternoon, they had coordinated a “happy hour” to celebrate the arrival of other friends, including Melanie Bear with Bob and Deb; more fellow “Doverites”. It is a small world! As the sun began to set, we finally decided we better head back to the boat before dark hit. That is one thing as a “boater”; our days of staying up late have dwindled; here it seems you rise and sleep with the sun.

And so, as the sun has set a number of hours ago, I am about to lay my head down. We hope that all of you, wherever you may be, are embracing and enjoying the many blessings of life as we are. We miss all of our friends and family and look forward to the time when we can share time together again in person.
Lunch aboardLunch aboardLunch aboard

Lobster bisque from scratch (I mean, boil the carcass to make stock, make a roux, fry mirepoix and simmer) and fresh bread (kneaded it myself!!).

Abigail out.

Additional photos below
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Alexis from Port Dover Alexis from Port Dover
Alexis from Port Dover

We tried chasing John and Deb down as they pulled into the harbour, but they were pretty busy nosing into an anchorage spot.

2nd February 2017

Living the DREAM
I read your latest entry sitting on the beach listening to the surf pound the island of Kauai. I guess all of us are blessed to be living the dream. Your entries as always are enjoying keep them coming Tom
4th February 2017

We are so happy to hear you are off living the dream too!! Enjoy your time in the sun and sand Tom. Would love to hear about your adventures too!! Have a wonderful trip :)

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