Friday, March 25, 2011

Buddy Boating in the Bahamas

From left to right, Scott, Heather, Ron, Marie, Julie and Peter
at Flo's Conch Bar in Little Harbor, the Berrys, Bahamas

Buddy boating is a term cruisers use to denote another boat or boats that one travels with for some time. The time can vary but it means that you plan the trip together and usually sail within visual range This has been infrequent with us during our eight years cruising
It first occurred  in the Abacos with Doug and Sandy on Interlude and later Roger and Francoise on Starship Annie, but that was just noodling around the cays there. Our first more classic experience was leaving Georgetown, Bahamas on our trip south to Trinidad. We left with around seven boats and stayed together for awhile in the out islands of the Bahamas before separating as we went further south towards the Dominican Republic.  Benno and Marlene on Diesel Duck and Ed and Linda on Dreamtime ended up with us off and on both there and in Puerto Rico.  Linda and Mike on Casa del Mar, Kathleen and Roland on M'lady Kathleen, and Jaime and Dan on Nereia didn't catch up with us until Dominica but we have stayed in touch with all of these boats by email and had reunions in islands all over the Carribean since.
Often you choose a buddy boat for safety reasons on a long passage and obviously become good friends in the process Our next experiences worked out that way We met Dave and Val on Angel V anchored at the Testigos and stayed with them through the Venezuela out islands to Bonaire. They are now on a big adventure circling the globe! Tom and Coleen on Unplugged joined us on our cruise down the Columbian coast to Cartagena. From there to the San Blas (and on a land trip inside Columbia) Roy and Sue on Vindomar traveled with us.
Manta 42,  Anything Goes
Molly Bloom at sunrise on the dock in Bimini

Ron, Marie, Scott, Peter, Heather and Julie at Heather's Birthday dinner at Staniel Cay Yacht club and our farewell
evening with Marie and Ron. Christian, Julie and Peter's son took the picture. More about his visit in another entry!

Peter, Scott and Ron attempt to open a coconut! It didn't
work this time, but later they became experts.
Peter, Julie, Heather, Scott, Marie and Ron in Bimini at the Big Game Fish
Resort restaurant

Julie, myself and Marie with our dinghies waiting for our men to return from the sea. They were hunting fish with
spears and picking up conch from the bottom
Ed and Benia on Sea Angel were friends for many years before we joined up with them last year to travel through the Bahamas with Just Us, and over to Ft. Lauderdale. Then we followed them down the Intercoastal last fall off and on from the Chesapeake. They are now spending a year doing the great circle route around the Great Lakes and back to the Gulf.
This year our newest buddy boats are Peter and Julie on Anything Goes and Marie and Ron on Molly Bloom.  Peter and Julie are originally from New Zealand but now live in Australia. Marie and Ron are Floridians. We met in Marathon and decided to travel to the Bahamas together. We left on March 23 and stayed together until Molly Bloom had to leave us in Staniel Cay to head down to Georgetown April 17. An honorary member of our group was Kevin, single handing Vagabundo, the "happy boy". He, Ron and Marie are continuing on down further south in the Caribbean this spring. Peter and Julie and ourselves sailed on to Eleuthera and are still with us today in Spanish Wells!
They have been wonderful companions - fun, flexible and mostly fearless! This is what buddy boating is all about!

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