A Day at the Hole

It was one of those days…the kind where things just aren’t going quite right and all I’d wanted to do was crawl into a dark hole and come out once again to start over.  Brian and I were NOT catching a break on weather windows although we were preparing the boat and  itching to move!  That afternoon my wishes were granted, thanks to our friends Shiv and Emily.  I crawled right into an enormous, dark, and yet brilliantly beautiful hole only to emerge refreshed!

Welcome to Dean’s Blue Hole!  This gem is located on the southern end of Long Island, Bahamas near Clarence Town.  Dean’s Blue Hole is said to be the deepest blue hole in the world, reaching a depth of 663 feet (203 meters).  It is well known to freedivers who travel to Dean’s Blue Hole to train and compete. Our friend, Shiv, is currently training.  If you’d like to learn more about freediving, let the experts Ren and Ashley at Evolve Freediving teach you.  It was Ren and Ashley who introduced us to Dean’s Blue Hole and shared with us a glimpse of their freediving world. IMG_7984Brian and I paused on the beach for a sobering moment as we observed Dean’s Blue Hole for only the second time.  We thought of Nick, whom we were so fortunate to have met during our travels.  Nick gave his life to his passion of freediving; he died during a dive competition at Dean’s Blue Hole this past November.IMG_7989

That afternoon we spent in good company while we snorkeled, dove, jumped off cliffs, flew a kite, and threw a frisbee at Dean’s Blue Hole.  We caught up with Shiv and enjoyed getting to know Emily.  We met fellow travelers, Justin and Anna.

IMG_7974IMG_7980At the end of the day we re-fuled at the Flying Fish Marina in Clarence Town.  Good eats and many laughs at the Outer Edge Grill!

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Shiv & Emily

Shiv & Emily

Justin & Anna
Justin & Anna

 

 

Inquiring Minds Want to Know – How Do You Securely Stow the Kayaks?

Brian and I have truly enjoyed having kayaks aboard Rode Trip. We’ve shared many kayaking excisions and we are looking forward to more! The kayaks give us freedom to roam the waters separately; to surf waves, to peer into the depths, to float along shallow streams, to startle fishes and turtles, to access remote beaches and cliffs, and to exercise when long walks are not an option. But where do the kayaks live when we aren’t paddling all over the place? How do we safely and securely stow two, 12-foot kayaks atop 32-feet of deck space? Thanks to the inquiring mind of Bill, I’m happy to answer that question! Bill and his wife, Trisha, are busy preparing their sailboat s/v Wanderer to embark on their cruising life.

We have Wilderness Tsunami 120 kayaks. Both kayaks are stowed on deck; port side along the raised deck and starboard side along the walkway. Each paddle is stowed under a kayak. We’ve simply learned to maneuver on deck with the kayaks permanently in those positions.

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The kayaks are strapped down using ratchet straps. The ratchets are stainless steel and yes, we have spares! Brian used webbing to sew appropriate lengths of strap onto the ratchets and hooks.

The ratchet straps are tightened onto lifting eyes that Brian installed through the deck; backed with washers and coated thoroughly with sealant. To avoid additional holes and clutter along the starboard side walkway, Brian replaced the bottom bolts of two stanchions with shoulder bolts.

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