Brian and I warmly welcomed Brian's brother, Mark, and his girlfriend, Ali aboard Rode Trip. They had departed Chicago, IL just before the "polar vortex" swept through and froze the entire city! What better way to spend the coldest part of the year, possibly the century, than aboard Rode Trip in the sunny Bahamas! Mark and Ali spent their vacation with us at Georgetown, Great Exuma and at Stocking Island.
We began with a hike across Stocking Island for a bit of beach combing on the ocean side. (Well, to be completely honest, we actually began with an excursion to the Exuma Market to replenish our food and liquor supplies. Brian and I had only three-hours between visitor departure and visitor arrival...and so for an ideal visit food and liquor seemed necessary. I also managed to squeeze-in a trip to the laundromat while Brian refilled the water tanks. Three-hour turnover, we've got this charter boat thing down!)
Plenty of time for swinging on this leisure hike!
We continued hiking to the very top of Stocking Island where we had a fabulous view of the Bahamian sloops. The sloops were racing that day mid-harbor.
No island vacation would be complete without a dip in the ocean. During our hiking day, the waves were HUGE! We paused to body surf on the ocean side of Stocking Island. I hopped into the water too...wheee hooo waves! Oddly enough, this was the first time that Brian and I had swum together in breaking waves. Brian was shocked that I was thoroughly enjoying this experience! I loved when the waves would lift my feet just off the bottom and then settle me back down into the sand. This had to be timed, of course, because when it wasn't and I had missed the opportunity to duck beneath the waves I was washed ashore. I found sand in the most inconvenient places!
Phew! All that hiking and swimming warranted a cool beverage and a snack at the Chat'n'Chill at Volleyball Beach. Icy Kalik with lime...yes please!
Throughout Mark and Ali's visit, Rode Trip was in search of a decent snorkeling or fishing spot in the Georgetown area. Unfortunately, the water is a bit cloudier than other areas of the Exumas and the fishing opportunities are meager. Despite these facts, we created opportunities for snorkeling and fishing by moving Rode Trip. We had a great downwind sail with the jib; Mark and Ali took turns at the tiller. Ali was a pro, quickly learning during her crash course in "how-to" sailing. She helped to raise and lower sails, while Mark became my next anchoring victim. He hauled the chain with ease!
In the spirit of polar vortexes, sand angels!
Brian, Mark, and yes, even Ali, all enjoy a good strategy game. This was Brian's chance to play Settlers of Catan. We played...
...until I actually began to enjoy the game too! (That's A LOT of Catan!) Ali is the reining champion and we are already planning for a rematch. We did manage to pull ourselves away from the game board one evening so that we could dance the night away at Eddie's Edgewater in Georgetown. Eddie's was hosting a Rake'n'Scrape; a local, live band treated us to fantastic music and we danced, and danced, and danced!
Brian and I were thrilled that Mark and Ali came to spend time with us! It was sad to see them leave, and we hope that they don't freeze to death back in Chicago.