Monday, February 25, 2013

The Dig, Saltwater Aquarium in Atlantis

One of the main attractions in Atlantis is the beautifully constructed saltwater aquarium called The Dig.  It is designed to resemble the mythical ruins of lost Atlantis.  The fact that it houses large and amazing species of fish and swimming monsters makes it all the more fascinating.

Check out this Zebra Shark and baby Manta Ray that will grow to have a wing span of 22 feet!


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Atlantis Beats Disney World!

The Grands have made their preference known:  Atlantis is "way better" than Disney World!  Mom and Dad agreed.  Having made one short trip to Orlando 40 years ago, Grandma Roe tends to side with the kids:  Yes, Atlantis has the amusement park rides beat, hands down.  Maybe it's my partiality to aquariums.  Maybe the kids like water play more than being flung around in mechanical circles.  Maybe Son #1 likes dolphins more than Mickey Mouse.  Whatever!  We have just spent a week of over-the-top fun in one of my favourite places.

Immaculate gardens, fountains, pools, water slides, aquaria (is that right, the plural of aquarium???)
Check out this Goliath Grouper!  These two are on opposite sides of the thick glass wall.

You'll never have a better (read: safer) chance to see a SawTooth Shark up close than this.

I will be sure to recognize a Reef Shark now, should I be unlucky enough to meet one while snorkelling.

The highlight of the week was the Dolphin Shallow Water Encounter.

At $150.00 a person, only three got to participate.  Three of us got complimentary passes to sit on the beach and take pictures.

 I couldn't stop taking pictures of these smiling beauties!!!

And then there were the Aqua-Adventures!

You will recall last year's post about the Not-So-Lazy River.  Grand #1 was NOT impressed.  As a matter of fact, neither was anyone near her, as she screamed through the whole trip!  Grand #2 was a trooper, but he didn't take up any offers to go again.  Smile.

The gentle, children's water slides were more to their liking.

The water play was unending...pool after pool, fountains, ponds...

One of my favs was the afternoon we took Steadfast out to Rose Island, dropped the anchor, had a picnic and a swim off the back swim platform; no one around, just us.

Some things are just better in the wild.
My water camera has seen better days.  There seems to be water inside of it now...groan!

The whole park is an aquarium.  This suspension bridge crosses the pool with the deadly Hammerhead Shark.  Every lush garden has waterfalls, lilly pad pools, fish pools--acre after acre of beauty and fascination.  I am continually amazed at the layout and design, the cleanliness and the courteous, friendly manner of all the staff.

It was hard to say goodbye when the time came for the Albertans to head back to the snow and for Steadfast to loose the ties and head south.  Next stop--Highbourne Cay, Nelson's all-time favourite island, or should I say, his most fav beach ever. 

Any news from home?  Is the weather being kind to you?  Are the tulips beginning to poke their heads up yet?

Hope you are enjoying a restful Sunday and that you have a good week ahead.  As Papa Buz says, "Make it count!"

Friday, February 15, 2013

Bahamian Beauties

It's been a while...and it will be a while more.  Just so you don't think I've forgotten you, here are some recent photos of Bahamian Beauties.

Grand #1 and Grand #2 are bringing their parents on holiday to visit us.  They arrive tomorrow and will stay for a week.  Yeehaw!!  I know you will forgive my absence from Blogger for the duration.
I'll see you when the dust settles.  Until then, many blessings on you all.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Mackerel, Penguins and Yogurt!

It's been a busy week onboard Steadfast.  We started out on a mooring in Spanish Wells, but when the weather flattened to "dead calm", we pulled up and headed for the anchorage in Royal again.  We have the best of two worlds here:  the calm and security of the inner harbour of SW and the wild freedom of an open anchorage at Royal.  

We picked up a passenger/fishing buddy as we left SW and headed to the reef outside.  Our afternoon of trolling en route was thrilling beyond expectations.  

Our great haul consisted of three Mahi and one King Mackerel. Two not pictured here, were the one that threw the hook when I had him half way to the boat and the biggest MONSTER barracuda, we cut loose.   Nelson took it all in stride, or should I say, he slept through it all, undisturbed.

When the first large Mahi hit my lure, I tried to stop him from stripping the scant line on my reel.  It was screaming out faster than I could crank down the drag and stop him.  Here is the result of being silly enough to think clamping my thumb down on it would help.

Our sojourn in Royal included a lively potluck supper (4 boats), richly supplied with fresh fish, and several days of lazy reading and beach runs for Admiral Lord Nelson.  Late on Thursday, we moved again, back to SW, where we have free wifi.  Captain B had a webinar scheduled for early Friday that he couldn't miss.  

Again, more rollicking boat gatherings and fun in the galley.  I've been making my own yogurt and getting pretty good at tweaking the recipe.  I like mine thick and rich; none of that runny, low fat drivel for me!

First, I set the kettle on boil.  The thermos needs to be heated to the max before we start.

Then, I assemble my ingredients:  Nido full-fat milk powder, 2% milk, and two Tbsp. of the last batch as "starter".  Back in my food co-op days, I used to use low-fat milk powder and was never really satisfied with the results.  Now that I've been introduced to Nido, 3/4 cup of powdered to 1 cup of 2% gives me the just-right results I love.

I heat the milk to a little more than 120 degrees F before I add it to the powder, stirring the mixture until it cools to between 110 and 120 degrees.  Hotter than 120 will kill the active yogurt starter, and cooler than 110 will not enhance the growth of the new culture.  Once the temperature is correct, I pour it into the wide-mouth thermos, shake it well, then set it in a quiet corner for 7 hours to fulminate.  If you leave it too long, like overnight, it becomes too tangy.

My favourite Son-in-law made this fish-shaped platter for me as a Christmas present.  It gets rave reviews every time I show it off.  One gentleman asked if SIL would make more and sell them.

These were my first effort at making penguins, a la post by one of my blogging buddies (I can't remember which one or I would certainly link you to her--groan!!!)  I've done them a second time and they were much cleaner looking and easier once I got into a smoother rhythm of rolling in the Cream Cheese.

News from home this week is all about the SnowDays, the skiing and the hot chocolate toddies.  Looks like we are all enjoying life as we find it, here or there.  Until next time, keep the faith, stand firm and look forward in the sure hope of our Salvation.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

First Impressions of Harbour Island

The Bo Hengy II Fast Ferry travels from Nassau, thru Spanish Wells, to Harbour Island.  As there is a fiendish coral reef running along Eleuthera Island up to Harbour, and as a Pilot is strongly recommended for first-time sailors traveling that route, we thought it a good idea to take the ferry for a day trip to see the lay of the land, so to speak.  What a wonderful adventure it was.  We were thoroughly impressed and plan to revisit soon aboard Steadfast.

Enjoy our first impressions captured in this slideshow:

Have any of you been to this lovely island paradise?  Have I made you want to go????