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“A Day in the Life at Canuck Palms” Thursday August 27, 2015

“A Day in the Life at Canuck Palms”  Thursday August 27, 2015

Today is Heather’s birthday!  We wake up around 745 and make a pot of coffee.  I make bacon and eggs and we eat at the breakfast bar looking at the ocean.  We are greeted by our friend Herode who brings over a huge watermelon from his farm for Heather for her birthday!

Happy Birthday Heather from Herod!
Happy Birthday Heather from Herode!

Today is partly cloudy and already warm out.  We get ready after breakfast and jump in the car and head to town to do some running around.  Our first stop is “Shop Rite”, which has great prices for groceries.  It is located on the right side as you get to town just before BTC.  As Heather shops at Shop Rite I walk up the street to BTC (telephone and internet) and speak with my friend Lionella.  We go over some account things and I head over to RBC bank.  After setting up a Bahamas RBC account last trip, I’m just waiting on a debit card to come from Nassau.

We stop at the Exuma market again to grab some groceries in preparation for the hurricane due to hit this weekend.  We buy enough non perishable items to last three days without power, batteries, candles, etc.    The hurricane is the talk of the town everywhere we go.

On the way back home we stop at “Prime Island Meats”  and grab fresh prime rib steak, sweet sausages, and pizza shells.  We head west and pass our house to go to Bristols liquor store at Emerald Bay up near Sandals and Grand Isle resort (about 3 minutes up the road).  Bristols is a great liquor store with a friendly owner and a great selection.  We are looking forward to trying Emerald Bay Cafe and Grill next door as well.  We head back towards the house and grab gas from the old lady at the gas bar in Farmers Hill.  We also buy a bag of ice across the street (green building).  If our power goes out we will need the ice for sure.

We get home and head down to the beach for another swim.  The water is like bath water, unbelievably warm.  I give Tony a call at “Catch a Fire” restaurant to make a dinner reservation for 630 tonight for Heather’s birthday (sun sets at around 725 and is a must see at Catch a Fire!

We arrive at the restaurant right at 630 and its not crowded at all because of the off season.  I chat to the bartender who i recognize from working at Exuma Beach Resort last year.  We are greeted by Tony the owner who wishes Heather a happy birthday.

watching the famous Catch a Fire sunset
watching the famous Catch a Fire sunset

Dinner is fantastic as always.  I have fresh grilled lobster with mac and cheese and rice.  Heather has the mac and cheese, rice, and spicy thai chicken.  We order a Goombay Smash (3 types of rum) and a Bahama Mama.

the Catch a Fire bar
the Catch a Fire bar

After dinner we decide to head to Georgetown to “Peace and Plenty” resort to catch the rake and scrape band and the buffet.  We arrive and can hear the band playing from the street.  Chase runs in before us because he knows his buddy “Hasty” is most likely playing the drums.  We walk in, and sure enough Chase is helping Hasty out on the drums as always.

playing the drums with
playing the drums with “Hasty”

The buffet is busy but not as busy as usual because its August.  We bump into Wade, our friend that will be helping me install the new windows that we are having shipped next week from Florida.  Wade thinks there will be a delay in the boat coming because of the hurricane.  We sit and listen to the band play some great Bahamian music outside on the patio by the pool.  Some of the guests at the hotel are enjoying the bar inside, where a lot of the historic pieces are on display from when the hotel was a fishing lodge.

We arrive home before 11 to find the wifi not working.  I will have to make some calls in the morning and have Leroy come out and take a look.  Tomorrow we have the task of pulling out all the storm shutters and doing more hurricane prep…..and hitting some beaches of course!

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“A Day in the Life at Canuck Palms” Wednesday 26 August 2015

“A Day in the Life at Canuck Palms”  Wednesday 26 August 2015

We wake up early again and excited to get to town and jump on the boat.  We get a visit from our bird friend that always seems to visit each morning and each night.  Chase names him “Batman” because of his feathers that resemble a cape.  He sits and watches us on the fence the entire time we are on the back deck.

“Batman” our friendly island bird

We jump in the car and head to town and are loaded up on the boat by 9 am.  We decide to head east around Crab Cay under the big bridge and explore.  We pass February point, and Chase has taken over the wheel for the next while.  We are following a beautiful sailboat the entire way when we decide to turn off into one of the bays where there is an underwater cave.  We throw the anchor and spend a half hour snorkeling with hundreds of beautiful fish.  We continue our adventure into another bay to the north where we plan to snorkel some reefs and spear fish.  Its about 1030 am, and as we drift in we see two dolphins swim near the boat!

One of the two dolphins we encounter today
One of the two dolphins we encounter today
nothing like seeing wild dolphins
nothing like seeing wild dolphins

I grab my snorkel gear and jump in for a swim.  As i snorkel one the dolphins comes and plays for a bit.  He swims around me, and as i go beneath the surface he swims close and gets a bite of seaweed from the ocean floor.  He is close enough that i can reach out and touch him, i picked the wrong day to forget my underwater camera mask at the house!

We eventually arrive at one of our favorite beaches on the north side of a small isolated cay.   We beach the boat and walk off into a foot of water.  We set up our beach tent under a pine tree on the beach, and unpack the SUP board, cooler, and snorkel equipment.

a secluded beach with the boat
a secluded beach with the boat

Heather and i sit in the tent and have a kalik while Chase snorkels in the coral reef.  Afterwards Chase and i grab the spear and snorkel almost the entire way around the cay.  He reminds me several times that i missed 4 large grouper with the spear.  I guess we wont be grilling fish tonight.

selfie, Exuma style
selfie, Exuma style

Chase and Heather get out the SUP board while i have another kalik….or two.  The SUP board probably was one of our best purchases, its so much fun and perfect for the calm water here.

Chase on the SUP board
Chase on the SUP board

Mid afternoon we pack up and head back towards the harbour, enjoying the view of the shores of Crab Cay.  Chase takes the wheel and we decide to go to Stocking Island again for a drink and to see the sting rays.  We drop i for a visit, and chat to some of the locals that are serving fresh conch salad.   Chase feeds the stingrays some conch and we relax under the trees.  Its quiet today at the beach bar, only a hand ful of people.  We jump in the boat, go visit the barracuda again at the blue hole, and return to the marina by 5 o’clock.  Its been another long day and i cant wait to get to the house and go for a dip.

We head back to the house and head to the beach for a swim.  Today the water isnt as calm as it has been so far this trip.  We hang out for an hour or so and also squeeze in a walk down to the end of the beach and back.  Chase collects items for his gecko house that he made.  We rinse off in the outdoor shower, throw on the robes, and enjoy a pasta dinner.  Tomorrow is another exciting day, and I’m looking forward to celebrating Heather’s birthday!!

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A Day In the Life at Canuck Palms – 24 August 2015

A Day in the Life at Canuck Palms – 24 August 2015

A morning ritual, we wake up early, brew a pot of coffee, and head down the path to the beach.  We leave a little note for Chase to read when he wakes up telling him we are at the beach.  We walk the entire beach to the end and back, the sun is already warm.  The water is like bath water, we head in for a morning swim.   We look back to see Chase come down the path, still in his bath robe lol.  We all swim for a about a half an hour and head back up to the house as we have a busy day ahead.

We jump in the rental car and head towards town.  We decide to drop into one of our favorite places “Augusta Bay” for breakfast.  “Augusta Bay” is just before the “Fish Fry” on the water.  We enjoy pancakes and omelets with fresh coffee, and Chase explores the dock looking for fish.

We drive into town a couple minutes away and park at the Exuma Food Market”  We watch some of the boats leave the marina at Minns Water Sports under the bridge while Chase looks for more fish.  A half hour later we sit down at the small outdoor bar next to the market, grab a kalik and use the wifi to update some facebook and twitter and respond to some emails.  We soon go grocery shopping for just the basics for now, bacon, eggs, yogurt, cheese, lettuce, onion and a few other things.  Just before one o’clock we walk up to Minns Water Sports and reserve a 17 foot boston whaler for the next two days!!  Anxious to get back to the house, we take off back westbound.  We make one more stop, “Prime Island Meats”  the deli where we get things like lobster, grouper, steak, pizza dough, breads and more.  We chat to Ron about ordering a turkey for Christmas, we are so excited to be down here this December for Christmas and New Years.

We get back to the house, unload the car, and again head down to the beach.  We spend the rest of the afternoon SUP boarding and fishing.  The bone fish just off the point kept taking the squid off the hook!   Chase and I head out and fish from the SUP board, staring into the crystal blue waters at all the coral.

fishing

We return to the beach just before dark, pack up the SUP board and fishing equipment, and head back up to the house.   A quick outdoor shower and into the cotton robes.  Heather makes homemade pizza as we sip away on another rum punch.   We end the evening doing some updates on social media for the business, watching some tv, and having a glass of wine.  We have an early morning tomorrow, heading out on the boat for the day!

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“A Day in the Life at Canuck Palms” 25 August 2015

“A Day in the Life at Canuck Palms”  Tuesday 25 August 2015

We wake up early around 630 am, today is the day we have rented the 17 foot boston whaler from Minns Water Sports.  We make a quick breakfast and pack the car.  Snorkel gear, spear fishing equipment, cameras, coolers, towels, our new SUP board, and the beach tent get loaded up.  We arrive at the marina a little early so we sit and have a coffee at Peace and Plenty across the street.  (The boutique hotel used to be a bonefish lodge years ago).

At 830 we sign out the boat and off we go for the day.  We make our way out into Elizabeth Harbour and decide to head straight for starfish beach.  As we get to the beach just west of Chat n Chill it starts to rain, so we quickly set up our beach tent.  After the short sunshower we go for a walk on the secluded beach, not a soul in sight.   We snorkel for a little while and then decide to pack up and head to sand dollar beach.  As we pull away we see two big red starfish underneath the boat.  We anchor for a bit and decide to fish.  Right away Chase gets a fish on, a big one.  He almost gets it reeled in and it spits out the hook along with the squid!  Chase thinks it was a hogfish.  We fish for a little while longer and head to sand dollar beach.

We anchor on the shallow sand bar and walk off the boat.  Even though we missed low tide its still only a foot or two deep.  We find sand dollars and conch shells.

P1070733

I have a cold kalik while i wade through the water towards shore.

We head to the famous “Chat n Chill” beach bar on nearby Stocking island.  Chat n Chill is known around the world as many boaters in Elizabeth Harbour spend the day here.

Chat n Chill Beach Bar
Chat n Chill Beach Bar

Chase jumps out of the boat before we even hit the beach to pet one of the local stingrays.  He then heads over to the conch shack to grab some conch to feed them!  We grab a rum punch and a kalik and order some burgers for lunch.  Stocking island and Chat n Chill is always a favorite place.

feeding the pet stingrays!
feeding the pet stingrays!

We quickly stop at the blue hole just behind the beach bar in the lagoon.  We usually snorkel with the beautiful fish and feed them bread, but today a barracuda hangs out.  Chase fed him a few squid and named him “Chucky”

"Chucky" the barracuda
“Chucky” the barracuda

We drive across the harbour and fish again out front of February Point Resort.  We jump in for a swim and Heather spots a fin in the water coming towards us!  We climb out of the boat and notice one of our friends are back again, a wild dolphin!  He hangs around the boat for a while, and we wonder how many more dolphins we will see this trip!

We head back to the marina to drop the boat off, its now about 530.  Chase fishes off the dock and catches a grunt and a grouper.  We packed up our things and headed back towards the house.  Although we are exhausted, we somehow get the energy to head down to the beach at the house and swim until almost dark.  Early to bed as we are up early again for another day of boating!!

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A Day in the Life at Canuck Palms – 23 August 2015

We promised some of our friends that we would write “A day in the life” letter on our blog every day that we were down at our home “Canuck Palms” in Great Exuma Bahamas.  For the next two weeks we will simply describe our daily activities on the island and what we do each day.  Here we go!

23 August 2015 (Sunday)

Our Air Canada flight left Toronto at 0935 hrs this morning.  Its a quick flight, just over 3 hours, basically long enough to watch one movie on the plane and start a second.  The Air Canada direct flight is very convenient, but having flown to Nassau and then down to Exuma several times in the past it was also simple as well (especially with the new Nassau airport). Upon our decent we see the most vibrant blue water, the untouched cays, always breathtaking.

exumalanding

We step off the plane in Exuma to see the tiny yellow airport, and wonder if “Hasty” will be playing the steel drums with the band in the lobby.  The time is now only 1240, a nice quick 3 hour flight.  We grab our bags (they actually open up a door in the wall and pass them through from the luggage trolly).  By one oclock we have walked across the parking lot to “Airport Car Rental” and grabbed our Toyota Corolla.  Off we go to the house!

As we leave the airport we drive down the hill and see the blue water again, and cant wait to get to the house.  We turn left at the roundabout and head west towards Mount Thompson and Farmers Hill.  We pass the famous 3 Sisters Rock on the right (the old tale says that 3 sisters drown there once and they were all in love with the same man).  We bypass our road and stop at Tracy Bowes convenience store which is conveniently open until 3 on Sundays (the only food store open today!) We quickly go in, Heather and Chase grab some milk, water, onion, bagels, cream cheese and a few other things.  I grabbed a case of Kalik (liquor store beside is closed but ask at the counter and they will go grab a case for you!)   We arrive at the house, about 6 or 7 minutes from the airport.

Our cleaning staff is just finishing up cleaning the house after our last guests from Toronto left this morning.  Cynthia and her staff from Allure Sunrise cleaning services do a fantastic job with the house, we are so happy with them!  We unpack our things and head down to the beach.  A short walk through the backyard and we are there, and like always we are the only ones there.  I set up the beach tent with two beach chairs.  We get out Heather’s birthday present, a new inflatable SUP board.  The water is calm, as Heather and Chase are excited to try the SUP board, and i cant wait to snorkel the reefs straight off the beach.  We spend the next few hours snorkeling, SUP boarding, and spear fishing.  The coral reefs are amazing to snorkel, with massive brain coral and fan coral everywhere.  Schools of “Dory” fish as Chase calls them were everywhere today.  We also saw two barracuda, a baby stingray, and a sea turtle!

SUP

We walked back up to the house and rinsed off in the outdoor shower.  We jump into the cotton “Canuck Palms” robes (We have 6 of them for guests).  Chase heads outside on a hunt for geckos, one of his favorite things to do while here.  Outside Heather and i go for a walk around the property checking out the gardens.  We recently had new shrubs and flowers planted at the rear of the property along the fence, and 3 big palm trees planted along side of the house.  After dinner we relax on the back deck listening to the ocean with a glass of wine and a rum punch.  Chase fell asleep before 9 while he watched one of his favorite shows “Pirates of the Caribbean” on the flat screen TV.  (Johnny Depp filmed the series here in Exuma, and then bought “Goat Cay” here because he loved it so much).  We are all tired after the afternoon at the beach, and are excited about tomorrow on the island.

Stay tuned for tomorrows “A day in the life……”