Winter Solstice….. 100 Days Later

Over the past week, I have been taking some photos and saving them with an idea in mind about the “comings and goings” in Hope Town harbor, as boats arrive and depart. I awoke this morning with a slightly different perspective. I realized that today, December 21st, marks 100 days since we left Groton on September 13th.  And today is also the Winter Solstice. Let’s see if I can tie this all together in one blog post!

When we first arrived in Hope Town, on December 7th, there were far fewer boats in the harbor, most likely due to the infrequent weather windows for crossing the Gulf Stream. Anthony and Annette on Magnolia were already here. Magnolia, in case you missed this in previous blog posts, is a sister ship to our Morgan 43 Kindred Spirit. We met Anthony and Annette through the connection of our boats and enjoy their company whenever we are in the same ports over the past two and half years. Although we no longer have our Morgan and have crossed to the “dark side” of boating, they did not forsake us. 😉 We crossed paths several times as we traveled south (Myrtle Beach, SC, Savannah, GA, Vero Beach, FL). Alas, Magnolia, and her salty crew were heading farther south to the Exumas and planned to depart from Elbow Cay shortly after we arrived. We could not miss an opportunity to party and to wish our dear friends safe travels. We invited Swede Dreams, Soul Mates, Antares, and Loon to bid bon voyage to Magnolia.

Ben, Carmen, Charlotte Magnus and Al Will and Chuck Annette and Al Magnus and

Clockwise from upper left: Ben (Loon), Carmen (Soul Mates), Charlotte (Swede Dreams)
Magnus (Swede Dreams) and Anthony (Magnolia)
Will (Antares) and Chuck (Soul Mates)
Annette (Magnolia) and Al (Kindred Spirit) 
Al (Kindred Spirit) and Magnus (Swede Drams)

The Admirals: Annette, Carmen, Charlotte, and me

The Admirals: Annette, Carmen, Charlotte, and me

Magnolia departing Hope Town and heading south.

Magnolia departing Hope Town and heading south.

With a tiny, but decent, weather window last week, boats were on the move again, making the crossing from Florida and traversing Whale Cay passage here in the Abacos. Yahoo! We would soon be seeing our boating buddies here on Elbow Cay again.

Solstice, a sweet little blue Cape Dory motorsailer, and her crew, Sam and Kayda.

Solstice, a sweet little blue Cape Dory motorsailer, and her crew, Sam and Kayda.

Palm Pilot, a nice sailing cat, and her crew, John and Carol.

Palm Pilot, a nice sailing cat, and her crew, John and Carol.

Cutting Class, a Beneteau 38, and her crew, Dan and Marcia.

Cutting Class, another Shenny boat, Beneteau 38, and her crew, Dan and Marcia.

We feel so blessed to have made so many friends while we cruise. Friends that last over time and over distance. Although we are “boat people,” there are two Hope Town couples who have embraced us with open arms and true friendship, sharing this wonderful island with us.

Dinner at Lucayos with special people - Whitey and Anne, and Sarah and Deanna.

Dinner  with special people – Whitey and Anne, our host and hostess, at opposite ends of the table.  Sarah and Deanna in the center. (Had to take two photos so that we could all be in the picture!)

Lucayos, the Oddens' Elbow Cay home, sits on the water overlooking the Sea of Abaco and the Parrot Cays.

Lucayos, the Oddens’ Elbow Cay home, sits on the water overlooking the Sea of Abaco and the Parrot Cays.

The weather details for December 21st, the Winter Solstice. 10 hours, 11 minutes of daylight.

The weather details for December 21st, the Winter Solstice. 10 hours, 11 minutes of daylight and 13 hours, 30 minutes of night.

 

Al has always enjoyed counting the days down to the Winter Solstice, knowing that the day after the Winter Solstice marks the beginning of lengthening days, leading up to the summer solstice in June, the longest day of the year.

In the Northern Hemisphere,  December 21, 2015 marks this turning point with the longest night and shortest day of the year. And, the beginning of winter. For all of us down here in the Bahamas, we aren’t too concerned about the beginning of winter 😉  and are eagerly looking forward to the increasing sunlight, however tiny the increments will be.

The term ‘solstice’ derives from the Latin word ‘solstitium’, meaning ‘sun standing still’. Just in case you wanted to know.

 

So, how do I tie all this up in one blog? We started the week with a “good-bye” party and we ended the week with a “hello, we are so happy to all be here again” party, which turned into a “Winter Solstice/100 Days Since We Left Home” celebration. Any excuse, right? As if that weren’t enough, it was also Kayda and Sam’s 40th wedding anniversary. We would be crazy not to have a party!

As the sun set on the shortest day of the year, we enjoyed the harbor view, good food, and good company from the flybridge.

As the sun set on the shortest day of the year, we enjoyed the harbor view, good food, and good company from the flybridge.

It is possible to fit 12 people on our flybridge! Woo Hoo!

Twelve people on our flybridge! Woo Hoo! Our new Kindred Spirit makes an awesome party boat for gathering folks together. From the left: Magnus, Muffin, Marcia, Charlotte, me, Kayda, Sam, Dan, Carol, John, Will, and Al taking the picture.

One thought on “Winter Solstice….. 100 Days Later

  1. Michele and Al,
    You have a wonderful way of relating your experiences on your blog. We really enjoy the updates.
    Cruising friends are the best part of the adventure!
    Merry Christmas,
    Steve and Susan
    m/v Pacific

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