Cold Fronts In The Bahamas

It’s not all sunshine and warmth in the Bahamas, although you might think it is when looking at the photos I post.

cold front

The clouds roll in, the temperature drops, and we have to get out the warm clothes. Then it’s time to switch from water activities to land activities and take the dogs hiking.

We don’t go in the water, but the dogs do. On this hike, Jasper, the springer spaniel, was stung by a spotted eagle ray. Really it was his own fault, since he picked it up. The ray escaped unhurt, but Jasper needed treatment, and I think it was painful.

But back to cold fronts, the wind clocks around so it can be hard to find a protected anchorage. When the trade winds blow and the wind comes from one direction, it’s easy to drop the hook in a safe place.

When the wind is going to come from more than one directions, most annoying at night, it’s more of a challenge to hide.  Sometimes we just have to suck it up and take the wind and waves, but usually we can tuck in and be mostly protected.

On the good side, rain can come with a cold front, and it’s a free boat wash for us.

Thanks for reading . . .



Cruising and Keeping Fit: Beach Running

Last week I wrote about beach yoga. This week it’s beach running. Without a regular routine, or access to a gym, keeping fit on a sailboat can be a challenge.

Today, I was motivated by an amazing beach run.  I ran with three other people and covered 5 kilometers. We followed the run with sit-up, push-up and squats. There’s always a cheerleader around to push us to do more.

The photo below is of the sound side beach on Stocking Island. It’s the best beach in the Exumas to run on. I time my runs for low tide, or as near to low tide as I can get.

You can see how the crowds make it hard to find some clean sand 🙂

Kristina, a friend and Farley running for happiness.
Kristina, a friend and Farley running for happiness.

If you’re traveling down the Exuma island chain, here is the running scoop.

Highbourne Cay:

Has a long beach but it can be steep. Running at high tide is a slog, so I try to avoid it.

Norman’s Cay:

Road running here. No traffic or wildlife to worry about. You can fit in a 15 kilometer run if you want. The road is shaded if you go early enough.

Compass Cay:

Beach running here, but you need to run several times in order to get enough distance in.

Hawksbill Cay (North Anchorage):

Beach running here. You need to cross the island on a trail that required shoes. The rocks are sharp. After fifteen minutes, you’ll reach one beach. The next beach north is a long flat beach. You have to walk in water from south beach to north beach, so you might not want to go at high tide. The beach is worth the effort to get there.

Staniel Cay:

Road running here. You need to be careful of local dogs. I don’t bring my dog with me when I run here. The local pups seem to have an issue with unknown dogs but not with people.

Stocking Island:

Nuff said about the beach here. You see the photo above. There is also trail running on this island if the tide is too high, but then you have to wear shoes.

I’ve found lots of other cruisers to run with, so if you want a running partner you just have to look around the anchorage.

I’d love to hear what you do to keep fit while traveling.

Thanks for reading . . .

Mattina: The Journey is the Destination

Well sometimes. For me it depends on the journey, the destination and the end goal.

Right now we are sailing with the goal of getting to the Exuma island chain in the Bahamas. To do that we have to get across the tongue of the ocean. That’s the journey part.

When we get there, I can focus on writing. I miss writing every day, but our plans change rapidly depending on the weather, and I can’t focus. I know, you’re feeling very sorry for me 🙂 Can’t have everything.

Here is a photo of why we are trying so hard to get to the Exumas and while I don’t mind putting my writing on hold for a bit. The clear blue water is world class.

Ray swimming by Mattina
Ray swimming by Mattina

Next blog: The next time we have internet access.

Thanks for reading . . .

Farley’s Friday: Dog in the Bahamas

Farley here.

I made it. I’m on the beach! My humans said we had an easy crossing, but it was still a little bumpy for me. And wearing a tether all day gets a little old.

Ah, that feels good.
Ah, that feels good.

Life doesn’t get better than this. I heard somewhere that ‘it’s better in the Bahamas’ and it must be true. I cleared customs with no problem. I even have my own paperwork, so if my humans leave the Bahamas I can stay. Ha Ha. Wouldn’t that be funny.

Oh, on second thought, maybe not. Who would feed me, walk me, groom me, and generally spoil me?

Right after clearing customs in South Bimini, it was off to the beach for a swim and a roll in the sand.

I forgot that when I get this sandy, I have to shower before getting back on the boat. I don’t like that part. What’s wrong with a little sand everywhere?

Woof Woof.

Thanks for reading . . .

Farley’s Friday – Grooming While Cruising


Farley here!

My owner, Kristina, has decided she doesn’t have time to write about me. She’s too busy writing her book. So . . . I’ve stolen her laptop and am going to write my blog. My paws are a bit clumsy, but I can do it. I know I can.

Farley Guarding Kiting Gear on a Beach in the Bahamas

How do you like my hair cut above? Too short, I think. But it’s too hot in the Bahamas for me to have long hair. Plus, I get covered in sand and get itchy. I just wish Kristina had taken lessons in clipping my hair. Once she gave me a bald spot on top of my head. Good thing I’m a dog and don’t care.

So what’s in my grooming kit?

  • Nail clippers (Kristina does this weekly so the quick recedes, and she doesn’t hurt me.)
  • Large scissors
  • Small scissors blunted at the end (for around my eyes and ears.)
  • Toothpaste and brush (Not my favourite, but if I get an infection in my mouth, Kristina can clean it.)
  • Clippers   (For my winter haircut)
  • Brush (One suited for my coat – you might be different and need a specific kind.)
  • Comb
  • Ear cleaning fluid (I hate this, but I get ear infections from too much time in salt water and this prevents them.)
  • Cotton swabs (For cleaning the inside of my ears without hurting me.)
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner (It’s embarrassing when she conditions my hair, but at least I smell nice.)
  • Towels (So I don’t have to use human towels. They get testy about that. They also get annoyed when I’m wet and jump in their bed.)

Woof Woof.


Going Sailing: Medical Kit For Dogs

Our dog Farley, spends his winters in the Bahamas on our Lagoon 380 S2.

We’ve entered the part of the year where we need prepare for the season. This includes provisioning for Farley. In Going Sailing With Your Dog? I gave a high level list of what to bring on a cruising boat.

Today I’ll focus on his medical kit.

The soft cone stops Farley from fussing with an injury on his front leg.

Before entering the Bahamas, Farley needs to get a health certificate. This has to be done right before we cross, so I don’t leave anything critical until then. Sometime during the summer, I have a discussion with Farley’s vet about what he needs for the upcoming season. If your dog required any medication, it’s best to order early. Sometime the vet won’t carry a six month supply.

For Farley we bring

  • Doxycycline – for lyme’s disease. This horrible disease can be cured, but only if you have the right medication.
  • Advantix – some years are worse than others in the Bahamas for ticks.
  • Heartworm pills
  • The cone of shame, both a soft one, as shown in the photo and a hard plastic one.  They can be stored flat underneath a bunk.
  • Ear cleaning fluid. Farley tends to get ear infractions when he swims in salt water. The fluid seems to held reduce this.
  • Antibiotic ear drops – for a serious infection
  • Antibiotic eye drops – for a serious infection
  • Muzzle – in case of severer injury, it might avoid a dog bite.
  • Shampoo – think lots of sand! I put this under medical and not grooming as I believe it keeps Farley from having skin issues.

There are  items from our medical kit that we could use for Farley.  This includes large bandages, scissors, gloves,  and antibiotic cream. I never give Farley medication from our kit unless a vet tells me it’s okay.

Before I leave for the season, I talk to my vet and make sure I can contact them while I’m away. There are vets in the Bahamas, and my experience there has been very good, but when sailing away from civilization, sometimes the only way to get a consult is through email

Please remember, this is what I bring based on what Farley needs. It’s best to consult your vet to get the right things for your dog.

If you have other items you bring, please let me know.

Going Sailing with Your Dog?

. . . then here is a list of things to bring if you plan to cruise with your pup.

Farley on the deck of Mattina.

Farley, my wheaten terrier, has spent three winters on our Lagoon 380 S2 catamaran and is about to start his fourth.

This week Farley’s permit to enter the Bahamas arrived in the mail, and it was a good reminder for me to prepare for the season.

Farley can’t to this on his own, so I get to do it for him.

After a few weeks in Florida, we’ll sail across the Gulf Stream and spend the winter in the Bahamas. I created list  below from my experience in the Bahamas. I’m sure there are other things you need to consider for sailing to other countries.

Before each season, I review what I use for Farley at home and assume I won’t be able to get the items while I’m sailing.

Farley’s Provisioning List:

  • Dog food and treats
  • Medical Kit
  • Grooming Kit
  • Extra leashes and harness
  • Safety gear
  • Toys
  • Permit to enter Bahamas
  • Health certificate – including proof of immunization for rabies, distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, leptospirosis, adenovirus and coronavirus.

I’ll expand on some of the items above in future blogs.

Did I miss anything you might bring?

Dog Papers for the Bahamas

Heading to the Bahamas again this fall means a lot of prep work has to happen. This includes getting our dog ready for cruising.

Farley, our wheaten terrier, needs his papers to enter the Bahamas. This winter will be his fourth time in the Bahamas and he’s getting used to the routine.

To get his papers, I mailed our application, along with $10 to the Bahamas. Once they receive this and are happy, they mail back permission papers. I bring these with me when we visit the customs office upon entry into the country.

Farley had to have his rabies, distemper, etc. shots and he’ll have to see a vet right before we cross the gulf stream. The Bahamians require that he has a health certificate right before entry. This can be tricky because usually we are waiting for a weather window to cross the Gulf Stream, and we’re never sure until the last-minute whether we are going to cross.

So far we’ve been lucky and been able to get an appointment with a vet in Florida on short notice. Once I explain what we are doing, I’ve found the vet’s office are happy to sneak us in for a quick visit.

Why do we do all this? So Farley can to this . . .


Snorkelling from a Cruising Catamaram

#sailing Oops. Dropped my snorkel.

The Aquarium is located in the Exuma island chain of the Bahamas and is a spectacular place to snorkel. It’s in a protected area, a land and sea park, making it a must see if you are cruising these islands.

This is a no take zone, meaning no spear fishing, lobster or conch hunting.  We had to dig into our freezer for dinner, but the snorkelling was worth it.