The Tinii

It's plural for Tinius, because we said so.


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Saut d’eau Waterfall aka Boobie Falls – By:Allison

Let me start by saying the last story about the passports has a few fallacies but I won’t go there…

Josh and I really do enjoy being in Haiti.

We feel like the country has a lot more to offer than making Americans feel good about themselves by helping Haitians. When we came in 2010, we got to visit Jacmel. This time around, we’ve done a few trips around the Port-Au-Prince area. Even so, there’s so much more to see and do than we’ve seen or done. We decided to be proactive and create a Haiti Bucket List to keep us from being lazy and never experiencing all this place has to offer. So, we got together with our friend Kelsey and our friends Josh and Chandler, sat down with a few drinks, a notepad, and a guidebook, and got to work.

And let me just tell you – our bucket list is amazing. It involves owning a donkey, camping on beaches, and sailing to Tortuga to look for pirate treasure. Yes. Pirate treasure. You are all welcome to be jealous and/or come join us.

Right after we wrote the bucket list, Josh and I had a day off. Kelsey had a free day as well – lucky for us because she also has a car named Stuart and a complete mastery of the Creole language. So Kelsey, Josh, Joseus (her boyfriend), and myself hopped in Stuart the not-so-trusty truck. I say not-so-trusty because he has a bad habit of catching on fire and his starter is going bad, but that’s neither here nor there.

We’d decided to check out a place which had been growing in infamy since living with the Salvants – Boobie Falls. Now, the real name for this place is not – afterall – Boobie Falls. It’s actually called Saut d-eau (pronounced Sodo) – a hotspot for Voodoo activities and bathing. The Salvant kids have not-so-affectionately nicknamed it, however, because the bathing leads to seeing “lots of big Haitian boobies.” Yes, that’s a direct quote. And if you google Saut d’eau you will, in fact see lots of big Haitian boobies.

After praying over Stuart multiple times and making sure we had a butcher knife to use in lieu of a starter and a few gallons of water to put out fires – we set out. Along the way we gained another adventurer. Kelsey and Joseus’ friend, Serita, who is a very sassy lady around 50 years old. I can only hope that I am such a great adventurer in my 50’s that if I was standing in the market in a nice dress on a Monday and saw some 20-somethings I knew, I would also hop in the car without much thought.

On the way up the mountain, Stuart struggled. We were being passed by semi’s while all praying out loud. Not being passed by semi’s in a dangerous way, but in more of an embarrassing way. The best part of the whole trip might have been the drive.

Where we live down in Santo, all the houses are surrounded by walls. It’s extremely dusty and usually hot. For a bunch of people who love the outdoors – it’s not an ideal situation. As you go up in the mountains, walls disappear and you start to see gardens, fields, and green GRASS! It’s utterly refreshing.

Once we got to the town of Saut d’eau we were all enamored. The roads were not only free of potholes but they were painted with yellow lines AND HAD REFLECTORS. There were even signs to let you know there was a dip in the road. We were ready to move.

Once we got to the entrance of the falls we did a little haggling on the entrance fee (non-Haitians were 200 gourdes which we talked down to 100) and headed down. The whole place was surprisingly park like. imageThere are steps that lead right down to the little pools at the base of the falls. Before you reach the falls, there are little changing rooms and benches. We spent the afternoon freezing in the water and having a picnic.

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Josh was clearly excited about the waterfall – thus all the pictures of him looking excited.

Craziest of all…there were no boobies. We must have gone on a slow day. There’s a lot of superstition and religious activity surrounding the falls. There’s a yearly pilgrimage laced with Catholic and Voodoo themes because the Virgin Mary appeared in a long-ago cut down palm tree. The waters supposedly have healing powers as well, though I didn’t feel anything but cold when I was there.

After Serita hired someone to give her a massage, cut her tea leaves, and bring her water (girl supported the Saut d’eau economy for sure) we took a lovely group picture and headed back.

Of course we said even more for prayers for Stuart though we felt pretty confident in his abilities by now. Although we took one small wrong turn, we coasted down the mountain right as the sun was setting.image

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I feel pretty good about crossing Boobie Falls off the list. If you come to Haiti I’d definitely recommend the trip as long as you don’t mind an hour and a half drive out of PaP and the possibility of the falls living up to their name.

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Willy’s Ocean Run – BY:Allison

Last time we posted, we were docked next to a dead guy.

Finally, things are working out and the last few days are what we thought this summer would be like all along. We’ve had a few more bumps in the road, but nothing like stewing in corpse fumes on a boat with a broken engine.

We finally left Turner Creek. We ended up being there a week. First, we had alternator issues that my Dad helped us resolve. We woke up ready to leave, and the boat would crank up and then die as soon as Josh let off the key. We checked EVERY electrical component we thought it could be, and nothing made a difference. Finally, we dismantled the carburetor and cleaned it out some even though it didn’t look THAT gunky to my super professional eye.

Anyway, we put it back together and it worked so I’m not going to question it.

We had decided to run offshore for a change. The ICW is a narrow waterway that connects sounds and rivers so that you never have to see the ocean. That is not what sailboats were made for, right? Josh was excited, I was nervous.

We made it out of the Wilmington River and into Wassaw Sound. I had read a million blogs and reviews about this sound…all of which said “get local knowledge” because there are shifting sand bars. The guy who ran our marina said, “It’s pretty straightforward.” We went for it.

As we left the sound, the waves (which were forecasted for 3-4 feet) were about 6 feet and rolling. We bounced around and I was beside myself with nerves. I devoted myself to looking for buoys through the binoculars for a distraction. Luckily, it was a pretty straightforward route to the sea and once we got out of the sound the seas evened out a bit.

Right when I started feeling really good, Josh started feeling really bad.

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Those rolling seas got to him and he proceeded to puke up all his breakfast.

Once he got that over with, he felt better and we hoisted the sails and turned south.

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We ended up making really great time and I did enjoy getting to actually sail in the ocean. It was sort of surreal.

We made it to St.Catherine’s Sound and sailed our way inside. We were almost to the anchorage in Walburg Creek and started letting the sails down and getting things ready to crank up the engine…guess what?

The engine gave us problems.

Basically the choke had to be pulled all the way out for it to run and the choke wire is messed up and you can’t pull it from the cockpit.

So, Josh had to get down there and keep it pulled out while simultaneously watching the laptop screen and navigating me through the creek to our anchorage.

We made it though and parked the boat in the most gorgeous setting we’ve seen yet.

Excuse the crazy hair.

Excuse the crazy hair.

On one side of us is an undeveloped island and the other side is a gorgeous marsh. A lot of people don’t like the stretch in Georgia, but it really is beautiful to us. There were dolphins EVERYWHERE. They’d swim right next to the boat.

I don’t care who you are – seeing a dolphin never gets old. It’s exciting every time. If you disagree, well then we’d never be friends and you should probably not read our blog.

We were planning on getting up the next morning and trekking onward, but slept a little late and really needed to resolve our engine issues.

We started what is becoming all too familiar and broke out the tools to fix the Atomic 4. We knew it wasn’t getting enough fuel so we took apart the carb AGAIN thinking that maybe something didn’t get sealed up well and there was an air leak. In the meantime, Josh tried sucking gas up the fuel line and realized something was blocking it. So, he just blew through it instead, we put it all back together, and it wall ran fine. I think our fuel tank which was running low on fuel got tossed around in the seas. Who knows what sort of crud needs to be cleaned out of there since we haven’t installed the fuel filter that is sitting on the boat. Alas, we’re not going to worry about it too much.

We read in the Skipper Bob guide that you can take your dinghy down the creek to the beach on the point of the island and do some exploring through a “tree graveyard”. So, out came the dinghy. We packed up a picnic and headed over. The beach is pretty desolate and really beautiful. There are these old dead trees everywhere.

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The trees were worn down like this from the tides.

While exploring we noticed all sorts of weird animal tracks on the beach – more on that later.

I was feeling really good about finally getting to do some relaxing on a beach. Josh even got to swim about 20 feet from these dolphins who were playing in the water.

Yet again, we’d planned on making a big run down the coast. We were going to have to wake up early and make it to Brunswick, Ga for gas. We knew we were getting low. This seemed like a stressful idea, so we made another plan.

There was a little restaurant/ marina called Sunbury Crab Company about 6 miles off the ICW in St.Catherine’s Sound. We decided we’d head there instead.

So, we got up and made the not so grueling trek to the marina where we are currently docked. This place is the bees knees.

 It’s a family run place. The owners live next door to the the restaurant and let us use their pool! We splurged and got dinner here. Apparently this place was in Coastal Living Magazine recently as one of the top 22 Seafood Dives and I can see why. First of all, they have “cocktail hour” for boaters which translated to free wine or beer. We also got a bucket of crabs and a lesson on how to eat them properly. The food was amazing! This place has that comfortable atmosphere that Josh and I love.  A lot of the marinas on the way seem rather stuffy. This definitely wasn’t like that at all.

Eating crabs at Sunbury Crab Company.

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This place is the best! Sunbury lit up at night.

Also, the owner here told us a little bit more about St.Catherine’s Island that we had explored. It turns out that the island has a really cool history and there is a plantation on there that used to be owned by Button Gwinnett who was an original signer to the Declaration of Independence. Now, the island is run by New York Zoological Society and is used for research…aka there are tons of crazy animals on the island. Apparently they raise endangered mammals there which explains the crazy animal tracks on the beach. However, we totally didn’t explore as much as we would have had we known we could stumble upon gazelles or lemurs. There’s also some really cool history involving Spanish missions that used to be on the island.

There are some other boaters here who told us not to pass up Blackbeard Wildlife Refuge on Sapelo Sound. I had originally wanted to go there anyway, so we’re going to head there tomorrow sometime.

We’re feeling super happy now that our bellies are full of fresh crab and we’ve had a few days of good sailing and nice anchorages. Hopefully things keep going well, because we’ve only got eight and a half weeks before we head off to Haiti!


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A childhood dream come true By:Allison

When I was probably eight years old, my friend Amber had chickens. Growing up we had lots of garden space and goats as well, but never chickens. This seemed odd to eight year old me. Why not have free eggs and cute baby chicks running around? I had long given up on my campaign for a horse, but chickens – that seemed reasonable. So I approached my parents with my plans to forego the lemonade stand and instead to raise chickens and sell the eggs.

They shot down my dreams so fast.

Later, I tried to pull off the “It’ll be a 4-H project” thing. That didn’t work either. So I tucked my dream away and told myself that when I was a grown up – my chicken dreams would come true.

Fast forward to marriage. I just assumed that Josh would be up for chickens. He’s up for anything. We moved into our current house and I was ready! Guess what?

Josh shot my dreams down too.

It was looking like chickens were a long lost dream. I started petitioning our fantastic neighbors, Klint and Kyle. I mean, they play country music. Chickens in your yard can ONLY add to your country cred, right? I thought that THEY could get the chickens and I could help out. They wouldn’t be in my yard, but they’d be my chickens, you know?

But it’s hard when you’re the only one breathing life into a dying dream.

Enter, Casey and Savannah. These friends of ours will be renting out our house when we leave for our adventure. Casey and Savannah were feeling the chicken vibe as a big middle finger to Monsanto and The Man. Casey, though, has two labs who probably couldn’t be trusted with chickens. So I mentioned my little idea about putting them in Klint and Kyle’s yard. And let me tell you, those girls not only breathed life back into my dream on it’s last gasps of life – they rushed to the scene and performed CPR and busted out those weird electric paddle things and before I knew it, we were on a farm in Bethpage, Tn chilling with goats…

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And dogs…

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And getting ourselves 6 amazing chickens! Meet the Joyce Lane Hens…

ImageThe only part of the dream that wasn’t great was having to ride next to a dog crate full of chickens and their excrement.

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Yeah, I know I’m leaving Nashville in a few weeks. But, the chickens will hopefully be kicking it when I return. Plus I think I’ll have access to chickens in Haiti too, so I’ll live. Thanks to Klint and Kyle for providing the yard and muscle. And Casey and Savannah for getting this up and going. And Grace (their new third roomie) for also promising to care for the Joyce Lane Hens.

So here’s my word of advice. When you have a dying dream, surround yourselves with people who will fight for it. No matter how silly it may seem.

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