Friday, February 25, 2011

Black Point to Warderick Wells

Friday, February 25
Passage to Warderick WElls
Distance Traaveled:  24.67 nm
Miles to Home:  86.61 nm
Total Distance Traveled:  2273.34 nm

This morning we tried to get weather, but a stand in for Chris Parker had technical difficulties - so didn't get the weather too much.  But we did get BASRA weather which states a small craft caution on Sunday with winds to be E 15-20 knots for 4-6' seas, so we have decided to keep to our original plan to go to Warderick Wlles today and to Rock Sound tomorrow while the winds are to be less than 10 kts and seas 1-3feet.  But first we needed to get water and talk to Ken from S/V Sail Away to work out the plan for the 4hp engine he is borrowing.

But befoer I continue that - I need to tell you a story.  Phil put 12.5 gals of water in the water tank and let the cap off and the funnel in the opening.  I started getting the line for the dinghy and you guessed it - the lid got tangled up in the line and fell into the water.  Phil was upset (Guess Ken could hear him on his boat) and making noise, but did not yell and scream obscenities even though I'm sure he wanted to.  Phil put on his wet suit and went diving.  I got out the lookie bucket and sitting in the dinghy thought that I saw it.  Phil at first thought it was a pop can, dived anyway, and brought it up.  BIG relief!  This time I screwed it in part way and have learned a lesson to not do what we did this time.

We went over to Ken's boat as he was getting in his dinghy (to come help us) and it's been decided that Ken's going to leave his boat in Florida, get a friend to bring his truck down from Canada and will drop off the 4hp engine with us in Ohio on his way back.  Phil doesn't mind him borrowing it for a long time, so this is a great solution for everyone.  We also want to get together sometime in July - maybe meeting in Put-in-Bay, which is about half way between our homes.  We filled all the jerry jugs with water, I went to Lorraine's Cafe and her mom's home and bought a loaf of her coconut bread and white bread.  Everyone has been raving about her coconut bread and as this will be our last time in Black Point for this trip, I wanted to get some.  We are out of bread on the boat and with traveling so much today and tomorrow, won't have time to make it. 

Ken stopped by after we were back from town and help Phil get the 8hp engine off the dinghy and onto it's stand on the stern after we took down the Farouck.  By 10am we started the engine and the anchor was raised by 1004.  Good byes were called over the water, and we found out from Gary that Becky from   Maribelle did fly home today.  Best wishes to her for a complete recovery from her injury.  When we started the wind was coming from 150 degrees at 17kts so that made about 2ft+ seas on the beam.  Made it rolly and things going all over the place until Phil changed course to get a better angle.  As the morning progressed the winds became lighter and lighter so that by 118pm we were going dead downwind, the wind was less than 7 kts and the seas had calmed down to less than 1ft waves.  I went down for a 30 min nap at 1230pm and by 1pm Phil had contacted Exuma Park at Warderick Wells and we were assigned mooring ball #8.  It's so beautiful down here and we was the 2nd week of January that we were here last.  By 210pm we had picked up the mooring ball on the first time.  S/V Cher`e had just arrived and had their dinghy in the water and Charlie was kind enough to give us a ride into the park office with them - saving us from having to put our 8hp engine on the dinghy.  I also bought some internet time as I don't know when I'll have internet on Eleuthra.  Unfortunately, I don't have cell phone signal here to text people I'll be on facebook to chat.

While we were at the office, we saw S/V Tamure a 40' valient sailboat that made the passage outside with us from Beaufort to St. Marys Ga.  They just got back on the boat 10 days ago and are leaving tomorrow morning for Rock Sound also - so looks like we'll be making this passage with them also.  We called Scott and Kitty on the radio and were invited over for happy hour at 530pm and they arranged to have other friends they know come pick us up.  We decided since we missed lunch that i would fix some of the lobster we had bought yesterday - so made a 4 cheese pasta sauce mix and cooked carrots and 1/2 a lobster tail in it.  After supper, I took a shower with warm water in the Sun Shower.

Pete came over at 540pm and took us over and met his wife Phyllis.  She is also a knitter and quilter so you can imagine that we got along great and much to talk about.  It was great to see Scott and Kitty again and we had a great time.  They are planning on leaving about 7am tomorrow morning and it looks like it will be a motor ride.

I will send the SPOT GPS signal when we get there and we plan to be there a few days.  I heard from S/V Iolite and they made it to the Bahamas - in the Berry Island - so we plan to meet up with them early March for me to pick up the package they have for me.

I saw on Facebook that another winter storm is coming in the area, so hope everyone is staying warm and dry and safe when driving.

I haven't been able to upload photos because the band width has been so low - can't risk it.  As it was yesterday, I had only one line so feel fortunate that I was able to get on and stay on for as long as I did.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Georgetown and now starting on way back north

Wednesday, February 16
Monument Beach
Georgetown, Bahamas

This morning we heard on the SSB before Chris Parker’s weather that Last Tango was in Hog Cay in the Ragged Island waiting for a weather window to get to Staniel Cay by Feb 26 to pick up guests.  We also heard the sad news that S/V Maribelle’s dog, Danny is missing about Feb 9 and that Becky fell down the companion way steps and broke some ribs.  We are so sorry for their troubles!

This morning Phil went to the Ham Radio Meeting to learn about sending email over SSB and Ham Radios.  I also went to St. Francis and posted on the Internet.    By 1245pm we went to VB Beach.  Phil got us cheese burgers at Chat N Chill and I attended a seminar on how to make mats with old line.  I had bought some clothesline and found out that I need 3/8 to ½ inch line to make the best mats.  I am now on the lookout for old line and will ask if there is anyone on the net that wants to get rid of there’s.  Line for mats are $.50/foot here – too expensive for what I want to do.  Mats for where we step on the boat and on the bridge deck would be helpful for keeping the sand out of the inside of the boat.  After the seminar, I worked on my Ocean Platt until 4pm when we went to Changes and got ready to have supper on Enchantment.  Michelle made steak, potatoes and broccoli (VERY good) and then we played Canasta.  Vern had been into town so we retrieved our filled propane from him.

Thursday, February 17
Georgetown, Bahamas

Since we have been in Georgetown, our morning still start with Chris Parker Weather, but then we listen to the Georgetown Cruisers Net on Channel 72 starting at 8am.  They start with weather.  Then local Business can advertise specials, then they cover Community information which includes upcoming seminars and info pertinent to the entire boating community., Regatta information and then comes Boaters’ General where anyone can ask questions, announce something they want or want to get rid of.  The usually take about 30-45 min total time to run.

Today’s agenda is to pickup my hat that I left on Enchantment, go to S/V Lady Ray to buy a Extra Ham study book as Phil has decided to take the Extra Ham license exam scheduled on Thursday, February 24.  Then we are going to St. Francis Marina for Phil to attend an seminar on how to live longer and I will be on the internet.  At 1130am, we ate lunch here and Phil was on the Internet to pay bills and check financial information.  At St. Francis Marina, you can buy 80 minutes of time for $2.00 or 25 MB for $2 which can be used anytime within a month.  I bought 3- 25MB tickets to use.

About 220pm we packed up and went to visit S/V Winsome as they had called us when we requested if anyone had a wifi antenna on the net the other day.  They have one – an EnGenius brand, which we were able to look online today to check out and it looks interesting.  It’s really hard for both of us to not have internet access on a regular basis and we want to get one while we’re still in the Bahamas to see how life is when you do have better internet signals.  Winsome 2 is an Hunter 40.5 and they have a Senao Num 362ex – you hang it up with a halyard and plug in the computer via USB cord.  They don’t have the software for the Vista software, so will need to go to St. Francis with the antenna plugged into computer to see if we can download the correct software drivers.  We decided to try that right away and were back at St. Francis @ 4pm and able to download the software driver about 445pm after waiting for internet to come back on again.  Turns out Georgetown lost electricity and it was to be back up at 430pm. So now we go back to the boat and see if this antenna works.

Friday, February 18
Monument Beach to Kid Harbor Georgetown and Sand Dollar Beach

Today we are taking the big boat across Elizabeth Harbor to anchor by Exuma Marina and Kid Harbor instead of taking the dinghy over as the winds are in the mid to upper teens from the East – just the type of wind to get very wet in the dinghy.  We raised anchor at 845am and drove towards the cut to use the mascerator pump to empty the head – the tides is going down so will carry the liquid out into the sound and not into the harbor.  On our way back to anchor in Kid Harbor, we passed Ranger and got him on the radio.  Our last day in Emerald Bay Marina, someone had left a electric razor outside the shower area – I had hailed on Channel 16 to let the boaters know it was there – not response – so as there were many boats that left this morning and went to Georgetown – I decided to take it there to find the owner.  Long story short – Ranger owned the Razor – how to get it back to them.  On the net heard that Jillian from S/V Baroda was going to Emerald Bay to visit Spice of Life and she’s willing to take it to them.  I called the marina off and they passed on the message to Ranger to get the razor.  I couple days later I found out that Jillian had forgotten to drop it off so I arranged to get it – today in fact – at Chat N Chill.  So I was very glad to see Ranger and give them the information so they could pick up the razor.  He called me at 10am and let me know he had the razor – What a relief for me!!

Today Phil put together the folding bikes and we rode them north of town on the road along the coast to  AID (Automotive Industrial Distributors) for a florescent light bulbs (which we didn’t find) but got sand paper and some fishing items.  Then we went a little further down the street to Smith’s Pharmacy – which had a little market and got a few items there.  And a little further we went to Danville Lumber – got PUR 3-stage filters, a nail, and no florescent light.  It was a good ride though there were a few hills so I was tired by the time we got back.  We raised anchor about 3pm and anchored at Sand Dollar Beach – actually anchored twice as we were further out the first time and it was too bouncy.  The 2nd time we were much closer to Winsome and were ready to visit them to pay for the antenna about 530pm.  They had already eaten supper so we had a nice time visiting with them.  Jim is an EEE so he and Phil spoke the same language and enjoyed each other.  Linda knits and we get along well together.  She was kind enough to give me a few extra leftover skeins of yarn and a couple patterns for kids and adults hats as she knows how I’ve been working hard on making hats for Glenn and Pat’s triplets, Lauren, Riley and Teagan.    We left about 8pm and then I fixed supper of Cheese broccoli pasta sauce mix with Tuna and dehydrated cauliflower and some of the fresh broccoli we got at the market.    We  ended the day with me knitting and Phil reading.

Saturday, February 19
Sand Dollar Beach to Volleyball Beach

This morning we are taking the big boat back to the Harbor at Georgetown as the wind is still high enough that it’s too wet for the dinghy and we are planning on taking the bus at 11am to visit the Horticultural Fair.  We raised anchor at 840am and dropped anchor 1.46nm away at 909am.  Phil added 17.5 gals of water to the tank and we are planning on filling the water jerry jugs.  We passed some of the time visiting Tropical Accents.  This is a store that has many items that have been decorated with shells.  I found a print of a Bahamian boat racing and wanted to get for a memento of our trip, so will stop by after the Fair.

We left on time in a small school bus and went about ½ mile further than we had gone on our bikes.  This Horticultural fair is a very small county fair at home.  There were a couple building with vegetable competitions and crafts that adults and kids had made.  Outside there were local crafts – basket weaving and jewelry – for sale.  There were also local vendors selling Bahamian food.  They have a nature trail and we decided to wait for the nature tour instead of walking the trail by ourselves.  The tour was great but we wished that we had also walked it ourselves.
While there we tried Guava Duff – a Bahamian dessert – which is a dense cake with chopped guava and a creamy pink sweet sauce with diced guava on top.  It’s very good and rich tasting.  We also had pumpkin bread  - but it’s different from our pumpkins.  The bread is orange but their “pumpkins” are more like dry squash.  The bread was good that this was our lunch.  After getting back to Exuma Market on the bus, we walked around town and went to a shop across from the Peace and Plenty hotel that had clothing and paintings and photos made by local Bahamians.  There I found a Bahamian Gourmet Cookbook and decided to get that and not the print from the other store as a mementos of our visit. There are many recipes for conch, crawfish (lobster) Whelk, and other Bahamian specialties.

We got back to the boat about 245pm and raised anchor at 305pm to anchor at Volleyball Beach.  We were going to anchor at Monument Beach but noticed that a whole had opened up off Chat N Chill and decided to take advantage of being close to the action.    Judy of s/V Bantana invited us for cocktails to their boat, so I made a layered Mexican dip and went to Bantana a 41’ Gulfstar ketch at 433pm.  We enjoyed Rum drinks, dip and stayed until 630pm when we went back to Changes.  I continued knitting and finished the pink hat and Phil read for the evening.

Sunday, February 20
VB Beach
Georgetown, Bahamas

We were spending time on the boat.  Steve and June on S/V Wind Rose had a leach line seam on their head sail loose the stitching, so they came over about 10am and I with my Sailrite Sewing machine went to their boat and I stitched up the seam for them.  The Sailrite machine worked great and they were relieved that they didn’t have to hand stitch the seam.  They showed me their boat and at this time a 42’ Tatoosh is the boat that I want.  They took me back to Changes and invited us to come over late afternoon so they can show the boat to Phil too.  There is one that was damaged in a hurricane in St. Maarten that is for sail around $25,000.00.  This is a boat that both Phil and I could live with. 

We went into VB Beach Sunday afternoon to socialize with the other cruisers there.  I spoke to the ladies basket weaving and Phil read a book.  We stay until about 4pm and then went back to Changes to get ready to visit Winsome.  We got there about 430pm and had a complete tour of the boat.  Phil likes Wind Rose too so Steve sent an email to the broker to see the status of the boat.  Phil does wonder though if this boat would be too much for him to fix without assistance. Steve grew up in his Dad’s boat yard and continued to work there and built small boats prior to cruising on Wind Rose, so for him fixing this boat wouldn’t be a problem.  Just a little glass job – right!  We enjoyed crackers, cream cheese and smoked oysters so didn’t need anything major to eat for supper after we got home about 830pm.  We finished out the evening as before with me knitting and Phil reading.

Monday, February 21
Volleyball Beach
Georgetown, Exumas

After our typical morning weather and GT Net, we transferred Phil’s Ham radio license that Virginia had scanned and emailed to us (Thank You) and burned to a disk.  Wind Rose has a printer on board and offered to print it out for us.  Phil needs this to take the Extra Ham license exam.  So we went over about 9am and June was able to print out the license w/o any problem.  Thanks to them.  They are living on their boat for 5 years and June decided that since they have enough room, she was going to have a printer.  She just wishes that she had bought a printer/scanner.  We got back to Changes a little before 1030am.  Unfortunately I came down with a bladder infection but being prepared, starting taking the antibiotic that my doctor had ordered in case this happened while on the trip.  Time to start drinking more fluids.  Since I wasn’t feeling well, we stayed on the boat until I started feeling better about 3pm. Phil made good use and looked at the Ham radio finding the folder he thought that he had brought with him and then fixed the outboard 4hp engine so that Ken Blythe could borrow it when he left later this morning.  About 3pm we decided to go into VB beach to socialize.  I met Ann from M/V Borrowed Horse who was working on making a basket from Palm fronds. Linda from S/V Winsome joined us. She told me that Sue from S/V Nice N Easy anchored next to use, was really good at this and willing to teach.  I guess that she makes triangular baskets.  We had a nice chat and then I started searching down Phil.  He was sitting in the Adirondack chairs with Charlie and Meg from White Seal and others, so I joined them and started knitting.   I also met Linda from M/V Escapade.  We stayed until it started getting close to sunset and the beach was emptying out.  It was also getting cool so by 545pm we were back on Changes.  Supper consisted of spaghetti with canned carrots added.  Thankfully the water is calmer now than earlier in the day, but at no time during our visit (except in Kid Cove harbor) has the water been so rough that I’ve felt like we had to endure it.  While Phil washed dishes and then started reading and I knitted, we listened to Phil’s I-pod.  I started making a gauge with some of the pink yarn I got in Nassau, but not liking how it was feeling, I started on another hat with some of the sock yarn I have.  By 1015pm we went to bed.

Tuesday, February 22
Georgetown Exumas to Lee Stocking Island
Distance Traveled:  30.34 nm
Miles to get back home:  30.34 nm
Total Distance traveled:  2718.07 (not including trips back and forth across the harbor in Georgetown)

We listened to Chris Parker this morning and the weather forecast has changed a lot from what we heard yesterday.  Previously there was to be <10 kts of wind and many time light and variable over most of the Bahamas this weekend.  Now there is more wind and even more concerning to us is predictions of 30kt + winds middle of next week where we want to be.  We have decided to go back home through the Exumas to Warderick Wells and then cut across east over the Exuma Sound and go to Eleuthra – Rock Sound & Spanish Wells.  Then we want to visit the Abicos on our way north out of the Bahamas.  Originally, we were going to get together with S/V Winsome and  S/V MytyFyne Wednesday evening and talk about traveling together, leaving Friday or Saturday.  At 730am we decided to leave TODAY.  Phil feels like it’s more important to take advantage of this weather window than for him to take the Extra Ham license exam and I agree. I had hoped to make more hats and then send them with S/V Bad Boy who is going to be in Miami this Saturday, but instead we stopped by and put Henry and Calvin’s hats in an envelope and then the 3 hats I do have completed for Glenn’s girls in another and he’s happy to mail them from the US for us.  So Vicky and Glenn – be on the lookout for big white envelopes in the mail next week.  By 820am, we quickly raised anchor even as the Georgetown Net was going on and went across Elizabeth Harbor to anchor so that we can go into town to get some provisions and money from the bank.  By 830am we were in Kid Cove and getting in the dinghy to go to town.  It’s a little rough with the dinghy bouncing up and down, but not as bad as we’ve seen it earlier this week going under the bridge to Lake Victoria.  I was able to get some money out of the bank, but for some reason the bank machine said that Phil has already taken out money today, even though he hadn’t so none for him.  This is the 2nd time this has happened.  Hopefully he’ll be able to get cash in Spanish Wells.  By 10am we were back at the boat.  The 8hp engine was on the boat and the engine started by 1013am.  We’re getting good at this. 

We raised anchor at 1015am with the wind coming from 120degrees (SE) at 9 knots.  We passed a C&C 34 S/V Skimmer from Steamboat, CO and hailed across the water as we were passing them by and found out it was built 1981.  It’s the same color Changes was before she was painted after the floor.  As we were motoring down the harbor, I hailed Enchantment and said goodbye.  They said visit us in Panama next year. It’s been great to meet then and we look forward to watching their progress on their blog.  Then I hailed Wind Rose and said good bye to them too.  The best part of cruising is meeting the people!   S/V Shazza is also leaving motoring just ahead of us.  Painkiller came on the radio and asked me to email Phil’s bread recipe to them as his turns out so good.  I really enjoyed Georgetown  - it’s like a summer camp for adults and you can take part in as many activities as you want or none at all.  For Phil it was ok.  Just not as much his cup of tea.   Next time I would like to be here for the Cruisers Regatta – we’ll see what happens in the future.

It was a little rolly and we expected to be going down wind, so I took a Marezine and we made the final turn to enter the cut @ 1105am.  There are 2’ swells from the east and a 1ft wind chop;  Really good for Exuma Sound.  The wind is now 150degrees 10-11 kts.  Once we were far enough away from the cut, Phil used the mascerator pump and by 1115am we lost the depth sound reading.

Our plan is to be in Lee Stocking Island later this afternoon and then leave tomorrow to get to Blackpoint where we’ll stay 2 nights to do laundry (it hasn’t been done since Emerald Bay Marina).  We’ll stop at Samson Cay Marina for gas and diesel and then continue to Warderick Wells.  Ken on Sail Away left yesterday for Emerald Bay Marina, so we are trying to reach him to let him know our plans have changed and to see if we can meet up so that we can go to Rock Sound together.  I put out the fishing line and brought in the empty line just before we came through the cut for Lee Stocking Island The wind angle was between 154degrees to starboard at first so I started hand steering at 1122am, the head sail went out at 1129am with the wind from 180 degrees at 7-9 kts and Phil took over at 1154 while I made sandwiches for lunch (with Phil’s good bread).  We did notice that the stitching has come out of the head sail about the height of the spreaders leaving the leach line exposed, so that will be a job to fix when we’re in Black point.  By 1230pm the Marezine had kicked in making me sleepy so I went below for a nap for over an hour.  When we entered the current for Adderly Cut at 1237pm we dropped down to 2.8 kts per GPS.  Slower but not bad.  By 310pm we had picked up mooring ball #5 without any problems and had the Farouck up by 320pm. 

I have started a new category for keeping track – Miles to get home as we have now started our way back North and to ultimately Ohio.  Will be interesting to see how the miles differ with the different way we come back home.

In the mooring ball next to us was S/V Horizons a Vagabond from Sandusky, OH.  We got the dinghy together and at 345pm paddled over to say high.  Gary and Carol with their son Kris and his girlfriend Emily have been cruising down her since September.  She let us know that Leemington Marina was hit with a serious tornado last year and there are only 8 slips available this year, so they didn’t visit.  She will make of list of must see places in the Abicos which they have already visited. 

We had the sun shower out on deck during this passage, so both of us took showers with very warm water – almost too warm.  It felt good and we had left over spaghetti for supper and I made Banana Fritters from a Bahamian Cookbook I got in town Saturday after the Horticultural Fair.

I finished a larger teal hat and started working on the gauge for the Bernat sport baby yarn that I have.  It’s still comfortable sleeping and we still are using a quilt at night.

Wednesday, February 23
Lee Stocking Island to Blackpoint
Distance Traveled:  30.60 nm
Miles to get back home:  60.94
Total Distance Traveled:  2748.67 nm

Now the weather is not looking quite as bad as it was yesterday, though they are still talking about a cold front next week.  We haven’t been able to reach Ken on the VHF or SSB radio, but heard him respond to radio check in Emerald Bay so know that he’s there.  We’ll try to reach him by email when we get to Black Point.  We started early today starting the engine at 733am and releasing from the mooring ball at 736am.  On our way to the cut, we passed S/V Galaxy at ketch from Hamburg aground a little too close to land.  After we passed them, they were able to power off and get into deeper water.  We think that they hit ground again, but eventually before we got out of the cut at 8am we saw them round the corner.  B 804am we changed course with the wind at 125 degrees 6-7 kts.  There are NO waves on the sound today – amazing.  By 812am we were on our final course of 330 degrees with the wind clocking so apparent wind is 90degree from starboard.  At 830am we listened to the Cruisheimers net hoping to hear Ken check in, but no luck though we did hear other boats that we met.  Volantis was on it’s way to Blackpoint.  We met them in Vero Beach and will have to look for them.  Phil raised the main sail at 840am in hopes to take advantage of some winds as we were reaching, but the winds went down to < 5 knots, so both the head sail was rolled in about 12 noon and the main lowered about 1215pm.  By 1230pm we entered the heavy current at Dotham Cut with our slowest boat speed per GPS 1.6 – 1.8 knots though boat speedo read 5.5 kts.  It took us a while to get out of the current as the tide had turned going to low tide.  We anchored at 105pm this time a little closer to the laundry dinghy dock.  I felt like it was reunion time as there were many boats that we had met along the way but hadn’t seen for a while:  Last Tango, Bye Bye Blues, Maribelle, It’s About Time and others seen in Georgetown.

First order of business while the winds were low was to get out the Sailrite sewing machine and take down the head sail.  After we had started, low and behold Patty from Lost Tango came up on her way back from Rockside Laundry and came aboard to help man handle the sail.  I set up the machine on the cockpit table and her help was greatly appreciated.  We got the full story on Maribelle misadventures in the Jimentos and unfortunately, Becky is not feeling better. There was quite the search party looking for Danny and I hope he’s happy in doggy heaven.  They will be getting her to Staniel Cay and fly her home so she can get better medical care.  Kevin is looking for someone to help him get the boat back to the states and then they’ll put her up for sail.  They miss the snow of Colorado and their home.  With Patty’s and Phil’s excellent help, I was done with the stitching by 315pm.  Gary came over at 330pm and invited us over for lobster pizza.  Conrad on It’s About Time caught a few big ones and donated them for supper for a crowd.

At 330pm we turned on the new wifi antenna and I was able to get internet service from Lorraine’s Café on the boat.  Great – read the emails and sent one to Ken to update him where we were and where we might be able to meet on the way through the exumas.  I checked facebook and glad to see that Riley is off the ventilator.  Hope that Lauren and Teagan are doing well too.

5pm we left to go to Last Tango and were join by Becky and Kevin from S/V Maribelle, Conrad and Sally from It’s About Time so that made 8 of us.  I got an olive oil bread recipe that doesn’t require kneading and can be refrigerated and used within a week.  We had a great time visiting and eating the great lobster pizza cooked on the grill.  For dessert, I made banana fritters which was just enough sweet to satisfy everyone and easy to make.

We got back to Changes by 840am and once again – ugh – the florescent light fixture in the port salon doesn’t work.  Phil was able to change the bulbs and get the fixture on the starboard working so at least we have some light in the salon.  While we listened to Phil’s I-pod, I knit and Phil read.  We haven’t been playing Canasta since I won 3 times in a row.  Go figure! J

We will be spending the night here and tomorrow so that we can wash clothes and hopefully give Ken a chance to catch up with us.

Thursday, February 24
Black Point

Last night was a good sleeping night.  They are still expecting a cold front to come through late Tuesday into Wednesday but not sure in the Central Bahamas how far south the cold front will get.  North of the front they are expecting North winds  20-25 kts clocking to the East.  Ahead of the front will be light winds.  Where Rock Sound in the Eleuthras will be in regards to the front will be hard to tell until the time comes.  We are still glad that we left when we did!  We got to the Laundromat after breakfast at 815am and were the first ones there today.  Great as it took 6 machines to wash all the clothes that we had.  We were done at 11am  - not bad for Laundromats and met Gary and Pam from S/V Sea Rose II at 43’ voyage catamaran.  They are from Dover, New Hampshire and have been cruising for 7 years.  They are very friendly and invited us to stop by any time.  After putting away the clothes and making the V-berth, we went into town to have lunch at DeShamons Restaurant and use their internet.  At the Government Dock, some Bahamian men were selling lobster tails so I picked out 2 big one and gave them $50.  This is the only way that we can get lobster at least this year.  Unfortunately, as soon as I got connected at DeShamons, their internet went down and stayed down.  I had a fish burger and Phil had a cheese burger with fries.  I worked on typing the blog and made a lot of progress.  We got some great New Zealand butter and oil and then came back to the boat to post on the internet.  Ken from Sail Away is anchored close to us, but he wasn’t home.  Once on the boat, I can’t get the internet signals strong enough this afternoon so will finish typing the blog in M. Word and maybe go into town to send at Lorraine’s Café.  445pm Ken rowed up in his dinghy.  He was at Galliot Cut last night and wants to take his time going through the Exumas since he rushed down to get here.  He still needs the connector for the 4hp engine he’s borrowing, so Phil will see if he can get the hose that Kevin offered him and Phil refused so that the 4hp engine will work for Ken.

I hope to go into town after supper to be able to post this blog.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Arrived in Georgetown

Friday, February 11
Emerald Bay Marine to Georgetown, Bahamas
Distance Traveled: 13.62 nm
Total Distance:  2687.73

This morning we had heavy dew but nice weather and we are going to take the last leg to get to our ultimate destination - GEORGETOWN.  We started the engine at thfte engine @ 1040am and moved to the fuel dock to get gas, diesel.  There was a line so we didn't get going out the channel until an hour later.  The waves were initially 1ft with occasional 2' and then swells.  I put out the fishing line at 1055am but pulled it in about 1230pm empty.  Darn!  So on our trip the wind angle was 13-20 degreed to port 6-8 knots.  Boat speed was 5.5 kts - then closer to noon the wind changed 30-40 degrees to on the nose @ 12-13 knots with 2 mi go to.  S/V Enchantment is following us as their first time going in and Phil's third time plus.  WE got to our first way point into the harbor at 1226 and were anchorded by 115pm the first time and 127pm the 2nd time to get us a better spot that was calmer.  We are at N 23 31.536  W 76 45.897'   Just 2700 miles to get here - that's all.

First on the agebda is putting on the 8hp engine and going to Chat N Chill on Volleyball (VB) Beach for a burger and drinks.  Already we have seen some friends we have met along the way.  Ken Blythe of S/V Sail Away is also here and joined us for supper (poor bachelor with Jeanne at home) of chichen thighs in rice and green beans. The wind has died and after Ken went home, I washed up in cold water as it's so warm here.

Saturday, February 12
Georgetown Bahamas
Monument Beach

The wind was almost calm here - just ripples in the water.  On Chris Parker there was a warning about a Havier Martin - being detained for a murder in December and warned to stay away from him and a 50' Aluminum cat that may be being painted.  We haven't seen him and this is the first time this trip to receive this kind of warning but he's in the Panama & Caribbean area - not up here.

This morning we are going into Georgetown, which is across the harbor - about 1 mi dinghy ride, but first we went to Enchantment and listened to the Georgetown Net at 8am on VHF Ch 72.  They start with the weather by S/V Windstar, then have Business, Community, REgatta, Boater's General, New Arrivals, Departures and Word of the Day.  There are so many kids here that they also have a Kid's Net at 9am on Ch 74.  We left Enchantment about 745am and went to went to Polly on  S/V Chinook,  a J40? to borrow size 3 & 4 knitting needles so that I can make preemie hats for the triplets.  Unfortunately, Katie took my knitting needles of that size home with her.  We both forgot and didn't know that wouldn't be able to replace.  Polly has a knitting store and teaches knitting at home.  Then we tied up at the dinghy dock.  (insert photo)  The Exuma Market looks freshly painted and brighter than when I was last here.  Now that I've been to many smaller markets, it's a like a small grocery store compared to the rest of the places.  We stopped in Top II Bottom, a store that has lots of items.  I bought a black yoyo to wrap my hand fishing line on and Phil got some items too.  Then we walked about the rest of town past the Straw Market and back towards the dinghy dock to visit Bal Sound to check out getting a wifi antenna. Bal Sound is across from the laundromat - mostly open air with a roof.  No luck for the antenna.  Will put on the Boater's General on the Net tomorrow to see if anyone has one they'd be willing to share and sell us.

After coming back from town (got  a little wet) and put food away, we went to Chat N Chil for drinks and then to St. Francis Marina to use internet.  It's $2 for 80 min and 25 MG data.  Wasn't able to post that day but bought three more passwords for when I wanted to use next time.  By 430pm we were back on the boat and good thing and the winds were climbing rapidly started at 14 kts and climbed rapidly by 6pm to N 10-28 knots - mostly around 22 knots.  On the radio were several boats dragging and some of them were still in town.  This WAS predicted by Chris Parker this morning and for once he was right.

We stayed on the boat and I fixed Chinese pork chops (reminds me of the sweet and sour spareribs), Cassave and carrots/broccoli for supper.  Phil doesn't like Cassava - and I didn't realize that it took so long to cook.  Never did get it as soft as I like.  IF I make it again, I'll cook in the pressure cooker.

I was able to borrow a toe sock book so read that tonight while Phil read his book and went to bed at 915pm.

Sunday, February 13
Monument Beach
Georgetown, Bahamas

They are having a potluck and music Jam at Sand Bar on Hamburger Beach tonight at 530pm so we plan to go even if the winds are up.  It's really close to us and we'll go very close to shore to get to calmer waters.

The engine has been running a little hot lately, so Phil changed the impeller and started the engine that seems to have done the trick.  The wind this morning is ENE 15-18 kts.

I started working on the first preemie hat and Phil started making white bread with the new yeast.  It started rising well and was done by late morning.  Turned out really well.  I told him that he could have that job now - and he tried to give it back to me - didn't teach me what he was doing along the way.  I took a nap after a lunch of left over chicken and rice for me and spaghetti for Phil.  About 2pm the wind angle changed 40 degrees and increased to 20-25 kts so will see how the wind is before committing to the Jam tonight.  The air temp is 75F.

By 515pm, we decided to go to the Jam as the dock we go to is very close by.  There were quite a few people who came also - maybe stir crazy from being on the boat all day like us.  There I met Sonda (an Oncology nurse) and John (in yacht sales) on S/V Airborn who live in Beaufort, NC.  Wilma from Wilmington, NC is visiting them for this week and she's also an oncology nurse.  As you can imagine, we had a lot to talk about and also said they are hiring hospice nurses.  Something to keep in mind for the future if we want to move south.  We also saw Kathy and John from s/V Oceana and they have a directional wifi antenna that we can try and buy if it works.  So we picked it up on our way back to the boat (they are anchored behind us) and will try it out tomorrow.  BTW, I wore jeans, and long sleeve shirt, fleece and blue wind breaker and was at the right temperature.  The wind makes it cold down here.

Monday, February 14
Happy Valentines Day
Monument Beach
Georgetown, Bahamas

Our boat project for this morning was Phil greasing the big aft port winche.  He required some of my assistance turning the winch handle for the greasing part.  After that, I washed up including my hair and then we went to take a walk on the beach with Vern and Michele.  We had a hard time finding a path that got us to the beach on the exuma side, but made it.  I collected some more pink coral colored small shells and enjoyed watching the waves.  We walked to the monument (insert photo) and met Beth and Scott and Tony, Tess and their daughter, Ali at the monument and took photos of each other.

It turns out that the electric razor that I found belongs to Ranger - still at Emerald Bay - and when I heard that Jillian of S/V Barodo was going to Emerald Bay tomorrow, I arranged to meet her at VB Beach and give her the razor to take to the marina.  I called the marina and let them know what was going on and asked them to let S/V Ranger know to pick u the razor at the desk.  Hope that it works out ok!  Feel bad about the mixup that's for sure.

After relaxing on VB beach for the afternoon, we went back to the boat at 430pm.  I fixed pork chops, sweet potatoes (our kind) and cabbage in the pressure cooker.

We tried the EC comet directional antenna - but couldn't get the software to load on either of our computers - so will have to return it.

Tonight, we are going to the Valentine Days Dance on the deck of Chat N Chill.  Rockin Ron is the DJ providing the music.  We had a great time - dance pretty much the whole time and was it crowded!  They have 4 cruisers do a little acts each - imitating Patsy Cline - Joe Cocker, Nancy Sinatra, I can't remember the last guy.  They did a great job.  We stayed until 9p and then went home to bed.

Tuesday, Feb 15
Monument Beach
Georgetown, Bahamas
 ith Oceana and then picked up Melissa of S/V Piscator to collect the closed palm fronds for todays craft project of learning how to weave them from Suzanne of SV Camelot II scheduled to start about 2 - 230pm.  We collected 8 of them, and it was a lot easier when Phil and I both pulled them out of the top.  Then Phil and I went to Georgetown iin the dinghy to get gas for the outboard, collect water (12.5 gals), D/O propane at Forbes and then Lunch at the Bikini stand next to the Dinghy dock.  While Phil did everything but the gas, I was on the computer at Pet's Deli checking email.  It was pretty slow and not enough time to post on the blog.
Phil got me to the VB beach at 2pm and I met up with Michelle.  We were trying to find Melissa as she has the palm fronds, but didn't meet up until 230pm.  We learned enough to start our baskets and will continue.   working on them until we're ready to start the side and then Suzanne will help us with the next step.  We left VB Beach at 4pm.  At the boat, I worked on usiing the fresh wrap and organized the stuffing and then fixed supper.  The wind is 60 degree 9-10 knot and increased at 6pm to 14-15 knts.  WE had sirloin steak, sliced potatoes and carrots in a one pot meal. 

While I was gone and Phil was on the boat, he added 7.5 gals of water to the tank.  We finished the eveing with Phil reading and me knitting.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

February 1 to 10 Black Point-Little Farmers Cay-Lee Stocking Is and Emerald Bay marina

Tuesday, February 1
Black Point to Little Farmers Cay
Distance Traveled:  11.33 nm
Total Distance:  2630.68 nm

This morning we heard that our friend Ken Blythe, S/V Sail Away, is at Compass Cay just north of us.  He’s hoping to be in Little Farmers Cay this weekend for the 5F Festival (First Friday in February Festival in Farmers Cay).  We are looking forward to seeing him again.

Saralane C&C 40 CB w/modifications
This morning Phil put 15 gals of water in the tank and on our way into town to get more water, we stopped by a C&C 40’ that has had major modifications, S/V Saralane owned by Skip and Madeline.  We had a great time chatting with them and it was particularly of interest to Phil as he learned what Skip did to put in opening ports in place of the original aft windows over the galley and chart tables that don’t open.  This is what we would like to do.  We have learned that when the current is stronger than the wind, which is usually the case, then the wind is blowing from the side instead of down the bow.  When that happens, there is minimal air circulation down below and it gets very warm (84F  +) down below.

After getting 10 gal of water, we took a walk down the road in the opposite direction that we usually go and met up with Scott and Beth of S/V Painkiller and met Stu and Tony of SV Georgia E.  It was nice to see the sounds from a high point
Filling 2.5 gal water jerry jug at Black Point public spighot

Tony from S/V Georgia E with Exuma Sound

Phil and Stu from owner of Georgia E

and then we turned around keeping in mind the time as we are leaving to go to Little Farmer’s Cay as close to 2pm as we could. 

At 219pm we raised anchor and this time left the 8hp engine on the back of the dinghy as the winds were 80 degrees (almost East) 7-8 kt with Gusts to 10 kts.  We went down the Banks with the winds quickly got to be 10-15 knots, which the dinghy didn’t like, but we got into Little Farmer’s Cay without difficulty and set the anchor easily at  425pm in the west anchorage at N23 57.458’ and W 076 19.719’.  S/V Messenger and S/V Meant to Be (cat) were the others boats there.  We had a sun shower before the sun went down and I cooked Pork city curry rice/grain, cauliflower and tomatoes.  The barley was a little crunchy for Phil’s preference but it was good.

We played Canasta after supper – Lorraine won.  Changes was sideways to the wind with the tide change and we had waves hitting the stern that made a slapping noise – we are thinking of moving a little around the point past the Hawks Nest (house on a point by the runway) to see if that will help tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 2
Little Farmer’s Cay

We woke to bouncy conditions and dark clouds around us.  Winds today are to be SSE 12 – 13 knots.  We turned on the engine at 815am and we anchored around the point at 825am in about 7.4ft water.  We didn’t like the depth, so we motored around to find a deeper spot and re-anchored at 840am.  We anchored on the lowering tide and took a calculated risk that at low tide we would have enough water under us.  By 955am we had the dinghy put together and went into town around the north end of the island.  We stopped by S/V Whisper – Vic and Marilyn and used internet there on my laptop.  I learned that Faune of S/V Iolite had received my package of yarn and needles and are planning on leaving Mon, Feb 7 to go to Miami and then cross to the Bahamas next weather window.    I also got a long email from Katie – seems like the weather is really bad – had a couple snow days from ice and lost electricity for 24 hours.  She used it to catch up on school work.   I was also able to chat with my Mom on FB, which is nice.  We’ve found that Oovoo or Skype takes up too much bandwidth here so chatting on FB works out well.

By 1130am we got into town and tide up at the wharf.  We met Raquel, a local Bahamian who works at the Market at Atlantic in Nassau but is here for the 5F Festival.  She is really nice and I met her husband Leonard and Mom, Tasha, who runs the local market.  Brenda’s Kitchen attached to the market is suppose to have the best cracked conch at $12/plate, but when I inquired, learned that she was waiting for the fishermen to come in with the conch.  That’s when we decided to see if we can wait around for the fishermen to come in and buy some fish and hopefully lobster.  Joy and Beth from S/V Slow Dancin’ also were interested so we waited together.

Before that though, we checked out the market and bought some Cassava – which is a potato-type vegetable.  Tasha showed me how to peel it and cook it.  I tasted it raw and it was good.
Will give it a try at $2/lb.  WE also met Dawn and Randy from S/V Nirvana Now and expect a lot more people to come in for the festival today and tomorrow.

About 1215pm, Phil wanted to leave to see how Changes was doing as low tide was approaching.  As we approached, we saw more waterline that we have in a long time – Changes was aground.  We came on board and then she started heeling to a max of 30 degrees.
Changes when we first arrived aground

showing list facing shore

Showing list when aground towards Bahama Banks

Phil called Ocean Cabin and they have 2 mooring balls they can activate and will save one for us.  We thought it would take a few hours to start to float, but turns out that we weren’t floating enough to move until 530pm – just enough time to raise anchor and re-anchor about where we were before.   Before we moved, we had supper of warmed up leftovers.  We were definitely the entertainment for the afternoon on the VHF Radio.  Tomorrow morning we’ll move to the mooring ball as soon as we can read the water.  While we were on the boat, Joy hailed us and we’re able to get 2 lobster tails @ $10/ea and 4 yellow tail snappers @ $1ea and $1 tip – cleaned with heads on.  Great deal for us – They will keep in their refrigerator until we can pick up tomorrow.  After we were re-anchored about 545pm, Phil reset the depth sounder so that at zero – we hit bottom.   This will be good and we’ll add 4.4 to 4.5ft to the reading to get the real depth of the water.

We read and had a snack of popcorn later before going to bed.

Thursday, February 3
Little Farmers Cay
Move to mooring ball
Distance traveled:  2.45 nm
Total Distance:  2633.13nm

Today we will move to the mooring ball but have to wait until the sun is high enough to read the water.  To prepare, we started at 9am and put the 8hp engine on the boat.  I timed it today and it took us 20 minutes this time.  @ 920am we started the ending and the anchor was raised 5 min later.  The wind angle from starboard is 80-90 degrees 9-10kt with gusts to 13.  We got to the mooring field that is right next to Great Guana Cay which is very calm and protected almost 360degrees.  This is the best mooring field of the 3 that are available.  We got to the 4th mooring ball and I got it on the first pass, but then wasn’t able to hold it, Phil helped and he dropped it and the boat hook.  We went around with me at the helm and Phil was able to pick up the boat hook standing on the side step at the boarding gate.  I then helmed the boat to the mooring ball and Phil picked it up this time by 10am.   S/V Wind Mistral is 2 balls ahead of us and S/V Enchantment is moored behind us.  We left the engine on to 1020am to charge the batteries.  We put the 4hp engine on the dinghy and we went to S/V Slow Dancin’ and picked up the lobster tails and fish, put them in the refrigerator on the boat and visited Vern and Michelle on Enchantment.  Back at the boat about noon, Dawn and Randy from S/V Nirvana Now stopped by to chat and then we had ham rollups and grapes.  Since we the wind at 70degrees to starboard was abeam to the boat, Phil put up the windscoop which helps immensely with air circulation down below.  This is a definite must when you can’t run fans to conserve electricity usage.  Unfortunately, I can’t reach the internet wifi signal from here so will have to go into the yacht club or at the wharf. 

We are planning on going to the Volunteer meeting at Ocean Cabin scheduled to start at 3pm so at 245pm we try to start the 4hp engine and it won’t start, no matter how many time Phil yanks on the starter cord (my term- don’t know what the correct term is – sorry J)  He checks the spark plug – put on the spares and we have no luck, so at 315pm we put the 8HP engine on, this time taking about 15 min and off we go. We missed the opportunity to volunteer but was able to see a short video about saving the Exuma Sea and Land Park from exploitation and building by the private land owners.  After the meeting, we went to the Little Farmers Yacht Club for happy hour and then had supper of Lobster, potatoes and carrots with ginger cookies for dessert.  I wouldn’t let Phil have the 2nd smaller lobster tail so that we could use it for another meal – but I’m sure that he’s not going to waste away.

One thing I wish that I had is a lookie bucket – a 5gal bucket with the bottom out and a piece of pexi glass in the bottom.  We’ll I hit the jackpot in that Vern found a 5gal pail for me to use and brought over a piece of eisenglass in place of the pexiglass.  Phil will make it tomorrow.  This kind of bucket is good to look in the water to check your anchor and look at fish in the reefs without having to get wet.  Phil read and I knitted until we went to bed at 915pm.

 Friday, February 4
Little Farmers Cay First Friday in February Festival

these little shells were alive and moving on beach
This morning I cut Marilyn’s hair from S/V Whisper on the boat using the flowbee.  She loved her haircut andit works very well.  Then I cut Phil’s hair again to a ½” length overall and then cut my hair – and then the inverter shut down almost at the end being too hot running the vacuum and flowbee with the engine running.  It didn’t take too long for the inverter to cool and I was back in business to finish my hair. 
The C-class Bahamian boat races are to start at 11am so later in the morning we got into dinghy and went over to the beach off the runway.  Of course, the race starts on Bahamian time which means that the boats started going to the start line 1 mi downwind from the beach at 11am and the race started about 1230pm.  To start the race, the boats are at anchor with the sails down, then at the start they raise anchor and raised sail and off they go. 
At the starting line

Dinghies at the runway beach for races

S/V Touch me Knot before broken mast
3 Bahamian boats during race
Touch me Knot with broken mast
There were 6 boats at the start and this is a 5 leg windward/leeward race.  Here are some photos of the race.  Thunderbird was the winner.  Once the race was over, everyone piled onto the beach and the pavilion for drinks and BBQ lunch you could buy.   We had some drinks and then decided to get in the dinghy to wait until the next race started.  As the start was downwind from the beach, after we cleared most of the boats anchored (there were many) we turned off the engine and floated.  There was another couple Lon and his wife, that had the same idea so we chatted until we were about ¾ mi out.  Then we slogged back to the back so that we could be in position to watch the finish.  We were lucky that we asked at cat if we could tie off on their boat to watch the finish and they were kind enough to let us.
We were in a perfect place for the finish.  During one of the legs, the blue boat’s mast broke in two – Lorraine saw it break and Phil saw the aftermath.  The committee boat went out to them, rush back and another boat went out to tow them in as these boats don’t have engines. 
  Thunderbird once again won the race.
Bahamiam boat in race

panoramic of harbor where dinghy races held
Back at the boat, I baked all 4 yellow tail snappers though 1 is a serving.  I flaked the fish to use later in for another meal.

Painkiller is at Farmer’s Cay, but we have been missing being able to get the powdered eggs, so Vern on his way back from the festivities, dropped off the 3# can for us.  We had plans to go back into town, but Ken from S/V Sail Away was back at the boat once we were ready to go, so we decided to stay at home for the evening.  Phil read and I knitted until we went to bed at 930pm

Saturday, February 5
Little Farmers Cay

Today we are going to go see a cave that’s on Great Guana Cay. We thought that we wouldn’t be able to go until tomorrow, as you need to have someone who has been there take you there as it’s hidden.  Vern and Michelle have offered to take a group over at 9am so Scott and Beth from S/V Painkiller let in their dinghy and met us there at Oven Rock.  Others from S/V Vivace and Kisadah also joined us.  At first we had a hard time finding the trail, but after a couple false starts we finally found the trail at the end of the beach.   It’s a hot day so any breeze is appreciated.   After a 20 min walk, we went through the bushes and got into the cave.   There is salt water surrounding center boulders and Michelle took a swim.  In the right light you can see the rock structures under the water.  Using the self timer, I was able to get a photo of all together near the mouth of the cave.  This cave was very much worth the effort to visit.
opening into cave

Group in cave when we visited

inside cave - Phil in white shirt

panoramic of entrance into cave

panoramic of back of cave - spotlights from my headlamp

It’s cool but very humid inside the cave and everyone was sweaty when we left.  Some went directly home but Phil, Ken Blythe and I with others decided to continue along the trail to the beach on the Exuma side.  Once again there is East Marine (East side of the island and lots of human debis).  I picked up a float that will be good to use for marking the anchor.  Phil found a 5gal gas jerry jug, but found that it had a crack in it, so that we left behind.  Ken found a smaller float that he took with him.   We left Oven Rock about 1130am to go back to Changes to wash up and then left to go to Little Farmers Yacht club for lunch and Ken Blythe joining us.  We had snapper, Bahamian peas and rice and a side dish for $12 each. 

One things bad about the 8hp engine is that is uses the gas much faster than the 4hp – and we were on our last 1.5 gals.  Officially there is no gas for sale, but Roosevelt at LFYC will on occasion sell some gas so we were able to purchase 3 gals @ $6/gal to tide us over.  We also bought 12.5gals of water $.40/gal.  Back at the boat I was charging the computer while working on typing this blog and then we went to the runway beach to watch the last Bahamian race for the series.  This time we remembered the dinghy anchor and anchored is a great spot at the finish.  The blue boat was able to get a new mast and so participated in the races today, winning the first race.  Thunderbird won the last race.  Now that the races are over, it’s time for the awards ceremony.  Everyone back to the beach and pavilion again.  The Exuma Youth Community Band played with a short program.   I took photos of the trophys.
Pavilion at Runway where party held

Trophies for race
close up of special trophies
Exuma Community Youth Band performance

We decided not to stay but instead go to little Farmers Yacht Club to use internet as Phil and I have some bills to pay.  Unfortunately, the internet connection was VERY slow so we went to the wharf – tried it first at the public benches – no connection and then was able to get at the yellow building – post office – but then ran out of battery power. 

By this time I was in a bad mood – hot, sticky, sand gritty on feet – so back to the boat and first thing washed up with warm water.  Feeling better I made spaghetti and had bread for supper.  Quick and easy and enough left over for another meal.

I went to bed at 915pm and Phil read coming to bed later.  It felt like in the middle of the night but was only 1015pm that the rain came down HARD and Phil frantically was taking down the wind scoop so that we could close the hatch.  Of course things got wet so had to get some fresh sheet and pillow cases.  Then it rained again about a hour later.  We like the rain as it washes the salt off the boat, just not getting wet. 

Sunday, February 6
Passage from Little Farmers Cay to Lee Stocking Island
Distance Traveled:   23.34 nm
Total Distance:  2656.47 nm

There is a mass exodus of boats this morning with many leaving out the cut.  High tide is  about 9am and so it’s important to leave before the tide starts going out.  After Chris Parker weather, we dropped the mooring ball @ 834am and were out of the cut (it went very well) into Exuma Sound by 850am and soon after the trolling fishing line was out – using the pink and silver skirted one.  Our course is initially 141degrees with the wind on the nose 9-12 knots.  Our boat speed is 4.3 – 4.6 knots and we’re to arrive 1220pm.  We saw a white Tartan boat going south of us but couldn’t see the boat name.  Seeing what the waves were like, I took a Marezine. 

I had mixed up pancakes to cook while underway but then once we were in the sound going up and down waves – it was out of the question for me to cook – so Phil was kind enough to cook them up for me.  I opened and used the dehydrated eggs and they worked just fine. There are a lot of boats that have the same idea as there at 10 boats behind us and a few way ahead of us.  By 951am the wind angle to starboard was 30-35 degrees.  We took advantage of being in the sound and used the mascerator pump.  By 1030am the wind was clocking to 35-40 degree wind angle and 10 min later Phil put out the head sail while I went down below for a nap (d/t Marezine).  By 1205pm we were heading towards the cut and taking in the empty fishing line by 1213pm.  There was 3-4 foot chop in the cut, wind angle was 170 degrees 10-13 kts.  There wasn’t any mooring balls left (have 4 total) and we anchored at 1248pm at N23 46.293’ W 76 06.323’.  S/V Plan Sea, and S/V cat Kookaburra are on either side of us with Endurance and Enchantment coming in a little later.

Highest point on Perry's Peak

Lorraiine at the top of Perry's Peak

Panoramic of north end of island Exuma on right
After lunch, we put together the dinghy with the 8hp engine and went around the point to the first beach.  We found at the end of the beach by the mangroves Perry Trail that went to Perry Peak – the highest point on the island.  It was really steep going up the hill but the view was fantastic.   See photos above. On the next beach around the point – there were hundreds of time thumb-sized black mussles attached to the flat rocks exposed at near low tide.
beach at Lee Stocking island w/mini mussles
close up of muscles and snails quarter size
This is the first time that we have seen this.  There are many sting ray (6+) and star fish (5+ seen) in this area.  We sent to Enchantment and visited with Vern and Michelle and were invited aboard.  Phil really, really enjoyed the homemade beer that Vern made.  We decided to do a joint meal, so went back to the boat so I could get washed up (notice that I have a low tolerance for being sticky J) and gathered fixings to make chicken/cheese quesadilla on Enchantment.  Vern and Michelle haven’t made these before but liked them so much that next time they go get provisions, will get the fixings for this.  We taught Vern and Michelle to play 10 Penny – Think Phil won and then went back to the boat for bed at 11pm.  We’ll teach them canasta next time we play cards.

Monday, February 7
Lee Stocking Island

We were hoping to be able to tour the research facility today, but those hopes were dashed when S/V Flying Fish called and the woman said that the guy had left and she was leaving shortly.  Tomorrow @ 10am it is.  The winds are 8-10 knos and the light dew dried quickly.  Today I’m going to make bread.  I have been bread making challenged – nothing has been turning out so I’m going to try something different today.  At 830am using Lynn Pardey’s recipe, I first tried proofing the yeast in 2 c. of warm water (100F) – not much results.  Phil said that I need to do it in smaller amounts.  Unfortunately, I didn’t put the lid on tight enough and the jar of yeast spilled upside down in the sink.  Adding water to rinse it down created a clogged sink that required Phil to open it with a wire.  Had tried a plunger with no results.  45 minutes later, I tried again and the yeast foamed up nicely.  By 940am I was kneading the bread – turned on the oven for 3 min and then turned it off as L.P. recommends.  Looks like the bread is rising nicely – turn one loaf pan around and it falls.  Darn!  Keep letting it rise and then started oven and took out at 1215pm  They look bad – big frustration here and bread is edible but dense.  Don’t know what went wrong – anyone have suggestions besides what Phil recommends which is decrease the salt from 2tsp to 1tsp and increase water temp.

1230pm Phil puts 10 gal diesel into tank and I invite Vern and Michelle for supper.  He (yes, he’s the cook on the boat) says how about if I bring bread – great!.  So I get the boat ready and putz around the boat until time to start cooking the leftover fish and 1 can white crab in  abborio rice with some of my dried tomatoes, mushrooms, fresh onions and celery in the pressure cooker.  I’m following, kinda, a recipe and also make a white sauce to which parsel and diced hard boiled eggs are added.  That along with the carrot and great bread that Vern and Michelle brought tasted very good.  A repeat for sure.  We played Canasta and the guys won  this round.  We were done by 915pm and to bed not long after that.  Did you know they call 9pm Sailors Midnight.  I’m sure our friends that went on Phil and Terri’s honeymoon to Belize remember the early bedtime hours.

Tuesday, February 3
Lee Stocking Island to Emerald Bay Marine
Distance Traveled:  17.64 nm
Total Distance:  2674.11 nm

Today Phil and I were having discussions about when to leave to go further south and compromised.  I wanted to leave to go today to Emerald Bay marine and Phil wanted to stay for the tour of the research facilities.  I have been concerned that we may not be able to get into the channel in NE winds and I really want to go first to the marina, which I have heard has wonderful facilities which include at $1/ft/day at the non-service docks (no water and electric or cable TV) internet, showers, free laundry and a good grocery store close by.   So we will stay for the research tour and leave as soon after as possible for the marina.  We took down the Farouk and got everything else prepared except for taking off the engine.

The tour was very good though it is very warm (mid 80’s).  The guy who did the tour today also did it when Phil visited in 2005.  The funding from the US and Bahamian government has been cut ($7 million) but they are still open getting funds from the colleges and universities that do research here, usually in the summer when off from school.  Oregon State is a college that has been coming here since the 1990’s.  They try to have outreach to the local school children so that they can help save the reefs and the environment.  Some body Perry bought the island in 1954 and in the 60’s to 70’s started building submersibles.  I took notes and wouldn’t you know my little black book is on the boat. There are dry labs and wet labs and they have 2 compressors for filling dive tanks.  They also have a hyperbaric chamber, but lacking the 2 technicians needed to run it, anyone who stays too deep or too long has to be flow out to Nassau.  Recently it took 4 hours to get a girl there, even though she followed all the protocols.   

We got back to the boat a little after 11am and and it took us 10 min to get the engine off the dinghy and started the engine at 1130am raising anchor 5 min later.  By 12 noon we were through the cut and onto a very smooth Exuma Sound.  The Wind direction was 370degree at 4 kts.  We put out another trolling fishing line and Phil had added 3 sinkers so it sinks down.  I went down below to work on the blog but started getting seasick so came aboard. 

About a hour before the channel, we passed a blow hole that had water shooting higher than the top of the island and it’s a calm day.  I’m sure it would be even better with more waves.  By 230pm we came to the channel for Emerald Bay marine.  There were a few boats ahead of us so we came in slowly and jilled a little in the basin inside getting to dock D24 by 245pm.  There are many boats here and people that we know.  We found out after our arrival though that the minimum payment for dockage is 40 feet and you can only pay with credit care (5% surcharge) and they add a 10% gratuity which makes if $46/day.  But this is wonderful facilities so will stay 2 nights. 

About 330pm we were taken to the grocery store in a golf cart and loaded up with provisions from the best grocery store (yes can call it that versus a market) since Nassau and found some things here that Nassau didn’t have.   After the store called the marina office, we were picked up in a van and brought close to the end of our docks.  There is minimal wind here and it was 86F inside the boat, so up went the wind scoop.  Today I could get internet on the boat. 

Phil and I took showers at 530pm as the sun was going down and then start washing 4 loads of clothes starting about 630pm.  Combined with waiting for some machine and it taking 1.5 hr avg to dry a load, I was finished at 11pm.  In between I was on the internet.  It was a late night for me as I went to bed at 1244am.

Wednesday, February 9
Emerald Bay marina

It’s another hot day that I spent a lot of on the internet chatting with family and washing another load of clothes that we forgot.  I saw ice cream at the grocery store but not wanting to eat a half gallon at a time, I decided to plan an Ice Cream Social for 3pm today (after checking with some fellow cruisers and they were interested).  Ice cream for cruisers is a real treat as the freezers typically can’t keep ice cream frozen.  I didn’t want to eat an half gallon immediately myself so with marina approval and an screen in covered patio – all that was left was to announce it and collect $1/person to pay for the ice cream.  We had 18+ boats participate and 52 people provided money.  As it got busy at the marina with new boats arriving, Phil and I with borrows soft sided coolers, biked to the grocery store – bought 4 1gal buckest $12.99ea of ice cream; vanilla, chocolate, strawberry swirl and neopollitan and were back to the patio by 3pm.  I cut the ice cream in the bucket with a sharp knife into 12 divisions and half of a division was a serving.  Boy did we have a great time.  Everyone was able to have 2 servings and we had some more people that arrived later, paid and was also able to have enough ice cream until all the ice cream was gone.  There were cheers for me, which I felt I didn’t deserve but appreciated.  Clean up was minimal and we were glad to have ice cream for a short time on a hot day.
Startingn to dish up the ice cream w/Michele and Chris

Eatiing the ice cream and still dishing up

Line to get ice cream

We finagled dinner of hot dogs, sauerkraut and macaroni salad on Enchantment and afterwards went to a jam session of fellow cruisers with their guitars, saxophone (andy) and various percussion instruments from 8-10pm then went to bed shortly afterward.  A good time was had by all and Phil has decided that we’ll stay another day here at the marina (yeah) so that we can have supper with Enchantment.  It really it great to be here for a short time, but tomorrow we’ll leave with others for Georgetown. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011
Emerald Bay marina

Today is breezy and warm.  I am going to wash the mattress pad for the V-berth, type up the rest of the blog and then this afternoon Phil and I will ride our bikes to the hardware store and other grocery store to see if we can get some Irish or New Zealand butter.  As I was typing, Phil decided to treat us to hamburgers at a restaurant so I’m finishing up this typing of the blog and then off we go.


view from restaurant

restaurant where we had lunch in wide view (why have break)
We went to Pallada restaurant in the resort attached. They have a covered thatch area to eat and a swimming pool that has a walk down to the beach that I think is on the Exuma side.

I also learned that my brother's triplet girls were born today by C-section and that they are doing well.  Praise God and please have prayers that they continue to do well.  Born 26 weeks 6 days.