Saturday, March 36
We started out the morning renting a golf cart (the last one that came in just as we requested one the 2nd time) that we shared with another cruising couple, and went to the Nautical Flea Market. There weren't as many vendors as we were hoping for - maybe next year it will be better. But I was able to buy 2 long lengths of used line for $5/ea so now I have some line to make mats for the boat. We were there less than a hour - which included time chatting with other boaters and then came back to the marina.
We went back to the boat to get ready to go to the Beach. Treasure Cay has the #1 beach in the Caribbean and I can see why. The sand is so fine - doesn't hurt you feet - and also it's so white that even with the sun beating down on it - it doesn't get hot - not like the sand at Headlands Beach at home. We rented 2 beach lounge chairs and got a free beach umbrella for anchoring so we were set to relax for a while. Phil went swimming and I stayed and knitted - continuing to make my pink and gray socks. I'm not working on the legs. About 1230pm we went up to the Cocoa Beach Bar and Grill and had cheeseburgers and french fries for lunch. Back to the beach - Phil read and then went swimming again. He said the water was wonderful. It's was a calm day with the wind from the south. As the tide was coming in, it was great to see the waves break over the reefs and see how the color of the water changed as the depth changed. We had enough about 2pm and went to the Golf Cart, since we had it for the day. Coming out of the marina, we turned left to go to the flea market so this time we turned right and went down to the far point both on the bay (beach) side and also on the Sea of Abaco side. A few more shells here, but not many at all.
Back to the boat we got my computer and I check email and facebook. For supper I fixed the Mahi Mahi with a pasta sauce mix and canned peas added.
We have been having lots of discussion about whether there is a sufficent and good weather window for us to go back to the States early this week or not. WE talked to Randy on S/V Lipari about this. He gets a email from Chris Parker and there is to be some rain and squalls on the north route (the route that we are going to take). So as of tonight, we have decided to stay at Treasure Cay for the rest of the week and go for the weather window April 4 that may come.
Sunday, March 27
Marsh Harbor to Green Turtle Cay
Distance Traveled: 17.85 nm
Miles to get Home: 333.59 nm
Total Distance Traveled: 3026.32 nm
So we woke up later this morning and Phil decides that he wants to go to Green Turtle Cay today because you never know for sure if Chris Parker is right - meaning that the weather changes easily and maybe it will change favorably. We had breakfast and came into land. I went on the computer and Phil went to the grocery store to stock up on New Zealand Butter and this will be our last change if we leave to come back Monday. Phil bought 3.5#'s which is great. This is good butter - nice flavor, so we'll have some for in the states.
We got back to the boat about 1030am and then got ready to leave. This is the first time since we've been in the Abacos that we've put the 8hp engine on the boat. By 1052am Phil starts the engine and in quick succession the Main sail is raised and we raise the anchor. We are leaving a just past low tide but think there will be enough water in the channel, and we are right - 1.4ft under the keel is the least that we see. S/V Lipari is at the gas dock probably loading up on fuel and water. As we go out the channel there is one boat ahead of us, one directly behind and as we are farther out - 7 more boats are leaving. The wind is from 295 degree at 15-16 kts. By 1120am we let out the head sail and then put the engine in neutral - so we are sailing and charging the batteries. It's warm and the breeze is a relief. We are going about 4.75 kts max.
We are going to Spoil Cay to go collecting sea shells and drop anchor at 1244pm. Lipari is following us and are kind enough to pick us up in their dinghy - Randy stays behind to wash the bottom of their cataraman and Janet, Phil and I go to the beach. There are many shells here and we collect about half a gallon bag full. Mostly regular kind that you get many places, just in large numbers. We say good bye to Janet - that's one of the hard parts - saying good bye to the friends that we've made - and are back on Changes. We start the engine at 201pm, raise the mainsail and then the anchor is up at 206pm. The wind is down to 9-10 kts and we are motor sailing for the rest of the trip.
We went out the loggerhead channel across of 2 mi of the Atlantic ocean and in Whale Cay Channel. Here they talk about going in the Whale. This can be a dangerous to go through even though hit gets to be 35' deep, but today there are 1' swells about 9-11 seconds apart and 1 foot chop.
Tomorrow Katie turns 21 so today as a treat for both of us, I called her and wished her Happy Birthday. She starts another quarter of school tomorrow and I didn't want to chance not having cell phone signal. Shortly after the call, we got to the channel to get into White Sound on Green Turtle Cay. There is a narrow channel and even though we were going close to high tide - the least amount of water seen was 1ft under the keel. Now we are worried about getting out tomorrow morning, but Phil has checked the tides on the GPS and there is .2 less feet of water when we are leaving tomorrow so we should be ok. WE drop anchor at 424pm. Then the next job is to get the dinghy on the foredeck. We have figured out a way to make it easier for us and after about 12-15 min - the boat is on board. Then Phil cleans the bottom and straps it to the deck. It is hot and even though there is 2 hrs left until sundown, we put up the Farouck.
I get on the internet and chat with Katie a little more before she has to go eat supper. I have turned on our US cell phone using the internet - so they are up and running for when we get into the States. We don't want anyone to use them yet until I send out an OK message on the blog or we call you.
The past 2-3 weeks, many times I've wanted to go back to the States, and now that the time is near - in many ways I don't want to go back. It's beautiful here in the Bahamas - The Abacos are much or civilized than the Exumas - so we're both glad that we decided to come here at the last minute. We have discussions about taking off a year and then not taking off a year and go again this fall. I still would like a bigger boat and Phil still wants to keep Changes.
We have checked the weather - and the winds are to have mostly some southerly direction to them, but there is some rain coming. At this time, we still plan to leave. So either I'll post a message that we're in the States - or you'll get one that we'll be here for a few more days. The weather will tell. We are planning on checking into Customs at Fort Pierce and then go to Vero Beach to wait for mail to be sent to us. We haven't received any mail since we entered the Bahamas Dec 15 so I'm sure we'll have a stack. I still have photos to upload - will do that in the States.
Cascading events: preventing crisis at sea
3 days ago