02/23/2011, Elbow Cay - Bahamas
So when we are sailing along from point A to B and C,D and on .....we adapt to movement , checking course , wind speed and direction , depth, GPS coordinates, double check paper charts ,check the rig , the bilge , and engine gauges if applicable ,the 360 degrees of horizon surrounding us , the weather present and near future ....... check cmpartments below , keep an eye on Jack .
Then a Destination presents itself and we land .......
STOP, STOPPP .............turn off the Popeye the sailorman switch..
and become an explorer of a new Rock ..
The first couple days is a process of familiarizing ourselves with the people and places that will effect us directly or not , trying to learn the angles from those that have walked the path before us , and I have no problem talking to people , I rather do enjoy the process .
The Location may be temporary , but it will be home for who knows how many days over...........
Today my wife and I shared each other over 2 cups of coffee in the cockpit while listening to the Abaco cruisers net on channel 68 that gives the local weather , gulfstream conditions whale passage report, and local happenings.
Along came Scott in his dink , come aboard mate , enjoy some joe with us .
We talked for awhile sharing our adventures . Scott has been crossing our path since we entered the Little Bahama Bank, He is Captain of a lovely Schooner called Shantee.
He needed to get busy and I had to get on to my hike out of town to the hardware store.
Leaving Hopetown turns rural quickly , the road widens and with the breeze blowing in my face and the well established palms all about I was reminded of Hawaii. I took some pictures (by the way, we have both taken nearly 1800 pictures!! WHOA!!)
The golf carts were cruising by and soon a lovely young lady named Juliette asked if I would like a ride, nice......she drove and talked about the Island and I listened as I took in the lovely landscape. God, this Island soothes my spirit. She dropped me at my destination, thanks! I found just what I needed and then back out on the path to town. I came upon a place that the locals call the "Big Hill" About an 1/8 of a mile long and a couple hundred feet of fall on the altimeter. In November, they run a soap box derby. Adults with full-sized derby carts racing for a charitable cause....sign me up!!!
So just as I am back on track, here comes Juliette again!!! Absolutely, I said, jumped in and we were off....she grew up here, educated in the US and Europe, and is trying to make a go of it in the property management biz. This young lady will be successful and anything she tries, no doubt!! We parked the cart and walked the waterfront to her office. She gave me a pamphlet describing all the homes for rent. Good God!! Some of the tags were higher that the space station orbit!! Which by the way, went right over us at 6:42 p.m. A local astronomer alerted us on Ch 16....so cool, it was roaring across the sky, clearly visible.
Anyway, homes for rent from $1200 to $20,000 per week!! HA HA We would do a month in one of these sugar shacks for the right price. Juliette said she could take care of us!!
See ya around, and off I strolled down to Vernon's Grocery Store. Vernon is a minister and a baker too! Called my gal on the walky-talky, she said I'd better get some good food for dinner. I'm on it!! I bought 3 tender loin steaks and 4 Idaho spuds and some granola bars and some ginger snaps. Went to the bank which is only open Wednesdays from 10 until 2. Waited a 1/2 hour in line only to find out that the cash mashine was broken, oh well!! Stopped by Aubrey's fish market and talked with Allen, the owner, he showed me the crawfish, grouper, wahoo, stone crab, snapper.....all fresh......oh, yeah!! See you soon!!
Back to the dink and zip on back to the Brave....picked up Jack and took him into the marina, which is under construction. Lots of space for him to run with the ball. After which, a drink of water and is washed off with a bucket of cool fresh water. Back to the boat, fire of the Q and grilled those bad boys....um, um real good.
My gal is reading, the harbor is quiet, I am writing, Jack is sleeping, Brian McKnight is singing love songs, Orion is overhead, and I am likely the most fortunate man on the planet. Oh, and it gets better, there's another day coming!! Wish you could be here, we would surely go walk the beach....
02/21/2011, Elbow Cay - Bahamas
Hiya everyone - Hello from Hope Town, Elbow Cay where the weather is wonderful. We grabbed a mooring ball in the Harbor, and dinked in to the little town to check things out!! All the pastel homes, mostly old but some are being built as we speak!! Big price tags as well, some in the zillions!!! We walked the beach today, oh, did I mention that it had pink sand???? Well, sure enough, pink sand (more like regular sand with a lot of tiny bits of pink coral in it. I had to bring some home so I collected some, just for those of you who might not believe that there is such a thing!!
We took scads of pictures and will post them soon. They have an incredible light house here that still works on kerosene and is manned by some keepers that allow you to go up the spiral stair case and on to an observation deck. What a view from up there!!
So far, this is the best place we have visited. Other boats feel the same way and the harbor is full!! We plan on staying here for a week or longer to get a feel of it. There is a settlement here and more to see than where we have been, although Green Turtle Cay had alot to see and do as well. We will get the hang of things around here before we move on to Marsh Harbor (the big kahuna) where we will do some serious shopping and get the supplies that we need. I also want to look at some local artistry and maybe pick up something unique.
Anyway, for now we are here and will let you know what we plan to do. We are thinking about going snorkeling out to the reef, it's supposedly the third largest in the world. The beaches here are so beautiful and the sand is like powder!! I still find it hard to believe that we are truly here in paradise, eating lobster once a week, conch once a week, fresh fish once a week.....now if I could figure out a way to where I wouldn't have to cook....hummmmmmm!!
More later race fans....hey, who won Daytona??? It's been so long since we have watched any tv, wow!! Are the Celtics doing well??? Please leave comments, we'd love to hear from all of you...we hope you are all doing well, staying healthy and enjoying life......more later....
Lynda, David and Devil Dog!!!!!
Arrive Great Guana Cay Saturday the 19th.
Let go of our mooring at Black Sound , GTC,
and waived goodbye to Kevin - more like see you later , should be able to visit on the ride home.
Drove out on a incoming tide , a gorgeous day for a boatride .
7 to 8 kts , NE .
Only 15 -16 mile trip , Just below Green Turtle Cay is whale Passage , a trip out into the Atlantic around Whale Cay , about 6 miles in and out .
The passage can be dangerous and impassable with strong Northern winds , not today though , just a gentle 4-5' swell with a lil bit of chop ... nice......
Some of this channel , Loggerhead Channel , was dredged years ago for a cruise ship ...
They no longer come due to the frequent closure of the pass due to weather .
We arrived Great Guana Cay Harbour and hooked the boat up and so glad we move to deeper water as 1/2 of the harbor emptied out on an ebb tide due to the moon.
We all dinked in and went to world Famous Nipperws Bar and Grill overlooking what I would say is 1 of the top 10 beaches in the worls that I have seen.
Not much here really , a grocery store and a Marina with 5 slips out of 65 filled , very nice though .
The Island is an enclave for those with the ability to have vacation homes , or small hotels ( that Big ), they are sprinkled about the Cay .
So we walked the beach and took several photos , spent a little coin at the market , picked up some pork chops for dinner dinked back to te Brave and Grilled our dinner off the stern .The Full moon came up illuminating the Harbour , the town rolled the carpet up and it was a oh so peaceful sleepy night .
We shall be off in the morning to Hopetown , made arrangements days ago with Aaron at Hope Town Marina to take a mooring inside the Harbour , looking forward to spending a week or 2 there
We have arrived in the Abacos with our arrival to Black Sound , not White Sound where the Americanized marinas are and far from the settlement
We were lucky to get on a mooring inside a well protected bay right next to New Plymouth , the settlement of about 450 people .
I did not like our location and the fact we were unable to access land thru the property.
Sooo, the next morning I ventured down to the Other Shore Marina and talked to the dockmaster Kevin who happens to be the lead guitar in a band called Gully Roosters , we toured the property and he showed me all the amenities , for a sawbuck a night , oh yea .........
This is a beautiful location , we toured the settlement , a pastel painting come alive and found some wonderful folks , this is it...... we are in Paradise and we are so grateful to find it , we shall stay here for some time so we can meet the folks explore the beaches , emmerse ourselves in the local flavor once again and enjoy ourselves ,
Talk to ya all soon
We met an old gentleman by the name of Vertrum Lowe, one of the original families of Green Turtle Cay who is a master model ship builder, he has a shop here and it was so facinating!! Took a lot of pictures and also learned that his brother is a famous artist and has his works of art in the local museum, we will be going there soon as well as visiting the local beaches. Dave is right, this place is beautiful and truly a bit of paradise. We'll write more later as well as add some terrific pictures of this Island. Enjoy!!
Pushed off the dock at exactly low tide at 7:30 a.m., West End, and as expected, moderate winds from the North. After turning to starboard at Memory Rock, the winds gradually increased to 30-31 knots.
We were driving through a wind driven short period, 4 to 5 foot chop on a broad reach off the port quarter. It was about an 11 hour ride, covering 52-53 miles, concluding at Great Sale Cay. A huge anchorage with good protection from the N, NNE, NE, E winds. We were able to tuck up inside with our shallow draft. Five boats spent the night. The next day was spent forecast to blow and blow from the N - NE cold front (Feb 12)
So we decided to hang out and give ourselves a chance to preview the many Cays ahead on our route. We yawed back and forth all night but we slept with Lynda's new splicing and whipping.
Saturday night had the wind calming so we decided to pull the anchor and head for Spanish Cay. As soon as we left the harbor, the wind pipes up and we had to head into its teeth for six miles. But then.....we had a beam reach, 20-28 knots and we were kickin ass!!! We drove 42.9 miles and pulled into Spanish Cay at 3 to 3:30. We had a couple of hours late driving through a strong flood tide.
We had talked to Spanish Cay on our new BTC (Ba-tel-co) cell phone earlier in the day and they knew we were coming. When we get there I couldn't raise a soul on the radio, a 72-slip marina is empty. Suddenly, we have a dock hand hailing us, we put her in a slip, I bought some fuel, then the dock hand and another person drove out of the marina!! I walked around the beautiful grounds and everything was locked except the bar/restaurant. I walked inside, Big Screen is on loud with the "Godfather" playing. There are pool tables, shuffle board, darts and a ping pong table. Garth Brooks is on the speakers inside and outside at the swimming pool/jacuzzi and what a view --- nobody, no bodies!!!
HELLO! HELLO!! I walked back inside, found the showers, then returned to the boat and brought Lynda up to show her what I had found. Then a young lady appeared, Coretta - HELLO! Ok, ok, we need to check in, get the internet and maybe a burger, ok? And a tall tonic and lime!! I needed to go back to the boat and returned a short time later and found nobody!! No bodies!! HELLO! LYYYNNNDDDAAA!!! LLLLYYYNNNDDDDAA!!! I looked all over for Lynda then went back to the boat, did some shores and later came back to shower. I found Lynda with our cold drinks, Coretta and another fella. "Where were you guys?" We were right there, in another room checking in and never heard you calling for us!! I said "No....no...oh well, and went and took a shower.
We had a really great burger and went back to the boat and found no internet. So I took the computer and went up to the restaurant but everything was already locked up so I took a stool and spent two hours on the vanity in the men's room searching all the placed we wanted to go. I came back to the boat and slept like an old man.....real good!!
02/09/2011, West End / Grand Bahama Island
Threw off the lines at 6:30 Wednesday Morn and hauled across the Channel .
was supposed to be 10 to 15K , clocking from NE to E TO SE. seas 4 to 6 .
all correct except 17-28 k all but a couple hours of a broad reach.
Without that we would not have rolled in here just before dark.
APPROX. 75 MILES
We shall check the weather and move on asap out on the little Bahama Bank .
I am excited , more uncharted locations for Daddy Oh and Mammasan.
Oh , oh yea , Jack too.
Saw hundreds of flyin fish today along with dolphin playing off the bow .
About 1/2 way across we noticed we were taking on water at about 5 gallons every 20 minutes .
So while Captain Lynda was at the helm bragging about 7.3 knots Daddy-oh was searching for a leak to no avail.
After we tied her up the leak stopped , not the stuffing box and not any thru hull I had looked at and that was all except the ones behind the new bulkhead hatch I installed in the after berth .
While Captain Lynda worked hard ahead of an approaching storm splicing a new rode / anchor chain connection due to the beating it took at Little Harbour Cay
I removed all our supplies from our storage locker ( after berth ) opened the hatch and found the hose / thru hull connection for the bilge pump to have a broken clamp. so the water was coming in
at the connection and some of the water I was pumping out was coming in .It's all good .........now .
I was grateful to find and fix it as I thought the leak was coming from the bow .
I enlisted 3 guys earlier, included myself and we all stood on the bow pulpit while the bob stay to hull connection was submerged , Lynda who was below found no leak , AARRRRRR !!
This is a great little Marina , and as I write a thunder storm has been passing thru , earlier I threw on the bathing suit and washed the boat while it poured , Ha . It's all clean..
Had chicken and rice pilaf for dinner and My gal is watching tv.
Met a couple German fellas, Tom and Martin on a 80's Hunter that they bought recently , this is all new to them though one of them , Tom , has sailed .
I was over talkin' to them earlier in the wind and rain , we are all going the same way .
Also an older couple , on a S&S 47' , our dream boat , built in the 80's , just draws to much for Florida and Bahamas .
out of here Friday morning , weather looks good .