S/V CIVIL TWILIGHT-Alan and Gerri

FROM MAINE TO THE BAHAMAS-AGAIN! 2012-2013

19 January 2013 | Hopetown, Elbow Cay
08 January 2013 | moving about the Abacos
30 December 2012 | Manjack Cay
26 December 2012 | Green Turtle Cay
18 December 2012 | Guana back to Treasure
14 December 2012 | Treasure Cay
12 December 2012
07 December 2012 | Peck Lake, Hobe Sound
04 December 2012 | Fort Pierce, FL
30 November 2012 | Harbortown Marina, Fort Pierce, FL
24 November 2012 | Palm Shores, FL mm910
19 November 2012 | Just north of Daytony
17 November 2012 | St. Augustine, FL
13 November 2012 | Cumberland Island
11 November 2012 | Cumberland Island, GA
08 November 2012 | Charleston, SC mm470
06 November 2012 | Butler Island, Wacamaw River mm395
05 November 2012 | Calabash Creek, NC no SC
04 November 2012 | Carolina Beach Basin, NC
03 November 2012 | Mile Hammock Bay, Camp LeJeune, NC

Colors of Hopetown

19 January 2013 | Hopetown, Elbow Cay
From colors of hopetown

After spending 3 or 4 days in Treasure, getting laundry done, groceries, beachcombing, and eating and drinking with friends, we left last Sunday along with Thate Wata and Felix the Cat. With plans to head to the south end of the Sea of Abaco on Monday we all intended to first stay a night in Man-o-War. That's where Thate Wata went...as planned. We changed course and headed to Guana for Sunday Pig roast, Felix changed course and headed to Marsh Harbor for groceries. We did, however, all end up at Tilloo Cay on Monday, as planned. Along the way, we hooked 2 nice mutton Snappers, so dinner was on board Civil Twilight. We grilled the fish, and Suzi and Chris provided the side dishes.

The following day we all headed further south to Lynyard Cay. Dave and Alan went in search of lobster. Dave nailed 8 of them, Alan on one, but we all enjoyed grilled lobsters for dinner on board Felix. Suzi and I brought the side dishes...as well as Dennis's key lime pie!

The weather deteriorated much quicker than forecast. We had hoped to be able to explore some back waters in the Bight of Old Robinson. Dave, Alan and I got in our dinghies and headed out, but the longer we were out there, the worse the conditions got. The water was too choppy to snorkel, and those big black clouds approaching turned us around and we headed back to the boat. Alan and I decided to pick up anchor that afternoon and we headed back north to Tavern Cay. Sunset that night while we at dinner in the cockpit was not bad.
From colors of hopetown

The following morning we headed into Hopetown, on Elbow Cay. Hopetown is the perfect little settlement, with colorful cottages, several restaurants and bars, and nice beaches. As we walked around town I took several photos of the "Colors of Hopetown". Just a few...
From colors of hopetown

From colors of hopetown

From colors of hopetown

From colors of hopetown

Check out my gallery for more colors!

Today we are leaving Hopetown and going back up to Guana. The plan is to have a Patriots party at Nippers tomorrow night. There are far more Ravens fans around here than Patriots, so we decided that we should be there to represent the Northeast!

A week of Beautiful Weather

08 January 2013 | moving about the Abacos
The past week has been absolutely beautiful...not January weather here at all. Typically, we see many fronts in January, which bring strong winds and cool weather. This week has been about 80 degrees everyday, with light, and variable winds. That does imply very little sailing, but it also means the waters have been flat and calm. As we cross the Sea of Abaco, you can look over the side of the boat and sea every sea star, sea cucumber, and fish swimming by. Fifteen feet of water feels like 10 inches, everything is so clear.
From underwater
This is the first time that we have had the opportunity to go snorkeling at the Fowle Cays National Park. It is an underwater park, protected from fishing and hunting, which is on the Atlantic side of the islands, just through one of the cuts between the Sea of Abaco and the Atlantic. Usually the waves make this an untenable place to snorkel. The dive boats go out all the time, but its a little rough for snorkeling.
From underwater
We anchored the big boat just inside the cut off of Scotland Cay, and dinghied out to the reefs. If you don't like snorkeling, you could easily have enjoyed the reef anyway...it was clear enough to see everything from the dinghy. We passed by one reef, and could see about a 6 foot nurse shark sitting on the bottom of the ocean floor. Thankfully, that was after we had already snorkeled and we were on our way back in. The reefs we swam on were healthy with plants and tons of fish...absolutely beautiful!
From underwater

From underwater

Just about everyday, we have been snorkeling and/or lobstering on one reef or another. While Alan goes grocery shopping, I take photos. It is extremely difficult for me to take a decent pic however, because with my wetsuit on, I am too bouyant to be able to dive down to get close enough. Alan wears a weight belt so that he can dive deep.
From underwater

We have been moving often, from Treasure to Man-o-War, up to Scotland, back to Man-o-War, to Matt Lowes Cay, to Marsh Harbour, and we are now back at Treasure. This is where the internet is best, so I am able to download pics and post the blog.

Beans, beans, beans...no lobster!

30 December 2012 | Manjack Cay
We went up to Manjack Cay on Thursday in hopes of scoring a few lobsters. Not having snorkeled there before, we weren't quite sure where the reefs were...but we planned to find them. Before our lobstering expedition, we went with Suzi and Dennis for a beach walk. The island is covered with trails cleared by the couple who live there...sort of a Scott and Helen Nearing type couple...back to the basics, but maintained with the help of cruisers. Former cruisers themselves, Bill and leslie welcome cruisers to use their property. It's probably a 1/2 mile walk through the woods to the oceanside beaches.
From manjack

Follow the signs and you are dropped out on a beach several miles long. If you have on the right shoes, you can climb over the sections of ironshore (very inhospitable to bare feet) and walk all the way around the northern tip of the island and back down the Sea of Abaco side. Which, of course, we did. We kept our heads down in search of nice shells, and sea beans. I think we cleaned the beach out...I found 3 hamburger beans and 6 seahearts. Alan found 3 seahearts, and Suzi found 1 seaheart and 3 hamburgers. That was a good score! Four hours later, we were back at the anchorage where we left the dinghy and went back to the big boat for lunch.
From manjack
We got out the snorkel gear and headed out to the cut. This is where the lobstering is. To get to the cut you have to cross Manjack Bay, a very shallow body of water. A cruiser friend suggested just drift floating through here, as it's a great place to find shells, etc. Well, if we didn't go at dead-lowtide, that would have been a good idea. BUT, there wasn't even enough water to get through in the dinghy, so Alan got out (he had on water shoes, I did not) and pulled the dinghy (read that 'dragged through the mud'), with me in it (I felt princess-like) across the flats to deeper water. Well, we searched and searched for coral heads and never found them. So, we were skunked on the lobsters. We have since been told that there are no coral heads. We'll go again...and hopefully we'll have better luck.

We left Manjack Friday and headed south around the Whale again. Friday night there was a golfcart parade on Guana. It started at Grabbers, where they provided free appetizers, went next to Pirates Cove, and then up the hill to Nippers...more free appetizers. There were probably 30 golfcarts all decorated and lit up for Christmas...a very fun night. Yesterday we sailed over to Treasure to sit out another front. We are still here, and probably will remain here til New Years day. Hopefully there will be something going on at the Tipsy Seagull for New Years Eve.

Happy New Year to everyone!

Merry Christmas

26 December 2012 | Green Turtle Cay
From green turtle
A day late, but I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas…We did! It started about 7:30am when the neighboring boat here in the anchorage came by and invited us to join them on the beach for a strawberry breakfast. Strawberries dipped in yogurt and brown sugar, on the beach…a perfect beginning to Christmas day. Turns out John and Sally are from S. Freeport, Maine…almost neighbors.
At noon time we went ashore to the Cruisers Potluck. Rum Swizzle provided by Brendels Dive shop, food provided by about 100 cruisers! A big turnout. About 4pm we headed back to the boat. John and Sally, Suzi and Dennis, and Chris and Dave (just met them at the potluck) came back to the boat for one last round of drinks. Turns out that Dave grew up in Chelmsford! They all left about 5:30, and Alan and I had an invite to Jan and Cams boat…so, one more last round of drinks, and we were back home by 7:30. A full day, but a fun day.
Leading up to Christmas found us beaching and exploring. One day we dinghied about 3 miles to No Name Cay. An uninhabited cay, with only the pigs to greet us. Five pigs live there, and they waded out to our dinghies as we approached. Unlike the pigs in the Exumas, these guys aren’t swimmers. We were pretty cautious going ashore, because we weren’t sure how friendly they were…but when they didn’t get any food from us, they just laid down on our anchor rode and took a nap. The beach there is great for shelling. So many shells, sea biscuits and sand dollars washed ashore, and no one to collect them all. There were also several big, red, sea stars along the shoreline.
We also did a lot of beach combing along Green Turtle. The southern tip is called Gillam Bay…a long shallow bay at low tide. It was all good, until the skies opened and it rained buckets. We took shelter under the deck of a beach house. As soon as it was no longer a white out and the thunder and lightning subsided, we trekked back to the boat, but we looked like we had been swimming, we were so wet!
From green turtle
Suzi and Dennis at Gillam Bay...before the rain!

Between beaching, exploring by dinghy and happy hours, we have been very busy. Tomorrow we will leave Green Turtle and go just about 5 miles north to Manjack Cay. Supposed to be good lobstering there…we’ll see!

Back and Forth

18 December 2012 | Guana back to Treasure
From guana
On Saturday we left Treasure Cay on the high tide, and set a course to Great Guana, just 10 miles across the Sea of Abaco. The wind was blowing pretty good, so we did a little crashing in the waves, but not bad...just bad enough to get the boat covered in salt once again. It was looking like we might get some rain soon after we arrived, so we stayed on the boat and hoped for a downpour. There's really nothing better than a good rinsing off. Without that, everything you touch is sticky and salty. Well, we got what we wanted...it poured! Once again, the boat was clean and we were happy.

When we arrived there was just one other boat in the anchorage...he left about 10 minutes after we got there, and we remained the only boat til Sunday afternoon. Every Sunday, Nippers Bar has a pigroast, so boats usually arrive to attend that. Just 5 more boat came in. So, we did our duty, and went to Nippers for the afternoon. The beach at Nippers is several miles long, and the only people on it are the ones that walked down from the bar. The rest of the beach is deserted.
From guana

On Monday, we headed back to Treasure to sit out a front that was coming through. On our way, we stopped at the reef to do a little snorkeling. The water was so churned up that, once again I didn't bother going in. Visibility was lousy. Not bad enough for Alan to get skunked in his lobster hunting. We took back two.

Today we went back out to the reef in the dinghy...about a 2 mile ride. Visibility was better, so I went in and did some snorkeling. FINALLY! Al got another lobster, so I've got a few in the freezer now.

We'll probably be here another day or so, then head back to Green Turtle for Christmas. They have a potluck for cruisers up there, and there doesn't seem to be much going on this side of the Whale.
Vessel Name: Civil Twilight
Vessel Make/Model: Passport 470CC-135 Built 2004 in Xiamen, China
Hailing Port: Hailing port is Portsmouth, NH, BUT our summer slip is in Georgetown, Maine
Crew: Alan and Gerri
About: Capt. Alan Burke and Gerri Dubey have a home in Maine when they're not on the boat. Salty the Ship's Cat, is a 14 yrs old Himalayan. Eddie the Autopilot is a tireless crew member.
Extra: In October 2012 we will be heading south once again.
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CREW OF CIVIL TWILIGHT

Who: Alan and Gerri
Port: Hailing port is Portsmouth, NH, BUT our summer slip is in Georgetown, Maine