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Sitting in the heat!
90F and no wind...
12/07/2009, Manjack Cay

It's been an interesting couple of days...

We sailed up from GTC and anchored with a reasonable south wind (20kph) and let out 80' of chain. The day was spent getting the water-maker working now that we're out of the harbours and surrounded by clean water...

The watermaker came together easily with no surprises, and the wind shifted to the west and started to blow...

We recheck the anchor lines, and its blowing 30-40 knots and we're 400 feet from the lee-shore so we collected our passports and credit cards and stuffed them into the "ditch bag" so that we're ready in the event that the anchor chain let's go......

At 50 knots the wind shifts 90 degrees to the north, and we're again somewhat protected and relax a little bit. Sleeping is not that easy when you are being blown into a lee shore 400 feet away.

The starter motor is successfully installed and the generator is working beautifully. Upon reflection I realize that the solar panels have so impressed me that we only used the generator twice last year, upon launch and upon haulout, which is not enough! I'll try to use it weekly, even though I don't need the power, just to keep it in good shape.

Yesterday was spent walking on the ocean beach collecting coconuts and sperm whale wax.... much discussion with other sailors about what this waxy material really is... wikipedia suggests two different possibilities... ambergris ( a whale laxative) and/or sperm whale wax ( a wax found in the head of the whale)... who knows.... Louise will make candles!

Dinner involved fresh fish, lobster and newly discovered mushrooms from the tropical forest (Bahamian chanterelles....who knew!)

Louise has invited our neighbours (3 boats, 8 people) for dinner tomorrow so we'll polish the stainless steel and chrome, and relax in the moonlight under the stars...


The culprit!
Hot and humid! close to 90F
12/04/2009, Green Turtle Cay

All of the locals have been complaining about the high temperature and are looking forward to the cooler winds from Canada.....apparently it has been a very hot summer season right up to November.

All of the necessary bits and pieces have been obtained to repair the starter, so we plan on sailing north and throw out the anchor at high tide this morning after a shopping trip into town on the bikes. The daily mooring fee in this very protected harbour is $15 which includes high-speed internet access...

We've started to get organized for Anne-Marie's visit and started planning our Christmas celebration...

The satellite phone antenna has been repaired which makes for quite good outgoing calls and we're slowly unwinding from the mad scramble to get down here.....

Louise has evolved her beach searching activities to include a substance called "ambergris", a white waxy material that supposedly comes from the head of a sperm whale..... she hopes to make it goes...

Life is good!


12/11/2009 | patsy
I went to Rockland as soon as I could. They had the fabric for your cushions in another colour, but your specific shade was all sold out and they said they won't order more because they would have to get the whole roll. Sorry. Perhaps you will do something that coordinates? Sounds like you are having a wonderful time. Happy CHanukah. Pats
More fun!
85F, blue skies.... not a cloud in sight!
12/03/2009, Black Sound on GTC

Well, the wind is blowing from the south at 20-25mph so we probably could have easily stayed on anchor.

Regardless, it's smoother sleeping in a protected harbour, and I've taken the opportunity to tear apart my Onan generator to fix the problem with not starting.

Working on this thing is much worse than an English sports car! Imagine a tiny Japanese diesel engine, surrounded by a sound-proof metal box, stuffed in a remote corner of the bottom of the boat, with the only access possible achieved by laying on your stomach, reaching forward into the darkness, groping for small metric bolts..... lot's of fun.

The repair job involves decoupling the entire generator, shifting it (~300lbs) sideways 2" to be able to undue the 8 bolts of the sound proof cover, remove the oil filter, and thread a 13mm socket past the fuel pump to access the two bolts which secure the starter.

Having removed the starter, I now need to disassemble it to grease it, and the bolts snap upon attempting it. Off to the marina to search for replacement bolts (8MM - 4" long).

It turns out that the starter was rusted, and the power cable to it was completely corroded. You cannot see the cable until you remove the starter.

Rebuilt the starter, purchase new cable from local marina, wire-brush and paint entire bottom end of generator, and order new starter from US to be delivered to Ottawa so that Anne-marie can bring it with her at Christmas.

While I await the paint to dry before the re-assembly Louise jumps on her bicycle and heads off to the ocean for a long swim/shower and relax on the beach.

Salt water is very corrosive, and I'll need to take a close look at all metal/electrical items on board... once things start to go, they go really fast.
Another lesson learned!

The freighter from WPB arrived this morning, two days late, while waiting for a weather window to make the crossing. I'm happy we were able to cross according to schedule.

Last night we enjoyed attending a wonderful "full moon party" on the beach at Green Turtle Cay, with several new friends and a few old ones. A lovely evening watching the big red ball rise out of the ocean!


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