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Around the Whale!
Blowing from the west, with more to follow..
01/04/2010, Hopetown Harbour

Our late evening entertaining some neighbours was followed by an early breakfast, stow all the loose stuff, retrieve bicycles, and make an early departure (8:15am) out of Black Sound....

The strong west winds were happy to blow us south-west at 7.5 knots around Whale Cay (6-8 foot waves) and then back inside to be protected from the ocean rollers, and a quick southern sail to arrive in Hopetown by noon.

Anne-Marie is delighted to have "sailed the whale" and is looking forward to exploring a new and exciting place.

After a well deserved lunch at the Harbour's Edge restaurant (c/w internet) Louise and AM are off to the beach to search for sea glass, while I get to play on the internet.

The weather is quite cool and lots of folks are complaining about the 12C weather and cold winds from Canada. We're wearing our fleeces, scarves,and the local Bahamians are wearing woolen hats.... time to find my socks!

The weather forecast looks cools and windy for the rest of the week, so we'll relax and stay put for the rest of the week.

Have fun!


01/04/2010 | Hanny, Andre, Jan and Cleo
Happy New Year to all of you. I finally got around checking out the blog. Great photos and comments. Everything is fine here.Cleo hurt her heel with figure skating, and has to see a physiotherapist.She cannot walk too well, so she moves around on crutches. Her school is starting again tomorrow.
Jan is still of until the end of January.
01/10/2010 | Judy and Jim
Ouch is right! We hope you are through your dental work soon! We are off to Sante Fe on Wednesday to celebrate Barb's birthday and ski in Taos. It will definitely be warmer than it is here. Take care you two!
Dinghy Madness!
Overcast and cool - 70F
01/03/2010, New Plymouth, GTC

A lazy day on the mooring, somewhat preparing for our voyage south tomorrow morning... some reports have arrived of boats successfully transiting the "Whale Cay" and more plan to leave tomorrow on the high tide (ourselves included).

The usual shuffling back and forth to shore via the dinghy, and a quiet preparation for our departure tomorrow AM. High tide is 11am, but we'll leave at 9am in order to get a good start on a long sailing day, wind from the west, which should be great for going south, but we'll need to find a cosy spot to hide for the night....

With the protected harbour ever so flat, I watched a fascinating new activity within the harbour! Quite extraordinary really!

Virtually every sailing or power vessel in the harbour has a small "dinghy" which allows one to get to shore without the need to bring "mother" right up to the dock. These dinghies are usually 10-12 feet, inflatable with hard fibreglass bottoms, and a 10hp motor on the back.

We bought a used one in Florida, three years ago, and it's been fine. One sits on the inflated tube edge and steers the boat via a normal tiller on the outboard.

More experienced cruisers have added a white plastic PVC pipe to the tiller ( a tiller extension c/w stainless-steel clip) to allow them to move further forward in order to allow the dinghy to "plane" when one is alone in the dinghy ( in a moment of madness, I too have such an extension). Now the fun begins..... Imagine standing in the dinghy, holding a rope connected to the front of the dinghy, navigating through a somewhat busy harbour, holding onto the white plastic pipe (1.5") at high speed......

It gets better......

Today I witnessed several otherwise reasonable individuals (all senior citizens) standing in their dinghies, navigating through the mooring field without the need of the tiller! The task involves fixing the motor on the dinghy in terms of rpm and direction (ie: lock the motor in position), and standing no support whatsoever, and leaning left and right to control the direction..... snowboarding on water in a dinghy...... fabulous!

another great day.... hope the winds behave themselves....


01/09/2010 | Bruce & Linda
I remember doing similar things in hard dinghies in the BVIs in the 80s. I could handle the painter just fine (even without a pvc extension for the tiller), and experimented with steering by shifting weight, but was never comfortable with it.

Hope to see you before January is over!
Oh the joys of youth!
Not too bad!
01/03/2010, New Plymouth, GTC

The strong north winds have declined, and the harbour is flat and quiet.

Anne-Marie is anxious to head out and continue our sailing adventure south to explore new islands and check-out new restaurants and stores.....

The problem is that the Atlantic Ocean is still running 10'-14' rolling waves, and we'll be travelling over 12' of water, and our keel is 6' below much to her significant frustration we will stay in the harbour until the ocean calms down and we can make a safe passage south.

Anne-Marie has decided that there are too many "oldies" in the Bahamas, the food is too fried, and there is nothing to do...... long walks on deserted beaches searching for whale wax and shells have started to piss her off!

It's 9am on a quiet Sunday, Louise is polishing the stainless steel life lines, and I've enjoyed a soft-boiled egg for breakfast.

If the wind stays in the west, we should be able to leave tomorrow...

Lots of fun!


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