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Back in Spanish Wells!
Soft east winds! Wonderful sailing
03/07/2011, North Eleuthera

It's been a great week!

Our visit to Rock Sound was wonderful, although I didn't recognize anything from my feeble 35 year old memories... not surprising!

We searched for the old beaches where I learned to surf, tried to find the "fancy resort" where we windsurfed, looked for the cottage we rented for a week with Australians, but without success.... time marches on, and life is a wonderful journey!

While in Rock Sound with 3 other boats (7 people) we rented a small mini-van and explored the entire southern part of Eleuthera..... VERY quiet and empty marinas! Great fresh fish from the dock in Tarpon Bay!

Visited the Atlantic side beaches, cruiseship stops, Rosa's very special restaurant, local laundramat, local restaurants, discovered abandoned fruit farms with oranges, papaya, peppers, bananas, watermelon, squash, etc. so the pantry is full, blue holes, caves, fish fry, etc, etc, etc,!

A soft sail (c/w motor) back up to Hatchet Bay (which was completely full) and then another day up to Spanish Wells for water, diesel, and the best stone crab in the Bahamas, then another 2 hour trip to anchor just off of Egg Island for the sail north tomorrow back to the Abacos.

We'll be in a group of 8 boats going north, and Louise is happy her water and fuel tanks are full, and we've got lots of great seafood to carry us north to Marsh Harbour.

Our visit to Eleuthera has been wonderful, and we'll visit again next year as we venture further south to explore new places.

With only three weeks left on our winter holiday, we'll relax and enjoy the Abacos with our wonderful friends before flying back to Canada.

Here for a short time, hopefully a good time!


A very important lesson!
Hot and the wind has shifted to the west..another front arrives!
03/01/2011, We're in Rock Sound

I learned a very important lesson in the past ten days.
Our pretty Beneteau 473 sailboat came complete with all of the options, which means lots of convenience, and more things to break.
Last week when we sailed south from Current Cut to Hatchet Bay, we had all the sails up, and enjoyed a great ride south. Before entering Hatchet Bay, we lowered the sails (which is normal), and motored into the bay, got a free mooring ball and relaxed.
Unknown to myself there was a very serious and dangerous problem which went completely undetected.
After a day of heavy winds, the main (large) sail had suffered a failure, and the loop at the top of the sail to which the halyard (rope) is attached had failed. As I "lowered" the sail (our main sail is a mast reefing sail which means I roll it up inside the mast) I used the normal large electric winches (Lewmar 58s) and with the sail sagging due to the broken loop, we wound in the sail into the inside of the mast imperfectly.
The result was the next day, we motored out of the anchor, unfurled the genoa, set our course, then unfurled the mainsail.
Three quarters of the way out, the main sail became completely jammed inside the mast... couldn't pull it out, couldn't pull it in, couldn't lower it, completely jammed!
Thankfully the winds were light, so while under sail, up the mast I go... rather exciting being 60' above the deck swinging from a rope, attempting to unjam the mess inside the mast.... no halyard to raise things...

After a couple of painful hours I succeeded in unjamming the mainsail, so we could pull it down by hand and strap it to the deck before our arrival in Governor's harbour. In serious weather it would have been a nightmare!
Another four hours up the mast fixing things, sewing on a new loop using part of my scuba weight belt, re-hoist the mainsail, and roll it properly back into the mast.

I am not sure furling mainsails inside the mast is a good idea. When things get stuck, you have a potentially deadly situation.
Lesson learned!

Further South!
Amazing weather...we're hoping for a cloudy day with rain... not yet!
03/01/2011, Rock Sound, Eleuthera

We spent a lovely couple of days in Hatchet Bay, did the laundry, had wonderful dinners at The Front Porch restaurant (wonderful stone crab), and with a continuing east wind, sailed south to Governor's Harbour where we spent five days revisiting our former haunts.... much has changed! Funny how 35 years can do that. Another day sail down to Ten Bay Beach for some spear fishing and beach walking, then a glorious sail south in 20-25 knots on the beam all the way to Rock Sound. We got the boat speed up to 8 knots with reefed jib and main, and it was a wonderful ride... makes you appreciate the boat design in terms of sailing performance. Today was 2 loads of laundry, a visit to some of the local shops, more fuel for the dinghy and getting ready for four days of heavy weather scheduled to arrive in a couple of days. We'll stay put until the wind settles, and then start back north to the Abacos hoping to arrive in time for Louise's birthday (March 21st). There is no rush, and still lots to explore!

03/01/2011 | Hanny and Andre
Good to have some news again. We looked Rock Sound up on Google Earth. Looks like a nice protected harbour. Here everything fine, got 20cm of snow yesterday. Love, Andre and Hanny

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