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The First Mate's Journal
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Great Lakes to The Bahamas
Who: Wayne & Pat
Port: Jackson
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A day of reflection
04/14/2009, Marsh Harbor Great Abaco Island (N26*32.845 W77*03.419)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Got to be on the Internet for the first time in awhile so am able to update my blog. Thank you for the birthday wishes everyone. I missed being home - It was hard for me today - thinking about my mom. Growing up, it was always one of those days that I knew I'd see or hear from her. This year it's just hard for me - even surrounded by the beautiful islands. Christmas and birthdays... I hear it gets better with time.

Poor Wayne couldn't figure out what was wrong (I always love birthdays) - I was in a funk a good part of the day - to much time to think soooo we explored some of Marsh Harbor, went shopping and went to dinner at Mangos. I had cracked conch and conch chowder (both good) and Wayne had fresh Mahi - delicious! It tasted nothing like the frozen stuff we get back home. Instead of birthday cake - I had Key Lime Pie and then we walked around for a while before heading back to the boat.

This was pretty much a day of reflection for me. Another one of where I've been, where I am, where I'm going.

Where I've been - what can I say? I am who I am because of where I've been, and how I've handled the circumstances that life met me with.

Where I am? I'm at a place in life where I have a partner that is sometimes frustrating, sometimes funny, sometimes condescending, very private, often misunderstood by others, but very loving. I am somewhere I've always wanted to be - a place called loved. You can't ask for more than that. There are ups and downs - always... hopefully they always balance. My partner in life keeps me off balance and at the same time balanced. So where am I in life? I am loved...I appreciate being here.

Where I'm going... that's a tough question. There are a few loose ends to take care of before I can answer that one. But I thought about it a lot today. I appreciate that I've been given this chance at life. I felt like a throwaway child growing up, but it led me to where I am; where I'm going; wherever I'm going; I'm living life - hopefully with my partner of many years, for many more years.

I'm going to try and upload my journal now - the connection keeps breaking and is pretty slow. There must be a lot of people using the bandwidth this evening. Isn't that life...

Clouds are building on the horizon and Wayne watches the lightening as it glows behind those distant clouds. It's pretty. It lights the clouds from behind as the stars twinkle above us. The wind generator hums as the air spins the props.

Moving along
04/13/2009, Cherokee Pt, Great Abaco Island (N26*15.149 W77*03.149)

Monday, April 13, 2009

The winds have shifted ENE at 15-20 knots today and they were supposed to be SSE. The front has come in faster than predicted. I got up at 6:30, put on the coffee, punched down the bread dough and divided it into two loaves. I only have one bread pan so put the other loaf into a pie pan then let them rise and put them in the oven. There's something about the aroma of fresh baking bread on a boat that has a nice homey feel. I turned off the oven and let the bread continue cooking/cooling down in the oven as we lifted anchor and headed out of our little protected cove. We could see breakers out there as Avalon departed first, heading southward to Royal Island. We probably wouldn't have gone today except for the call for south winds into this anchorage and we only had about 5 miles to run in the deeper water until we could duck back into the bank at Little Harbor and run the rest of the way to Marsh Harbor in relatively protected waters.

We ran into some very choppy seas, at times pounding into 4-7 foot waves or sloshing and semi-rolling with them. I could hear things crashing below deck but there was nothing I could do about it since I had the helm. A few hours later, when Wayne had the helm, I went below and found my bread had come crashing out of the oven (still standing open) and was on the floor along with my aloe and assorted books and stuff that had come out of the lower cupboard below the sink. I must have forgotten to latch it but thought that I had.

I rescued my bread and went back up top until things subsided (a relative term here) before going back below and straightening up. We munched on the bread throughout the day (awesomely delicious) then I made grilled cheeses with it for dinner once we got into Marsh Harbor and had our gin and tonics. Marsh Harbor is packed with boats!

We weaved in and around quite a few boats until we found a spot that looked like we could fit semi-comfortably in and dropped our hook. Twice today, I heard mention that another front is coming in this week. It looks like a lot of these boats will hang out here until the weekend when the front moves through.

I took the computer up top to see if I could connect to the Internet and was able to subscribe to a service here but the signal is very weak. It was good to hear from S/V Samaria (a Bayfield 40) back at Toledo Beach Marina. They'll be cruising next season so hopefully we'll see them out there. An extra email bonus - Keri Whiteaker one of my favorite students found me. She made my day!

04/12/2009, Royal Island (N25*30.875 W76*50.865) to Cherokee Pt, Great Abaco Island (N26*15.149 W77*03.149)

Easter Sunday, April 12, 2009
56 miles

A very long day today.
We got the anchor up at 8 am and headed out the narrow channel of Royal Island. Wayne put out the fishing yoyo and at 8:30 we had caught our first fish - a 24-inch barracuda that we let go. It was exciting and I was hoping it was a wahoo - no such luck. But at least we got a bite that didn't get away this time. Yesterday we had two bites on our lure but never hooked them.

We motor sailed all day. Originally we had the wind with us and then it changed from the NE so we had it on the nose for half the day. We were heading into Little Harbor but with the shift in wind decided that the anchorage there wasn't conducive to a north wind and ended up putting in here at Cherokee Pt which is protected from the north but open to the south.

I made potato salad earlier (good thing because it got pretty bumpy below) to go with ham for dinner, fed my bread starter so it would be ready to use this evening, and then read the next James Patterson Book - 2 in two days. We finally got into the anchorage at 6:30 and I put the bread together. I'll let it rise over night then bake it in the morning.

This is a very pretty little anchorage surrounded by rock, reefs, rocks and an eroding cliff with a beach at the base. Did I say it was surrounded by rocks that are awash? Another boat pulled in about ½ an hour after we did (Avalon) and wanted to know if we had any current weather. Unfortunately not - it's about 24-48 hours old.

Time for some ham and potato salad... Wow, Easter and not a jelly bean in sight...

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