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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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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...

It's a hot one...
04/11/2009, Ship Channel Cay (N24*48.665 W76*49.779) to Royal Island (N25*31.001 W76*51.007) off Eleuthera - the Out Islands

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Man it was a hot one today. 88 with a heat index of the upper 90s and it felt like it too. We had a great sailing day - 10-15 knot winds, but they were warm winds that were blowing. I was itching to jump into the water once we got in, but once we got in, the water wasn't too inviting.

We got into Royal Island a little after 5pm. Wayne sun showered up on deck and I showered below. The pump to the drain isn't working again. I didn't feel like being on display to the security guard on shore or to the power boaters. 1 other sailboat was in here that we anchored behind.

Made Chicken Salad for dinner and watched the security guard drive from one spot on the water to another spot 50 feet away then back to the original spot in a newer black ford pickup. He'd sit for ½ an hour then move back. Interesting. He must be paid to watch both areas on the construction site that is building a marina - due to open in 2010. Wayne says that truck will be worth a lot of money in ten years when it only has 1000 miles on it. The island is quite small and the pickup truck totally looks out of place.

This is a small harbor that can be shut off from the ocean if they wanted to put a chain across it. There are ruins on one part, and I can see where the island could be privately owned by the marina - hence they can keep people from anchoring in this small spot by just putting in 4 mooring balls plus the marina...

43 miles traveled today; Low tide 2:45pm High tide 9:09pm; Moon rise: 9:44pm

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