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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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Presidents day
Sunny upper 70s
02/16/2009, Bimini Blue Water Marina

Monday, February 16, 2009

What a beautifully delicious sunrise. We're already starting off quite warm with our coffee in the cockpit. We walked over to the marina office to check in and I saw needle nose fish in the water, some damsels, small conch and a few other fish I'm not sure what type... The water here is a marine aqua color - more green than blue - but clear and lovely.

After that we dinghied over to Bimini Bay Resort/Marina to properly checkout (they had our credit card data, etc., so it wasn't needed) and explain why we left after saying that we were going to be staying. Peter was very apologetic and said we should have called, he'd have helped out and I had to bite my tongue about how rude and vile those people were. I think I said they were mean and nasty and that when we asked them to turn it down a bit, they decided to blow out our eardrums for the next three songs. So we thought it easier and more prudent to leave before they or we started some stuff. Our reasoning was that the BB people wouldn't help. We'd already asked for power and almost an hour and a half later there was nobody there to assist with that. They'd stopped responding to our hails on the radio even though they probably couldn't hear me - just music. We didn't want to stay in that racket, so why stay and pay for an evening of misery when we could have that anywhere for free if we wanted it. I repeated that they were rude, mean, nasty people and the girl at the counter gave one of those huh! kind of grins, like so what else it new around here? Then Peter told us that their mate said - they'd gotten into a terrible fight and he'd kicked the cabin door in and broke it. It figures. I really liked this place and the people that work here and felt bad that we had to leave. The place is really empty & Peter said, "It's Monday". He asked if we were anchoring out and we told him we were over at the Blue Water Resort and asked if he knew that place - yes (of course he does - what were we thinking?). Anyhow I felt bad all around and told him if we come back by on the way home we'd stop back here which seemed to bring a smile from him. I keep thinking about The Big Game Club/Marina. That was a rather large compound that closed down - they've been trying to cater to the upper levels of society but there aren't enough to keep frequenting them to keep them all open. I think that they're losing their niche by shutting out all the middle class cruisers by pricing everything so high (like the $300 fee to even cruise through the Bahamas).
After we dinghied back to the boat we decided to walk through Alice Town and ran into Brigid (oops I spelled her name wrong earlier) and Denny Vitton (Aurora) and chatted with them a bit first. Prices sound expensive here - bread $5 a loaf, milk $8 or $10 a gallon (yikes) I couldn't remember which - either is bad... He lamented that they both drink a lot of milk so this would be hard. I can see what we were told is true - bring as much as you can with you because everything has to be shipped in, then marked up so the merchants can make a living too.

A poem
02/15/2009, Bimini

I came across the following poem which I think says it all about this cruising lifestyle:

Mother and Father go sailing, you know
Every autumn they pack up and go
Far from the winds and the cold and the snow,
South to the sun and the sea.
I love to think of them sailing there,
The blue of the water, the gold of the air.
Skimming the whitecaps without a care;
Imagine a life so free.
I build up a picture of sea and sky:
Of lazy harbors and bays drifting by.
I build up this image of pie-in-the-sky;
Till their first letter reaches me.

Oh! The propeller shaft is knocking
And the fuel injector's clogged.
There is dry rot in the transom
And the hull is waterlogged.
The heat exchanger's bugged up
And it won't exchange its heat.
When the spinnaker blew out last night;
We lost another cleat.
But, in spite of these small incidents,
When all is said and done;
It's great to spend our holidays
sailing in the sun.

Mother and Father are sailing, you know,
Down in the south where the fair winds blow,
Basking all day in the warm sun's glow
While sea birds circle and dive.
I think of them strolling the silver shore,
Small dinghy bobbing, the flash of an oar;
Sleek hull shadowing ocean's floor.
Then a second letter arrives.

Oh! We lost both anchors overboard
And now the gasket's blown.
A connecting rod has broken
And the piston rings have gone.
Some moron ran aground last night
And blocked the harbor's mouth.
But we couldn't leave here anyway;
The wind's not from the south.
But, in spite of these small incidents,
When all is said and done,
It's great to spend our holidays
sailing in the sun.

Yes, Mother and Father are sailing today;
Crisp bow throwing a fine salt spray.
Sails stretched taut as they cleave their way,
Through the crystal waters clear.
I like to think of them browned by the sun,
Enjoying the speed of a long clear run,
To a small still bay when day is done.
But a third letter is here.

Oh! The captain gets quite anxious,
When the oil pressure drops.
The main bearing seizes solid
And the halyard ties in knots.
We hit a small reef yesterday,
So now the bilge is full.
And he says the blasted bilge pump,
Is clogged with knitting wool!
But in spite of these small incidents,
When all is said and done,
It's great to spend our holidays
sailing in the sun.

From: The Cruising K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple System) Cookbook
Written by: Corinne C. Kanter

Mega Jerks & skates in the water
02/15/2009, Bimini Bay Resort/Marina Lat & Long: N25*44.815 x W079*16.787 (from 5pm last night) 3rd T-Head#12 14 ft at dock.

Sunday, February 15, 2009
Wow, we're in the middle of nowhere... I just typed in our location of Bimini lat/long and called it up on Google Earth and we're a little speck in an ocean of blue... Incredible. It's in the 80s here and the sun feels hot, hot, and hot. This is quite a nice facility but a bit expensive. It's supposed to be $2.50/foot and they're charging us $2/foot so I shouldn't complain. While I love the ability to connect on and off to the Internet, we haven't been able to connect to shore power to charge up, they must have an adapter or something for the power cords, and water here is $.50 a gallon. It seems strange, coming from the Great Lakes, to have to pay for water usage. I understand it completely, but am just not accustomed to it.

Denny and Brigit from Aurora (pretty little blue boat) dinghied over to say hello while we were having our second cup of coffee in the cockpit. They were the blue boat that followed us into Bimini yesterday (they noticed we were from Michigan) and then beat us as we ran aground LOL. They 're berthed over at Blue Water Marina (where we were originally trying to get in last night only nobody answered our hail). What a small world - they were originally from Michigan - kept their boat over on Portage Lake area near Wayne's sister and I think she taught in Manistee. They now live in Florida. It was nice of them to come by and say hi!

Right after that "the Princess" turned up his music kind of loud. Wayne commented that the local fisherman that was fishing nearby must have loved that - it probably scared the fish away. I heard him yell a little while later to the fisherman - "Hey, the fishing any good?" I wondered if he was serious or being snide and felt really bad for the fisherman and hoped he didn't think all Americans were like this guy. I was glad to see he turned it down a bit about a half hour later.

Later in the morning, Wayne got the dinghy down and the motor on it and dinghied over to customs and immigration in Alicetown. He also checked out Blue Water Marina too to see if we needed reservations to get in there or what (no). He said there were plenty of spaces and after talking to the girl there said all we needed to do was show up. We vacillated back and forth as to whether to stay here or go over to Blue Water and we'd decided to stay here tonight. After talking to the guys here, they were going to fix us up with power so then I'd have power and the Internet.

We started going over the charts and weather - a front is moving in tomorrow night so we may be here for a couple of days - and were waiting for our power cord adapter when all of a sudden the Princess started cranking up the music quite loudly this time. I mean this time it hurt the ears and they were right under the speakers so I don't know how they stood it. But the speakers faced us and were blasting us so I couldn't think straight. Wayne tried waving desperately to get their attention to see if they'd turn it down but they were ignoring us then started dancing. Finally the woman spotted Wayne and started waving at him. He was trying to signal, "could you turn it down a little", as was I, and they laughed and cranked it up all the way (silly me I thought it already was!). She yelled at her husband or whoever he was to her while they continued dancing "Hey - the sailboat doesn't like us". Wow... They continued turning it up, down a little then louder still. Nice. Classy. Thoughtful folks. We tried hailing the office and could barely hear them or ourselves as we tried to hail them to tell them what was going on. Finally we called them back on the VHF and told them we'd changed our mind - it was tooo noisy here and we'd like to leave before it got dark. They said they'd be right down to help us but after 20 minutes and it getting darker, we said forget it and just left. As we passed the "MegaJerks" I heard them turn down the music and someone said - Oh look, they left... Like we should stay and subject ourselves to their abuse? What on earth makes people like this!?! You'd think they thought they were the only people in the world or something and that they were so cute that everyone would admire all their actions... While I normally like country music - I don't like it hurting my eardrums and reverberating throughout my body. I could never see purposefully trying to hurt someone else or aggravating them - like these guys were. I can see where poorer nations think of all Americans as A@@holes if these people are representative of what they normally see. It makes me feel sad to think that these people that live here might think that we're all like these morons. Do we all show this arrogance that I've encountered here in the last 24 hours? I'm embarrassed and feel like I should apologize to "D" and the poor fisherman trying to make a living for his family for the "ugly Americans" that they need to deal with in order to survive... Unlike us - where we just pick up our anchor and go elsewhere, the locals live here. They shouldn't have to put up with such rude behaviors though...

Once we got to Blue Water and called in, the girl said someone would be right out there to help us as we pulled in. There was nobody there, but at least she had answered our call this time as we approached. We circled out front twice, and then pulled in to the front T Dock. Don't know where the guy was that was going to help us, but it didn't really matter. The boat in front of us caught a line for us and told us the electric at that spot didn't work, and they'd move up a little so we could moved up one more behind them and access the power stand. Their boat hailed from Chicago, IL but they were from New York down here chartering (2 couples with kids) and fishing. Nice people.

We went to the office to check in but they had left for the night. Wow - when it's closing time it's closing time LOL... Walking back to the boat I saw a large skate in the water and followed it as it swam along under the dock. The girl from the boat behind us said it was there yesterday too. Maybe I can get a picture of it tomorrow... Time for dinner before it's to dark out to cook - Flank Steak, mushrooms/onions, hard crust bread and Black Raspberry Merlot... Dinner tasted incredibly good tonight. The Merlot was the perfect choice for the meal.

I heard a Frenchman singing tonight after Wayne fell asleep. He sounded like he was enjoying himself. It was much nicer sounding than the soon to be blown out speakers of that drunkard aboard Princess Marie Ann. Mellow and pleasant. He has a nice voice and it just sounded like he was serenading life. Somebody else had a harmonica and joined in, it reminded me of Joey. I haven't heard a harmonica in a longggg time. I'm charging up my computer batteries and the handheld VHF and listening to the Frenchman. My Sprint broadband keeps giving me an error so no Internet access for me here without wireless. I tried the same trick as last time when the techie got it to work in N. Carolina but to no avail... I keep getting the Error 651 message. I have a good signal on it but can't get it to work

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