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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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Tooo many Balls!
02/25/2009, Frazer's Hog Cay, Berry Islands

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday... Where does the time go? I seem to say that a lot. Spring will be here in no time at all. We made it through the night with all the banging of the mooring against the hull, it made for a noisy night but it let me know that we hadn't broken loose each time I heard the rope against the hull or the mooring knocking against side. Not so lucky for Aurora. I was sitting below this morning, reading my book when I saw a mast come by the window and thought 1. a boat was coming in or leaving early or 2. We'd broken loose - only I never heard or felt a twang in the rope. When I looked out the port, Aurora was coming by us with the mooring ball attached to his bow roller with his anchor. I'm really feeling like we're on borrowed time here - especially with our frayed mooring line... I hailed Aeolus and told them that and asked if he'd checked his line too. He talked about the noisy mooring ball too during the night. It sounds like they're hanging out here until Friday when the weather settles down then heading over to Nassau. We may very well be doing the same. The Easterlies could keep us pinned down on Andros for quite a while. I was looking at the NorthWest Passage and the Tongue of the Ocean. Both deep water with quite a distance of fetch for waves to build up and come at us; not a pleasant idea of having to cross so much area with waves building across it.

Brigid & Denny got settled in again at another mooring ball and while he was hooking the new one from the front, it looked really strange because you could see both of them. I tried getting a picture but the one in the water decided to back further on the boat and under the water. I couldn't resist though and radioed over to them after they got settled to see if everything was okay and said something like hey - you guys have some balls or or something to that effect! Someone else came on and said "go to a different channel!" I'd forgotten we were on the hailing frequency (Ch 16) and hadn't switched to a different channel - oops!

I finished "Breaking Dawn" and Wayne was reading "Tom Brokaw". Denny came by in the dinghy to talk about anchorages vs. moorings here then the discussion turned to wind generators and we decided to get together later for dominoes and sundowners at the Berry Islands Club at 4:30pm.

The winds and waves started stirring up around 3:30 - 4pm but we did get another line on the mooring ball. After that we tried to get into the dinghy to head to shore - what a trip - but we managed not to get wet. The little old guy I'd saw swearing a couple days ago was sitting in his fishing boat stringing conch together and he had 3 good size lobster and a parrot fish too. I said hi to him and said it looked like he was much more successful today and got a big grin and a yes mum from him. The other fishermen were up top cleaning some groupers and other fish that I didn't recognize. Brigid helped us tie the dinghy to the dock - the cleats were up high and the waves were rocking us - then we went over to the restaurant for sundowners. Aeolus (Cheryl & oops I forgot his name and he'd even offered me his sweater) joined us about 10 minutes later. Brigid said Andrew told them he'd be back in 15 minutes. We hung out on the front porch and chatted a bit but it was really getting cold as the winds from the northeast got stronger. An hour and 45 minutes later we gave up waiting and left - it was soo cold. We should have brought our own drinks I guess. During our discussion we learned that what bothers Denny on the islands is all the trash. In Bermuda we never saw trash. Here it's all over. It's like nobody takes ownership of things here so they don't care what happens, trash wise or other. So what if 6 people are sitting outside waiting for the restaurant to open for beers and a couple of locals want their dinner. Not my problem mon. I don't know if he ever came back...Andrew, Andrew, Andrew... and I wondered why so many places were boarded up and out of business... Nobody takes ownership and they don't care. They don't seem to realize that it impacts whether they have a job to make money or not. I could never imagine someone running a store or restaurant back home saying sorry - be back in 15 minutes and then never returning... You couldn't stay in business long there either. You can't make money selling things if you're not there to sell it. Sigh... I did see headlights pull up around 8:30pm but don't know if it was Andrew or not - there were a couple of guys working around the shower house.

More wind/waves
70s
02/24/2009, Frazer's Hog Cay, Berry Islands

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Continued reading today. The winds are calmer this morning but will start kicking up again later out of the NE so the currents and winds will be in opposition again this evening. I decided to cook my noodles earlier when it's still calm then add them to the sauce that I'll make around dinnertime. The sauce is thicker so if the boat starts dancing, I won't be in as much danger as with boiling water.

Denny & Brigid are moving further toward Chub Cay to anchor. They said it's less roily there. We need to check out the weather and pay up here before we can move though. I started my computer up and noticed I had a faint Internet signal so moved up top for better reception. This surprised me because they normally have their wifi setup to a bare minimum. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth - instead of putting my computer in the dinghy to take up to the restaurant/bar- to check the weather and email, I was able to stay on the boat, up top to check it out.

I told Aurora (Brigid & Denny) the weather report and that we thought we'd stay here on a mooring since the wind would be shifting to the east tonight and we didn't want to be on a lee shore at anchor. Did a mass email home to let everyone know where we are and depending on the weather, where we'd be heading - Andros Island or New Providence Island. I was glad I'd made the noodles earlier - the wind and waves started kicking up early and by suppertime I'd not been able to cook the noodles. We saw Aurora heading our way as things started building and they'd hooked the mooring that drug the other night for Aeolus. We saw Aeolus head over that way to tell them (in these waves - what a sweet guy) and hailed Aurora to tell them only Aeolus was out of earshot for me to tell him that I hailed them on the VHF.

The rage is really roiling this evening. Wayne went up to the bow to check on our mooring because we're really bouncing around and noticed that the mooring line is chafing thinner in a spot. The pull on the line is so tight from the currents we can't get another line around it. We're hoping we can before dark but the sun is starting to set... Wayne thinks it will be okay, but the rope is half way through. It's going to be a tense night for me... Wayne promised that we wouldn't break free during the night. On that note, I'll be able to sleep a bit better.

Don't let stars get in your eyes
Windy...
02/23/2009, Frazer's Hog Cay, Berry Islands

Monday, February 23, 2009

Earrrrrly morning...
Wow, what a night. The wind and waves were bouncing us all over the mooring. Aeolus, a sailboat from Texas, that came in sometime during the evening zipped past us last night shining a spotlight on us and around us. They yelled that they were switching moorings because theirs dragged. Wow, now I was going to wonder about ours all night. We decided to set the anchor alarm. This morning it looks like a big blob of pink on the GPS, from us dancing around the mooring all night. The sounds it made as we danced back and forth over it all night were gut wrenching to me. It sounded like Brie was taking a beating from about 2:30 until sometime after 6 this morning when the current shifted back around from the north (the same direction as the wind).

At daybreak I went up top to look around. The motorboat that had a mooring behind Aeolus, was way down to the south - he really drug during the night. Aeolus was still at her new mooring ball in front of us (behind us in the weee early hours).

Wayne worked on the heat/energy dissipater today and I caught up on my backups for the computer files - Norton, pictures, and journals. I'd forgotten how long it takes to back up the stuff. After that I decided it was time to dig in to the 4th Stephenie Meyer's novel

No picture taking today so I thought I'd share one of Wayne from yesterday... Stars in your eyes....

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