02 April 2008 | George Town, Great Exuma
Beth - dry/soaked/dry
It truly is the strangest weather these days. The sky is brilliant blue with cloudy patches, the sun beats down, the wind indicator reads 12 knots and the waves move gently past us. Then all of sudden, a dark cloud rolls over, the wind whips up to 29 knots, the skies open and it just pours while the waves froth up and add salt spray to the mix. Two minutes later it is all over and we go back to sunshine for a couple of hours before repeating the process again. When we are aboard, we rush around and close all the hatches, flinging them open again moments later to let the breeze blow through. We saw a few flashes of lightning last night and are hearing our first claps of thunder as I write this.
Jim and I joined Donna and Rick (Lorbas) on Jabiru for sundowners on Monday evening, and last night Donna and Rick (Lorbas), Gail and Peter) Jabiru and Fred (Casa Mare) joined us. It's been fun to look at our similar boats. Jabiru is a Cabo Rico - about the same length as Madcap and built in the early 80's. Both have an abundance of wood inside and out and Gail and I had a good time chatting about galleys and salon seating arrangements. I've been feeling the need for more space lately, but Rick and Donna had some good comments on that. They sail a Corbin - again roughly the same size and said that after their first year they felt crowded, but when they got into the routine of being down here 6 months each year, they found that the space was just right for them and they valued being on a boat they had gotten to know really well. It has now been 9 months since we left Ontario and it has just gotten to feel cramped in the last month, so we may well find that we have the same experience. We want to check out their wind generator over the next few days as we fine tune our plans to boost our power.
Regarding our power - we are being miserly with it. We rely mostly on ice blocks in the fridge now - turning it on only when Jim has the trickle charger and generator hooked up or when we are motoring. The latest thing that has happened is that our charger is toast. When we checked to see if a fuse had blown, we noticed amber "stuff' melted over the insides. That cannot be a good thing! So now, we use the engine to charge batteries as we travel, and it does seem to charge them, and the trickle charger to try to keep them topped up as much as possible while we sit here. We'll limp along this way till we get back to the US and then see about replacing the charger and getting a wind generator at the same time.
We took a run over to town this morning (Wednesday) and the going over went just fine. I exchanged a bagful of books at the Library ($3. to join which confers the right to borrow from their extensive collection and trade one-for-one from the (also extensive) trading shelves. It's open 10 - 12 M-F and is staffed by cruisers. A water main had burst so we didn't get water, and I never did find Mom's famous bread van. Jim found the computer fix-it shop though and his computer is there being checked over. With any luck, the USB ports in it can be repaired and he can use his Winlink program again for position reports and e-mail. We got just absolutely soaked on the way back - waves crashing right over us. I couldn't even see with the salt water running into my eyes, and our jackets did not one bit of good in keeping the salt water from soaking us to the skin. Oh well - that Bayfield bathtub comes in very handy for rinsing our clothes and the life rails do double duty as clotheslines. I try to be a bit discreet about hanging underwear; a part of me would like to hang out a row of scandalous attire, but Jim and I will have to acquire some first!
We'll be off to the beach again - this time with camera so I can get some surf pictures. Although the wind is supposed to drop over the next couple of days, it will take another day or so for the swells on the Sound to drop so we expect to be here until the weekend.