Madcap Sailing

06 April 2016 | Riverside Marina, Ft. Pierce, Florida
23 March 2016 | Riverside Marina, Ft. Pierce, Florida
20 March 2016 | Vero Beach, Florida
16 March 2016 | Vero Beach, Florida
12 March 2016 | Key West, Florida, USA
07 March 2016
06 March 2016 | Key West, Florida, USA
06 March 2016 | Key West, Florida
05 March 2016 | Key West, Florida
04 March 2016 | Marquesas Keys, Florida, USA
03 March 2016 | Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida, USA
28 February 2016 | Puerto Isla Mujeres Marina, Mexico
27 February 2016 | Puerto Isla Mujeres Marina, Mexico
13 February 2016 | Teotihuacán, near Mexico City
12 February 2016 | Mexico City
11 February 2016 | Mexico City
07 February 2016 | Isla Mujeres, Mexico
05 February 2016 | Puerto Isla Mujeres Marina, Mexico

What a Difference a Day Makes

07 January 2008 | Great Guana Cay
Beth - back in shorts
The wind dropped on Saturday night; the sun came out and we changed our wardrobe from jeans and fleecies to shorts and t-shirts again. With our batteries charged up, we headed out of Black Sound on Sunday morning. Because we were about 3 hours after high tide and the entrance into the sound is shallow, Jim went first in the dinghy with a hand held depth sounder, and I followed along in Madcap. We must have kissed the bottom a few times but never got stopped and once we were through the channel, we loaded the dinghy, put out a sail and were off to see the Whale.

The Whale is an important piece of geography in this area, because in order to move further south, boats with our draft must go out through the cut between reefs and cay, along the outside of Whale Cay and back in again on the south side of it. It sounds like no big deal but if the wind and wave configuration isn't right, it can be a miserable and even dangerous few miles. Fortunately for us, the combination was just fine. We could see waves breaking on the reefs but there were no whitecaps in the opening so away we went. The swells were about 6-7 feet but there was no chop so we just rose and fell comfortably. We followed the waypoints in Steve Dodge's book carefully and they led us right through with no difficulty.

We had just a short journey to Great Guana Cay and once back inside, we put out a sail and drifted languidly along with the sun over our heads and that amazing blue-green sea below. We dropped our anchor in Fisher's Bay along with about a dozen other boats; Jim went swimming and dove down to push that CQR anchor into the sand. After a reasonable time to make sure it wasn't moving, we dropped the dinghy again and went in search of roast pig. Sunday is Pig Roast day at Nippers - a famous Abacos Bar and we were anxious to check it out. We could hear the music from the dinghy dock and were amused to see that the lane off the main road led toward the cemetery and then took a sharp swing to the right, ending in a compound of ice-cream coloured buildings and patios. A sign at the turn warned us that "The wages of sin is death ..." It seemed a fascinating juxtaposition... and we kept on around the turn to Nippers, returning safely to the boat later in the evening - unlike those who remained at the cemetery!

Fortunately there was pork still available. The pig roast starts at noon and when it is really busy, they have been known to run out by midafternoon. If you are in the neighbourhood - be sure to stop in; the food was delicious and at $20.per person for all you could eat, it seemed very fair. The music was loud 50's and 60's dancin'music. We met up with lots of cruisers - Princess and Kilissa, First Edition and Debra Lea, Celebrian (another Bayfield 36) and at the end of the evening we found Te Amor from Nova Scotia.

The sunset was just amazing, our sleep was reasonably sound and we woke up to find ourselves in exactly the same place! Only a boater can understand the joy that evokes. (Well, maybe there are others who have experienced that joy?!)

Monday passed by in a pleasant series of events. I made a giant western omelet for breakfast and we lingered over coffee and our books. In late morning we set off to explore this part of Great Guana Cay. We passed by a large building with a "Bakery" sign on it. Unfortunately it also displayed a "closed" sign, so I asked a man sitting across the street if he knew when it was open. He said "Yes". I then asked if it opened every day and his reply was, "Sometimes". I figured that was about as much helpful information as I was going to get, so we smiled at each other and Jim and I continued on our way. The question about what day things are open is a practical one. The Post office here is open Mon, Wed and Fri. The Laundromat is never open anymore. The grocery store is open 6 days a week, and I still don't know about the Bakery.

We had a long and luxurious walk on the beach - on the Atlantic side - where the breakers were rolling in and the sand was white and soft. We sat and watched them for awhile -one wave chasing another - big ones often swallowing up smaller ones - footprints made and erased - shells deposited on the sand one minute and swept away the next - everything part of the whole. The whitecaps were brilliant white and the sea was a dozen shades of blue and green and aqua and turquoise.

We met up with Mary Jo, vacationing here from her home in Cape Cod and she ignited in us again the excitement of this trip. It is really such a fine thing - we never get blasé about it, in part because we keep meeting people who say "Good for you!" Another thing Mary Jo and Jim and I saw eye-to-eye on was that there is nothing to be afraid of in the unknown. The directions we take from here, and where we make our landfall after this trip will all unfold in time, and the choices we make will lead us one way or another, but none of them will be wrong. There is immense freedom in this view of a journey, and it bears considering as a metaphor of life as well.

On our walk we met up with other familiar faces, stopped to talk with them, discovered that Jan and Cam of Te Amor know several of our old friends in Annapolis Royal, and got a lesson on spear fishing.

Back on Madcap, the chicken that had been marinating in a spicy lime and ginger sauce for a few hours went into the oven to roast along with some yams. We added a broccoli salad and opened a nice cold white wine for dinner. The wind had come up again so we tucked ourselves in the cabin where it was nice and cozy and went back to our books. Mmmmm ...Mmmm... the end of another dandy day.

We'll head out in the morning to Marsh Harbour.
Comments
Vessel Name: Madcap
Vessel Make/Model: Bayfield 36
Hailing Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Crew: James D Bissell (Jim) and Elizabeth Lusby (Beth)
About: Beth and Jim have spent the last several winters sailing southern waters on s/v Madcap. They love Halifax in the summer, but plan to spend the winters exploring warmer places - currently the Guatemala, Belize, Honduras area.
Extra:
The Madcap crew left Ottawa in 2007 to go sailing in the Bahamas. After a highly successful year, they returned to Canada, settled in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and in the fall of 2009 they left to do it again! Journey #3 (2010/11) took them back to the Bahamas and then on to Cuba for several weeks [...]
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