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Moonraker
This blog chronicles the adventures of the sailing vessel Moonraker. We just finished the second year of our cruising life. We explored the US East Coast from Maine to Florida, the Bahamas, Haiti, PR, and the Virgin Islands.
Spending Time in a Marina
Donna
03/10/2013, Spanish Wells Yacht Haven, Spanish Wells, Bahamas

The wind we were waiting for in Hatchet Bay never materialized but we spent several days there waiting for it. I knew it would probably happen, Bill decided we would have to go back to the cave with all the caving equipment that we carted with us and explore it beyond what we had done the first day. We had a good time, and got much dirtier. Good thing we brought a change of clothes or no one would have picked us up on the way back!

All the weather reports have been saying that it will be some time before we can head to the Abacos. They are in the northern part of the Bahamas and the direction of the swells is making it very difficult to head into the cuts to get to land. It's called a "rage" when the swell causes the waves to break across the opening. A lot of people who were heading there were staying put. We decided to get closer by going to Spanish Wells. Friday was a perfect sailing day. We have been listening to other sailors who have a ketch like we do and decided to try just sailing with our mizzen and two head sails. It worked great and we had a really pleasant sail. Bill decided we should practice "heaving to". That is when you back your sails so that you basically stay in one place with your sails up. It's a good thing to do when the water is rough and you just need a break. It worked well, and hopefully we will remember to use that when we need it.

We had to go through a cut that has a strong current so Bill timed it so we could go through at the most comfortable time. We got there a little early but we managed to get through with no issues at all. On the other side of the cut the wind was on our nose so we had to motor the rest of the way. Bill was weighing all the options, something he has to do a lot of these days. He decided we should treat ourselves by staying at a marina for a few days since it is very close to the town. Spanish Wells is the most civilized of all the Bahamian towns we have been to so far. It is very modern and we had heard it has the best supermarket.

The marina is very nice and there are a lot of nice cruisers here. The tide is relatively high and the docks are fixed so that means it's hard for me and my short legs to get off and on the boat sometimes. The other issue is that we didn't put enough fenders out and there was a bolt sticking out of one of the pilings. The first morning Bill woke up and the boat was heeled. That is not a good thing when you are on a dock. When he freed the boat the bolt got caught on the rub rail and caused some damage. Bill was able to hammer it back in, but it's another blemish on poor Moonraker.

We walked all around town and met up with a cruiser who owns a house here that we had met in South Carolina. He invited us to a happy hour at his house. Bill decided we should rent a golf cart and explore the island so we went to the happy hour in our golf cart. It was very informative, the cruisers there really knew their stuff. So now we are trying to figure out what and when we can move on. Tonight there is a pot luck dinner on the dock of the marina. We will probably learn even more there!

Hatchet Bay Cave
Donna
03/06/2013, Hatchet Bay, Eleuthera, Bahamas

The weather report indicated that the wind would not be too bad until later in the day so we decided to go check out the cave we heard was close by. It's about three miles up the road but everyone told us it's really safe to hitchhike here and that everyone did it. So we took the dinghy to the main town dock, headed up to the road, and, forgive me Mom, Bill put his thumb out for the first car that came by. Of course they stopped. They were two guys from the United Kingdom vacationing in Eleuthera and had no idea where the cave was. They were very nice though and we had a nice chat for just a couple of minutes until we saw a sign that said Hatchet Bay Caves. We thanked them and got out and walked toward the cave.

We had only brought our headlamps for this outing, figuring we would just be checking it out and would bring back the real gear later if the cave warranted it. We were really pleased to see that it is a full fledged cave. Bill and I are used to going into wild caves in West Virginia. It's been a while since we've been in one since the boat has taken all our time and energy for the past year. Surprisingly it is a beautiful cave, if you can look past the graffiti that is everywhere inside. Bill took lots of pictures and we put them in our Photo Gallery. Go take a look. Bill wrote the commentary this time!

We spent about an hour exploring the cave and then headed back out to the road. We wanted to see if we could find the road to this other pond that was nearby. Before we got very far though a pickup truck drove by and stopped and asked us if we'd like a ride to town. You can't say no to an offer like that so we climbed in the back of the pickup truck and had a nice ride back to town.

It would have been a perfect trip if we hadn't run into a man in a uniform by the town dock who asked us if we were from a boat in the pond. We told him we were anchored, not on a mooring. He had a form he wanted us to fill out and $30 for an annual fee for using the anchorage, whether we were on a mooring or not. Bill hadn't even brought his wallet with us, and he knew the moorings were free, so he told the guy he didn't have $30 and we walked past him and went back to our boat. We have no idea what that was about. We called another cruiser we had met in the anchorage who has been here for a while and asked him what he knew about that. He had no idea. It just irritated us and put a damper on our nice morning.

We are still waiting for the heavy winds to come. Maybe it won't be so bad after all. We are definitely in a very protected anchorage so maybe we won't even notice!

Sailing
Hanging out in Hatchet Bay
Donna
03/06/2013, Hatchet Bay, Eleuthera, Bahamas

Yesterday the winds were light but we were able to sail part of the way north up the Eleuthera coast to Hatchet Bay. Everyone here follows the weather, it's the most discussed topic when you meet someone or eavesdrop on their conversations on the VHF radio, which we always do! We have our radio set to scan the most common channels that people switch to so if anyone is having a conversation on those channels we hear it. It's what passes as entertainment these days. We knew that Hatchet Bay would be a good spot to wait out the heavy winds that are predicted for the next day or so. We never know how many other boats will pick that spot too. When we got close to the opening to turn into another boat was coming from the opposite direction. That always spikes Bill's competitive side and we have to accelerate to try and get in first to get the best choice of spots. We didn't realize the opening would be quite the way it is though. The picture above shows how you get into the Hatchet Bay Pond. It wasn't really difficult, it just isn't how most places are. They blasted the entrance out of solid rock to make a harbor here. It was just a natural lake before they did that. We ended up with what we hope is a decent spot to anchor. If the strong wind is in the direction they predict there can't be any boats in front of us to drag, we are close enough to the shore so no one will get in front of us. One less thing to worry about!

When we got here we thought we had great Internet. Then it disappeared in the middle of a Skype conversation. It was gone until this morning. Maybe we have Internet during the day but not at night. We aren't sure, but we will take whatever we can get!

We went to shore yesterday to check out the town. It is a typical Bahamian town. There are stores and churches and a school, most of them fairly run down. The school seemed like the nicest one we've seen so far. The school in Black Point had a couple of doors missing - apparently that wasn't a problem for them. We had a nice walk around and stopped in the General Store to buy a loaf of fresh baked bread. We are still debating whether we will head out to find the cave we know is here today or wait until after the wind is predicted to stop. Either way there are a few days of relaxation in our future. We are getting better at it!

Sailing
Weathered Another Storm
Donna
03/05/2013, Pineapple Cays, Eleuthera, Bahamas

We sat out the storm front in Rock Sound, on the other side of the bay from the town. The water was fairly shallow over there so we were in the company of mostly catamarans. There was lots of space between all the boats so we weren't worried about any boats dragging into us. It was a much better spot than we had for the last storm. This storm lasted two days. The winds never got higher than 32 knots and we barely felt it because our anchorage had so much protection. We really enjoyed the time. We read, napped, and watched a couple of movies. That is the closest Bill and I ever get to relaxation!

By Monday morning we were really ready to go. The wind had another idea, it didn't want to calm down. We waited until noon, and then headed out anyhow, it was supposed to get better. We were hoping we didn't have another "scolded dog" incident. We were headed north to the Pineapple Cays. The cruising guide said that was the place to go for pizza and Bill had his sights set on pizza for dinner. It wasn't too rough getting out of Rock Sound, although we were the only boat moving. When he headed into the Exuma Sound we hadn't expected to sail but the wind was right at the edge of the angle we can sail. We ended up putting all four sails up and the boat was very happy. It was a brisk sail, heeled over on our starboard side. We really need to "heel proof" our boat! Stuff was flying all over the place. That is something we are working on.

We ended up getting to the Pineapple Cays, the South Palmetto Point Settlement, by 5:00pm. The cruising guide promised a town dock, but apparently a hurricane has come through since the guide was written. There was a half a dock, the wrong half. If we wanted pizza we were going to have to land the dinghy on the beach. Did I mention it was cold? In the mid 60's! Yes, I know that is not cold to all of you that are expecting a snow storm tonight. To us, it is cold, especially when you have to jump into the water to pull the dinghy up to the beach. It turned out to not be so bad. The cruising guide was wrong about the dock. Maybe it was wrong about the pizza place still being there too. We walked anyhow. It was typical Bahamian town, maybe a bit nicer. There were not many abandoned houses. We finally came to the pizza place and it's still in business! Mate and Jenny's! It was a decent pizza, no Papa John's, but what is? Of course we ordered a big enough pizza to take some home for lunch the next day. By the time we left it was dark out. We were surprised to see street lights most of the way. We also ran into two big dogs in the middle of the road, and this time I was carrying food! Bill scared them off though and we managed to get back to our dinghy intact. The tide had gotten lower so we had to go even further into the water to push the dinghy into deep water. Good thing we had our dinghy wheels on, they work great!

The best thing about this anchorage is the great Internet access. We even managed a couple of phone calls home via Skype before we were too exhausted to call anyone else. The picture is the view this morning of the beach. If you look carefully you can see how the dock is all broken up.

Today we head for Hatchett Bay. Another storm is coming. This one sounds worse than the others. We should have some good protection there. We also know there is a cave you can get to. We'll see how that goes, another adventure is in our future!


Sailing
03/05/2013 | mike and sharon cothers
60 degrees, how are the locals dealing with that? We are preparing for the last storm of the year, gald I left new England
03/07/2013 | Vickie Hudson
Fighting the local dogs over the leftover pizza!
Another Cruising Experience!
Donna
03/01/2013, Rock Sound, Eleuthera, Bahamas

On Wednesday we crossed the Exuma Sound to Eleuthera. It was an all day journey with the mizzen and staysail up mostly just to steady the boat. There wasn't much to see but I did spot a white-tailed tropicbird sitting in the water. I thought it was a lobster pot at first because the tail is so long it was sticking up like a float pendant but when we got closer the bird flew away. They are very cool birds - it was my first!

We headed for Rock Sound because there is a lot of protection there from the front that is coming. We hadn't planned on Eleuthera yet but our destinations are much more dictated by weather than desire these days. We anchored near the town's dinghy dock and even though the water was choppy we took the dinghy over and checked out the town. This is the first Bahamian town we've been in that has a paved road big enough for two cars to pass.

Everyplace we go we say we wonder if they drive on the left or the right but it never has mattered because there haven't been that many cars and they really just drive in the middle. Well, now we know, they drive on the left, and they drive fast! We talked to the guy in the gas station/lumber store and he gave us a good run down on places to go and things to see. On our way back to the boat on Wednesday evening there were locals selling fresh fish on the dock our dinghy was tied to so we bought some Grouper and had it for dinner.

On Thursday we went out for breakfast even though the water was choppier than it had been the day before. We decided to try and pay for Internet again even though it hasn't really worked out for us yet this trip. We paid $10 cash for it. We forgot something at the boat though so we had to go back to get it. Turns out we didn't realize what else we forgot...

Bill knew there was a cave here and we had gotten directions to it. It was near the deep blue hole where people go swimming. We walked there and checked it out and decided that we weren't ever likely to swim there, or try and go in that cave. Instead we decided to walk the mile/mile and a half that we had been told was where the ocean was. That is when the adventure begins. It was a very long walk. Not a hard one, just a long one. We thought we were going to find Rosie's restaurant but the sign at the end of the very long road said Northside Inn. We followed it anyhow down another very long road. Bill had already decided by this point that we were getting a ride back somehow. There wasn't much to see on the road and no cars came by so I wasn't sure how that was going to work but we kept walking. Then we finally got to the Northside Inn. It looked like someone was there, but we were greeted by a very aggressive barking dog at the top of the driveway. Bill and I aren't much for barking dogs, we stood there for a few minutes and the dog kept barking, so we turned around and left.... What now?? Well luck was really with us. After just a few minutes a Dodge Caravan with an American woman drove up and asked us if Rosie's was open. We told her our story and she said oh those dogs are fine. Of course she had a dog in her car with her. She told us to jump in and we'd all have lunch at Rosie's. Peggy is just wonderful. She and her husband are living here on Eleuthera, he comes and goes for business, and they are building a house. Before lunch we took a quick walk down to the beach, shown in the picture above. When lunch was over we realized what else we forgot! Cash!! This is a cash island. There are some places you can use a credit card but we used most of our cash for breakfast and the crappy Internet we bought. Luckily Peggy covered for us and, after another wonderful walk down the beach, took us to an ATM so we could pay her back. The ATM was next to all the shopping, the hardware store, the supermarket, the liquor store, the gas station and the auto repair store. Unfortunately Peggy's car would not start after she filled it up with gas. Bill tried to help her but it seemed that the battery was dead. The manager of the supermarket jump started her and it worked but he told her she could go right to the auto store and buy a new battery. She did, it was outrageously expensive, and it didn't even fix the problem! Unfortunately it was her starter. Bill feels bad he didn't figure that out. She was able to start it again though and head home. We are so lucky to have found Peggy.

Today we had to get our propane tank refilled. The hardware store told us we could just call them and they would pick us up and drop us off. We did and they came in a little pickup truck that seats two. I got to ride in the front and Bill got in the back. On the way there he sat on the truck bed, but on the way back he rode Bahamian style, standing up and holding onto the cab. Wish we had the camera then!

Tomorrow we will head deeper into Rock Sound to get protection from the strong winds that are coming. Then we will sit on the boat and relax for a couple of days before heading north on Eleuthera. I see a movie in our future!!

An Aborted Escape
Donna
02/26/2013, Black Point, Exumas, Bahamas

Our plan was to leave by 8:00am this morning and head to Little Farmers Cay. Bill decided to listen to the Bahamas weather over the Internet this morning instead of the SSB and it flaked out right during the forecast for our area. We left anyhow and boy did we regret it. It was really rough on the Banks and we weren't making any progress at all. We did the right thing, we turned around and went back to the anchorage. As we were dropping the anchor I heard the following on the VHF radio.

First boat: Did you see that Moonraker left this morning and now they are back?
Second boat: Yep, turned around just like a scolded dog!

We kept listening to all the cruisers talking on the radio and it turns out that everyone was heading to Little Farmers Cay because of the coming weather front. Apparently there isn't all that much room there. Bill wanted to go because there is definitely a cave there that we could explore. Well, we have now reassessed the situation and have decided to stay here today and head out very early tomorrow morning to Rock Sound in Eleuthera. It will be a whole day voyage. We have not done much of that lately. It's the first time we are turning north since we left Annapolis. We need to be back in Annapolis by May so we can't go any further south this trip. We have to save some things to see in the Bahamas so we can come back again.

It was so rolly in the anchorage this morning that we had to get off the boat. We decided to walk to the beach. We haven't done that yet on this island. We stopped at the store to buy a candy bar but the power was out on the whole island so she couldn't open the cash register for change and all we had was a $5. No problem, we had no trouble finding $5 worth of junk food to buy. See, we can roll with the punches! Apparently the power going off for the whole island, and Staniel Cay too, is a rare thing.

When we got to the beach it was, of course beautiful. See picture above. Our friends on the other Bayfield 40 brought us over a sea bean on Sunday and told us how much fun it is to search for them and also search for sea glass. Bill looked down for just a couple of minutes and he found a sea bean! Apparently they float for very long distances over the oceans. It just may have come from Africa. They are supposedly good luck - we'll take it!

Then Bill finally agreed to get Bahamian pizza for lunch. I've been lobbying for it since we got here. It was good, but not exactly how we think of pizza. This afternoon we are going to go to the Cruisers Happy hour at bar close by and see how that goes. Then I think we've tried almost everything there is to try in Black Point.

Sailing
A Lesson In Patience
Donna
02/25/2013, Black Point, Exumas, Bahamas

We took the outside route to Black Point because it didn't look like we were going to sail and it would be faster. It was getting late in the day. We anchored at the edge of the anchorage where there were about 45 boats. We tried to get our friends on the radio because we knew they would be there but they didn't answer. When we couldn't get them on the radio we took a ride out in our dinghy to look for them and couldn't find them so we just went into town to check out the Laundromat. Our friends had told us about it and it looked great. It was open until 9pm but closed on Sunday. If we had known then what we know now we would have done our laundry on Saturday night, but we waited until Monday morning.

On our way back we found a boat exactly like ours and it turns out we had met them a few years ago when Bill was corresponding with him on how to fix some things. We said hello and went on board to catch up. They have been cruising the Bahamas for a few years now and had lots of stuff to teach us. They were very relaxed, I think that is what we have to learn the most!

We always listen to the VHF radio. We listen for people who might be calling us and we listen to people calling others. There is not a lot of entertainment out here, you need to make your own. Sometimes they advertise the restaurants and businesses you are close to. We heard everyone calling to make reservations at Lorraines Café for the barbecue on Sunday night. We went there to check it out and decided we would go too. 5:00pm, $15 a person, lots of different foods, lots of cruisers go. We also ordered two loafs of bread that Lorraine's mother makes to be picked up on Monday morning.

At 5pm we headed to Lorraines to make sure that we got our share of the food. Well, this was our first lesson in patience. We aren't sure if it was Island time, or just a way to get the cruisers to spend more money on alcohol, there was no food until 7pm. No one is going to make any money on Bill and I drinking alcohol - we were drinking ice water! There was a young family there with adorable 2 and 4 year old children. We ended up sitting with them and that worked out for everyone! We got to go through the buffet first since Lorraine didn't want the children trampled. The father ended up not feeling well because of the heat and the noise, and the expectation of food at 5pm and getting it at 7pm. He had to go back to his boat but the children were really enjoying the food. He asked us if we could take his wife and children back when everyone was done. We were happy to do it. Those kids are having an interesting life - that is for sure!

This morning we finally got to do the laundry after having to wait three weeks since we saw a Laundromat. We got there around 9:00am and all the other cruisers were there too. Too bad - there was no water! They were filling up the tank again so we would have to wait until noon to come back and do the laundry. That was our second lesson in patience. The laundry is all done now though. It's nice to have clean clothes again! As an added extra bonus, the woman who runs the laundry, Ida, also cuts hair. Bill got his cut as you can see in the picture above. I am letting mine grow long!

This afternoon we went snorkeling by the inlet from the Sound. Bill saw a moray eel and pointed it out to me. He had his jaws open and you could see his teeth. We didn't get too close! There were lots of fish, all different colors, all different sizes.

We finally have had Internet access that was good enough to put up our Exumas pictures. I did two albums because I need to split out all the reptile pictures Bill has taken. Please look at them in our Photo Gallery!

Sailing
02/26/2013 | mike and sharon cothers
What happen to the bucket washing machine:-) life definitely is slower down there and it sounds like your getting in tune. Finally had a warm day here, spring is coming.
Thunderball Grotto
Donna
02/23/2013, Staniel Cay, Exumas, Bahamas

We paid $10 for 24 hours of Internet, or 200 Mb, whichever comes first. Most of the 24 hours the Internet has been pretty bad. Here is the disclaimer on the home page, how can I complain???

This service uses a satellite uplink for all traffic. On its best day, it will seem slow compared to any land-based service. It's 22 thousand miles to the satellite, which means it's 44 thousand miles before your request hits the Internet, and 44 thousand for the data to come back. No matter how you slice it, 88 thousand miles may take more than a few seconds for a response. So remember, you're in the Central Exumas with the most beautiful water and Cay's anywhere on the planet. Fast Internet is available at most office buildings and cubicles in the states. Would you really want to trade where you are for a cubicle?

Today we went to snorkel in Thunderball Grotto. It is just a few hundred yards from where we anchored. It's like a cave. You swim under a two foot high opening, at low tide, into a large room, the size of a large swimming pool, with a ceiling about 20 feet high with an opening on the top to let the sun in. It has a hole on the other side that you can swim out to snorkel the reef. There were lots of people there, including a couple of tour boats. We took some bread crumbs to feed the fish and were very popular with the angel fish at least for the few seconds it took for it all to be gone.. There were a lot of fish inside the grotto. The picture above is taken inside. It's where they filmed the James Bond movie Thunderball. Some scenes from Spash were also filmed here. It was very cool being in there but the reef outside was equally cool. Lots of different kinds of fish swim all around. We got some OK pictures which we will post when we get real Internet. Of course none really do it justice. You have to see it to believe it!

We are getting ready to leave for Black Point now. We will probably stay there through Monday night. Hopefully there is a restaurant in our future!

Sailing
03/07/2013 | Vickie Hudson
I'm hoping the restaurant is a buffet so Bill can restock his reserves!
Hiking Exuma Park
Donna
02/22/2013, Staniel Cay, Exumas, Bahamas

Yesterday Bill and I hiked for five hours. We estimate we went about 4 miles. We walked the loop trails around Warderick Wells and it was a killer. It was kind of like caving... you needed to look at every place you set your feet because of the rocks and holes in the ground. It made for slow going and hard work. We've done that now, we never need to do it again! Biggest regret - I didn't realize how far we were going and I didn't bring enough water! Luckily we were prepared enough to have worn our hiking boots. That really helped a lot. Some of the trails were interior to the island, like you see in the picture above. The rest were on the edge of the island over the rocks. It was a lot cooler there because the sea breeze was constantly blowing on us. We were glad we took the hike though. When we finally got back to the boat we turned on the VHF radio and heard them announce that there would be a Cruisers Happy Hour on the beach at 5pm. We had no energy left at all, but we knew we had to check it out. Luckily we had time for a nap before 5:00!

The Happy Hour was small but nice. We met another couple who were scarily like Bill and I. He was a software developer, she did IT support, and it went on and on. We really enjoyed meeting them and hope to run into them again sometime in the Bahamas or back in the States. This was the most social anchorage we have been in since Vero Beach.

Bill has been accusing me of starving him to death. If you ask Bill's brother, who came to spend a couple of days with us at the beginning of our Bahamas adventure he would probably agree. Bill decided we had to have a weigh in this morning after that tough hike yesterday. We brought a scale with us just to settle arguments like this. We actually had another cruiser come to our boat to get on the scale, he was so excited when he heard we had one! Well, Bill may be partially right this time. He has lost seven pounds since we were in Ft. Lauderdale. I have lost only two and a half pounds, but I'm down five since we started cruising south. We do eat three meals a day, plus two snacks, and appetizers before dinner, so it's not that we aren't eating. For the past three weeks there hasn't been any place to even try and spend any money or eat out so I'm trying to ration the food we have.

This morning we left to go to Staniel Cay. We heard there was more civilization there: groceries, Laundromat, restaurants. We had a great sail but about half way here we were heading right into the wind so decided to motor the rest of the way. When we got here Bill called the general store on the VHF to check to see if we could buy some propane. One of our tanks is empty. She told him she has no propane, and no food, until Wednesday. That's when the mail boat comes with all the supplies for the island. We had heard that there wasn't much in the way of food to purchase, but we didn't realize there would be no propane either. We went to scope out the rest of the town and poked our heads into the yacht club. There is a restaurant there but it is outrageously expensive. We saw another cruiser with a loaf of bread and asked where she got it. It was at the "Blue Store". We were able to buy a couple of things there, eggs, bread, some fresh fruit and vegetables. It was also expensive, but not too bad. We spoke to a cruising friend on the VHF tonight who is not far away at another island, the place we intend to go tomorrow afternoon. She told us there is a great Laundromat there so we will hold all our laundry and do it there.

Tomorrow we will snorkel in Thunderball Grotto. This is where the James Bond movie Thunderball was filmed, and also some scenes from Splash. After that we will head to Black Point to do our laundry!


Sailing
Exuma Land and Sea Park
Donna
02/21/2013, Warderick Wells, Exumas, Bahamas

We spent Tuesday at Hawksbill Cay. We had a great sail there, with only one casualty - my baseball cap! It went overboard when I went forward to look for coral heads. I had finally found, and was using, the little strap to clip it on to my shirt. I guess that gave me the confidence to think I would not lose it. I was wrong! It went overboard with the cap. Bill offered to go back and get it. Baseball caps float very nicely. I refused. It wasn't worth the effort.

Hawksbill Cay is a beautiful anchorage, Bill's favorite so far. We started by taking a mooring ball. We were surprised to see that the line attached to it was way too big to bring on board the boat, you need to use your own line and put it through the eye of their line to use it. Once we had that all figured out we decided we preferred to anchor anyhow and moved off the mooring. It was an important lesson though, we were definitely taking a mooring the next day next to the park headquarters and we needed to be prepared.

There is a long trail you can hike at Hawksbill Cay that starts right off the beach. We remembered to use our dinghy wheels and they worked really well this time. Just the perfect combination of hard sand and experience helped. We were lucky enough to run into a couple on the trail that had actually helped to build it. They gave us a lot of local knowledge and made our time at Hawksbill Cay that much better. There are some Loyalist ruins on the island which we went and checked out. Loyalists were refugees from the American Revolution who were still loyal to the Crown and relocated to the Bahamas. Bill was looking for caves and he found some, but none of them were good to go in and explore.

Yesterday we reserved a mooring at Warderick Wells, the Exuma Land and Sea Park Headquarters. They have two mooring fields and we were lucky enough to get in the north field. The wind wasn't great for sailing and we needed to charge our batteries so we motor sailed the whole way. We came into the mooring field and I was able to get Bill close enough to the mooring ball for him to grab it but the current was too strong and he had to drop it. We turned around, no easy feat in this small space, and came in against the current to pick up the mooring. We now know we should have done it that way to begin with. A cruiser we have met before and have been running into in a couple of anchorages jumped in his dinghy to come and help us. It worked better this time. Above is a picture of the mooring field. That light area you see on the inside is shallow water. That is the sand on the bottom you are seeing!

Warderick Wells has a lot of hiking trails and snorkeling. We took a great hike and saw how beautiful it is here. We met a woman on the boat next to us whose husband was having a bad allergy attack so the park helped him find a way to fly to Nassau to see a doctor. We invited her for dinner since she had no idea when he would be back. Luckily he got back in time for dinner and we all had a wonderful time comparing life stories. We will stay here at least another day and hike the much longer trail, hopefully it will calm down enough to snorkel some also.

Sailing

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Who: Bill & Donna Shuman
Port: Annapolis, MD
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Our Boat

Moonraker is a 1986 Bayfield 40 designed by the famous Ted Gozzard and built in Ontario, Canada. The rig is a cutter/ketch. Here are some of her specs:

LOA: 45 ft. 6 in.
LWL: 30 ft. 6 in.
Beam: 12 ft.
Draft: 4 ft. 11 in.
Displacement: 21,000 lbs.
Ballast: 8,200 lbs.
Sail Area: 1,009 sq. ft.


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