First conch salad!!
11/17/2009, Lucaya, Grand Bahama
November 15th and 16th... 2009 Lake Worth, FL to Lucya, Grand Bahama
11/17/2009, Lake Worth, FL
I ran the garbage to town in the morning with Steve and stopped off at the Grocery for some Parmalot which we had somehow forgotten to stow. I also picked up a giant pork chop and a few potatoes for a late lunch today.
Our plan was to depart Lake Worth at 3pm for the night crossing to Lucya. The wind is from the north which is generally not the preferred direction but is forecast to remain light for our trip. There are also swells of about 8 feet from the north east.... But their period is about 12 seconds which means that they shouldn't bother us too much.
We finished eating at about 2pm and began our pre crossing check list. At almost 3pm, just before I was about to go on deck to haul the anchor, I switched on the bilge pump to check for water ... and it didn't turn off. Our automatic switch died last week. (we have replacements, but I haven't got around to changing things out yet) A glance into the bilge showed nothing but water. Our bilge is a hollow section of our keel about 5 feet deep and holds approximately 50 gallons of water....it was full.
We were sinking. I started with the manual bilge pump and then had Kathy take over while I started checking the thru-hull fittings... tearing up bedding and throwing everything out of my way. There are really only four areas on "Sapphire" where problems are likely to occur and while checking the second of these found the problem. The thru-hull fitting which supplies water to our water-maker had been closed in the opposite direction than ususal and water was running out of a damaged greaser. To create the leak two things had to happen. First, the thru-had to be closed inboard instead of outboard and two, it had to be closed beyond 45 degrees which is possible when closed inboard due to the curve of the hull.
In about 5 minutes we had things back to normal. After catching our collective breaths, we hauled the anchor and were heading south out of Lake Worth. It was about a 5 mile trip to the inlet and every person in the area had their boats on the water. There is a narrow channel through Lake Worth that everyone has to use and no one slows down much. 50' power boats traveling at ½ speed create huge wakes that rocked us all the way to the Ocean.
We had hoisted the mizzen while still at anchor, which is our practice, and the main just before entering the channel. Before long we had the staysail and jib out as well and were making 6.5 knots headed for Lucya. Winds and seas were as advertized...wind NNW at 1, seas of 5, and swells of 8 with a 12 second period. It was a rolly ride... sideways to both the seas and the wind, but tolerable. The Gulf Stream didn't have much effect on the sea state if anything it reduced the height of the swell. Seas were a little confused, and moving around the boat was difficult.
Rather than letting the GPS constantly react to the Gulf Steam I set a waypoint about 15 miles south of where we really wanted to go, made note of that bearing, and set the autopilot. As it turns out ....I could have set that point at 12 miles and saved a little distance.
Kathy had been feeling bad most of the day and being in a boat that was being tossed around like a washing machine, didn't help here much. She went to bed about 7pm ... but couldn't do much but lay there.
She occasionally would pop up to see if I needed anything and one of those trips we rolled up the Jib. Winds were up to 20 knots and I was sailing close to the edge. With sail reduced, Sapphire was much better behaved. At one point I started the engine for an hour to catch up with "Fine Lion" who sails faster than we.
When we were well beyond the Gulf Stream I set a way point for the outer bouy at Lucya only to have the GPS tell me that at our current rate of speed we would arrive at 4:35 am. I rolled up the staysail and dumped enough air out of the top of the main to slow us down to 3 knots for the last 20 miles or so.
In the lea Grand Bahama, the seas calmed and the winds pooped out completely so we motored the last 12 miles into port.
Steve radioed in and was told to take our pick of slips. Lucya is a Cruise boat destination ... Port Lucya consists of shops, bars, resturantes, and more shops. It is colorful and alive. The dock master tied us up and returned with Customs and Immigration paperwork which we filled out and walked up to the office at the end of the dock to clear through. There was a line so it took a little longer than we expected, but we're in the Bahamas where hurrying is a totally foreign concept.
Kathy was still under the weather but helped rinsing the salt off "Sapphire" for a couple of hours. Later, Steve, Kim and I walked off the dock and into the center of Port Lucya with all it's action. We wanted conch salads, and I needed to make our Bahamian phone work.
In a small deli, I bought a phone card but was told that I needed a new sims chip to make it work. With directions to the Batelco office I looked for a taxi but they wanted $25 for the ride. I started walking. After a couple of miles I found the Mall in question and after asking directions twice found the office that I needed. I tried to get a replacement chip for $10 but since I didn't have a clue about the phone's number, had to settle for a new one for $14. I walked back to Port Lucya and delivered all the phone stuff to Kathy to figure out. At the end of the dock found Kim in the Conch Salad line and joined here.
Back at the boat I inhaled the salad with a beer and in a little while we joined Kim and Steve at a bar ...people watching. We walked back to the boat... and had been wasting time when our friends returned to change clothes for supper.... We ended up joining them and had a great meal at a Greek place where they'd eaten last year.
By the time dinner ended...it was time for bed. Kathy stayed up and watched "24" but with no sleep in 40 hours ... I crashed.
Ps we're going to stay here for another, unplanned day, and then head to the "Berrys" and then down to the Exumas with a couple of stops for lobster.
November 14th....2009 Lake Worth, FL
After listening to the Chris Parker and checking online at our trusted sources, I dinghied over to "Fine Lion" and was met by Steve with the statement that we should delay our departure by 24 hours...which was the reason for my visit. It seemed obvious that waiting a day would make for a little softer trip.
At noon Kim, Steve and I walked to West Marine which was a little over a mile down the road and picked up a couple items that we may need for winter projects on "Sapphire."
On the way back we stopped at a sports bar and watched the Spartans defeat Boilermakers. It was another close game and our record in such instances has not been at all good this year. However, this time we lucked out.
Neither of us was very hungry so we generally snacked for dinner and then watched some video.
Lighthouse at Jupiter Inlet
11/14/2009, Lake Worth, Florida
November 13th, 2009 Peck Lake to Lake Worth, Fl
We left our anchorage about 8 a.m. and headed south on the ICW. This stretch has more bridges than any other section that we travel. Our trip today was only about 16 miles but took us about 4 hours instead of 3, which would be normal.
At the north end of Lake Worth we topped off our fuel tank and proceeded around the corner to the anchorage. After some lunch and showers we lowered the dinghy and went ashore. There is a good grocery and a mall close by. Our main goal was to purchase some beef to get in our freezer. Good beef in the Bahamas is rare and it is nice to have as much as possible on board when we leave.
When our shopping was completed we returned to the boat and wasted some time before the pre-game show came on at 6. We spent the evening listening to the first MSU basketball game of the year.