Mike and Kathy
01/14/2008, Manjack Cay, Abacos, Bahamas
Great Sale to Manjack Cay...January 13
Today is Sunday and since we can't check into the country until Monday it was decided to head for Manjack Cay for the night before checking in at Green Turtle Cay. It is only a couple of miles away and much less hectic. There is supposed to be a front coming through tonight but our anchor is well down in the sand and we've seen much worse.
We left Great Sale at 8:30 and motored to the north end of the island before heading east and south. Our sails were up prior to departure and were in assist mode for about 2 hours before we turned off the engine and had another perfect sail ,,,, swimming suits and suntan lotion. Late in the afternoon we caught up with our sailing group and followed them into our anchorage on Manjack Cay. After getting things squared away, we dinghied over to English Rose for Champagne and snacks to celebrate our arrival.
Most of our trip today was across 50 miles of desolate shallow water. The depths were between 12 and 20 feet for hours. The water in the shallows is a new color for us... my best descriptions is Neon Turquoise. There are always islands and rocks in the distance, but usually far away.
The nice thing about being here is that we have internet from somewhere and we were able to get word from our daughter, Ellie, that my mother's surgery went well and she will be moved to a nursing home for therapy and recovery today or tomorrow. When we get checked in we may go to town to find a phone card and call home.
It was a gorgeous day sailing in beautiful water.
Across the Gulf Stream
Mike and Kathy
01/14/2008, Great Sale Cay, Bahamas
Out of the country...January 12
I was up at 6 tuning the radio to catch Chris Parker (weather man) at 6:30. Before he finished, Bob called from English Rose saying that he thought we should head across. We left 10 minutes later and sailed ( no motor for hours) all the way to the Bahama Bank ... 50 miles and averaged 7.2 knots. The middle of the Gulf Stream was a little rolly with 4 or 5 foot swells with 2 foot waves on top, but it was a perfect day of sailing. We pushed on another 50 miles to Great Sale Cay and arrived at about 10:45pm.
I had two lines out all day and just after we hit the Bank I caught a 25 pound barracuda on a hand line. I had to bring it aboard to get my $15 lure back but in retrospect, it may have been a mistake. Barracuda not only look like northern pike they have the same slime and smell .. which were both transferred to our cockpit. I removed the hook with two sets of pliers and heaved the foul fish overboard. You can eat them if they are small but anything over 5 pounds is dangerous.
On the way over we had our first experience with flying fish and after a day of watching I moved them just ahead of the Pelican as my favorite animal. The small ones hang out in schools. They are abut 8 inches long and a school normally has 20 to 50 members. They are easily spooked and they all take off in the same direction...away from you. But the big ones are much smarter. They measure about a foot to 18 inches and hang by themselves. When they fly the always take off into the wind and hit the tops of every wave ... where they wiggle their tails enough to get another 20 meters of distance. Most make it about 200 feet but I saw at least two that kept going until out of sight... at least 100 yards.
I'd like to add that we left in a great hurry-I was barely out of bed. It was also difficult for me because my mother fell and broke her hip yesterday and was having surgery and now I will be out of contact for a day or two. There are plenty of airports in the Bahamas, should I need to fly home.
The picture of our boat under the rainbow was taken by Antje or Bill from "A B seas". We saw tons of rainbows for a few days in Vero, which means we had lots of rain showers.
It is quite exciting to have crossed the Gulf Stream under sail and in comfortable conditions and to actually be in the Bahamas!
Waiting some more
01/14/2008, Lake Worth, FL
We left Vero this morning at 6:45 sharp and motored south in the company of "English Rose." The plan was to go offshore but by the time we got to Fort Pierce, which was only an hour and a half south, the winds were building and our arrival time may have been too late in Lake Worth to fuel up... (which was important) so we stayed inside and dealt with nine bridges. Our anchor was down before dark but the weather seems not to be what was forecast. The winds today were 20kt.s and we need a day to let things lay down so we're sleeping in tomorrow and hoping that Sunday gives us a window for crossing... I'm thinking that in reality it may be a few days more.
It was a long day of driving with shoals at every inlet. We fared well timing the bridges, only waiting on one or two.