The Glass Window Bridge
04/08/2008, Rock Sound, Eleuthera
March 29th to April 1st... Rock Sound, Eleuthera.
(Sam, you may want to skip this entry-oh, Dad apologized later.)
After coffee, I went to the store with Craig from "Tilt" to pick up some transmission fluid and a few things that we had forgotten yesterday. My main task for the day however, was to figure out why our VHF radio was malfunctioning.
With Steve's help and his electrical testing equipment, we quickly figured that our radio problem was due to low voltage in our battery bank. Although our old analog gauge was reading 12.6 volts the reality was that they were discharged to 11.7 which is too low for our radio on high power. At the same time we found that our little electrical multi-meter was reading incorrectly as well.
With Steve's Amp tester, I spent a few hours checking our charging inputs...solar, Honda generator and the big alternator and found that everything seemed to be working well. There were no unknown electrical draws and the charging devices were working as advertised. I did find that the Honda, in combination with our inverter / charger (Freedom 20) was only putting 15 amps into our battery bank. I would have expected much more. It is a 100 amp charger but expects 22.5 amps at 110 volts. The Honda only supplies 13.1. I wish someone who has access to unlimited computer time (D. Scott or Randy) would check into this issue. Do I need to buy a new charger??? (Sam... sorry for the repair stuff)
It was our last nice day for a while, so in the afternoon we walked to the other side of the Island for lunch with Kris and Craig "Tilt", Steve and Carol "Restless" and Terry and Charlie "Voyager". It was a 2.5 mile walk out through the scrub, but the meal was worth the hike. I had "grouper fingers" which were perfect... but the jerked chicken was excellent as well. We had planned on having Rose drive us back, but as we were leaving she had two more groups show up for a late afternoon lunch. So... we walked back to town in 90 degree temps.
We returned to the boat to find that there was a cruisers gathering down the shore in an defunct tiki bar. We threw together a dish to pass and at 5, motored to the party. We had a very nice time and met some folks that were new to us... but friends of friends.
March 30th and 31th.
The storm rolled in during the night but with less gusto than expected. We stayed on the boat all day Sunday on anchor watch and reading. We didn't accomplish much at all. On Monday we went to the store and to the gas station to attempt to file Sam's taxes on line but failed. We spent another day reading and then went over to "Restless" for pizza.
Barry and Susan asked if we wanted to share the cost of a rental car to tour the island tomorrow and we gladly accepted their offer.
We had a good breakfast and were at Dingle Motors picking up our car at 9am. We took off to the north, our ultimate destination being the Glass Window which was about 50 miles away. It was a leisurely drive on the wrong side of the road. We checked all the little villages and potential anchorages on our way north. Most of the time we were on the west side of the island but we drove to the east side to locate a restaurant that had been recommended to us.
The Glass Window is a spot on the northern end of Eleuthera where the island narrows to the width of the road and follows a ridge of limestone. The "window" is a cut in this ridge that is spanned by a short bridge. On one side of the road is the Atlantic with waves crashing and on the other are the calm waters of the sound. The bridge itself was moved be a recent hurricane about 4 feet to the west and is now down to one lane. We took some photos but it is one of those places where cameras just can't capture the effect.
On our way back south we checked out the village along the way and did a little shopping and searched out an interesting cave. For the first time we saw land that seemed to be suitable for farming and in fact there were a few small plots of pineapples, bananas and tomatoes. At one point there were huge cement silos spaced along the road every half mile or so that were the remains of a very large beef operation. Most of the villages were very poor with little or no economic base.
We had a wonderful lunch at a place on the Atlantic call Tippy's. On the wall were photos of Mariah Carrey and some other guy who makes movies.
It was a long day by the time we returned the car so we skipped happy hour on the beach and baked some chicken for a late dinner.
About half of the boats here in Rock Sound left this morning for points north. We will stay until tomorrow and then make a three day run back to the Abacos. We will head north up the island to Governor's Harbor tomorrow and then to Current Cut on Friday. The weather looks good on Saturday and Sunday for our ocean crossing to Little Harbor, Abacos. We are thinking that the wind may be better for sailing on Saturday . The issue is the entering the cut at Little Harbor but it is much safer there than some of the smaller entrances.
Watch where you're going!
03/29/2008, Rock Sound, Eleuthera
March 28th...Little San Salvador to Rock Sound, Eluthera
We left Half Moon Bay at about 7:30 and motor sailed most of the day . The first 10 miles were not protected from the Ocean and there were some good sized swells but otherwise the trip was no eventful. We did not catch any fish although Steve caught another Barracuda.
The weather is going to prohibit traveling next week so we came here mostly for protection. There are well stocked stores and internet access ... although at $12 an hour we won't be spending too much time there. The cold fronts that bring us bad weather are supposed to slack off in March but so far that has not been the case.
One of the largest Cruise Ships in the world passed us yesterday... it looked like sideways building floating on the water. It crossed the path our friends Barry and Susan on "Night Hawk" and we got a couple of neat photos.
We arrived in port at around 1:30 and took a dinghy ride / walk to the store which the nicest that we've seen in a while. The produce was picked over but the shelves were well stocked and there seemed to be enough business to insure stock rotation. There is a hardware and NAPA in the same area so we'll go back tomorrow to search for fishing lures and transmission fluid.
There were squalls today and a water spout formed out in the bay, not far from our boat. It was pretty cool! We saw several rainbows also.
We grilled some burgers and listened to updates of basketball games on Fox sports. We gave up on the Spartans at halftime down 30. But all in all, a Sweet 16 appearance was more than we anticipated this season.
Sharing the harbor
03/29/2008, Half Moon Bay, Little San Salvador
March 27... Bluff, Cat Island to Half Moon Bay, Little San Salvadore.
We left Bluff without going ashore, at about 8:30 and sailed wing on wing in 20 knots for two hours before hitting deep water and turning north. Our lines were in water as we approached the drop off when I noticed that one our boat poles was twitching. There was a fish on but it wasn't big enough to take any drag out. After no fight at all, we boated the monster and got the book out to identify the poor thing. In a few minutes it became obvious that it was a Almaco Jack (forgot to take a picture!) and the book said it was excellent table fare. It took two swipes to detach the fillets from the carcass and then two more to get rid of the skin before sticking them in the refrigerator. Try as we may, there were no more fish to be had.
The island of Little San Salvador is owned by the Holland America Cruise Line and used as a stop on their runs. We are allowed to anchor here if we stay to the west end of the bay and stay aboard when there is a cruise ship in port. We arrived around one and spent the afternoon watching the cruise people play. They have stables and lead groups riding on the beaches. There are cabanas large and small, bars, restaurants, small sailboats, para-sailing.... just about any water sport imaginable. The ship itself anchors off shore about a mile and the passengers are ferried ashore.
At around 6 pm everyone was back aboard, they weighed anchor and are gone.
I fried some potatoes and the fish while Kathy made a salad.... the fish was very good.