Another Day in Clarence Town
January 26th, 2009 Clarence Town, Long Island
The weather is still windy and cloudy and the forecast doesn't show much change until about Thursday. We'll probably stay here until then. In the morning I transferred 10 gallons of diesel from our jerry cans to our main tank and then took off with Barry for the Marina which is about a mile across the harbor.
We took care of business and then spent a few minutes talking to Dave and Mary from "Mon Amie." who have spent the last month or so in the Jumentos and Acklins area. They were very helpful and invited us over sometime in the afternoon to go over things with our charts.
After putting the jerry cans away and lashing them down, we had some lunch and then I dinghied over to talk to Steve for awhile. Barry and Susan had gone into town during the morning and discovered a restaurant that had happy hour specials on food so we made plans to all go back at 4pm.
Barry and I spent some time on "Mon Amie" with Dave and Mary pointing out their favorite anchorages in the Jumentos. They are wonderful people and were very helpful.
Another boat came in and anchored behind us. "Rapscallion II" whom we've met briefly before. They are from Lapeer, Michigan and made the trip down the Erie Canal last summer.
There were five boats represented at happy hour and we had a great time. The food was good and not too expensive by Bahamamian standards. The trip back to "Sapphire" was a wet ride into 3 foot seas and 20 knots of wind, but the evening was worth it.
January 25th Clarence Town, Long Island, Bahamas
It was windy this morning as expected. We had breakfast and then read for awhile. At about 11am we took off to explore Clarence Town Harbor.
We found some great places to hunt lobster but between the current and the wind decided to wait for another, calmer day.
The six of us hiked two or three beaches sifting through the accumulated trash. There were heart beans everywhere. Barry was throwing them at me and I just stuck them in the pockets of my swim suit. With pockets bulging, the joke was to see how many it took to make my suit fall down. We also found four hamburger beans.
By the time we returned it we were starved and had some left over stroganoff. The morning had been sunny but it clouded up during the afternoon. With no sun it seemed cool with the wind blowing at 25 knots.
This anchorage is interesting in that it is open to the east. There are a few small cays but the reef in front of us cuts out all waves. It's windy and there is a heck of a current but the boat rides comfortably.
We listened to the Spartans come back in the second half to knock off Ohio State. It sounded to me like the second half of the game was the best they've played all year. I always wonder what is said during halftime in the locker room to make such an effect.
It sounds like we will be here a few days, which we knew when we made the decision to stay. There is internet service at the marina in town that we will avail ourselves of as well as a gas station that seems to offer diesel. There are always more beaches to explore so we'll keep busy.
We had seared tuna with wasabi sauce for dinner. We only got a taste on the beach last night and decided to eat all we wanted this evening.
To Calabassh and Clarence Town
m & k
January 24th, 2009 Clarence Town, Long Island, Bahamas
My day started a 12:20 am with a "thump". The boat shuddered and I was wide awake. In about 10 seconds there was another "thump." Our keel was bouncing off the bottom. I turned on the GPS to find that low tide was about 30 minutes away.we were still going down. A few minutes later our stern came to rest on the bottom while the forward portion of the keel continued to bump the bottom with each swell. I didn't think that it was a dangerous situation, but it was uncomfortable. As we approached dead low tide, I raised the mizzen and swung the boom to starboard to use the wind to push us as soon as possible. On schedule the tide began to come in, we floated off and the wind pushed us about 20 degrees to the port into some marginally deeper water. At about 2:30 the danger was over and I went back to bed.
I was up again at 6:30 for the weather which called for winds of 10 to 12 knots from the NE. Looking at our anemometer which stood at 15, and knowing that yesterdays forecast was off on the low side by about 8 knots, I was a little skeptical. Barry spoke with Chris Parker to get a personal forecast and things sounded ok for the trip across the Crooked Island Passage. The next few days however would be quite windy. Since our plan was to hang out in the Bight of Acklins with no protection for a few days, the six of us discussed the situation over the vhf and we decided to stay put for a few days until the winds over there subsided a bit.
There were two other boats in the anchorage "Nakita" and "Freeatlast." They are two young families whom we have met a few times along the way. Hamish and Dave are fisherman. On our way in yesterday, we heard "Nikita" on the radio asking anyone in the area to be on the lookout for their dinghy that was lost at sea.
"Freeatlast" had torn its main so they both were not in the best of spirits. Hamish stopped by to chat and I mentioned that although we were had little experience in sail repair, we did have the sewing machine for the job if he wanted to take a chance.
Dave and Hamish got the sail down and Steve and I looked at the damage. There was an "L" shaped tear of about 4 feet on each side, some damage to the bolt rope area and an almost missing batten sleeve.
We spent about two hours taping each side with 3 inch sail tape and then I went back to pick up Kathy to oversee the sewing. With three of us manhandling the sail, Kathy running the speed control and me guiding the sail through the machine, we did a reasonably good job. The stitching wasn't all that straight, but should hold. The repair took about 4 hours, but it was time well spent.
After a shower we were off to town and caught up with our friends having a late lunch at the Marina Restaurant. We wandered around for a while but Steve had called for a beach party at 5 so we cut our exploration short get some pickle wraps together.
We had a great time with all six boats in the anchorage represented. Steve seared some of Barry's tuna and served it with some wasabi dip that was the hit of the party. We had a fire on the beach and listened to Hamish play guitar.
January 23rd, 2009 Cabalash Bay to Clarence Town Long Island
The anchorage at Cabalash Bay is known as an uncomfortable place to stay and we are now able to testify to the fact. At about 1:00 am "Sapphire" began to roll . side to side. It was impossible to sleep so I was up and spent some time on the computer. It did settle down around 4 am and we were able to get a little nap before our departure at daylight.
We headed north around the tip of Long Island and then southwest along its eastern side. We were basically on a beam reach in 20+ knots all day. We were in the Atlantic with a fetch all the way over to Africa. We had swells of 6 to 8 feet with about a 10 second period and then wind chop of about 4 feet on top of that. Needless to say we spent the day heeled between 15 and 20 degrees with our starboard rail in the water much of the time. It was a great sail but our angle made it difficult to move around much. It was one of those days when things that that never fall out of their place. did.
"Night Hawk" was fishing along the 200 foot line and caught more tuna during the day than they could stow..darn. We were skunked for the day landing only 2 small barracuda. We lost one fish that was small and another that got our adrenalin going. At some in the afternoon our new reel started to scream. I grabbed the rod out of the holder while Kathy brought us into the wind. The reel was still screaming so I clamped down on the drag. By now half of the 40 lb test on the reel was gone so I added more drag. What ever was on the other end was pulling so hard that I was a little worried about not being able to hold the rod. Unfortunately, the reel was still screaming. I couldn't do anything-the seas were too rough to attempt to turn and my line was almost gone..so I tightened the drag some more knowing that we could never land a fish this big in today's seas. I was just hoping that the line would break somewhere down near the leader so we could still use the new rod. (We had no extra line)
Finally it was gone. the line went slack and I reeled it in, arms aching.
A little later Kathy went below to find standing water on the sole at the base of the settee. She mopped it up with some towels but it returned immediately. I went down a little later and soaked it up again and checked the bilge which was fine. Before I went back up I tasted it to find that it was fresh. With that piece of information the puzzle was solved. Heeled at 20 degrees our water tank is higher that the starboard side of the sole. With a full tank, it was leaking through its two inspection ports and settling at the base of the settee. It had also gotten into some storage compartments where we keep food and extra bedding, so everything had to come out. Most of it was okay-the bedding is in plastic bags. Some things had to be hung out to dry. And all the fresh water we lost, that had been carried to the boat in jerry jugs in George Town was wasted.
We arrived in Clarence Town a little before 4 pm and found a place to anchor. It was a little shallow but we were tired and didn't take the time to re-anchor. Our plan was to take off in the morning for another jump of about 50 miles across the ocean.
I made some stroganoff for dinner. It had been a long day.