05/15/2009, Lynyard Cay, Abacos
May 10th.... Tahiti Beach to Lynyard Cay, Abacos
05/15/2009, Tahiti Beach, Abacos
Happy Mother's Day
Our plans are to leave this morning heading south. The first 2 miles of this trip are quite shallow with chart datum at 1.2 meters. Since we draw 1.6, and the high tide this morning was only 2.5 feet, we needed to be departing just before the high at about 9:45.
Before our departure, we each called home to wish our Mothers ... a Happy Mothers Day.
The trip went smoothly. The least amount of water we saw was 6.5 feet and once through the shallow area we hoisted the jib and sailed along at about 4 knots. Arriving at Lynyard Cay at around noon we had some lunch and were in the cockpit when Steve and Kim headed to shore to dive on some coral.
Before I was finished with my left-over Spanish rice, Steve was on the radio with the report that he had found two nice groupers but didn't have his spear with him.
We loaded up our gear and joined them on the beach. In minutes we each had a nice grouper in the bucket and had found another. The third one was a little smarter and hid in some rocks where he was safe.
A little later we returned to the boat to grab some knives, a cutting board, and the conch that I had picked up on Tahiti and headed from Lynyard Cay (which is a barrier island) east to Great Abaco to a deserted beach. (We keep conch over the side in a mesh bag to keep them alive until it's time to clean them.)
We looked around, the ladies picking up some nice shells, and I cleaned the grouper. Kathy wanted to keep the conch shell so Steve carefully made the proper small whole and cut the attaching muscle without destroying it. When the conch was cleaned and our tools de-slimed, Kim walked up with another.... and another.... and finally after a few minutes a third one that was huge.
In a few minutes we had dinner. Our plans were to grill chicken for dinner but with fresh fish and conch to crack, the chicken could wait.
We returned to the boat and I pounded conch in the dinghy while Kathy cleaned up for company. Around 5-ish we ran into shore to the camp fire pit and burned all of our paper products.
Back aboard I made sweet potato chips and after Steve and Kim arrived, fried up the sea food. We had a little trigger fish in the freezer that we added to the conch and grouper for a fine meal including Steve and Kim's salad.
We read and watched some video for an hour before bed.
May 9th Tahiti Beach, Elbow Cay, Abacos
We ended up staying here another day because there is a band playing at a nearby marina tonight that we like to listen to.
I made some blueberry muffins for a snack since we had skipped breakfast and spent quite of bit of time on the computer researching watermakers, water heaters, AIS and some other possible summer projects.
Kathy was reading, weaving and cleaning up after me most of the morning. When not on the computer I was studying Spanish which I've been doing from time to time. It's remarkable that I still remember most of what I learned 45 years ago.
My main job for the day, however, was to dive on the bottom of our boat. So after lunch, I got out my snorkeling equipment, grill cleaning scrub pad, the suction cup handle and jumped in....
The bottom wasn't really too bad. There was hair growing on all exposed metal like thru hull fittings, dynaplate, and rudder bracket but they were removed easily. There was also some scale on the prop that needed to be worked on as well. In an hour or so I had everything done except for the bottom of the keel that still needs some work. I almost need tanks for that and will wait until just before crossing back to clean things up again.
In an attempt to use up our canned hamburger from last year (which is bland) I made Spanish rice for dinner. It was edible but may have been better as a veggie dish.
At about 7 we dinghied in to Sea Spray Marina, which was mile or so to the north in White Sound, and listened to music for a few hours. With the full moon we had no problem returning to the boat and watched some video before turning in...
May 8th... Tahiti Beach, Elbow Cay
This journal must be putting you all to sleep. The weather is perfect. We walk the beach and play in the water. Reading is big and occasionally we do a little boat maintenance.
After Chris Parker and coffee, I picked up my new book on the ICOM 802 that Ellie and Matt brought down and reread the chapter on DSC operation. In order to operate the system correctly, we need the ability to transmit on the 2 meg. Normal HF antennas don't have that ability, so when we purchased the radio we bought the correct antenna and the fittings to attach it to the stern rail.
My task for the day was to run the coax and get things installed correctly. I knew that the antenna was in cardboard tube hung with my fishing poles. The coax was in the bottom of my hanging locker along with the extension cords. But for the life of me I couldn't find the bracket that attaches to the rail. I looked everywhere. Now you would think that one of the advantages of living in such a confined space would be that things don't get lost. For the most part everything has its place and in most cases is entered our spread sheet under....item, container, and location.
During the last 2 years, I've seen the thing about twice so I know that it was stuck somewhere that rarely sees the light of day. I worked most of the morning and found two or three items that I'd forgotten about, but no antenna connector.
I saw some in the Marine store in Marsh Harbour and will pick one up when we stop back there....a lost will be found, eventually and will be entered on the above mentioned spread sheet as a "spare."
After finishing off our conch salad for lunch we joined Steve and Kim on the beach at low tide. I found a nice conch and the ladies picked up sand dollars. After getting a little bored with searching the flats we just sat in the shallow water wasted some of the afternoon.
After a while we took the dinghies across the channel to Lubbers Quarters to "Cracker P's", which is a very nice restaurant / bar. We ordered beers and struck up a conversation with a couple of guys that were originally from Royal Oak which is suburb of Detroit. They now live in Florida but have a place on Elbow Cay and fly over whenever they have a day or two off.
Steve was going to grill a flank steak. We had a pork loin, so he invited us over for a mixed grill. We made a salad of tomatoes, Vidalia onions, and green pepper in vinegar / oil oregano dressing and then added some good Greek olives and feta after the vegetables had steeped for awhile.
Happy Birthday yesterday
05/15/2009, Tahiti Beach, Abacos
May 7th... Tahaiti Beach, Elbow Cay, Abacos
We listened to Chris Parker at 6:30. The weather here is remarkably settled with highs everyday about 85 and lows at night around 75. The winds are 5 to 10 knots from the southeast. There is enough of a breeze that we keep cool if we stay in the shade.
After some breakfast, we read for a while and then I attempted to locate the screw that functions as the air-bleed for the engine heating coil in our hot water heater. I was trying to bleed the system on our way here yesterday and dropped it under the sink. It must have rolled down into the bilge. I spent about an hour searching to no avail. I was able to find another in our misc. nuts, bolts and screws container and put things back together.
Low tide was around 1 pm today so we motored over to Tahiti Beach and searched the flats for shells. We were here last year and loved the place. At high tide the beach is completely under water, but at low tide there is probably about 20 acres of sandy flats. Our tides right now are called spring highs and are have and have the biggest swing of any tide all year. The fact that there is a full moon makes the tide about one foot below and above chart datum. Anyway that one foot adds a few more acres of dry land to explore here.
We wandered around the shore and found Kathy a few fronds to complete a basket that she is making for the nav station. Her attempt is to hide some of the exposed wires.
We got too hot in the sun, so spent an hour or so just laying in the shallows cooling and watching people. There were about 10 folks here today. Some were snorkeling but most were looking afor shells or sunning. There was one white couple that unfortunately forgot their sun screen and will pay the price tomorrow.
After enough of the beach, we took the dinghy north into White Sound. We'd been there by golf cart but wanted to work our way in to be able to find the restaurant at the Sea Spray Marina by water as a possible lunch site. Today was out due to lack of money but there is always tomorrow.
Back at the boat Kathy got busy with her weaving and I tried to finish my book. I made a conch salad for dinner and got it safely cooing in the refrigerator. "Fine Lion" called us on the VHF to say that they were heading our way. An hour or so later they anchored next to us and jumped in their dinghy for a visit. We hadn't seen Kim in 10 days and it was good to hear about here trip.
We had a nice visit and then a great dinner.