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Retirement to Bahamas
Mike and Judy have been sailing for some 25 years. We have dreamed for years about retiring and sailing to the Bahamas and Caribbean. We are living our dream!
EXuma Land and Sea Park

We just arrived in Paradise and we'll be here for several days. I will be catching up on blogs and emails over the next while,

still safe and sound

im sending this from my kindle _no internet yet. Maybe tomorrow. In Allans Cay Moving to Exuma Land ans Sea Park tomorrow. Will fill im gaps then.

Safe and Sound

Hi all, don't have time to catch up on our several days of adventures today. Suffice it to say that I have the fodder for a couple of good posts. We arrived in Nassau yesterday after a rollicking (Judy and Chopin use other choice words) sail from Fraziers Hog Cay in the Berry Islands. WE hope to head out today to start our cruise of the Exumas. I will compose the intervening posts and load them when I next get internet access.

So for the time being, know that we are well and safe and enjoying the great weather.

Bahamas Bound

We are now anchored off of Key Biscayne and expecting to leave USA early tomorrow morning to head to Bahamas. It's only 45 miles or so across but it is a very complicated an dangerous piece of water 'cause of the need to cross the gulf stream. An abbreviated post for now and it may be several days before we get internet again so don't worry about us. We'll fill in the blanks when we get to Nassau, in a few days.

Miami Vice Grips

With that fuel problem we had, I determine that I'll need to get the fuel cleaned or "polished" and not run the risk of an unreliable engine in our anticipated winter in the Bahamas. We are able to access just about any service here at Crandon Park and I get the name of a guy who does fuel cleaning. He agrees to come on Sunday and we then have to make arrangements with the Marina to bring Sea Sharp into a slip where he can access her with his equipment. The Marina folks are very cooperative and find a convenient slip for us to use for this procedure. The bigger chore is accessing the fuel tank.

The cleaner guy will need to be able to get into the fuel tank where he will remove all of the fuel, run it through filters to remove the offending stuff, spurt it back in under high pressure, thus dislodging the junk obviously inhabiting the nether regions of the tank and repeat this several times.

Sounds easy but the tank is way aft under a deep cockpit lock which, along with bushels of gear is occupied by my propane locker. I installed the locker so I know all of the intricacies of dismantling the rigging, exposing the tank and removing the large inspection plate which I had actually made in anticipation of just such an eventuality.

So on Sunday, this chore becomes Bob and my brunch date. We hope to do this expediently because the winds are supposed to come up in mid afternoon and sometimes it is hard to get out of a congested marina and back on the mooring under windy conditions. Judy and Carolyn wisely clear out and head into the village as the boat will look like a disaster area during this procedure.

I have to purge the lazarette (fancy name for locker) off all the detritus we've stored there then dismantle the propane system. I spend an hour upside down in a confined cubby hole getting everything ready. With Bob's help, I have the locker cleaned the tank exposed and the inspection plate removed. I had just filled the tank up so there's fuel right up to the top and any rocking of the boat slops diesel perilously close to our cabin. Heaven help me if I got smelly diesel on Judy's new nautical sheets and bedspread!

I siphon off five gallons and then wait for Oscar, fuel polisher to arrive. As promised he arrives about 11:45 along with his pal, Chris. They've got a big, honkin' truck with large tanks and many hoses.

As they are pulling up, the Assistant Harbour Master (read Assistant Trailer Park Supervisor (although he looks more like Lahey than Randy)) comes running over waving his hands and shaking his head! You can't do this in this yard ! You can't do this on Sunday! Etc. Our two intrepid polishers are not put off and convince him that we've obtained permission for this.

These two fellows are huge; probably over 300 pounds each so getting into the locker for them is not gonna happen. So I'm the one who has to manage the hoses. It quite an operation but very effective. We suck all the fuel out spray it back in and repeat this procedure. They assure me that my fuel is now clean and problem solved.

It takes a while to get the stuff back on board and the locker back together and as soon as we can, we cast off, back out and head to the mooring. By this time, it's blowing hard and it's a good thing we timed this as we did.

The girls get back, and we have a pleasant, if blustery late afternoon. We eat on board and watch Sea Biscuit this evening.

12/13/2010 | Jerry B.
There once was a man who had algae in his fuel,
in his mind he had to face a duel.
do i do it now or later,
and drift into a mouth of a gator.
I'll do it now so i will keep up with the plan
and dog gonnit, show all I am quite the man !!!

Michael, You are the man !! miss and love you.

your old partritge hunting buddy, stay safe
Audacious in the Miami Cup

So after a quiet night in Lake Sylvia and decompressing after our engine problem, we head out for Miami. Again, we're going into the Atlantic for this relatively short 25 mile trip. It is very pleasant but there's that constant nagging at the back of my mind that the motor will again conk out when we're entering the very busy Miami shipping channel. But, the engine shows no hesitation. I will want, however, to do something about the fuel because I know there's got to be more junk in the tank.

There's always some adventure, however, and as we near the entrance to Miami Harbour, we not many, many vessels around including sport fishers, container ships, luxury vessels and what as we approach we realize is a large fleet of very fast sailboats, appearing to be poised to start a race. And, just as we approach, we further realize that they've just started and we're right in their path! We later find out that these are RC44's competing in Miami Cup and they are being sailed by the best sailors in the world including Paul Cayard, Russell Couts, Rod Davis and many other names familiar from America's Cup racing. They're coming at us hard and Bob's at the helm but he manages to weave our way through with no disruption of their intended course. Roger and Jacquie, on the other hand, who are behind us are caught up in the middle of the fleet and have to make some dramatic course corrections to keep from being clobbered by several of these boats. We own the water just as much as they do but you can be sure that several crews would have had choice words for these two Canadian cruising boats ! It makes for great teasing after!

We complete our journey today into the extremely busy Miami Harbour, and then head into Key Biscayne to a place we've moored before; Crandon Park. We'll spend several days here relaxing, restocking and fixing the fuel problem. There is a fantastic beach, public transportation and lots to do. We are on a mooring along with Audacious and another cruiser we know Winsome.

The weather has been good for the last day or two and there was a narrow window. However, there's a big front coming through on Sunday and we would not make it to a comfortable place in advance of this front. So we opt to stay put and wait for the next window.

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Preparing for Retirement Trip
Who: Mike, Judy and Chopin (the boat cat)
Port: Douglas Harbour, NB, Canada
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