11 February 2011 | Yacht Haven Marina, Nassau, Bahams
Bud didn’t sleep well last night because he was worried about our plan to go to Allen Cay today and try to find a good anchorage to wait out the 20-knot north winds that are supposed to come tomorrow. He was worried for two reasons: first, the anchorage is described as having some good holding in sandy patches. We saw what that was like in White Cay. An anchorage that looks like it has a lot of room really doesn’t have good holding for more than a few boats. If there were already several boats there, we would really have no place where we could easily get hunkered down before the front comes through.
The second thing worrying him is that our dinghy engine hasn’t been running right. He tried to fix it at White Cay, couldn’t find any obvious problem and decided it might be bad gas. So he dumped the gas from the tank for the outboard into our 5-gallon gasoline jerry can and bought new gas for the outboard tank. But we hadn’t run the engine so we didn’t know if that was the problem.
This morning Bud suggested that we stay in Nassau until the front passes. That way we could launch the dinghy and try the engine out. After the front we expect at least two days of more moderate weather. And the next wind should be from the east. There are plenty of anchorages in the northern Exumas that we could reach from Allen Cay that provide protection from an east wind.
Since we were going to run the dinghy, we decided to use it to try to find Scott and Brittany. As we neared the anchorage where they were we did not see their boat out there. Then we spied it at a dock. We dinghied up and there was Scott. He said they were going out to Rose Island to wait out the front and then go on to the Exumas. We made arrangements to use the SSB radio to contact each other once in the Exumas. Brittany and a friend were in another dinghy so Scott told us to watch for her.
The dinghy engine was still sputtering. We ran back towards our boat and were looking for the marine center that we hoped could work on it when it started to run more smoothly. We ran it some more and decided that it had been bad gas, and now the bad gas was out of the fuel line, too, so the engine was OK. I had been reading the outboard engine manual and told Bud I thought the trim on the engine was wrong. When we got back to the boat we consulted the manual and adjusted the trim. Then we went back out to check that. The engine ran fine, the trim was better and we spied Brittany and the man with a red hat in a dinghy so we flagged them down and had a quick chat with Brittany, too. A very successful outing!
Next we went to a marine store looking for “The Exuma Guide” by Stephen Pavlidis. This gives much more detailed information about the anchorages than the Explorer Chart Book that we already have. I’ve been looking for this since Florida and had not found it yet. The marine store didn’t have it. Since we were staying on, Bud said I might want to go back to the marine store he had been in yesterday, as they said they might be able to get a copy in a day. I went in and the woman at the counter called her supplier for me. He told me the dive shop at our marina might have a copy, if they didn’t a nearby bookstore would. The dive store didn’t, the bookstore did! I got her last copy, so maybe the last copy available today in Nassau. Yeah!
While I was doing that, Bud found a place that would take the bad gas, so he walked the jerry can over there and dumped the bad gas into their tank and walked one more marina over to get fresh gas with no ethanol. (We think the ethanol in the gas we had brought from Wilson combined with water to form a layer that caused our problems.)
Meanwhile, I met Sarah and Miguel on the street again and invited them for supper.
Back at the boat Bud vacuumed the boat and trimmed Fuzzy. Since the dinghy was in the water I used it to go and scrub 2000 miles worth of grime off our transom. The engine exhaust had turned it grey! Once I had scrubbed and polished I finally applied the TYC logo I bought for the boat in 2009. Then Bud and I rinsed the dinghy out and pulled it back aboard (we’d already hoisted the engine up after the morning trip). We’re getting pretty good at getting the dinghy and the engine on and off the boat.
We had a nice supper with Sarah and Miguel. They brought coleslaw with home made mayonnaise and we thawed and heated a big bowl of three sisters soup (squash, corn and beans) that Bud had made back in the cold days and we had in the freezer. We wanted to use it while we had shore power to run the microwave long enough to defrost and heat it. They’ve promised to have us over on their boat when we meet up again in the Exumas.
Altogether, it was a very satisfying day, and we’re glad we stayed on in Nassau.