10 April 2012 | Little Farmer's Cay
I didn't write yesterday because we spent the day doing errands. We decided to rent a car and get our shopping and banking done and leave today, rather than waiting for the free shuttle tomorrow and leaving Thursday. Since the car was $75 for the day (plus gas) and the marina is $72 for two more days, it's about a wash. Besides, today was a good day to sail. Tomorrow and Thursday morning will be light winds out of the north (motoring only) and after that the wind builds so we wanted to be able to be on the lee side of the Exumas.
Bud and I were both worried about running with this spare prop. Bud didn't sleep for a good part of the night. I slept most of the night, but had bad dreams and woke with a headache that soon turned to a migraine. Despite how we felt, I got the last load of wash done, the dishes done, the water topped off and was working on readying the sails, while Bud went to town and got groceries and beer. We had done our banking at an ATM yesterday, but the stores were all closed for the day after Easter (I don't think it's called Dingus Day down here).
We asked two other cruisers to help us with our lines, as we weren't sure how the new prop would pull the boat leaving the dock. We had no trouble and were away at a bit after 11 AM. The new prop sounds funny, but we got out of the marina entrance just fine. We put up the sails and cut the engine. The new prop spins constantly, even if you put the transmission in gear. Evidently this transmission is hydraulic like the last one. It doesn't sound good, but the boat sailed okay.
We sailed for about 5 hours. Then we put the engine back on, took the sails down and motored into the cut at Farmers Cay against the current. The engine did fine with the fixed prop, the current wasn't real strong, but Bud powered through at only about 2200 RPM, so we had plenty of power to spare. We came just about 32 nm today.
We came back to the Farmers Cay Yacht Club and took a mooring ball. I decided to take a picture of the mooring ball with our lines through it so folks could see how that works. We use two lines, one from each forward cleat and the lines are run through the eye of the mooring line and doubled back on themselves and cleated off on the same side. That's to prevent chafe. If you string your line from one side, through the mooring line and over to the opposite side of your bow the mooring line can slide back and forth on your line and act like a band saw. Supposedly it can cut through your line in a single night under bad conditions. Since there's a lot of current here with the tides we didn't want that. Moorings are all similar, but how they are set up differs. On this mooring, a thin line was buoyed. You grab the buoy with your boathook and pull it up. You pull the thin line until you can grab the eye in the heavy mooring line and get your line through it. I tried to do both sides at once, but couldn't do it, so we let the boat settle back on one line, then Bud brought it forward with the engine until I could use our line to pull the eye in again and string the second line. Maybe not elegant, but effective.
I could say that I didn't see anything to photograph until we got here, but even if I had, I never felt well enough to get the camera out. We did see flying fish and a pair of tropicbirds, but those are all too small and quick for my picture taking skills. So you'll have to be content with my visual lesson on mooring.
Bud and I are both hoping for a better night's sleep, now that we're actually moving again and the spare prop seems to be doing its job.