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Getting ready to move again
12/16/2011, Cabbage Cay, Berry Islands

Well it was nice to have a few days of rest. I have been here since last Sunday. I've been on the move almost every day since the last week in October. So the R&R was nice. I got a chance to clean up a little but, move some things around and of course fix a few things. The latest thing to misperform is the VHF radio. The range is only about 5 miles. Did some testing as I carry a SWR meter and a 50 OHM dummy load. I went up the mast today and the connections were wet and cruddy, so the cable is probably shot. The FWD power is less then 12 watts up there. I cleaned up the connections and put some dielectric grease on them. Not much else I can do here in the middle of no where. While I was up there, I could actually see the end of the world from there.......and I thought it was in Deltaville So anyhow, I move UNABATED back across the sand bar today at high tide. Now I won't have to wait until 12:33 pm tomorrow to do it. It would have been too late to leave for Nassau by then. Now I can leave at first light. It's only 35 miles, but no one has been able to travel the last 5 days and I am sure everyone will be tomorrow. So I figure I need to get there early and find a good place to anchor. Today has been the first calm day since I got to the Bahamas. It's been blowing out of the East at close to 20 or 20+ knots everyday, all day with gusts to 28+. Seems kind of weird not to hear anything out there. While in Nassau, I'll do some provisioning, fuel up before heading south and try to figure out what plan B is for the VHF... Thinking duct tape and a new cable up the side of the Mizzen and put an antenna on the spreader. I'll let you know.

12/11/2011, Little Harbour Cay, Berry Islands

Thanks to Don K for the download... I am sure it is copy protected somewhere... so thanks who ever wrote it first. I had dinner there last night. Just Bill from Charesma and myself and Chester.

It's an ill wind that blows nobody good, and this is exactly what happened at Little Harbour Cay, Berry Islands, Bahamas. Chester Darville and his family rode out hurricane Andrew in the settlement that was originally founded by his grandparents. The original houses were built in the late 1930's and the early 40's by the founding families to their own ideas, without plans, much like early American settlers. These houses, that were kept in good repair, escaped the fury of Andrew, unscathed. In the late 1980's several new houses were built in the village, by licensed builders from Nassau. They were all totally destroyed by Andrew. Unfortunately, Chester had decided to ride out the hurricane, with his family, in one of the new houses, instead of the older, tried and proven original houses built by his father. As the entire roof blew off, in one piece, walls began to blow away, the entire family retreated to the bathroom to ride out the rest of the blow. Not much different from the experiences reported from south Dade County, but at this point the story changes.

About a year and a half prior to the hurricane, Chester Darville had obtained a license to operate a bar and restaurant at Little Harbour, but like so many of us, he never got started on his "dream." The experience of Andrew built a fire under him, and he decided that this was going to be the first day of the rest of his life, a new life, without procrastination. He would clean up the wreckage of the village, and build his "dream," a bar and restaurant high up on a hill overlooking one of the prettiest and most picturesque harbours on the Bahamas. By early June 1993, Chester, with the help of a visiting yachtsman, had the frames up and was starting with the roof. He built several picnic tables, all equipped with colorful umbrellas, and is now serving very tasty meals under the stars. Food and service are excellent and everyone is welcome.

Chester is a volunteer of BASRA - the Bahama Air Sea Rescue Association - and always stands by on VHF Ch. 68 to be of service to visiting yachtsman. He is also an excellent pilot, fishing and snorkeling guide and is a very happy and cheerful person always ready to make your visit to Little Harbour a most enjoyable experience. His hospitality is hard to find anywhere today, and is very refreshing.

Boats drawing over three feet will have to wait on the tide to get into the harbour, and Chester is always happy to go out and meet you and pilot you in on the appropriate tide.

Any cruise to the Berry Islands would be incomplete without a visit to Flo's Conch Bar and Restaurant at Little Harbour. Chester named the restaurant after his mother - the cook - Florence.

I think it's Tuesday
12/11/2011, Little Harbour Cay, Berry Islands

I think it's Tuesday, I have been here for a couple of days I think. I will have to get the log book out to see. The wind is still blowing at 22 +. Although today is supposed to the worst of it. I might be able to leave on Friday for Nassau. The high tide or near high tide that I need to get over the sand bar is around 11 am on Friday. I need to wait for the higher water to get out and still have enough time to sail the 38 miles to Nassau and get there before dark. So maybe tomorrow I'll start looking at it closer. Walked over to the windward side this afternoon. YIKES.. the surf rolling in. No wonder there is no one moving around the last few days... The large crashing wave and large ocean swells from the weather system up near Bermuda and off the Carolinas.

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