Joined the Navy Again
04 July 2009 | Norfolk
I've been terribly lacking regarding keeping up with this since we've gotten cell phone coverage. So sorry!
To catch you up- Gene Gilluly and I sailed from Charleston to Norfolk, VA where he went back to his alternate reality. I spent a week solo while Laurilea visited family on the west coast and attended the girls weekend in Sun River.
We picked Norfolk becuase there is a boat yard here that can haul Winds Aloft out of the water for some needed repair to a fiberglass panel that departed the boat somewhere in the Atlantic. The thought was to get some other systems work done here as well. However, after receiving the estimate for the jobs I wanted done, once again I'll be doing them myself! Better (or at least as good) quality and I won't break the bank! So, we'll only be doing those items that must be done while the boat is out of the water, like: bottom paint. It's kinda hard to put new bottom paint on while the bottom is underwater... I'm also going to have the through hulls installed that I need for future systems. I get nervous drilling 1 1/2 inch holes in the bottom while the boat is floating- makes me unsure how much longer she'll float! The plan then is to sail up to the Connecticut area where I have a friend with a shop where I can do my cabinet work, and whatever else.
We're both loving the weather here. So far it hasn't gotten too hot and is downright cool some nights! We have to make another trip to SEA next week,so that will get in the way of progress somewhat. But what the heck- since we're retired, time is what we have the most of- right?
Last Leg to the US
07 June 2009 | 27 51.6'N:79 18.5'W, Off the coast of Florida (Way Off!)
We launched out of Port Lucaya, North Bahamas last evening. Our 17:00 start turned into an 18:00 start when we discovered the main halyard had somehow wrapped the hailing horn and would not allow the main sail to raise. We returned to the marina area and Ryan volunteered to go up the mast to free it. A quick job and we were off again... Then about 21:00 we got hit by a squall. Winds came out of the north at about 35 kts. LL and Marsha were on watch, but fortunately they got me up just in time to get the sails furled before the wind hit! We ended up motoring most of the night until about 03:00, due to fluky winds. Today is nice- cumulus clouds with some thumderheads building on the horizons. We're under the full main and genaker and making mid 7's for speed. Gotta love it! At this pace we'll make Charleston in less that 48 hours. That will give everybody a day to get their land legs back and maybe do a Charleston tour before the creww heads en-mass to SEA, leaving the capt all alone. Still haven't decided if I'm going to try to continue to move the boat northward ar just leave in in Charleston for a few weeks. Any volunteers for crew? Send your resume via email!
Georgetown, Exumas in the Bahamas
30 May 2009 | 23 30.2'N:75 46.0'W,
Hey everyone! Guest author Ryan is writing in the blog today to let you know how the voyage goes!
We finally mannaged to make a break in the weather to leave Turks and Caicos on our way to the Bahamas. We left the Southside marina and their caring staff to make for West Caicos. After anchoring out there for a night we started off towards Mayaguana. The winds were very favorable though, so as we neared the island we decided to just keep going! That meant an over night voyage. For you non-sailor, that means night watches! This was my first experiance with doing night watches and I can certainly say I'm no fan. Four hours of looking out over dark seas has a way of making you want to fall alseep, especially in the middle of the night. It was plesant though, plenty of time to contemplate as you watch bioluminescent plankton swirl in the wake.
We arrived at Rum Cay (Pronouced 'Key', I'm told) at around 7am the next day. We had to dodge some coral heads, but found a nice spot to anchor near the marina there. Let me assure you, Rum Cay is just about as laid back as they come! The island was a little bit more tropical than some of the others I've seen around, but still had the poor litter control that seems to be indicitive of the islands.
We stayed a night there with another big thunder storm. There's had been a few we've sat through over night and the lightning is simply amazing! Of course when you are sitting under a giant lightning rod, it can be a little scary too. Anyways, my dad and I did a little snorkling. There wasn't anything to look at where we had anchored though. The next day we headed out for a short sail around the island to Flamingo Bay. The bay was sheltered by a reef, which was completely obfusticated when the tide was up. A Hatian vessel had crashed on the reef because of that! We did some more snorkling here. There was a bit more to see, however the reef was still pretty dead. I was stalked by a barracuda while we swam though. He kept threatening to come try to eat me until I swam towards him as if I had the same intent! He seemed to be scared off by that.
The following day brought more beautiful weather, but hardly any wind! We ended up motor sailing to Conception island. It had been recommended to us by a number of people due to the huge reef on the north end of the island. We tucked into a nice spot off a beautiful beach. We spent two days at this spot checking out the reef and island. Once again the reef wasn't very active. I'm starting to think that there might be something to what I've heard about the rise in ocean acidity killing off coral. I'll avoid a speal about carbon dioxide emissions. :)
We spent some time combing the beach and taking pictures on the island despite a poor weather start to the second day on the island. The wind was still very low, only a few knots. Each night we were able to watch massive thunderstorms from a distance. It really can be such a light show!
After a day sail over to Grand Exuma we pulled into the Exuma Docking Service Marina at Georgetown. So far I think we've been all been a little disappointed by the town. There just isn't much here! It doesn't help that it's the off season. This place is just pretty run down.
We decided to go out for dinner to a place called "Peace and Plenty" which is a small resort in town. The food was good, if not a little overpriced. Now we've been provisioning as this will be the last leg of the journey up to Charleston, SC. Today Geno and Marsha will be flying in to join us for this portion.
We will be leaving once again either tomorrow or the next day and are hoping to actually get some wind, because there still isn't any! As a result, it has been HOT HOT HOT. As a Seattle resident, I'm not very used to sweating from just sitting around. Ah well, at least I'm getting tan.
It's halfway through my second sail journey. I will be headed home on the 11th when we hit Charleston. We'll probably not get another good internet connection for a while, so if you don't hear, know we're probably still thinking of you. We aren't drinking a beer for all of you though, we know WAY too many people. We'd end up so drunk we'd crash. You don't all want that, do you? I didn't think so. So for now, you'll have to drink your own beers. :)