Wyvern's Wanderings

Vessel Name: Wyvern
Vessel Make/Model: 1977 Irwin Ketch
Hailing Port: El Jobean, Florida
Crew: Charlie and Phyllis Atha
About: After living aboard our 42' Irwin for almost 10 years, we sold her and bought a home in El Jobean, Florida. Bought a storm damaged 1996 Hunter 45 and have been working on it for the past 3 years. THEN we sold the Hunter and purchased the Irwin back. Feels like home!
Extra: Both Charlie and Phyllis are USCG licensed captains and ASA sailing instructors.
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26 March 2017 | Emerald Rock, Wardwick Wells, Exuma Islands, Bahamas
25 March 2017 | Emerald Rock, Wardwick Wells, Exumas, Bahamas
24 March 2017 | Staniel Cay, Exuma Islands, Bahamas
23 March 2017 | Staniel Cay, Exuma Islands, Bahamas
22 March 2017 | Staniel Cay, Exuma Islands, Bahamas
21 March 2017 | Blackpoint, Great Guana Cay, Exuma Islands, Bahama
20 March 2017 | Blackpoint, Great Guana Cay, Exuma Islands, Bahama
19 March 2017 | Cambridge Cay, Exumas, Bahamas
18 March 2017 | Cambridge Cay, Exumas, Bahamas
17 March 2017 | Emerald Rock, Wardwick Wells, Exumas, Bahamas
16 March 2017 | Emerald Rock, Wardwick Wells, Exumas, Bahamas
15 March 2017 | Norman's Cay, Exumas, Bahamas
14 March 2017 | Nassau Harbor, New Providence, Bahamas
13 March 2017 | Nassau Harbor, New Providence, Bahamas
12 March 2017 | Near Russel Light on the Great Bahama Banks
11 March 2017 | Bird Cay, Berry Islands, Bahamas
10 March 2017 | Near Russel Light on the Great Bahama Banks
09 March 2017 | St. James City, Pine Island, Florida
08 March 2017 | Rodriquez Key, Key Largo, Florida Keys
07 March 2017 | Long Key Bight, Long Key, Florida Keys
Recent Blog Posts
26 March 2017 | Emerald Rock, Wardwick Wells, Exuma Islands, Bahamas

Boo Boo Hill

March 26, 2017 9:00 pm

25 March 2017 | Emerald Rock, Wardwick Wells, Exumas, Bahamas

Playing Tourist

March 25, 2017 7:45 pm Emerald Rock, Wardwick Wells, Exumas, Bahamas

24 March 2017 | Staniel Cay, Exuma Islands, Bahamas

Staniel Cay Airport Terminal

March 24, 2017 8:00 pm

23 March 2017 | Staniel Cay, Exuma Islands, Bahamas

A walk through town

March 23, 2017 7:40 pm

22 March 2017 | Staniel Cay, Exuma Islands, Bahamas

Waiting in Staniel

March 22, 2017 7:45 pm

21 March 2017 | Blackpoint, Great Guana Cay, Exuma Islands, Bahama

Laundry in Paradise

March 21, 2017 8:30 pm

Boo Boo Hill

26 March 2017 | Emerald Rock, Wardwick Wells, Exuma Islands, Bahamas
Sunny, warm and breezy
March 26, 2017 9:00 pm
Emerald Rock, Wardwick Wells, Exumas, Bahamas

A beautiful morning. Charlie made banana pancakes and bacon for breakfast. We had a relaxing, slow morning. We finally climbed into the dinghy just before 11:00 to go into the Exuma Land and Sea Park office, since it closed at noon today. We looked around a bit. Asked about wifi that used to be available at Emerald Rock and they told us that they no longer have wifi that reaches out that far. They do have wifi for those who are on moorings in the main mooring field. Matt wrote their names, date and the boat name on a board that Charlie found for that purpose several days ago. We hiked up to BooBoo Hill where cruisers place such boards. There are piles of these boards. It is interesting to read all the boat names and when they were here. After our hike back down to the office and the dinghy. Charlie and Matt snorkeled the little reef just south of the mooring field. It was a bit too chilly for Bernadette and I. We had ham sandwiches for lunch back at the boat. Then Matt and Bernadette took the dinghy to the beach for the afternoon. I will let Bernadette tell you their experiences there. This afternoon I put together enchiladas for dinner. Charlie tightened the serpentine belt on the engine. I read a bit and Charlie took a short nap. Here’s Bernadette!

First of all, Phyllis and Charlie are spoiling us. We don’t have to cook or do dishes, and the food is delicious. It is so nice and relaxing!!! Matt and I took the dinghy to Rendezvous Beach where we decided to bring the hammock and take nap on the beach. When we arrived Matt set up the hammock and I got in, along beside me came a curly tail lizard who tried crawling into our bags. I threw sand and him and he left but a few seconds later her was back. This crazy lizard decided to cuddle up with Matt on his towel, I took pictures of this. It is hard to relax when this big lizard is stalking you. I looked from the corner of my sunglasses to notice him doing push up on the sand, I thought that he might be calling his friends to come over and join him. Well, a few minutes later some friends joined and I said, “that’s it, I’m out of here.” We decided to hike up and see the ruins and saw a Hutia (these are the only native mammals in the Bahamas). We then decided to snorkel along the shore and saw lots of fish and no sharks today. Came back to nice warm shower then cocktails in the cockpit. We are ready to buy a boat and sail the islands. Tomorrow we are leaving this island and going to Hawksbill Island and the winds are much calmer tonight than last night.

By some freak of nature, we are getting some cell signal. I will try to send this via internet. If so, there will be a picture, if not, no picture.

Playing Tourist

25 March 2017 | Emerald Rock, Wardwick Wells, Exumas, Bahamas
Phyllis Atha
March 25, 2017 7:45 pm Emerald Rock, Wardwick Wells, Exumas, Bahamas

After a great Charlie breakfast of scrambled eggs with green peppers and onions, sausage and toast, Charlie and Matt dinghied into the marina to deposit the last of our trash and to pick up a bag of ice. They dropped the ice off at the boat and dinghied over to check out the Thunderball Grotto, to see what the tide and current was doing. If the tide is high and the current is running hard, it is more difficult to snorkel the cave. They decided that it was doable. They came back to the boat to pick up Bernadette and returned to the Grotto to snorkel. That was one item off their to do list. Back on the boat, we picked up the two anchors. Charlie was thrilled to have Matt aboard to help him bring in the second anchor since it isn't on the windlass (that's the electric winch that picks up the main anchor). We motored around to the Big Major anchorage to visit the swimming pigs. I served homemade chili for lunch once we had the anchor down. Charlie, Matt and Bernadette loaded into the dinghy with their bag of scraps to feed the pigs. Bernadette will attest that all the pigs aren't cute little pigs. Some of them weigh 300 lbs and are mama hogs or boars. They did see them swim, but I guess the "pigs" are being fed so well they weren't real impressed with our food scraps. Again, once back to the boat, we weighed anchor and headed to Wardwick Wells. The winds calmed down overnight to the mid-teen range, so we put up the mizzen and pulled out the jib. We sailed most of they way at a good 6-7 kts. A nice sail. Chop on the water about a foot. About halfway there we ran under a cloud bank, after awaking to a bright sunny morning. We even ran under a rain shower which drove Matt and Bernadette from their spot on the bow of the boat, back to the cockpit. We arrived at Emerald Rock about 4:00. Still a bit cloudy, but Matt and Bernadette decided to dinghy over to a couple of small coral heads to go snorkeling. They saw a lobster on the first coral head, and later saw a lion fish and a shark. Bernadette jumped out of the water, back into the dinghy. But, Matt did sort of get to swim with a shark. Another of the items on his to do list. So, we knocked three items off Matt's wish list. That's all he listed for us, so guess he's just going to have to endure the rest of the time on the boat doing whatever comes up. Wind is probably blowing 18 to 20 kts this evening and we just had another light rain shower. The boat is rolling just a bit. We hooked well when we anchored. Another sand pit. Like those sand pits. I fixed Parmesan chicken with potato/squash/onion mixed veggies for dinner. No picture tonight because this is going out on the SSB. Oh, we are suppose to report any rumors or sightings of Bigfoot in the Exumas to Bernadette's dad. Ron, no sightings yet.

Staniel Cay Airport Terminal

24 March 2017 | Staniel Cay, Exuma Islands, Bahamas
Cloudy with bits of Sunshine, occasional rain and windy
March 24, 2017 8:00 pm
Staniel Cay, Exumas, Bahamas

The wind did continue to build all night. At about 4:00 we had a small squall, rain shower, but no 35+ winds. The winds continued to blow all day today. I believe it blew harder today than last night. But, at least its daylight and we can see. We did not drag at all. We did swing, but not as much with the two anchors out. We did get a bit of chop and some surge that made its way around the small islands where the Thunderball Grotto is located. So, we did roll a bit, not terribly. This morning I opted for cereal and Charlie fixed his normal breakfast. A bit later in the morning, I cleaned the guest bathroom and straightened up a bit. At 1:00 we dinghied around Staniel Cay Marina and the old Happy People Marina, up the creek to the airport parking for dinghies. The ride over was a bit choppy and a little splashy, then when we got up into the creek we had a short, but fairly heavy rain shower. Good thing we had on our foul weather gear. Being low tide, we could barely make it up to where we beach the dinghy, the water was really low. Guess the wind was blowing the water out of the creek. Sounds funny, but we have experienced that phenomenon in our canal. It does happen. The Flamingo flight was late, so we sat in the terminal for about an hour. The “terminal” is just a gazebo like structure without walls and benches all around the perimeter. With the wind blowing, it was chilly and we had another short shower that blew into the terminal. We talked with a lady waiting for her flight out and she said they clocked the wind at 42 mph. Don’t know where or when though. Matt and Bernadette arrived on a nearly empty plane, so it was not hard picking them out. Charlie and Matt loaded the luggage into plastic bags and then into the dinghy. Charlie took the luggage out to the boat while I walked with Matt and Bernadette through town. We stopped at the bakery, but she did not bake bread today. Up to the Blue Store/Burkes. The mailboat came in yesterday, so they were fully stocked. I bought some English muffins and two loaves of bread. Glad Matt and Bernadette were able to experience a Bahamian store, but they caught them at their best since the mailboat had just delivered and they had restocked. Most often, you just have to plan your menu around what they have available, rather than picking up items you need for a menu you had planned. When we made it to the marina, Charlie was still on the boat. The sharks were around though, so Bernadette took pictures until still another shower came over. Charlie dinghied in during the shower looking like a drowned rat. We waited out the shower under the marina porch along with a couple of dozen other people. Inside was busy with a bunch more who were passing the windy, rainy weather at the bar. The ride back out to the boat wasn’t too bad. We were splashed a bit, but not soaked. Once on the boat, I gave them a tour and they unpacked and got settled in. The rest of the afternoon, we sat in the cockpit with a cold drink and got acquainted with each other. Thank goodness for the enclosure. Spending the afternoon in the cockpit where we could see out was much more pleasant than sitting below. I fixed shrimp and vegetable stirfry over rice for dinner. Right after dinner Matt and Bernadette called it a day. They were up at 3:00 this morning for their flights over to the Bahamas. From what Bernadette said, the flight from Nassau was a bit nerve wracking with the winds being up. We saw their landing and it was a little rough. Wind is still blowing tonight and we are rolling a bit. Matt and Bernadette seem to be okay with the action of the boat. Maybe they are so exhausted that they will sleep well with the rolling and creaking of this old boat. They had a houseboat that they stayed on at a lake, so they are familiar with conserving water and power. That is a big step in adjusting to staying on a boat. Here’s hoping the wind does die down overnight and tomorrow. Even 15 to 20 kts would be great.

A walk through town

23 March 2017 | Staniel Cay, Exuma Islands, Bahamas
Sunny, warm and breezy
March 23, 2017 7:40 pm
Staniel Cay, Exumas, Bahamas

Charlie fixed himself breakfast, but I opted to have cereal until he said he was making toast out of the homemade cinnamon bread. I had a slice of cinnamon bread toast with butter. Yum. We dinghied into the marina late morning. Nothing urgent to do, but we needed to get off the boat and get some exercise. We first stopped at the clinic. Charlie forgot to get enough Allipurinol for his gout. We were told the nurse from the clinic was working at Taste & Sea Café and would be back in the afternoon. But, they gave us her name and said if we wanted to talk to her there, we could. We walked up the hill to the Batelco office to top up our phone another $10.00. We found out that only the data expires in 30 days. The phone balance will be good until we leave. A stop at the bakery, which is really a kitchen in a home, got us nothing. She was sold out and didn’t know if the lady that bakes was going to bake tomorrow. But, we did find that the Blue Store, now called Burke’s has fresh baked bread. I wanted to see if the terminal or entrance to the airport had changed since they had to rework the airport. The only change we saw, was a fence all around the airstrip. On our way back into town a nice young lady offered us a ride in her golf cart. She dropped us off at Taste and Sea Café. Karen, the nurse, waited on us. Charlie found out he should go to the clinic in Georgetown where the doctor would write him a prescription that he could have filled. We split a burger for lunch. Glad we did, because the burger was huge. Back to the marina and the dinghy with an empty backpack. We didn’t buy anything. I saw a long sleeve t-shirt at marina I liked, but I’m not paying $45 for one. When we got back to the boat, Charlie decided we should put down a second anchor as extra security for the blow tonight. I motored forward and over about 50 feet so Charlie could drop the anchor. He later went snorkeling and checked both anchors. He said both were buried up well. Then Charlie helped me do some housekeeping. Shaking rugs and moving the chairs and such. I swept, mopped and vacuumed the floors. I don’t know how the two of us can get dirt into the boat after walking on the deck, on the cushions and the rug in the cockpit to get into the boat, but we manage. I also wiped the salt spray off the enclosure panels so we could see out better while we relaxed in the cockpit this afternoon. The wind has gradually built up throughout the day. Blowing 15 kts or a bit more now. The front is forecast to come through between 2:00 and 5:00 am and blow 20 to 25 kts. If we are lucky enough to get hit by a squall, we may get gusts up to 35 kts. No squalls please! Charlie is confident we won’t drag anchor. We do have a power boat that anchored right next to us yesterday and with the shift in wind, he is now right behind us and too close. His anchor is about 10 feet off our stern and he seems to have only 60 feet or so of anchor rode out. Charlie said he has a big Rocna anchor. That’s a new brand that is the rave right now. Only thing is, Charlie said it isn’t dug in at all. He may be moving back whether he wants to or not when the blow comes. The only thing Charlie saw (other than the anchors) while snorkeling was the head of a lobster. We are on a sand spit. Other than the wind building, the day was beautiful. Sunny and warm. The picture is of Staniel Cay from the north end of Bitter Guana Cay.

Waiting in Staniel

22 March 2017 | Staniel Cay, Exuma Islands, Bahamas
March 22, 2017 7:45 pm
Staniel Cay, Exumas, Bahamas

Charlie made French toast with the cinnamon bread we bought from Peymon yesterday. Delicious! After breakfast, Charlie dinghied in to get 15 gallons of water. He figured he made $6.00 for the trip, plus he got some exercise. While he was gone I washed the dishes, straightened up the boat a bit, and made sure everything was secure. We weighed anchor and headed for the Iguana beach on Bitter Guana Cay, which is between Staniel and Blackpoint. When we arrived, there were two large fancy power boats anchored, with people buzzing around on jet skis and power surf boards. Also a couple of groups of tourists from Staniel brought by smaller boats. We had lunch, then dinghied into the beach. As soon as we landed the “scout” iguana came running out to see if we had any food for them. I did, but had forgotten it on the boat. He was so disappointed. We walked across the island to a tiny beach. Not much to beachcomb. From there we hiked over a rock outcropping to another beach. There I picked up one piece of sea glass. Again over another rock outcropping to yet another beach. Charlie found a plastic float ball there. Then again over the last rock outcropping to the inlet between Staniel and Bitter Guana. We saw a couple of boats out on the Sound (that is the deep water on the east side of the islands). Looking out over the water it didn’t look bumpy, but big swells were coming in and crashing on the beaches and rocks. On the way back, Charlie found three heart seabeans, a nice cowry shell and an US quarter. So, if someone was on Bitter Guana and lost a quarter and can tell us where they lost it, we’ll get it back to them. Hehe! We decided to pull up the anchor and go on over to Staniel Cay. We have guests flying into Staniel on Friday. We got our favorite spot and will be secure by the time they arrive. We are suppose to get another front coming through Thursday night. We are anchored in sand and will check the anchor tomorrow to make sure it is dug in good. We have the old standby anchor down. Charlie wanted to touch up the deck paint in a few places, so he masked them off and sanded them. He had me spray them with a can of spray paint. I didn’t do much today except clean my bathroom (head I mean). We had chili again for dinner. I can’t make just enough for two of us. I have a bunch in the fridge and freezer now. I’ll feed our guests some chili for lunch one day. I broke 300 on the Scrabble game. Charlie is getting frustrated with the letters he gets. He says its like the cards he draws when playing poker. Today was another gorgeous day and this evening is calm. To bad that front has to come down tomorrow night and change it up. Picture is of the beaches and rock outcroppings we hiked today.

Laundry in Paradise

21 March 2017 | Blackpoint, Great Guana Cay, Exuma Islands, Bahama
Sunny, warm with a mild breeze
March 21, 2017 8:30 pm
Blackpoint, Great Guana Cay, Exumas, Bahamas

What a beautiful day! This is what the Bahamas should be all the time. Sunny, warm with a light breeze. Some one defined cruising as doing boat maintenance in exotic places. Well, I think that should also be said for doing laundry. Ida’s Rockside Laundry is right on the shore, with a dinghy dock. You can look out at the bay and your boat and the turquoise water while folding laundry. Laundry is now $7.50 a load for a washer and dryer. Almost to the point that you could buy new clothes for what it costs to wash your old ones. Didn’t look like we had much to wash until I harvested all the “I can wear that again” clothes off the hooks, stripped the bed and collected the towels. We ended up with three loads. Ida is a very ambitious person. She has the Laundromat, a small store attached, she cuts hair and does braiding, she sells baked goods and snacks like conch fritters, and now she is renting golf carts. After taking the laundry back to the boat, we dinghied back in to the town dock and walked down to Lorraine’s for lunch. She is also an ambitious lady. She has had the restaurant for going on 20 years. The restaurant has continually expanded and improved in looks. Her food is not cheap, but always delicious. We split a burger, Charlie had a beer and I a coke and our bill was $20. I forgot to bring extra cocktail sauce and couldn’t find any in the local stores (Surprise!), so Lorraine made us some. She is a sweet lady and does a lot for the cruisers. We also caught Peymon, her mother on her porch platting. The women here plat strips of palm leaves into 4 inch wide ribbon, then they sell it to a place in Nassau who sews the “ribbon” into purses, hats and such. She also bakes bread, so we bought a loaf of white and a loaf of cinnamon. After lunch, Charlie hauled ten gallons of water to the dinghy and we got rid of the trash. The town provides a trailer for the cruisers to deposit their trash at no cost. Most places charge $2 a bag. The water is also free, but you have to walk to the faucet with your jugs. Charlie just wants to keep the water tank topped off. We also stopped at Adderly’s store and bought two dozen eggs and some cornmeal I also forgot. That was $15. That is why we bring what we can. Groceries can get pricy. This afternoon, Charlie cleaned the cockpit. Wiped down the fiberglass and cleaned the floor under the grate. I put the flag back on the burgee, but the burgee still needs some help. Have to ponder that a bit. The little plastic things that hold the burgee on the topping lift and where the flag attaches have broken. I have the flag up, but not exactly right, so it won’t raise up as high as I want. I think it affects the solar panels where it is. Shading them. Charlie checked the batteries again and still indecisive about any improvement after watering them. I made homemade chili for dinner. Have a lot left over. I’ll squeeze it in the freezer or the fridge somewhere. I ran away with the Scrabble game tonight. Charlie couldn’t get more than one vowel at a time. Sometimes none. Not so much fun that way. Tonight is quiet, with just a gentle breeze. Picture is from last year, but the place hasn’t changed. Wonderful little community.
Wyvern's Photos - Main
3 Photos
Created 12 December 2010
Our 1996 Hunter 45
9 Photos
Created 12 December 2010