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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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
06 March 2017 | Barley Basin, Upper Matecumbe Key, Florida Keys
05 March 2017 | Barley Basin, Upper Matecumbe Key, Florida Keys
04 March 2017 | Barley Basin, Upper Matecumbe Key, Florida Keys
Recent Blog Posts
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

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

Fuel Dock Day

March 20, 2017 8:30 pm

19 March 2017 | Cambridge Cay, Exumas, Bahamas

Cockpit Break

March 19, 2017 9:10 pm

18 March 2017 | Cambridge Cay, Exumas, Bahamas

Calm Anchorage

March 18, 2017 8:20 pm

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.

Fuel Dock Day

20 March 2017 | Blackpoint, Great Guana Cay, Exuma Islands, Bahama
sunny, warm and breezy
March 20, 2017 8:30 pm
Blackpoint, Great Guana Cay, Exumas, Bahamas

Well Chris Parker was right on. The winds piped up to 20 or so about 4:00 this morning. We were sitting beam to the wind because of the current, which concerns me because we are exposing more surface for the wind to push on. I stayed up for about an hour watching the GPS and we didn’t move other than just swing on the anchor, so I relaxed enough to go back to bed. Charlie had no qualms at all. I slept in this morning and Charlie caught the weather by himself. Not much changed. Suppose to calm down until the next front. Maybe Thursday night. After breakfast, we raised the anchor and headed south. We stopped at Staniel Cay Marina fuel dock and bought diesel, dinghy gas and water. The diesel was $3.95 a gallon, gasoline was $4.95 and water was 40 cents a gallon. Weird that gas was a dollar more than diesel. The water is good RO water (reverse osmosis). Charlie preferred to go on to Blackpoint to do laundry and sit for a couple of days. After arriving, Charlie topped all the batteries off with the RO water. Not distilled, but it has all the minerals removed, so should be okay. Didn’t do much else but sit in the cockpit and read. We had leftovers from last night, parmesan chicken and corn, with a baked potato. The Scrabble game was neck and neck until Charlie pulled ahead at the last. A win in his column. Oh, Charlie used the new heavier, Delta knockoff anchor today, just as a test. This is another sandbox, so just about anything holds, but it seemed to set fine. We’ll see how things go. The wind is still blowing about 15 or so, but the anchorage just off shore isn’t too choppy. We have a little movement on the boat, but it is not bad. Extremely dark outside and the stars are twinkling. I said hello to Orion. The picture is of last night’s sunset.

Cockpit Break

19 March 2017 | Cambridge Cay, Exumas, Bahamas
SUNNY and warm
March 19, 2017 9:10 pm
Cambridge Cay, Exumas, Bahamas

Woke up to a beautiful, sunny morning. The wind was down just a bit. Charlie made scrambled eggs (of which I drowned in picante sauce) and bacon this morning. We were busy little beavers today. Got a couple of bigger chores done. We first went around the boat with some stuff called On and Off. It is miraculous about getting the brown mustashe off the boat from the brown water in the canal and Charlotte Harbor. The water there isn’t really dirty, only dyed brown by the mangroves. But, it also dyes the fiberglass on the hull of boats where the water hits. Mustache, because it is mostly on the bow where it splashes up most. But, we did have some all along the waterline. Charlie held the dinghy while I brushed the On and Off on the hull with a paint brush. Within seconds the stain is gone. Then I would hold the dinghy while Charlie poured a bucket of water onto the hull to rinse it. As miraculous as the stuff is, it will not get off the tar like substance that rubbed off of the fenders while at the house. Don’t know where that substance got on the fenders, but we need to clean them off also. Charlie went back out with 409, Comet, and white-wall tire cleaner and none of it touched it either. He finally used some gasoline to scrub it off. My big chore was to clean the galley. I cleaned and polished the stainless steel refrigerator and stove. Cleaned and polished the counter tops. Wiped up some splatters on the fiberglass, etc. etc..Doesn’t sound like much when I write it, but it took me a couple of hours. But, it does sparkle! Charlie checked the batteries. We have always fought the battle of having enough power. The solar panels help a lot. But with the partly cloudy and cloudy skies we have had the past week haven’t helped. We have run the engine some, but we have sat a couple of days without running. Our batteries are also getting old. He did find some needed water. He has also been running around with his new amp meter testing how many amps individual items take. Naturally, the refrigerator is the power hog. We just have to put up with that. Need refrigeration. The Engel freezer takes its share, but not too bad. The computers take a bigger hunk than we suspected, so they stay unplugged when we are not using them. We just need more sunny days like today. Other than that, we relaxed in the cockpit and read.

Calm Anchorage

18 March 2017 | Cambridge Cay, Exumas, Bahamas
Sunny and breezy
March 18, 2017 8:20 pm
Cambridge Cay, Exumas, Bahamas

We weighed anchor early this morning. Had breakfast on the way to Cambridge Cay. The sailing was great for the first two thirds of the 15nm trip, but then we had to turn into the east wind. Wind was blowing about 15 kts, Seas were less than a foot of chop. Traveling down the west side of the islands, the islands and the shallows protected us from the big waves. Plenty of moorings when we arrived, but this is just a big sandbox of a bay, great for anchoring. The anchor set well. Charlie sanded and varnished the top of the nav table and the trim around one of the engine compartment hatches. I read while he worked. After lunch, we dinghied into the beach to walk across the island to the windward side by Bell Rock. The breakers were really rolling in. Not a good day to be sailing on the outside. We walked the whole beach. I picked up two tiny pieces of sea glass and a couple of small sea fans. Charlie picked up a board he thought our guest might want to put their names on and leave it at BooBoo Hill on Wardwick Wells. We forgot our backpack with the cold drinks on the boat, so when we got back, we took our break. This afternoon, I sewed on the American flag. It is Old Glory again. I won’t put it up until Monday since we are suppose to have high winds Sunday night. No point in subjecting it to that wear and tear so soon. Read and napped the rest of the afternoon. We quit the Scrabble game before we finished. Neither of us could make decent words and the board became unplayable. Had baked barbeque chicken and baked potatoes for dinner. I’m not sure the winds ever died down today. Still blowing about 15 kts I think. We will stay here until Monday. This is the calmest anchorage we have had so far. A good place to hold up for the 20+ kts coming Sunday night. We are getting sporadic cell service. Still had problems with sending via the SSB last night. Got my network set up and I could call up my text on my computer from Charlie’s, but he doesn’t have a word processor and when it put the text in his notepad, it was all garbled stuff. Finally got it sent using my computer, but it took a while. I believe I need to uninstall the Airmail program, then reinstall a new copy. I will need to wait for a decent wifi to be able to do that. So, tonight I will attempt to use cell data to send. I can put the phone up on the cockpit hardtop roof and it gets signal. I have hauled it up in a bag on the mainmast flag burgee with the hotspot on and used it that way. The more height the better. What we won’t do for our modern communication devices. Picture is of how I fixed the torn out grommet situation on the flag since we have no grommets and the tape was weak from being torn.
Wyvern's Photos - Main
3 Photos
Created 12 December 2010
Our 1996 Hunter 45
9 Photos
Created 12 December 2010