22 February 2011 | Nassau, Bahamas
25 04.70, 077 19.60
We were up and weighed anchor at 8:00 this morning, leaving Allan's Cay headed to Nassau. Didn't expect to be able to sail, but once we were out of the anchorage the wind was up enough and off our stern quarter, making it well worth pulling out the sails. We actually were able to turn off the engine. And, the autopilot worked! Charlie made French toast, eggs, sausage and bacon for breakfast. I soaked pinto beans last night, so I put them on to pressure cook for lunch. We found that the macerator for the front head was not working. So, I rolled the mattress on the front head up to get at the locker where it is mounted, then unloaded the stuff that was packed into the locker to get at the macerator. After trying to prime the macerator by filling the tank with saltwater, and tapping on the motor with a hammer, it finally decided to work. Put all that stuff back together. Then the generator has begun to quit on its own. Today it would only run a minute or two then quit. Dennis and Charlie looked at it for a while. Don't think they found the problem, but they did work out a plan of attack. Plan is to check the sensors to determine whether one is shutting down the fuel pump and why. That will be our chore tomorrow. Dennis and Charlie pounded the conch they caught and cleaned yesterday. On the way across the Yellow Banks, an area about 3 miles across that is only about 15 feet deep, we stopped at one of the coral heads to snorkel. When we sail this area, we have to be observant and sail around these coral heads because some may come up from the bottom enough that we would hit the coral head. Dennis, Charlie and Diana snorkeled the coral head. They said it was quite colorful and lots of small fish. The first time Dennis and Diana snorkeled in waters out of the sight of land in 15 feet of water! I got the conch ready to fry. Back on board and off we went again, motorsailing. We needed to charge the batteries because the autopilot was drawing power, and the wind began to gradually calm and we wanted to go a bit faster than 2.to 3 kts. We motorsailed the rest of the way into Nassau. We had cracked conch and pinto beans for lunch. We made it into Nassau about 4:00 o'clock and decided to go to the fuel dock for diesel and water. We had to wait and circle and circle and circle until a small trawler/fishing boat finally moved away from the fuel dock. Diana and I walked out of the marina to the gas station in front to buy some bottled water. The city water has an off taste which isn't too tasty, plus tea or whatever also has the off taste. Finally, the water tanks were full and we pulled off the dock and anchored. Dennis and Diana asked if they could take us out to dinner, so we dinghied into the Green Parrot for dinner. Weather was perfect today. Sunny, no clouds, warm, and a mild breeze. Nassau Harbor is fairly quiet, wind very calm, water flat.
Last message from Dennis and Diana. Thanks to Charlie and Phyllis for a wonderful holiday in the Exumas! We had a great time and Dennis passed all his tests for ASA certification. We'll miss the blue waters, sun, sailing, colorful fish, and great "boat" food.