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.
Social:
28 April 2017 | Crab Cay, Elizabeth Harbor, Exumas, Bahamas
27 April 2017 | Crab Cay, Elizabeth Harbor, Exumas, Bahamas
26 April 2017 | Crab Cay, Elizabeth Harbor, Exumas, Bahamas
25 April 2017 | Volleyball Beach, Stocking Island, Bahamas
24 April 2017 | Kidd Cove, Georgetown, Great Exuma Island, Bahamas
23 April 2017 | Red Shanks, Elizabeth Harbor, Great Exuma, Bahamas
22 April 2017 | Red Shanks, Elizabeth Harbor, Great Exuma, Bahamas
21 April 2017 | Red Shanks, Elizabeth Harbor, Great Exuma, Bahamas
20 April 2017 | Crab Cay, Elizabeth Harbor, Exumas, Bahamas
19 April 2017 | Crab Cay, Elizabeth Harbor, Exumas, Bahamas
18 April 2017 | Crab Cay, Elizabeth Harbor, Exumas, Bahamas
17 April 2017 | Crab Cay, Elizabeth Harbor, Exumas, Bahamas
16 April 2017 | Volleyball Beach, Stocking Island, Bahamas
15 April 2017 | Volleyball Beach, Stocking Island, Bahamas
14 April 2017 | Volleyball Beach, Stocking Island, Bahamas
13 April 2017 | Volleyball Beach, Stocking Island, Bahamas
12 April 2017 | Volleyball Beach, Stocking Island, Bahamas
11 April 2017 | Volleyball Beach, Stocking Island, Bahamas
10 April 2017 | Volleyball Beach, Stocking Island, Bahamas
09 April 2017 | Volleyball Beach, Stocking Island, Bahamas
Recent Blog Posts
28 April 2017 | Crab Cay, Elizabeth Harbor, Exumas, Bahamas

Dinghy Repairs

April 28, 2017 9:00 pm

27 April 2017 | Crab Cay, Elizabeth Harbor, Exumas, Bahamas

Dinghy Day

April 27, 2017 10:00 pm

26 April 2017 | Crab Cay, Elizabeth Harbor, Exumas, Bahamas

Race Day

April 26, 2017 9:00 pm

25 April 2017 | Volleyball Beach, Stocking Island, Bahamas

Getting Hyped for Regatta

April 25, 2017 9:00 pm

24 April 2017 | Kidd Cove, Georgetown, Great Exuma Island, Bahamas

Oh! What a Beautiful Morning!

April 24, 2017 9:30 pm

23 April 2017 | Red Shanks, Elizabeth Harbor, Great Exuma, Bahamas

April 23, 2017 9:30 pm

Dinghy Repairs

28 April 2017 | Crab Cay, Elizabeth Harbor, Exumas, Bahamas
Windy, sunny and warm with a rain shower this morning
April 28, 2017 9:00 pm
Crab Cay, Elizabeth Harbor, Exumas, Bahamas

We didn’t take any pictures today, so you are getting another Regatta pic. Confusion at the windward mark.
After breakfast, Charlie dingied to shore to inspect the dinghy bottom. He found a crushed spot about the size of his hand where the dinghy apparently hit a rock when it got swamped at Lee Stocking Island. The crew of Caprice also dinghied into the island and Charlie joined them for a walk up to the plantation ruins. I stayed on the boat. A been there, done that attitude I guess. While they were gone, I made potato salad and some meatballs for Waikiki Meatballs for dinner. Thought I would make them for Charlie since he was nice enough to make me a chocolate cake yesterday. They all made it back to the boats by lunch time. Jack called over and offered to go into the beach with Charlie and patch the crushed spot on the hull of our dinghy. Charlie took him up on his offer, so they spent an hour or so working on that. They found a couple of other spots to also patch. These are temporary patches. We will repair it correctly with fiberglass when we get home. That is unless these hold so well we decide not to. I read while they were gone. Jack and Kris dinghied over for a quick cold drink, then went back to Caprice to feed the boys. We stayed in our protected anchorage here at Crab Cay. We can watch the whitecaps go by outside and inside we barely have ripples. We had one rain shower this morning, otherwise it has been mostly sunny and warm. The wind did blow15 to 20 kts all day and is still blowing. Forecast to be a bit windier tomorrow. .

Dinghy Day

27 April 2017 | Crab Cay, Elizabeth Harbor, Exumas, Bahamas
Early Thunderstorm, Later sunny, warm and windy
April 27, 2017 10:00 pm
Crab Cay, Elizabeth Harbor, Exumas, Bahamas

We were rudely awakened by a thunderstorm at 4:00 this morning. The whole bit, winds, rain and lightening. Winds were the most worrisome, blowing up in the high 20’s, maybe to 30’s. It was very dark. Thank goodness our boat neighbors had their anchor lights on. We could gauge by where they were if we were dragging, sort of, because when they or we swung on the anchor, the configuration of the lights would change. During the flashing of the lightening, we could make out the shoreline for a second or two. We stayed secure and had no problems other than being woke up. The rain fell for quite a while and Charlie went out in the wind and rain to open the water fill. We ended up with a full tank of water! We went back to bed about 5:00. Charlie was up at 6:30 listening to Chris Parker, the weather man. I stayed in bed until almost eleven. By the time I was up, the skies were clear and dark blue with puffy white clouds here and there, though the wind was still blowing 15 to 20 kts. I was happy that we came into Crab Cay yesterday. Though we had wind, I don’t think we got the full brunt of the force of the wind because we are behind a small hill. Plus the water stayed calm, because we had no fetch for the waves to build. After lunch, we went for a dinghy ride. Charlie patched another hole in the air tube I found yesterday, so he aired it back up. Hopefully, that will cure our daily pumping of air. We have also been having considerable water in the floor of the dinghy. It started when the dinghy was swamped at Lee Stocking Island a few weeks ago. This dinghy has a inner floor, which makes a gap between the hull and the floor. It was full of water and when we stepped on the floor, it would squirt out two pinholes created by a crack in the fiberglass floor. So, we dinghied to a beach on the leeward side of the island and pulled it up on the beach. The dinghy is pretty heavy when the bilge is full of water. We got it up enough to open the drains and let the water flow out. As it emptied, we walked along the beach and around some rocks. We found a busted up boat. About the only thing recognizable was an inboard diesel engine. The tube patch Charlie put on seems to be holding okay so far. The tube stayed firm. We will have to wait and see if we have a water leak, or the full bilge was due to being swamped or being full of rainwater. Other than that, we didn’t do much else today. Decided to stay here where we are protected from the wind rather than go out and reanchor to watch today’s races. Kris called on the telephone this morning letting us know her Bahamian phone is working and that they were going into Georgetown, then coming over to anchor with us. They arrived about 5:30 and Jack and Kris came over for sundowners. The boys had other interests. Any way, we had a very relaxing day. The wind did subside a bit over the afternoon. We still have about 15 kts. Not bad. But, I am prepared for another thunderstorm. I have most of the enclosure panels closed, so it will be easier to close everything up if it happens again. Even though Charlie closed the panels fairly quickly when the thunderstorm hit this morning, the cushions still got wet and we had to take them out on deck and let them dry most of the day. Another picture of the Bahamian racing sailboats, because the only pictures we took today were of the diesel engine we found.

Race Day

26 April 2017 | Crab Cay, Elizabeth Harbor, Exumas, Bahamas
Partly cloudy, breezy and warm
April 26, 2017 9:00 pm
Crab Cay, Elizabeth Harbor, Exumas, Bahamas

I fixed breakfast, lunch and dinner. Albeit, only cereal for breakfast and PBJs for lunch. Today is the first day of the Bahamas National Regatta races. The first race was the three classes of smaller boats. We could see the race, but it was mostly across the harbor from Chat n’ Chill where we anchored last night. Charlie offered to take the Wyvern across the harbor, so we could be closer to the action. We anchored just windward of the windward mark, thinking we would be out of the way, but could see the boats turn the mark. It really was a great place, but a bunch of small powerboats and dinghies gathered around and blocked our view a bit. At least for taking pictures. The smaller boats and dinghies chased the sailboats and it almost looked like a power boat race at times. The second race was the Class B boats, the next to the largest size. Just before the third race, the Class A boats, we noticed that the windward mark was gone. They moved it farther south behind us, which put us sort of in the middle of the course along with several other anchored boats. Guess they figure we are just an obstacle that they have to deal with along with all the other boats in the race. It was really cool to watch. The boats start the race at anchor. When the starting gun fires, they raise their anchors and sails and take off. Interesting watching the different strategies. Some tack off to port and others starboard. The first leg is to windward. These boats have sails that are huge. The boom reaches far aft of the stern of the boat, by about another third of the length of the boat. Because the sail is so large, the crew cannot just hike out (hang out over the side of the boat) to help offset the pull of the sail. The boats have boards that are tucked under the gunnel of the side that the sail is on and sticks out over the water on the opposite side. Then the crew climbs out and sits on the boards. The picture shows it much better than I can explain it, and also shows how large the sail is. The picture is of the winning boat in the Class A race, Tida Wave from Staniel Cay. Usually there is also a guy who lays on the bow of the boat, watching for other boats and obstacles in the way since the guy on the tiller can’t see. When the boat tacks, the guys have to climb off the board, move the board to the other side and climb back on. This is done very quickly. Takes a lot of practice. Wish I could post more than one picture on the blog page. I have about 60. The boats were so impressive to watch. Listening to the crews as they competed to get around the mark first or during a tack was entertaining. The wind blew from about 15 to 18 kts today. Made for exciting racing. The seas were a bit choppy where we anchored to watch the race. Partially because of the speed and direction of the wind, but also from the wakes of all the small power boats and dinghies chasing the racing boats to and fro. Charlie and I decided to move to Crab Cay for the night, where we would be more protected. We have no chop here. It is quite calm and the small hill diverts a lot of the wind. Very comfortable. Caprice went to town so the boys could stop at the dive shop and get local knowledge on where to dive. Charlie went to town also, after we moved across the harbor. He wanted to get water and visit with Jack and Kris. Kris finally got her AT&T phone unlocked and it is now working with a Batelco sim card. She is thrilled. Caprice stayed anchored at Chat n’ Chill. The boys went into one of the holes, the one called the Cleaning Hole, and dived a blue hole and a cave.

Getting Hyped for Regatta

25 April 2017 | Volleyball Beach, Stocking Island, Bahamas
Beautiful calm, warm, and clear day with a light breeze
April 25, 2017 9:00 pm
Volleyball Beach, Stocking Island, Exumas, Bahamas

We enjoyed a wonderfully calm night. This morning the water was glassy. You could walk around the boat and see everything on the bottom. Mostly sand. But, no ripples in the water to distort your vision through the water. The light and variable winds lasted all day. Bright sunny sky and warm. After breakfast, we dinghied into town and met the crew of Caprice. We walked down to the Regatta Village that has popped up just this last week. Two weeks ago, they were still building the seawall. Now there are food and drink shacks lining the seawall. You sure don’t have to search for a cold beer or something to eat. Pat and Paul wanted to go to the dive shop that is at the end of the pier there, but they weren’t open. Walking all the way down there, in the heat, everyone wanted a cold drink. Everyone got a cold beer. Except Patrick and I. Patrick opted to try the Vita-Malt to his disappointment. I actually drank a beer. Those who know me, know I don’t like beer, but Kalik (A Bahamian beer) came out with a Pina Colada beer. I like pina coladas, so I decided to try it and it actually wasn’t bad. Didn’t have that bitter beer taste. I don’t think it will be my go to drink, but was pretty good. We took some nice pictures of the regatta sailing boats next to the seawall being rigged. These boats are all hand made. Usually in someones back yard. Some are pristine, others no so much, but they all will compete. Pretty doesn’t win you the race. Kris and I walked around and found where they were selling Regatta t-shirts. I bought one for Charlie and myself. Kris got one for herself. The guys weren’t with us and she didn’t know if they would like one. A regular t-shirt was $15 and my long sleeve one was $25. About half the price of a Chat n’ Chill shirt. Though I still would like to have one from Chat n’ Chill. I just hate to be ripped off. Charlie and I walked down to Forbes, the customs broker, to give him a copy of our cruising permit, so I guess we just have to wait for the part to arrive. They sent a tracking number, so we know it is on its way. We walked down to Lil Bit’s, another store in town, but they didn’t have much but cases of soft drinks and a few other odds and ends we didn’t need. I just wanted to check it out. I waited at the picnic table by the trash truck while Charlie walked down to the liquor store for rum. He came back with a case of “Fire in the Hole” rum. That should last him for a while. We wanted to fill our water jugs, but there was such a line that the waiting time would have been an hour. We decided we had enough and didn’t wait. Back at the boat, we unloaded our treasures. Jack and Kris wanted to take Patrick and Paul to Chat n’ Chill. So Charlie and I weighed anchor and motored on over. Caprice came a while later. They had Patrick and Paul hauling water so were going to wait until they tired before coming. Once they arrived, we all went ashore and had a cold drink. I got a diet coke. Patrick and Paul swam in from the boat and back out. This evening is still and calm. We have a mild breeze, otherwise, it would be hot. Forecast is for another day just like today!!!

Oh! What a Beautiful Morning!

24 April 2017 | Kidd Cove, Georgetown, Great Exuma Island, Bahamas
Sunny, warm and milder winds
April 24, 2017 9:30 pm
Kidd Cove, Georgetown, Great Exuma, Bahamas

A very windy night last night. I think it probably blew up close to 30 kts at least until about 2:00. But, Oh what a beautiful morning. The wind had settled around 15 kts, maybe a bit lower. The water was barely choppy. We did the usual, Charlie listened to Chris Parker’s weather, then we listened to the Georgetown Cruisers Net on the VHF, and had breakfast. About 10:00 Caprice and Wyvern weighed anchor and headed to Kidd Cove at Georgetown. We were here by 11:00. We both dinghied into town. Jack needed to check on his outboard part and we needed to get the address to have our steering cylinder sent too, so it would make it to Georgetown. First, it is sent to a shipping company in Fort Lauderdale, then sent to Forbes, which assists with customs. They take care of getting our cruiser’s discount on the customs duty. Normally it is 35 percent, but with the discount, it is only 7.5 percent. But, naturally they take a fee for the processing. After Forbes, we walked down to a restaurant that we haven’t visited before called Mel’s. It caters more to the locals. Everyone but me got the BBQ chicken, I order a hamburger. Wrong thing to do. The chicken was served almost immediately. My burger took 30 minutes. They didn’t serve beer at Mel’s, so Jack suggested we walk down to Two Turtles and have a cold drink. About the time the drinks were finished, it was time to walk back down to Exuma Market and meet Jack and Kris’ son and buddy who were coming in a taxi from the airport. Charlie and Jack stopped at Top to Bottom, Charlie to get fluid for the steering system. Jack just tagged along. Kris and I went to the market and bought a few things we needed. Nice that Charlie made it fairly quickly, because I needed him to carry two cases of coke to the dinghy. They don’t let their carts out of the store. We didn’t bring enough soft drinks. Otherwise, I mainly got fresh stuff, milk, bread, veggies and butter. Charlie and I carried our groceries to the dinghy, and then filled our water jugs at the dinghy dock, then dinghied over to the Texaco dinghy dock to get 5 gallons of dinghy gas. We went back to the regular dinghy dock and tied up, so we could go up and say hello to Paul and Pat when they arrived. After greeting Paul and Pat, we dinghied back to the boat. Unloaded everything, which is a chore. Lifting 5 gallon jugs of water from the dinghy to the deck of the boat, which is Charlie’s job, isn’t getting any easier. We put all the groceries away, poured the water into the tank and took a well deserved break. Charlie then got on the computer to order the steering cylinder. I had found one that was $450. That was the cheapest he could find. So, he called and ordered it. Since we now have more fluid, Charlie worked at getting the air out of the hydraulic lines going to the steering wheel. The autopilot which is down with the steering cylinder was getting enough fluid to work adequately, but the steering wheel was still quite sloppy. He put in more fluid and added pressure to the system with our bike pump. The steering wheel is now almost back to normal. Other than checking the fluid and the pressure every time we go somewhere, the steering is working adequately until we received the new one. We should get a shipping number tomorrow to let us know when it should arrive in Fort Lauderdale. Then it will be the Wednesday after that when it will ship to Georgetown. Charlie anchored Wyvern right up close and throughout the day, we watched as the Bahamian sailing boats arrived and anchored around us. The big national regatta starts Wednesday and the boats are beginning to arrive in mass. Normally they are hauled on small freighters (mail boats) because they are coming from all over the Bahamas. The traditional style of the old fishing boats is adhered to. They have 5 different classes or sizes. The sails on these boats are huge for the size of the boat. The boom hangs quite a ways behind the stern of the boat. Red Stripe, the bigger size Bahamian boat that anchored next to us is from Blackpoint. But, we have a number of them anchored around. I’m hoping we get to watch some of the races.

23 April 2017 | Red Shanks, Elizabeth Harbor, Great Exuma, Bahamas
Windy, windy, cloudy and warm
April 23, 2017 9:30 pm
Red Shanks, Elizabeth Harbor, Exumas, Bahamas

Well, the chain Charlie laid on deck hooked to the secondary anchor he just dropped by the bow of the boat did pull off a bit last night and it did make a big noise. Luckily, we weren’t in bed yet. But, we were not dragging, we had just swung on the primary anchor and the bow pulled away from where Charlie had dropped the secondary anchor. After breakfast this morning, Charlie wanted to take the Wyvern about a mile and a half, out to the entrance to Red Shanks. He wanted to explore the caves on the shoreline. We left Caprice, because Jack and Kris were getting their boat ready for their son and his buddy. The steering was still very sloppy. So, when we anchored, we started looking at the hydraulic system again. We narrowed down where it is loosing fluid. Sadly, it is not a connection or a hole in a line, each of which we might be able to fix ourselves. The problem turned out to be a leak where the shaft goes in and out of the hydraulic cylinder. We will try to call Hynautics tomorrow. They were very helpful the last time we needed assistance with another part. Maybe they will have a rebuilt one on the shelf. I priced new ones and the cheapest is $500. Charlie also rigged up an emergency tiller system, just in case. He can put an adjustable wrench on the top of the shaft and use it to turn the rudder by hand. Not the greatest system, because he is under the bed in the aft cabin. Can’t see out, so I would have to tell him which way to steer and how much. We also fixed a recovery system to catch the leaking fluid. We don’t know how much it is actually leaking, but if it is substantial, we don’t want to run out of fluid. We will buy some more tomorrow when we go into Georgetown. As long as we keep fluid at the correct level, it works for now. I’m a bit concerned if the seal completely blows out and won’t hold any fluid, thus not work at all. Time for lunch, then we took an hour or so off and dinghied up the coastline. There are two large caves along the rocky shore. One is actually an arch since the back of the cave, caved in. You can walk through it and up onto the hillside. However, we didn’t try to go ashore at either one because the water was too choppy to take the dinghy in too close because of the sharp rocks. Charlie did find a small cove with mangroves on two sides and a smoother rocky beach he could walk up on. He went for a walk and I stayed in the dinghy. Didn’t look like much to see and you did have to walk on the rocks. No beach. Plus, I was lazy. He found a huge conch shell. An older one and it had been cracked to get the meat out, but still pretty. He also brought back a large piece of driftwood. Really cool and he brought it just because he knew I like that stuff. We carried it back to the Wyvern on the dinghy. Carefully, because it had some sharp points. I experimented with dinner. I found a recipe for cabbage roll casserole and just happened to have all the ingredients on the boat. It turned out well and tasted good. The cabbage wasn’t cooked quite as much as I would like. A half recipe made enough for three meals, so two are in the freezer for easy lunch or dinners later. The wind blew all night and all day today. Today, the velocity was 20 and up. Jack said they clocked 28 kts pretty consistently this afternoon. Charlie offered to take the Wyvern back over by Caprice and I took him up on the offer. Where we were anchored for the day seemed to get a bit rougher and rolly. We are back in our old spot and the water is calmer. The wind is still blowing!
Wyvern's Photos - Main
3 Photos
Created 12 December 2010
Our 1996 Hunter 45
9 Photos
Created 12 December 2010