18 September 2019 | Waterford, NY
04 May 2018 | Oriental, NC
03 March 2018 | Black Point South Bay on Great Guana Cay
09 February 2018 | Hog Cay
24 January 2018 | Duncan Town
09 January 2018 | George Town, Great Exuma Island
23 December 2017 | Black Point Settlement
19 December 2017 | Palm Beach Florida
06 December 2017 | Vero Beach City Marina
27 November 2017 | Merritt Island Cocoa Beach, Florida
23 November 2017 | Marineland, Florida
19 November 2017 | Marsh Island, St. John’s River near Jacksonsville, FL.
20 August 2017 | Baldwinsville, NY
28 May 2017 | Oriental, NC
15 April 2017 | Allans-Pensacola
05 April 2017 | Lynyard Cay
20 March 2017 | Salt Pond, Long Island, Bahamas
14 March 2017 | George Town, Bahamas
23 February 2017 | George Town, 🇧🇸
24 September 2019 | NYC
Deb Kurtz | Sunny, 70’s, Winds WNW
We left Hop-O-Nose Marina at 6:45 AM on Saturday, September 21st where we spent a couple of days working on putting the mast back up. It was a really foggy morning. Ron positioned our boat just outside the channel in hopes that we would be clear of another boat. However, we did rely on our AIS and radar to be our eyes. It worked out fine. Around 9:00 the fog finally burned off. We had to motor because of the southerly wind direction. So, after a long day of motoring, we finally arrived at Haverstraw Bay that evening at 6:25. After spending a couple of nights waiting for the winds to let up, we left Haverstraw Bay on Monday morning and headed to NYC. We went through the NY Harbor around 2:30 PM. Then we anchored behind the Statue of Liberty near Liberty Park where we had a very peaceful evening. We are now going by Sandy Hook, NJ as we go out in to the ocean towards Cape May, NJ. We plan to spend a couple of days in Cape May while we wait for a weather window to travel on further south to Norfolk, Va.
Heading South Again
18 September 2019 | Waterford, NY
Deb Kurtz | Sunny, 57 Degrees, winds Light and Variable
We started our 5th year of cruising south on Wednesday, September 11th when we left our slip in Oswego and headed to Phoenix, NY. We entered Lock 8 at 12:30 PM and exited Lock 1 in Phoenix at 5:30 PM. We tied Scheherazde up at the dock and went to our daughter and son-in laws house for a few days. On Saturday, the 15th, we said very sad goodbyes to our kids at the dock and made our way to Brewerton and then onto Sylvan Beach the following day which is on the other end of Oneida Lake. That evening, we had a nice dinner with our friends Jerry and Karen and Mike and Liz. On Monday morning we left Sylvan Beach along with Jerry and Karen on Persephone and started going through the many locks that will eventually take us to the Hudson River. This morning, September 18 we completed 29 locks in total. We have one more lock tomorrow, the Troy, Federal Lock which dumps us into the Hudson River. From there we will go to Hop- O- Nose Marina to have the crane put up our mast. Once we get the boom hooked up, the rig tuned, sails put on and electronics reconnected, we will be ready to continue on our journey south.
The Bahamas Back to The USA
04 May 2018 | Oriental, NC
Sunny, Winds SSW 10 MPH 81 degrees
Since my last blog entry, Ron and I sailed our boat to the Abacos which are the northern islands in the Bahamas. As we were getting closer to the Marsh Harbour anchorage our really good cruising friends Tim, Karen and their sweetheart dog “Poppy” hailed us on the radio. Sadly, we did not think we would have the opportunity to see them this season due to their tight sailing schedule. However, to our delight they surprised us and met us in the anchorage at Marsh Harbour. We spent two fantastic weeks with them cruising around the various islands in the area. During this time, we met up with other cruising friends including Cindy and Tom on Oopsea; Donna and Jerry on Blue Jacket; Vickie, Ron and Ruby on Twlight Traveler; Debi and Carl on River Rat; and Gill, Sharlene and Blue on First Love. After we said our very sad goodbyes to Tim, Karen and Poopy, my friend Anna flew in to Marsh Harbor from our home town Baldwinsville, NY and joined us in our adventures back to the various islands, Man-O-War Cay, Guana Cay, Treasure Cay and Hopetown. While anchored at Tahiti Beach off of Great Abaco Island, we rented a golf cart and drove into Hopetown and shopped at their many gift and specialty shops. While there, we took a water taxi over to Elbow Cay and climbed the 100 plus steps to the top of the Elbow Reef Lighthouse. The light house was built in 1863 to improve navigation and decrease the amount of shipwrecks. This is one of the last manualy operated lighthouses in the world. The lamp burns pressurized Kerosene oil with a wick and mantle. Today, the Elbow Reef Lighthouse is still sending out light and can be seen 17 miles away.
After saying our sad goodbyes to Anna, we sailed our way further North to Green Turtle Cay where we met up with MaryBeth and Joe on S/V Sapphire. They are our dock mates and good friends from back home. The following day we moved on to Manjack Cay along with Sapphire and Persephone where we spent a few days, snorkeling, hiking and just plain having fun.
Our next move was to Great Sale Cay, where we staged our crossing through the gulf stream back to the US. That last night in the Bahamas was a little stormy. There was some moderate wind, lighting and thunder. However, we were well protected from the South West winds that blew most of the night. We left Great Sale Cay at 6:30 AM on Wednesday, April 24 along with our close friends Marybeth and Joe on Sapphire. Karen and Jerry on Persephone spent the night at Double Breasted Cay and joined us as well during the crossing. We were able to sail most of the time as the winds were in our favor. We did hit a squall on the second evening out, which only lasted about ½ hour. I was on watch and had to wake up Ron so that we could put a reef in the main sail and bring in the head sail. We were in good shape when the squall hit us. Once it passed we put the sails back to full capacity.
All three sailboats arrived in Beaufort, NC at various times on Saturday, April 28. Once in Beaufort, we docked our boat along with Sapphire at Homer Smith's Docks and Marina. This is a marina where the working fishing boats drop off their catch for packing and shipping. The marina owner, Tony gave us a tour of the fishing boats unloading their catch. We were able to purchase some fresh sword fish and scallops right off the boat. We had a fantastic time while at this marina. The marina owner and dock master are the nicest people we have every met. In addition to their nice hospitality they have a courtesy car, free laundry, nice shower and lounge. It was hard to leave, but all good things must come to an end.
We are presently at Deaton's Yacht Services in Oriental, NC where we plan on having some minor repairs done to the boat prior to our trip back to Syracuse. I will let you know when we are on the move again. Until then Happy Spring to you all.
Georgetown to Black Point (S. Bay Great Guana Cay)
03 March 2018 | Black Point South Bay on Great Guana Cay
Winds NNW 15-20, Sunny 75
Hello everyone, my last blog entry was about us leaving the Jumentos and going back to Georgetown on Great Exuma Island where our kids (Son-in-law Robert, daughter Erica and twin grandboys Ethan and Eli) joined us for a fun-filled week in the sun. I know my FB friends already heard about their visit, but I have to include my blog friends as well.
Prior to the kid's arrival we were very busing getting the boat ready. We did laundry, grocery shopping, cleaned the boat inside and out, defrosted the fridge and freezer, filled the water tanks, and made up the quests sleeping quarters. They arrived on Saturday, February 17. The wind was really blowing out of the East 20 plus knots. We borrowed a dinghy from our friends on Persephone so that we could bring the kids and their luggage across the bay without getting too wet. On our way over to pick them up, I was a very intimidated when I had to motor under the small bridge at Lake Victoria. It took me about 15 minutes to get up the courage to go through. I had to gun the motor to get through some steep standing waves under the bridge. Once I got through and calmed down, I realized how much I was shaking. Anyway, we picked up the kids, piled them and their luggage into the two dinghies and went back across the bay from Kids Cove anchorage over to the protected Monument Bay anchorage. The boys were quick to change into the swim trunks and jump back in the dinghy and began exploring the shore lines and coral heads. That was the beginning of a very busy week. Our days usually began with a workout on the beach, followed by eating breakfast, hiking, snorkeling, swimming, eating lunch, hanging out on the beaches while the boys played with their skim boards and at times we met up with other kids and cruisers on the Chat and Chill beach. We slowed down towards dinner time and ate some snacks while we played some Pitch. My partner, Robert and I were the "Pitch" champions. As the saying goes, "All good things must come to and end." So, we had to say good bye to the kids on Saturday, February 25. Luckily, we did not have too much time to feel sad because we were too busy with laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning etc.
Life got back to normal in a day or two and we continued to enjoy our stay in Georgetown. The winds finally died down after a full week of blowing 20 plus knots to 10 and below. We enjoyed going to Beach Church on Sunday and had fun catching up with everyone. They have a Cruisers Regatta here in Georgetown, where 350-400 cursing boats arrive from around the US, Canada, and other countries to participate in the regatta activities. The activities include sailboat races, volleyball tournaments, softball, coconut harvest, bridge, Texas Hold'em poker, beach golf and more. This takes place over a period of 12 days. We have decided not to stay for the festivities this year and take the weather window and begin moving slowly back north. We plan to go to the Abacos which is in the Northern Bahamas islands and look forward to meeting up with our friend Anna who arrives in April.
Presently, we are waiting out a cold front in the South Bay of Great Guana Cay. When we anchored here yesterday there was only us and our friends on Persephone anchored here. Now there are 15 other boats all getting protection for the northern winds that continue to build throughout the day. We hope the snow melts and the sun shines for our friends back north.
Ragged Islands Back to Georgetown
09 February 2018 | Hog Cay
Today, Sunny, Breezy, Winds 15-20 ESE
We finally have good internet access here in Georgetown after spending the past couple of weeks in the Ragged Islands/Jumentos. My last blog entry was centered around the damage that hurricane Irma did to Duncan Town on Ragged Island. However, in spite of Hurricane Irma, we managed to have a wonderful time during our visit in the Jumentos.
We spent a week or so at Hog Cay where we did some lobster hunting, hiking, shelling, and meeting other cruisers during happy hours at the Hog Cay Yacht Club (a huge grass hut). Ron was pleased that his lobster hunting skills are improving. He got four lobsters on his first time out. Not to mention our friends Jerry and Jerry, the hunting duo got 12 lobsters. While the men were busy hunting my friend Karen, from S/V Persephone, and I had a nice time snorkeling as we watched all of the beautiful fish swim in and out of the coral heads.
After leaving Hog Cay we started moving back North and anchored at Double Breasted Cay along with Blue Jacket. They picked us up in their dinghy and we into shore to find a path that took us over to the ocean side of the Island. To our surprise, the sandy beaches were mostly blown away from Hurricane Irma leaving behind a lot of just plain rock. We were not able to do much shelling or sea bean hunting. However, I did manage to get a few hamburger beans and a really pretty orange float.
The following morning, we moved further North to Buena vista Cay. We took the dinghy and picked up our friend Jerry from Blue Jacket and went out looking for more lobster on the south side of the island. I went along to do some snorkeling. The coral heads were beautiful with lots of colorful fish. Ron got two more lobster and Jerry got two lobsters and a Hog fish. Then we moved over to the North side of the island and Jerry got another lobster. When we dropped Jerry off at his boat, his wife, Donna was very happy to hear that he speared a Hog fish. Hog fish is her favorite fish because it is very tasty.
The wind direction changed a little, so to get better protection, we moved back south to Racoon Cay. On our way we decided it was time to try to figure out what was going on with our VHF radio. It was not transmitting or receiving for more than a couple of miles. Once we got anchored in the bay Jerry from Persephone came over for a morning visit. He and Ron made a plan for the day. First, change the zincs, which are sacrificial anodes attached to underside of the boat's hull. Then, start working on the radio. Ron put on his scuba gear and went under the boat and changed two of our three zincs, the hull zinc and the shaft zinc. After that we ran Jerry up the mast to check out the radio antenna connection. It looked like the connection on the top of the wire needed to be replaced. Then they checked the wiring behind the inside panel. They replaced the power wire to the radio. The repair resulted in the radio working a little better. Thank you, Jerry. While at Racoon Cay we continued with our morning Beach Body on Demand 21 Day Fix exercises on one of the beautiful flat beaches. We also did some more lobster and Hog fish hunting. Later in the day I took my friend Karen's kayak out and walked on several of the beaches along the west side of the island.
On Sunday, February 4, we sadly said our goodbyes to Blue Jacket as we headed north to Water Cay along with our friends on Persephone. The winds were blowing ESE 14-18 making the waters a little rough but the sailing was great. When hailing other boats on the VHF, we realized our radio was still not transmitting and receiving very well. So, once we anchored in Water Cay, Jerry from Persephone came over to our boat and we hoisted him up the mast again to do some more diagnostic testing. The final diagnosis was that we need a new antenna. Our daughter Erica will be bringing us a new one when they visit us this month in Georgetown. Hopefully, this will solve the problem. Not having a good radio is a safety issue that we want addressed before we have to cross back to the US in April.
After leaving Water Cay we arrived in Georgetown on Monday, February 5th. We have been busy with grocery shopping, doing the laundry, cleaning the boat, exercising on shore, water aerobics, playing volley ball, basket weaving and having fun with other cruisers. The other night we participated in a 25-dinghy boat happy hour rafting. It was a lot of fun.
We will be here in Georgetown in the Exumas Islands for a few weeks. We are anxiously waiting for our daughter Erica, son-in-law Robert and the two grandsons Ethan and Eli to visit us on the 17th. We plan on being really busy having fun so you may not hear from us for a little while. Until next time, we hope this blog entry finds you all happy and in good health.
Hurrican Irma Destruction
24 January 2018 | Duncan Town
Today, Sunny, 80 degrees 10-15 E
After spending a couple of days in Long Island, Bahamas we worked our way 10 hours further south to Flamingo Cay. Once we put the sails away and buttoned things up, we went to bed early to be ready for another long day. Early the next morning we pulled up the anchor and began our passage further south. The light winds allowed us to sail close-hauled at 5-6 knots for the next 8 hours. Needless to say, it was a beautiful sail which took us to south bay on Ragged Island. Ragged Island is a small island (9 square miles) and is part of the Jumentos Cays and Ragged Island Chain.
Last year, when we anchored here in the bay, we took the long walk up the hill to Duncan Town, which is the only settlement in the entire Ragged Island chain. Once we got to the top of the hill we found ourselves in Duncan Town. As we walked through the town we enjoyed talking to the town folk, stopping for a cool drink at the local bar, visiting the Administrative Office and speaking to the office manager where we learned more about the town. We also walked past the cute colorful houses, the school, the clinic, the police station, a small gift shop and then we spent time with Maxine at the local grocery store. This small town and their welcoming residents left an impression that we have been sharing with our friends over the past year.
However, this year we returned to a much different island. The people are still warm and welcoming but their lives have been changed forever. Most of you may remember Hurricane Irma that hit the Bahamas and Florida this past September 2017. Duncan Town took a direct hit from this Category 5 hurricane. As we walked around it looked as though they had been hit by a bomb. There was debris everywhere. No home or building was left untouched by the hurricane. Many of the homes had no roof, windows or doors. Other homes were completely destroyed, with only rubble remaining on the foundation. Their school, health clinic, police station and administrative office were completely destroyed. It was heart breaking to see such devastation. The electric company and the phone company have worked to restore power and phone service. They are still working on their water system. Presently, with or without the government's assistance the Ragged Islanders are going to rebuild. They look at the hurricane destructions as an opportunity be rebuild things bigger and better. Many of the home owners are still not back on the island. They are waiting for things to get rebuilt and systems back up and running before they return. If you would like to help the islander get back on their feet, go to www.gofundme.com/raggedislands.
As for us, we have since left Duncan Town and are now slowly working our way back north up the Ragged Island Chain and the Jumentos Cays. We are presently in Hog Cay. Yesterday, we went lobster hunting and snorkeling. Ron was able to get four nice size lobsters. Our friends from Persephone and Blue Jack got 13 more. It was a successful hunt.
It looks like we will be here for a while. We will be sitting out a cold front coming in on Thursday night through the weekend into Monday. The front will bring with it very strong winds of 30 knots sustained with gusts of 40-50 knots. Internet is very weak here in the Jumentos, therefore, you may not here from us for a couple of weeks. We hope all is well with our family and friends as we think of you often.