28 October 2008 | Elizabeth City
10 October 2008 | Frog Morter Creek, Maryland
Chubb Cay to Nassau
01 March 2009
Fell asleep at 4 in the afternon in Chubb Cay after being up for 24 hours and woke at 7 in the evening. Had dinner and fell asleep till 6 the next morning. We refilled the diesel fuel, checked oil and were off to Nassau. This was a 39 mile jaunt with wind out of the NE about 10 -15. We were able to sail or motor sall the entire route - so it ended being a great day. Kinda' made up for the provious 24 hours. Entered Nassau harbor and it felt like coming down from the mountain - all the big cruise ships and hussle of a big city. Ended in a marina where we will wait for a gale to pass that is due Tuesday - this is a better place to be rather than on the hook in a gale.
We'll get to clean the crusty salt off the boat and check out the local environment.
The attached pictures is a trawler that misread the danger sign.
28 February 2009
We were tired of staying in Bimini so after many days of examining the weather yesterday was determined to be the best wether day in the near term. Trying to get to Nassua so the Exumas can be next.
Left Bimini at 10 AM and ran into 4 ft. swells in the ocean going N out of Bimini. Red lost he dinghy rack and had to turn around and Jim had problems with his but was able to repair it while traveling. At this point we were all thinking that the 20 Kn winds and 4 ft seas would disappear once we made the turn at N Rock ad headed East across the Bahamian flats. Welll, the winds continued at 20 -27 kn all day and all night. The seas, which were to be calm during the afternoon and night, only continued but from the N rather the E. We decided that we had 2 choices 1 - anchor and get beat up all night with no sleep or 2 - keep going and get beat up and make some progress. Of course we decided on the latter, spent the night traveling through 20 - 30 kn wind and beam seas breaking into the cockpit - of course we were wearing full high seas gear with safety harnesses whenever we were in the cockpit. The boat did extraordinarily well - it made up for the mistakes we made while steering in the night with no moonlight and rode up and down 10 ft breaking waves . When morning came, the winds had died to 10-15 and the seas were 2 ft. I was amazed that salt had encrusted everything on the boat. This had been from the spray and dried in the early morning. The sunrise was warm and welcome and a bacon & egg sandwich topped it off. Another four hours we were in Chubb and looking for a shower to rinse off the crusted salt all over our bodies. This marina is in bankrupt and they wanted $40 to hook up to electricity, but now that I have a generator I said no thanks. With the exception of a water maker I am self sufficient now and could go indefinitely as long as I get gasoline for the generator and food supplies. Once I start spear fishing I'm good for a long time. A few notes the most notable events.
Dave called out to me at 3;30 in the morning think in g I was asleep below and startled me in the cockpit. It was so dark he didn't realize I was in the cockpit. So when I answered from the cockpit he was startled.
The other is the rapidity with which one can go from 13 ft to 1300 feet in the ocean and how royal blue the water is.
Tomorrow I leave for Nassau. Not looking for the touristy stuff, but for a rebuild kit for the head and food supplies. Kalik beer especially - since it is cheap and brewed in the Bahamas. Stuff for lunch would also be good
Arrived in Bimini
20 February 2009
Arrived in Bimini - it was a great sail from Rodriguez Cay. We left a 3 in the morning and were tagging along with a 37 ft cat. The cat has 2 engines and 1 died when it threw a belt due to misalignment of the alternator. They repaired the problem and it happened again but they continued across the ocean at reduced speed on one engine. I was surprised that we didn't see any wildlife since a lot of people report seeing Dolphin and rays following them. The light south wind we had been waiting for the past 2.5 weeks never materialized and at 4:30 in the morning the forecast changed to light wing out of the N which was exactly what we wanted to avoid with the gulf stream heading s to n. This can result in 20-40 ft waves. Luckily, the waves never materialized since the flow of the Gulf Stream was concentrated in a narrow stream and the waves hadn't had a chance to build. It was interesting seeing the depth meter max out on the depth sounder at 600 feet knowing we were passing over water the was 5200 feet deep. We took position readings ever ½ hour, just out of curiosity, to see the effect of the Gulf Stream had on our course. Initially, we used our high school vector addition to determine the course we wanted to steer, but adjusted this with the data we were getting as the traverse occurred. The most difficult part was seeing the entrance into Bimini Sands Marina since the channel markers were wiped out by last year's hurricane. Fortunately, a Bahamian fishing boat waved us to follow them and we navigated out way through the reef into the marina basin. Once inside the current and wind was calm and out docking was masterfully done. The only other activity was the trip to customs , which was smooth and uneventful. We put up the Quarantine Flag on entering Bahamian water and on clearing customs and immigration replaced it with the Bahamian flag. The custom officials were very courteous and our check in was at the Bimini south airport. Time for a Kalik.
Relaxing & Shark Research Cntr
18 February 2009
Nothing new - worked on boat trying to improve the SSB reception.
Not much today - just went over the forecast for the next few days with the Jim on a Hunter 50 (Blue Heaven), the person we'll be sailing with across the Great Bahamas Bank to the Berry Islands to Chubb Cay and decided at this point to travel on Sat am.
Spent another day in Bimini and are looking at the possibility of doing the next leg on this Saturday 2/21.
It appears the winds will be from the south allowing us to traverse north to North Rock. Then that night we will anchor out on the Bahama Bank near Mackie Shoal with two other boats we are traveling with us so we don't have to sail through the night.
Went to view the Shark Research Center here and the Researchers were out cleaning up the road of trash. So we spoke with them and decided to visit the center tomorrow am and they would be free to give a tour. So hopefully more on this tomorrow.
Still planning on leaving Saturday. Went to the U of Miami Shark Research Center on Bimini (http://www6.miami.edu/sharklab/research.html) and received a tour of the facility by a person working on her PhD theses studying the effects of Mangrove reduction on Lemon shark population. The facility is supported by volunteers that pay 750/mo. to live here while supporting the facility. In return they receive room and board plus a great experience. Not much else today. Asked the people at the research center what they use to reduce the no-seeum bites and they said they use baby oil , which the flies get stuck in and flounder before they can bite. Experiencing 20-25 kn winds today. Two large boats left early today and returned when the wind kicked up.
Marathon Harbor to Rodriguez Cay
13 February 2009
Departure from the comfort of Marathon Harbor to Rodriguez Cay. Rodriguez Cay is a staging for the crossing to Bimini. Spent the12th fueling up and running back and forth with jerry cans filling up the water tanks. Then we took a taxi to the food store to get enough supplies to last the foreseeable future. This consisted of lots of rice, pasta, couscous and tubule. Were anticipating getting fish and chicken in decent amounts as we travel. We got up a 5 to prepare for the 7 am departure to Rodriguez Cay. The boats staged to depart today:
Lucidity Butch & Gretchen 'n Reese Island Packet 38 - 865-216-3117 We monitor the Cruise net on 6227 at 8:30 am, also.
Sea Witch Rich & Dave Baba 30 410-920-0866
Special K Nick & John
Sea Mist Dave
Hot Chatte Reggie Lagoon 37 541-670-7953
John Ray Steven & Michele Island Packet 38 617-823-9790
Lena Bea Wayne & Michele Island Packet 44 612-867-3017
Serenade Roy & Bertha 508-455-7823
Bela Bell & Wanda Hunter 42
Two morrows (sp?) Mary & ?? Hunter 38
We're Playing Deb & Paul
Bird on a Wire
Rising Tide Ken & Heidi
We have been having meetings all week to review course and weather.
10 February 2009
Moved the boat from duck to marathon and spent lots of time the past few weeks on the mooring ball in Marathon Harbor. This means that every morning you get up and hop in the dinghy to run into the marina for a shower and the use of the internet. They have a pretty good arrangement here in that they own a old warehouse and have it divided into sections that are used for a TV room, internet access area, marina office, boat project room, and showers/bathrooms. The bathrooms are old and there are only 3 but they are in the process of building 12 more and they will be put into service the week after we leave. Most people are holding up here waiting to go, but then about 20% are permanent live boards