Workin on boats in Exotic Places
13 April 2013 | Nassau Bahamas
Dennis/Warm and Wonderful
The blog has been vacant.........what's the deal......./??????
The deal is the internet is few and far between where we've been.
Also no other kinds of communication, except for the "spot" that I've been able to send every few days. I send them every couple days, except the days seem to blend together and I forget for a few more than normal "every couple days".....
We've been having our good times and bad times......the seas and the weather don't seem to be cooperating with our plans............"best made plans for mice and men"????
Lets start back at Bimini, where I'm thinkin was the last time we've had "real" internet connection for long enough to write anything.(The last blog post was in Florida I think)
We left Bimini with a great weather prediction that would let us sail to Nassau, with a couple of stops.It's 120 miles to Nassau, and at 5 to 6 knots, it'll take some time.
We sailed along with some cool people that we met in the marina in Bimini, on a couple of sailboats, Noel and Lynn on "Lattitudes", and Ray and Lynn on "Second Chance". Both boats are "newbees" to the islands as are Pam and I. So we teamed up to get to the Exumas together.
First stop was south about 10 miles to Cat Cay. Nice trip with no problems. Got there and anchored out until the next morning, which was supposed to be a great sail towards the "tongue of the ocean". This tongue is an area where water is funneled from a few thousand feet of depth to 12 feet in a mile or so. It's shaped like a tongue, thus it's name. Your supposed to get there when it's blowin out of the south, or west, or close to those directions.
The day we left Cat cay it was blowin out of the south east, more east than south tho. This made for a "motor sail" for 10 hours in a 3 to 4 foot chop. Lumpy and noisy to say the least...........We pulled into an area of 10' of water near the tongue a few miles away. Mind you, there is NO land in sight, just a dot on the "chart plotter" we have for directions and position. The unit is kind of looking like a map/chart that shows the gps position we're at. We're anchoring for the night...........next morning we leave at sun up, sailing/motoring to the "TONGUE".
Turned out the wind was too much out of the east, and was a "lumpy" ride to say the least. We learned that day how much this catamaran would jump. In the roughest part of the day the seas got to be 5' the starbord forward quarter of the bow, or just to the right of straight on.................The boat worked fine, more in control than I had dreamed, never felt being out of control,,,,,,,,,,,,,just tons of heavy "motion" we dealt with all day long. Hard to explain, but we knew it would be over at "Chubs Cay" in a few hours.
Chubs Cay is an island about 40 miles NW of Nassau, our next stop over. It's a lumpy anchorage, but better than a night in the middle of nowhere,,,,,,,ha ha
We hung around this place two nights, exploring the island, and the waters. It's a fishing marina with pricey slips at $4/foot/$136/night,,,,,,we anchored out in the lumpy anchorage..........Them be pricy fish at that cost for that boat moorage......
Headed to Nassau with hardly any wind we could use, so motorsailed to Nassau in a day's time and found a marina to hang out in for a few days at $1.50/ft with $6 a day for water and $.60 a kwh for elect............Left there after a few days to anchor out in the popular anchorage in the channel near the Cruise ships. This worked out at night with a quiet anchorage, but the day time it was rockin and rollin with wakes from all the power boats traveling thru the area. I'm talkin wakes sometimes rollin the boat enough to toss stuff to the floors.............
Cruisin/Boatin,,,,,,,,,,,,,ain't it fun????? Sometimes you wonder...............
Finally left the big times at Nassau, to hit the "layed back" times of the Exumas.
It's about a 38 mile day to get to Allen's Cay. Finally starting to get into the "outback" of the Bahamas. No marinas and no people except other boaters................and the Iquanas. Mucho Iguanas that will come out to get your "veggie and fruit treats" that everyone comes to give....so they are spoiled, and come out when a boat shows up on the beach..........
We enjoyed Allens Cay for awhile and then traveled to Highborne Cay for a next stop over. I had generator problems (fix the fuel leak), so decided to work on it for a day. "Lattitudes" left for Normans Cay the next day, and we're supposed to follow the day after.............But before we got to Normans the next day we had the big break.............the outdrive on the boat broke a major "yoke" that controls the movement and holding of the drive itself.So we couldn't motor with the main engine.
I secured it from falling into the "deep", then sailed back to Highborne Cay, then next day to Allen's Cay.
I had built a mount to secure the dingy outboard motor to the port amul of the boat. Good ideas come out of "blogs" you read. This gave us some manuvering power so we weren't at the full mercy of the wind. We sailed to the entrance to the bay, then motored with the "dingy engine" thru the cut and into the anchorage area. We're lucky the tide was with us, and helped us speed into the bay at a whopping 2 knots.
We anchored without any big "whahoos" but not without some "heavy breathin"...........
After a couple days we got a "weather window" to get us back to Nassau for some repairs.
It was a lumpy day of sailin, with an hour or so of dodgin "coral heads" and "rocks", we sailed into Nassau harbor, anchorin in the area we were in a couple weeks ago..........We were thankful for the "kicker" motor to get thru the bridge area that the wind went to "not" and the current was "not in our favor"..........
The Gemini sails great at 5.5 to 7 knots all day long. The other two boats that were with us were motor sailing to keep up.
Now we're in Nassau, anchored out for the second night as I'm writing this. The generator is leaking fuel almost as much as it's burning it.............got some O-rings today that may work......otherwise i'll have to order them from the dealer at Ft Lauderdale and have the stuff sent to a marina here for us.
I priced the marinas in the area for "monthly rental" and found one for $480 a month to ones at over $2000 a month. Decisions to be made,,,,,,,,,,,,,,????????
It's going to take a couple weeks to fix the outdrive part, no matter what I do. So figger to spend some time in a marina to make that happen. Also need to find some qualified people to work on the stuff will take some time.
I need to talk a little about this part of the word...........It's beautiful,,,,,and I can't say enough to discribe it's beauty. The waters are so crystal clear, and every change of depth is a change to color. The sandy bottoms are lightly colored blue with the coral or grasses changing it darker.
We have a "looky bucket" to view the underwater life from the sanctity of the dingy. The view of the bottom is soo clear, like looking thru a looking glass..............just a bucket with a plexiglass bottom gives you the view of the "world under"!!
I wish I could explain this paradise better,,,,,,,,,,,,,just that it can't get better........
Not much luck fishing....caught a good size Barracuda (yuck), blue runner Jack (tasted very yummy) and a small but edible rock hind grouper.
Pam and I have many challenges to get over to live this world to the fullest. It's not a life of luxury or leasure. It's a life full of adversity and ease..........you give up so much,,,,,,,,,,,,,,for so much more, if you can see it........our dependance on electricity is a biggie.............needing to keep the batteries charged, so that the little conveniences are continuous.........
I'm running the generator a couple hours a day in the morning and the evening. It's one on the headaches we have, it's leaking as much fuel as it's burning. All because of a crappy design of an O-ring fitting........
The outdrive is another headache...............how to fix it,,,,,,,,,,,,,and how fast..............
I'm writing this a few days after I wrote the stuff above. Sitting in the Texaco gas station on the shore of the marina. Free wifi, and it's open all night and day. The dock space is costing $480/month plus electric,,,,,,,,not bad at all. It's kind of lumpy with all the traffic coming thru the Nassau channel but it settles down at night.
We had a challenging time getting the boat to the marina from the anchorage we were in. Had to wait for the tidal flow to with us, then motor at 1.5 to 2 knots for a couple miles. Even with the tide current, our speed was slow because of the power boat waves sometimes 4' coming on the port bow. We were glad to have Ray from "Second Chance" to help with the outboard controls while I steered. I was calling the motor steering, while trying to steer the boat with the rudders too. At one point coming under the last bridge a huge ferry came up behind us, honking it's horn. I got the boat over twords the "cement" quay that had alot of work boats pulled alongside, and the ferry cruised by looking really close. But we made it to the marina without a scratch, except our nerves were shattered............
I removed the outdrive today, it's sitting on the dock. I need to get one more pin out, and take the part to a welder to see if it's possible to weld. I'm thinking we can do this with out ordering parts from Italy. I have the names of two welders here with good reps. So we'll find out tomorrow what's up.
The generator took a dump too, so it's another project to look into. Thinking it a fuel deal. The o-rings I put in fixed the main leak and it worked great the first night. But it won't even start now.
I've also found out the VHF radio isn't working too good either. We can't recieve signals unless it's a couple miles away, and then it's weak. I lost my handheld VHF to the salt water it was sitting in, on the bottom of the dingy. Waterproof only works if the plugs are all in the holes...............
Ya'll keep an eye on the "Travel Channel". While we were at anchor at Highborne Cay, the marina was being photographed and videoed by a "Travel Channel" helicopter. They flew by "MoonPearl" at anchor with "Second Chance" right next to her. Ray and I were enjoying a beer at the marina store's porch. We got alot of passes come by us too. Pam was in the boat, so not sure if she got into the video.
We'll probably spend a month here in Nassau getting all this work done, then hit the weather windows for the return trip. We will keep ya posted while we're here.
Please excuse the spelling, (Pami fixed most of it) as I'm really exhausted while writing this.'jdpspipoewppjaqw;
Capt'n Tye and Admiral Pami and the Chihuahua crew