Troubadour

Living the Dream

Who: Captain Chris May & Admiral Linda Moore
Port: Key Largo, Florida (But we're from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA)
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. " --Mark Twain
20 December 2011 | US Virgin Islands
03 October 2011 | Culebra, Puerto Rico
21 August 2011 | Ceiba, Puerto Rico
17 August 2011 | Roosevelt Roads Marina, Puerto Rico
24 June 2011 | Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico
13 June 2011 | Ponce, Puerto Rico
05 June 2011 | Boca Chica, DR
26 May 2011 | Ile a Vache, Haiti
21 May 2011 | Manzanillo Bay
14 May 2011 | Ocean World Marina
19 April 2011 | Sapodilla Bay, Provo, Turks & Caicos
13 April 2011 | Sapodilla Bay, Provo, Turks & Caicos
05 April 2011 | Sapodilla Bay, Provo, Turks & Caicos
30 March 2011 | Clarence Town, Long Island, Bahamas
28 March 2011 | Clarence Town, Long Island
21 March 2011 | Georgetown, Great Exuma
15 March 2011 | Georgetown, Great Exuma
13 February 2011 | Georgetown, Great Exuma
29 January 2011 | Georgetown, Great Exuma

Enroute to Provo

05 April 2011 | Sapodilla Bay, Provo, Turks & Caicos
Captain Chris, Sunny and Breezy
Troubadour's last sail (for a while, anyway) with the Bahamas courtesy flag flying.

As we waited for better weather conditions in Clarence Town, we were able to get in contact with Mr Pratt, who runs the propane truck (cell 472-8176). He drives the truck up and down Long Island making deliveries, and told us he would make it to Clarence Town around 4 PM. We took the dinghy in and waited at the marina bar, chatting with Barbara and Manfred from Balimara, until the truck rolled into the parking lot. A quick ten pound fill was $11, the same as in Georgetown from the truck, and cheaper than any of the drop-off/pick-up services we've used, usually around $20 a tank. The last item we had hoped to cross off the list in Georgetown done, yea!

Thursday, although the winds were predicted to remain steady at Force 5 (18-24 mph), we decided to head for Little Harbour to give us a shorter sail to Crooked Island on Friday. The winds were indeed strong and on the nose, so between reefing sails (making them smaller) giving us more leeway, and a contrary current, we made little headway and wound up motorsailing to the harbour, anchoring around 1 PM. We got in a nice snorkel, but alas, saw no lobster on this final day of lobster season. We removed the outboard from the dinghy and got ready for some ocean crossings, hopefully in light winds and seas as predicted. We could see the wind starting to die down in the evening, so that was a good sign.

Up early Friday morning, we motored out of the harbour into the sunrise and raised sails once the wind came up. We had a great close reach across the Crooked Island Passage and along the north coast of the island, arriving at Atwood Harbour around 5 PM. The entrance was straightforward, but the deepest water was littered with hard bottom and rock, so we had to adjust our anchorage to a slightly shallower area to the east for the anchor to hold in good sand. One other boat joined us for the night, and then left early in the morning, headed North.

We left around 9 AM, surrounded by clouds and light winds. We knew we weren't going to be sailing, but we also knew that the seas would be light. We got a few rain showers over the next couple of hours, but by mid-day we were off the Plana Cays and the wind started to fill in from the North so we raised the main, unrolled the jib and turned off the engine. We made great time for the first five or six hours when the current was with us, the sun was coming out, and life was good. I saw some commotion astern of us about the same time the hand line came out of the clothespin. Fish on! Linda scrambled to get the gaff and the bottle of vodka as I got on the orange gloves and pulled in the two foot + Mahi. He looked me in the eye, did a great tail walk alongside the boat, and threw the lure almost onto the deck as he took off. Oh well, although that was our first, I suppose there will be another time!

We did not make such great time once the current turned against us. Around 1 AM, with the wind veering more to the East than predicted and the current against us, we rolled the jib in and motorsailed to our waypoint off the Sandbore Channel. Good thing with current is: wait a few hours and it changes. It turned in the small hours, giving us a bit more speed as we beat into the wind and the building chop. The chop finally started dying as we got into the lee of Provo in early morning, and we were able to drop the main and motor into the channel (and directly into the rising sun) about 8 AM.

We deviated from the charted route a few times because I just have this superstition about driving over a + on the chart, like stepping on a crack. We anchored in Sapodilla Bay by nine. A lot of the area that we would have liked to anchor in was too shallow, so we picked a spot that was deep enough, where we felt we could get some protection from wind, and dropped the anchor.

Sapodilla Bay: There are a number of villas on cliffs overlooking the bay, with elaborate stairs coming down the limestone to the water's edge. The east end is sandy, and we can see jet ski rentals, although thankfully there aren't jet skis buzzing around the bay (yet). I was able to dinghy in on Monday and walk to the commercial port and clear customs in under an hour. I know we will be here longer than a week, so I paid $75 for a 90 day cruising permit in addition to the $15 customs fee.

There is a new liquor store and deli near the intersection of the main road and the dirt road leading to the beach, so I picked up a few beers to celebrate and came back aboard. The winds were already starting to pick up as predicted, and that was driving some chop in the anchorage so we stayed aboard for the evening, and will head into the Chalk Sound area for a hike and some sightseeing today.
Comments
Vessel Name: Troubadour - Beneteau Idylle 15.50
Vessel Make/Model: Beneteau Idylle 15.50
Hailing Port: Key Largo, Florida (But we're from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA)
Crew: Captain Chris May & Admiral Linda Moore
About: Chris and Linda chose early retirement from corporate "office space" and cubicle life at GE Healthcare in Waukesha, Wis., to pursue their dream of going "down island" to the Caribbean.
Extra:
Our backgrounds: ***Linda is an insured PADI Divemaster and Master Scuba Diver. She is also a member of DAN the Divers Alert Network. She is trained as a Red Cross Emergency Responder; has completed the STCW BST (Basic Safety Training), and holds a USCG MMD (Ordinary Seaman). She has been sailing [...]
Troubadour - Beneteau Idylle 15.50's Photos - Main
Places and faces along the way.
1 Photo | 7 Sub-Albums
Created 1 February 2011
Odyssey (definition): a long wandering or voyage usually marked by many changes of fortune
2 Photos | 5 Sub-Albums
Created 9 January 2010
The final preparations before sailing offshore are captured in this album.
76 Photos
Created 21 August 2009
Pictures of our shake down sail to St. Augustine, August 13-17, 2009.
18 Photos
Created 21 August 2009
These are pictures of our "shake down" voyages on Troubadour to get her ready for sailing long term.
65 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 9 May 2009
This album begins April 2009. We are moving into another phase in the refit. This phase is primarily focused on the rigging and deck maintenance as we prepare to go offshore.
121 Photos
Created 19 April 2009
This album is for all the side trips we take to enjoy lifes bounty.
30 Photos
Created 18 April 2009
Chris's retirement ceremony.
7 Photos
Created 28 December 2008
The dream continues as we experience the adventures of living aboard during our refit.
79 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 21 December 2008
Troubadour gets wet!
10 Photos
Created 18 December 2008
This album is dedicated to our family and friends who have visited us during our journey.
36 Photos
Created 18 December 2008
This album is dedicated to our new friends.
4 Photos
Created 11 December 2008
Goodbye, Wisconsin. Pictures of our home while the Estate Sale was going on in the fall of 2008.
16 Photos
Created 6 December 2008
The beginning of our refit while Troubadour was in the boat yard.
34 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 10 November 2008

Living the Dream

Who: Captain Chris May & Admiral Linda Moore
Port: Key Largo, Florida (But we're from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA)
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. " --Mark Twain
"I got my toes in the water, ass in the sand; Not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand. Life is good today, life is good today" -- "Toes" by the Zach Brown Band