|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.|
Normal morning. Usual daily chores. I did make up the v-berth for our guests coming on Monday. Charlie dinghied over to Siella to visit with Henri and Laura. They agreed that we would all walk to the grocery store and then get a taxi back. While he was there, they gave Charlie a nice bottle of rum and two small rum cakes in apology and thank you concerning them slipping anchor and running into us the other night. We each took our dinghies because we didn't know if we would have room with all four of us and groceries. Again Laura insisted on paying our dinghy fee at Bay Street Marina. They charge $6 this year. We had a pleasant walk and visited along the way. They are US citizens, but have not lived in the states for several years. They lived in the Netherlands for a couple of years, then bought a boat in Spain and sailed it over to the Caribbean making their way north along the islands and through the Bahamas. They are headed to Miami to do maintenance on their boat. Then they plan to go to Central America. Interesting couple. The taxi back to the marina was $25. I guess they charge per person and sharing doesn't save you any money. We split the cost. After loading groceries into the dinghy, they asked if they could buy us lunch at the Green Parrot. We said we would love to have lunch with them, but we would pay for our share. They have more than repaid any problems we may have experienced due to our bumping into each other. No injuries to humans or boats. Just a little loss of sleep and a bit of anxiety. Each couple split a burger. The guys had Kaliks and Laura and I had soft drinks. The bill with taxes and gratuity was $60. Nassau is getting a bit expensive for us cheapy sailors. We put all the groceries away. Mostly fresh fruit and veggies, and breads, eggs, milk and butter. Since we had a really late lunch, or really early dinner, I wasn't required to cook dinner. We will snack a bit on Charlie's brownies he cook the other night, or maybe have an apple or plum. Charlie is watching Bahamian TV which has news on. Its interesting to see they have the same problems as we do in the US. Today started out cloudy, but cleared enough to get a good portion of sun this afternoon. Clouds are starting to slide back in this evening. Still nice and warm and still windy, though a little slacker today.
We didn’t do much of note today. Doing odds and ends chores, cleaning and maintenance. Charlie did clean 4 conch we had hanging in the water off the back of the boat in a catch bag. He has, it seems, found the correct spot to make the hole in the shell to slip the knife through to cut the attachment [...]
Last night stayed windy. After all the excitement last night I just couldn't wind down. I was up until about 2:30, then Charlie ended up getting up about 4:00 and ended up staying in the cockpit the rest of the night watching the boats swing on the changing tide. First order of business was to dinghy out to see if we could find the anchor. We found it quite easily, at least the rode. We snagged the chain with the dinghy anchor and pulled up the rope, chain and anchor into the dinghy and took it back to the Wyvern. Sort of cloudy this morning and we did a gentle rainshower while we were out in the dinghy. Charlie let me off onto the Wyvern. He took the dinghy to the bow and fed the bitter end through the anchor roller to me. We then pulled everything on board. Next, we needed to get Henry's anchor untied from our boat. Again we went out in the dinghy and pulled his rope, chain and anchor into the dinghy. He and Laura came out in their dinghy to help, but their engine stopped and we had to tow them back to their boat. They wanted to put the anchor off the stern, so they wouldn't swing at all. We gave them the bitter end of their rope and took their anchor off the stern and dropped it. That done, we dinghied back to the Wyvern. We motored forward and away from the catamaran with the secondary anchor still down. We dropped our main anchor so we created a "V" with the anchors which held us away from all the other boats. We are all back to normal! This afternoon, we did little minor cleaning and maintenance. I fixed pork chops for dinner with a salad made out of the last of our fresh veggies. I only have a few tomatoes and a bit of celery left. I think I have one potato. Some lemons for lemonade. About time to go to the store. I won the Scrabble game on the last play, only because Charlie got stuck with the "Q". Charlie has made brownies and they are cooling as I write. I offered to do the dishes if he would make them. We sort of worked ourselves into a deal over the years. If I cook, Charlie does the dishes. If he cooks, usually breakfast, I do the dishes. Works great I think. The wind has slacked just a notch. Still sunny and warm. The moon is up and looks just as big as last night. The picture is of the bridges that go to and from Paradise Island with sailboats in the anchorage and Potter's Cay in the background. Potter's Cay is where the mailboats and ferries dock. There is also sort of a flea market type atmosphere where women sell veggies and fruit, some men are selling conch and fish and there is a couple of rows of tiny shack restaurants. We haven't been down there this year.
We went though half the day as normal, then the excitement began. Charlie decided he needed to take the carburetor out of the outboard motor. He tied the stern to the swim platform so it would be close to the back of the boat. We tie a rope to the harness on the outboard, run it through some rigging on the back end of the mizzen boom and then hook it to the mizzen halyard to pull it up. We were in the middle of this when the chop and the wakes got so bad, Charlie decided to abort until the seas calmed down. Probably about dark. But he left the stern tied to the swim platform. The wind was up today, probably 15 to 18 knots. The incoming tide was beginning to slack and the wind with the changing tide had the boats in the anchorage going every which way. A catamaran that we anchored beside was affected a bit differently than our monohull and we kept getting quite close to it. So, we started the engine and Charlie put the engine into reverse to back us away. You know what happened! Right. The stern line on the dinghy caught on the prop and nearly pulled the dinghy under the boat. The stern was pulled so low that water was pouring into the dinghy. Not really concerned that it would sink because it is nearly impossible to sink an inflatable, but the stern line was pinching the pontoon pretty badly. Charlie told me to cut the line and the dinghy floated free. Basically unharmed. We just scraped our new rubber paint off that one spot, but it is still staying inflated, so no hole. I pumped the water out and all was back to normal. Except now we had a rope wrapped around the prop. It really didn't inhibit using the engine, so Charlie put it back into reverse and backed away from the catamaran again. Since he was anchored here first, it is our responsibility to remedy the situation. Once far enough away for a bit, Charlie used the hooka rig. (A hooka is a dive regulator on a long hose either hooked to a compressor, or a dive tank. Ours is hooked to a dive tank.) This allowed him to stay under water long enough to get the rope undone. Now we really are back to normal, but still have the problem of the catamaran. Just before dark, we decided to motor away from the catamaran as far as we could still with the main anchor down, and drop a second anchor to hold us away from him. Yay, that worked. We are settled for the night. We were in the middle of dinner and our game of Scrabble when crunch. Another boat had slipped anchor and t-boned us, riding right up our anchor rodes. Henry, the gentleman on the boat was trying to hold the aft end of his boat away from our bow pulpit. We tried pushing them off, but the wind and now the outgoing tide was pushing them hard toward us. We could barely hold them off enough for our bow pulpit to stay out of their bimini over the aft cockpit. Laura, his wife, tried pulling in the anchor which seemed to have caught a little, but it slipped again allowing their bow to slide toward us also. They had fenders down, but they also had a sailboard tied to their lifelines and the fender didn't keep us far enough away to keep us from breaking the skeg off the board. So, I sat on deck and pushed with my legs to keep the boat away. Charlie suggested putting an anchor off the stern, upwind. Laura got out their extra anchor and fed the line out to Charlie, as Charlie in the dinghy took the anchor out. About this time the Defense Force sent out a boat to assist. It was decided that Laura should raise their anchor that was on the bow. Again, another problem. Their anchor was wrapped with one of our anchor lines. One of the DF guys got in the dinghy with Charlie and helped him get our anchor rode off their anchor. It was decided that the Defense Force boat would hip tow them off our lines. Charlie let out both rodes as far as they would go, hoping that would allow them to sink and the boat would slide off. Our second anchor did come off, but the other was wrapped somehow on their boat. We ended up cutting our line and letting it go with their boat and they were towed off. Tomorrow we will have to take the dinghy out and try to find it, then Charlie will dive for the rode so we can pull it up into the dinghy and take it back to our boat. Henry and Laura re-anchored. We are holding well on our secondary anchor, but still concerned about drifting into the catamaran when the tide changes again. Henry dinghied over and offered his second anchor, since they have a third. We took him up on his offer and he dinghied the anchor out on the side of the boat away from the catamaran. Charlie says we will be fine. Though, I'm not so sure about how the anchor thrown into the water from Henry's dinghy is secured. Charlie pulled in what slack he could, but really no stress has really been on it. Not the evening we imagined, but all in all everything worked out fine. No injuries and, we will have to check in the daylight, but I don't think there was any major injuries to either boat. I set our anchor alarm, just in case. But, that won't tell me if we are drifting toward the catamaran when the tide changes. Normally all boats swing basically the same way in the current and wind, so it is not normal for one anchored boat to stay clear of another boats swinging radius 360 degrees. But, we were having some weird results from the changing current and either the wind velocity or direction. I hope the explanation is coherent. Henry and Laura thanked us repeatedly for being so nice about the whole situation. But, for the grace of God, there goes I. Why berate them for something that could have happened to us just as easily. I thought we were going to miss the Super Snow Moon, because we had building clouds all day, but as you can see, the clouds broke up enough to see the moon several times. Still windy, and partly cloudy this evening.
At 9:00 Charlie went over to pick up the two guys from Prodigal, the Arkansas sailboat. He learned their names were Rick and Skip. They took their whole outboard with them. The shop really didn't want to work on it because it was a Tohatsu. They only work on Mercurys and Yamahas. But they talked them into it. Skip stayed with the guys working on the engine and Rick and Charlie walked up to the grocery store and pharmacy. Charlie bought me some fresh milk. The other day when I was at the convenience store they only had the boxed milk that doesn't need to be refrigerated until you open the box. I only use milk in my cereal and for hot chocolate, but fresh is better. He also bought his bandaids and hydrogen peroxide. He needs the bandaids because he is always scratching or scrapping himself. The hydrogen peroxide is to get the blood he spills out of clothing or off the cushion or deck. They also did some shopping at the marine store. We needed some hooks for a couple of spoons we had that they were either rusty or the small bolt that holds it on had loosened and we lost the bolt and the hook. He also bought a couple of leaders with weights. He wanted to buy some swivels with closeable hook on one end, but they wanted $22 for a small package. Charlie also bought a 2 1/2 gallon gas jug. We have one at home we neglected to put on the boat. Now we can store a bit more gasoline for the dinghy and the 2 1/2 gallon is easier to use on the dinghy. Trying to fill the dinghy tank on a bouncing dinghy with a full five gallon jug is difficult. Charlie made it back to the boat about 1:00. Rick and Skip went back into town to go to Batelco and to look for a toilet seat. From what they said, theirs is duck taped together. Guess it will have to last because they couldn't find one. They did find some pineapple rum that they brought over and gave to us for all Charlie's assistance. This afternoon, Charlie prepped a couple of places he needs to caulk. One place was one end of the shower. He has a few holes where the jib track pulled up earlier in the trip and that one pin hole spot I found around the hatch. All I did today was pick up and put things away and clean the nav station and start in our cabin. When we left home, we really only had time to put stuff on the boat and a lot of it was just stuck here and there so it wouldn't get tossed in rough seas. I'm trying to find places they can call home. Cleaning, I'm just wiping off dust, a few bug spots and a couple of places where mold is wanting to start. Don't know if it will look cleaner, but it feels cleaner to me and smell better I think. I straightened up the food in the freezer also, so I can find things easier. By the way, the Whynter freezer is doing fabulously. I put the food that I won't be using right away into the big section, so I won't have to open it up at all for a while. The little section I put food we will use in the next couple of weeks, plus the ice trays and bag of cracked ice. I fixed boat food chicken and dressing, mashed potatoes and green beans. We call it boat food because everything either comes out of a can or package. Not my favorite. I like fresh. But, it was filling and tasted okay. We also call it a Charlie meal, because he loves all that stuff. No Scrabble game tonight, or for a while, Charlie got frustrated with the letters he was pulling the last two nights and said he wanted a rest from the frustration for a while. I did beat him by 100 points last night. Nassau had five cruise ships again today. One of which was absolutely huge. Twice as big as the others I would guess. The skies were a bit cloudy this morning, but soon cleared and we had a bright sunny day. Warm, but we had a nice breeze. We are hoping that the winds do change direction by next Tuesday when we leave Nassau with our guests.
Charlie and I after breakfast, did a few small chores. Then Charlie wanted to go downtown and have lunch as well as to stop at the grocery store for fresh milk, bandaids and hydrogen peroxide. When we pulled up to the seawall at the Straw Market, 3 or 4 little boys insisted on helping us tie off. Charlie ended up giving them $3. He said at least they were trying to work for their money and not out stealing. We had lunch at the Greek Island restaurant, which we have visited in past years. I had conch salad and Charlie had an Old Fashion burger, neither of which is Greek, but they have good food and we like the atmosphere. After lunch we walked down to check on the Pirate's Museum, to make sure it was still open and running, which it was. Then back to the store, which happened to be closed, being Sunday. Back at the seawall, the same boys helped us untie. They wanted more cash, but we didn't pay this time. On the way back to the Wyvern, we saw a sailboat coming into the harbor which was from Searcy, Arkansas. We have only seen a very few boats from Arkansas. Charlie motored up next to them and we welcomed them with a WooPigSooee! They meandered around the anchorage up by the cruise docks where the customs office is. They were still flying their quarantine flag which means they had not yet checked in with customs and immigration. I think they were looking to see if they could tie up at the seawall by the customs office, but it is pretty inhospitable. They finally came by and anchored behind us. About an hour later they called while Charlie was fixing a broken wire on one of the bilge pumps. They realized when they went to put the outboard on their dinghy, that the lower unit of the outboard was about to fall off. They wanted a ride to the customs dock. In the 15 minutes it took for Charlie to clean himself up and get over there in the dinghy, they had called Nassau Harbor Control again to make sure customs and immigration was open and that they were having a problem with their outboard, but had found a ride with another boater. The lady they talked to contacted the Bahamian Defense Force and that they would come by their boat. They inspected their boat, then took the captain in so he could check in. About an hour later, we heard the captain call the boat. He had finished all the paperwork and was finally legal, but the Defense Force had not stayed to bring him back to the boat. Charlie heard their conversation and offered to go pick him up. Charlie also offered to take them into the marine store in the morning so they can get parts for their outboard. So, I guess we are going to town again tomorrow. Weather today was beautiful. Sunny, warm and a nice breeze. Tonight is so far calm and quiet, with an almost full moon.