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Date:Wed, 21 Feb 2024 20:23:00 GMT

Web access over email


How to follow us with only an HF radio!

    Hi Friends and Family! I just found something very cool! You can use your HF radio and sailmail or winlink to read our blog and log while you are underway!

     What you do is send a request to "query@saildocs.com" for our web page. The subject is not important and can be whatever you like. In the body of the message you include the following:

    send http://www.sailingwithgrace.com/blog/2024/Feb.htm

    send http://www.sailingwithgrace.com/log.htm

    send http://www.sailingwithgrace.com/home.htm

     or any of the links at the bottom of the home.htm page. This is partly due to our designing the web site to be viewable on text only browsers. So cruiser friends, follow us even when you are underway!!
Date:Mon, 19 Feb 2024 14:58:00 GMT

Georgetown


Arrived at Georgetown

    This morning we woke up to a boat off our stern at about 20 feet who was pulling up his anchor and moving. We were right over the top of his anchor so we pulled the boat forward so he could retrieve his anchor.

    Last night we cleaned up the boat put up covers and set up for staying for a while. We anchored just off Regatta point close to town in about 8 feet of water. There are over 375 boats here, the most boats in the last 10 years. We debated on wheather to anchor with everyone else by chat and chill and the beach or to come over near town. It's over a mile between town and chat and chill beach so we opted to anchor close to town and water/fuel. We anchored with about 20 meters of chain out and at about midnight the wind shifted out of the west and kicked up to 25 for a brief time and then fell back to 7-8. The anchor held great and we've painted a 1/2 moon on the chart plotter.

    The approach into elizabeth harbor is not marked or controlled. So, follow your charts and plan the entrance well in advance. The navionics charts have a gps course displayed and we followed that with no incident. I didn't see any depths at high tide below 9feet but with a 2-3 foot tide that could be 6 feet in certain areas. There are many boats here of all sizes and there is room here for all types and sizes of boats. It's good to have a fast dinghy motor here as distances are long. It took us an hour to make our way through the anchorage and find a place to drop the hook. That was one of the reasons we chose a spot close to town. If you have a shoal draft boat with 3-5 feet there are really nice places to anchor in 6 feet or less.

    We just finished listening to the crusier's net at 08:00. Much like Marathon it's full of lots of good information, trading, and helping eachother. Today there was a lot of information about the coming Regatta and planning for the festivities. Today we need to get fuel and water and clean up/shower so it's going to be a busy day. We're supposed to get rain this afternoon and evening so perhaps we will fill up the dinghy with rain water.

    There is lots available to do here and plenty of services. I will give you a better list after we explore more. For now it's time for breakfast and putting the dinghy in the water.
Date:Sun, 18 Feb 2024 09:58:00 GMT

Rudder Cay


Racing to Georgetown.

     We spent Valentines day until Saturday Morning at Black point. They have free RO water and $5 trash by the government docks. If you tie up at the government docks the water is up the road to the right about 30 yards. It's on the left side of the road and is just a pipe out of the ground with a push up valve on it. You can also pull your dinghy up on the beach to both sides of the government dock but it's really shallow at low tide so watch it. At low tide you can walk from the beach out over a hundred yards in ankle deep water. We anchored in 8 feet of water at low tide about 300 yards off the government docks. The boats come in with supplies a couple times a week so if you're in the path of the dock you'll get wakes every morning from local fisherman and taxi's as well as the big boat when it comes. In retrospect we should have anchored a little off to one side or the other.

     There are three different convience/grocery stores. Two right of the docks and one left. There's a couple churches, several resturants, a laundromat, free wifi at Lorainnes and the laundromat, a yachtclub and a cansio and computer game archade. Everyone has heard of Lorainne's bread and it is great. We had lunch at one of her Cafe's the High Tide. The food was excellent and people are quite wonderful. Loraine seems to know everyone and remembers everyone and everything. We went by to say hello from Kokomo and Vick and she remembered both of them and asked about them. She had wondered where they had been the last few years. Off to the left of the docks we spent the afternoon Thursday talking with Prisilla just outside here sister's store. We talked about history of the island and her family's farm and everything from local fruit to plaiting baskets from palm fronds. she has a Dilly fruit tree in her yard and we had Dilly fruit for the first time. It's wonderful! The skin is very soft and similar to a kiwi. It's a round fruit with a little spike on the end. If you can see the spike it's not quite ripe yet. It's a teak colored fruit and round a little smaller than a tennis ball. Inside it's a little darker colored and sectioned like an orange with thinner sections. The fruit however is soft like a peach with seeds between the layers. The skin is so soft you can just eat it all. It's a very delicate fruit and bruises easily.

     On Friday we went to visit Bonnie Lynn a 60+ foot schooner. It's a beautiful traditional ship but constructed from steel with aluminum spars. They do charters both in NY and around the carribean. Eric and Hannah were kind enough to give us a tour. Their website is : BonnieLynn.com These folks are great and their boat is a dream! If you're looking for an adventure or a pleasant evening check them out!

     On Saturday morning we checked the weather again (as we do every day) and with the anchorage there at Black Point not being protected from the West and North West I decided it was time to leave. We had discussed leaving on Monday or Tuesday with the north winds but Those winds were now coming with rain and gusts up to 35 so we got Grace ready to sail and headed out about 10am. We headed out the cut just north of Black Point in a South West wind at about 10 and close hauled we made 5-7 knots. Our plan was to check out Farmers and if we didn't like it continue on towards Georgetown till we found an anchorage for the night. If we had continued on the winds were scheduled to die and we would arrive sometime in the early morning before light.

     At about 1400 we saw the cutter Tirelou coming up behind us on the same course. She was making about a knot faster than us and we watched her tall sails for a while as she slowly closed the gap on us. I decided to trim the sails and the race was on! We raced for a little over an hour and then when she finally caught us we took pictures and exchanged email's. We followed her into an anchorage at Rudder Cut Cay and tried to find the sculpture of the mermaid and the piano that people dive to see. We saw it from the surface but then lost it again. There's also a cool cave here and several dive spots if you like to dive.

     The Inlet here is fairly wide but the channel in is a winding path and requires a good eye. The depths are good but watch your charts. There are shallow areas and of course the tides and currents are fast. We could barely motor against the falling tide in the dinghy at full power.

     Oh! I almost forgot! There is open wifi here that we can pick up with our Groove router. Well it's almost light now and we plan on getting an early start so I'm going back to sleep for a couple hours. I woke up to the wind change and the tide is coming in... More tomorrow when we get to Georgetown!
Date:Thu, 15 Feb 2024 02:18:00 GMT

Black Point


Morning Sail and new friends.

     This morning we bid farewell to Big Major's spot and sailed off the anchor past our new friends on the super yacht and did a 2 hour sail to Black point. The winds were 12-15 off the port beam and we anchored just before noon. Then we cleaned up everything from the sail and went exploring. We were told to tell Lorraine hello from Kokomo and from Vick. So we went by her restaurant and did so. We found the water, the Laundromat, the grocery store and free wifi. Then in the evening we met a really nice couple. He sailed multiple times across the Atlantic, around the world and had some amazing stories. We do not have any internet we can steal at the boat at the moment and the phone only works a little bit. Hannah is making beans and rice and tortillas. Oh... we did find superglue, oranges, flour and yeast. We also found chicken for lilah, but it's really expensive, almost double her cat food in the states. The anchorage is pleasant and the town seems focused around cruisers. But it's not a tourist trap, it's just a really cool little town with a bunch of cruisers hanging out. Oh, and there's free water. I'm not sure if it's really good but we will filter it.
Date:Wed, 14 Feb 2024 00:07:00 GMT

Big Majors


Feeding the Pigs

    Today we spent at Big Majors just north of Staniel Cay. We came over yesterday afternoon and we will be leaving tomorrow morning for Black Point. We spent a lot of time today cleaning up the boat and preparing to sail. It's about a 3 hour sail, perhaps less.

    Shortly after lunch we went to shore to feed the pigs. There are pigs at Big Major's that will swim out to your boat begging for food. They're really quite interesting. I'm not sure of the history of the entire thing and how the pigs got here but they look like normal domestic pigs to me. They're quite tame as people feed them multiple times a day. They also swim quite well and their noses are turned slightly up to stay out of the water. It seems to be a pretty huge attraction.

    Also around here we have seen bees, wasps, nurse sharks, Manta ray's, little silver and blue minnows and small birds of several types. The nurse sharks swim around the boat frequently. I hear there are bull sharks and hammerheads here as well.

    We are sandwiched between two super yachts. I asked both of them to come over for drinks but they declined. The largest one I helped with the anchor. The crew was having a difficult time hooking the snubber onto the anchor chain so I went out there and helped them get it hooked.

    Hannah sat in her hammock reading, got a sunburn, did wash, made beans and rice and tortillas for dinner and we're going to have fresh shortbread for dessert after we finish cleaning up. Since it's a dark night with only a sliver of a moon we are looking at stars to find constellations. It's prep for celestial navigation. Before you can sight the stars you have to know which one's they are.

    At night the last couple nights there has been a lot of dew. In the morning the entire boat is soaking wet so you can't leave clothing on the line it just get's soaked.

    Here's a shout out to the Intercon net. We chatted today and he ask for more cat videos so we are going to include more footage of Lilah in our videos!
Date:Sat, 10 Feb 2024 22:54:00 GMT

Grotto!


Snorkeling in Thunderball Grotto

    Today we took the dingy over to Thunderball Grotto which is about 200 yards from our anchor spot at slack low tide and went snorkeling in the cave. It was really quite fun. We have two sets of flippers and only one mask and snorkle but we traded off. It is very shallow there and most people use a dinghy anchor. We can't find ours. I'm not sure where it is but it's not on the boat any more. We took apart nearly everything looking for it and in the process found the missing flags! So since we were taking turns anyway someone just stood by the dinghy in the shallow water waiting. We need to find a dinghy anchor. Anyway, The grotto is beautiful and the fish were amazing. We don't have a waterproof camera so we can't give you pictures but if you look online and search you'll find tons of video and pictures of the grotto.

    In the afternoon/evening Juma came over to visit. They made it in today. It was an easy day today just relaxing and cleaning up stuff. Tonight we are having beans rice and home made tortillas I think we're going to go to bed early tonight :)

    Mom's finger is not hurting anymore but we are being very careful of it for a few weeks.
Date:Fri, 09 Feb 2024 23:24:00 GMT

A day in town


A walk around Staniel Cay

    Today I went in early and got water and fuel at the fuel dock. Water is $.40 (40 cents) per gallon and diesle was $5.71/gal. So that's about $2.75/day to the generator and about $1.60/day for water based upon our usage. All in all I'm pleased. After I got back we all took baths in the ocean and put on decent cloths. Hannah did wash and we went to shore to explore and shop.

     The Marina is wonderful and full service. There is a great bar/resturant and bungelows. there is a dinghy dock but most people pull up on the beach next to the Marina office. You can pay with Cash or card and everyone is quite wonderful. Garbage is $6.00 per bag which we took advantage of. There is a wonderful little gift shop that also sells wine and liquer. The Marina office gave us a map and we went walking. It's a pretty small town and everyone drives around in golf carts. There are a few cars but very few. The houses are wonderful colors of pink and mauve and blue and teal. Most are concrete structures with gardens and chickens. We saw bananna plants and Papaia trees. There's a nice public beach with a picnic area and the views are amazing. With the green of the gardens and flowering trees against the wonderfully colored houses against the blue skies and teal water filled with boats it's quiet the picture.

     There are three stores with supplies and groceries. It's not cheap. The produce is mostly the same. There is cabbage, carrots, onions, potatoes, apples, oranges, banannas, cucumbers and some broccoli. There are eggs, canned corn beef, canned milk and some shelf stable milk. Plenty of softdrinks and chips are available. There are canned foods but things like small cans of Campbells soup are 3.75 per can. Paper produts like paper towels are $5.75/role. There's a little church that is cute as can be and we plan on visiting this Sunday.

    In afternoon we came back to the boat and Hannah is making Corned beef with eggs and fried potatoes. It's a quiet evening and Sam is uploading today's video for youtube. We managed to get wifi to the boat from the marina with our Groove wifi repeater.
Date:Fri, 09 Feb 2024 00:24:00 GMT

More Breakers!


A day trip to Staniel Cay

    This morning we got the boat ready to go and headed out to Staniel Cay. The problem as that the wind was still blowing and now we were going out the same cut we just came in yesterday. As you would expect the inlet was more than a little exciting. This time the tide was going out while the winds were blowing the waves in. So the breakers were Huge. I think calling this spicey would be a serious understatement. As we we went through the top of the breakers the bow would plunge down into the next wave. It was all we could do just to hold on. And at 2500 RPM we were only making 2 1/2 knots against the wind and waves. I'm not sure now that it was a real good idea and perhaps we should have waited another day or two till the winds mellowed out. It was only 5 miles to Staniel Cay and we just motored all the way. The winds were 18-20 out of the East and the swells from the north east made the ride a little distasteful. More than a few times waves splashed over the sides of the boat and got us all wet. And when the big swells would come the boat rocked from gunnel to gunnel in about a 4 second interval.

     Hannah reminded me that she does not like roller coasters! Luckily we only had to put up with thes for about an hour.

     The inlet to Staniel Cay is wider but with huge rocks and shallow places. The mouth of the inlet is shoaled up and it has several sand bumps at 6 feet. Which we hit, especially with the waves. But it quickly opens up into a bay. You can go starboard/north to the Big Major's anchorage or you can go left for the narrow inlet to Staniel Cay. But do be careful and watch your charts carefully because it is shoaled up and complicated to wind through to get into the anchorage and marina. Don't fear, however, because big super yachts make it in here. Just watch your charts and watch the water. I would NOT NOT NOT try this inlet at night. Bright sun so you can see the shallow areas and rocks is very important. There is a pretty narrow channel through to the back side and the current runs about 4 knots in there. You can see it moving. After anchoring we watched several boats come in just cookin along at 8-10 knots. Once inside there are mooring balls and anchorage places in 6-10 feet of water at low tide. The bottom is sandy for the most part. The anchorage is protected from an east and north wind but not from west or south. So if you need protection from both sides use the anchorage outside at Big Major's. That however is about a mile to the marina for fuel and water. There is not a dingy dock, there is a dinghy beach enclosed in a rock walled harbor. So bare feet and flip flops is the rule.

     It's really beautiful here and the people are nice. The marina is the party haven and happy hour is 4-6pm. We watched the most beautiful sunset and everyone blew their conch shells including us. For dinner Hannah made split pea soup, home made crackers and fried potatoes with onions. The wind is gentle, the temprature 76 deg and no waves. With full bellies and quiet rocking we're going to bed early.
Date:Thu, 08 Feb 2024 00:47:00 GMT

Breakers!


A blustery day and I lost my hat again!

    This morning we got up and checked in on various Ham and SSB nets. But by about 10:30 the swells around the whales tale were miserable and we might as well have been at sea, so we decided to leave and head toward Staniel key. We knew we might not have enough time to make it so we planned a couple possible anchorages earlier just in case. At about noon we headed out. The wind was 20g25 from the NE and the waves were initially only about 6 feet on a 8 sec period. We made good time between 6.5 and 8 knots Jib and Jigger. The sun was out and it was a good sailing day although it was too much for the autopilot so we hand steered all day. Sam and I took turns. By 1600 the winds were dying and we knew that we were not going to make it. But by that time the waves had picked up to 10 foot with whitecaps off the port stern on an 8 second period. We decided to turn into Compass Cay. As we approached the inlet to the backside of compass Cay we saw the huge breakers and the narrow channel and decided against it. The waves were slamming against the rocks. It was beautiful but all I could see was Grace dashed against the rocks so we decided to continue on to Thomas Cay which had a slightly larger inlet with better depths. As we approached around 16:50 the waves were pounding and the surf was 10-12 feet with huge breakers. We surfed the waves uncontrolled into the inlet. It was terrifying! It was approaching high tide and the current was with us and the wind at our back but the huge rollers were amazing. Sam did manage to get some footage but it does not do it justice. The inlet is only a few hundred feet wide and the depths are only about 15-20 feet so with breakers that size we were at one moment in 25 feet and the next in 7-8. when surfing a wave in you have very little helm control and you just have to hope it doesn't dash you against the rocks. But we made it and looking at the map later I was really glad I didn't try the inlet at Compas Cay because that would have been both narrower and shallower. I don't think we would have made it. I looked at our track and we turned away just in time. We were only about 250 feet from a huge rocky shoal. When we hit the calm water on the other side of the inlet at Thomas Cay and saw all the anchored boats we were soo soo releaved. We motored into the anchorage and dropped the mizzen and the hook and I got out my hat and my pipe and decided to relax... just after sunset we felt a hard bump! Yes we had dragged onto an area the Fish and Chips (B&G) said was 9 feet but the noaa charts said were 3-5 feet. Evidently it was 3-5 pluss a 1.7 foot tide and we bumped hard on the rocky bottom. So in the 25 knot winds we decided to re-anchor and there went my hat just as we were pulling/setting the anchor. I thought about jumpping overboard for it but thought better and ran for the boat hook. When I got back with the boat hook it was just inches out of reach. I thought again about jumping in for it in the dark but I wasn't sure the boat was set and the motor was still running (in neutral) so I opted to watch it go away into the night. Sam and I got the dinghy but in the dark and high winds Hannah told us to let it go and we could buy a new one. Better to give Neptune a hat than something worse.

    On a good side I'm sitting here now with a dark and stormy and fresh split pea soup and homade crackers that Hannah has made for us. Mom's hand is a little better today but we will probably have to keep it splinted and wrapped for 4-6 weeks. We need to find a doctor hopefully in Staniel Cay to look at it. We called an orthepedic surgeon in Florida and she gave us some tips on how to splint it till we could get medical attention.

    We gave Lila some bonine before we left today and she was much more calm and didn't throw up. We were much relived and I'm sure she was too. All is well tonight and we are secure in 18 feet of water with 200 feet of chain out. We're all tired and ready for a good rest. Tomorrow will bring new adventures!
Date:Wed, 07 Feb 2024 00:12:00 GMT

Dark and Stormy


Winds bring change...

    The Barometer is going up from 2950 to 2960 but the winds are up to 28g39 from 300. The boat is holding on the big Bruce anchor and is drawing a perfect circle on the sand but it is jerking agains the bridle and leaning away from the wind. It is good there's no fetch in this anchorage. The sound of the wind howling through the rigging is not drowned out by our voices or the generator as Hannah is making dinner. It's really dark outside under the dark clouds. There are no stars and no moon under over the dark water with only the lights of the other boat's anchor lights to give any light at all. They look like individual stars floating in a sea of blackness and howling wind. It's not raining right now but it has been raining on and off all day. The winds are strong enough that even with only 1/8th of a mile to the shore we're getting 1-2 foot chop. Lila is crying for food and we're not giving her very much. The frypan frying potatoes is mixed with the rain hitting the cabin which just started. It's a high pitched rain at high velocity. For a moment we wern't sure if it was the pan browning the potatoes or the rain till the wind picked up to 40 knots. I'm suprised that the cell phone signal is holding to send this message. We listened to the Do Little SSB/HF net tonight and talked a lot about batteries and the weather. Boats all up and down the Bahamas are tucked into the best anchorages they can find for the day. I guess everyone is board and talking on the radio.

    Mom hurt her hand today. We have it wrapped to hold the tendon in place. It slipped off her knuckle. I'm not sure if she is going to need surgery. At present it is stable and she can make a light fist but I'm not sure she can hang on to get on and off the boat without hurting it more. We are considering whether to continue on or go back to Florida for surgery. In any case we have to go to Staniel Cay for supplies, fuel, and water before we either go onward our backward. It will be a carefully decided choice.

    There, the wind just abated a little as it shifts more and more northerly. It is now at 345deg. Even though it was late coming the winds are generally following the GFS predictions. The low is north of us and moving North east. So first we had southerly winds and then they slowly clocked around to west and eventually notherly as the low moves away from us. With the rising barometer we know things are looking up. The worst is passing us now. We will sleep well with our belly's full saranaded by the winds and the wires tattletale song. Good night everyone.
Date:Tue, 06 Feb 2024 15:33:00 GMT

test


test of the posting system

    Just to see if this posts. It's sunny, partly cloudy and windy. We are filtering the rainwater we got last night and trying to get organized for the next couple days. I'm still not sure if we're going south tomorrow or Thursday

Date:Tue, 06 Feb 2024 15:29:00 GMT

test


test of the posting system

    Just to see if this posts. It's sunny, partly cloudy and windy. We are filtering the rainwater we got last night and trying to get organized for the next couple days. I'm still not sure if we're going south tomorrow or Thursday

Date:Tue, 06 Feb 2024 15:18:00 GMT

test


test of the posting system

    Just to see if this posts. It's sunny, partly cloudy and windy. We are filtering the rainwater we got last night and trying to get organized for the next couple days. I'm still not sure if we're going south tomorrow or Thursday

Date:Tue, 06 Feb 2024 15:03:00 GMT

test


test of the posting system

    Just to see if this posts. It's sunny, partly cloudy and windy. We are filtering the rainwater we got last night and trying to get organized for the next couple days. I'm still not sure if we're going south tomorrow or Thursday

Date:Tue, 06 Feb 2024 14:48:00 GMT

Blustery


Riding out the winds in style.

    Last night we had 38 knots and rain. Then again this morning it was raining and blustery. We got about 10 gallons of water.

    While the anchor was holding perfectly and the chart plotter was making a perfect 100 foot circle, we were eating cabbage, carrots, sausage, baked pototoes, and chocolate chip cookies.

    The Grib files were just wrong. It took forever for the winds to change and meanwhile we were in an anchorage open to south east winds and swells. It was quite miserable all day till the winds shifted in the evening a full 12 hours after the forcasts. We were talking on the SSB radio to other boaters who were complaining that they had set up for a NW protection and there were SE swells. The barometer is holding at 2950 so I don't think it's getting much worse.

    I'm having a permission's problem on the server so when I post sometimes it does not show up for you right away. I'm sorry and I'm working on it. But with very limited internet I don't have much time to fix it. Please be patient.
Date:Mon, 05 Feb 2024 16:39:00 GMT

Norman's Cay


Hiding from the winds

    We decided to motor 8 miles from Allan's Cay to Norman's Cay because there is a little cove that is protected from the west and north and north east. We weighted anchor at about 09:00 and motored the entire way as the winds were 3 knots off our nose. Last night the winds were 14 from the NW at Allan's Cay and the rocking was really bad. The problem is that the current from the incoming tide or outgoing tide counters the winds and so you are either sidewise to the wind or sidewise to the swells or both at the same time. At about 3am I looked at the latest GRIB files and found that the high winds were going to be from the NW to the N so imagining 38-= 40 from the NW as compared to 14 I decided that I didn't want to stay there through the storm. We did get 36 knots during the thunderstorm a couple days ago but it was solid out of the west. Our friends on JUMA came here a couple days ago and recommended it to us so this morning we decided to take their advice and off we went.

     We had the second anchor down in preparation for the storm and of course we had to pull it up manually. We did better this time because we put the chain through the roller. Two chains at once is not ideal, but it is better than rubbing it through the fairlead or over the toe rail. The Chain is definitely too large for the Gypsy. We had the opportunity to try it at least. The Fortress held really well in the sand and was buried all the way under the sand. Last night I had to switch sides to prevent it from wrapping around the other chain. For this trip after we got it up we tied it to the starboard side of the bow rails. It's at least in position to be able to toss it off if we start to drag in the storm. We have about 30 meters out in 8 feet of water so we should be fine.

    There were a lot of Charter Catamarans that showed up last night at Allan's Cay and this morning early they were playing on the beach then they cleared out after an hour. I suspect they were heading for home and this was just their last stop.

    We didn't see any more sharks... lol Hannah just jumped out of the water because Sam saw a really big fish and upon further inspection it was a shark!!! I guess that trolling for sharks thing is not a joke. We're going to keep a lookout from now on when we're in the water. Oh My. He's still circling the boat investigating us. It was a small one only about 3-= 4 feet. It might not be a shark but it has the same eyes and nose... I'll have to look at pictures later to find out what it is.

    Well we don't have internet here so no pictures yet but we can update those later. For now we're going to clean up the boat and get ready for the storm this afternoon. The clouds are coming in and the barometer has been dropping for 3 days. Today it is 2950 and 78deg with winds out of the south west. We are on the leading bottom right side of the storm.
Date:Sat, 03 Feb 2024 22:45:00 GMT

BEACH!


Exploring the Cay and Rock Iguanas

    Hi all! It was a beautiful day today. We had clear skies and 78 degrees. The water was about 75 and there is a beautiful clear sunset as I write this post. We finally put the dinghy in the water and went to shore. There are several beautiful sand beaches here that you can pull the dinghy up on. One of them (Leaf Cay) is covered in Rock Iguanas and people come by and feed them. Like the birds that eat out of your had the Iguana's do as well. They are protected and aparantly the specific breed is native to this island and not found anywhere else. The wildlife here is not afraid of humans and birds will routinely come and sit on your hand and eat. Hannah saw several species of small fish that look like they belong in a tropical fish tank. The islands are volcanic rock so under the fine layer of sand is sharp volcanic rock.

     There are always about 10 boats around the islands on all sides. Usually inbetween the islands there are 4 or 5. People come for a day and leave. We've been here longer than anyone. We are waiting for the storm to pass on Tuesday then we will head farther south down the chain.

     Hannah has been swimming every day and we all took a walk around the island to the little concrete ruins with graffiti on them. The earliest scratches were from 1984. So it's been ruined for a while. We walked along to the other side of the island to the beach on the ocean side, and sat on the beach while Sam made a sand castle and watched the tide eat it away. It was a lazy day of feet in the sand and floating on the placid clear blue water. Its a true desert island. If you were marooned here you would die of thirst. There's even a beach here with one single palm tree on it. It looks like a cartoon! I'm so glad the throttle is fixed as now I can relax. No worries!!

     We're burning about 8 gallons a day of water for 4 people including wash. So we can stay like this for about 25 days. There is spotty cell service here and so I can post this blog. This is an amazing place! It's worth hanging out here and relaxing for a while off the beaten path.
Date:Fri, 02 Feb 2024 21:36:00 GMT

We're Here!


Top of the Exumas

    Well, we've made it to the Exumas! We are at Allan's and Leaf Cay and the weather is Marvelous! Sam swam to the beach twice to take pictures of the Iguana's and Hannah swam to the beach just because it's a beach. We all took bath's in the salt water and Hannah did wash. I got the drone out to take a video of the area and the amazing water.

    There is a little ruin of a concrete house on Leaf Cay with lots of graffiti on it. The Iguana are like dogs waiting for food. They come around everyone who shows up in a boat. I'm sure they get lots of old food from people here. The first afternoon we were here (yesterday) a little yellow breasted bird with a long curved beak showed up to the boat and we fed it an apple. It sat on our hands and ate. Very Cool! We haven't seen any fish in the water but we have seen quite a few boats including Mickey Finn! He seems to keep following us! Ha Ha. Anyway our friends from JuMa are here as well and have been over to visit last night and help me with the Binicle.

    If you hadn't heard, on the way here my throttle cable came loose so we had no engine control. Sam went down below the floor with a wrench to control the throttle when we came into anchor. We basically set it to 1000 rpm and then I used forward, neutral, and reverse like on an old spad to control the boat in the anchorage. Well last night we spent with our friends talking about fixing boats and how to fix our throttle. He had the same problem a while back so knew exactly what was entailed to fix it.

    Last night and this morning, Sam and I fixed the throttle. We had to take the binnacle completely apart, took out the wheel, the shift levers, the chart plotter the two upper levels of the Compass base and then had to pull up the broken piece with a grabber. This morning I welded the plastic and then epoxied the heck out of it. I built it up a lot stronger than before. I hope it lasts till I can get a new part. Which part I will also fill in and epoxy larger as well. Putting it back in was a real trick. I had to put a string through the piece we repaired, weasel it under the chain drive, (the string was so I wouldn't loose it in the bilge) Then press the two shift/throttle cables into the repaired clamp. After that I had to lower it to the base of the binnacle and put a bolt into the piece. When I did that of course I dropped the bolt into the bilge and the pile of chain below the wheel. So I had to take it all apart again. Then I put a nut in the repaired piece and used a screw from the outside instead. In any case it's all back together again and working.

     All last night I could barely sleep because I was at anchorage in a new place with very thin sand and no wheel, no motor, and boats downwind of me. I feel much better now!

     JuMa is coming over this evening for snacks/drinks. Hannah has bread rising (sourdough) we have fresh baked cookies and Sam is working on drone footage I took today of the area. It will be a wonderful evening with clear skies, clear water, new friends, and good food! what more could any one ask for?
Date:Thu, 01 Feb 2024 00:49:00 GMT

Rose Island


Exumas or Bust!

    We checked weather and there are two days of good winds to get south, after that the winds die till Tuesday and then on Wednesday there are high winds perhaps even 40kts. So we opted to take the oportunity to travel with JuMa to Allan's Key at the top of the Exumas where we will wait out the high winds and take some time on the beach etc. We motored out at about 8am (late start) to head around Little Stirrup Cay which is where the Carnaval cruise line has a private island playground. The winds were 20 knots off the port bow and so we motored till we got on the north end of the island where we put up the sails for a broad reach that we held till Rose island. It was a pretty day and we ran jib and jigger in 18-25 knots and made 7-8 sog. It was warm but a little nip in the breeze. The water was clear and choppy. As we rounded the end of the Berry Islands we picked up the swells from the deep water and seas picked up to 6-10 feet. So we put down the centerboard and continued to run. The water in the channel there is 9-13 thousand feet!

    Juma left about 2 hours before us and so we never saw them but we talked to them on the radio several times.

    For lunch we had crackers, Humas, Almonds and cookies and some left over rice and beans from yesterday. It was a good day. Lila didn't get sick today but then we didn't feed her much either. Hannah is reading Storm and Fury by Jennifer L Armentrout and kintting a hat for Belle. I spent a lot of time trying to adjust the auto pilot.

    As we approached New Providence island and Rose Island the sun set at 17:50 and then the engine would not start again. I have confirmed it is something weird with the relay's. I can hot start it no problem which I have done for the second time. I'm going to put in a switch for a manual start as I hate hotwiring it in rolling conditions. Darn electronic gremlins!!! Anyway, we furrled the Genoa and dropped the mizzen and motored the last 2 miles into the anchorage in the dark with Hannah on the spotlight. There were about 10 boats in the anchorage so we kept our distance. Tonight Hannah is heating up leftover tortilla's with beans, rice and toco meat. Anchoring was uneventful except that the chain always get's stuck in the tube and Sam has to feed it out manually for the first little bit. I think the chain mountian piles up and falls over covering it so it's not in there smoothly. As we were coming into the anchorage there were blue bio lumenecent fish!! they were really cool! I looked them up and though people say they see them no one has identified the exact species. Everyone want's to say it is not the fish but what they are swimming through. This was the fish. It was about 10 inches long slender and had a light blue color. They eyes glowed the brightest. It was a moonless night near shore and we did have the spotlight so it could be a bio florescence but I also saw a couple without the light last night as well.




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