Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Captain’s Log February 5 2009

A lot has happened since my last reflections in St Mary’s, Georgia. We’ve travelled the coast of Florida to Miami, been home for Christmas,crossed the ‘dreaded’ Gulf stream, experienced a night on the Grand BahamaBanks and spent almost a week in Nassau. We’ve been cold more than we hadexpected and seen a lot more wind than we think is normal down here.

Two things stand out. Weather is everything !! Cruisers look out for cruisers!!

We are currently with two other PSSS boats; Brandaris and Windswept, andanother Canadian couple in ‘Sayyes’. We crossed the Gulf Stream toBimini with Windswept and Sayyes and then across Grand Bahama Bank toNassau where we met up with Brandaris. We have been here a week waitingfor favourable weather to start south down the Exumas chain toGeorgetown, our most southerly destination at latitude 23:30 N. Brandaris and Sayyes were considering leaving Tuesday and when Iindicated we needed another day to be ready Sayyes simply postponed theirplans so as not to leave us behind. We have known David and Wendyperhaps 2 weeks but the bonds of sailing and cruising together are suchthat they are ‘old friends’ and as this action indicates ‘faithfulfriends’ as well. As luck is, the weather remained unsuitable and as ofThursday we are all still here.

Bob Henderson on Windswept is an old Bahamian salt having cruised thischain of Islands many times. At sea, and in Port, he is every bit the‘cruise director’ that Kathy on Sinn Fein was back in New York. Sinn Feinremains stuck in St Mary’s, Georgia waiting for weather to get movingsouth again and we are looking forward to meeting up with them again,hopefully soon. Grace C has decided to stay north in the Abacos and aread of their blog indicates they are having a good time (albeit oftenweather bound as we are) and making many new cruising friends as well. Southern Cross is already in Georgetown and we understand my old businesspartner Don Wilson in ‘Next Exit’ is probably there now as well. Windswept IV, Murray and Heather Rand, the original live aboard cruisersfrom Port Stanley that inspired the rest of us to follow them arecurrently south of Georgetown in the Jumentos Cays, not that far north ofthe Turks and Caicos. That leaves Whippoorwill and Vertigo 1 in Biminiwaiting for their weather window to catch up. They waited for us inMiami, crossed the Gulf to Bimini and started to Nassau with us, only toturn back to Bimini last Thursday when Vertigo had alternator problemsplus a small issue of taking on salt water. That has been fixed. Whippoorwill turned back with Vertigo both for safety and company only tobe rewarded by being clipped by another boat at the dock in Biminiresulting in damage to the O/B engine for their dinghy. That is stillbeing sorted out. I suspect most of us will share a drink or two inGeorgetown before the spring trek north begins.

The Bahamas are not as vibrant as they were a few years ago. Lesstourism has taken its toll and we see a lot of run down and desertedlocations. But the people remain vibrant, and fun mon!! The area isstill a remarkable paradise and we count our blessings to be able topartake of this experience. We will appreciate more than ever our lifeand bounty back in Canada when we return. We are becoming more tolerantof each other as we co-inhabit this 300 square foot floating island wecall our ‘nice butt’ and we will appreciate and be far more tolerant ofdifferent folks everywhere. Niki has the advantage of learning lessons at17 that we are only now learning. She will be far the better person forspending this year outside the ‘safe cubicle’.

The latest edition of GAM, a Toronto publication well known to mostsailors, has an article written by Paul Kirby about a wonderful Canadian‘caravan’, a ship built in Kingston, Ontario that is travelling the worldproviding live entertainment as a theatre barge in a very Canadian way. It’s a pity I must read of their spectacular journey only in a boutiquepublication. Their exploits should be a daily part of the main streammedia. But I must quote very poignant words from Paul as they succinctlyexpress our own personal experience. “It is an honour to be on this course...It is a wealth that cannot belost, crumble nor is a treasure that cannot be stowed in achest, bank or stock is simply a voyage.”

Wayne From S/V Nice Butt
In Nassau harbour

Day 165

Ok I'm going to do a quick post for today. Right now I'm sitting in a little shack with about 14 other ppl so I can post all my posts to the blog. I can't post really any pics (the 2 of the Bananaquits took about 20mins to load).

We didn't do much this morning and we're going to move over by memorial hill where the rest of th gang is, and who knows what the rest of the day will bring x].


Day 164

Well it was still a little rocky this morning so we’re considering just moving to another anchorage here in Georgetown, but first we need fuel. So we started to do a few boat chores and in doing that I knocked the top of our stern solar powered anchor light >_>. It’s kinda chilly today and I had put on a sweater but since I knocked it overboard I had to dive in and get it...let’s just say I was pissed off with myself.

We think we found the cause of our alternator problem! It’s a connection behind the alternator. So we just need to find a permanent fix for it.

We later went into the dock to get fuel and Grama and I did a quick run into the grocery store. When we got back Papa informed us that to dock for the night was only $1/foot! So we decided to stay on the dock for the night and see if we can find someone to fix our charger. We plugged in and what do you know the inverter/charger starts up as if there wasn’t a problem! I don’t get it.

The rest of our gang moved over to the anchorage by Monument hill and we’ll join them tomorrow but we’re going to charge up the batteries for the night.

Grama and I took advantage of the power and watched movies all night x]


Day 164

Well with the weather we decided to head out by 7:30 and we were ready anchored up and circling at 7:30. But Brandaris unfortunately had their dingy line wrap around their prop and Brenda had to dive to untie it...which is NOT easy =/.

By 8:oo we were underway heading out the cut. We headed down to Georgetown and made it there in good time. Unfortunately our alternator didn’t work again =[.We anchored near Victoria Lake and Denis and Karen came right out to visit with us =]. We had a nice chat and they headed over to Brandaris.

Later on we were invited to a happy hour around 4:45. So in the meantime we decided to check out the grocery store and a bit of town. We walked around and found some neat little craft places and then headed over to Southern Cross.

We had a great happy hour. Karen had a lot of great appetizers and Say Yes brought over a bottle of campaign to celebrate our arrival in Georgetown. WE MADE IT!! Lol. Now the only thing that could be better would be if Sinn Fein (who is now in Melbourne, near Orland, and taking Maria to Disney), Whippoorwill (who has now returned to Miami!!) and Vertigo (who went back to Miami with Whippoorwill) would get their butts over here!! The only member of our group of 7 that I haven’t accounted for is Grace C who are up in the Abacos.

It’s getting a little rolly tonight but all is good =].


Day 163

We had originally thought we’d stay in Staniel Cay another day or so with Windswept while Brandaris and Say Yes were thinking about heading south before the next front comes through. Since our charger part of our inverter isn’t working and we’re not getting any charge through to the batteries we’re a little nervous about being stuck in the middle of nowhere. If we stayed there wouldn’t be another weather window to get to Georgetown for about a week...which could be alright but if the alternator completely dies we could be in trouble.

So at 10:30 we headed out with Brandaris and Say Yes. We notified Windswept of our plans via VHF and they had been on skype so later they called back (calling us the Port Stanley group) for the official goodbyes. Right after our little goodbye Papa went down below and a Lady Simcoe started to hail the Port Stanley group. We had no idea who Lady Simcoe was until the captain introduced himself as Gord Zimmerman. I had no idea who Gord Zimmerman was but Grama just went Gord Zimmerman! Brandaris responded to the hail and once he was up to date on our position and we knew where he was Papa came up and cut in and apparently we were to be passing right by them traveling in the opposite direction. So they agreed to have a little rendezvous in the middle of nowhere on the banks of the Bahamas. When they were finally off the VHF Papa explained to me that Gord and Grama and Papa were friends in Kinsman club and he use to sail out of Port Stanley as well but eventually moved to Lake Simcoe and they haven’t seen each other in 25 years!

We were sailing along and out of nowhere we hear a beep and the alternator started working properly (knock on wood!!) and at one point we even saw 3 green lights!! (there are 4 lights and 4 green lights means the batteries are completely full).

As we neared Black point we saw a sailboat all of a sudden changed off a parallel course closer inland and head directly for us. I laughed and said to Papa that must be Gord. And indeed it was. We slowed right down and he pulled alongside us and we drifted together for a god 15-20mins chatting and such, said hi to his wife Sue. We even exchanged boat cards before he headed into black point.

We carried on. Our destination for tonight is Lee Stalking Island and to anchor near the research buildings.

At 430 we came in the cut. It’s a very pretty spot in here and a tour of the research center would be nice but with the weather we need to head out first thing in the morning.

We got nicely anchored and our neighbour was worried that we had dropped our anchor on top of his =/, which can be a bit of an issue. Grama helped me get the motor on the dingy and I grabbed the looky bucket to go check it out. It took me forever to find our anchor! It was buried (which is great!) but thankfully a ways away from our neighbours anchor. When I got back to the butt Papa informed me I was to go to Brandaris next to check on their anchor which was set and as i returned to the butt again I was told to head on over to Say Yes lol. Their chain was mostly buried and their anchor was set so all was good. This time when I returned I was allowed onto the butt *rolls eyes* lol.

From there we pretty much hunkered down and had a very quiet night.


Day 162

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I quickly dingyed up to the office at 9 to buy a visor I spotted yesterday and we left Warderick Wells at 10 this morning.

It was a great motor from Warderick to our destination, Staniel Cay. Grama and I laid sun tanning on the foredeck most of the way.

When we got to Staniel Cay we decided to take a dock and charge the batteries so it will be easier to stay on top of the problem. We took a dock at the Yacht Club and Brandaris followed us in. Say Yes and Windswept decided to anchor just out from us.

Things were looking good. We were all happy....and we plugged into shore power and NOTHING! The charger isn’t working. So now we have a very tiny charge going to the batteries from the inverter (not enough to stay on top of it) AND NO charge going to the batteries from shore power.

When Say Yes came around to head into town for bread we just said to Wendy that we needed hugs lol. It ended up that Dave stayed and helped Papa check things out and us girls went to town. We walked everywhere, got bread, checked out the air strip, checked the prices to fly back to the States and went into a little art shop/trailer.

Then Brenda found us and apparently the boys were willing to take us out for supper tonight so she needed our orders. She had the Yacht Club special Valentines menu and we needed to have our orders in before 4 (so in a 1/2h). Wendy had apparently already taken food out for dinner but Grama and I agreed to have supper with Walter and Brenda.

From here we met everyone in the yacht club bar/office (you don’t normally see those two together! Lmao but seriously you get your dock assignment from the bar and you pay for the dockage there too) and pretty much spent the night there lmao. Eventually we borrowed a step down plug from Walter and I could charge my laptop! I haven’t had it charged since Nassau! Lol.

To all of you who I was chatting with and told you to read the blog tomorrow that it would be to date I apologize but the internet cut out and you had to pay for it so needless to say it didn’t happen.

The Valentines supper was GREAT! With good salads (it was a slice of cantaloupe with some citricey type of coleslaw, sounds weird I know but it was really good!) our main dish was great as well and we had (not that we needed it because we were soo full) a coconut cream pie for dessert.

We chatted for a while after supper and then I stole away to get on the internet. Lol. And I wasn’t on long before it cut out on me =[.


Day 161

Another day in paradise x]. We had another alternator meeting this morning this time we had the all men from our flotilla on board checking different things out. We eliminated more possibilities but still haven’t figured out the problem =[. Our batteries are very low and we are all worried about our refrigeration.
We headed into the island for a while. I laid on the beach while Papa and Grama took a walk. When they came back they had met up with Windswept and Say Yes. Apparently when they were making their way towards the blow hole they were at the bottom of a hill and all of a sudden Grama goes ‘that was Bob’s hat!’ lol and once they made it over the hill and down the other side to the blow hole they found Bob and Margret. The hole had shot Bob’s hat at least 15-20’ in the air! Of course Grama and Papa had to lean over and try and apparently Bob had those pics too lol.

When we went back to the boat i FINISHED my physics x] (well everything i can do without constant internet, which is 95%), umm Papa tried to fry himself while checking the connections on the batteries, and Grama did little things here and there.

Then we decided to go over to the main reef one more time and this time saw 2 male lobsters fighting over a female...well the female was in the cave and the other male kept trying to get in the cave so that’s what we assumed was happening. I laughed as Grama and I sat watching with interest, we must be going through TV withdrawal because that was like watching a soap x]. The one lobster ended up losing half of one of his long whisker thingys (don’t laugh at me you know what I mean! lol). We also saw a BIG barracuda and some large houndfish...I was intrieged, seeing them for the first time(the barracuda mainly), but... I didn’t go very close regardless...those things have attacked humans before...although I’m not worried about nurse sharks or large sting rays, figure that one out.

Say Yes elected that it was their turn to host happy hour and we had a great time lol but man I was tired! After all the fresh air and swimming and snorkelling, ohh I forgot to mention I’ve done a morning swim the past couple of days x], I was ready for bed!

Another thing I have neglected to mention is how amazingly bright the stars are here! The only light being very small dim anchor lights and the light from the stars and moon...I have never seen so many stars.


Day 160

We had an alternator meeting this morning where Bob came over to see if he could help Papa find the problem. We eliminated possibilities and heard about Whippoorwill and Vertigo and how they had left Bimini but supposedly had turned back again. Unfortunately they didn’t get the alternator problem solved but we now know it is not due to a bad cell in the batteries, which is a HUGE relief.

We headed up to the office before snorkelling to talk to the warden about where the best snorkelling spot would be as well as to check in. Up on the deck of the office was at least 50 of the little birds we saw on the way in yesterday. They are called bananaquits and are sugar eaters. I happened to have Oreos in a baggy in the dingy lol so watch and see what happened x].

Ok so the video wont load =[ basically I took the center out of the oreos and I had like 6 birds on my hands at once x].

After we left the office we headed out to a reef and got our gear on and saw 4 HUGE eagle rays with a 4-5’span!! They were use to humans and didn’t mind us at all! We also saw some sharksuckers attached to the eagle rays, some small stingrays, sand tilefish, a few different kinds of squirrelfish (LOL Shelby), some fairy basslets, some Nassau grouper, some yellow jack (I think), different snappers (mahogany and yellowtail), several grunts, lots of angelfish (queen, blue, and lots of gray), some chromis, a few little gobies (not bridled though =[ ), LOTS of bluehead, and tons of parrot fish (from stoplight to queen and blue and rainbow and redband to princess and stripped. I only didn’t see midnight parrotfish), some triggerfish (queen and gray). In coral we saw elkhorn, staghorn, club finger, finger, green cactus, yellow pencil, rough scarlet, smooth starlet, mountainous star, lobed star smooth star, ivory bush and tree, scroll, rose, ribbon, all types of brain, some common sea fans, and a lot of other stuff (the listed things are what I noted we saw in my small coral and fishes book)!! The whole time the Eagle rays circled us (this is where they live and in a non threatening way) cutting back and forth under us on occasion.

We eventually went to check out a few other spots, Emerald Rock and a sunken haul near mooring ball #9 (apparently there is a nurse shark that spends most of its time by the sunken haul). Emerald rock was small but amazingly crowded with fish and even a HUGE lobster. The hull we found and saw another 2 lobsters, one being the bigger than I could have thought possible, but no nurse shark.

Tonight was happy hour aboard Brandaris and as we were sitting chatting a nurse shark came by =]!


Day 159

We had a lateish start at 10:30 and had a pleasant motor/sail down to Warderick. It wasn’t long before we were entering the cut and entering the mooring field. On our way in we had a little bird come and land right next to Papas hand on a line (starboard jib sheet to be specific) not even 4”away! Papa turned and scared him and he came and landed even closer to me on the lifeline! It was cute :P.

Warderick Wells I think is the most beautiful spot we’ve been in!
When we got to our assigned mooring ball we had a little trouble picking it up (as in I hurt my hand and half of the boat hook we had broke off and was lost in the water) and eventually a dingy from Pipe Dream came over to help us and rescued our boat hook. The current had been so strong! I would have been embarrassed but we’ve picked up so many mooring balls flawlessly and have seen the best sailors have trouble, we’re allowed to have a bad day too! Lol.

Grama got us some lunch and we watched Marg do her dingy test. EVERYONE needs to do a dingy test before going out to snorkel for the first time in a while! The dingy test is just to see if you can get out of the water and into the dingy in deep water. It’s not as easy as you think! And if you don’t do the dingy test and you find yourself in the middle of nowhere at a reef snorkelling and you can’t get in...well you have to be towed to shore and let’s just say it isn’t pretty :P, although neither is getting into the dingy lmao no one can do it gracefully! Ohh and Marg easily passed btw =].

Well having seen Margret in the water we decided we HAD to go swimming =], even Grama got in! (for those of you who are unaware Grama is not comfortable in the water and doesn’t swim).

It was a fun time and later Grama pointed out that we had done a good job at conserving water so we were going to be allowed a hot shower! Not just a cold rinse.

Before we left this morning Brenda and Walter accidently punctured a big hole in their since they couldn’t dingy over to another boat Bob told them we’d just go there for happy hour lmao. Grama and I were surprised they were going along with it since Walter really wanted (and needed) to get the problem fixed.

Later it was decided that since Walter was busy we would have happy hour aboard Windswept minus the crew on Brandaris =[.


Day 158

Bob promised us a great day of exploring last night at happy hour and he didn’t fall short! We got up this morning and puttered around for a while before heading out in the dingys at 10:30. We travelled down the creek Papa and I crossed yesterday (the buoy was in 3-4’ of water then) and through the mangroves and eventually came to the bottom of the highest hill on the island and from here the river escaped to the ocean.

There is history on this hill and I won’t go to deep into the story but basically Normans Cay use to be used for drug trafficking and it was from this spot that agents set up a powerful camera and monitored the planes and watched the activities before bringing down the drug operation. As well from this spot is the most spectacular view of the beach and ocean. We took a few group pics but I’ll have to get them from Bob at some point (my batteries died =[ ).

After having some fun on the ridge we went back down to the beach and had a picnic and Marg and I got into our wet suits and did some snorkelling. It was here that I found my favourite marine creature! Tube worms! Lmfao. They look like a plant with a long vertical (well perpendicular to whatever they’re on) tube like base and it looks like an umbrella or a fan at the top. Well why I like them is they’re amusing to play with, when you sort of fan them disturbing the water near them they suddenly disappear! But moments later they reappear the same as before....ok they sound lame I know but Marg and I love them.
The Proper Way To Parallel Park!!

Bob eventually got his wet suit on and joined us and then we walked across the sandbar to the other side of the island and snorkelled back. We even got to see another lionfish who was making a nest in a hole in the rock wall. Lionfish are beautiful but they can cause you harm (sting you like a jellyfish) and they are not native species and having no natural predators are killing off native species. You are suppose to kill (spear) a lionfish if you see one, and apparently they are very good to eat if you know how to properly clean them and get out all the stingers and poison, but Shroud Cay is part of the Bahamas Exuma Wildlife refuge park and even taking a small shell off of the beach is illegal.

The tide was going out so we lingered as long as we could before getting back in the dingys and heading back to the boats. We got stuck in several places along the way and Papa had to lift the motor and I got out and pulled the dingy to deeper water.

Back on the boat I got to use to stern shower and scrub off all the salt. It’s very weird standing on the transom out in the open with a hand held showerhead shampooing your hair (bathing suit on of course!).

We collectively decided not to do a happy hour tonight as we were all tired but Bob said he had to come around with a surprise for us all. I don’t think i mentioned it but Bob has constantly been going on about Jell-O shooters. He was going to make Jell-O shooters one day! When he said about the surprise I laughed and bet that he was going to bring around the shooters. Sure enough he had bought the Jell-O and got Marg to make the shooters lol.

Last night we all had a general consensus that we’d head over to Warderick Wells tomorrow and at 9 this morning with the daily Exuma park broadcast we made the reservations for a mooring ball.


Day 157

Last night when I was up at 2 the wind had died down and the boat was fairly still, but this morning we were rolling again. We chatted with Say Yes who was similarly unhappy last night and decided to not bother going ashore and we’d head out this morning. But in the mean time Papa decided to tell us that our alternator hadn’t been putting out anything all day yesterday! We played around with that for a while but couldn’t find the problem.

Around 11 we headed out and were doing a short stunt to Shroud Cay (pronounced ‘key’ btw). It seemed like we had only gotten the sails up and trimmed before we were taking them down and heading into Shroud. It was a gorgeous and there were mooring balls to tie up to. We got settled and played some more with the alternator (which was only putting out 25A when it should be putting out 70A!)

We eventually decided to go ashore and explore. It was calm here but we wanted OFF of the boat! We dingyed around and found a little cove to explore. It was low tide and the marine life was soo neat =]. We found starfish, conch, hermit crabs, sand crabs and some sort of underwater white caterpillar. Then there was all the coral and the mangroves!

Once we were through exploring there (a big rain cloud overhead and the still outgoing tide made us nervous) we headed back towards the boat and noticed Dave and Wendy over on a little beach where we joined them. The rock here is VERY coarse and sharp and we scaled some what appeared to be steps where we found a sign that read <-WELL. Of course we went to explore, all of us forgetting the past 24h. The terrain here with all the coarse rock and the mangroves was like, as Wendy commented, was like walking on the moon! We made our way to the salt flats where there was fine sand and salt and from there we followed a little creek where we met some boaters. 3 guys from the Beneteau that came in shortly after us, the owner of the boat, his son and his brother. Apparently they live just across lake Erie from us back home.
Papa and I decided to cross the little creek and we noticed a channel bouy sitting high and dry on a sand bar lol. I decided before we left to leave my shoes behind in the dingy but with the coarse rock Papa had decided to wear his crocks...well the mud bottom on the far side of the creek was like a suction cup and Papa lost one crock, fished it out and then lost the other and ended up very wet and had a muddy butt by the time he got the 2nd one out lol.
When we got back to the beach we explored the shallow sand bar at low tide and all along the sides of some rock was very young coral starting to grow. It was neat and I got a few pics =].
Eventually (not very willingly but we were exhausted) we went back to the boat and we just got nicely onboard when WINDSWEPT motored up to the mooring ball next to us! And when we looked around we saw Brandaris tied to a mooring ball just off our starboard quarter! With the gang back together we HAD to have a happy hour and hear about the crossings and tell about our anchoring up at Normans. Brenda wasn’t very happy and was going to pass but Dave got on the VHF and coaxed her to come and relax. Apparently they had the same crossing as us and hearing that Grama and I were just as upset as she was made her feel a bit better I think =]. Her big comment as was ours was We would NOT sail in this at home why the **** would we do it on vactation!!! Bob on the other hand *rolls eyes* had a GREAT DAY!! If you know Bob you wont be surprised but I swear he NEVER has a bad day lol. He is always high on life and today was soo much fun for him lol. Margret was made for Bob I think because she was sitting there trying to get him to hush about the great day as we were all glaring lol but she had just as much fun as he did. By the time everyone went home (lol it seems weird typing home still but that is what our boats are now) we were all in better moods (after today I was in a GREAT mood lol) and even Brenda had a little smile on.

Day 156

This morning we were up early and preparing to leave with Say Yes and head to Normans Cay. Walter was sick all night so they decided to move only 100’ away to the anchorage. Windswept has volunteered to stay behind and keep Brandaris company and will hopefully leave tomorrow.

We helped our neighbours on Emerald Seas off the dock...and then Grama and I didn’t want to leave. It was a bit of an ordeal and in helping them I ended up out in the dingy and got soaking wet -_-. The dock we’ve been at has a shallow spot a boat length behind us and has ALOT of current (we were fairly close to slack tide!).When we left we decided to get 2 dock hands to help us. Even with their help it was tight getting out.

It was a little rolly coming out of Nassau Harbour but I thought well this wont be that bad...I think those were my famous last words. I was down below cooking as the roll gradually worsened. Eventually the toast I had on the toaster flew at me and while I was attempting to catch it the frying pan I was making scrambled eggs in flew at me as well...needless to say I was not impressed.

We put a double reef in the main and rolled out the jib and we were flying! We were doing between 6.5 and 8 knots! At times (well most of the way) we were so healed over our rub rail was underwater. Grama wasn’t happy with the 5’swells and the 30knot apparent we had on the beam. Papa was...ok but was on the helm most of the day. I...well I was either not feeling well or sitting on the low side with my feet in the water telling Papa that if Fattie knew about this she’d be disappointed that we weren’t playing the POTC theme song :P I think today was epic enough for that *rolls eyes*. We decided we wouldn’t be without our great enclosure we have on our cockpit as several times we had waves and spray hit the sides.

By the time we arrived at Normans Cay we were sooo looking forward to a quiet night where we could just sit and recoup after a crazy long day. Coming into the Cay it suddenly started to rain...and we weren’t sure about depth or coral so I had to put on my foul weather jacket (more because of the spray from banging the waves) and a life jacket and stand on the bow watching for coral heads. I had been in our cozy enclosure all day and was wearing shorts and as I got wet with all the wind I was frozen! Eventually I came back and told Grama I refused to go back out because I was too cold and we pulled out the only foul weather pants we could find and I went back out on the bow. The pants we had pulled out were Papa’s and were HUGE on me lmao. They kept me warm but I wasn’t sure if they were hazardous to my safety, walking on the very wet deck with very slippery pants that were too long for me was difficult. While I was up on the bow I was worried that if I saw a coral head I wouldn’t know what I was looking at because I haven’t seen one before, AND with the cloud cover and the waves and rain I could hardly see the bottom 2’ in front of the bow! Luckily we never hit bottom or a coral head so all was good.

We dropped the hook by the beach and waited for it to set, backed down on it and thought it was good. Papa wanted to try out our looky bucket we got Grama back in Bimini (a bucket with a glass bottom) so we got the dingy ready and I drove Papa out to check the anchor. I tried to keep us positioned over the anchor in the small swells and wind and Papa leaned over the bow with the looky bucket... I wish he hadn’t because he saw the anchor was sitting on its side but about 15’ of our chain was covered. We went back to the Butt and told Grama to back down on the anchor again. While she did this we went back to watch the anchor and make sure it set.

~Now before I go any further with this story I need to explain that we have a red ball float attached to our anchor with a 24’ rope. This float tells us where our anchor is, because with 100’ of chain and another 100’ of rope it’s hard to find it lol. Another thing to realize with that is the anchor is not what holds the boat really, it’s the chain, so with constant swinging due to wind and current the anchor is not directly in front of us. We were in 7-8’ of water with 1-2’ swells and we had about 120’ of road (100’of chain and 20’ of rope) out at the time.

So Papa and I are in the dingy and Grama’s on the Butt backing down hard on the anchor. I get out to where the ball is and Papas over the bow of the dink looking with the looky bucket for the anchor. It’s very hard to keep the dingy in one place with the wind and swells and spray and as Grama is backing down on the anchor the anchor starts to move as does the ball that’s attached to it. Papa can’t find the anchor so he tells me to circle the ball. I try to chase the ball because Grama is backing down at 29oo RPM (which is our cruising speed, a.k.a. THE TOP SPEED WE TRAVEL AT!!) and the anchor is not grabbing so it’s just dragging on the bottom. So I’m running the dingy full out chasing the ball, Papa has his head over the bow of the dingy in the looky bucket yelling back to me to circle the ball, Grama has dragged the anchor 60’ and wants to know if she should keep backing down. I’m telling Papa that I’m chasing the ball and he can’t hear me and keeps telling me to circle the ball. Finally he hears me about Grama and says yes she should keep backing down and tells me to circle the ball!! I signal Grama to keep backing down and I’m chasing the ball and eventually the anchor grabs, I circle the ball, Papa says he’s happy with the anchor set, Grama stops the engine and we go back to the Butt. We dragged the anchor almost 200’ and are no longer in the anchorage and the boat is rocking and rolling with the swells and Grama and I want to be in the anchorage!

SOOO after all that we haul up the anchor and move back into the anchorage and reset the anchor (which bites almost immediately) and check it with the looky bucket and finally turn off the engine for the night.

The anchorage still isn’t pleasant with swells and the boat rocked all night and Grama and I weren’t happy. Needless to say we all ready for bed.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Day 155

Well today was just as windy as predicted. I haven’t seen any less than 17knots of wind but we’ve had gusts up to 32knots! To put it a little bit into perspective when we had the roughest day with the tail end of a hurricane, day 20-21 I believe, we had 45-50knot winds. Also the big powerboat at the end of our dock (the one we’ve been getting internet from) left today and within an hour was back. This boat is over 80’ long, has roughly a 30’ beam and they had to turn around today!

It’s still a bit chilly down here and even in the sun a long-sleeved shirt was needed. Grama and I did laundry and I did quite a bit of hw. We also picked up a few more groceries in case we leave tomorrow. It’s looking like it could be an ok day but Walter got a bit of food poisoning we believe from some conch he ate =/ so we might wait another day to leave....umm I’m not sure what else to report.

If we do head out tomorrow we’re not sure where we’re going to go. Normans Cay looked good but then we miss Rose Island and such so our destination is still a debate and it’ll have a lot to do with the weather and wind direction. As well it is possible that we won’t have internet again until we hit Georgetown (and no Aunti J I can’t visit =[ it’s not Georgetown Ontario) which could be 2-3weeks away.


Day 154

Well we had our early morning meeting like normal except I slept through it x]. Since I’m typing this and posting it to the blog we obviously haven’t left yet lol.

We did a walk around today except going the opposite way we usually do and went away from town. It was very pretty walking to west end of the island and looking out at the ocean. We didn’t go very far though before we turned around and went back to the boat.

This morning Dave (Say Yes) seemed a little disappointed that we haven’t done a happy hour with everyone in a while so we decided to make up a plate of cheese and crackers, grab drinks and bring a happy hour to him x]. I was in the middle of doing hw when they left to head over to Say Yes but I quickly finished and grabbed a drink and followed. When i was heading down the dock towards Say Yes I noticed Wendy and Dave returning from town...I was kinda confused but I assumed that they must have gone to Brandaris instead lol, but when i got to Brandaris there was no one home. I decided to walk the dock and see who’s boat they got on and I eventually found them on... =[ brain fart -_- I can’t remember the name of Dan’s boat (sorry Dan) lmao but we met him and his wife and his son in Bimini. We sat there for a while and eventually decided to go back to Nice Butt, at about 5:30ish. On the way back we saw Wendy and Dave and we were invited 7:30 we finally left and headed back to the butt lmao. From there on it was a fairly uneventful.


Day 153

Umm... I’m not sure what we did today day lol... We had a meeting in the morn and decided to stay here. I made some bracelets out of the embroidery thread I had and some shells, Grama read, Papa...I don’t know he did...and eventually I had to do some hw and we had a very laidback day.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Day 152

We had a meeting this morning with Say Yes and Brandaris about whether or not we should leave today. Last night we thought we would but we were assuming we would have a north wind today. We talked back and forth and came up with a final decision (which you can probably guess considering I’m sitting at Starbucks posting stuff to the blog), we’ll leave Friday!...who knows how long that idea will last but that was the decision.

Brenda and I walked all over Nassau today and i swear I’ll never walk again haha but we had fun shopping and looking around.

OHH and all of us at the Rum Cake Store...again :P
(GREAT RUM CAKES...but not as good as my Papa C's Rum balls)


Day 151

We actually went to Atlantis today! Brenda and Walter didn’t join us and for a while we thought Nick and Sabrina off of a boat we met (Wonderlust...I think that’s how it’s spelt) would come with but we couldn’t get a hold of them =[. But Bob, Margret, Christine and ourselves had a GREAT time! It was amazing looking at their aquarium!...Well technically we didn’t tour the aquarium we just looked at the one in the lobby, which is HUGE! They had 2 manta rays each having a 6’ span and 2 smaller rays that had about a 4’ span. There were 2 leopard nurse sharks (or at least that’s what we thought they were) and HUNDREDS of fish (not as many as we saw in Bimini mind you but these fish were bigger).

On the way home we went back to the Dive shop and Papa bought a wetsuit for himself (and I really REALLY tried to convince him that we should get the underwater camera and I made sure to tell him how much I love him :P but he wouldn’t budge...but I mean it was only $400 x] ).


Day 150

This morning was full of ideas about what we should do today and eventually we decided we’d head over to Atlantis on Paradise Island. I was excited lol. We decided that we would call on Brandaris after we were done lunch and we would either walk or take a cab over.... But we’re on Bahama time. As I’ve tried to explain too many friends when they ask about our plans, Bahamas time and plans don’t mix.

Today Grama and I laid by the pool...ALL day lol. I’m delighted to inform anyone who I complained about my horrible tan lines too that I no longer have those lines x]... I am now as red as a lobster.

I’m not sure what Papa did today but he did fill the boat with diesel...umm I’m not sure what else there is to report... Tomorrow we plan to visit Atlantis with Bob, Margret, Christine, Brenda and Walter since we’re suppose to have crummy weather...But who knows lmao we’re on Bahamas time.
There were some fireworks again tonight but nothing like the ones the other day. But I did get to chat with the young guy from Canflor Lady x], the HUGE powerboat at the end of our dock. Lmao Grama thinks I should make friends and do the rest of the Bahamas with him and bring her along :P.


Day 149

Ummm I’m not sure what to report for today... Grams and I did laundry... Papa sat in the cockpit eating hotdogs with Walter... and we watched the Super Bowl, which was a lot of fun x] lol.

OHH and Margret from Windswept arrived with her sister Christine today.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Day 148

We got off to a slow start this morning and by the end of the day we were VERY sluggish lol.
Brenda and Walter gave us a tour of Nassau. I convinced Papa to stop off at the Dive shop and I got a wetsuit x]. We did everything from the queens stairs to the Governor’s house to the straw market. And then we went back to the dive shop and bought Papa a mask, snorkel and fins.

Later on in the night while we were making supper (well Grama was making supper) all of a sudden we heard a HUGE explosion like a cannon going off. And then a moment later another BOOM!!! Papa and I both tried to rush up the companionway to see what it was (which is kinda tricky lol, 2 big butts doesn’t work very well). What we saw was awesome.

We sat and watched for a good 7 mins before i decided maybe I’d have enough time to grab the camera and take a few pics of the thousands of dollars worth of fireworks! And after taking a few pics I decided to take a video of what we thought was the finally.