April 1-14, 2010 - Cruising Log for S/V Freedom - a Gemini 105 - Jim and Deb Faughn

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Apr 1 - I really didn't think we would get to update this quick but they have free wi-fi here at Treasure Cay if you have an external antenna. (Problem was they had a wi-fi failure so I didn't get to update. Sorry.)

You can see to the right the view of Green Turtle Cay as we left this morning. Obviously no wind although that was fine since we were heading for the Don't Rock Passage behind Whale Cay. Whale Cay is a dreaded passage and there are reports all day on the VHF radio. Today was a no brainier and we saved an hour by going through the inside route that is only passed on high tide or close to it. We passed 2 hours after high tide and saw a low of 5.9 feet which was fine for us. At the end of the "Don't Rock Passage," there is a rock which should be named the Don't rock Rock. Well, you can see you probably should miss it when you exit the passage.

Then we saw one of the boats from the Bahamas Defense Force coming in for fuel at Treasure Cay too.


This is where we anchored. Great holding and on top of that very, very well protected. That wasn't important tonight since the winds are down to almost nothing and are still predicted to be wonderful for the next week. Ya Hoo.

I tried to get a bunch of pictures to stitch together so you could see one of the top 10 beautiful beaches in the world. The stitching didn't work too well but you get the idea. White sand and beautiful water. Just too cool.

I've posted two pictures below because I was just able to get my first set of pictures that I can run through the HDR software and it works. To the left is the picture that I would normally post and it is very pretty but the one to the right, in my opinion is even better because it has even more definition. In the end, it requires quite a bit of memory space but then again, what is memory for. I think the definition in the clouds is amazing. Now I just need to take my camera stand in for some more pictures but that is another day. At least the software works and I'm actually pretty excited to see this in print someday.

Tomorrow we will pull the anchor and leave Treasure Cay. Not because we don't like it, we just have more places to visit. Treasure is pretty nice because it is a luxury marina and destination. We paid 10 bucks to anchor and dinghy in here but that also got us a couple of showers and 20 gallons of water. We are now full and are ready to head to Great Guana tomorrow for some more adventures. We will probably scope it out tomorrow afternoon and then I plan on snorkeling the reef on Friday. Again, I have no clue when we will post again so be patient if we don't post in the next few days.

 Apr 1 - We picked up the anchor this morning at about 10:20 and then, of course, had to motor into the wind for about 30 minutes until I could turn south east and then set sails. I already had the spinnaker ready but the problem was we were way too close to the wind so I put it away. We then sailed close hauled, 45 to 50 degrees off the wind for the next hour and a half at 3.5 - 4 knots. I noticed while underway that the sail had the wrinkles on it that meant that I didn't have the luff (front part of the sail) tight enough. I tried to tighten it underway but no luck. I'll do that tomorrow. Regardless, I had the block in the right position and had the main set right so it still worked out fine in 10 knots of wind with the leeward board all the way down. We arrived in Great Guana at about 1 p.m. after a great sail and no noise. We set anchor and found Bill and Margie on Tortuga along with Tom and Pat on another Gemini. Following lunch, we decided it was time to head in to Nippers for happy hour.

Below you can see that if you decide to leave your boat in the harbor before low tide you had better have the engine up because the water will go out. We on the other hand have our boat anchored out.


 So before we left, I took a ride over to another Gemini and invited him to go along too. To the left you can see: Tom, Pat, Margie, Bill, Deb, Me (Jim), and George. We are on our way to Nippers and if you ever heard the cruisers net in the morning you would know the guy on the net is very enthusiastic so we just had to go see what it was all about. We passed this painted up tractor that Deb and Pat just had to try out as their place to make a stand.

Also, they had this poisonwood tree appropriately labeled I remembered it from back on Lignumvitae but it was good to see the tree with the label on it. I wonder if it is on all the trees? Right!


 To the right is Deb with George. George is single handing his Gemini and lives in Miami while keeping his boat down at Dinner Key. On our walk to Nippers he figured out that I'm the guy with the website and he told me that he fixed his mast leak based on my site along with a number of other problems. He said that he always looks at the site when he is having problems and encouraged me to keep it up. Feedback like that is always welcome and encouraging. You've already figured out there are two parts of my site - one which is to entertain (I hope) documenting our adventures and the second is to educate particularly about the Gemini. It is always good to hear that I'm achieving one or even both of them.

Below you can see a stitched photo of the area in front of our anchorage. We decided to anchor out a bit just so our generator will not bother anyone. However, we will be moving tomorrow because I need to show Tom our Rocna and explain why it works so well along with the setup on our bridle. On top of that, we will be going sailing because Tom hasn't flown a spinnaker and both Tom and Bill want to see what I'm talking about with regards to moving the car forward so that the top of the genoa is flying properly. I'm sure we will have fun sailing for an hour or so tomorrow.

Below the first picture is another stitched photo which is of the Atlantic side of Great Guana. I learned something on this picture and that is that I should zoom out further when taking something like the image you see in the second photo's below. Evidently I need more pictures because of the rounding that occurs when stitching. I'll take more photo's and see what happens. Regardless, you can see it is a beautiful beach.


Then sunset came and Garry said he did want to see more sunset photo's. RIght...... I'm sure Garry was pulling my leg but here they are anyway. I think these are some of the best I've taken and the new camera catches the colors wonderfully.

By the way, those are Bill and Tom's Gemini's in the picture to the left.

I thought they were pretty good and to have a pool at the restaurant is pretty good too.

We are having a good time and to quote my Aunt Sandy, "Having a good time, wish you were here."

We will keep taking the pictures and you will see them when we can find a place to post them.

Apr 2 - Note: This post is really a Gemini sailors post. We had a discussion this winter about sail trim and I shared and learned quite a bit. It was time to pass it on.

Why are two guys at the controls of my Gemini??? You may remember Tom (with the Cozumel shirt on) and Bill from our past adventures a few years ago in Key West. Tom hadn't flown a spinnaker and we were having conversations about pointing and getting that Genoa flying right at a close hauled position. So what happens? They decide that they want to go sailing on Freedom today. Now that sounded like fun and we did it all. I forgot to take pictures while the spinnaker was up but we started with just the spinnaker and it was great running along at about 4 knots in 6 knots apparent. Then I was talking to Tom about how you can go wing-on-wing with the spinnaker and the genoa so what happened? Tom said, "can we do that?" Of course I said, sure. Then we had them both flying and it was lots of fun but I'm really sorry we don't have pictures.

Next we decided to hoist the main along with the spinnaker and we started picking up some speed. At one point we were doing almost 6 knots in about 10 knots apparent and having lots of fun. Of course I was pulling the traveler to windward so I could still get the sail shape I wanted (thank you Mark C.) and again, lots of fun.


Then we went to windward. I told them that we would set the jib car where they typically do and then move it forward to show them the way to also fly the top of the genoa. It was fun because each time I brought each of them forward so they could see the top of the sail and see that it wasn't right with the car back. Then by pulling it forward you could get it flying properly and we were off.

We really didn't sail at the wonderful 60 -90 degree range because anybody can do that. Instead we sailed with a board fully down at the 45 -55 degree range. Actually, we sailed more at the 45 degree apparent range (as noted on the autohelm readout and wind gauge) and you can see we were doing quite wonderfully. In 13.8 knots of wind we were doing 5.2 knots and on a Gemini that is really, really good especially on a 15 year old boat with original sails and loaded for extended cruising.


We had a wonderful, and I mean a wonderful 2 hour sail training day and everyone was happy in the end. I also learned something because I don't have a manual for my autohelm on the boat since I was given the upgraded 4000+. I learned that after it is in auto you simply have to press auto and standby at the same time and it will track the wind. It tracked it very well.

In the picture below you can see that we were tacking to our anchorage. The zig zag dotted line is our track back to the anchorage. The wildly curving line is when we left this morning and I was showing them all the points of sail on the spinnaker. The straight line is when Deb an I arrived yesterday. Bottom line is we did well sailing today and I still need to tighten up that genoa some more.

It is always fun to meet back up with friends you've known. Bill and Tom have been down in the Exuma's this winter for about 3 months and that is probably where we should have been. They had fronts but it never got below 65 degrees down there. We won't make that mistake again.

Overall, I am very, very happy we are in the Abaco's. This has exceeded our expectations and we are finding that with the cruisers and the exploring, we will probably spend about 4 days in each location we go before hauling anchor to the next one. It looks like we will head to Marsh Harbor on Monday, pick up propane explore, and then we will wait for the right wind to sail down to Little Harbor which is the furthest south we will go. Then we will start sailing back up slowly stopping at a number of non-inhabited islands to explore and snorkel. The water is warming up so it should be a good time.

It is great to be cruising again. Drop your lines and GO!


 Apr 3 - Our day started much like all days with a little breakfast and then checking out the news. I went to work on our stanchions with Prism polish which is an excellent cleaner for stainless rust extraction. After an hour, I had made a pretty good dent in it and I'll do it again to touch it up before putting Woody Wax on the stainless to protect it. Then Deb and I took off on our own for lunch over at Nippers. Great view as you can see to the right and lots of hype but in our humble opinion, pretty pricey and not too good of service. Then again, we are pretty spoiled with the little place that found us on Green Turtle Cay. We will be hitting it again on our way back up. I took the picture or I should say pictures because it is a combined three pictures with HDR software, over at at Nippers. Like I said, it has a great view. Tomorrow they are having an easter egg hunt on the beach for kids and in the water for adults.

Then we headed over the grocery store just to check it out and found their prices are higher than Green Turtle Cay too. I guess that's what happens when you are the only store on the island.

Tonight we have a bunch of people coming over to our boat for happy hour and it looks like we will try to sink the boat with 9 total people on the boat. Doesn't that sound like fun?


 April 4 - Happy Easter! Last night we had people over to our boat and as you can see, we had lots of food and great conversation which is truly a cruiser tradition.

We had a wonderful night talking everything from where everyone had been, where they are going, and of course more fun things like sail trim. Everyone in the picture is experienced at cruising and have been around so it was a great evening.

Today, we left in the dinghy and headed over to Grabbers where you can tie up your dinghy even though we were going to Nippers where the Easter Egg Hunt was located. The Bahamas is cool because they get it. If you are walking through their establishment, you will probably stop on the way back or the next day and spend some money. Everyone over here is much more laid back and we are having a great time.

Nippers was THE place to be today. As you can see in the picture to the left and the one I stitched together below, the place had a few people in attendance. Since it is Sunday, they have their pig roast and they also have put out 1,000 easter eggs. Some were in the sand for the kids that can't swim and the rest were in the ocean where everyone from teens to adults were snorkeling for the prizes.
As you can see, there were people everywhere and everyone was having a good time. The tide was coming in and on the Atlantic the swell coming in wasn't huge but at times we got a good spray off of the rocks as you can see to the lower right.

I also have figured out some more settings on my camera so hopefully you can see the new HDR pictures I've processed in the ones to the left and below. I find it adds quite a bit of difference with the light to dark in the pictures. Enough tech talk, we just wish you were here enjoying them with us.

To the left and lower left are of the beach at Nippers and to the lower right is the beach at Grabbers. You can see the gaggle of dinghy's along with our anchorage in the background.

On the way out to our boat a caught this picture of the Gemini convention that is here in the Harbor. Bill and Margie's Gemini - Tortuga is on the left, Tom's Gemini - Sun Cat is on the right and in the background is Freedom which of course is our's. Jorge's Gemini - Calypso Cat isn't pictured because he is further down. There was also another Gemini here but anchored in a different area. Gemini's are everywhere in the cruising water and we are all having fun.

Tonight we are getting ready to enjoy another beautiful sunset along with some good music from XM radio. I already have the alarm set for 6:10 tomorrow morning so I can see the space shuttle launch. It is supposed to come over the Bahamas and as I understand it, this is the last launch of the space shuttle. I'll try to get some good pictures.

Following that, we are sailing to Marsh Harbor which is a whopping 8-9 mile sail. Big trips! That is what is so nice about the Abaco's. A new Island is just an hour and a half away. Winds should be perfect for a nice easy sail over so we will probably leave at about 10 or 11 when the wind comes up a bit. See you in a few days when we find a new wi-fi hotspot.

 Apr 6 - Yesterday morning we said goodbye to Tortuga and Sun Cat as they moved further north getting ready to head back to the states. Heading north is what most people are doing right now. Many of the Canadians are simply heading across the gulf stream then on to Stuart and finally to Okeechobee where they will have their boats hauled and stored at Indiantown until next fall. Then they will splash the boat and head back over for the winter. It really makes sense and you could literally only put a hundred hours a year on your engine if you did it that way verses moving all the time. Who knows what our future will bring?

We pulled our anchor at 10 a.m. and after getting out of the anchorage, immediately pulled up the sails and were heading to Marsh Harbor. We had one course adjustment in this sail and the first leg was on a beautiful beam reach in 12 knots of wind (apparent) sailing along at 5.8-6 knots. After we made the turn which allowed us to avoid the coral heads, we then were beating for the next hour ranging from 45 degrees to the wind to start and down to 41 degrees in the end. Fortunately, the wind came up some more and we were able to make 4 knots in 14 knots apparent at 41 degrees off the wind. We dropped the sails just after I took the picture to the right which is the entrance to Marsh Harbor. Overall, I put barely a half hour on the engine to pull the anchor out and then to motor into a new harbor. We are having fun sailing in the Sea of Abaco.


 Above you can see the panoramic view of the harbor. We are anchored over to the far left. The boats to the center and right are those of two rental companies here in the Abaco's, Sunsail and The Moorings.

There are about 5 different dinghy docks here in the harbor and of course they are all free. Most of the wintering people have left so there are lots of places to anchor. With a Gemini there usually are quite a few places anyway because of our shallow draft.

We went in to see about free wi-fi and found a restaurant that had some but I didn't take my computer this time. I did get the picture of our boat however and it is looking good! You can see our courtesy flag flying and you can also just make out my flexible solar panel on the boom.

Deb and I talked with Jorge and Deb got a spanish lesson which she really enjoyed. Jorge was originally born in Cuba and now lives in Miami although he does take off from time to time on some cruising single handedly.

This morning, Jorge and I both need propane so we headed in to drop our propane tanks to be filled and did some exploring. Overall, Marsh Harbor is one of the largest towns on the islands but the reality is that it isn't that big.

Deb and I went in for lunch at Jamie's for some of the best baked macaroni we've had. They use grated cheddar cheese, cream, egg, and a number of other items plus spices. When it is right out of the oven, which this was, it is delicious.

 Apr 7 - It is such a beautiful week over here that it makes me forget about the bad winter. To the right you can see a pictorial of Marsh Harbor. With the 5 dinghy docks, many happy hours, hardware, marine supplies, propane, groceries, and almost everything you might need, I would say this is a a great stop to reprovision. Otherwise, it isn't what you might expect for a Bahamas Island. I just see it as an unorganized collection of stores. Regardless, we've been having fun here too. I caught a couple pictures of the flower below just for fun and the colors are very nice.

Today we are taking advantage of the inexpensive coin laundry ($2 verses $7 on other islands), then doing a few other chores such as an oil change, cleaning and putting away our enclosure (Hurrah) before we head in this evening for dinner and a rake and scrape (local music) at the Jib Room.

I'll be updating this afternoon at a free wi-fi site in Snappa's which we can't get from the boat then we will be off we think tomorrow to Hope Town to wait out the next front.


 Apr 8 - We got that enclosure cleaned up and I am still amazed that it is as clear as it is. We put it up in October and just took it down so that means we leave it up for about 6+ months a year. We have a few scratches but after two seasons why wouldn't we. We will see it again in the fall.

We headed into Marsh Harbour Marina which is home of the Jib Room and on Wednesday's they have dinner which is ribs and steak night is on Saturday. Deb and I split a rib dinner and it was a good thing because it was enough to feed us both and priced that way.

Below you can see the Jib Room along with some of the flowers next to the pool.


To the left you can see Freedom anchored on the other side of the harbor. We are seeing lots of "Cat's" down here and I suppose that is because of the great room they provide along with the wonderful sailing water that is available.

It still amazes me that once you arrive, you rarely have more than 8 miles to your next destination.

Below you can see the chef finishing the ribs along with the stack of them ready for those of us who called in or dropped by to reserve a section of baby back ribs.

Jorge and Deb had some more conversation along with another spanish lesson. In addition, we were joined or should I say we joined Nolan and Bre from Black Pearl. No not that Black Pearl, this is a Tartan 37 which is a sailing machine.

This morning we left knowing we would be able to motor sail for a bit and then we would have to motor into the wind to get to Hope Town. It only took us an hour and a half and that included a tour of the harbor with all of the mooring balls. I decided that we wouldn't pick up a mooring because they were close and we want to run our generator after sunset. So we are one of the boats at the upper left.

You might be wondering how I got this picture. We took it from the top of the Lighthouse.


The town of Hope Town is made up of homes and businesses that are very close together since we are on an island which has this problem of lack of space. It reminded me of living on the hill in St. Louis since the homes were so close together. However, the colors they were painted reminded me of a sale of bright colors at Home Depot with closeouts on just enough of one color to paint one house then you had to choose a different color.

On the way up to the Lighthouse, we ran across the Abaco which was built by one of the woodworkers in town.


We walked up the hill to the lighthouse and after finding the entrance we climbed to the top for the wonderful view.

You can see above the way they powered it back in the day. What I also found interesting is that if this was in the States, nobody would be allowed inside. Electrical connections exposed, the gears were exposed, railings were too far apart to prevent people from really falling off according to OSHA standards. But do you really think anyone has died here? I don't think so. I understand the need for lawyers to ensure that we have a lawful society and totally respect those lawyers. I simply have an issue with the lawsuits that are frivolous because someone doesn't want to take ownership for their own decisions.

Enough of law according to Jim and back to cruising.

Most of the lens was still in place and it is pretty cool to see the way they are constructed.

Below left you can see Freedom at anchor on the east side of the entry to Hope Town Harbor. We are anchored right behind the island with the home on it. The only access is by water. Then to the right is Hope Town Harbor again.

There is a dinghy dock, at the base of the lighthouse and you can see it to the left. Then in the distance down the bank across the harbor is another dinghy dock. These towns are great because they understand that if you can actually get access to town, you will spend money. I just wish Florida would figure that out as well as Annapolis, MD has.

Then Deb decided that it was time to "Phone Home." Yes, there is a telephone booth here right across from Vernon's store. Below left you can see that maintenance might be a bit lacking but it worked even though we didn't phone home.

Next we went into Vernon's store and what I really loved was the sayings people had posted along the shelves in the store. I took pictures of a few of them and you can tell these people are cruising and love the life.

After visiting the rest of the shops in town we headed over to Capt. Jack's for happy hour. While we were there we picked up some Mac and Cheese along with some Peas and Rice. Now is the time to tell you that I am in the process of perfecting my Peas and Rice. That is a Bahamian dish and by the time I do it next time I will have it down. We ordered it today to compare the "restaurant version" with the one I made for lunch. Mine was too moist so I'll adjust that next time and you will get the recipe. Also, I have all the fixings for the Mac and Cheese which is to "die for."

We ended up the day walking down a street to where we could sit and look out over the bay. It just happened that some of the wildlife was enjoying the scenery too.

I don't know what we are doing tomorrow. We will decide in the morning after we get the weather and wind forecast. We may stick around but I'm really thinking we will head down about 6 miles to an anchorage where there is a great beach and may get started snorkeling. You will just have to wait to find out because it will probably be 3-4 days before we get wi-fi again since we will be at some deserted places before hitting Little Harbor at the southern end of the Abaco's.

I truly hope you are enjoying cruising with us!

 Apr 9 - How fast things change. I haven't been able to update because the free wi-fi site isn't working. I should complain but then again.... Also, now a front is supposed to "RACE" down here on Monday night bringing with it gale force winds. This follows a front that is to come through tonight. That along with the fact they are having an unusual amount of Portuguese Man of War stings brings us to heading to a different island today which is Man-o-War and we will explore it for a couple of days and then may head back over to Marsh Harbor just to have a protected place to go and something to do for the 3-4 days of high winds. We will figure that out on Sunday. 

 Apr 11 - We left Hope Town a couple of days ago and what a beautiful lighthouse. Deb has asked me if I'm over compensating for the lack of pictures during the summer. Perhaps she is right but so far, nobody has complained.

Honestly, I'm hoping that if you ever go cruising then you don't have to worry about what you don't know as long as you've read our site. On the other hand, if you are simply following us because you know us or ????? then I really want you to have as close to an experience as we are having - at least when we tour the islands.

We arrived in Man-o-War by passing through a gap (about 30 yards) between two coral reef's which both turn into protective islands with about a 100 yard waterway between them and Man-o-War.

There are ton's of moorings here but we have the advantage of having a shallow draft. So we passed all of them and pulled into some pretty shallow water to anchor above the moorings. I even pulled up the rudders so we wouldn't go aground during the low tides.

On Saturday morning during the front passage, I was able to wash the boat in the rain and catch 8 gallons of water to clean the cockpit. Once it had passed, we headed into town for what was to be the best Conch Burger in the Abaco's at Dips & Sips and a tour of the town.


 The conch didn't disappoint us and the reason was they use a meat grinder to soften the conch instead of standing there with a meat beater (that's what I call them) and pounding it until it is soft. Conch is only good if it has been sliced thinly and cooked in a lime juice or if it has been beaten appropriately. This was great and was probably as good or better than what we had at Green Turtle Cay.

We also just happened to get a picture of Freedom anchored in that shallow water.

In addition, we got some pictures of a sailboat they manufacture here in the islands along with some mast's and booms that are being finished or refinished for other sailboats.

 One of the means of decorations in the islands is to pick up some of the floats that mark traps. You can see some of them hanging in the tree to the right.

At one time, the Albury Sail Shop manufactured sails. Today, since sails are produced cheaper and more accurately elsewhere, they have adapted and make handbags and other items that yarer of interest to the tourists. We, unfortunately, have too many bags so we didn't pick up any.

The walkways into and around the homes are just like the ones you see to the lower right. I could walk down this and smile every day.


 To the left you can see one of the "roads." I have an idea that when the concrete was poured they didn't actually have in mind that they would be used by Golf Carts. The Golf Carts are actually the cars on this island.

As an aside, this morning on the cruisers net one of the guys came on as Chopper One and said that because of the rain they had a traffic problem on Man-o-War and it was because the Golf Carts were slipping and sliding on the hills. I guess someone has a sense of humor.

As we were walking along I found this "tree" or ????? and I thought it was interesting because the berry's or miniature coconuts were in every stage of development. So, I decided that someone out there would figure it out for me. They start out green as on the lower left, turn into yellow and orange in the middle, and then finalize themselves into red.

For the trivia question - What is this tree?


 More concrete streets that will barely allow two golf carts to pass.

Then we just happened to walk by a High School The Mary Albury School of Higher Education.

In America we take way too much for granted and probably don't appreciate what we have. On this island of 250 or so people they are proud of their high school and you can see from the pictures that are below that they have an outside classroom, inside seating area where there is also a stove, and finally, another room that is probably a multi-function area. Think about it just a second. This is for grades 9-12 and they have these areas for teaching. We have it made in America and we complain way too much. These people are happy and totally appreciate what they have. Go figure.

 Then we walked further and on the left is the school for grades 1-8 along with the post office on the right.

 To the right you can see a wonderful Lignum Vitae tree which you will remember from our trip up the Key's. Here they say it is their "National Tree."

Then below you can see what bankers hours are really like. On each of the islands they have a bank. The only thing you have to really think about is that it isn't open every day. This one is open for 4 hours a week. Talk about overhead!

Then we went by Sammie Boy's store which we had to check out. I particularly liked the waypoint sign out front.


 Man-o-War, we learned from a lady who's grandfather told her, was named after the Man-o-War bird. Before this island was settled, the Man-o-War bird nested in the mangrove trees on this island thus the name. Today what they say is if the Man-o-War bird is flying low the winds will blow. The birds are getting lower.

We then walked by the Albury Boat Yard. The Albury's are known in this area for their boats and you can see some of the molds for one of their boats below. I'll bet that they don't worry about V.O.C.'s here.


 To the left you can see a finished product. I love this kind of stuff because I understand it. I didn't find someone to talk to about how thick the glass was on the hull so that is one of my future discussions at a future time.

As we were finishing our tour on the island, Deb noticed that the cannon that you see to the lower right was from the U.S.S. Adirondack. You just might remember the Adirondack name from Key West. We were sailing with the one in Key West and have pictures of it in February. It was also the schooner that placed first in the Wreckers race that we raced in and of course we finished third in our division which is still something that I can't believe after starting dead last..

The front is still "Racing" towards us and supposed to blow at Gale Force winds. We will sail, yes I really mean sail, over to Marsh Harbor on Sunday. Hopefully we will be able to head south by Saturday after a week of wind. Both Deb and I have some work to do so the week will be productive - Will Updates, finish a USCG Sailing Course, and some boot maintenance. More later.


 Apr 11 - We took off this morning from Man-o-War pulling anchor and motoring down the anchorage and out that cut I told you about. As you can see it is fairly narrow and on top of it being about 30 yards wide, there are 5 yards of reef just on the water on each side. However, that isn't a problem because you can see everything in clear water and that means simply, stay in the middle 60 feet and all will be fine. The rest was good water.

We pulled out and I pulled out the Genoa (front sail) then we were off. I was too lazy to put up the main for the 50 min we would be sailing today and a total time between anchor up and anchor down of an hour and a half. We had a nice quite sail over and then we tacked into Marsh Harbor before pulling the Genoa in and starting the motor again to head into the wind to our anchorage.


 However, before we got into the harbor it was hard to miss this boat aground.

For all the sailors out there, you've read and heard the great stories about how you can get other people to help you pay for your new boat. Simply put it in charter. Sounds like a great idea because afterall, they surely wouldn't rent a boat with less experience than you have, would they? Guess what? They just might. The harbor here is very straight forward and it is easy to get in and out using charts let alone a GPS with a chart plotter and on top of that, they have these new advices called depth finders and they actually tell you how much water is under you. Marvelous inventions those depth finders. It is amazing, when you see it getting shallower, you slow down or stop. Well, even with all of those wonderful electronic devices this guy went aground and I'm sure that was the start of a great vacation. We set our anchor and after a couple of hours, we went in on our dinghy and guess what? Another one went aground about 50 yards to his port side. You just can't make this stuff up folks. Ultimately that guy got off but the first guy is still sitting out there with his bow out of the water. High tide is in about 3 hours so here's hoping for him to get off. I'm sure he will never here the end of this.

 We got off the boat for a walk and to pick up a "secret" ingredient for Bahamian peas and rice. Then we headed back to the boat only to be rewarded with the coolest display of dolphins we've seen. They weren't hunting fish, they were into love sweet love.  

Aren't they cute?

Like I said, love is in the air.

We are watching some clouds but will probably go in to look at a beach later this afternoon and then back on the boat. We are pretty much stuck here until Friday because of the "racing front" coming this way setting up some strong winds. That's ok only because I have some work to do on a side project and this will give me good time to accomplish the first draft of that project and get it sent off. Otherwise it looks like we will be able to head south on Friday to Little Harbor and not miss that on this trip to the Abaco's. Then our plan, written in sand on a rising tide, is to hit some anchorages and get back up past the Whale passage and into Green Turtle Cay by the following Friday so we can start looking for a great passage back. It seems sad that we just arrived and we are already thinking about heading back but we really got short changed about 3 weeks because of the weather to get over here. Oh well, who cares! We got here and are having a good time. It just reinforces our desire to head further south to the Caribbean next year.

We'll see what we can generate of interest this week that might be worth posting.

 Apr 13 - We are still in Marsh Harbour stuck because of the wind but it does look good for us to leave on Friday about noon. We'll see. In the meantime, Deb has been getting some services and I'll turn the writing over to her for this description.

I, unfortunately, have in-grown toe nails. Although I can take care of them for the most part, I need a pedicure once in a while to get the spurs out. While in Marsh Harbour we ran across an authentic Bahamian salon, so I thought I would check prices. The prices were reasonable so I marched in for a pedicure. WHAT AN EXPERIENCE! Iris was a sweetheart and Catherine was great. We laughed, they brought out the Heinichen beer and we had a big ole' party - when Jim walked in he saw a bunch of Bahamian's, drinking beer and I'm in the middle having my toes done. If you are ever in a foreign county, I think one of the best way to get a taste of the culture is to go into a local salon.


 I had so much fun, Jim suggested I go back the next day for a hair cut. I received an excellent hair cut. As was the day before, several people stopped by, and all of the Bahamians talked loud and all at the same time, so you have to really listen to keep up with the conversation. I took a bottle of wine, so again.... big party.... at least Jim knew what to expect when he came back to get me! Thanks to Iris and Catherine for a wonderful time.... it was a ball!

From the dinghy dock, all you have to do to get to the salon is to head to the stop light and turn left for about a hundred yards and you will see the salon on the right. Open the door and enjoy.

By the way, for those who aren't cruisers reading our site, you might be interested in the fact that this is one of only two stoplights in Marsh Harbour so lots of directions are given based on that stoplight. The other one isn't a factor because it is quite a distance away.

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