May 2012 - Cruising - Life Log for S/V Freedom - a Gemini 105 - Jim and Deb Faughn

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May 4 -  We have ton's of information to give you but so little time. Here is the bottom line. We are leaving Sunday on our trip to the Bahamas. We can't wait. We just got back from a WONDERFUL trip to Green Turtle Bay with another Captain's class. I am continuously amazed at the wonderful students we attract. I'll give you more about this as I get Deb to the helm in a couple of days. For now, I'll simply have to tell you that I've been working almost non-stop for almost forever and can't wait to take some time for this cruise. Deb and I have been working hard to get the boat ready and provisioned. We didn't have many people who decided to head over to the Bahamas with us but the ones that are taking the trip are wonderful people. There will be 3 Gemini's making the crossing and you will see them and their stories right here.

Now for the bad news. Don't ignore your boat as long as I have. I really had some bottom cleaning to do and that has provided me with an opportunity of nursing about 20 cuts on my right hand from scraping. I already get it.... should have worn gloves. Well, I'll be back underwater again when we cross and I can actually see what else needs to be accomplished. The good news is that all the mechanical improvements seem to be working out wonderfully. We have about all the tools to repair just about anything so the trip should be fun.

We've provisioned and Deb says we won't need anything except veggies for the entire 45 day trip. I already know that we will need more than a few lunches out because I really know Deb. It should be a great trip and to my amazement, it actually looks like we will cross the gulf stream around the 10th of the month. Way too cool!

Pictures are coming and honestly I have a serious problem since my Dreamweaver program stopped synchronizing. I'll be buying some new software tomorrow which means another learning curve. Regardless, we'll be updating on a regular basis again starting Sunday.

Welcome back!

Great news- I don't have to spend another 150 bucks for new software. After re-installing it twice, I figured out what happened in my software and it is now working again. I can't tell you how frustrating it's been for the last few months since I have not been able to quickly update my website. It really is demotivating and since I had to go through about 10 other steps, I just didn't get too motivated about writing. Now that it's fixed, I'm very happy about being able to go on this cruise and update when I am able to pick up a free wi-fi site in the Bahamas. Things are looking WAY up again!!! 


May 6 - Life is good - Boats doing great - East Bound - Bahamas Bound - I'm pretty excited right now because we are out on the water for the next month and a half and my software is working again. I'll quickly catch you up. Wagons of food, beverage, supplies, spares, tools and then we are down a half inch on the water line. A day of scraping means the hull is clean again but my hands are cut a bit. Then we are packed and almost ready. We have 2 other Gemini's going with us. Bill and Sissy whom you will meet in just a second along with Mike and his wife neither of whom we've met at this point. They are in Ft. Lauderdale and I got off the phone with him a few hours ago helping troubleshoot a probable fuel problem

You can see our boat to the left and then Bill and Sissy's boat arrived on Saturday at about noon. Just as planned. We had a great time at lunch then went back to work to get everything ready.

We ended up before dark, ate a pizza and headed next door to our neighbors Bob and Joyce. They are thinking about flying over and spending a few days. That could be very fun too.


 Meet Bill and Sissy. You've seen his boat on my website before since he's the guy who took out the diesel and installed a Honda 15 horse long shaft. He does great work and it is running just fine too. Here's the scoop on the Honda. At his normal cruise speed now, I slow down 150 rpm's and he and I run together. So what does that mean? I'm going about point 15 to point 2 knots slower than my normal. Which means what Jim...... Ok, about 5.7 knots is the cruise speed with them Just fine for me. I just go 2400 rpm's, get great fuel consumption and we cruise well together.

Below you can see the lock we are approaching which is about 3 miles up the river from out house. We hit it about 20 min before they would open with the lower water levels in the Big O.

 This was Sissy's first lock but she handled it like a pro.  

 Deb was also ready and back to her old form too. I can't tell you how excited we both are on this trip. The ditch looks great this time of year and the weather seems like it is going to cooperate. Fingers are crossed.

In the lock we went and the lock master let us know we would be "on-demand" for the next 3 locks then back on the reduced schedule at Saint Lucie Lock. We'll try to get there at the right time but if we miss it, we can always anchor for an hour and a half. We also confirmed the Big O route will be closed on our way back.

Key West is in our future and I can assure you we will try and be there to celebrate our 30th anniversary at some of our favorite spots with some of our favorite people.



Looks like Deb has this thing well in hand doesn't it.

Out of Ortana Lock and back into the ditch. Nothing but puffy clouds and smooth water in front of us and Bill and Sissy's boat behind us.

I'll go ahead and tell you that I'm almost as surprised as you are that I'm getting back into the flow of updating our website. We'll try to get you all hooked again in the next few days and we will definitely let you know before we cross to the Bahamas. It will definitely be at least 3 days once we cross before you will see an update. Realistically, it may be 5 days before we get a wi-fi signal so don't worry. The wait will be for some great pictures of some great water.

I'll post again tomorrow.

May 7- Good news. We are in Stuart and we are safe. Bad news "stuff happens out here." Ok, this is a very short update because as soon as we got to Stuart we had water where there shouldn't have been water. We've tracked it down to a head of a machine screw which has corroded which was allowing water to escape from the raw water pump filling the bilge and entering the port berth and hull. Things can be and have been allot worse. I'll fill you in completely but lets cut to the chase. We've found the problem, I'm tired and not really wanting to write a good update, I have the right drill bit, drill, the right easy out so all I need now is the right brass machine screw to fix the problem. Then again, there is always JB weld.

I'll have pictures and everything once we get this fixed but honestly I've had too many ups and downs today to go into all the details. Pictures too very soon....

Don't forget - we are on a BOAT and that means B - Bring, O - On, A - Another, T - Thousand - we are hoping to cheat the definition.


 May 8 - I'm not getting ahead of myself this time. It's time for Gator's! They must own the Okeechobee. Gator's everywhere. I just wanted to lasso one and drag him in for Gator Tail.

Last time we left you we were heading towards Okeechobee and having a great time out on the boat. Essentially, we are moving the boat to West Palm area so we can be in a good position to cross. The fastest way is to cut across the Okeechobee otherwise known, probably only to me, as the Big O. Honestly, I made that up because I don't really want to spell it each time. Just go with it.

Now for a few Gator pictures.

 Then we came upon some construction they are doing to the dam around the lake. We are supposed to stay between the orange balls and the construction. Good thing we aren't a big cat.  

We stopped at some big pilings that are tied together at the top with galvanized cables. These are called Dolphins. No kidding they really are. Don't start emailing and asking me why - please!

Knowing we could tie between two of them, I brought a couple of old lines I could tie together so we could have enough line to reach. It worked like a charm and Deb did a wonderful job at running the boat.

Freedom is on the left and Pisces (Bill and Sissy's boat) is on the right.

You can get an idea below left of what we were planning then see it all completed on the lower right. The challenge was to throw the rope over the cleat mounted at the top on one of the poles.

I put the dinghy engine on our dinghy and off to Maryann and Roland Martin's Marina for dinner out on our first 60 mile day. What did we order? Gator tail of course. Chewy and not quite like chicken but if you are here you have to give it a go, Mate.


A good picture of our ride to and from our yacht. Yes, I'll just go ahead and call it a yacht. It's a great boat, we are living on it for the time being, and Deb has her own personal Captain and mechanic all in one. Not to mention dinghy driver and boat washer.

We were up early the next morning cleaning the bird junk off the boat where they pooped during the night. I guess they all hang out and have this bird discussion about who's boat they are going to poop on next. They probably even told Jimmy Buffett about it but he kept a secret. Some kind of bird thing I'm sure.

We got underway after the sun came up and you can see Clewiston in the background of Bill's boat as we take off for our crossing of the "big O."

Wow, I knew we were going to get a great picture on this trip and I did. I caught the Invisible Man out during the daylight. It was truly an amazing experience. I have the picture below to prove it. He has changed from wrapping his exposed body parts from gauze to some kind of white knock-off KKK kind of sheet bag or something. Regardless, we caught him out and about fishing. And to think we haven't heard of him in about 40 years. I guess he retired in Florida.

One thing you always check on is the lift bridge at Port Mayaca. The limiting height for the waterway is 49 feet but that is at 14 something feet of water level. We had about 12.5 feet so we knew we had plenty of clearance. Regardless, you always look up and it always looks close.

Birds are everywhere and enjoying their days fishing, flying, and just hanging out. We on the other hand, seem to always have something to do and then we figure out we need to eat. I guess I need to miss a meal or two and get back into that hunting gathering phase again.

We are heading for the Bahamas so perhaps we'll be back to picking up conch and spearing a few fish for dinner. Nothing like those two will get you back into shape. Why not Lobster? They have closed their season. Darn.

Below you can see we passed Indiantown marina. Home of all the winter boats for the snow birds from Canada and the states.

We are on a restricted schedule of lock openings. One of the boats you see in the picture passed us on the Big O and was waiting here for about an hour or so for this opening. We made it at about the last minute or at least we thought. As it turned out, they were raising the people up heading west first then we were second to go down so it actually dropped us at about 3:30. Good thing or we would have had to wait until 5 to get through.

Then it happened. Deb said, "Jim, there's water in the port berth and hull." That will get your attention if you are on the water in a boat. There isn't supposed to be water on the inside - it's supposed to stay on the outside! This get complicated because we used the air conditioning for the first time a couple of days before we left and had an issue with the condensate line which I fixed. Deb thought it was the same problem except we weren't running the air conditioning. Not only did we have water in the berth and hull, we had it below the engine and it was ugly!!!

I had gone to look in the engine compartment because the water in the berth was the color of the Okeechobee and canal (ok, I spelled it one more time.)

Bill came over and helped me clean up the MESS and then we started the engine to see where it was coming from. First we thought it was from the base of the pump. However, after reinstalling teflon tape on the bottom fitting and putting the pump back on I still had the same problem. I saw the water was coming from under the screw you see to the right. I decided, like a good little junior mechanic, I would tighten the screw. The head fell off. Well, that's a problem. Like I said, stuff happens out here!

You can see that this wasn't a new problem. Corrosion issue. Good news was it happened right now instead of in two days. This was with only 200 hours on that pump. You can see below where the screw goes on the pump.

This screw holds a curved plate which creates the suction for the pump as the impeller blades are moved past this plate. I had an old pump on board and I looked at it. It had a similar looking corrosion stain but was in better shape. I'll get to that in a minute.

This morning we borrowed bikes and headed up to Ace Hardware to pick up some brass machine screws. They happen to be 8/32 for those Gemini owners out there. You should stock a couple of them.

Put it all back on with a new washer and it still leaked a bit. Bill came back over and brought some teflon with him. He quickly identified the new washer wasn't the size of the old one and that was the problem. I ended up taking the screw out of the backup (bad) pump and installing it along with it's washer, with teflon, into the new pump. Bottom line - everything is now fixed and it was time for clean-up. The other thing was we found a loose nut too so that was a benefit.

We were planning on leaving this afternoon for Peck Lake to anchor but a big front is moving through and we just hung out here instead. I just have to put the dinghy engine back on after putting it away so we can go pay for another night.

You can see out boats below out on the mooring balls. Looking good aren't they!

Also, Mike has his boat working again too. You are probably wondering, who is Mike. He's got a Gemini and coming up from Little Torch in the Keys. They have a few more things to take care of but are already in Lake Worth. We'll join him tomorrow afternoon and should be in position to take off on Thursday if the weather holds. Right now, I have one forecast that says Yes and one that says No. We'll know tomorrow once the computers analyze this front that just past us. Cool sleeping tonight!

  May 9 - We've made a decision to leave in the morning although there will only be 2 boats. The third, Mike's is sticking it out here for a few days because his wife is having a procedure done to clear up a small problem. Hopefully they will be following behind next week. Here is the scoop. The winds look almost reasonable but we will be going with them. Seas are supposed to be 3 feet or so in the morning and falling to less than 3 feet in the afternoon. We are leaving at 5 am since the later in the day will be better for less wind and waves. I'm figuring that after we haul anchor at about 4:45 and then get underway it will take a half hour to reach the outer markers of the channel. Our track is to be right at 90 degrees so we will head 110 degrees to make up for the gulf stream. Winds are supposed to be southwest to west so it actually should be a good crossing. That said, the swells will be coming from the north east at a 9 second interval. So the big question is what will be the effect with swells from a different direction than the waves? I honestly don't think anything but I've never been out in them like this. The swells do not have current associated with them so it isn't like coming into a channel with wind and current opposing. So we've decided to stick our nose out, go for a half hour to an hour and make a decision. If we have to, we'll head back in and wait it out for another 5 days when there looks to be another good window to cross.

We are going to have to hang out at Great Sale for about 2 days waiting on this front to clock around and the 20 knot winds from the east to slow to continue our trip. So the bottom line is very simple. You will either hear from us tomorrow about this wasn't the right decision to cross - OR - you won't hear from us for about 5 days until we find a wi-fi site most probably at Green Turtle Cay. Both of our boats are ready and we are ready so it should be a good time. Many pictures and info will follow.

 May 12 - So we picked up fuel and as we were finished a squall moved through and it rained and rained. But it quit just in time so that we could get the opening for the bridge and head to an anchorage that is just a mile from the entrance of Lake Worth Inlet.

We rafted off first, checked the weather, had dinner then Bill and Sissy broke off and anchored on their own. We were leaving at 5 am and heading across hoping that we would get to Mangrove Cay (pronounced Key) before dark. That was my original plan for anchoring but we discussed the concept of continuing to Great Sale. Here was the problem, the front that allowed us to cross is also going to provided shifting winds during our crossing and early evening. This will then be blowing on our nose the next morning.

We agreed that we would wait until we arrived at Mangrove to make the decision.


First thing on Thursday morning my engine wouldn't start. Low voltage. I turned off a bunch of stuff and finally the starter went and it started. Yahoo, we will be underway. However, this is a new problem and something that will stick in the back of my mind. I'll have to monitor the voltage carefully as we continue on. My 6 year old batteries are beginning to possibly be an issue.

We left the inlet and right away knew we made the right decision. Wind from behind us and seas were just fine. On this side they were probably 2 feet but I told Bill that they would pick up as we get further across the Gulf Stream. We were motor sailing and it was a good day.

To the left you can see a picture I caught after watching this ship for about 20 minutes. The rest of the pictures I'll use in my next Captain's class. I had to put this one up just for some of my past students that I know are following us on the trip. The lower white light in front is the forward masthead light. The higher white light at the rear is the aft masthead light then you can see the red which is the port sidelight. Finally you see a white light at the stern which is the stern light. You actually shouldn't see that light yet but for whatever reason you can. Regardless, you can easily tell it was passing behind us. What was cool was the earlier view when I knew I would be fine crossing in front of the boat. You could see the two masthead lights making up a "range." Enough Rules of the Road flashback for my new Captains.

Below left is a picture of sunrise looking towards the Gulf Stream. We were on a course of 110 degrees to make a track of 90 degrees. For my new Captains, that is an actual Course to Steer problem that paid off perfectly.

The picture below is our companion boat who were making time just fine.We were both motor sailing and the entire idea was to get across the stream with lighter winds that would be building as the day got underway.

We continued on and as you can see below, we had some white caps The seas were building and at this point were probably 3 feet. Regardless, this is a perfect sea for the Gemini 105. It is looking to be a GREAT crossing!


Right in the middle of the gulf stream, in the maximum current, we saw this ship which had no containers. This is the definition of trade imbalance just in case you are interested. It is also showing a smart Captain utilizing the gulf stream current to give him a boost on the miles per gallon. This ship had the right of way and I've already changed my course to pass behind the ship. On top of following the rules, I really didn't want to try to compete with that sucker. Pretty big ship and I will loose.

We were about an hour past the ship when we picked up a hitch hiker. Don't know what kind of bird it is but he hung around long enough for us to get a couple of pictures and Deb began missing Jimmy Buffett. Probably rested for 20 minutes and then he was gone.

The Gulf Stream waters are the most beautiful blue. We had been through about 2 hours of 4 footers but the wind started to die as predicted and the seas started dropping back down to about 2 footers again. Life was good as we were approaching the Bahamas Bank.

Below left you can see a picture of my GPS as we got to the Bank. We were going from over 1,200 feet of water to 30 feet just as I took this picture. The tide was also coming off the bank so we were going to loose our speed fighting the current. As Captain Ron says, sometimes the tide works for you and sometimes it works against you. This time, it was against us.

In the picture to the lower left you can see the line of very light blue water. That is a clear indication of shallow water. On the GPS when I zoomed out you could see charted water of about 2-3 feet over there. That isn't the direction we were going.

Time to get on the bank and the time just happened to be 2:30 - perfect timing.

The picture to the left shows Memory Rock. We decided to take this to the south instead of the north as I originally planned. Why? We only had Gemini's and that means a shallow draft so no issue with the charted 5.9 foot water. This saved us about 4 miles on the trip. As it turned out, the water was deeper than the charted depth so it wouldn't have been an issue for a monohull anyway.

Below left you can see Bill and Sissy's boat following along behind. We found that in the choppier water that I was running about 2350 RPM which is 200 RPM below my normal cruise. The Honda was doing fine and my Westerbeke was also. No leaks in the repair so again, all was good.

After we got on the bank we raised the Q (quarantine) flag and we were legal in the Bahamian waters.


As you can tell, Deb did some driving and I was doing great. Not a towing of sea sickness. This trip did not have the kind of motion that makes me sick. It was a Great Day.

Dinner time was coming up after 13 hours at sea. We were on the bank with very low waves, the wind was dropping and had shifted to the Northwest, again as predicted. So I lit the grill. Time to grill some chicken for dinner and make this a really good trip.

As we approached Mangrove Cay, picture to the lower right, we decided that we should continue on. First, we were early and both were up and ready for the next leg. Second, I really didn't want to pound into the seas when the wind continues its shift and comes right out of the east. And finally, we could see the front right behind us and it didn't look too good.

As it turned out, good decisions were made on the entire trip. We had a great crossing, made it to Great Sale, and on top of that, the front stayed just, and I mean barely, south of our course. The heat of the island Grand Bahamas gave us a pretty good show with lighting and it was clear that they were getting some wind over there.

We arrived at 11 pm which made this 101 nautical mile or 116 statute mile crossing in 18 hours. Average speed was 5.4 knots since we were fighting the current of the falling tide and we were running an average boat speed of 5.6 knots, not counting the speed pick up from the gulf stream or the added speed from motor sailing. Overall, not too bad. Bill has a calibrated stick to check fuel and he used 2 gallons more than I did. He had 4 gallons left over and I had 6 left over in the tank.

The next morning I took the picture to the left of their boat and you can see we had some company too. The other direction we had 4 additional boats.

Then on the radio I heard Tortuga talking. That was Bill and Marge so I gave them a call. They were heading home and coming into Great Sale to anchor. Looked like it could be a homecoming but of course we have quarantine flags up so we would just, um, um, um, have to talk boat to boat and I'll pull up some um, um, um past pictures to show on the web site.

If you've followed our website long, you've met Bill and Marge. They are great people and love cruising all winter in the Exumas. This is a picture of them arriving to the left and below. Then the picture to the lower right is of Bill and Diane who own a Lagoon 41.

Bill and Marge said hi by radio so I um, um, um, pulled up some pictures and photo shopped in Sissy to make it look like we were all here on our boat. We had a great time talking and also on the "radio" was Bob and Diane. Fun to meet them all.

In true cruiser tradition a planned gathering ensued so that mean that I really needed to pull up my Photo shop skills to get everyone's pictures in a position so it "looked like" we were all together. Great food and great company!

You have to love the space on the Lagoon's. They are build very well and are also very well thought out. You might remember Rick and Linda with wonder dog Kirby whom we also hung out with from time to time. They had a Lagoon 410 just like this one and then a 420.

To say the conversations were great was an understatement. It was fun meeting everyone.

The next morning they decided to leave and head to West End where they will anchor then cross back to the states tomorrow (Sunday.)



 Next Bob and Diane went past. They set their sails and were off for about a 45 mile trip to West End. As always, we wished them a good crossing.

Remember those batteries I mentioned at the beginning of this post? Well, they are a problem. Why didn't they fail back at the house? Why not in Okeechobee? Why not in Stuart? Well, they've really started failing now! This morning I charged all three of them for 3 hours. Then I disconnected all the positive jumpers and ran a Load Test on each battery. What I found was two of them are definitely bad now. The third wasn't great but it might help out some. So, I took the two bad ones out of the circuit and kept the 3rd on as the "house bank." Not much of a bank! Throughout the day I found it really wasn't too good either so when we get to Green Turtle Cay or Marsh Harbour then I'll be buying a deep cycle battery just to get us back to home. I'll be putting AGM's back in when we get back home. I don't know if we will do that right away or if we will wait until November. I may have another Captains class in August and we are going on that cruise in October. So that means if I get the class I'll be hauling the boat until after October. It really needs to dry out and get it's bottom painted. On top of that, I'll be looking at the boards very closely in the next few days using my new spare air I picked up so I can stay under water for about 7-8 minutes at a time.

Today, I would like to tell you we went to the beach and then snorkeling before updating the website to this point. Of course I couldn't tell you that we found a old tank location, shells, or took a look at a couple of lobster because we are still under quarantine. So none of that happened. What did happen is we got the dinghy put back together and will be towing it from here on out so it won't take so long to once we get checked in at Spanish Cay.

Bill and I are planning on getting an early start in the morning before the winds build and hopefully will get to Hawksbill which is just north of Fox Town That is where we will anchor so we can check into Spanish Cay on Monday. Obviously this will all be history when you read it but the earliest we will be updating will be probably Tuesday evening or Wednesday at Green Turtle Cay.

May 13 - The winds built anyway and they didn't come around as they did at West Palm. We did make it to Hawksbill but the problem was that I was motorsailing and tacking from 30 degrees to 30 degrees so I wouldn't pound as much. It wasn't a terrible day on the route we took but it wasn't a pleasant day either. We made 36 miles and most of it at under 5 knots with the wind in the afternoon blowing about 20 knots apparent. We should have waited a day but you know what happens when you are waiting and the most beautiful waters are just a day away. The first timers sometimes just can't wait.

Regardless, we will be leaving about 9 am tomorrow morning to check in at Spanish Cay. We should be able to get there and then leave for Manjack where we will anchor and try to find some conch and a few fish that we can spear and then eat. I guess you will know just after I do.

By the way, I took some time this morning to update my Older Logs list which is a link from my main page. This way there isn't a BIG gap between information if you find yourself wanting to go back through our logs.

 May 14 - We are at Spanish Cay and we will tell you the entire story later today. Bottom line was it was a bit more to stay at the marina verses simply paying to check in.  

 May 14 - Spanish Cay - the rest of the story - first we have to back up a bit. We were pounding into a few seas yesterday and honestly I thought I was done with that. However, it was something we just needed to do that day. We made it to Hawksbill about an hour and a half before Picese and Bill and Sissy came in as we were preparing dinner for both crews of the boats. We had some filets and Deb made up a great potato dish with some veggies that were getting just right.

We had anchored off of Fox Town and it turned out to be the perfect place for us to be on this night. You can see Fox Town to the lower right.


 The next morning, I took a few pictures. Sorry about the blurry one to the left. You can see our boat coming out of the anchorage as the large black triangle. The arrow is pointing to the "Special Purpose Beacon" that is indicated on the charts. The purpose of this picture is to show you exactly what a "Special Purpose Beacon" really is.

Looking at the picture to the lower left you can see a pole with a tire hanging from it. You might be asking yourself, why is the tire hanging from a pole?

That is the "Special Purpose Beacon." Really, it is! You can see the explanation on my GPS looking to the lower right.

In the states we take for granted the buoys and all of the markings of our waterways, however, as we get outside the states then you have to look for some unique items which mark the waterways. It isn't wrong, it simply is what can be afforded to help make the waterways safe. Bottom line is you have to be flexible when you are out cruising outside of the US.


 So what's next? How about the Center of the World Rock. Really, if you want to know were the Center of the World is, why not here?

You can see the actual rock to the lower left.

Then there is always Deb cleaning. We've heard that she's kind of known amongst the Gemini cruising community for her boat's cleanliness. Here is one of her tips. Between a somewhat bad back and perhaps a bit of a slant towards not wanting to bend down and clean - she's come up with the perfect system for cleaning floors. Go Deb!


As we were approaching Spanish Cay, I called to let them know we would like to check in. Chuck, the guy on the radio, let me know that there was a $50 charge if we weren't staying with them. I asked, how much are your dockage rates. He said $2.25 per foot. Let's see, we can check in and leave for 50 bucks or stay and have access to a resort for 75 bucks. A no-brainer if you ask me. On top of that, they all very friendly and helpful. It was the easiest check-in we've had in the Bahamas.

To our knowledge, the charge isn't in any book and evidently it is on their website. Regardless, the price has been worth it from both convince and for the good time we are having at the marina. Honestly, this will probably be were we check in from this point forward. If you go to Green Turtle Cay then you have to wait until someone shows up. If you go to Treasure Cay then you have to get a taxi to the airport. If you check in at West End then you are delayed around 2 hours before you can get back out and on the bank where you may be running between shallow water at night. All of the options verses Spanish Cay seem to pale in comparison. On top of that, I think I said already that the people are friendly, the pool is nice, the hot tub is warm, the snorkeling is good, and the food is also good. Pretty good place to check in after 4 days on the water.

 Once we arrived at Spanish Cay and we checked in, it was time to take down the quarantine flag and put up the Bahamian cruising flag. Always an honor to be in another country when they are so friendly!

So the flag is flying from the starboard spreader and the boat is secure. Deb is happy to be back on land and ready to enjoy a lunch off the boat - and probably a glass of wine or two.

Two Gemini's on a dock in the Bahamas. Hopefully next year there will be 6-10 on the same dock. It should be an annual event and this could be the start of it all.

Below left you can see one of the Starfish that were sighted off the docks. This just happens to be pretty cool.


The restaurant is pretty cool and the food is very good.

We were all getting ready for a wonderful meal and happy to be on "dry land."

Deb and I had the Conch salad while Bill had a Conch Burger. Sissy just had to have a hamburger but it was all good.

Now I'm trying to be less reserved so I headed into the kitchen to talk about recipes particularly the Conch salad recipe. Barbara is the chef and she has one of the cleanest kitchen's that I've seen. She's very proud of the fact that this kitchen is truly something you and I can eat off of. It is very nice and spacious too.

Next you need to meet Gina who is the bartender/waitress and a very nice lady as well.

Below left is Barbara at work at the grill and to the right are the two of them trying to make world peace. Well, at least they are making peace with me. They have a great pride in their work and obviously a great pride in their attention to their restaurant.

These were great lady's to meet!

I almost escaped Customs but I was caught by Evlenan. She had me tied up and took me straight to the Customs office to check in properly.

As you can tell, we are having a great time once we arrived at Spanish Cay.

Below you can see another picture of the restaurant and to the lower right is a picture I found on the "Wall of Shame." Looks like someone had a bad day.

The wind came up in the afternoon in the direction that I was planning on going before we checked in and decided to stay the night. The waves were building and we were inside a breakwall so for us - it just didn't matter.

Below you can see one of the squalls coming in and to the lower right, you can see Bill really having to contemplate whether he made the right decision to head to the Bahamas - verdict - right decision.

Deb on the other hand was testing the hot tub and determining that she was going to take a nice dip now that lunch was over.

Bill, Sissy, and I took off on a walk to explore while Deb was changing and heading for the hot tub. The wind was up and we were pretty snug on our boat.

The tennis courts weren't in perfect condition which I believe are a function of the downturn of the economy in the states. If the US is not doing well then people don't vacation in the Bahamas and spend money which is the lifeblood of the Bahamas. We are all looking forward to an improving economy!

To the lower left is a picture of a beautiful place to get married. Just think, you can say your wedding vows right on the beach.

A bit further down we found the generator room.

Barrels of diesel and a couple of good generators just for this island.Scan down a couple of pictures to the lower right and you can see that at the time I took the picture they were generating 146 amps of power. Not quite a full marina and housing complex.

To the lower, lower left you can see the cables that are coming from the generator and into the power generation system. I'm betting they don't have an OSHA over here or at least a strict electrical code. It all works and just shows that the US probably has way too many rules which are the result of way too many law suits. Afterall, where else can a guy like me walk into an unattended generator station and nobody cares? If you don't know what you are doing stay out - that should be the motto.

Another squall coming in and the boats are loving it. A fresh water rinse after a salt water couple of days.

Deb and I are having a great time on our "vacation" and 'm actually pretty sure that if you are following this, then you are happy we are back to posting again. Enjoy this trip and we will too.

Jim and Deb

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Jim and Deb's Adventures