May 15, 2012 - Cruising - Life Log for S/V Freedom - a Gemini 105 - Jim and Deb Faughn

Previous Log - The most recent past log

All Logs - This takes you to the list of all of our logs

May 17 - We left Spanish Cay and headed down to Manjack where we anchored and have been simply getting back into cruising life. Wednesday, Bill, Sissy, and I took off in the dinghy's to see the reef and try to do some fishing. We spent about 2 hours out on the reef and it was beautiful but really didn't find many fish that you can eat. Our first time out there. I broke my band on my pole spear and Bill had a tip pull out of his. Since I'm pretty much a wimp and just getting back into this thing called exercise, I came back to check on Deb. Bill fixed my spear with his band and continued on. Ultimately, he picked up a nice grouper near the shore and a couple of conch which we had for dinner last night.

We headed out to the area Bill got the grouper but didn't see squat. Skunked. Well, that's fishing. We'll do better another day.

To give you an idea of where we are, I've placed a picture of this area over on the right. I took this one from a cruising guide and we are anchored over on the far right side where you don't see boats in the picture. The reason is that we are protecting ourselves from the southeast trades this time of year instead of the northeast winds from the fronts which then go north and finally northwest until they blow out.

Conditions have been squally for the last couple of days as you can see below. As Captain Ron says, they come on you fast and they leave you fast. It has been raining a bunch down here which I guess is good for the vegetation along with the cisterns for the locals water supply.

To the lower right you can see us anchored in Manjack along with an American Tug whom we've met. Nice guy, Richard, who has been coming over for the late season for the last 13 years.


 I thought I would give you some perspective for the names of islands I've been talking about. You can see Spanish Cay up towards the top of the picture on the left side. That is where we checked in. You can also see it in the picture to the lower left. This, again, was a private island but was very easy to check in and it was pretty fun to be off the boat for a day there plus pick up a bit of water too.

Next we went to Manjack which you can see in about the middle of the picture on the left and to the lower right. Following Manjack we headed to Green Turtle Cay which was an whopping 6 mile trip. We are anchored out off of the middle of Green Turtle right now as I write this. We'll spend another day here since I pick up a battery in town at 8:15 this morning and will install it.

Tomorrow we will go down to Treasure for a day which is on the "main land" and is to the left of where you see Whale Cay printed. Then on Sunday morning we will head over to Great Guana which puts us there just in time for the Sunday pig roast at Nippers. Nothing like a party plus a great snorkel on the reefs just off their beach.


 Monday we will probably be heading for Hope Town so Sissy can see it along with the lighthouse before she flys out on Wednesday. That puts us into Marsh Harbour on Tuesday just in time for the airplane day. Sissy fly's out and 4 other people fly in to be on Pisces.

I know that Deb and I will take a trip down to Little Harbour during the time Bill is out spear fishing with his friends but we will probably be back to do some fishing with them before some of them fly out of here.

Then it will be time to plan our trip back home. Well, that's the plan so far so let me get back to the story of where we are.

 As we were approaching Green Turtle Cay it was like coming back to see an old friend. To the left you can see, on top, the Bluff House and below some of their condos. Lots of construction is occurring on all of the islands. Not for the reason you would hope for which would be a booming economy. Instead, it was repairs from a hurricane that came through about 10 months ago. We see new roofs everywhere we've been so far along with roofs that need to be replaced. In addition, we see carpenters fixing decks and other items that simply got blown away.

Next up is New Plymouth which is the town on Green Turtle Cay. You can see it below in just about the place we anchored. However, first we were hoping to head into Black Sound and anchor back there. You can see us heading into the channel to the lower right. We went in at low water and we saw as little as 4 foot 6 inches of water depth. Ok for a Gemini but not so good for some of the other boats that were anchored out and couldn't get in. However, we found that the entire area is essentially taken up with mooring balls. So we headed back out and anchored off the town. Ended up being an ok place to anchor and we didn't have any fronts coming so we had a short dinghy ride to town


 This is their public dock and dinghy's tie up anywhere around it. They also have a dumpster on the dock so this is what I consider a very cruiser friendly town.

To the lower left you can see our two boats anchored out looking fine on the water. Then below right you can see we are in our favorite liquor store/restaurant on the island. This one has the decor of a liquor store but one of the best conch burgers around and definitely at the best price in all of the islands.

We toasted to Bill and Sissy's first landfall which had an official town located on the island.


We walked from lunch off to the hardware store where I arranged to get a battery delivered from Robertson Marine to Robertson Hardware. Pickup time is at 8:10 am.

I have to go since that is only 25 min away. I'll finish this story when I'm back.

I'm back - battery is installed. Back to the story.

So we visited this sculpture park again and took a few pictures. Next we saw these beautiful flowers and it reminded us again of the last time we were here. The Bahamas are really beautiful this time of year. On top of that, we are already talking about returning again next year. I can see this becoming a yearly event with a large group of boats crossing each year. I guess we will just have to see.

 Now for my yearly rant about the over cautious US. The plumbing stucco 'd in to the outside wall really isn't surprising. In Florida the plumbing is also run exposed since it won't freeze. However, as you look below, you might notice the wiring is a bit more exposed than you would ever see in the US.

The picture to the lower left is the service entry. In the states we would find this completely enclosed from the roof down.

In the picture to the lower right, is a picture of a water pump with exposed wiring. I'll just have to bet that the kids know to stay away from the wiring. I'll bet it only takes one shock to get their attention. If they keep doing well, you can't fix stupid. On the other hand, it is really easy to put a cover on exposed electrical connections!

Now please don't flood me with emails about how insensitive I am to the National Electrical Code or OSHA. However, I do think the rule of common sense should prevail. Yes, perhaps they should have a bit more safety over here but honestly, you never hear of anyone getting hurt! In the US, people would sue over anything and it is just my humble opinion that we may have gone to far.

Enough about that for this trip - maybe a few more pictures but no more rant.

 The battery - Yep it is in and I charged it for about 2 hours after I installed it. So far, so good. It looks like, other than it being 50% higher in price than the US, I have a working system and it should be good for the rest of the trip. I'll put in a new AGM house bank once I find out what's going to happen to a class I may have in August. If I have a class, then I'll haul the boat until the end of October and won't put in new batteries until we splash the boat again. If I don't have a class, then I'll probably play it by ear until I know when we get to take off for another month of sailing on the west coast of FL or the Keys. 

Now for the really band news. My camera broke this morning and who knows if it will come back again. I'll try again each day but my guess is it is toast. It has been acting really strange the last few days and probably has given me all the service I can get from it.

I'll be "stealing" some pictures from Sissy for the website and I'll check on a cheap phone once I get to Marsh Harbour however, I'm not holding my breath.

Now the good news. The Gemini Mile Marker is just north of us and will be meeting us for lunch at about 12:30 here at Green Turtle Cay in New Plymouth. This years event is up to 3 Gemini's. Too bad the others had to cancel but we are having a great time anyway. Once again, there's always next year for all of you other Gemini owners. One year should be enough time for planning.

 May 20 - Ok, it's official. We are having so much fun this year that we've declared that next year we will have the "Official" Abacos Rendezvous for Gemini's. Probably the Rendezvous will occur around later mid May so around May 20-25 to give a guideline. We'll figure much more out later but start your planning for the 2013 Abacos Rendezvous. I'm sure we will come up with much more than visiting each others boats and dinners for the trip. I see a much bigger deal that will include some marina packages plus some limited seminars in various places. More importantly, it will be a great time and that is why you want to attend. Get those boats ready.

Now back to our story.

We don't get too many pictures of our own boat underway. This one came from the camera that we've borrowed from Pisces. We are motor sailing in very little wind but enjoying it. We haven't had much sailing yet because we are heading right into the trades. That will all change after tomorrow. But again, I'm getting ahead of myself.


 I blew out my flip flop. Didn't step on a pop top. Didn't cut my heal so I didn't have to sail home.

My 2 buck flip-flops had a blow out walking in the water. Guess I need real water shoes for next time over.

Why was I out walking in the water in my shoes? We were on a mission. Bill figured out he must have a hole in his dinghy that is allowing water into the space in between the hull and floor of the boat. We dreamed up an idea to use the air pump and pump up the chamber with air and see where it was escaping. Success. We found a place.

To the lower left you can see where we epoxied a place at the aft end of the dinghy hull for a precautionary measure. Then you can see the place we epoxied that was leaking.


 The picture to the right is what it looks like as you watch epoxy dry. Good thing it was fast set epoxy!

When we got back to the boats I called "Mile Marker" which was the other Gemini we left back in the states because the wife had a kidney stone. Guess what? They answered! Great news, the group has grown to 3.

To the lower right you can see our small but mighty crew.

L to R - Kim, Mike, Bill, Deb, and me, Jim. In the background is at least one of our boats but you can see our boats on the lower left.


Walking through town again presented us with the Jail. Wouldn't want to be locked up in here!

Then we moved over to the Bluff House were they have their Dining for Dockage program. You come in for dockage and what you eat for dinner is a credit as long as you don't eat more than your dockage. Essentially, you pay for a nice dinner and some drinks and you get to dock for free. Cool deal!

L-R again on the picture below.

Bill, Sissy, Deb, Jim, Kim, and Mike

All happy cruisers.

Next morning we took a little walk to the top of the bluff and found a bit of hurricane damage from a year ago. Felix I think it was.

We also caught a couple of pictures from the bluff that were very, very nice. The one to the lower left is looking north to where we came from and to the lower right is of New Plymouth.

We also saw this operation going on. They get their fuel from a fuel boat and what you are seeing to the left is a boat bringing back the fuel line from shore. Then to the lower left you can see them making their way back to the boat. Finally, you can see them at the boat bringing the nozzle end of the line back to the fuel ship.

This is one of the reasons that fuel, like everything else, costs more in the Bahamas. EVERYTHING comes by boat.

Here is the crew at the pool enjoying their time. What a cruise!

Out in the harbor you can see the three Gemini's tied up. The other deal here is that the first 100 gallons of water is free. Overall, it's a great deal as long as you want to eat out with friends, fill up with water, and of course have a great time. Couldn't ask for more!

To the lower right is a picture of the Bluff House.

This shot is a picture taken the next morning just after sunrise.
I just couldn't help but take this picture. This is the sign post that shows you which way to turn in order to go to town. It's a gravel/rocky road so the sign is appropriate. Rustic.
Then I was testing out our camera which may be coming back to life again. Thought I would throw in a few pictures of the salon and the way Deb always keeps the boat. She's pretty meticulous!

"Squalls - they come on you fast and they leave you fast" - Captain Ron

We are getting rain almost every day but only one day was it for very long. The weather here is beautiful Highs are in the low 80's and the lows are in the upper 60's to low 70's. This is absolutely the perfect time to come over to the Abacos. The anchorages are very open and almost everyone is heading north.

We decided leaving Green Turtle Cay that we would go out and around the Whale. The Whale is a passage that takes you out into the Atlantic and in certain conditions, when the wind and tides are opposed, then you can get what they call a Rage. In this condition, the waves are huge, short spaced, and you can loose your boat - even a big boat - in a heart beat.

Today, it was beautiful.

After we got through, we picked an island and headed into charted depths of 3-4 feet. Ended up the water depth was actually 8 or so feet almost all the way to the bank. Why? Who knows. Bad charting or a hurricane or two have changed the depths. This is why we own a boat that allows us to do a bit of exploring and testing the depths.

We ended up on the island you see to the lower right. Beautiful water, good swim, but no "shootable" fish.

The picture to the left is for some of my past Towing Students. This is a perfect example of a "Long Tow." The little tiny boat in front has a very long Hawser with a large Catenary pulling that big box through the water. Of course you don't want to go between the little tiny boat and the big box.

Lower left you can see the Mile Marker who is the Gemini that joined us for this trip. They are based in the Keys. Then lower right you can see the head of a sea turtle that just popped up for the camera.

While we were at Treasure Cay we saw this "little cat." This thing was HUGE. beam was probably 28-30 feet and the length was probably 50 feet. The Captain was conducting a 2 week college course on sailing which earned each of the participants 3 hours of credit. What a way to earn college credit. Wish I had thought of that!

So this morning was the de-boarding time and they were all flying back to the points from which they came. And so it is. You go to sea and then you leave it. Then again, you can be like us and go to sea for 5 years, love it and never be happy until you return.

Below left you can see the line of people that were boarding for the first trip to the marina so they could catch the plane boss, the plane.

Then there is the dreaded junk in the fuel. Our boat is 16 years old and our fuel has been cared for. However, you just can't take care of everything perfectly. We've been having this nagging problem with the port tank such that the RPM's would vary about 200 rpm's every now and then. Next, I met Mike who had major issues with his fuel. He had to remove his tanks and clean them out. My brain started going and for the 5th time today ran my 2 micron fuel polisher. This time, however, I pumped the last bit of fuel into a jug and tried to get stuff off the bottom. I finally ended up with a bit of sludge that was in my filter system. It was a gelatin mass so that means that mass was blocking my fuel flow in that tank. When we get to Marsh Harbour I'm going to pull the tank and clean it up. This is probably something I need to do to the other tank when we get back.

I love cruising. Fixing your boat in a tropical location. Afterall, stuff happens out here and if you are stuck at a dock you never get to experience all this fun!

Speaking of fun, we headed into Nippers today since it was Sunday. They have a great party and pig roast every Sunday. Deb and I never eat as much anymore so we split a plate which meant that there would be no seconds. Great food but I have to tell you that if you really want Bahamian Mac and Cheese then go to my recipe page. The rest of the food was great.

To the lower left, you can see Mike and Kim having a great time of it too. Unfortunately, the picture of Bill and Sissy didn't turn out so I picked up this picture
Bill and Sissy took under water of a Ray.

Pretty cool don't you think?

Nippers had a couple of pools. You can either go out and swim on the reef or hang out at their pools as we did.

The beach was also pretty cool!

Ok, I had another pool picture. Everyone was dancing to the music.


On the way back I picked up another picture of the Poisonwood tree which is as if not more dangerous than poison oak or poison ivy. Bottom line, don't touch the tree!

As we came back out I picked up a couple of pictures of the three Gemini's at anchor. Next year there should be 15 of us out there! Pretty cool don't you think?

I also had to run over just to get another good picture of our 16 year old Freedom. Great boat and not to bad crew too.

Once back aboard I got this picture of the other two Gemini's.

Then I took the picture of Grabbers along with the anchorage. When we arrived, there were only 12 boats in the anchorage. As the day went on and the party grew, the anchorage filled up.

Tonight we were over at Mike and Kim's boat for happy hour but that is about 15 pictures from now. Since I have posted just about too many pictures for one posting, I say quit while I'm ahead. Save some for later.

I should be able to post this in the morning and then we will move on to Hope town for even more pictures. Following that will be Marsh Harbour.

If you haven't noticed, we are having a great time over here and our boat is doing great even with the little tiny problems we are having. Who cares about the problems, it's the beautiful water and scenery that makes fixing the small issues fun - plus the great people we are with.

 May 22 - So here we are in the Bahamas and the first Tropical Storm of the season is above us. Wait, no WAIT - this isn't even storm season. REALLY it isn't. Storm season doesn't start until next month. Check your calendar! Really, I'm telling the truth so storms - STOP. Ok, that takes care of it and we will be safe from here on out.

Now for the rest of the story.



 Before we left Guana I took the dinghy over to view the harbour. Not much to see really but it was a great way to get a better idea of another anchorage and additional places to "land the dinghy.:

You can see a ferry boat leaving with a full load. They were probably all at Nippers for the party you saw earlier.

Then to the lower right you can see the "dinghy dock" or should I say the Nippers dock. What I didn't show was it had boats everywhere around it.

I also got to talk to the part owner of this Gemini. His name was also Jim and he had been watching for the Gemini group to arrive. His partner is from Canada and Bill kept saying this was Slapdash. It wasn't but that would be cool if we do run into them.

Jim was heading on north to continue his trip up the Abacos.

Below left you can get an idea of what happens if either you hit something or my guess is hurricane damage. Regardless it i still afloat.

Then to the lower right you can see a bit more of the harbour.

Bill and Sissy were out snorkeling and Sissy picked up a couple of Conch shells for our neighbors. This one had a creature living in it. A hermit crab to be specific. They take over a shell for protection. To get him out, I just placed the shell on the back step so he could climb out into the water. Ultimately he did and that should be the end of crabby Conch shells.

Mike and Kim were out snorkeling too.

The picture below is what it looks like when you get a bunch of people together who all of a sudden get wi-fi. This is where I updated from yesterday but everyone else was getting all their email plus making calls via the wi-fi.

As we returned, I caught the picture to the lower right of our boats anchored out. It was pretty cool because we were inside the area of the mooring balls since it was too shallow for the monohull's to anchor.

Next, we left Fishers Bay on Guana to head south about 10 miles to Hope Town. Below you can see Pisces and Mile Marker motor sailing along.

While underway I figured why not try another movie. So here you go, it is a bit wobbly but what movie wouldn't be with a camera on it's last leg and on the front of a pitching boat. Regardless, it will give you a better idea of the area.

This link takes you to a YouTube site for the download.

Sailing in the Abacos 2012 1st video

I've also dreamed up a new way to carry the dinghy motor. Since this is a two stroke I can lay it in any position once I run the gas out. I've found the engine rides very nicely tied down here. Makes it easier on me so I don't have to put it in the port aft locker.

Hope Town is a great little community but for me it is all about the lighthouse. And you are going to find out, this time the lighthouse was truly the entire story.

As we started in the channel we ran across the boat you see to the left. Nice little power cat!

We picked up a mooring ball for the evening. I hadn't done that before in Hope Town so why not. You can see pictures of Freedom and Mile Marker below.

Then off to the right is a picture of Pisces with Sissy sitting on the back.

Bill wanted to climb the lighthouse right away and we were thinking more about getting something to eat. So, we took off with Mike and Kim while Bill and Sissy hung out at the boat for awhile. Then as we were eating I thought I saw them at the lighthouse. I called on my handheld and sure enough it was Bill and Sissy up there. We told them to wave and I was able to get their picture. How about that for a good lens on a failing camera.

After lunch we walked around a bit then headed over to climb the lighthouse ourselves. Well it was actually Mike, Kim and I. Deb had been there done that so I dropped her at the boat.

To the left you can see the Fersnel (sp?) lens. Bill said these cost about 25 grand back in the 1800's so that means tons of money. The round parts in the lens are what focus the light into a spotlight. In this lens there are 5 different round portions so you would see 5 flashes of light followed by a very low level of light. Essentially, the low level would not be seen at any distance offshore.

The gears and pulley drum you see to the left is what makes the lighthouse turn. There is a weight in the center that gets wound up then released. The lighthouse keeper has to wind this up every 2 hours.

Below you can see our boats on the mooring balls.

Another picture of the harbour but not quite wide enough. So I took a couple and stitched them together so you could get a better view.

Here is Mike actually making his way back down. You have to back down this first (last) set of steps.

The pictures below show the fuel system for the lighthouse. It is powered with kerosene and is under pressure.

So, here are the instructions for working the "Duplex" Air and Oil Containers. I actually think I should try to operate this thing but there are signs everywhere that say don't touch.

In the States, getting into a lighthouse like this would probably cost 20 bucks each and OSHA would require every gear assembly would have protection covers not to mention the fuel system with a catchment device plus all kinds of fall protection, etc, etc, etc. Not here! Thank goodness and just wait, there is a much bigger surprise coming up. - no, I didn't fall.

So how do you light this thing. Well, it is actually an overgrown Coleman lantern. You can see in the picture to the lower left what burns the pressurized kerosene vapor. Then to the lower right you can see the segments of the lens.

So tell us Jim, how do you light it? First you put in the kerosene, next pressurize the system then up you go with some alcohol so you can light the alcohol to heat up the delivery tube. The heated tube is what turns the kerosene mist into vapor which really makes it burn well. Once the tube is heated, turn on the valve and out comes the vapor and put a match to it. Pretty simple system. Thank goodness this must be some kind of historic monument because in the states they would have installed electric and automated the entire process. That would be a real shame for a lighthouse built in 1864.

 The pictures below are of the stairwell. The one on the left is taken from the top looking down and the one to the right is from the bottom looking up.

We reached the bottom of the lighthouse and picked up another picture of the sign going in. You can read the info as well as I can. I did want to tell you about the visibility of 17 miles. Visibility is a function of two things. First, the intensity of the light and second the height of the light above the ground. Something about the curvature of the earth - actually it is the curvature of the earth. It's call geographic range.

So now for the really, really, really cool part.

The surprise. Mike asked a Bahamian who was walking up to the lighthouse on the sidewalk as we were walking out if he was the lighthouse keeper. HE WAS. So, Mike learned his name and found out that his father and his grandfather had both been lighthouse keepers right here. The guys name was Jeffery and he turned out to be a really great guy as you are going to find out. Fast forward. So here we are finishing up dinner on Mile Marker and Mike said, there goes Jeffery to light the lighthouse. Do you want to go watch him light the lighthouse? We took off, leaving the dirty dishes to the ladies - sorry ladies. I ran for my camera in my dinghy and Mike and Bill headed for the light house in Bill's dinghy.

When we arrived, the lighthouse was locked up. We could see Jeffery up there cleaning the lens so Mike, having a great relationship with him, called out JEFFERY. Guess what? He came down and let us in. Now that is COOL.

So here is the longest video I've done. You get to experience the entire lighting of the Hope Town Lighthouse. It is almost 10 minutes long so it may take some time to download if you are on a slower connection. This takes you to a YouTube location for the download.

Lighting the Hope Town Lighthouse

Below you can see Jeffery though the lens working. In the picture to the lower right you can see he was cleaning the lens. Something he does every night. He has to clean up the residue from the burnt Kerosene.

All I can say is thanks to Jeffery. This was one of the highlights of my cruising experiences. I'm very happy I could capture much of it for all of you too.


 May 27 - It's been awhile since we've had internet so I'm sorry about the longer time on the cruising update. We've had a BUNCH going on since we did update. I'll catch you up some today and the rest tomorrow.

I had been having a small fuel problem on one tank. The starboard tank ran just fine but the port tank would sometimes vary up to 200 rpm's. Since Mike had just cleaned his fuel tanks, I decided what better thing to do on a rainy windy day. First step was to pump the fuel through my 2 micron filter over to a 5 gallon jug. Ended up that was all the fuel I had in the tank so that was good. I got some gooey stuff in the Racor so the tank was definitely coming out.

Below you can see it installed in place. To get the tank out you have to remover the filler cap which you see to the left and is held in by screws along with 5200. Next remove all the hoses and finally the wood block holding the tank in horizontally.


The tank come right out the opening.

Mike and there was only the dregs of fuel left in the tank. Mike suggested I tell the Gemini Owners what the inlets were for so here goes.

In the picture to the lower right lets start from the right hand side and go counterclockwise.

First will be the vent in the upper right. Next, center is the tank fill. Upper left is the pick-up tube along with the associated fitting. Then bottom left is the sender along with an inlet which is the return line from the fuel pump system on the Westerbeke.

We got everything out, took it up to the top of the hill and dumped it into a funnel and into the jug. Next we rinsed the tank about 5 times with a small amount of gas which produced most of the black junk you see in the jug below. Overall, it wasn't hugely dirty but still it was a problem.
Even with that stuff out, I now have another problem which I'll sort out tomorrow. I either have a small air leak or something is still clogging the pickup line/tube. I'll get that sorted out tomorrow. Right now I have to get my website updated. I know I have a bunch of new people wondering what's going on especially since a tornado hit the island a couple of Cays up and destroyed a couple of porches. No problem for us however.

We got all the work done and guests began arriving. Everyone who has followed my website in the past already knows this guy. Larry on Skipper. Larry has been in and out of my logs for years. Larry decided to take us up on our offer and come over for 4 days. At first I was worried because the weather was supposed to be bad through Friday night. However, Thursday the forecast changed and everything looked like it would move out of here by Friday at 11-12 am. Great news for us, Larry, and the other boats along with their guests.

Back to Larry. You can't ask for a better visitor. Since he was the owner of 3 different Gemini's along with part owner of a Telstar then he already knows what to bring. One bag. He also brought along some great gifts too. A cool hand mixer for some sauces which I am going to really enjoy using along with some actual Saffron. A wonderful spice which he knew I would never buy for myself. Thanks for that along with everything else Larry. You are a very giving person and none of it was anticipated. We simply wanted and enjoyed your company! We will see you over here next year.

Sissy was able to fly out and Bill's partner along with his daughter flew in right on time. Then later his other dive friends arrived. All boaters and ready for adventure.

We already had signed up for the rib dinner and you can see them in action serving away. They do ribs the way my friend up in the Chesapeake Bernie does them. They bake them for almost half a day. Then they bring them out and finish them on the grill. They are delicious and melt in your mouth.

You can see below the layout of the Jib Room and it was full tonight. Since it was raining, you couldn't adopt a table but had to move on. Regardless, everyone got fed and again, the meal was great.

I happened to catch Larry in line for his portion of Ribs, Potato Salad, Coleslaw, Baked Beans, and a Roll.

Food, again, was good but more importantly the company was excellent.

We talked into the evening and everyone was excited we would be leaving the next day.

Below left I caught a picture of the owners wife along with her son. They work their tails off from morning into the night every day. Such is the life of a small business owner. What was important to me was the service was great and their attitudes were great too.

Once the meals were all served, the entertainment began. This is Rake and Scrape time and tonight it was time for Rake and Scrape.

I had already gone back to the boat to check some things but when I heard the music I returned only to find Deb at work on the saw with the screwdriver as her pick. She was getting into it and you will get to view a video very shortly.

Ends up I got into it too once she relinquished the saw.

By the way, tried to get her a saw but the one I found was a bit out of tune.

Sorry about the dark pictures but they are what the are. We had a great time.

Back to the trained professionals. This isn't something you really want to do at home especially if you've been drinking. Can you imagine the cut you could get if you miss with those sharp saw teeth.

Here's the video link for Deb and Jim on the saw for Rake and Scrape.

We spent Thursday running around Marsh Harbour. Took a taxi to town and ran around to lunch, Don Wood's art studio, Deb and Kim got Deb's nails done and Kim's hair completed. Then we were off to the grocery store returning when the supplemental beauty work was just finishing up. Then, before we got away from Marsh Harbour at the end of the raining and wind event, we had a great dinner for 10 on our boat. Yep, I said 10. It was a great time had by all. Deb and I cooked up a bunch of Turkey spaghetti and everyone else brought some other dishes. All I can say is the dinner was great and the company was even better.

Friday morning, I finally talked Larry into getting into the helm seat. I have to admit, it didn't take too much talking. After all, Larry has on his Old Guys Rule shirt and on Gemini's Larry is the OG having owned all the Gemini's. He took us out of Marsh Harbour as you see below which meant that I could have a blast putting up the Asymmetrical.

There will be more pictures to follow with our boat's sails since Mile Marker came around the front of us and caught some good pictures before the wind finally died out completely.

Our Bahamian flag was flying and we were on track and course for Pete's Pub. An Abaco southern mainstay since Pete's father came to the island about 50 years ago.

Below you can see some pictures of Pete's Pub. More importantly, you will get to see some pictures of the Foundry tomorrow. Mike is writing up the description of the process based on the tour we took with Bret Ingold. Great guy but once again, I'm ahead of myself.

Kim found a nice little pup to pet taking the place for the moment of her dogs she left back in the states.

Next, we met Pete. It just happened he was hanging out this afternoon when we arrived. Since we found out this was Pete and we saw a sign about private tours, we got hooked up for a tour the next morning at 9:30. great news.


Here are the Gemini's after picking up a mooring ball at Little Harbour.

You can see Freedom below and it is wonderful to be back on the the boat again. We are still very excited about the rest of our trip. It's now all about wi-fi connections - we will continue to have some great material.

Just wait until we get all the write-up from Mike and you will learn the art of the lost wax process. There is even a video of Bret revealing a Hog Fish from a pouring several days ago.

All pretty cool.

So here is the "world famous" Pete's pub. You can see the dinghy for Mile Marker and also Freedom's dinghy at the steps. Time to break some more news to you. Our dinghy is leaking again so we are about finished using the Port-a-boat. I think we simply over use the little boat. I've got a great line on another dinghy and since I do happen to be getting older I'm giving serious thought to davits as well. That's all in the future so we will just have to see as the time moves on.

Speaking of breaking, breakers. Check out some of the pictures below.

Again, we have some great Gemini pictures.

Couple this with a beautiful sunset and a little curly tail lizard and you just made another great day.

More in the next few days.

 May 28 - I was going to get a bigger update today but the issue to document the Johnston Studios Foundry is a bigger project than I originally anticipated. I really want this one to be special because it truly is. So, I'll work on that over the next few days. You will just have to anxiously wait the result.

Mike just dropped off a "thumb drive" with the narrative along with a ton of pictures I will need to sort through. I figure a couple of days of work, plus having fun too, then we'll upload the project next time we get wi-fi. Just to let you know this was a cool tour, here are a couple of pictures where Bret let me do a little hammering to reveal the brass sculpture.

While I'm into the details, don't be surprised if it is 3-4 days before the next update. We don't know when we will get wi-fi. Also, we are going to start a slow turn back north. Probably be over here for close to a week then start looking for an opportunity to cross the Gulf Stream again.

You can see a couple of happy pictures to the right and below. I really had fun chipping. In the end, we revealed most of a brass sculpture.


 Mike and Kim caught these pictures of Larry and I sailing down to Little Harbour. It's interesting, you really never get a picture of your own boat.

Don't forget too, sometimes a rainbow colored spinnaker is only a rainbow colored spinnaker to borrow a phrase from Sigmoid Freud.

Deb and I really love the colors in this sail and it was a true joy to be able to fly it with Larry on board. He had a spinnaker on one of his previous Gemini's.


 The wind died or at least was going too slow to sail so we put the chute down on the spinnaker and put our toys away.

We arrived at Pete's Pub and of course went it to pay the mooring bill along with enjoy a drink. Thanks again Larry.

You will ultimately see that tour we took and it was the next morning. Following the tour we took off for an anchorage just outside of the entry to the Abaco Inn. There we all rafted up simply because we could and it was really more of a photo opportunity. Just think, next year we will have a bunch of these over here for the 2013 Gemini Abacos Rendezvous.

 They do look kind of cute together. The nice thing is these are all the 105 M's. Freedom is the oldest and then Mike and Kim's in the newest but I think it is a 2000 model.
 And another picture.  

Stuff happen out here! If you boat very long you know you will have to fix things. Where better to do some fixin than in exotic locations!

Here, Mike and I are replacing his pre-heat solenoid. It was intermittent and that was from a bad rivet which was causing a bad ground.

It took about 45 minutes and then we took off with Larry to get him back to Marsh Harbour for his flight and they went to breakfast at the Abaco Inn. That Sunday brunch is supposed to be a very good brunch.

This morning, I got on a bunch of projects. First the fuel issue. After thinking about it, I knew it had to be a blockage in the fuel line. I hooked up my pump system, which I'll show you in a minute, and proved there was a blockage. Next I pulled out the pick-up tube, seen to the lower left and I could see the blockage with my flashlight. Next I reversed the flow and pumped diesel into the pickup tube and out popped the "diesel bugger" as my friend Lobster Lee calls them in Key west.


 Here is a better picture of the blockage. It was fairly solid and was blocking the flow at the turn of the pickup tube. Cool, that problem is solved. Now I just have to put everything back together.

The engine runs perfectly off of that tank again so all is solved. Next, I did an oil and filter change, fixed the light in the head which burned out last night, changed out the macerator pump which I brought with me, and finally - took out the trash. Maintenance morning is complete.


 This picture shows you my pump/polishing system. I use a fuel pump just like the one on the westerbeke which pulls fuel through the filter. This one is a 2 micron filter and I use it to polish my fuel. It also serves as a backup fuel pump even though I have a new one on board. I can put the hose down the tank and hook everything up in about 5 minutes verses the time to change the pump. I thought it was a good idea all around if something failed while we were out in the gulf stream.

What I did with it was to put the fuel pickup into the bottom of the tank and then run the outlet into the fuel line so it would "blow out" the "diesel bugger" in the pick-up tube. It worked so I've now found another use for my little system.

We'll that's about it for this update from Marsh Harbour. We are off to Man-of-War after we go to lunch and update the website. Tomorrow morning will hopefully be a tour of the Aubrey's boat building facility. Then who knows. I guess we will decide based on the wind direction. Most likely it will be Guana.

I hope those reading the site are enjoying it and more importantly, I hope you get a real idea of what it is like cruising. Deb told me this morning we now have 1,556 days we've spent cruising on the boat since we left in 2006 which doesn't count the short trips we've taken, time at a dock in Kentucky, or time before we left. We are probably having more fun now than we every have. I just doesn't get any better than this!

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