Saturday, January 31, 2009
Everyone seems to have stayed put here but the swinging is close… It blew 20 Plus most of the day. My wind generator was enjoying and outputting 20 – 25 amps until it overheated and went into free run mode – quite scary and a bit dangerous to get back under control. After it cooled down I would run it on for 20 minutes then off for 30 till the winds dropped to 20 kts or a bit less.
It is still very breezy here this afternoon and little boat traffic. The Water taxis are having a real problem at the docks but fortunately there have only been a couple today.
This is the downside to the Bahamas in the Winter. We are still in shirt sleeves thanks to our full enclosure and the high today was only 63 degrees -- 59 was the low this morning. Should be backup to 69 for a high tomorrow.
Tomorrow will be a nice day but another cold front – possible stronger comes in Monday with another on Wednesday. Now Chris said yesterday after that pone we should have nice conditions through the middle of February.
Today was spent for the most part enjoying the full enclosure and reading. I finished the last of my Clive Cussler books – Trojan Odyssey and started on some real stuff. I very informative book called “The Great Influenza” -- Pandemic of 1918 by John M Barry. I’m about 100 pages into it and it is great. The first 100 pages describes the state of Medicine in the USA in the 1800s and how we were the worst in medicine of all the developed countrys back then. Then John Hopkins came along and changed all that. It was their program that trained the medical minds that allowed us to combat the influenza outbreak back then. Very interesting.
He spends a lot of time talking about the politics, and economy, and the drivers of medicine back then. Certainly a period in US medical history that should best be forgotten. The medical schools prior to the 1890s were turning out doctors that have never been in a hospitable, seen a cadaver, or even a patient. There first patient was their first real experience!!
WOW we have come a long way since then.
Not much else to report.
Friday, January 30, 2009
The forecast was for a stormy windy day but so far – 4:30pm it has been delightful.
We didn’t do much today. Just puttered around the boat, installed some chaffing on the mooring lines and removed the flags – no sense in letting them beat themselves to death.
We went to the library this morning which is only open from 10am – noon but closed today because of a yard bake sale being held on the grounds there. Karen bought about 8 books for $2. Headed to the grocery store for a couple of things but they were out of eggs – arrrgh. I like me eggs. More expected by 3pm today but they were not there when I checked at 3:30pm. Maybe tomorrow.
On Fridays a sport fishing boat comes into the public Dock and sells fresh fish and conch salad. I wanted to buy some yellow snapper but the smallest quantity they had (they sell by the Ziploc bagful) was 2.5 lbs for $25. I didn’t want that much fish and again the conch salad was heavy on salad and light on conch (for $10) so I passed.
Other than that we just relaxed and read today. No big adventure but you need to take a day off now and then.
Ohh today’s pictures show the delivery of good to the Island and the water taxi which comes every couple of hours ferrying people in and off the Island. Enjoy. Not how they unload the delivery boat – a chain gang tossing packages between each other.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
We pulled anchor this morning around 8:30am and went into the fuel dock at Marsh Harbour Marina and took on 27 gallons of diesel and 160 gallons of water and a couple of gallons of gas for the dinghy. Not bad for a couple of weeks on the hook. Most of the diesel has been burned by the generator.
The wind was setting us on the dock so a get away was a little difficult. I set up an forward leading spring line to an aft cleat and backed down on it to move the bow away from the dock and hopefully into the wind. It worked pretty good but when I pulled away from the dock the Lifesling and dinghy rubbed a piling. Not the best exit but nothing damaged. I do hate going into the dock after a few weeks on a hook and or mooring.
The ride over to Hopetown was “boisterous”. The wind was on the beam at 15 to 18 kts – again more than forecast. We made the entrance just 30 minutes after high tide and had plenty of water. We came into the anchorage and only a few moorings were available. We tried one Lucky Strike green mooring but it was reserved when we got closer. I saw another but another sailboat was closer and took it. It was back out and an Alley OOP mooring. The wind was against us and we had trouble picking it up. Took nearly three attempts and then the guy that beat us to the green mooring came over and offered to take a line to the mooring ball when we missed it the third time – I was grateful. It is tight in here and difficult to maneuver at slow speeds close to boats.
The rest of the days has just been spent relaxing and riding around the dinghy to see who is here. Many boats we recognize from the radio but none we really know.
Ohh well we can make the best of it here and will probably be here for 5 days or more given the current forecast. I knew there would be hell to pay for the fine week of fine weather we have been enjoying.
Ohh the weather – low of 66 last night and high of 82 today. But don’t worry we will suffer this weekend when this strong cold front coming through tomorrow will hold our high temp to 63 on Saturday. A good day to bake bread..
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Just a nice relaxing – almost day in Marsh Harbour. I say almost because on a boat there are always things to attend to or it becomes a derelict in very short order.
For instance the freezer box has become one giant ice cube imbedded with meat, fish and cans of orange juice with a bag of drink ice on top. Very difficult to get anything out. So I defrosted it today. Now that takes awhile because you cannot force the removal of things without damaging either the food or the freezer.
The ice around the bottom of the freezer kept me from accessing some beer I had stored below while in Florida. It was time to recycle the beer. So I pulled up the floor and found a real cache of Corona, Becks, and Fosters. Little available here. I replaced with Kalik and Corona.
Once all that was done I searched for the Yamaha dealer to get a new fuel filter canister. Mine had developed a leak – probably occurred during the rough handling while the carburetor was rebuilt a couple of weeks ago. There is a large distributor just to east of the port (next to the police station) and accessible from the water. Just tie up next to the police boat.
After that we went to town and bought some more provisions. We expect to leave here soon and the prices albeit high are the lowest in the area. Ohhh I got a free 2009 Calendar with my case of Kalik beer -- Karen won’t let me hang it in the boat though… Just a bunch of young girls in Bikinis and Junkanoo style makeup… Hmmm Maybe I’ll post one of the months.. Enjoy.
Bad weather coming this weekend so we need top fuel up and water up and find a nice hide-hole. Hopefully Hopetown (pun intended) or if it is full we will head to Treasure Cay. Now Marsh is okay in a blow but I would like something with fewer anchored boats around. Currently only 35 boats here which is not much. Years ago I remember a day when there were 92 boats here!!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Other than that I would recommend anchoring off Man-O-War Cay for a visit. The anchorage is very good (hmmm then again maybe that cable had something to do with it), and the access to town is easy. Man-O-War is a very neat and quaint village – I highly recommend a visit.
Now on the down side today the wind was blustering up to 20 kts this morning – was not forecast yesterday. Easily blowing 16 or better. Thus dinghy riding was a bit bumpy. We decided since the forecast had changed from Light And Variable to 15 – 20 and clocking from E to SE to S this would not be a good place for another night so we packed it all in and headed for Marsh Harbour. I would have gone to Treasure Cay or Hope Town but the high tide was early this morning. Any way we can do some light provisioning, spend a couple of days on the hook there and then leave Thursday for Hopetown or Treasure to weather the next forecast strong cold front coming in Friday and Saturday. Hey why don’t you northerns keep them there??? Well you do keep the cold but all that wind – jeeesh.
We got to do a little motor sailing to Marsh and arrived about noon. Gosh only about 30 boats here so it was an easy anchor. Boy this place has the reputation for a “Velcro bottom” and it is deserved. Stuck great – first time.
Spent the afternoon doing a little grocery and beverage shopping then relaxed.
I found a couple of boats from the Christmas crossing here which was unexpected. Froya is here working on a prop shaft issue – he had to abort early his crossing to Eluthera a few days ago. Flash 2 is here but I haven’t talked to them yet. I thought they left with the Civil Twilight contingent to Eluthera last Friday. I’ll have to have a chat.
Even though it was really windy on the Sea of Abacos it is pretty comfortable here in Marsh today. It is a nice harbour however the city has become a bit depressing. Not much going on, lots of “hanger’s on” at the dinghy dock looking for tips. I can’t put my finger on it but just a bit depressing – I guess the soft economy is making itself present here too.
Ohh well – make a beer run and a Buck-a-book run tomorrow and we will be out of here too – for a little while.
Monday, January 26, 2009
I'm back in the weather reporting business. Today I reported in and contributed to the Basra Weather net at 7am on 4003 USB on the SSB radio. If you want to hear my voice - tune me in. This is a volunteer group that reports current weather conditions from anchorages all across the Bahamas. You might find it interesting. My call sign is the boat name - Temptation. We report every day.
In and Out, up and down, In and out, up and down that was the theme today - no I'm not talking about the tail I had last night although it was delicious. Those lobsters were very fresh.
The day started easy enough just listening to the various radio nets and contributing to the Basra Weather Net. There was a report on the WRCC of a 53 foot Pearson aground on the Southern Shoal at Great Sale Cay looking for some horsepower to get him off - sorry no takers heard. I suggested Foxtown Shell on channel 16 and if they had a phone to call Spanish Town Marina - lots of Sport fishing boats there and the closest Marina.
No after the nets we decided - considering the forecast of light and variable winds today - to go up to near Baker's Bay and beach comb on Spoil Cay. Well when got there it was blowing 11 to 15 and a 2 foot wind chop. Anchoring there would have put the cay on my lee so we decided to go into Baker's bay instead. Only one boat already there. Dropped the hook easily and went into the beach. Now this is a HIGH DOLLAR development and you can walk the beach but only to the high water mark - Bahamian
Law - if you step across it a 4 wheeler will come up to you and ask that you observe the high water mark. Polite but insistent. These water front properties they are selling start at 1 million dollars and none have been developed since I first went there in 2006.
Any way the beach is soft and nice but devoid of shells and sea glass. Back on the boat it was still till rough to comfortably go to Spoil Cay so we packed up the dinghy and motor and headed to Man-O-War Cay and anchored near Dickey's Cay. Hey if you see greenish yellow water believe it is shallow!! The chart did not show shallow water here but when I entered the green yellow and it dropped to 6 feet - it was a quick 180 degree turn.. I did not bump though.
We anchored further out and launched the dinghy again. Damn - that new fuel fitting I put on the fuel line is leaking - I'm going to have to replace it again and I brought only one new one. They are $3.99 in the US and ohhh $14.50 here!! Ohh well it needs to be done.
We went to the ocean side beach here at Man-O-War and again a beautiful beach but devoid of shells and sea glass. I suspect the major reef off of here is filtering all that stuff out.
By 3:30pm today I was bushed so we will spend the night here on the hook and do the town tomorrow - another 1.5 mile dinghy ride but fairly calm all the way. No surge here surprisingly and well protected form the N-E-S wind.
I was disappointed in Man-O-War in 2006 but we will see how it stacks up tomorrow.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
After a short break we went into to Nipper’s to GO TO THE BEACH. WE had some free water but no drinks today. The beach is beautiful here but just no stuff on it like Karen likes to find. Back to Nipper’s for more water and a little people watching – not much of a crowd here today.
We stopped at the “Buck-a-Book Annex on the way back and picked up a couple of books. We stopped at Milo’s stand and bought some fresh tomatoes, lemons, and and and LOBSTER TAIL. Only $15 a pound but very fresh – just caught this morning!! So he says but I believe him. We are going to eat fine tonight.
Back on the boat to watch a lovely sunset and then get some tail – lobster tail. Ohh we have gotten into the practice of blowing the conch horn at sunset. It’s a fine horn given to me by Mark Haskell -- thanks Mark.
Boy these mild warm days are just training along. I hate to think of what we will have to pay for these later but for now it is great life on the hook. However I only have about 2 comfortable days of water left so we will need to go in for fuel and water shortly. I’d like to time it with some bad weather though.