Saturday, March 14, 2009
I took out the instruction manual this morning to see if the furling line was sized correctly. While reading the installation instructions I found out that the furling line is lead off the WRONG side of the drum and this is because they put the UV sacrificial strip on the wrong side of the sail… To correct I need to move the UV protection strip to the Starboard side of the sail and wrap the drum in the correct direction.. Uuuuck.. Not something to do while underway and since 2 previous owners dealt with it I guess it can wait till I get home. There I can move the UV protection myself utilizing my industrial grade sewing machines. At least another mystery solved. In the mean time I will just go forward to furl the sail, which worked very well yesterday in 20+ kt winds.
The water system is continuing to plug along with no problems since completely bleeding it and replacing the pump. No definite cause found but I’ll take it so don’t be surprised if I start gripping about that again.
The wind is still up today although it did die last night for a peaceful night and should be light tomorrow. We hope to make the big move around the Whale Cay and head to Manjack Cay for a couple of days but the cold front forecast for Monday may have us going into Green Turtle Cay early but that is okay.
We avoided the beach because of the large crowd of beachcombers over there – they keep it swept clean of anything interesting. We wanted to go for Sand dollars today at the mouth of Treasure Cay entrance but it is too windy this afternoon.
We did go to the library today for their annual book sale and well – the water line is lower on the boat now. We bought about 15 books for $7 today. That should keep us till we get back to Vero Beach and we will have a ton of books to exchange then. Why so many books?? We don’t watch TV over here.
Born to Cruse came into the anchorage here this afternoon and we have an evening of food and games planned tonight. Should be fun.
If any of you have been monitoring the SSB frequencies in the morning for my BASRA Weather report don’t be alarmed if you don’t hear me. Propagation has been terrible since we went to Daylight Savings time. Should improve greatly in about 3 weeks.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Once on the Sea of Abaco the winds were 10 - 15 but after a couple of miles built to near 20 then 27. WOW that is a lot of wind anywhere. Well we were on a broad reach so it was not bad but I wondered how I was going to pull the Genoa in with that much wind. It has been giving me fits when the wind is near or just above 20.
Well I learned something today. As we approached Treasure I went forward after luffing the sail slightly and I pulled on the retrieval line just a few feet from the drum. Karen tailed me and pulled in the slack I created. It worked like a charm. It was easy to pull in even with all that wind. Thus I thought I had a problem in the Roller furling mechanism but it is actually in the retrieval line. I can troubleshoot that when the conditions moderate to between 10 and 15.
We made Treasure with little difficulty in all that wind and picked a spot and anchored on first attempt. The holding is great here. I am a little close to the power boat channel but they just have to get over that. Most these dern fellows like motoring through all the anchored boats anyway rather than use a channel.
Not too crowded and only 15 boats when we arrived. Now the count is up to 23 but that trawler that dragged last time here is not here now so hopefully it will be a quiet night. It should be the wind is down to 10 kts now at 6pm.
We went to central business area here and I mailed my response to a jury summons of all things. It was just two printed pages in a business size envelope (just a note that I can't make it but to re-schedule me later). I gave it to the postmistress here and said it was a letter to the US. She said .65 cents then hefted it and said " ohhh that's heavy - that will be $1.30!! And she used no scale!! I know better than to question so I just pays it and lets it go.
Nice walk on the beach this afternoon but we found nothing. Looks like lots of folks here for Spring Break and they are combing the beach too. Well tomorrow if the winds lay down which they are forecast too we can dinghy to area/channel near the entrance to Treasure Cay and look for Sand Dollars. It is reported to be many there.
Right now I think we will head north around the Whale Cay either Sunday or Monday. Note there were RAGE conditions reported in the Whale this morning. First time this season I heard that term used. Glad to be tucked in here tonight and tomorrow.
Ohhh the Internet has been down all day. When we attempt to connect here at Treasure we see a message indicating Fiber Optic Cable problems and try again later. Well it's the Bahamas!!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Interestingly we met an older couple at the Laundromat and just struck up a casual conversation on real estate prices in the Bahamas. They own a place near Little Harbour. Surprisingly he said his daughter had just built a reasonably priced place in Ohio. I asked where in Ohio – he said Mansfield. WOW that is my hometown. He said he still has a house there on Cook Rd. His last name was Chambers and used to be a general contractor. Wow what a small world!!
After the laundry we went to Curly Tails and tied the dinghy up and I got a Scuba Tank fill at Dive Abaco for $9 and Karen went down to the Conch Pearl to get one of her finer sea glass pieces mounted to wear on a chain – looks great.
It was late for lunch so we stopped at the Curly Tail Restaurant and had lunch – boy it has been several weeks since we last ate out. It was okay. I just don’t seem to relish the food here. Looking forward to getting back to Florida and eating some Chinese Food – that is very rare here although there is one small restaurant that advertises Italian – Chinese- Bahamian food. I haven’t tried it.
Well the Internet is really a pain here so I’m still not posting pictures. It takes 20 minutes to connect and then 3 tries to upload a picture if you are lucky. Maybe it will be better at another OII location.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
We have been on the hook for more than 2 weeks now and made several trips along the hub of the Abaco. I stopped at the Marsh Harbour Marina when we got here today and took on 31.2 gallons of diesel, 3.6 gallons of gas for the dinghy and about 170 gallons of water – not bad. Diesel prices have fallen to $3.08 a gallon and gas is now 3.90 here.
For some reason we are tired. It took nearly 1.5 hours to fuel, water and dump trash at the Jib Room, then anchored easily just off the Jib Room (Marsh Harbour Marina) and found NO INTERNET!!! Apparently OII is having troubles today. We heard several folks complain on the net this morning about OII over in Hope Town. Maybe tonight it will work!?
Well after a run of nearly 30 miles from Lynyard Cay here and a major provisioning run to the grocery store – mostly fresh stuff we are just sitting here this afternoon. Too lazy to do laundry today as we thought we would. We will do it tomorrow and either leave right after --- or maybe stay awhile yet. We do want to spend a couple of weeks exploring north of the Whale Cay passage before heading back to the US.
That’s about it -- I’m just going back to the cockpit and keeping an eye on a really large Beneteau that came in and ran aground just in front of me and set the anchor vis the dinghy to see what he does once he starts floating again.. Today is the full moon and the low tides are lower and the high tides are than average on this day…
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I then cleaned a little on the boat and readied my gear to scuba dive on the boat and clean the bottom this afternoon. Karen returned late for lunch but afterwards I slipped into the water and scrubbed - and scrubbed. There was a thick coat of a flocculent slime that I'm sure has been slowing us down. It came off with moderate brush force and no barnacles. It took about an hour and I used most of an air tank - pressure was down to 400lbs when I finished.
After a brief rest I joined Wayne and Jill on the reef we discovered yesterday and used the underwater case with our Canon S80 camera and took some pictures. I'm still waiting for the case to be completely dry before opening so I Haven 't seen how they turned out yet. Later dudes!!
Karen went back to the beach this afternoon for another 2+ hours hunting sea glass - the pickings are phenomenal here and we plan to leave early tomorrow morning for Marsh - need water, fuel laundry and a few groceries. Then we will stage to go north of the Whale Cay first opportunity but linger on some Islands up there before heading back to Florida.
Ohhh yeah - had a great wedding anniversary celebration last night. Jill and Wayne from Born to Cruise came over as well as John and Madeline from Chanceux. They just arrived from Eleuthera yesterday. We had champagne and a lemon cake that Karen just whipped up after baking the 2 loaves of bread. Life is good.
Should have an internet connection tomorrow night and I'll post a few pics if I can.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Well Wayne and I had a great time snorkeling and hunting but tonight dinner will be a couple of frozen lobsters bought at Milos on Great Guana Cay a few weeks ago.
Karen has had a great day hunting Sea Glass, baking bread, and a cake to celebrate with tonight - the champagne will flow to the strings of Barry White. But maybe a game of Farkle and Mexican Train Dominoes with Jill and Wayne first.
This is place is great and mainly because the weather is soooo wonderful right now. Light and variable winds, flat seas, water is now 72 degrees, and we are near a full moon and the view is spectacular.
The water system continues to VEX me. This morning the flow for coffee nearly stopped and the pump did not come on. I just went and replaced a fuse and still it did not come on. A check of another faucet showed good pressure. A check of the nozzle on the kitchen faucet showed it clogged with tiny crystals --- Grrrr always something different. Once that was cleaned it is working pretty well but we are down to about 40 gallons so just another day here. Diesel is down 27 gallons too so it will
be time to head back to Marsh on Wednesday.
Damn - so many folks are heading back to the states already. The weather nets are full of folks planning trips back to the US. Today 3 boats left here and headed south to Eleuthera and we have seen at least 6 boats come through the channel here today coming up from Eleuthera!! We expect to stay at least another 2 weeks but might leave on the third week but I won't say anything more about leaving - we will enjoy this NOW.
Sorry no internet so no pictures to post but we are taking pictures here. Tomorrow I'll take a few underwater pictures at the reef.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
This morning was not as nice. The fresh water system failed and would not pump water. I spent the entire morning troubleshooting it and came very close to crying for the first time while troubleshooting the system. It just didn't make sense.
I determined that I had at least 2 problems that were unrelated - the manual foot pump and electric pump. I isolated the manual foot pump and still had trouble. After trying various configurations of hose and vessels I determined the pump would not pump - runs FAST but doesn't pump. I cut out the old pump and installed a spare pump. I tried it with a hose going from a jerry can directly to the pump and it worked. I then moved the hose to the other side of the filter and it did not pump. I connected
it directly again and it did NOT work. Made no sense. I then disconnected the output from the pump and ran a hose to a bucket and it worked!!! Hooked it all up again and it works??? Fixed??? I don't know but it is working now. Unfortunately my water supply is getting low and none available here so I can do limited testing.
Karen went to the beach with Jill and Wayne and had a great sea glass hunting trip while I slaved over the water issue. After lunch and the water working I went to the beach and helped hunt shells. While searching around some rock ledges I spotted the antennae - very large -- of a couple of lobsters. Unfortunately I had no spear and attempts to catch them via the antennae did not work. I'll be back!!
Back on the boat I had to have a little nap. This daylight savings time plus the anxiety of the water system ahs taken a toll on me. The radio propagation was bad this morning and we had real trouble participating in the BASRA weather net and the WRCC net. It will be bad for another 3 - 4 weeks.
Looking forward to a relaxing night here on the hook and early to bed. Not too crowded here - only 9 boats along the cay.