Mar 01 to Mar 08 2012

March 01, 2012

The weekly Mail Boat arrived yesterday bringing a variety of goods to Long Island; mail, food, building supplies, cars, people…etc. For me, this means fresh veg in the grocery stores J

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Mail boat on the right…Long Island Breeze Resort on the left

 

Workers busied themselves unloading and sorting late into the night and are still at it this morning. The town is a buzz with lots of traffic running to and from the dock. It’s pretty exciting!

We were up early to catch Chris Parker’s Weather Forecast. We heard from a fellow cruiser bad weather was coming. He was right - the weather forecast for the next couple of weeks is not looking good. We are expecting gale force winds coming from the North and North East with periodic squalls to begin on Sunday night and are supposed to last until Thursday. This “squally weather” is predicted to last until mid-March. It would appear we have missed our weather window to go to the Jumentos. There is no protection in the Jumentos when the winds kick up so it is best to let this weather front pass and remain in the protected anchorages in Long Island. If the front passes by the end of next week and we get a week of calmer winds we will make the trip to the Jumentos. We are restricted at the moment as our visa expires on March 21, 2012 and there are no immigration offices in the Jumentos. So we either have to go before our visa expires or not at all. It will be too bad but again – we are still in paradise and have lots of the Bahamas left to explore.

I picked up our shiny new bracket from Les this morning after my run and brought it to Steve. It needed one small adjustment in the length and was adjusted quickly. Steve borrowed a hole –saw from Les but it was half an inch too small and no one else had one. So, Steve had the file the rest of the hole to fit the new machine. Have I mentioned yet that Steve is a very patient man!??!…I think Raymarine is getting a nasty-gram from us when this is all done…

We had some lunch then I got the heck out of Steve’s way so he could get to work. I spent the afternoon at the Long Island Resort getting caught up on emails and chatted with my mom via Skype. When I came back to the boat, Steve had the monitor installed in the hole he dug and the bracket installed attached to the wheel mount. All that was left was the wiring…one more day of work for Steve – 4hrs install my ass!! So far though - it looks great!!

March 02, 2012

Steve needed access to the whole boat to finish the install so after my run I went to get water. It is only available at the fuel dock; a short dinghy ride away. We cannot bring the boat to the fuel dock as it was damaged in a hurricane (we think) meaning we have to haul our water in jugs. I offered to do the first load while Steve was working then we could do the rest tomorrow.

I had heard the fuel dock was in rough shape but that as I discovered, is an understatement. The fuel dock is in MAJOR disrepair. Only the cement piers remain with a few pieces of wood joining them. The ladder is attached by a rope and so is the fuel fitting - the whole thing is very precarious. Another couple was filling their jugs as I pulled up. They had a great system; they motored their dinghy under the dock and while he held the boat in place, she stood up and attached her hose to the water source and started filling their tanks. Since I was by myself and too stubborn to just wait for Steve I tied my dinghy to the ladder and climbed up onto the “dock” then shimmied my way (on my knees) along a wood plank to attach my hose to the water fitting. There were two fishermen watching me and simply said “why don’t you just stand up and walk across...” I replied “Cause I just found out I’m a little afraid of heights ha! ha!…” One took pity on me and grabbed my hose to attach it for me. I shimmied my way back to the ladder and down to the dinghy to fill my jugs. Once filled up I still had to retrieve my hose…so, back up the ladder I went, across the plank to detach the fitting then made my way back to the boat – sheesh what a workout!! All proud of myself, I made my way back to the boat J

We loaded the water on board then I went to do some provisioning while Steve finished up. On my way to the store I finally stopped to smell the flowers. I’m usually too hell bent on getting a job done to take a look at my surroundings. Today is a new day so I took some time to appreciate the colorful flowers here.

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Pretty pink ones…sorry I don’t know my flowers….

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Pretty orange ones…I think this is a lily?!?

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I have no idea what this one is…Steve noticed it the other day. They have huge seed pods about the size of my fist which bloom into those pretty little purple flowers

I got back to the boat and Steve was finishing up!

May I introduce our new Otto J

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New wheel mount, on the bottom right is the monitor (the piece requiring the hole)

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This is the pin bracket Steve designed attached to wheel mount

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The grey box on the right is the new computer – the brains!

All we have left to do is to calibrate it with a trial run and we will be good to go J

I put away my groceries then we checked our email and settled in for an early supper and soaked in the sunset with a rum punch.

March 03, 2012

The winds are picking up today but calming tomorrow during the day then climbing to gale force by midnight. I did some laundry on board while Steve inspected our main anchor rode. It had a few areas of chafe so Steve replaced the rode with a new one. Since the old rode is still good, he cut off the part that was chaffed then spliced the line for the eye and attached it to our secondary Fortress anchor.

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Steve working on the anchor rode

By mid-afternoon we made our way for beers and internet at the Long Island Breeze Resort.

With all our work out of the way, we are heading to beach tomorrow for a relax day. We will move the boat back to Thompson Bay tomorrow evening to weather the winds.

March 04, 2012 

The calm before the storm…The winds as predicted swung from south to west by noon and died to about 10 knts. The boat is pretty much in order so we were ready for our beach day. But before we headed out it was time for Steve to have a haircut…

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Shaggy Steve Before

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And he let me do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!It took some time and I think Steve was a little nervous about it but I think I did a pretty good job.

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After

What do you think? I think he looks very cute with his shorter style. We are true cruisers now ;)

We brushed the hair off our bodies then made our way to the beach. We stopped off at Jared’s place to see if he wanted to come along and he did! He had a car so he saved us the walk to the beach. The guys went snorkeling while I took a quick dip and worked on my tan. Jared then suggested we head to a different spot – a lagoon J

We picked up his girlfriend Tanya then made our way to a private residence – it’s for sale so if anyone is interested let me know I have the owner’s contact info!!

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The house still needs to be finished but for 500 000 the house, beach and lot next door can all be yours! Time to win a lottery!

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The waterfront is protected by a beautiful reef which is fully exposed at low tide – excellent for snorkeling, hunting for lobster, fish and conch J

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The other side of the beach

The guys went hunting while Tanya and I went swimming then hung out on the beach. We went out for an early supper at the Bungalow Restaurant then headed back to the boat.

 

Steve and I did some last minute checks before the weather hits; Steve lashed the water cans down and made sure everything else was tied down tight. The high winds are supposed to clock to the North and start blowing around midnight. We’ve decided to stay in our anchorage. It’s very safe. Our only concern is our water depth. At low tide we have about a foot under our keel. It should be enough water but we would be more comfortable with a few more feet in case the waves kick up. We have the option to move in the morning if we need to. For the time being we are going to take our chances here. The other anchorage has 30 plus boats all packed in, at least here we have room to swing around and if we drag anchor the worst that can happen is we bump into the sand.

Let it blow, let it blow, let it blow…

March 05, 2012

Dead calm until 0330hrs – then Aeolus cranked it up!!

Steve and were up periodically during the night waiting for the winds. By 0330hrs we both got up and remarked about the dead calm. Just as we said the words, the winds turned on like a light switch delivering a bit a rain at the same time. The rest of the day was spent reading, snacking and listening to the wind.

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Stormy weather – little white caps in the bay

Steve inspected the oven and it would seem there is a little leak of propane that catches fire when I light the oven – not good. So, I can’t use it the oven until it is fixed…perhaps not for the rest of the trip!! The stove works great but no pizza or baked bread…maybe that’s not such a bad thing ;)

March 06, 2012

The winds gusted between 25 to 35 kts all day yesterday and this morning Chris Parker advised they will pick up a little more and last until Thursday. However, this morning things seemed to be a bit calmer so I got off the boat to go for a run…to my dismay I seem to have injured my knee…again…so I will be walking for the foreseeable future until it heals. Regardless, my walk was wonderful even if it was a little wet with a passing squall. It was welcome as I was sweaty - nothing like a fresh water shower in a tropical climate. I made a quick stop at the store for some ice, drinks and fresh bread then headed back to the boat.

Steve and I settled in for a nice big breakfast, books and naps. By early afternoon, we felt the boat bumping up against the bottom!! The winds are now gusting to 40 kts and consistently blowing around 30 kts. Although we have been anchored in this same spot for over a week without a problem, we suspected the strong winds persistently blowing from the east may blow some of the water out of the bay. Well, today was the day. By low tide, Diana was on the ground as the water was a foot shallower than yesterday! We waited about couple of hours until the tide floated us off the before we could move her to a slightly deeper location.

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View from the deeper anchorage – heavy clouds overhead

The wind is howling through the rigging and we are getting a little tired of it. Cabin fever will set in if this continues until Thursday and I fear we will be a little cuckoo by then…one day at a time…

March 07, 2012

It’s official – we are BORED!!!!

This is day three for Steve being stuck on this little boat and day two for me as I got off yesterday for some exercise. Steve was up most of the night worried about our anchor holding – as the holding in our new anchorage is not as great. The anchor held perfectly but the sound of the wind whizzing through the rigging and shoving Diana around it growing tiresome. I know, I know…stop whining…but being confined to a 29 foot space can become claustrophobic over time – we cannot even sit out in the cockpit without being pelted by high winds or passing squalls. This too shall pass as they say. So to keep our minds from cracking we took some time to go over our charts for some options on our next move if this blasted wind ever lets up. Our hopes still set on the Jumentos we started to make a plan. By Saturday, the winds are supposed to decrease to 15-25 knts so we may take a chance to head south. If so, our tentative plan is as follows:

March 10 - Sail 55 miles to Flamingo Cay – spend a day exploring reefs and a really cool cave

March 12 - Sail 33 miles to Bueno Vista Cay – it is said to be a protected bay then spend a day exploring.

March 14 - Sail 15 miles to Hog Cay – spend a day or two exploring. Duncan Town (the only settlement in the Ragged Islands) is a dinghy ride away.

March 16 - Retrace our steps back to Salt Pond stopping along the way at places where we didn’t get a chance to visit on the way down.

We need to be back in Salt Pond no later than March 20th. Our visa expired on March 21rst. We will have a car reserved for the 21rst of March so we can drive to Clarence Town to get them renewed.

After all, these plans are set in J-e-l-l-o ;)

If the winds do not back off to permit us to get to the Jumentos before our visas expire, we will wait it out here and renew on the 21rst, then make our way to Conception, Rum and perhaps the Crooked/Aklin Islands. There is plenty to explore yet in the Bahamas.

The rest of the rest of the day we spent reading, relaxing and checking email. Steve made one last final attempt to revive the stove to no avail. He cannot fix it…again…probably a blessing in disguise.

March 08, 2012

We got off the boat!!! First thing this morning, I went for a nice long walk. Steve stayed back and listened to the Cruiser’s Net. He got in touch with our friends Bruce and Jan from Celtic Rover. They arrived in Long Island on Sunday but we haven’t had a chance to get together as we have all been pretty much confined to our boats these past few days. The winds are still blowing a little less – about 20 to 25 kts.

We met Bruce and Jan for lunch at Long Island Breeze resort to get caught up over cold beers! It was nice to see them again and share stories.

Steve and I made our to-do list to get Diana ready for the Jumentos.