May 08 to May 15 2012

May 08, 2012 

With very light winds about 5 kts out of the WSW. We slowly made our way to Great Sale Cay to anchor for the night. There is active weather all around us and we narrowly escaped another squall. As ugly and scary as those clouds can be, Steve and I were fascinated by them!

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Once at anchor we noticed our dinghy was a losing a little air. We had to drag the dinghy through part of the estuary in Manjack Cay as the tide was low. Steve was concerned about it at the time and turns out he had a right to be. We brought the dinghy on deck to dry and did the dish soap bubble test and sure enough the back part of the pontoons had several little puncture holes. Steve cleaned and prepped the surface for repair tomorrow.

May 09, 2012

We were surrounded by heavy clouds delivering lots of rain today.

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A thick ridge of rain cloud…

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Wall of rain…

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Big drops of rain

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In between rain drops we managed to get the patches on the dinghy. The patches look good but our dinghy bottom is a little worse for wear; two goop jobs and several patches later, we are very grateful our soft-bottomed dinghy has survived the Bahamas.

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Note to anyone thinking about buying a dinghy for an extended cruising trip: spend the money and get a hard-bottom one with a set of chaps – these two features will greatly extend the life of the dinghy – money well spent!

May 10, 2012

Up with Chris Parker’s weather forecast and it’s not looking good till late next week or later for our passage to Charleston S.C. We need a four day window which should be reasonable if it wasn’t for all this active weather rolling around out there. It could dissipate or it could build, we don’t know yet and there was a hint to a tropical depression developing so we have to play things by ear. The good news is the squalls have settled here so we made our way to Grand Cay.

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Entering Grand Cay harbour

Grand Cay has a small harbor with varying depths from four to eight feet at low tide. There was not a lot room to anchor but we found a spot and are well hooked. This should offer us some good protection from the NE winds predicted for the next couple of days. There is one other boat anchored here and a second motor-cat showed up later in the evening.

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View of Rosie’s Marina and Grand Cay waterfront from anchorage

Once we were settled in, we checked for internet and to our delight it is available and FREE J We can gorge ourselves on internet and get all the weather information we can handle for the next few days.

Quiet night on board with supper, books and rum!

May 11, 2012

We went for a walk around Grand Cay today. It is a small island with friendly people but it doesn’t offer much in regards to services. There is one restaurant, a meagerly stocked grocery store, a bakery and a take-away.

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There isn’t a lot trash lying around here but other than the newly built up waterfront, what lies behind it is a sad little town.

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Behind the waterfront houses with a drying out mangrove and many many ruins.

Ruins of old homes beside newly built homes are a common sight in the Bahamas. We always wondered why they were never torn down. We found out that during the “voodoo” days it would upset the ghosts who lived in these homes to destroy them. So, the only option was to build beside it or they would be haunted or cursed forever! Don’t quote me….this is just what we heard. It does explain why they aren’t torn down when they so obviously should be. It’s a shame to think of all that wasted real estate that could be turned into parks or community centers.

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View of the ocean from Grand Cay

We met some nice people; we stopped to chat with one man mowing the lawn of the cemetery (which was impeccable well maintained). He spent his life a diver and fisherman. He is currently recovering from suffering the bends after a deep sea dive. He shared many stories of life on the water. He spends the off season picking up odd jobs like caring for the cemetery. We met some nice young men at Rosie’s who offered us fish if we wanted and showed us the grocery store. The store offered very little but I did manage to get the water for the overboard bag and lots of drinks. We stopped at the bakery for fresh bread and two slices of pound cake (best we ever ate) then headed back to the boat for lunch.

Quiet evening with internet ensued…

May 12, 2012

The extended forecast is not looking good until maybe Tuesday. The Charleston area is expecting squalls with lots of rain and wind on Monday and Tuesday – just when we would be getting into that area. There was still a mention of a tropical storm developing…and we don’t want to do THAT again!! Needless to say, we are very disappointed with the delay. We are ready to start the journey home in our minds and this set back makes getting to New York by the 7th of June very tight. We were so discouraged we talked seriously about going anyway and braving the winds and high seas – very, very silly thinking indeed. The more we looked at the forecasts the more caution won over our desire to adhere to a schedule. Every time we made a hasty decision on this trip, we have been stuck in uncomfortable situations. We need to accept the fact that we are here for at least of few more days and to make the best of it – we are still in the Bahamas after all!! The one thing we know for sure is we do not want to stay in Grand Cay for much longer. There really isn’t anything to do here except hang out on board, read, surf the net and spend money on ebooks (much love Amazon!!). While the weather is still good, we made a plan to either make way to Double Breasted Cay and/or Morain Cay, less than 10 miles from here. Double Breasted offers great beaches and snorkeling where Morain Cay has some nice hiking trails. Depending on what the weather will be tomorrow will determine where we will go. We will make our way back here before the rain starts on Monday to top off our water, take advantage of free internet, weather forecasts AND to hopefully get ready to leave.

We did a few chores on board, read for a while…then took it easy.

May 13, 2012

It’s an extra special day today as we have two celebrations J

The first, HAPPY MOTHER’S Day MOMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We love you and miss you like crazy XXXOOOOOXXXXXOOOOOXXXXOOOOO

Secondly, we have a birthday announcement today – Steve’s lovely sister Andrea J   

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“Happy Birthday Andrea – Abaco, Bahamas”

The weather models appear to be giving us a window to leave tomorrow for Charleston. We will confim in the morning with Chris Parker’s forecast before we make our final decision. We spent the day getting Diana ready for the trip just in case.

May 14, 2012 

Up with the weather and Chris Parker is in agreement with our other forecasts from NOAA and UGRIB. The predictions are as follows:

May 14-15: Winds SW 10-15 kts with scattered showers and chance of thunderstorms.

May 16-17: Winds SW 5-15kts with no precipitation

May 18: NE winds light in the morning; less than 10 kts building in the afternoon.

Other than the rain for the next day or two, it should be a smooth trip - the time is now!

Pre-departure check list:

Overboard bag – check!

Dinghy secured on deck – check!

All things secured in cabin – check!

Water, fuel and ice – check!

Charts – check!

Course planned – check!Anti-nausea patch in place – check!

Sail plan filed with parents – check!

We are off – we should be in Charleston by the end of the week.

Our experience in the Bahamas has surpassed our expectations; the water, the beaches, the people, the islands, the fish (ing) everything has been wonderful. We are sad to leave but excited for the ocean passage ahead and are ready to start making our way home.

Thanks for everything Bahamas and ummm…..sorry for all the poop ;)

**See Ocean Passage Log for further updates on next tab**