Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Monday, November 28, 2016
I love the warm temperatures here and the beautiful water. I love being able to sail and swim, even though it is the end of November! I have a feeling that when it is time to head for home in four months I will think the time went by so fast.
Sunday, November 27, 2016
it was pleasant I would have known from the number of times George said, "nice day!" That is code for "I am happy to be sailing." We were anchored before noon, with 120 ft of anchor rode in anticipation of winds in the mid-twenties tonight through tomorrow night. George took the dinghy out and used the look bucket to check on the anchor. It is such a new experience for us to actually see the anchor. After lunch we dinghied to the beach and had a nice chat with a young man who spends his winters here before we took a walk up the hill. Then it was time for a swim.
George was not able to fix the solar panel yesterday. His tests with the multi-meter showed positive for voltage but negative for amps. He sent an email off to the company and we will see if a replacement is available.
Saturday, November 26, 2016
After we returned to Breeze On we inadvertently discovered why we are having trouble keeping the batteries charged. I had the brilliant (I thought) idea of propping the solar panels up at an angle toward the sun. When we did that we discovered that the port side panels (closest to the sun) were putting out fewer amps than the starboard side. George then determined that one of the port side panels doesn't work. He is now doing what we have been told is the definition of Cruising, "fixing things in exotic locations". This location does indeed seem exotic today. Beautiful, clear, turquoise water lapping gently on limestone cliffs next to white sandy beaches, warm temperatures, a light breeze and sunny skies. Not bad.
Friday, November 25, 2016
After spending about 20 minutes at this pretty, uninhabited island it was time to move on to Current Cut. We had been warned by the guide books and by Bandit that the currents through the cut were very strong and had to be properly timed. Sailboats or trawlers might not have enough power to go through against the current. We sailed from Meeks Patch to Current and were about 1/2 an hour early. We dropped the sails and decided to give it a try and follow Desiderata, who went through about 1/2 hour before us. The current did not seem strong as we approached. We had about .1 knots against us as we entered and .3 with us as we exited the cut. (George took the photo just after we exited Current Cut). We sailed most of the way to The Cove, another highly recommended anchoring spot. We used the same technique as before and the anchor buried nicely in the sand (we checked it by putting on our suits and snorkel gear and going out to look). Also, George let out all 100 ft of chain and s
ome of the rope rode. We wanted to check the splice connecting the rope to the chain and also test how the rope goes through the windlass.
Before I forget, we saw a dolphin in the harbor before we left Spanish Wells and a rainbow at The Cove just before we dropped anchor. Good omens!
It was cool, cloudy and windy in the morning but sunny and warm in the afternoon. Once again we were wearing shorts and short sleeves. We used the Iridium Go to call my mom and brother as they were finishing their Thanksgiving dinner with friends and neighbors. We had a brief, lovely FaceTime chat with our daughter, her boyfriend and the rest of the folks who were at my uncle's, where we normally celebrate Thanksgiving. It seemed strange not to be with there with them.
We celebrated the holiday by inviting our new friends, Jean and Michael on Desiderata, over for chicken enchiladas. We had a great time talking about sailing (of course!) They were part of the ARC Bahamas group and we have been on a similar schedule since arriving in the Bahamas.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
clothes that are still damp are hanging all over the salon on repurposed lee cloth lines.
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Spanish Wells is a thriving industrial, fishing and vacation home community. The activity in the harbor reminds me of our home, Cambridge, MD. We picked up a mooring in the tiny, cramped mooring field. We are happy to be the only boat here at the moment.
Sunday, November 20, 2016
Saturday, November 19, 2016
Friday, November 18, 2016
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
The next day we motored 4 hours to Sandy Cay for some snorkeling. We had to anchor on the side of the island opposite the reef. Because the dinghy outboard wouldn't start we weren't able to get to the reef where the fish were plentiful. Ray did see a large lobster and was followed by a large barracuda. Yikes! We have photos but I can't get them to upload so that I can attach them.
We spent a peaceful night at anchor and came back to the marina so we could drop Ray off to catch his flight home. We also want to get the dinghy motor fixed.
We have a vague plan for what we will do once the motor is fixed. A plan with some flexibility. We are hoping that is the ticket.
Sunday, November 13, 2016
Also, until now I have used an app called Bloggsy to publish my blog posts. It hasn't been compatible with the wifi here so I am trying to publish directly on the blogger site. Not sure if I will ever be able to figure out how to attach photos, though.
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
We started the day with a beard trim! Jake, one of the World Cruising Club staff, organized a haircutting event with the proceeds going to the Make A Wish Foundation. George declined to get a haircut but he did get his beard trimmed.
|George getting his beard trimmed|
After that we walked the docks and met more people readying their boats for the rally. We are happy to have met so many friendly people here.
In the afternoon we participated in a tour of the Coast Guard facility in Portsmouth. It was very interesting and reassuring. We learned that they will be following our fleet and watching the weather, looking for potential problems. I love the idea that the Coast Guard will know where we are as we make our way to the Bahamas.
Speaking of following the fleet, the World Cruising Club installed a YB tracker on Breeze On that we will use until we arrive in the Bahamas. It is yet another way to follow us. If you are interested, go to the World Cruising Club website, click on rallies, choose the ARC Bahamas rally, then fleet tracker on the left-hand side. The boats are listed and color coded. I have included a screen shot as an example. It is free if you use a computer. If you use an iPad or a smartphone it costs $3.00.
|The YB tracker|
|Fleet Tracker page. Once we are underway there will be color coded tracks.|
This evening we will watch the movie, The Accountant, at the historic Commodore Theater in town. It apparently has tables, food and drinks. Sounds fun.
In between the activities we worked on the boat, of course. There is always more to do.
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Today we attended seminars on weather and Diesel engines. The seminars were held in a conference room in the back of Roger Brown's, a restaurant in Old Town Portsmouth. The town is historic and quite nice. It is a short walk from our marina. The seminars were informative but to tend to raise our anxiety levels. They emphasize things that could go wrong or everything that we don't know.
In the afternoon I attended a women's round table discussion. It was a lot of fun and helped to reduce my anxiety level. While I was doing that George installed the lee cloth in the salon. It will keep us from falling out of bed when the boat is heeling over. We usually sleep in the v berth, but that is the least comfortable place to be when the boat is bouncing on waves. George and I will sleep in the salon during the passage.
After the seminars I worked on installing snaps on the enclosure panel straps and sewing more Velcro straps onto the panels.
We are scheduled to tour the Coast Guard station tomorrow and then see a movie in an historic theater downtown.