Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Leaving Georgetown

Saturday 4/28 Georgetown to Calabash Bay, Long Island. (23 38.0 75 20.5)

Before leaving George Town we walked through the festivities and had some beers and checked out the scene. Many many little booths like this one were set up one against the other along the street. Kind of like Taste of Chicago but Bahamian style, mon.

FINALLY! Our shipment via our mail service people who can place orders from West Marine arrived in Georgetown on Friday. We were expecting it on Tuesday. Big note to future cruisers. Buy your stuff in the states before you go. I had this idea that places like Georgetown were more or less civilized and we’d find things along the way. No. So we place a West Marine order via our mail service people in Green Cove Springs, FL. They get us a discount. But then they have to ship it UPS or FED Ex. Regular mail takes MONTHS if you ever get it at all. Our particular package was waylaid by customs in Nassau. We finally found this out more or less by accident or we’d still be waiting for it to arrive. We had to pay a couple of additional taxes AND if we wanted it to go on a plane rather than a slow boat it would be another $25. All together the ransom came to $75. What can you do. You pay. When we looked at the invoice we see that we spent around $350 in boat parts and with the shipping and the ransom another $275!!! Forget about getting stuff shipped to you out here. If you can’t fix it with what you got or find it in some god forsaken hardware store it’s going to stay broke!

Almost, but this is not our boat! Crossroads - another Endeavour 40- belongs to Glenn and Michelle. They've sailed for 2 years going all the way to Trinidad. We met them in George Town and really enjoyed their company. They're heading back north and will resume normal jobs and lives back in the states.

One of the things we bought was some new line for the roller furling and for properly rigging a second reef for the main. These two projects came out perfect and, to our surprise, we got to test them out more than we wanted to today!

There is no way around easterly winds this time of year you just look for light winds and expect to motor sail into them. The path from here to the Caribbean is mostly east and some south. The winds on this day were to be around 14 knots from nearly due east. Maybe a little south. Still that could be ok for the first part of the trip from Georgetown to the northern tip of Long Island. From there we’d see if we could motor sail to Rum Cay which would be directly up wind or stay on our course and go to Conception Cay. We can sail about 50 degrees on this run and maybe have enough angle to pure sail. We pure sailed ok! The 14 knots was more like 24 and building. We had the main reefed down and then the front sail as well. Rail is in the water occasionally and the crew is not happy. Luckily the seas were not high at all so we had good speed. In talking with a catamaran that was a few miles ahead of us we learn that the wind around the point had built to 25-28 knots with higher gusts. We’ve just finished sitting on our butts for three weeks in Georgetown and not really looking for this much adventure. The plan mutates again. We decide to tack and tuck in to Calabash Bay on the northwest side of Long Island. Our overall plan was to make Rum and then the next day go overnight the 100+ miles to Mayaguana. That plan is now on hold as we expect some nasty weather in the south east bahamas starting Tuesday and that’s cutting it a little too close.

So, seems like the wind has dropped off considerably in the evening. We’ll try to have an early start tomorrow and once again see if we can make either Conception or Rum.

Sunday, April 29, 2007 Calabash Bay, Long Island to......????

The alarm went off at 5:30 am - enough time to make ready to sail and maybe listen to Chris (the weatherman) as we get underway. Scott gets up first, of course, and as he looks out the companionway I hear him say, “Uh oh.” WHAT? “There’s lightening on the horizon.” Okay, for sure we’ll wait to hear Chris’ weather report before heading out. Time for coffee and some of Mom’s raisin bread. Reception was horrible for the 6:30 weather report. We couldn’t hear Chris at all. The skies are brightening but what we see is not very promising. Dark clouds continue to roll all around us. No rain though, yet. Well now what to do. Haven’t seen lightening since earlier but we decide to wait a little longer. Might as well wait until Chris’ 8:00 am report.

In the meantime Scott hails Puddle Jumper, the catamaran traveling ahead of us yesterday. They sailed to Conception Island and were making a plan for the day as well. Scott asked if they heard Chris today. Val said their ssb isn’t working but their satellite weather fax says that today will be about the same as yesterday. Hmmm....

Okay. The wind is down significantly from yesterday and the storm clouds seem to be moving away from us so let’s just go and see how it is out there. If we miss Chris’ 8:00 am report he’s on again at 9:30 am and then..........WAIT A MINUTE. TODAY IS SUNDAY. CHRIS IS OFF ON SUNDAYS. We looked at each other and said, “LOOSERS.” And we felt even stupider to have gotten up at 5:30 only to wait around 2 1/5 hours for nothing to happen. Now we know - Chris’ reception sucks on Sundays - because he’s not on!!!

As it turned out we motor sailed the 25 miles to Rum Cay with moderate wind and waves although pretty much in our face. It sprinkled on us for about half an hour but the high cumulus clouds that were building all around us never came over us. We had the main reefed and the front sail pulled out only to the side stays and hauled in tight with both jib sheets. This let us point into the wind pretty well and only had to tack a couple times to make our mark at Rum Cay. We maneuvered our way into the marina (lots of coral heads here though the channel is actually marked with buoy sticks) where we took on fuel then found a spot to anchor near Puddle Jumper - they had just arrived from Conception Island.

The anchorage area here is large and shallow. Fair protection from east winds but the waves tend to wrap around the eastern shore creating an uncomfortable swell. That is, the boat on anchor will point into the east winds but there is a swell entering the anchorage from the south east making the boat roll uncomfortably. The solution is to rig a swell bridle. Tie a long line (2 boat lengths) with a rolling hitch to the anchor chain. Let out several feet of chain and take the line back to the stern of the boat and then to a winch. Now you can crank on the winch and pull the stern around until the boat points into the swell. Now we pitch a little but the rolling has been greatly reduced. Sweet!

We are anchored right next to Puddle Jumper, a 42 foot catamaran. They hail us over for drinks and we have a nice visit.
This photo shows both Puddle Jumper and Enee Marie in our anchorage.

Monday, April 30, 2007 Rum Cay (23 37.8N 74 51.9W)

About 2 AM (isn’t it always) the rain and lightning arrived. Lots of rain but not much wind which is unusual. We made a v-shape with one of the side panels on the Bimini that Sue constructed and collected 5 gallons of rainwater in a couple of hours. It rained the rest of the night and we slept little. Now we’re sort of hoping that Chris’ weather report doesn’t suggest we leave today for the overnighter to Mayaguana as we are pretty beat. We get our wish. Weather for the next several days is going to be squally and whatever wind is going to be right on our nose and too heavy to motor into. Looks like we’ll get to know all about Rum Cay.

After naps we went ashore and explored. I’m hoping for some sort of communication device to call my daughter. We found two phone booths...but no phones inside. There is a little store but no phone there but the lady said we could walk to the Batelco (Bahama’s ma Bell) office and use a phone there. Always easy to find the Batelco office. You just walk toward the big tower. There was a locked building there and another empty phone booth but that’s it. We start walking back. Along the way, a nurse who had been in the store with us stops her car and says she saw the phone lady and told her that we were on our way and we should head back to the Batelco Office. Rum Cay people are really friendly! More so than Georgetown. Inside the telephone equipment office Jennifer, the phone lady, put through a call to Leah for me ($4.50 for 3 min). Worth it to be able to check in and talk to my daughter. The settlement here on Rum Cay is very small, easy going and friendly. We stopped into the Ocean View restaurant and bar (Kaliks only $3.00!!!) and met Ruby the owner/cook. Also very friendly and we found out about their Wednesday night buffet which we may attend.

While walking back toward the dingy we see another obvious cruising couple coming toward us. At about 20 yards the guy stops and points at us and hollers, “Scott and Sue from Enee Marie!” I’m thinking, uh oh, I”m supposed to know this guy and I don’t. . . yet. When we got together we found out that they knew OF us because they have been following this very blog for about a year! What a strange thing the internet can be. Right now Kerry and Kathy are reading about themselves on this blog as they have ‘caught up’! (I guess this is ‘then’ becoming ‘now’ as in Spaceballs!) We had them and Val and Lloyd from Puddle Jumper over to Enee for drinks and the six of us talked and laughed a lot into the night. We’re all heading south and we all have sold everything on shore and all have grown children. We’ll probably all head out on the next weather window as well (friday?) so it will be fun to have someone to talk to during the long night sails. Yes, we may get light air on friday followed by building wind and seas from the north east late on Saturday into Sunday. Not a huge window but if we can maintain our 5 knot goal or better we’ll need 24 hours to make Mayaguana. In the meantime there’s always something you can improve or fix or clean on the boat. Then there’s naps and reading too!

This blog comes to you from Sumner Point Marina on Rum Cay. And the restaurant had nice and cold Kaliks!


Anonymous said...

You guys are famous, at least on Rum Cay. K

Bridgette said...

What the heck is a kalik?

LeahC said...

kalik=yummy beer

(like corona but bahamian)

Rich P said...

The pictures of you guys anchored in these areas are priceless! I wanna go there!

Scott, I told people at East you can still read!!!!!!