Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Week 17: Jan. 23-28, 2013 (Day 113-119)

Week 17:

Wed. Jan 23, 2013—Day 113:
Destination:  Georgetown
Winds:  E 15-20K                      Seas:  1-2 ft.
Weather:  cloudy, a rain shower—I not very often have had to leave out the word sun

Monument Beach, Stocking Island on a good day
A rain shower at 0400 hrs. had us scrambling to close hatches & ports & cockpit enclosure; slept lightly afterwards.  Chris talked of the cold front from the Abacos reaching Central & Southern Bahamas today on his SSB broadcast, with strong northerly winds continuing through Fri. afternoon; well it started earlier after the morning rain & gusted & howled throughout the day.  Day 3 of yoga & started to feeling more comfortable with the moves.  Graeme did an engine oil change in my absence.  We started finding new storage homes to clear the aft cabin for our guests.  Joe Frost (Gemini) arrived in Georgetown yesterday afternoon & contacted us this am.  He was having dinghy engine problems, brought it to Minns this am & this aft Graeme dinghied him to town from his boat anchored at Monument Beach.  They both arrived back here wet to the gills.  We had sometime catching up with his news.  Otherwise it was a day of reading in the cockpit, watching boats around us at anchor & the weather, just too wet of a day to be out running around in the dinghy.  There was only a single conch blower heard when the sun set behind the landmass with a brief time of red evening sky.  The east wind continued to blow & howl, the wind generator worked overtime  the night was quite bright because of the ¾ moon in a partially clear sky with stars.

Thurs. Jan. 24, 2013—Day 114:
Destination:  Georgetown
Winds:  E to NE then NE to NNE 12-20K with frequent bursts of over 20K            Seas:  1-2 ft.
Weather:  partly sunny & cloudy

Atlantic Shore of Stocking Island 
Not encouraging weather report for several more days per SSB & later confirmed on Wind Alert.  Another yoga morning with great attendance despite the wind conditions.  Only minimal housecleaning but Graeme requested a haircut (#2).  Then early in the afternoon we dinghied to town; surprisingly a dry ride across the harbour surfing on the waves.  The waves increased closer to Kidd Cove.  I bought only a minimum of groceries at Exuma Markets, a very brief time checking emails at Eddies, checked the Corner Laundromat hours (M- Sat. 0830-1630 hrs.), another case of beer & bank withdrawal for Graeme at Scotiabank.  We saw Joe being towed into Lake Victoria to Minns; ? fuel pump.  ‘Moma Cal’ moved to Exuma Docking Marina ($2.00 per ft., electricity $20.00 per day) as they were awaiting the arrival of family guests this evening.  Then it was a VERY wet dinghy ride home.  ‘Kathrian’ invited us over for some socializing as we really had not seem much of them for a few days.  And not such a wet ride over or back, but the temps dropped after sunset.  A minimal red sky tonight but a bright night sky due to a near full moon despite the clouds.

Fri. Jan. 25, 2013—Day 115:
Destination:  Georgetown
Winds:  ENE to E 13-18K, gusts 20K+               Seas: 1-2 ft.
Weather:  mostly cloudy unfortunately with a few sunny periods in the afternoon, H=87F & L=66F

Yoga Classes on Volley Ball Beach by this sign
We didn’t lose much sleep despite the high winds howling with the occasional very brief periods of no howling & light winds; in fact we woke up unusually late & caught Chris already in progress.   A large number of us attended yoga; it was quite cool on the beach & the dinghy ride there & back was amazingly dry.  Doug’s family guests arrived & happy campers there.  Joe’s dinghy engine problems continued despite all the new replacement parts & labour at Minns (expensive); he tried to purchase a new Suzuki 6hp 4 stroke engine from the marine past Red Shanks yesterday but the credit card machine was not working; with persistence today the transaction was approved so the purchase was made.  Graeme followed Joe from his boat at Monument Beach to town & didn’t the old engine quit just as he was approaching the dock.  In the meantime with the change of wind direction + the trawler to our port put out a 2nd anchor 1-2 days ago , we were no longer swinging similarly & coming too close for my liking.  I contacted Graeme to get back here ASAP as I could not do anything on my own & I could not hail the trawler on VHF.  He was drenched on arrival & assured me all was O.K.  Then suddenly the occupants of the trawler came outside.  They were very amiable & understood my concern & said they would readjust their anchors; by evening with the wind clocking from ENE to E we were now directly in front of them & over their anchor.  No social tonight but we met ‘Kathrian’, ‘Sea Camp’, E2Motion’ & ‘Slow Flight’ at Chat’n Chill & Joe arrived as well.  Unfortunately it was too far, too lumpy & too wet a ride to attend the Department of Tourism Appreciation Party at Peace & Plenty.  Quite cool tonight & a somewhat wet ride home.  I never saw a decrease in winds this aft as Chris predicted.  I phoned Mom tonight. No red sky; bright night with a very near full moon & stars visible in the clear patches of sky between the cloud patches.

Sat. Jan. 26, 2013—Day 116:
Destination:  Georgetown
Winds:  E 12-20K                               Seas:  1-2 ft.
Weather:  sunny & cloudy periods

Some of the boats anchoring off Stocking Island
The winds & seas calmed down a bit during the night.  I woke at 0400 hrs. & had the full moon shining in the starboard deck window + a large anchor light from the trawler behind us shining in the companionway.  SSB & Cruisers Net at 0630 hrs. & 0800 hrs. respectively.  Yoga at 0900 hrs., then with the laundry sorted & organized, computer in backpack bagged & garbage we set off for shore.  3 washers ($2.50 ea) & 2 dryers ($4.00 ea X 40 min.)—Total= $19.50.  I was able to do a little work on emails at Eddies between loads, then we attended St. Theresa’s Catholic Church fund raising BBQ lunch ($10.00 ea) for steak/chicken huge backed potato, corn & salad with Joe, Ted & Ginnie (Fire Cracker—Saga 43); ‘Kathrian’ & ‘Sea Camp’ finished as we arrived.  We introduced our lunch guests to Shop Rite & purchased long life milk, then a round of beers at Bikini Bottoms.  A VERY wet dinghy ride home but only the pillowcases, the bottom of the laundry trolley & the bottom outside of my backpack got a little wet.  We were a bear for punishment—we donned our wet foul weather gear back on & met the ‘Moma Cal’ clan & Joe at Chat ’n Chill & fed & played with the rays again.  Once home we both showered.  We did not take note of the sunset sky, but officially it was full moon tonight, therefore it was very bright, fleeting clouds + stars.

Sun. Jan. 27, 2013—Day 117:
Destination:  Georgetown
Winds:  E 10-20K                                   Seas:  1 ft.
Weather:  sunny & blue sky

Beach Worship
A sleep in morning & a glorious sunny day.  Net at 0800 hrs. & Beach Worship at 0930 hrs.; so well attended again this Sunday & just as warm & welcoming.  Thank you Chip, Elena & John for the ride there & back & your warm hugs.  A number of boats were changing their location today.  SCT Barber Shop set up shop for a brief time; just simple clean up jobs for Joe & Jack’s hair in the neck area below their hairlines & Graeme showed Jack how to trim his beard with the electric trimmer.  We sited turtles swimming around the boat just before we were off in our dinghies with Joe to Sand Dollar Beach.  No sand dollars but we hiked the Cliff Path, Sally’s Path & Lavender Path to the caves & blow holes X 2 hrs.; not the blow holes of Warderick Wells.  Then to Volleyball Beach where there was lots of people & activity.  We met the NSC gang & others for some socializing.  We got home just before sundown.  The chop was slightly less this evening & there was a magnificent red sky.  By darkness the winds were blowing & howling 15-20K, so the wind generator was having a hay day.  In fact between the sun & solar panels & the 15-20K for most of these winter days & the wind generator,  Graeme has been very pleased with the charge of the batteries.  Nevertheless we are careful & conservative.  A starry night with a bright moon.

Mon. Jan. 28, 2013—Day 118:
Destination:  Georgetown
Winds:  E 15+K to ESE 10-12K                         Seas:  1 ft. with 2 ft. rollers, calming to < 1 ft. chop
Weather:  sunny & blue sky

The Ottawa Gang (except one)
As usual the day began with SSB at 0630 hrs., followed by breakfast & the Net at 0800 hrs.  And after a day of rest it was back to yoga at 0900 hrs. while Graeme changed a fan belt that we dug out from the back of the garage; it was nearly totally destroyed.  I spent the rest of the morning removing stuff from the aft cabin for our guests.   Just after noon we dinghied down to Monument Beach; 9 of us hiked Isis Path, Nev’s Trail to Nev’s Beach (long, no sea glass, no beans & only tiny shells); I detoured up the Slide to the Monument & back to the beach.  At the private homes we turned around & hiked Marie’s Path to Intrepid Path (steep) to the Monument—a spectacular view, then back to the dinghies, where we stood in the water chatting & watching 3 boats arriving.  Could one be ‘Second Option’?  Joe & Ginnie & Ted met Terri & Bill at Staniel Cay.  All the bars were closed till 1800 hrs. today as it was election day in the Bahamas, even Double D here on Monument Beach.  Joe & I dinghied out to see if the center cockpit Hunter that anchored off Monument was ‘Second Option’, but it was not.  To ‘Firecracker’ (Saga 43) & given a tour—lovely.  To ‘Gemini’ for a black & stormy & a few nibblies until the sun had set behind the cloud & landmass.  Joe started the conch blowers in this part of the anchorage.  We declined supper but were sent home with homemade cookies, the seas had calmed so the ride was not a wet one as expected.  Another magnificent red sky, then a diminishing full moon & clear starry night sky.

Tues. Jan. 29, 2013— Day 119:
Destination:  Georgetown
Winds:  E 15K with gusts to 20K                          Seas:  1-2 ft. with 2 ft. rollers
Weather:  sunny

Mike McGoldrick & Josh Rausson--Azeroth
The persistent windy conditions were getting a bit depressing.  At least there were no westerlies predicted & not losing any sleep, but we would like to move on once our guests arrive tomorrow & after Super Bowl Sunday.  I have enjoyed yoga; at least it was an hour of stretches & relaxation & not thinking about being wet & salty & tracking salt on & into the boat.  We had a good dry ride into town mid am, refilling 2 jerry cans of water, garbage, few groceries & emails, some of relieved & happy news & not so happy news about friends.  The ride home mid afternoon was quite the opposite.  The dinghy was filling with salt water as we hit waves upon waves that cascaded in.  Groceries & backpack with laptop were covered with plastic within plastic.  As Graeme drove facing forwards I sat with my back to the bow & continuously sponged water from the dinghy floor; the waves won.  The aft cabin was completely cleaned & freed of “stuff” & fresh linens laid out.  Arrangements were made for a social at Chat ‘n Chill; Joe joined us, ‘E 2 Motion’ & even Mike & Josh, who had returned from a few days in Rudder Cut Cay, Little Darby, Williams Cay & Childrens Bay Cay area, catching a mahi mahi nearing Conch Cut, but ‘Moma Cal’ never showed.  I missed the sunset.  It seemed slightly less windy driving home.  A darker night as the moon was rising later & less full, so the stars were more brilliant in the clear night sky.                                                       

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