Thursday, March 14, 2013

Week 24: Mar. 13- 19, 2013 (Day 162- 168)

Week 24:

Wed. Mar. 13, 2013—Day 162:

Destination:  Marsh Harbour
Winds:  SSW about 5K, WWN to N +/- 15K                             Seas:  Minimal
Weather:  cloudy & muggy, short lived rain over the noontime, clearing skies & sun late, less humidity & coolish in afternoon, H= 69-70F & L= 59F

Ladies Mexican Train Table

Men's Mexican Train Table 
A warm & quiet night of sleep.  Some interference but we did get the weather predictions from Chris through the weekend & a possible forecast for next week with a cold front coming the following weekend; therefore it seems to be a weather window to head north & cross over to Florida this weekend, which Plumpuppet will likely to.  Tentatively we were thinking of moving to Treasure Cay on Sat., cross the dreaded Whale to Green Turtle on Sun. & slide north in short hops & cross by Mar. 23rd.  Laundry morning (0900- 1100 hrs.) for me (2 wash loads + 2 dry loads X $3.50= $14.00), current propane tank must be near empty so in anticipation had it filled at Standard Hardware; leave early in am & able to pick up at noon for $15.00.  Internet a BIG problem again today; how frustrating!  To Jib Room for 1430 hrs. to play Mexican Train till 1700 hrs. & I was the big loser again today, as Bill was a the men’s table; 3 tables on the go + 1 bridge table.  We had supper in the cockpit at sunset near 1900 hrs.; still trying to get used to DST.  Then to ‘Second Option’ to connect to their internet via their router & to discuss some form of plan for the coming week.  A partially clouded sunset.  Stars in a clear dark night sky.

Thurs. Mar. 14, 2013—Day 163:
Destination:  Marsh Harbour
Winds:  N & NNW at about 10K in harbour but 15-20K out on the Sea of Abaco
Seas:  minimal in the harbour, 1-2 ft. waves & whitecaps on the Sea of Abaco
Weather:  mix of sun & cloud, cool dry breeze, H= maybe 70F & L= 59’ish

The north winds picked up & woke me at 0100 hrs.; that is a benefit of wind generators, gauging the wind speed.  I peaked outdoors & saw that all was well, read a couple of pages of a new book & fell back to sleep till dawn.  A cold front is now expected Wed. pm through Thurs. from the N & ENE respectively at 20K according to Chris’ forecast given this morning; that throws a kibosh into our plans.  And the cold front previously forecasted for next weekend may be weakening or be non-existent.  In any case, back to the drawing board—will postpone our crossing but will progress northward slowly, beginning with our attendance by ferry to Guana Cay to the Barefoot Man Concert tomorrowà Sat. to Treasure Cayà Sun. or Mon. through the Whale to Green Turtle Cay for now.  Tom from ‘Polar Pacer’ confirmed his foursome added to our 6 definites to purchase 2 books of 10 tickets for the ferry at $21.00 each person return rather than $27.00 regular fare.  Once ashore Terri & I visited Bristol Liquors, Maxwells (groceries), Out Island.Net (questions re internet reception outside of Marsh Harbour) & Kalik Liquors, while Bill & Graeme walked to Albury Ferry Office to purchase ferry tickets.  We retrieved my bike from Mangoes, checked out emails + posted 2+ weeks of my blog without pics, then mid afternoon played Mexican train on ‘Second Option’ rather than with the cut throats at Jib Room.  Again a clouded sunset with a slight pink sky following.  I have failed to mention the religious, ongoing, wonderful conch blowers each night, the best in the Bahamas!  Cool, (wearing long pants & sweaters these days + foul weather gear when out & around in the dinghy + closed pots, hatches & companionway X several nights now), mostly cloudy night with a crescent moon setting late just above a bank of heavy cloud.  

Fri. Mar. 15, 2013—Day 164:
Destination:  Marsh Harbour
Winds:  N 15K+/- to NE & calm at sunset
Weather:  cool! mainly sunny especially by afternoon

"The Gang" at Barefoot Man Concert including Barefoot Man!

The winds stayed up all night & the wind generator worked all night.  Cool temps & breezy in the am as we prepared to attend the Barefoot Man Concert (free) on Guana Cay at Nippers.  We listened as usual to SSB at 0630 hrs. & the Net; we are not entirely sure what the upcoming cold front mid week will bring.  The Ellis’ picked us up in their dinghy & we were waiting at the ferry dock by Curly Tails by 0915 hrs. for the 1030 hrs. ferry; we wanted to be sure to get a seat.  Albury put on 2 boats for this departure for the concert; ours left at 1015 hrs.  The Sea of Abaco was quite lumpy & those boats who left Marsh Harbour for Guana Cay had the wind on their nose, while the boats leaving from Hopetown had a very tight close haul/beat.  A most beautiful view from Nippers overlooking the Atlantic (top of the hill) of the waves rolling in & crashing on shore.  We grabbed a table for 8 & this time I remembered to get a group picture including the Barefoot Man himself.  At 1300 hrs. the concert & music began & the place was rocking till 1800 hrs.  There were lots of college students on Spring Break but more of us cruisers.  Lots of beers & Frozen Nippers were consumed.  We met up with people we had met in Vero, in the Exumas & here in the Abacos.  After the concert we said our goodbyes to Joe & ‘Plumpuppet’ who are crossing the Whale tomorrow & continuing so they can cross the Florida Straits/Gulf Stream to Ft. Pierce on Sunday.  We caught the last ferry at 1830 hrs. back to Marsh Harbour; the winds had died mid afternoon & the water was calm.  What a great day!  A lovely sunset & the conch blowers at Mangoes went nuts tonight.  A clear night, tremendous stars & a sliver moon shone crystal clear in the sky.  

Before the Concert

During the Concert



Sat. Mar. 16, 2013—Day 165:
Destination:  Marsh Harbour to Treasure Cay
Departure:  0830 hrs.                              Arrival:  115 hrs.                              Distance:  14 NM
Winds:  W 1-3K                         Seas:  flat calm
Weather:  cool am only 59F, sunny+++ & pleasantly warm daytime temps H= mid 70’s & L= 64F

Treasure Cay Beach at Low Tide
Winds during the night shifted east through west & calm calm.   It appears the weather forecast has changed some for the coming midweek per Chris’ report; I guess some internet research is in order, if possible of course, because Bill made reservations for us for Tues. at Green Turtle Club which is now a light & variable benign day.  We saw a dolphin close to shore just west of Harbourview Marina.  Many boats left Marsh Harbour yesterday, some of which went to Guana Cay.  A few of us left this am on a rising tide.  The Whale Channel was calm so as we made our way to Treasure Cay we could see a parade of boats doing or had done the Whale.  There was no wind so we motored across the calm Sea of Abaco water.  The crystal clear aqua coloured water (10-12 ft. depths) became cloudy aqua water about 2 miles from shore.  Boats were leaving the anchorage as we anchored.  We sighted turtle(s) X 3, almost running over 1 with the dinghy.  Early afternoon we tied our dinghies at the marina, walked the 2 strips of shops; I was unaware of a largish grocery store.  Then we walked the entire length of the beach from the beach bar looking for shells & sand dollars on a falling tide.  The water was cool until we reached the sandbars & shallows at mid falling tide.  From here we had a view of the calm Whale Channel.  We paid our $10.00 anchorage fee which gave us garbage disposal, shower & pool privileges + WiFi (TC1 or TC2--- beach).  I would love another day like this to simply lie out on the beach & read.  Eleven boats in the anchorage tonight.  The sun set behind the land but was a blazing red with a red sky following that appeared that it was on fire.  A sliver moon, stars+++ in a clear night sky.  I saw a shooting star tonight!

Sun. Mar. 17, 2013—Day 166:
Destination:  Treasure Cay to Joyless Point, Green Turtle Cay
Departure:  0910 hrs.                                   Arrival:  1240 hrs.                              Distance:  15 NM
Winds:  SE & light, then clocking ie SW to WSW at sunset & NNW to SE at bedtime
Seas:  calm & near flat
Weather:  light cloud at start of day but warm, & soon gloriously warm, sunny & blue skies

The Whale Cay Channel at it's best!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
No SSB today (Sunday) + unable to get very much of Cruisers Net in Treasure Cay, but did hear Troy giving the weather report.  After up anchoring we stopped at the fuel dock as we exited the anchorage (not a pretty landing) & added a whole 2.1 gal. of diesel (a bit over $6.00/ gal.!) to the boat tank; then again this was the last stop before getting diesel next in Florida.  The Sea of Abaco & the Whale Cay Channel were calm with maybe a 1 ft. swell, if that—well planned all!  There were only an occasional low crashing waves against Whale Cay, so very benign in a big way.  With less than 5K of wind we motored from treasure Cay, crossing the Whale at 1115 hrs.  & anchoring in a mix of sand & light grass tufts off Joyless point, NW of White Sound & the channel leading to Green Turtle Club & Bluff House Marina with 100 ft. chain in 10 ft. water.  The water was so very clear here; we could follow the anchor chain along the bottom to the anchor without a look-bucket.  We chilled for a couple of hours of reading in the sun on deck.  Mid afternoon we dinghied slowly via the marked channel into White Sound to Green Turtle Club, clearly seeing several large starfish on the bottom; we were checking out the facilities as we had made reservations for tomorrow seeing that the cold front was to arrive; cased out the ease of entry to our assigned slip #11.  A posh & expensive resort especially drinks & food prices (1 beer + 1 rum drink= $16.00)!  The 2 marinas here in White Sound were having a March special whereby one can apply their meal expenses towards dockage fees ($1.50/ft.) & that was our reason for trying it out.  We walked to Coco Bay & onto Ocean Beach at low tide; a few small shells & fewer sea glass.  We were back at the boat before sunset, just as a bank of clouds moved in, yet we still had some pink evening sky.  A light cloud cover tonight with ¼ moon & a few stars.

'Second Option' in the Whale 
Mon. Mar. 18, 2013-- Day 167:
Destination:  Joyless Point, Green Turtle Cay to Green Turtle Club
Departure:  1055 hrs.                           Arrival:                                              Distance:
Winds:  S to SE, calm at start & increased to 15K late am & 20K most of the rest of the day with whitecaps even in the anchorage, then decreased to 10-12K at sundown
Weather:  mix of sun & cloud with increased cloud midday

A quiet calm night with near no wind; the wind generator came on for a brief time predawn.  Chris was almost impossible to understand this morning because there was so much interference; must be weather induced.  Graeme made out bits & pieces.  We heard weather from Cruisers Net & that’s about all.  Some weight & theraband exercises & reading most of the am till the tide rose enough that we felt we could enter White Sound without going aground.  Donna & Walter (Wind Swept—Island Packet 38) dinghied by & stopped to say hello; they snorkeled No Name Cay yesterday & off to snorkel the reef off Fiddle reef today; they are on a mooring ball in Black Sound—shallow.  The wind suddenly picked up as did the waves; whitecaps started to appear.  We up anchored & made our way to Green Turtle Club where we had reservations (slip #11), 2 hrs. before high tide; we saw 8 ft. at 1st channel markers (1st sign), 6.5 ft. at 1st mooring ball channel markers, then mostly 8 ft. until the entrance into the sound’s anchorage area, 7 ft. & 12 ft. in the actual anchorage area.  Lots of excellent assistance dockside to tie up.  On registering we chose the ‘Free Dockage Special’ ($1.50/ ft. & use the food & beverage purchases towards dockage fees = $54.00, rather than $0.90/ft.  We had lunch at the Green Turtle Club = $43.00 including 15% gratuity & then a few drinks later in the afternoon.  Internet down!  I can’t believe it!  In frustration I removed my bike from the garage & rode to the point overlooking the area we anchored at last night (quite lumpy!), to the Bluff House Marina & past the dump on the way to New Plymouth to the Ocean Beach—no shells.  We were all too full from lunch, so no supper but all showered & then played Mexican Train.  Cloudy at sunset & cloudy & raining at night.

Tues. Mar. 19, 2013—Day 168:
Destination:  Green Turtle Club
Winds:  SSW to SW calm to 8K, W late afternoon about 5K to flat calm, not a breath
Weather:  warm & muggy, cloudy & brief near sunny periods

New Plymouth
 Light rain throughout the night with periods of more steady rain.  A discouraging weather report again for several days from Chris & from Cruisers Net & changed from the day before + conflicting forecast from internet sites.  The apparent cold front today with predicted squalls & high winds did not materialize.   On Wed. night & Thurs. am we are to experience a converging of 2 cold fronts & squalls; will that materialize?  Between weather & my inability to bring up emails, I’m was totally frustrated, impatient & had a great longing to be home.   We saw 2 dolphins swimming in the harbour mid morning at breakfast; this is apparently a common phenomenon when the waters are calm.  Threatening skies & predicted squalls with high winds made us indecisive to dinghy to New Plymouth.  Once the office staff got me online I worked on a few emails & added pictures to my blog.  The Ellis’ did 1 load of laundry (?$4.50 per load) from 1100-1500 hrs.  Mid afternoon I cycled to New Plymouth, in & out of streets, cemetery, water front, Gilman Beach (shoreline lined with lovely, brightly painted homes); a sore ass & no sea glass, calm seas out on the Atlantic & the Sea of Abaco.  Lots of boats had moved into the marina tonight.  We stayed another night because of the pending weather, which did not happen & so applied a good breakfast ($28. 64) & amazing supper & wine ($74.07) at the restaurant towards our dockage.  A clouded sunset, then some clearing & blue sky with a red hue in the NW.  In the night sky a near ½ moon & few stars were visible through the light cloud cover.   


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