The wind has been blowing steady at 20+ knots for six days! We have not had to start the engine or generator to re-charge the batteries as the wind generator has taken care of all of our power needs. That means every bit of our energy requirements from lights to computer to making water from Feb 24th! But, we do get tired of the wind. And it is cool. I know that we don’t really understand cool as compared to you guys up north, but it is too cool to swim. And the water is only 66 degrees F or about 18 C. Brrr.

On Sat 26th Feb, we traveled from our anchorage at Royal Island to the town of Spanish Wells nearby. We needed to offload some garbage and to purchase some fresh vegetables. In company with Southern Cross, with Marcel and Karen aboard, we met friends who live in town for a lovely lunch at a local restaurant. Dodging rain storms, we replenished our cupboards at the well-supplied grocery store. During our walk-about, we met cruisers with a problem. They were on the moorings and maybe had transmission problems but couldn’t find a mechanic with time to check it out. Off we go, to their boat and Murray does a few checks of the transmission. It definitely is defective but what part exactly? That is tomorrow’s job as they offer to cook breakfast in return for Murray’s assistance. That night, we met Woody ( a local Bahamian fishing guide and boat pilot ) and his family and proceeded to another local restaurant where Woody treated us to a humongous steak dinner! Man, that was the most tender and largest steak that I have had in many years. Sunday morning, Murray is upside down in the engine compartment of Calypso, removing their transmission. His final analysis? “Order a new one, this one can maybe be fixed stateside but not here.”

The wind switched direction while we were aboard Calypso and our anchorage was rapidly becoming untenable. We hauled anchor and moved over to a tiny island called Meeks Patch. The locals from Spanish Wells come out here in the summer and have constructed picnic tables, hammocks etc. Here we have sheltered for the last four nights. During the day, we walk on the beach and explore the island. As day draws to a close, we gather on the beach to share cocktails and snacks and stories. Last night we had a pot-luck dinner ashore with each vessel contributing. I baked baguettes and made garlic bread as well as a salad. Marcel & Karen made spaghetti sauce, while Robin and Michael ( Estrellita ) cooked the noodles. Pam and Cliff ( Lady Lex ) made pineapple cake for dessert. Such a feast we had. Michael is an artist and we have acquired some of his paintings.

Everyone here are sharing their talents and helping each other with boat jobs. Cliff was having radio problems and Mur and I helped with those. I trimmed hair on the beach in the morning and helped with computer problems in the afternoon. We are filling our time but would really like this wind to stop howling soon.

Once it does, we will likely head north towards the Abacos to position ourself to cross back to the US. Plans are to cross to the States by early to mid April and return to Canada by the end of April. Until we see you, stay warm and healthy and know that we miss you all. Hugs,

Murray & Heather aboard Windswept IV