Crossings and Weather

Hello everyone,

I realized something the other day. Every time that I sit down to write to you all, the wind is howling in the rigging. It isn’t that the wind has been howling all of the time here, but that when it DOES howl, that is when I have time to write! Otherwise, we are off the boat on some type of adventure – laundry, shopping, shelling, snorkeling, walking, visiting with other cruisers etc. But today, the wind is howling. So, here I sit and write.

We did go to Marsh Harbour, did laundry and replenished our larder. As we were headed out soon, some friends stopped by for sundowners and snacks. It was a great time and we all went to bed very late that night. Even so, we headed out in good time the next day, sailing with a super wind towards Bakers Bay. We have commissioned a painting of the boat and the artist wanted some shots of the boat, sailing to windward and heeled over. Today was a perfect day for that. We contacted him by radio, tacked many miles upwind and made several passes in front of his camera. The radio call afterwards said ” great shots!!” and we tacked away, headed back for our original destination.

The anchor dropped into the sand at Bakers Bay and a dinghy putted in our direction. Party ashore tonight, in a half hour. A potluck, with a bonfire and new friends to meet. It was a great evening. Spoils Island beckoned us the next day. It is an island that was formed by the dredging of the deep channel into Bakers Bay and is one of my favourite shelling places. The trip back from the island was terrible, with big cold waves crashing into and over us. Even in our new, awesome dinghy it was a memorable trip. I certainly wouldn’t have done it in our other dinghy.

Back at the boat, we hauled anchor and headed through Whale Cay Channel and on to Green Turtle Cay. It was a lumpy trip, but we made it with no problems. We anchored again near New Plymouth and waited for the tide to rise and to allow us to enter White Sound. There was another front expected in the next few days, with high winds, so we wanted to be tucked into the protection offered by White Sound.

There, we reconnected with longtime friends, Larry & Phyllis aboard Jazzbrek. They were house-sitting and invited us for dinner. The home owners also raise birds and there was a toucan, and many parrots. Two of the macaws fly free during the day and return to their cage at night. Gorgeous sight and I forgot my camera!

The expected cold front barrelled in during the early daylight hours. Two vessels anchored nearby dragged but our anchor held tight. We played cards, read and baked to put in the hours. By the next morning, everyone had cabin fever and looked forward to getting off of the boat. The weather was to improve enough tomorrow for us to travel onward, so time to re-stock once again. We braved the rough seas between White Sound and New Plymouth and headed into town. New Plymouth is a lovely village with many grocery stores, 2 hardware stores, a bank and many restaurants. The community was holding a school fair and we headed there for lunch. So much food, we shared one meal of chicken, peas and rice, macaroni, coleslaw and potato salad. They were also selling some desserts, so we had to support that endeavor as well.

We sailed on to Great Sale Cay the next day. And, I actually mean we turned the motor off. Once there, we readied the boat for sea. Murray strung the webbed jacklines which run down both side decks. To these, we can attach our harnesses if we need to go forward during the crossing. We hauled the dinghy and secured it on the foredeck. I made some squares and prepared hand food for the trip. Weather bulletins were collected and analyzed. Charts and waypoints were examined. All deck cargo lines were checked and tightened. The engine had already been checked in Green Turtle. We were ready.

It is a fifty mile trip across the banks to the deep water. Murray ran two fishing lines the whole way and caught a large cero mackerel. It was added to the freezer along with the 10 pound mutton snapper caught off of Great Sale Cay. The smile on Murray’s face was impossible to erase.

The crossing was a bit lumpy in the Gulf Stream but otherwise uneventful. The moon was only a sliver in the sky, so that the stars had a chance to show their brilliance. The night was very cool and I wore my survival suit for warmth. The waves tossed us too much to allow for much sleep but we took turns trying to rest. Just after dawn, we entered Port Canaveral. Once customs and immigration forms had been completed, we continued into the Banana River and dropped the hook for some rest.

Now we are in Titusville and, as I said, the wind is howling once more. It will die down tomorrow sometime but we don’t travel on the weekends. A lesson learned many years ago. By the end of next week, we will be in our marina and start taking the boat apart once more. The job list lengthens. Spring has arrived and the north country calls us home. Expect to see us around by early May.

Until then, hugs, Heather & Murray