Travels and Travails

Hello everyone,

Well, we managed to escape the clutches of George Town! It was difficult, as there is always another party, beach thing or barbeque in the works. After one more such evening of fun, music, and food ( my piazza didn’t even make it as far as the table! ), we hauled anchor and sailed out on Feb 18th. It was a robust sail and we had no luck fishing. Except Mur did manage to catch the wind generator with the fishing line when the wind blew the line sideways into the blades. Man, did that stop fast. Friends were anchored near Rudder Cay, so we lined up to enter Rudder Cut, staying out of the out-going current until the last minute. We started the engine and turned downwind to enter the cut, when we discovered that there was no cooling water going to the engine. Yikes! Luckily, the rule is “all sails up, just in case “, so we sailed in, very slowly as we were fighting a strong ebb tide and sailing down wind. But, we made it and then proceeded to anchor under sail. Mur checked out the engine and found a loose cap on the strainer. Perhaps that is the problem.

The water at Rudder Cay was gin clear! There were no boats within a mile of our anchorage, so into the water we dove – starkers! What a glorious swim. The next day, after a leisurely breakfast, we dinghied around the neighbouring area and snorkeled over any interesting spots. A beautiful day with a green flash at sunset to finish it off.

The wind carried us on northward, up the Exuma chain on the inside ( the shallow water side ). We spent a night near White Point and another at Black Point settlement. There I sat with the ladies as they plaited the straw and I worked on my basket. Did I say that I was weaving a basket? Well, I am trying to anyhow. They gave me some pointers and some of their palm fronds as well. From Black Point, we sailed on to Staniel, anchoring under sail most nights and even hauling anchor under sail.

Another glorious day to spend before we must head on. Haircuts on the beach are done first thing. Then off to snorkel once more. Mur got a trigger fish and a conch and we spent the afternoon in crystal clear water watching brightly coloured fish. How tough is that?

The next day was the first time since Long Island that we had to motor. But, with a cold front approaching and a schedule to keep, we needed to head on northward to Norman’s Cay. It was a fast trip and we arrived in time to catch a few hours out over the reefs once again. The wind started to howl during the night and we sailed, very fast, on the Nassau in the morning. In fact we hit over 9 knots and averaged over 8 knots on the trip. Just as we prepared to drop the anchor, Mur noticed that the engine was not pumping water once again and then the over-heat alarm started to sound! Quickly we dropped the hook. Mur went to his part supplies and installed another water pump. That seemed to solve the problem.

Now, we are safely anchored in Nassau. A cold front is expected to come through here today, packing high winds. So, we will stay aboard for the next few days, getting the boat ship-shape for company. Then, when the winds abate slightly, we will do laundry, re-stock the larder and await our guests. Linda and Kuyler will be aboard for two weeks and we hope for good weather so that we can share with them some of our favourite spots here in the Exumas.

That is what is happening aboard. How are things with you? Write when you have time.

Hugs, Heather & Murray