Saturday, February 19, 2011

Home stretch

Fri 2/18/2011 4:10 PM

We stayed two nights in the anchorage west of Big Majors in Staniel Cay with friends and other cruisers. This is where the James Bond Movie Thunderbolt was filmed. In the bar at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club is a photo showing the film crew of the movie at the bar. I didn't do any research as to who is who in the photo; but Sean Connery isn't in the photo so it really doesn't matter. From Staniel we stayed on the bank and motor sailed up to Shroud Cay which is part of the Exuma land and water park and picked up a mooring ball. Lots of mangroves and bugs, it was also a little rollie as the wind was out of the south west and rolling right into the bay. We were able to walk the dogs, and didn't have much time for exploring. Because of weather we needed to make Nassau by Friday night and that's tomorrow. We got underway early Friday morning with a long day in store to get the last leg to Nassau. The average depth across the bank is about 18ft, about halfway across there is what's called the Yellow banks with has a depth of 14 ft but you have to watch out for coral heads which could be close to the surface. So Arline was up on the bow for an hour guiding our course around dark areas, meaning coral; maybe. We did make Nassau and pulled into a different marina this time. It was a little cheaper AND right across from the markets with a nicer walk for the dogs. A park with Fort Montague with canons on a corner overlooking the bays entrance, fishermen were selling all kinds of fish, lobster and conch.

Saturday we found cheap internet for $6.99 per day. We needed to do some catching up and found out that Bud and Jill from Earendil where at the marina we were at last time. We meet them at Fair Point this past October when we unstepped their mast so they could head south. We also had seen them on the canal and made a detour from Amy’s to see them in Annapolis. We really surprised them when we showed up at their boat. We had dinner with them on their boat Saturday and pizza on our boat Sunday afternoon mmm hadn’t had a good pizza since NY in October. Then we both had to start getting ready to leave on Monday, they are going south and us, well everybody knows its north. Changed the oil and did a few other things. Went to fuel up all I waited was 3 cans filled at the end of the dock just 4 slip away easy right? Until I ask the dock master if I could bother him for fuel and he said at 4pm “NO MAN YOU HAD ALL DAY AND YOU WAITED TOO LONG" .......... really? It was going to be that hard for him to walk over and watch me fill my own tanks. Xxxxoooxox. No problem I'll walk down to the nice store and fill them save money too. Oops the store was out of diesel. On the way back another yard saw me carting my cans had me come in and filled up. I probably didn't need the 10 gallons but I like the feeling of having some on deck. I got back to the boat and was tying them down and it's now 5 pm closing time and guess who walks by to the end of the dock to take the end of day fuel pump reading. I really wanted to say hey don't worry about the fuel, the nice man next door was more than willing to WORK for my 5 dollar tip.,,, JERK. (That’s The Veranda in me coming out, Bill)

Monday morning was very busy it seemed like every boat in Nassau was headed out. We passed Erindale headed West as we where headed East. There was only about 1/2 mile between our two marinas and as we passed I yelled over “I’m sorry we've tried for 6 months and this is all the cruising we're going to do together. BY" it was good to see them. Then we passed another boat with a young couple we meet that Bud and Jill had been traveling with. They waved and yelled over "A boat just like your is right up under the bridge at anchor, a red one.” Well right away we knew it was “San San”. We have been blogging back and forth for 2 years about our boats, adventures, and knew they were close. We where still in the Nassau Harbor but made a 360 turn around their boat and exchanged a few good lucks, looking good and best wishes. That’s the 2nd 36 like ours that we’ve seen. They are on their headed way down south to Ecuador. Smooth sailing folks.

One thing I’ve (jon) learned out here is that you never know who you will meet next, or that someone think you’ll see tomorrow has pulled up and left never to be seen again. People and boats come and go fast. So when you can you stop, and when you can’t, you can’t, and we all know that. I really wanted to stop and spend time with San San and crew, but they were headed out that day too. I really wanted to give Nassau another chance, but we didn’t have time.

We headed out of Nassau for points north, back tracking to Great Harbour Cay Marina, with a stop behind White Cay in the Berry Islands. The sail northwest across Northeast Providence Channel was 48 miles over deep water, over 3000 meters at its deepest, that’s like 2 miles deep. That’s the kind of water Kasidah Likes, LOTS of room under her, she seemed to like the amount and direction of wind and the amount off sail too, because we were moving pretty good. Leaving Nassau behind us we could see a huge plume off black smoke rising high into the sky, we found out late that some building right down town had gone up and it kept the people from the cruise ships from going ashore because it was so close. We have been keeping the dinghy on the davits with confidence in some larger water, this lets us put up the stay sail and keep the boat moving. Going into the cut at White Cay was straight forward and the anchoring set and buried itself right away. We found only one other boat in the little bay but a few smaller draft were able to work their way further up into skinner water. Leaving early Tuesday we set off and headed out the cut into the deep water and right in the middle of it we heard a screech and thought it was a belt, but looked down at the temperature gauge and it was pegged. We did a 180 in the middle of the cut, with the tide going out, pulled the fuel shut off, popped the head sail and fought our way back into the anchorage running the engine about 30 seconds at a time. After a bit of excitement (Sure glad we practiced dropping anchor under sail) and some calming down I find out auntie is low on coolant. Its pumping water and the coolant was in the bilge, filled it and looked for leaks, non found, waited for a while and its running and cooling fine, got to go, you know it weather is coming in. We had a great sail and the motor ran fine all the way, every other minute, “How’s the temp; fine” Just before we rounded the top of the Berry Islands I was getting ready to take over and the fishing line goes out. Now If you know me you know I am not a very lucky fisherman, right dad? Well you could tell this thing was BIG it took line like I’ve only seem on TV shows it took a good length of time to get hi close to the boat and then he would take it and run back out another hundred feet which I let him do. If he was coming aboard I wanted him good and tried. Finally he came up to the boat and, Barracuda, sorry HUGE Cuda. His teeth were the size of my fingers. He was not coming aboard. So we cut him off but where thankful for the excitement. “Engine Temp Is Fine”

It was nice to pull into the marina and see all the people we met when we were here before. It was almost embarrassing how many people remember us but I can’t remember their names only faces. There is a big boat fishing tournament here with a lot of boats in from GA. We had 2 meals at Jeff and Lana’s house, Man do those people know how to entertain, they are great people. Saturday is the big fishing day where everything counts. A party after the weigh in and I’m told all the locals will be here looking for cuda, or any part of a fish that nobody wants, heads, guts, and so on.

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