Friday, February 22, 2013

Time to Leave Great Harbour Cay or "As Luck Would Have It"

As Luck Would Have It, the island of Great Harbour Cay has a set of two large microwave towers that send communications from island to island. With the newest equipment one became redundant and was just standing there. The smart people at Bahamas Telephone Co (BATCO) planned to move the extra one onto another unconnected island to bring it out of the 3rd world stasis. So a huge crane and crew arrive by ferry for the day and began the work of removing the one extra tower.

Tom and Laura on S/V Cool Hand on the sand bar.
 I was in my dinghy helping another cruiser pull his sailboat off a sand bar and saw the large crane connect to the tower. It was obvious that they were working on it for one reason or another at the time. The cruiser had gone aground because of high winds and rising tide. The wind kept pushing him further and further onto the bar as the tide came up and he would have been in real trouble in a few hours when the tide started down. (More on his mistakes later, we all make them). One dinghy pushed his nose around to point to deeper water and I used a halyard from the top to pull him over. The wind was really blowing and it was quite hard as the wind was really blowing our little dinghies around. But we did get him off after less than an hour of working at it. As we are patting ourselves on the back I look at the towers and marvel at what looked like a roller coaster ride that they just made. I knew it had gone bad for them. Tower 1 had gotten away from them in the high winds (who would have thought) and hit a guy wire of tower 2. Now two cranes and two towers where twisted and on their way down. By the time I got back to the boat and biked to the site this is all that was left. If you look in the back ground you can see the 2nd tower.

If you look close in the background you can see the 2nd tower on the ground too.
I think the one wrapped around this crane is the one they where working on.
I saw some rigging to it.
So now there is NO communications on the island at all, but As Luck Would Have It, another cruiser has a sat phone which I find being used by the BATCO guy to call his boss in Nassau when I get back to the boat.

One last thing about the crane  crew; They are as a team, 3 for 2, how could this be you ask. Well last month they were hired to work on another tower in the Andros and knocked it over too, 3 for 2, get it. And they still got the job for this one. Owning the only mobile crane in the Bahamas has it benefits I guess.

Just another view after working past the flag crew,... YEAH RIGHT
As luck would have it, the following day, high tide was at sunrise at GHC, and then at 5 pm in Grand Bahamas. Another boat left the day before for Grand Bahama and reported one site open for a great monthly rate where he had just pulled in.

So with no communications, and perfect weather, and a waiting slip, it was time to leave. We couldn't give any notice to our kids, family and friends about our move so off we went at 6 am. OF course we had our SPOT on sending out the location as we moved and our good friend Thomas saw it and called our other friend Tom and told him "Their on the Move!" Thanks Tom you've always got my back. If you had been there for the crane guy I'll bet this wouldn't have happened ;-)

GHC behind us by an hour
Silver Cover entrance and our escort up in front of us. Thanks Jim.
You can see Kasidah's Blue sun protection on
her head sail and stay sail on the left of the photo.
The weather couldn't have been better for the trip, 10-15 knots  on our beam, flat seas. Kasidah was flying at 7 knots, we arrived at the Marina/Resort and have a spot right in front of one of the 2 pools. I hope they don't try and move this pool to another island. The rate for a month is a lot less than I could rent a trailer in the back woods of Otisco from a farmer. (Sorry Tully) It was a 65 mile sail north and the entrance to Silver Cove is small and has some shoaling in it that make it dangerous to do at night, or in a south wind. At low tide there is less than 5 ft. If you remember our draft is 6 ft. But As Luck would Have it the other cruisers Jim and Nancy, where already here and heard us calling the marina on the radio. Jim came out in his dinghy to escort us in thought the narrow and shoaled areas.

Not really her shot
The water depth for most of the crossing was 2000-3000 ft until about 2 miles from the Silver Cover Channel. Just before we took our sails down Arline was watching the water and saw a huge Orca Whale jump out of the water about a mile away from the boat. I saw the splash and tail go in the water.

Some of the channel inside before the marina,
again note our escort in front of us.
We found Grand Bahama Island to be great so far. We went to a store by bikes and saw stuff that we haven't seen since we left the states. Portobello mushrooms, fruit,  coffee creamer, green onions, DONUTS, ham hocks so big they wouldn't fit into your oven, whole lamb leg with bone, wait,.. ok that's new. And a store to refresh our supply of wine and rum, beer is still too much but other liquids  are VERY reasonable. Anything from the states has about $10 added to it.

Thanks for watching,....

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