Friday, January 31, 2014

Nice Day in Paradise.

Nice Calm Morning on Kasidah 
Well it seems like the weather is looking a little better for everyone, except our friends in upstate NY where another round of very cool weather is headed their way. Don't forget the storm of '93 in March dumped a record number of feet at the time. It is winter in the Bahamas too, all the cool weather up north has had an affect on weather here. Many boats have been stuck in one location or another with unfavorable conditions. I know a few hard core want-to-be cruisers might say "You're a sailboat you just go,.." It's not just getting there or weathering a day or two in rough waters, it's also about what will be there when you get there. You might not be able to anchor because the winds and or anchorage don't allow for ideal holding. There are many reasons to stay and many to move. The wrong decision might cost you your boat.

North End of the Lucayain Waterway
We are enjoying our time here doing many things. We went on dinghy up the Lucayain waterway with Doug and Sharon, long time cruisers. This is a man made canal or ditch that was made during the 70's, and goes from the south to the north cutting the island in two with only one bridge tying it together. This bridge and shallow water allow only powerboats of limited size to use it. It was a great day trip with lots to see and think about. We ran 32 miles and only used 4 gallons of fuel. We had lunch we brought with us, went through some of the smaller canals where many a dream had been hatched, and arrived at the top side of Grand Bahama Island into the Little Bahama Bank or the Abacos. This trip by sailboat or the long way around would have been 2 days if we went west and 5 days if we went east.

Hanya a Ukrainian from Canada at dinner with her ex boyfriend. 
As we learned like last year, we know the pattern of resort guest coming and going. We had a good time with several people, going to dinner, sharing wine and stories. We've meet some people from Annapolis who have a sailboat, they were at the time, 2 weeks away from retirement and going to do some cruising on their 39 ft Caliber. They have been following our virtual friends (did we just came up with that) Bill and Christie on Veranda. Small world! Also our friends here, Doug and Sharon, have a daughter and I understand in their earlier cruising time spent time with the Tom Neale family who's daughter Melanie we know another (virtual friend) through Facebook. Melanie is the author of Boat Girl. Small world. Surprised you didn't catch that Melanie,..

Resident kitty trying to sneak on  board to retrieve a treat
 The cats that live here also know when new guest arrive and when they leave. There is usually one or two days when the cats come to the boats looking for a hand out. Well they also show up when the fisherman comes back with a catch and they hang out at the cleaning station,.....right next to the hungry cruisers. This is one of the brave ones that finds his way to the boat, and I think he knows his tides too.

Only in the Bahamas do you park the rental boat under the parking lot drain pipe.

Blue getting comfy for an afternoon nap


We've had a few down pours of rain over the last couple of weeks. When it's heavy down pour the run off from the parking lot existing into the basin via a 6 inch PVC pipe gushes out for enough that it lands in the small rental boat parked under it. After a few days they come and pump it out and clean it.
Arline getting some pointers from Hank who does still give lessons
We've also taken up tennis here with a group of people who play in the mornings, we're quite bad,.. but getting better. We found some really good rackets and balls at a salvation army store here.


Our local fishing friend with the cooler had his equipment taken from him and he's been too proud or stubborn to get it back. So we took him to fish from our dinghy and it was nice enough weather that I followed him around in the water with my spearing equipment and watched how he was hunting his fish and looking for lobster, I learned a lot from that. I speared my 1st Hogfish that day and was happy enough at that. He also told me my spear was TOO SLACK, meaning not enough power, and he showed me how to fix it which I did. The next time out I hunted as he did and got this good sized fish, which I thought was a Gray Snapper but with a little bit of research it was probably a Grass Porgy, both are fine and good eating and it was gone that night anyway, with a nice butter infused Old Bay sauce, mmmm.

Arline threw out the idea of a beach dinghy lunch party, so I think 16 or so dinghies came out and had a great time. I guess she can still work her magic when it comes to party or event planning.
Nice time on the beach
exploring the waterways on north side of island
Silver Cove Entrance, you don't want t miss it, or enter it with a south wind blowing you into the channel.
 A sailboat came in while we were at the beach so a bunch went out to mark the channel low spot, great photo of how shallow it is and how far out it goes,  and the narrow the usable part is for deep boats

Back to the weather, and tides are looking good for a move of Kasidah. We are most likely headed to the Berry's and Great Harbour Cay for a month soon. We might not stay at the marina for the full month and head out to the east side and a days travel to some quite remote areas for a few days. But we need to stay close to communications for our family.

My mom had a fall a few weeks ago, broke her hip and had emergency surgery that day which went well. Only through the Internet would I have known about it or be able to check in with dad and family. She is now in a rehab, PT, or Physical Therapy home for the next few weeks.
squid under dock


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Boat stuff and maintenance

My Favorite part of winter is watching how cold it is back in New York from our boat in the Bahamas,....

All buttoned up and weathering out the cool days here.
It was cold enough here so we closed all the hatches, fired up the oven to cook dinner, and did some boat stuff. I moved some beer from the front locker to the my beer cooler,....Arline was catching up on fellow cruisers to see where they are and what they were doing.

She was reading a friends note to us that just had a chain plate break on his IP while moving outside along Florida's coast. He had to turn around and head back in, then being distracted and frustrated he grounded on a sand bar, but got off with the tide, after he was calming himself down with a beer,....I grabbed a beer right then and there for myself, and sent spiritual thoughts to help him along. Anything for a fellow cruiser that has helped us.
Our friends shakedown chain-plate problem,...Ouch!

While Arline is also reading about other cruisers and their mishaps I thought it would be a good idea to start and run the iron sail, it'd been a while plus the added mass of heat would stay with Kasidah a through the day. About 30 seconds later I announce the engine wouldn't start. I could tell the Glow Plug electric circuit had not engaged and this design diesel needs the glow plugs unless it's already at operating temperature. Now I know this engine very well and, remember, I'm an electrician, I know how to read prints and have a LOT of tools and meters on the boat. I knew it was no big deal but the look on Arline's face was AGHHH,...Opening the engine cover and the rear access panel was quick but again Arline's growing worried look told me this better go quick.
Electrical print, see what I mean, it could only be one thing,...

A quick check of the engine electrical print confirmed it could only be the one thing I was thinking. I headed down into it with the confidence and wisdom from years of experience in electrical troubleshooting, years of experience in diesel engines and knowing what will last and what will go first, years of experience as an outboard mechanic, years of experience in total boat systems, knowing Kasidah inside and out, down to knowledge of every wire in her, and the experience of living on her over the past several winters in the harshest conditions that the Bahamas could give you. So with all of this I find the electrical engine harness plug/connector, wiggle it a little and start the engine like I knew it would,...;-D. Of course I didn't leave it like that, I checked a few other things add a corrosive protector to the harness.  Arline was happy, so I grabbed a brew and sent spiritual help to all our family and friends weathering the cold, I hope it helped.

The said connector is black and what the sharpie is pointed at
Anybody have a guess as to what the thing is, in the above photo, with the bright white wires, yellow connectors, sliver flange mounted on red, above the 2 hose clamps, and what it really does... free coozie to the 1st...never mind,'ll just get a HUGE pat on the back from me, and full acknowledgement of my confidence in you on my next blog posting.

This weeks selection of calming spiritual brews

Also polishing fuel to keep on top of keeping it clean. There was just a big boat here that had to pay lots of money and lost 150 gallons of fuel and 2 weeks time because the fuel and had water in it with no way for them to cycle it through their filters.  It's always fuel,....unless it's the little electrical connector at the rear of the engine.

So we hope all our friends and family are staying warm,...well,....hope you all are dealing with it and doing well..

Thanks for watching.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A cold one today .....

We have been keeping busy here drinking cold ones,
Blue had a hat too
riding bikes, playing tennis, playing foosball, snorkeling, spearing fish, dinghy rides, gathering at the hot tub, taking long walks on the beach and even making paper hats for all our friends to wear. Lots of fun.

 The weather has not been good for moving the boat so we decided to stay for awhile with about six other boats, which also means some of our friends we are expecting have not arrived from Florida yet and are sitting at anchor in Lake Worth,a few of those have moved south to Miami or gave up and went to Marathon instead to keep warm. We will sit and have fun till we see the weather patterns change.
Biked to Freeport for some cold ones
everyone was having fun
Our Friends enjoying the night
Jon made some for the kids

HUGE Banana spider
resident under the boat "octopus"