Sunday, February 23, 2014

Ships That Pass in the Night

"Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing, only a signal shown, and a distant voice in the darkness; So on the ocean of life, we pass and speak one another, only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence."
                                                                           Henry Wadsworth Longfell

After a while the weather finally has to become right for a comfortable move with Kasidah. Even with this winter’s on slot of storm after storm we have been wintering fine in Grand Bahamas. Our trip to the Berry’s has finely come. 

Kasidah headed south from Raymond's power cat. Moving well in the water.
We left Silver Cove and Ocean Reef Yacht Club (ORYC) on Tuesday the 11th at 1st light on a falling tide, but with plenty of water in the inlet. Wind was going to be ENE-E 70-90 deg. Our heading to the Berry’s was going to be 140 deg. It was a 63 NM run so a SOG (speed over ground) of 5-6 knts was mandatory. We where followed out of the little inlet an hour later by Raymond but he passed us within 2 hours doing about 10 knts. He’s been here at ORYC this year and last year, we’ve become dock friends. He has a very nice power cat and was headed in the same direction. With family aboard and a nice camera we’re hoping for a great photo of Kasidah hauling ass.  Thanks Raymond. We motor sailed with full sails making near 6.5 knots the first half of the day Close Hauled with a little room left making as much East as we could in case the wind came any more than East. The last three hours the wind was indeed right on the nose (of course) and was a little more East than I wanted. We tacked around once to side step a very large tanker and gained a little more East,….but it wasn’t worth it, now we were too close to the shallow water. We pulled in the Head Sail, and Stay Sail motoring with the Main up the last 2 hours making good speed close to 6 knots and making the harbor entrance of Great Harbour Cay (GHC) just as the moon was having an effect on our vision. We have many tracks on our instruments in and out of here so it was pretty easy. It was a nice sail and day to be on Kasidah.

The following day we dropped the dinghy, and headed out. Many of you may remember we lost our pet and best friend Sara last year at this time, leaving her on the best beach around. 
Sara's Veiw

We found her resting place in good condition with some of the flowering plants we left taking hold. We also found a coconut on a beach that had rooted and moved it near her. When we got back in the dinghy Arline said “OK I’ve done what I wanted to do, we can leave the Berry's any time”
Boat dog Sara Enjoying her beach,....... little did we know how much she really enjoyed it,...

Samantha Office manager
Returning to the marina and Kasidah we found numerous friends from all the years in GHC. Samantha was there as office manager and couldn’t give us a big enough huge, then sharing what had happened in her life while we’d been away. Later in the week she brought her 9 year old son over for us too meet, what a proper man he will be. 

Barrington was the dock master years ago but now is working as a tour boat captain that servers the big Cruise Ships that anchor off Coco Cay.  He and his wife have a beautiful 1 year old baby girl they named Liberty, but call her Libby ;-D. He is a much respected local person and had been part of the local government. We have shared dinners and stories with Barry about his life and ours, I can tell he deserves all of our respect for his morals and achievements. Thereon was a worker too but now lives in Freeport and has a new baby girl with his wife who is a school teacher on Grand Bahama. He was shocked to learn we’d been 2 months at ORYC and within 2 miles of his home and new job as a Government official for the fishing department. We are invited to spend Thanksgiving with his family next year. There were many others that came by just to say hello and see if we needed anything or if we got another dog to keep Blue company. 
Arline and Barry with Liberty,..Lib.
Of course Jeff and Lana, who had been there for us the 1st year when we pulled in with a blown engine. They have a nice house on the island, and invited us to drinks and dinner. Returning to the boat late at night we noticed another sailboat had pulled in next to us. There were predictions of big winds for the next few days and a lot of cruisers had pulled in for coverage. Our new dock mates had the telltale signs of new young cruisers; trunks of stuff tied down on the deck, sailboards, Kayaks, a new dinghy and other things. It was an older center cockpit and a good looking boat.
Our new dock neighbors 
Peter and Jodi on the right with their quest in the center
Not so early up the next morning and at the bath house we say hello to our new dock mates doing laundry. Peter and Jodi, we started talking about destinations, journeys and dogs, (They have 2 big ones on board). We were talking about their crossing and how long it took them because the wind was right on the nose having to motor sail nearly the whole way. Jokingly I said “On the nose,.. What,. Did you just climb on the boat last week?”.  "Well last month" was his answer. We then find out they just bought the boat, a Whitby 42 from friends of ours. What a small world, this is S/V “HEY JUDE!”. A boat we've known and cruised with since our 1st time crossing to GHC. Steve and Judy are great people that we still talk with while they are now in the Colorado area. Steve used his dinghy to pull Kasidah and her blown engine into dock the 1st year there. Judy is the one who helped Arline with her hip, which is still good for her. Last year we crossed to GHC again with them knowing it would be their last year out. They have had “Hey Jude” for I Believe near 20 years. We sat with them at GHC and at the exact same docks. Within minutes I showed Peter photos from my phone of “Hey Jude” pulling away from the dock, the last photo of her we have, another of Steve towing Kasidah in, and finally another of Judy with her big as life smile. 

Steve and Judy leaving 1/13 from GHC Marina for parts unknown
I remember the photo and the moment they left last year, thinking we’d never see them or “Hey Jude” again. We really wanted to go with them further south, we just didn't want it to end. But for us we didn’t know what we could or would be doing the next summer. We had just been lied to, cheated, stabbed in the back and thrown under the bus by people we thought were friends, plus we’d just had some of our true good friends ripped out of our life. Steve and Judy knew and understood from experience what we had just gone through, and we knew for them, that this was their last year out here.  Also at the time Sara was not doing well, they and many other boaters helped keep our sanity in check. Steve and Judy had become family to us, and us to them. It was very emotional seeing “Hey Jude”, but quite a comfort to see her too. Her new name and owners would make Steve and Judy very proud.  Peter and Jodi felt the karma aboard “Hey Jude” when they looked at her and commented to the positive vibe they felt from Kasidah sitting at her side. We shared with the new owners 3 more great days, and a nice meal aboard.

Judy saw the photo of Kasidah and Hey Jude, which is now Mary Christian, together at the dock, “One is where they are, just as they are meant to be,” was her email back to us.  

Dock hand and friend Meko and Casita's owners with Arline

There was another boat Casita. Go ahead and say it. They were at GHC last year too. This year they are there buying property. We spent the big Wahoo Fishing tournament evening with them and all our other friends on Saturday knowing we would be headed back to ORYC in the morning.

Leaving GHC at 1st light on Sunday as planned, and following our tracks out. Knowing what we did coming down, and having good tracks to ORYC from the year before, we were off for another good day. The computer with all of our tracks keeps history that is very detailed, if you click on any point of a track you can tell the day and time at that exact location. We had fair wind, I would have loved another 5 knts but, we were going well. We knew from the track last year that we made it into the Silver Cove channel at 3:30 having left at dawn too. Our arrival time today as stated by the chart plotter all morning long was 6:30 pm with sunset at 6:15, BUT all morning till noon we were 1 hour ahead of our position last year. Present boat speed was 7 knts, but SOG was 5.5 meaning we were being kicked by a 1.5 knt in current. Very interesting. We did make the channel at 6 pm, and we were just 2 hrs after low tide. Water Depth was going to be close in the channel, so we slowed down and added as much time as we could to gain more tide and water depth in the channel. At low tide there is 5 ft and we draw a little more than 6 ft. As we enter the channel Arline is up on the bow scouting for the zig-zag in the channel. I’m listening to her through our communicators, watching the depth meters and going as slow as I can. Not too slow because you can lose steerage, the current coming into the channel is probably 2-3 knots so that means Kasidah is moving about 4 knots which is pretty fast to run aground (I know this from experience). Arline had an easy time spotting the zig-zag and there was only one point at which I had only 6 inches under Kasidah. Ah nice to be back at ORYC, 2 pools, a hot tub, tennis, good stores and beaches and a bunch of Great Canadian cruising buddies. who are running around with their Flag after winning the gold in men and women's hockey. 

Highlighted track of the trip home 
Highlighed track of our trip south, note the details in the notes
and the Tack made.

Who knows what ships we passed as we came north that were just out of site. Who knows what ships we will pass in the near future. Our time together and here seems so short. I hope we connect again with (not in any particular order); Jenny, Summer Breeze, Y-knot III, C/esc;, Quest, Ram Sea, Serene, Rocinante, Andros, Ozymandias, Earendil, Anjo, Steadfast, Intermezzo, Pelican Rose, and all the others here at ORYC. There are so many we’ve crossed paths with and consider part of our family I can go on and on and not get to you all so please don’t feel left out if you’re not mentioned. We hope also to spend time welcoming into the cruising community and family, John and Marquette on Quick Silver, Dorothy and Dave on Querencia, and of course Veranda and our sister ship Boat Bumms. It’s wonderful out here for many many reasons.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. . . Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Mark Twain

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