Thursday, April 16, 2015


We had three days of excellent sailing. Sometimes cruising is like that. Lot's of times it isn't. When we get these days we enjoy them immensely. Yesterday we sailed about thrity miles to get twenty. We could have motored straight there but we are a friggin sailboat after all, so we sailed. It was great. We set the sails and auto pilot then trimmed to the wind when required. We talked a bit, sometims taking turns to read a book or nap. There is always someone on watch. We broad reached right up to our anchorage.

Today we were worried about the cut we had to go through. We were leaving close to max ebb current and the wind was not directly against the current but close enough to make us sweat about it. We had already been through one rage and did not want to start the day with one. When we got to the cut is was a pussy cat. We rocketed out the cut at about 9.5 knots and then trimmed for close hauled sailing for thirty miles across the sound. At first it looked like we were the dumbest of the bunch today with big waves and wind on the nose. No wonder nobody else left today! As we got away from the shore the wind fell off a bit and we relaxed the sails a bit as well and man oh man did we fly. We were just off the wind enough, and the seas were not quite on the beam, and we took off.

Have you ever been out on the water and looked around and thought, why the hell are we the only people out here? Something we don't know about? Squalls? High winds? Krakken? Today was one of those days. All I can say is we were right and you jerks still at anchor were wrong baby! I know I know. Next outting I'll be screaming like a little girl.

Last afternoon at anchor Deb was considering going into the crystal blue water for a swim. Good for Deb. She rarely goes in. Neither one of us are big swimmers so it's a big event when I go in and it's a photo op of the year when Deb dives in. So Deb looks out at the water and says, "Oh my God it's a shark!". I hop to that side of the boat and lazily floating by next to our hull is a six foot shark. Deb says, "Well that ends any thoughts of going in the water!"
I agree. I do have to check the zincs so sometime soon I have to go in. We always think, what are the odds? But then you see one floating by the boat twice now in a month and well, it gets you thinking. Thinking about being a meal.

We can't complain much about the Bahamas. We sailed most of the time we were here. We are about as laid back as you can get right now. I wish there were more palm trees and the islands are pretty dry. I think we had maybe ten minutes of rain the whole time we've been here. The place is still beautiful and we are glad we got the chance to see most of it because next year we need to move fast.

We still have the Abacos to go through and yet here we are already planning for the fall. We still have some fun left in Eleuthera and some more cuts to go through. Maybe we will rage one more time. I hope not, but I'm beginning to think Deb likes it. We have a few days of lazy light wind sailing up the island before we think about crossing to the Abacos, which looks interesting, yet developed a lot more than the other islands. We may be there for a whole month so I hope it's somewhat enjoyable and not too much like Florida.

That's all I have for now. We've been boat bound so I have no stories of interesting people. Sooner or later a bar will serve me a cold one and then we'll just let the weirdo magnet do it's thing.


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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The ocean was weird today

We finally left Georgetown and started north. Yes, North. Frigging north. We started with a broad reach in not too bad waves. Maybe three footers. The wind was about 10-12. We were moving. Then the waves picked up and the wind died to about 5-7. Damn. Slam , bang, roll. Then the wind picked up and the waves dropped. We were reaching in relatively calm waters doing about 7 knots in 9-10 knots of wind. Not too shabby. Best reaching boat I ever sailed.
We made some serious miles.

The wind dies again and the damn waves pick up! What the hell! We got within a mile of the cut through the island and we drop the sails and motor on. RAGE!! We get into the cut and we have our first rage. The current was against the wind and wow, washing machine time. Deb had the helm and I was right next to her, working the throttle and watching the chart plotter while Deb's extremely wide eyes were focused on the boiling cauldron ahead. Girl did good! Proud of my soulmate! I can't tell you how much it means to that talent aboard. It's a huge weight lifted. So Debra plows through the waves and we both smile as we get through and go, "Rage on!"

We rounded a corner of a rock and settled into a quiet harbor for a change. A couple of anchor drop beers and we've settled in. Georgetown was way too bouncy for us. Tonight we will be rocked gently to sleep by the rippled water of this protected bay.

The sunset was even strange today. Huge sun for some reason, and it seemed to melt into the water tonight. I guess today was just a reminder of how nature is unpredictable and surprising. Or, it may be natures way of just getting us to notice.

Thanks to the folks who reminded us that it's the journey, not the destintion.

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Monday, April 13, 2015

One year out. Holy Shit!

It's been a whole year already! No shit. Really?

Yep. Deb says to me, "Hey, we left St. Augustine a year ago today. We've been out here a whole year!" Wow. I was stunned. It went by so damn fast! What have we done I thought.

We went south to Vero Beach and stuck ourselves to a ball for a while and then went back north for the summer while being pursued by hurricane Arthur. We Chesapeaked and then went south to Miami and stuck ourselves to a ball in Dinner Key for too long. After the holidaze we crossed the Gulf Stream to arrive in Bimini. At this point we were just wide eyed newbie cruisers feeling our way around the sandbars and reefs and cuts. When we left Bird Cay to Rose island in 17-22 knots and 6-8 foot swells we earned out first stripes. Going through the cut to Rose with waves breaking on the rocks around us we earned a few more. Jumping from island to island on our way to Georgetown maybe got us a jump in rank. Not sure. Doesn't feel like it, but we are all newbs compared to some of the folks out here.

Having a beer with circumnavigators really puts you in your place, yet the earth voyagers treat you like equals. We have met so many people that are so very cool. If we could do it over again our kids would be raised on a sailboat. We have seen many families out here having a blast. They have their classes onboard every day and then afterward they have fun in the sun. What a life. Not a cell phone or device of any kind to be seen.

I have to say since we got to the Bahamas we have yet to run into an asshole. Yes, there were a few people we found strange, like the Frenchman and his "Kitty", but for the most part this trip has been free of the jerk squad. Maybe because the place is loaded with Canadians. They are just too nice. I even try to get them going at the bar by talking of the Quebec resistance. I get a laugh and a head shake, but never a really bad word about their Frenchies. I totally respect the Canadian fleet. Brits. They make me laugh. I have never met such jolly people. Love their humor. I get it.

So we've met all these nice people and we've sailed through blue water you can only believe until you see it. We have had some fantastic sails, some boring motoring, some tricky maneuvering through cuts, and some lazy reaching on the banks in the sun. After all that we've accomplished and experienced what do we think so far?

Should a done it earlier man. Should a done it earlier.

We're celebrating our anniversary by trying to unplug the waste plumbing. The macerator sounded like Tom petty being strangled by Stevie Nicks and wasn't moving anything. I was not a happy germaphobe. I dreamt all night of being covered in feces with two waste hoses in my hand, both of them puking their contents into the bilge, followed by my own puking. We would never again have a visitor to the boat without vicks vapo rub under their nose. Fortunately I put my manly instinct into use and just shook the hose repeatedly until something started moving through. I consider myself fortunate that I did not have to celebrate my anniversary afloat with my thick rubber gloves, hoodie, dive mask, respirator and a Purell shower.

Shits still flowing. It's all good.


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