Brad, Dan and Scott's Sailing Adventure

"There she is boys! The SS More Powerful than Superman, Batman, Spiderman, and the Incredable Hulk combined." This space will be used to post updates of our odyssey.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Bahamas

Couple new photos
12/17/06-12/19/06

"Hmm, something is amiss with our headsail"

We decided to take it easy on the 17^th and only travel 30 miles. We
ended up Warderick Wells Cay, Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park. Once again we
struggled to get in the water as fast as we could. The snorkeling sight
off Emerald Rock was a chore to reach but worth every moment. Although
the reef was small the sizes of the fish were inversely proportional to
the size of the reef.

Unfortunately we pushed on the next morning leaving every stone
unturned. We planned to cut through the Exumas to Exuma Sound and then
continue to Rum Cay about 100 miles to the East. As we poked out from
the lee of the Exumas we were hit with a sizable swell and winds out of
the East at 15-20 with gust to 25. Progress was fast but rough. Then at
11 pm our Jib halyard parted. We decided to heave to and wait out till
day light to enter George Town our default destination. The boat hove
nicely with sustained 23 across her beam making 1.4 knots leeward.

12/15/06-12/16/06

Easiest 100+ miles yet

We set an ambitious goal of setting out for another overnight trip of
140 miles but we could have done much more. We left the shelter of the
canal we anchored in at 10:00 and were hit with what would be the
largest seas of the day and they were only 4'. The wind was out of the
southwest at 15 knots which allowed us to make excellent time cruising
at 7 knots. Our plan was to round the Berry Islands and then head due
south to New Providence. Around 9 we rounded the Berry Islands and the
wind switched to North at 5 knots. It was exceedingly difficult to keep
our sails full and with sleep closing in we decided to drop the sails
and motor the rest of the way to Nassau. Nassau is the capital of the
Bahamas and yet when traveling through Nassau harbor one barely looks at
it, for it is dwarfed by the Atlantis hotel and casino that lies across
the harbor on Paradise Island.

We did not stop in Nassau, just traveled through it. We continued south
to the Exumas. Traveling in the Bahamas is like nothing I have ever
encountered. You can be 20 miles from the nearest land and yet be in 10
feet of water in danger of hitting a coral head for the entire trip.
This is how the passage from Nassau to Allan's Cay proceeded. According
to the cruising guides it is very important that the sun is high
overhead to see the coral. I don't think we could have avoided hitting
one had we happened to cross over one.

The turquoise water along the way did not prepare us for the beauty of
Allan's Cay. Pristine beaches littered with Iguanas and crystal clear
water signified we had really reached what this trip is about. After
anchoring we scampered to find our snorkel gear and jump in the water.
Even with the strong current it turned out to be one of the best snorkel
trips of my life. Puffer Fish, Queen Angels, Parrot Fish and beautiful
coral only scratch the surface of the wonders I found. Brad had taken a
different route and had no such luck. Even so, his trip topped mine, for
he returned with a fish on his spear. It was an inedible Atlantic
Surgeon fish that we mad the best of by baiting our rod with pieces of
it. It was quite a successful two days. We are greatly anticipating what
other gems we can find here in paradise.


12/7/06-12/14/06

Departure

The days began to blur into each other as we sat waiting for the wind to
shift. Finally, the 12^th of December began to look like our
opportunity. Dan had to be home by the 14^th at the latest to take the
final exam for his EMT course so we were eager to make it across. The
weather forecast two days in advance was seas 2-4 with an east wind,
just what we needed. Dan booked his flight for the 14^th out of Freeport
Grand Bahama and we were set. The boat was looking good (we had just
completed a myriad of minor fixes) and the seas looked like they were
going to cooperate. The 12^th rolled around and the forecast had begun
to deteriorate. The predicted seas were now 3-5 and 4-6 in places.
Nevertheless, we pulled anchor and headed to the fuel dock for our final
time in the US as we waited for the weather update. "Seas 5-7", and we
found ourselves right back in the same anchorage with Dan surely missing
his flight. On the upside Dan was able to get a cheaper flight home, and
we got to spend a night at the Marriott spa. In our last hurrah before
we lost Dan we snuck into the Marriot resort and spa. The hotel was
enormous, as was the pool but both were vacant. We had the multi-acre
pool, hot tub and sauna all to ourselves. I do believe we deserved to
treat ourselves that lavishly after the heartaches waiting has caused us.

Dan left the morning of the 13^th to return around the 27^th , hopefully
around the Turks and Cacaos. Brad and I completed all final preparations
and left Ft. Lauderdale at 1pm. Strangely, with an East wind and 2kts of
northerly current we were able to head due East on a port tack. The seas
were small, winds 15-20 and the night progressed easily. Traffic was
heavy at times but we never had spotlights shown upon us, as we had in
Long Island sound. Around 8 am we neared Grand Bahama and to our East
lay only the open Atlantic. The sea turned rough and we struggled
through lack of sleep to make it the last couple miles. By 10:30 we were
tied up at a Grand Bahamas Yacht Club Docks going through customs. This
was much more of a resort than yacht club, with manicured lawns, golf
course access and "boat" service. We utilized their facilities (onsite
customs officials, WiFi, New York Times Gazette and weather report) and
left an hour later to anchor at a significantly reduced rate in a canal
5 miles away.

1 Comments:

  • At 4:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Awesome.

     

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