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.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

New Arrivals



We were stuck in Georgetown till the 4^th when Jen and Kara flew in for a weeks cruise on the luxury liner Kaleidoscope. We filled our time with volleyball (of course), poker and snorkeling. Every Monday and Thursday night the cruisers in Georgetown have a poker game. The play is shockingly bad but until Dan arrived we had not managed to win the 20 person tournament. I had placed third in the past but received barely more than my buy-in. In the first tournament with Dan, Dan and Brad placed 1,2 respectively. Not bad for a 20 person tournament. Then on Thursday the 4^th 's tournament Dan worked his way to second with Jen easily taking third. It was quite a run by team Kaleidoscope.

On one of the calm days anticipating the girls' arrival we traveled to the ocean side of Stocking Island to snorkel. With three sets of eyes and only 1 spear only one lobster was spotted. More importantly, one lobster was speared. Brad hit the lobster right in the head. It was a large lobster too. I'll let you decide from the pictures when they get put up but there was a lot of meat in that one bug. It was delicious. I am sure the excitement of catching it ourselves played a role in how much we enjoyed it but it was fantastic.

We left Georgetown after weeks of idling before sunrise on the 5^th . The waves in Exuma sound were only 2-4 ft but the roll they produced as we sailed down wind caused the first bouts of sea sickness among our crew. Dan and Kara both got sick and could not even keep the Bonine down. We diverted course to get in the lee of the Exumas and once we were on the Banks the sea was flat and order was restored. Sailing on the banks is like sailing a sunfish on a pond, no waves and smooth even wind. We pulled into Big Major's Spot near Staniel Cay at 6:30 after sunset. Apparently there are pigs that will swim out to your dingy looking for food but because of late arrival we missed out on having pork for dinner.

The predawn-postdusk sail left us with a faulty winch. Early in the sail we noticed that our port jib winch was sounding strange. There was no longer a ratcheting sound as it spun and it was extremely difficult to winch. We spent the day trying to avoid using that winch as much as possible. Safe at anchor we took it apart, cleaned it and re-greased the gears and magically it began to function properly. It seems like there is a theme on our boat of never being able to diagnose the problem but after we disassemble and reassemble the troublesome apparatus it spontaneously works again. It is very lucky on our part because something is always broken.

We woke up early on the 6^th to give us half a day at Warderick Wells Cay. On the sail there we caught a needle fish and a 16 inch Bar Jack. Shortly after a snorkeling/hiking expedition, Brad Jeff and I took a dingy trip to the Exuma Park office. We never made it to the office because as soon as we entered North Warderick moorings field we noticed a familiar hull. It was Aries! We lost touch with Aries prior to our trip outside at Cape Fear and yet there they were still traveling with Tom from Sea Cat. They had continued in the ICW for a couple days longer before they went outside to Florida. Apparently the storm that we ducked inside at Georgia for gave Aries a pre-thanksgiving snow in South Carolina. I am so glad we missed that.

Apparently, they were only a day behind us on the ICW in Florida and Bob from Persephone, whom they were traveling with, heard us try to hail Aries. Ironically, they also crossed the Gulf Stream the same day as us. Unfortunately, we were heading north to Nassau on a schedule because of our guests so we could not travel with them. Dave and Dang were able to give us the scoop on Nassau and it sounds very exciting.

We attended a cruiser happy hour on the beach after dinner. With six people on Kaleidoscope transportation to the beach became an issue. We piled all six of us into our dingy which has a maximum capacity of 550lbs. A conservative estimate for our weight is over 800lbs. We did manage to make it to the party without swamping. After a drizzle killed the party we retired to Aries for drinks.