Thursday, February 3, 2011

Update from Black Point on Great Iguana

I left Coconut Grove In the early afternoon. I stopped for fuel to top up in the rain and managed to leave my spare gas can on the dock. I didn’t notice it until I reached Bimini. It was a pretty easy crossing to No Name harbor to wait for the morning to leave. I managed to sleep in a little and by the time I headed out at all but one boat had left. Cara Mia had left Coconut Grove early and was about an hour ahead of me. At I was crossing ahead of one freighter on a course of 120* but my actual path was about 80* as the Gulf Stream pushed me north. The depth sounder had maxed out at 522 feet. At I spotted some islands in the distance and I was tied up to a dock in Bimini at . My only issue was hitting the bottom on the way in, I had to get in closer to shore than I thought the channel was and went in about 100 feet off the beach. I found out later that the channel is about 150 feet off the beach.
Checking in was not a problem, I asked for till May 1st and they gave me 90 days without an issue and said to simply ask for an extension in Georgetown when it got close to the time.
I met a few new people and had internet intermittently at the Big Game Club with its $6.00 beers. A Florida fisherman enjoyed our sailing stories So much that he gave me a huge fillet of fish enough for 3 meals.

Jan 20 I left Bimini with two other boats to head for Nassau. Just as we rounded North Rock a thick fog closed in. I couldn’t see the lead boat only 200 feet away. After switching on the radar I saw him just as a large power boat came out of the fog and passed me a 100 feet away going in the opposite direction. We traveled the course line for several hours in the dense fog with only our radars and the GPS lines as reference but the last boat had AIS system and was able to see any freighter far ahead of our radars. Other than that first boat the crossing was somewhat uneventful. Island moon was letting us know about big ships long before they got close. We were traveling in the dark along the path the island freighters took. The water never got shallower than 15 feet. About midnight we were crossing out into the deep water but the wind was strong and opposing the tide and I had already  put 5 spare gallons into the tank and with the waves at night I wouldn’t be able to add any more. So I turned around and went 5 miles back in to where 4 other sailboats were anchored and spent the night there. I was exhausted and slept fairly long and when I woke up all the others were gone. I put in five more gallons and had a coffee and light breakfast and left
The winds had gone more south and getting into deep water was easier now. It was a long motor sail across to New Providence, almost 50 miles. The winds were out of the south at 10 to 13 knots and it was tight so I motor sailed all the way. At I sighted New Providence and at I had called in to harbor control and was at anchor in Nassau Harbor. I was time to cook up a nice piece of that fish for dinner.

Jan. 22, 2011
I am sitting in Nassau Harbour and just finished breakfast. I had pancakes with Quebec maple syrup that I got from Le Caboteur who I helped step his mast back in Castleton so many months ago. Several other boats are anchored here waiting on better weather to cross to the Exumas. Next to me is North Star, a trawler I met with Peter back in Chesapeake City before Thanksgiving. Later today I will put the motor on the dingy and head in to Nassau Town. It will be the first time I motor the dingy in over a month. But first I will relax a bit.

I spent a windy night on the anchor, but didn’t drag. The problem is the tidal current is making the boat sail all over. I went into town again to sightsee and visit friends and get online and do shopping and when I got back to the boat it was getting pretty close to North Star so I moved to the other side and reset. The boat is still sailing around and after two nights I went in to take a dock I spent three nights at two different docks the second one had a pool… NICE.

On Jan 27 with full tanks I left Nassau after clearing out. I departed at ; Passed Athol’s Island at ; entered the Yellow Bank at and cleared it at . At I saw islands in the distance and at I was setting the anchor in Allen’s Cay harbour. Anchored 100 feet away was My Ty a French Canadienne boat we were moored next to in Annapolis Md. for the boat show back in October. I spent two nights there.

At I contacted Nirvana Now on the SSB before the weather net. And by I was hoisting the anchor and I departed for Warderick Wells with Island Moon. At I was motor-sailing south along 76* 52” west longitude. At the vessel Azimuth relayed my request for a mooring to the Exuma Land and Sea Park. That afternoon I was relaxing off another beautiful tropic island
We spent two days there and Jan 31 with ¾ tank of fuel we left for Compass Cay. It was a tricky way in, narrow and shallow but the tide was rising so we made it through and anchored off Pipe Cay, spent a rough night and left the next morning for Staniel’s Cay
By I was happy at anchor off SCYC near Thunderball Grotto. I plan to spend a couple nights here before heading to Black Point on Great Guana Cay.

I am now in Black Point, I spent yesterday snorkling In Thunderball Grotto, Feed the reef fish bits of bread as they swarmed around me. I gave some bread to the kids from another boat and they delighted in feeding them as well
We enjoyed some pork chops in Island moon and socialized with a coupkle that bought a boat here and are sailing back to Australia in it. Then looked at a 54 bfoot yacht that is captained by a 30 year old guy from Wisconsin who got into this from an fine arts major.... go figure
My next planned stop is Little Farmers for the Festival if there is any room left to anchor this weekend.
The weather has been great the last few weeks even with hiding out from the fronts.

Enjoy the cold and come join me if you need a warm spell

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