This trip we have a buddy boat with us from our marina. It is Paul and Joanne on "PJs Nest".
Well we ended up leaving Sunday from Bohicket. The weather forecast really sucked, 10-15 outside and 20-25 knts of wind. So we left around lunch and headed down the ditch for Beaufort, SC. We found a great anchorage just North of Beaufort and closed the day out with a walk of the dogs and first night on board.
The weather report is great, 3-5 and 10-15 knts out of the southwest (guess which way we are headed.) So we motor sail and head for St. Augustine FL. Thirty hours later, here we sit, on a nice little beach just inside the inlet.
Great overnighter gentle 3’ ground swell and bright moon lit night. We love overnighters and this one was really beautiful. It was perfect for the buddy boat with us, they had never done an overnighter before. We got their cherry!!!!!!
They are newbies, as for as sailing goes, so it is kind of neat helping someone live the dream and learn the little bit that we get to experience this trip!!! The wife who is a retired 4 th grade teacher and he is retired hospital administrator. Later it was her watch on her boat and mine on ours. All she could say on the VHF was how dark it was at about 4 am when the moon set. I replied but look at all the stars J
Well we are headed for Cape Canaveral in the morning. Hopefully about 26 hours.
St. Augustine FL – Cape Canaveral
Well we got some fuel at Conch House Marina, real easy in and out, and headed south. We had figured out that we would arrive around 4:00 in the morning so we had to kill some time, so we got a chance to do some slow sailing south. The conditions were still real nice, but the wind was on the nose, and the seas a 3 ft. gentle swell. So we just did some tacking and had a blast. And it was another beautiful night.
The auto helm is still broke, even though I smacked it with a hammer and reinitialized. Seems when I talked to Raymarine, it had never been sent in. The shmuck that worked on it basically lied to us L. It seems that I have no power coming out to the motor or clutch. So I am still spending a lot of time at the helm. But oh well it is still a great time being back sailing! Got into Cape Marina at 7:00 and here we sit.
We will head out in the morning for Lake Worth and then turn east and head for West End.
Cape Marina to West End
Well we left Cape Canaveral around 9:30 headed for West End Bahamas. It will be another long trip in front of us, 162 miles. The wind again was on the nose but the seas are still calm.
Then around 2000, the winds turned enough so we could get in some good sailing. The winds were 15-20 so we could really haul ass. We were headed Well we left Cape Canaveral around 9:30 headed for West End Bahamas. It would be another long trip in front of us, 162 miles. The wind again was on the nose but the seas are still calm.
Then around 8:00 pm the winds turned for West Palm, then turn east for the Bahamas and the Gulf Stream.
At around 4:30 we made the turn and Bahamas here we come. By now the seas had turned ugly, 4-6 and from every direction. Kinda beat the crap out of us. But the wind was still good so it was easy to make 6-8 knts of speed.
Then after the sun comes up the buddy boat runs out of gas. So I turn around and give them a jerry can full of gas, for the second time. An hour later he gets his boat running again and we are steaming ahead.
While in Cape Canaveral, I find a split ring next to Paul’s boat. I give it to him and suggest he look to find where it came from. Well it seems that it was for the lifeline gate!!! And yes he falls through it. And damn near falls over board.
Well when we were 5 miles out we hook a major Dolphin on the lightest rod we have. Diane has the pole and starts the fight. He jumps four or five times before she hands off to me. It is a GREAT fish, about 50 or 60 pounds. Thanks to Shawn (a fellow renegade) for making us the lure, he must have put the magic touch on it. Well we are currently anchored behind West End and life is LARGE.
West End to Great Sale Cay
Getting out of west end was hair raising to say the least. The seas were 8-10 foot seas. It definitely tightened up the butt. Especially knowing there were reefs real close by. But we made it through Indian Cay Cut and pushed on for Great Sale. A cold front had come through, the winds were out of the North, so the Little Bahama Bank was a little rough but the winds were 10-15 so it was a great sail, as our course was easterly, so we covered the 50 miles in about seven hours.
Great Sale – Allans Pensacola
We pulled out at 0900 hrs and headed for Allans Pensacola Cay. As we were heading out we had a good conversation with “S/V Black Pearl”, a beautiful boat out of Charleston, then “S/V Xanadu” chimed in, as they were also from Charleston, actually from the same marina as we stayed at. We all chatted for a while wished each other fair winds and sailed off in different directions.
Well there was very little wind so we motored the 35 nm to Allans Pensacola with calm seas and a nice motor sail. We eased in dropped the hook and headed to the beach so the dogs could feel some sand under their paws.
Unfortunately Paul and Joann could not get their hook set but after a number of tries they came out next to us and got it set.
Allans Pensacola to Bakers Bay
We pulled the hook at 0900 and headed south. Another windy day but after all we are a sail boat so wind is good. We were headed for New Plymouth for ice and bread; the fridge is not working right so I want to keep ice on board just in case it dies completely. The seas were on the nose and a little rough, then all of a sudden the hook on the dingy let loose from its bow ring. Like people say “ hours of boredom and minutes of shear panic. Well this was the panic as the dink hung upside down and tried to beat it self to death. We quickly turned into the wind and lowered the engine end of the dingy and jumped into it and replaced the snap shackle hoisted it back up and headed south again, no harm no foul.
We made it into New Plymouth by 1400 dropped the hook and headed to Sid’s and the Wrecking Tree for lunch and provisions. Paul and Joanne decided to anchor in Black Sound instead of anchoring outside near the Government dock. We had decided to anchor at the south end in Gilliam Bay. The winds were out of the southwest, which made anchoring there not a good idea. After not being able to get the anchor set we decided to push on to Bakers Bay instead.
We made the crossing of Whale Cay Cut easily with a gentle swell and dropped the hook at Bakers. And to our surprise there were three other boats. The fewest I have ever seen in the four or five years of coming to Abacos.
A little windy last night but not bad at all, and this morning we are the only boat here in Bakers. After the net I call Paul and Joanne to check in with them and let them know where we are. Paul informs me they dragged the anchor during a rainstorm and they have decided to go back home. They only made it one week, and only to Green Turtle Cay. I could not ask why, due to poor radio reception!!!! I guess they just were not enjoying the trip
Wehung out at Bakers for a couple of days and then headed over to Guana Seaside to say hello to Gerri and Bob and enjoy the pool. We ran into Danny B and Patty B at the bar. We had a good time talking about our trip over and just generally BS. Indigo Moon had let us know that they were in Lynard Cay and heading up to Bakers Bay the next day. So we decided to try going outside to do a little fishing and come back to Bakers for the night. Well the seas were rough and wind on the nose so we decided that this was not worth the trouble so we turned around and headed in. While anchored Tuna Dave was also anchored here and came over for a visit and it was nice to put faces to names. He is a real nice guy and hopefully we will run into them again soon. Later Buddy and Melissa on Indigo Moon came in and dropped their hook near us and they invited us over for dinner.
We head over at around 1830 for dinner. It is a really nice boat, they have done a great job of setting her up for cruising. Unfortunately while cooking on the grill Buddy ask me to hold the light for him. I took one step and stepped through the open hatch and broke the lens in it. After a lot of apologizing and embarrassment, and a band aid all was well except for the broken lens. I offered to pay for it but Buddy would not accept anything. Just an example of the kind of people Buddy and Melissa are, real nice folks!!! While eating dinner Diane spots a rocket launch from Canaveral. It was great to finally see a launch from Abaco.
Baker's Bay to Treasure
We spent the night in Bakers and woke up to a pretty stiff breeze out of the SW and it was beginning to get rocky so we decided to head over to Treasure Cay for the night. On the way we saw a large shark pass under us. Had to be around 12 feet or so. I motored in and dropped the hook. Buddy came over and ask if we wanted to join them for dinner at Coconuts that night. We had a good meal and again a fun evening was had by all.
Buddy & Mellissa
Marsh Harbor to Lynard’s
When we get to Marsh Harbor I notice another Lagoon and anchor near it. It is Roy and Diane on S/V Molly Bloom. Really nice folks. Roy never makes a trip to town without asking if we need anything. He knows the lagoon like the back of his hand, so naturally I have tons of questions. He has tons of patience and answers all my questions. He taught me about the special greese for the dripless among other things. Again both are great people, and we hope to be able to keep in touch and see them again
Well after working on the head for a couple of days all things were good. New y-valve and some major vinegar rinsing and all was working great. Then Diane hails me and says there is something coming out of the inlets in the bowl. I look and sure enough something is indeed coming from the inlets. I pull on it and it breaks off. I flush again and more of these things come out. It seems the pump is working so well it has sucked an octopus into the head. And what I am breaking off is his legs.
First thought is SHIT the only way to get him out is to remove the head and shake it upside down. Then a fellow cruiser , Mary on Agurs Wish, suggests that I suck him out. Shy of sucking him out with my mouth I am stumped. Then it dawns on me to try the shop vac I keep on board. Viola, I put the shop vac at the back of the head where the water comes into the bowl and I hear my culprit hit the shop vac. Life is good again J
Well the final leg is here.
It has been a fantastic 6 weeks. We are put back in the water after a new bottom job and new cutlass bearing. It is Thursday and I knew we needed to start heading north. And not wanting to leave on Friday it meant a trip to Marsh Harbor for provisions and say the last good bye to Mary and Jeff on "Agur's Wish". (She was the one who helped with the octopus). And then decide as far as we could make it was Bakers Bay. It is real windy and the whale passage will be better tomorrow.
Today we will sail from Baker's Bay to Great Sale for an overnight. Great sailing and following seas wind on the broad beam then a beam reach all the way. We caught a couple of barracuda and were anchored well before sunset, about an 8-hour day.
At about 1600 the bottom goes away as we drop into the stream. After an hour or so Diane hooks a nice dolphin but I miss with the gaff, bummer. Another hour or so and she hooks up with a large Wahoo, BUT, he crosses the bow and breaks off on the bow roller (again BUMMER). And it seems that the line I am suppose to reel in has fouled the starboard prop, another BUMMER!!!! Now I am required heave to, and go over board in 5-7 foot following seas knife in hand. I have to admit looking down and thinking there is shit down there that would eat me. I cut and remove the line and we are off again.
No stars tonight or wind so we are a trawler with sails. We are basically out here by ourselves. We did not encounter anyone until around dawn. Then a couple of tankers eased by
Still no wind as the sunsets and following seas still are with us. I am starting to get tired at the helm but doing well. Diane fixes a great supper and we heave to and eat dinner and watch the sun drop into the ocean.
Another lonely night and around 0430 I am having a hard time focusing on the compass and Diane does not see well at night so we heave to (more of a drift) and I lay down for a two-hour nap. The radar alarm wakes me up and it's just a buoy about 8 miles out, but time to go.
Sunrise at Sea
I start to pick up some radio chatter around 0530, from the other people out there motoring along. Diane is up and coffee is in order, and another day of motoring. I decide it is time for the Gerry cans of fuel and a little more figuring of time and distance and it will be real close.
Around 1300 Diane hooks a 45 lb dolphin and it makes it into the cooler, then about 30 minutes we nail a small 20# Bonita great fight.
Then about 25 miles from the inlet at North Edisto the starboard engine dies. It is either out of fuel or so low that it has picked up some trash. I check the racor and it is all right so I siphon off five gallons from the genset fuel tank, put it in and she fires back up with a couple of coughs and now it is running at 400 rpms faster than it has ever run, go figure,
A wonderful time was had by all, we spent 7 weeks sailing and learned a ton from a lot of people, and had the opportunity to sail our boat in basically every condition. We even got the chance to anchor the cruiser's net. 1400 miles later we are home looking forward to our next adventure