Sunday, May 8, 2016

Back to Florida

The Abacos were our last hurrah, with lots of great anchorages, beaches and villages to visit.
It was really hard to leave.
 It took two long days passage through the gin clear waters of the Little Bahama bank from the Abacos, and a rollicking reach across the Gulf Stream, we returned to our new home at Lighthouse Point in Florida.

Bill adjusting the propeller

It's great to be ashore again.  There was lots of mail waiting for us and lots of boat jobs to do.  Fortunately, we had time in January to get the lay of the land, so we can get settled quickly.  Linda left the apartment beautifully furnished and well set up for us.
and air conditioning!

Elegant furniture and a super comfy bed.... so happy    

With the boat moored nearby at LHPYRC, we're getting lots done and making new friends quickly.

A nice place to come home to after a hot day in the boatyard.  Thanks, Linda!

And a quiet place to prepare our tax return and compile the many documents needed to apply for a French long stay visa.

More on the Bahamas

To catch up on our travels.
For two wonderful months in the Bahamas, we cruised with the Werners on Schatzi, the Kuhners on Tamure, the Goldweitzes on Egret and even connected with the Peases on Willie Dawes.  We were able to see the the Berry Islands, the Exumas, Cat Island, Eluethera, and the Abacos.  What a yachting paradise.

 Exumas Arrival - Dotham Cut.  Yowsa, after a wild reaching ride from Eleuthera

hmmm, a common sight

The bay at Black Point Village

The landing quay

Anchorage at Great Exuma Park, can't see the roaring current in this shot

the parking lot
Schatzi and Bolero crews - Last Supper....

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Moving Along

Hatchet Bay was more secure than we imagined.
Then we moved down Rock Sound. At this point we started getting acquainted with other cruisers going the same way.

A few days later, we left Eleuthera Point

for Little San Salvador where Holland America Lines has a Potemkin Village.  It was rolly, so we tried a side bridle to the anchor chain to set the stern into the waves,  with moderate success.

It was a wild ride over to Cat Island,  finally we were exposed to ocean swells and wind.

On Valentine's Day,  we tucked in wee Fernandez Bay in front of a small resort. We had a nice but very expensive dinner ashore.  The real fun was meeting the other guests from France and Switzerland.  We had a great time. 

Fernandez Bay is open to the south and west,  so coming wind changes pushed us onwards to the Exumas.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

On to Eleuthera

Soldier Cay was lovely, but the weather changes every few days, and the protection at Soldier Cay was limited.  So we set out for New Providence Island, just east of Nassau.  For a change, this took us out over deep waters.  

Nassau has a good port, but is a busy city that doesn't interest us.  So we found an anchorage just east.  As we approached, the wind strengthened a lot, but we nipped in the pass in time to find our way through the shallows to a safe spot for the night.

The next day, we set sail again eastward to the big island of Eleuthera and well protected Hatchet Bay.  It's unusual for the Bahamas, as it's almost completely surrounded by high limestone banks with a narrow opening.  All day we sailed over 10-20 ft depths, which is mind boggling to us, since the boat needs 7ft of water.  After a really windy start, the wind died completely to a glassy calm.  The water is so clear it was like motoring across a giant swimming pool.  We could see starfish on the bottom as we passed.

[unable to upload photos now. will try again later]

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Bimini and Berry Islands photos

Soldier Cay, at last

A monster, big enough for two 

Bimini wreck

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Soldier Cay, Berry Islands, Bahamas, Thurs, Feb 4, 2016

Lighthouse Point FL - During a quick visit that stretched out almost a week, Linda and Bill Bowers spoiled us with generous hospitality.
We shared the pain (sort of) of the Patriots' loss to the Panthers last Sunday. It rained buckets for a couple days, so at least the boat was clean for a while.
Bill, Linda and their friends helped us in many ways. We so appreciate everything they did for us.

Finally, really, on Saturday, January 30th, we started an easy, uneventful Gulf Stream Crossing from Hillsboro Inlet (Lighthouse Pt, FL)
We managed to nip into Brown's Marina just in time to clear Customs and Immigration before closing that evening. To celebrate, we had dinner at the Big Game Club resort that night.
One of the other patrons in the restaurant was wearing a UW Huskies sweatshirt, so we struck up a conversation. He turned out to be Tim Kenny, brother of our neighbor Shannon back in Seattle.
He was aboard his new sportfishing boat at the same marina with a niece and nephew. He is a fun guy and we had a good time talking on the dock for a couple days until we left.

Bimini's high season is summer, so some businesses were closed and it wasn't very busy and it was easy to stick around another night.
But finally (again) we shoved off for the Berry Islands 90 n miles east across the shallow waters at the north end of the Grand Bahama bank.

Winds were light so we motored for the 10 hour crossing, some of it was in darkness with brilliant stars overhead. Most of the depths are 10-15 feet, which can be nerve wracking. But after many hours, you get used to it and don't run aground, it's OK.

At 2230 (10:30pm), we anchored in the calm waters of Hawks Nest Bay on Great Harbor Cay. The next morning we woke to beautiful sunshine and balmy breezes. The bay is quite open, so we moved a few miles south to Market Fish and Soldier Cays and anchored in 10 ft of turquoise water with an ivory, sandy beach on shore under sunny skies and starry nights. After 2 nights, the only other people we've seen are a couple lobster fishermen who came by to sell us a gigantic lobster tale.

It was a cruiser's dream to have the place to ourselves for 4 days. But, dear friends and family, we wish you could be here to share it with us. That would truly make it perfect.
Except, we'd have to wear swimsuits again. But it would be worth it.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

After a long absence...

Gentle Reader
You may have noticed our long absence from these pages.  Our last post was from Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, in September 2015, with our friends Bill and Linda Bowers.  Since then, we have covered 1,500 n miles to Fort Lauderdale, FL.  Some highlights were
  • The NYYC Invitational Regatta in Newport with friends from Seattle Yacht Club
  • Long Island Sound, visiting our friends Scott and Kitty Kuhner in CT.
  • A week in Port Washington, NY and visiting NYC
  • A week in Annapolis, MD, visiting Washington DC and our friends Jim and Heather Wilson
  • Transiting the ICW from Norfolk VA to Beaufort NC

  • for a 2 week haul-out to paint the boat.
    Hauled out a Bock's Marine in Beaufort, NC
Beaufort, SC
  • Traveling south on the ICW and some great coastal sailing to Titusville, FL.  We've made Florida our new home.

  • In December, we began our new life in Florida in Titusville.  Although we flew back to Seattle and Portland the spend the holidays with friends and family.
  • After a terrific visit to the Kennedy Space Center, we traveled south to West Palm Beach to see our Seattle friends, Sally and Larry Cole, who spoiled us lavishly.  (Thanks!) and as an added bonus, meeting up with Scott and Kitty Kuhner aboard their boat Tamure.  You can see some of Bill's Kennedy Space Center photos here: Kennedy Space Center on Flickr

On January 24th,  we arrived at our new home in Lighthouse Point, FL.  We are renting a condo from Linda Bowers.  It's so good to have a place ashore again. Bill and Linda arranged a slip for Jarana, and drove us around for boat materials and provisions.

Check out our posts on Facebook.  Now we're waiting for fairy tale weather to cross the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas.   Stay tuned.