Well its been a few days since I posted about our repaired motor and I thought I would post an update.
We left our nice snuggly anchorage in Georgetown mid morning since we didn’t have very far to go. Since the winds were not really favorable (too light) we opted for a later departure and a short trip over to Long Island. Shortly after leaving Georgetown bay, we hoisted the sails, shut the motor off and ghosted along on calm seas. Believe it or not, this was the first passage on this whole trip where we sailed the entire way and only started the motors to enter/exit harbors. It wasn’t a fast passage, but sure was nice to still have full diesel tanks when we arrived. About 3 miles out of our selected anchorage, I noticed an upper and lower storm cell that appeared to be colliding. Sure enough, within a couple of minutes a very thin water spout formed. Since it was a long way off, we didn’t think too much of it. I radioed our buddy boat to point it out and we decided to slow down a bit to allow the storm to blow off to the north. After another 30 min or so, the storm had stalled right over our anchorage and more spouts were forming and dissipating (one very large one was trying to form). We decided to stay offshore and do some big zigzags to eat up time and allow the storm to blow itself out. We watched as the storm absolutely pelted the anchorage and north island with rain. Then, all of a sudden it quit and the black cloud moved off north, leaving the anchorage serene. We continued in and dropped the hook in 10 feet of water. This was one of the most incredible anchorage we have been in. It was a mixture of sand, reef and stone, making one of the best vistas I had laid eyes on. Since the wind was blowing from the southeast, we were completely protected by the island and the water was flat as a swimming pool. We had a wonderful dinner with Sea Frog before watching an incredible sunset.
The next morning dawned bright, but with the wind now howling out of the southeast. We barely noticed as we were completely in the lee of the island. Since it was so calm, Rhonda decided she would go up the mast (yes you read that right) and change out our navigation light. We had bought a navigation light from www.marinebeam.com and it was a complete piece of shit. Every time we turned it on, it COMPLETELY wiped out our VHF and AIS communication. The worst part is they continue to sell the bulb after acknowledging they knew of the problem and have a replacement for customers who ask. Marine Beam is officially on my shit list for companies. Anyway back to the mast climb. We hooked up the boson chair, clipped Rhonda into a safety harness and I began cranking her aloft. Once she was about 3/4 of the way up, the 15 knot wind become pretty apparent and definitely increased her “pucker factor”. Rhonda did a fantastic job of switching out the bulb and was only at the top of the mast for about 15 min. With that job done, we pulled anchor and headed around the top of Long Island bound for Rum Cay. Unfortunately once we got the the top of the island we found the wind had wound up to 20 knots with 23 knot gusts RIGHT ON THE NOSE. We called Sea Frog and discussed our options. In the end, we decided to continue motoring into the seas as getting to Rum would give us a bunch of options. I won’t bore you with the details, but it was a very crappy tip pounding headlong into the waves and wind. Although there was no throwing up, everyone was feeling off and the crew slept most of the trip. It was made even worse by the 4 fish hits of which I landed none (sigh).
We finally arrived at Rum and navigated the challenging passage into the harbor (it’s a narrow cut in the reef). Unfortunately we discovered that Rum Cay weather 2 direct hurricane strikes and is no longer as described in the cruising guides. The Marina has been completely wiped out and the 200 people that once lived here has now dwindled to 57. Although the anchorage has very secure holding, its super rolly and very uncomfortable now. For those who don’t know, a rolly anchorage is where your boat is in constant motion. The boat goes, up and down, side to side and slaps the water constantly. Although its not the end of the world, its unpleasant and makes getting solid sleep a challenge.
So whats the plan from here. Well, the next passages are where the cruising gets real. From here we only have a couple of options with the best being Turks and Caicos. Turks and Caicos lies 175 nautical miles to the south east (remember going east is really really hard). Our next jump will depend on the weather. We could go 60 miles to Clarence Town, we could go 80 miles to Crooked Islands, we could go 130 miles to Mayaguana or we could go the whole 175 miles flat out to TC. For passage planning we use an average of 5mph so I will leave it to you to figure out how long each of those legs will take. One thing is for sure, once we leave Rum Cay harbor we will be completely cutoff except for our Delorme InReach. If you want to chat with us, send me an e-mail or Facebook message with your cell number and I will text you (I must initiate the first text for it to work). Hurry as we plan to leave in 24 hours or so! DO NOT POST YOUR NUMBER IN THE COMMENTS, SPAMMERS WITH PICK IT UP!
Chillin at the Chat n Chill
Snug in her Anchorage (Laundry Day).
Found this little guy at the St. Francis club poker night.
Sea Frog sure is Purdy under sail
I’m sure Grandma will poop at this picture. However, that spout is about 2 nauticle miles away.
Just like parking in a pool. Love the background of beach, rock and forest. Off to the right was a fantastic coral reef.