Voyage 2009-2010: Chapter 4

Cruising to .....

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4 Mar 2010, Windy George Town , 23 30.498 N/ 075 45.9 W

    We are now getting into the routine at Georgetown but it is still a bit hard to take Rockin' Ron and Kool Karen on the VHF Channel 72 George Town net. Monday was laundry day at town where a load can be washed, dried, and folded for USD 10.00. While the laundry was busy, we circumnavigated Lake Victoria by foot. As it has not been warm at all during our stay, the journey was a breeze.

    Of course, the walk made us hungry so we stopped by Eddies Edgewater for a burger. This is really the only place we found as our beloved Two Turtles is falling into ruins. Still, Eddies was quite nice and the folks (except one of the waitresses)were quite friendly. We met a couple of cruisers there (surprise) where we had a friendly chat.

    We rushed back to the boat for a bit of rest in anticipation for opening night of Regatta Week at Volleyball Beach. We left at 1500 for the beach but soon realized that we would soon get cold so Bob dingy-ed back to the boat to get some 'winter' clothes. The first show was the pet parade where all of the cruiser's pets (actually only dogs) would be dressed in their finest. Levi, if still with us, would have been mortified!

    Next were the opening night skits where cruisers would dress up and act or sing, or act and sing. This was actually quite a production with many talented people. We watched most of the stuff with Endaxi and Sadie A. Show was not over until 2100 and then we had the task of finding our boat among the 250 anchored boats here. We did.

    A blow was forecast for the next couple of days where the wind would persist out of the S and SW at 25-30 kts. So on Tuesday, we moved the boat close to shore near the Government dock but out of the way of the channel and the submerged cables. Not a bad place but the water was a bit thin.

    Of course we had to go to town again. The wind had already piped up to near 20 kts so we had a wet dingy ride. Yes, WET!. Why did we have to go to town. To get cat food; the kind that Sammy likes! Imagine. And ice for Ann. And cookies for Bob. Oh well, maybe an important trip after all.

    We got up early on Wednesday (0230) as we were rolling quite a bit 'cause the wind had veered to the WNW. Bob noticed that the batteries were down way below where they should be. After some detective work, Bob discovered that battery #2 had a shorted cell. So we had to put that battery offline as it was also bringing down the solar/wind chargers. Good thing we still have 3 good batteries.

    Time to go to J&K's for another Internet fix. Both of our Blackerry's worked in George Town so we could do most of our Internet chores. But bill paying doesn't work well, so we had to go to J&K's for some WiFi. Bob lounged on someone's porch near J&K's (it was cool as the owner was very friendly) to complete his Internet chores.

    Thursday was still windy so we put off our departure for the Turks and Caicos until tomorrow. So we traveled to town yet again with its resulting dinghy butts. Bob forgot his shoes and Ann forgot the trash so our trip was a bit abbreviated. The trip back was exceedingly wet, even with rain gear. -----

10 Mar 2010, George Town to somewhere, 23 21.282 N/ 075 08.4 W

    Chris Parker's forecast at 0630 on 4050 kHz indicated that the trip to Provo should be OK except maybe to the trip to Cape Santa Maria. We left at 0900 after the traffic jam of cargo ships cleared our area. The trip through eastern Elizabeth Harbour was uneventful and actually had a few aids to navigation. However, once we entered the sound, we encountered very steep waves on our beam. This does not look like fun. Maybe we should divert to Thompsons Bay on Long Island and work our way up the western coast.

    Good thing we did as we found that our propane system had failed. 48 hours (or more) without coffee would be unbearable. As the wind was nearly on our stern we kept with the jib and mizzen and of course the motor. The waves from the sound and the remnants of the northerly swell rocked Jule a bit but nothing like the seas exposed to the sound.

    The Thompson Bay anchorage was quite nice even though it was a bit rolly. We have never been here before but tried to get the lay. At 0830 each morning, the Island Breeze resort provides a much subdued cruisers net on VHF 18. After the net, we had a 25 minute downwind dingy trip to Island Breeze where we had a bit of lunch and checked out the amenities at Salt Pond. Next we took a stroll across the island to see the Atlantic Ocean.

    Wow, not bad for a fifteen minute walk. The coastline was beautiful with beaches and rock formations everywhere. Ann was disappointed with the lack of shells but still a very successful excursion. We returned to Island Breeze, hopped in the dinghy and took another really wet 45 minute trip back to Jule. Can't remember the last dry dinghy ride. Could it have been at Vero?

    Sunday had the seas picking up a bit in the Bay so we decided to try and fix the propane. We isolated the problem to a defective solenoid. We could not bypass it as we did not have the necessary fittings. We searched the boat and found a spare solenoid but still needed a brass fitting to install it. Oh well, maybe we can found something if we rent a car. SV Endaxi was now in the harbor so we agreed to rent a car together tomorrow.

    On Monday, the crews dinghied to Fox Auto to rent a nice Chevy Cavalier. We were all chicken to drive it (left handed stuff) so Sally became the hero of the day. We had a great time exploring the south part of the island while looking for a .25 inch coupler or a flared to NPT coupler. If we do not find such a device, we will be unhappy with out warm food or coffee.

    Our first stop was to check out the ruins of the oldest Christian church in the Bahamas. There were no signs of any repair plans so it is a shame that it will not be used again. Next we went to the Long Island Museum where we saw artifacts of the island's past. Thre folks at the museum ere very helpful and friendly. Next we went to Coco's for lunch which is located about 10 miles north of Clarence Town. Sally and Bob recommended the place as the ate here the last time they were here>

    Eureka! Fisherman's Marine outside of Clarence Town has our fitting. Tomorrow we will try and put our propane system together. After rejoicing on our find, we continued our drive until we saw the churches of Father Jerome.

    We visited Saint Peter and Paul Catholic Church which was a marvelous structure. We entered the church and could imagine how it is cherished by the Roman Catholic community in Long Island. We spent more than an hour admiring the church. Ann and Endaxi Bob hiked up the bell tower while Sally and Jule Bob looked at the vistas of the waterfront below.

    After checking out the marina, we headed back as we did not want to do another night and wet dinghy ride. So we headed north until we arrived at the Tiki Bar where we took a break from our hard day. Nice place where we had our first taste of breadfruit and a history lesson on the fruit. We arrived back at Salt Ponds where we did a bit of grocery shopping and then back to Fox Auto. We jumped back into the dinghy in plenty of time to arrive at our boats before dark.

    At 0700 on Tuesday, Bob entered the port locker to work on the propane system. He had to disassemble the old parts, assemble the new parts including the coupler, and ran a test. Eureka again! Everything works and the whole job took less than 4 hours. Not bad. We headed back to Island Breeze for a last lunch and some shopping (including ice) at the grocery store (Harding Supply). We'll head for George Town tomorrow. -----

14 Mar 2010, Heading North again, 24 23.052 N/ 076 37.39 W

    On Wednesday, we headed back to George Town on our rather long passage to Rock Sound (maybe). Winds were 15-20 kts on the butt so we used our normal combination of mizzen, jib, and a bit of motor (as we were in a bit of hurry to buy more cat food). As a result, we arrived in George Town at 1330. Of course, the seas were high in Elizabeth Harbour so we got soaked both going and coming to fetch the cat food. Sammy Jane has it made! Had a bit of dinghy motor problems on the way back. It almost died several times. Much to Ann's delight, it was operator error on Bob's part (vent was closed).

    Thursday we left Elizabeth Harbour for rolly seas (5-7 ft left over from the last several days) and winds on the stern at 10-15 kts. We again used JMM on our way to Galiot Cut. We decided to run the watermaker to replenish our jerry jugs. Of course Bob failed to turn it off until a gallon or so fell onto the cabin sole. Next Bob was making some tea but a rather nasty wave pitched it (leaves and all) into the galley and stove. Last, Ann made some brownies but she did not secure them so another wave tossed them on the floor where they were mostly OK after picking out some cat hair. We arrived at Big Majors Spot at 1700 and anchored with the crowd of 12 boats. We knew we would be awake by 0500 as the winds would veer more to the south and the anchorage would be very rolly from 20+ kt winds.

    Yep. Seas were nearly 3 feet on the hook by 0600 so it was time to go. We decided to try Warderick Wells again even if we could only get the Emerald Rock mooring field. Of course the north mooring field was full! The sea state was already a bit high at Emerald Rock which made for a difficult pendant pickup. Two boat hooks in the water and 4 passes, we had the pendant on board. One of the volunteers fetched one of the boat hooks but we believe the other one sank. Fortunately there were only three other boats that got the show.

    The staff preferred that we dinghy into the office which we did with great wetness. Last time we explored the dinghy pass so we were not concerned about it now. The trip back was the wettest of the season. Last night and this morning were quite miserable. 25-30 kt winds from the S/SW really churned up this place and we were pitching most of the night until midday. It calmed during the afternoon but is now picking up again. Joy! -----

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