Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Second Page

   When I started this blog way back in Tennessee and needed to come up with a title,  our dream of owning and cruising on a catamaran (two hulls) was an influence for choosing the name and I came up with "Page Two", kinda like the next step, you know, turn the page. We were planning on naming the boat we hadn't even owned yet, PAGE TWO. Then we bought PAINKILLER (single hull) which left us staring at a new "cover" of the next book, or page. It did not deter us from digging in and devouring that "first page" of our new book which is in it's entirety from the beginning of this blog, all those months prior to the very last blog entry you see about completing Boo Boo's Spars. Let's call ALL that page one. Now let's move on ...

                                              Rock Harbor, Eluethra

   This picture was taken today while I was filling water jugs for our water tanks 15 days into the second page. Let me re-cap the page for you. We finally pulled the Velcro free from Velcro Beach, Florida on Sunday the 15th of March and motored our way south in the inter-coastal waterway towards Lake Worth Inlet. We arrived there Monday night and anchored right at the exit point of the inlet prepared to leave an hour or two before dawn so we could make a landfall at Great Sale Cay in the Bahama's before 10:00PM that day.

  Crossing the Gulf Stream is nothing to shake a stick at. Although we had great calm weather and knew we'd just be motoring across in calm conditions, at least for the next few days, the butterflies or jeebees taking PAINKILLER out for her first trip offshore with us left us a little jumpy, so when before dawn a bunch of flashing lights and small boats interrupted our very close proximity, we hesitated picking up the hook and heading out. Lo and behold, the bow of a very large vessel creeps into the inlet and shows itself as the very largest personal motor yacht I have ever seen, then it stops, It stops cold in the channel right where we are about to exit. It then turns/pivots right there in the middle of the inlet and aims it's bow towards us and the very little space of a side channel. Then it creeps very slowly into our vicinity and we stare in awe of it's size and where in the hell could it be going, it stops again, Then out of the darkness comes a huge tanker screaming into the inlet just behind the motor yacht  doing at least 7 knots. It seemed to make sense to us at that point, that this monstrous motor yacht had to get out of the way of this tanker coming in. Not so. The yacht kept coming into this tiny channel while the little flashing light boats danced around it while it made less than 1 knot trying to avoid the channel markers and the likes of us, an anchored boat just outside the channel. As it creeps past us in its utter monstrosity of opulance we consider raising anchor and leaving as ..what? another one? A second large yacht comes around the corner towing a tender almost the size of our PAINKILLER. We watch in awe as these vessels slowly make their way to who knows where being led by lots of flashing lights. Just before daylight, we lift the hook and head out onto the first page. Let's call all this, the first sentence.

                                                    Mangrove Cays

  Pretty uneventful crossing the Gulf stream that day so we decided to anchor at Mangrove Cay just before dark as the conditions were very calm. The picture above was the sunrise of the following day. Another day of motoring brought us to anchor at Hawksbill Cays where we still did not officially "enter" the Bahama's.

                                                        Hawksbill Cays

   Next day we anchored off Green Turtle Cay and officially entered the Bahamas after paying a $300 entry fee which includes a fishing licence, damn sure better. Spent a couple of nights and moved on towards Marsh Harbor trying to catch up with some friends who had left Vero Beach the day before us. We did not go into the Marsh Harbor anchorage, instead we chose an isolated clean, quiet place called Matte Lowes and chilled for another couple of days swimming and finished  cleaning the bottom of the hull. A friend Pete, the dive guy at Vero, wasn't happy with my two day notice to do the bottom so he dissed me. Oh well, what can I say, he helped Vicky and I in numerous other ways all through our stay at Vero.. I did the prop and some of the easier hull myself before I left Vero and continued to finish it along the way. Got it done here at Matt Lowe.

  We made contact with the friends ahead of us and boogied over to Hope Town where we anchored outside and dingyed in for bread, milk and to top up our diesel jugs, then we had our first "sail" with PAINKILLER down to Little Harbor. The water was thin and the channel narrow in quite a few places so I did not have the guts to shut off the engine while sailing, although it was in neutral for the 4 hour sail. We anchored next to our friends but had no time to visit as we both planned to cross the New Providence Channel to Eluethra before first light in the morning. There was "no" wind the following morning and we both motored and fished our way to the old pirate hangout Royal Island.

  With a strong cold front coming we casually hung out and explored this very well protected harbor until it hit the second night. All the boats in the anchorage spent a good two hours in their cockpits from 12:20 AM to about 2:30 AM hoping we didn't have our anchor break free as three other boats had happen to them. Makes for exiting times in the middle of the night blowing, raining and gusting like stink while hearing others who didn't fair that well yelling and somewhat cursing at their boats as they clash together in a storm. Fun stuff!

  The next day we had favorable winds and after negotiating Current Cut we sailed without engine to Pineapple Cays. Our very first "real sail" on PAINKILLER and we kicked ass with all three of the other boats that were making the same trip south. She likes some 18 to 20 knots of wind, that's for sure! The next morning our friends moved on, for they are looking to get through the Windward Passage and move on towards Jamacia and Panama for this season. We have no such gripping plans, so sat out another day in a beautiful anchorage. We were the last of three boats to leave the next morning and with only 20 something miles to Rock Harbor we never started the engine in the morning and "sailed" off the hook for a leisurely sail in light winds. We made anywhere from 3 to 6 knots throughout the day and I never lost my patience and started the motor until we rounded the corner up into the harbor. We sailed here and are anchored off  Rock Harbor Settlement. We are truly on the second page now.

                                       Rock Harbor Anchorage

 
                                                 
                                               




   

2 comments:

  1. I do have hull cleaning services.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I do remember my first swim at the Pacific Ocean in the big yacht. My swim was about two weeks long. I took my IMac to finish my essay on religion while cruising but I did not know that I have a motion sickness so I couldn't concentrate on my Educational task. Thanks to custom writing service (Ive added a link above) I did everythinhg just on time so my suffering diminished. Always get ready to any situation and never leave your IMac at home, never!

    ReplyDelete

Talk to me...