Monday, 11 December 2017

December 4 - 9, 2017 lobster condo's

repairing what we thought was the leak, but it looks like it is the toe rail that is leaking
we are not too sure how to get to this area

a Nurse Shark swimming in the shallows

the hoods from cars …that will be turned into Lobster Condo's  … they are soaked for weeks in the salt water to weigh them down
and then transported into the lobster grounds

a new pile of car hoods ready to be soaked

sailboats still hiding in the mangroves, from the threat of the hurricanes

leaving the other Bolo Ferry after he transferred his  passenger to our ferry

winds gusting to 30 knots .. there was white caps in the Sound

putting water into our in boat tank … we only collected about 7 gallons

December 4, 2017
We sailed back south to Munjack and it was quite a lumpy ride passing the ocean opening, the tide was going out and the wind was coming in
against the tide.  There was only one other boat at anchor, so we grabbed one of the many prime sandy spots.  The wind was blowing SE at about
15 knots.  Our wind generator pumping along, making us much needed power.  Our house batteries are still struggling … we will get them super charged in Marsh Harbour, when we arrive in January.  But it looks like we will have to replace them next winter.

We decided to make it a lazy day and stay on the boat.  By 3 pm all the boats that just crossed the Gulf Stream and had gone to New Plymouth
to check in, came north again to anchor at Munjack Cay.

Tuesday the 5th …. we got up early to motor to New Plymouth and into Black Sound on the rising and high tide.  Wingspread was anchored off New Plymouth and as we approached them, they radioed us to say that their motor was not running again. We were going to tow them into Black Sound with us.  But then what, how do we pick up our mooring ball and how do we get them to the dock.  Also their boat weighs twice that of Modaki
and is much larger.  Coming in that narrow entrance with our small 20 HP motor was un-nerving.  We radioed Donnys Marina and made arrangements for him to tow them to the dock.  Joe and I quickly got to our mooring ball, the motor installed on the dinghy and got to the dock in time to  receive there bow and stern lines.  Wingspread has since had all the 30 gallons of diesel removed.

Joe and I grabbed our boat papers, passports, $150, dressed in our best boat clothes and heading to Customs and Immigration.  Our cruising permit expires Dec 15, and we needed a new one.   All went well and now we are good for another year of cruising and fishing in the Bahamas.

We picked up some bread, butter, eggs in New Plymouth.  The boat arrives every Thursday, so fresh veggies are scarce.  These grocery stores are 
about the size of our convenience stores back in Canada.  All meats are frozen, veggies are kept in a cooler, even tomatoes, cheese is on a shelf above
the potatoes and onions.  A gallon jug of water is $3.99 and a case of 24 bottled water is $18.

Wednesday and Thursday 6th and 7th
Well its about time I washed the V-berth sheets, work clothes and play clothes.  Since we are in Black Sound the only place for laundry
is AYS, the boat yard.  Its $4 for a wash and then I take the clothes back to the boat and dry them on the life lines and shrouds. In
between rain showers I managed to get everything dry, with sun shining, wind and 90 F the sheets dried in about 1/2 hour, hanging on the shrouds, flapping like flags.  Happy hour on Wingspread (motor still not running), with lovely cheese, salami and my guacamole with yellow corn chips.
The next day brought more boat chores, including washing the cabin floor.  It was so hot and muggy
we both had cockpit showers.  We are running out of water, our inboard tank holds 15 gal and we have 3 - 5 gal on deck jugs
and 4 - 1 gal jugs inside = 34 gal. in total, and thats not a lot of water .. The average 36 ft sailboat holds 200 gal.  We need rain.

Friday 8th
We are up early cause we are going to the 3rd largest city in the Abacoes, Marsh Harbour.
Dinghy to shore and met with Charlie and Chris, Wingspread.  The Bolo Ferry got us at 8:10 from Black Sound, the next pick up was at the
entrance to White Sound .. I have never seen this before .. we stopped and had our bow to the shore, another ferry came along side and
a Bahamian Carpenter with all his tools gracefully stepped from one boat to the other, amazing.  Then we headed to another cove further north 
and received another passenger.  Then the ferry gunned it and headed across the Bay of Abaco for the ferry landing, 
north of Treasure Cay.  
Our rental car was waiting for us and we all headed back to the office to drop off the driver, sign papers and pay.  You have to
pay with cash, and we asked about insurance, he said " the car is insured, don't worry mon, and no accidents right " Right..
Joe did an excellent job driving on the wrong side of the road (to us) and the round a bouts etc.
We first picked up our boat parts, ACE hardware, Scotia Bank, Napa Hardware, Bristols (wine), Jimmy's (beer), Asian Market (fresh
home grown veggies and fruit), Royal Bank, BTC (Cell Data), camera store, Jamie's for lunch, Maxwells (groceries).
All this time in Marsh Harbour it poured rain.  In the parking lot at BTC, the water was over my ankles.  Everyone got their sandals and feet well washed.  It seems that Marsh Harbour does not have a good drainage system.

The car we rented has an issue, the drivers side door and window did not work from the inside. So we always had to let Joe out of the car at every stop.  Charlie was in charge of this cause he sat in the back seat behind Joe.  On one of our stops we all got out of the car and rushed
into the store (raining).  I kept asking where is Joe, well we forgot to relieve  him from the car.  He had  to crawl over a very high console to the passengers side and out that door… finally he appeared in the store but said nothing to us.  Later over lunch he told us that we abandoned him..
trapped in the car.

Its a 35 min drive to the Ferry Landing from Marsh Harbour.  We made it back and unloaded our goodies, Joe took the car back to rental place and
arrived just before the 3:30 departure ..  To our excitement a bus load of school children, all dressed in uniform entered the ferry.  All saying to
us total strangers "Good Afternoon".
We had a fast ride back to Green Turtle Cay and saw our Nova Scotia friends on Te Amor (Janice and Cam) arriving at New Plymouth 
and anchoring off.  The 13 school kids got dropped off and then the other tourists and finally us.  Donny's Marina radioed the ferry and
said we would have to be dropped off at the Public Dock.  These ferry captains are just like the Canadian Maritime Lobster fishermen, 
they can manoeuvre their boats in to impossible places, and Josh did so for us (and its now low tide).
One way passage is $15/each and one day round trip is $21/each.  Donny came with a golf cart and took all our supplies (too far to carry), deposited
Wingspread first and then us.  After two dinghy loads later we had everything aboard.
It was a busy, tiring day, so we did not go to New Plymouth Liquor Store for cruisers happy hour.  Yes the liquor store here lets you
buy, what ever at the regular price, they open the bottle, give you a real glass to drink from and keeps topping up your glass … they even supply
snacks.  We will do this next Friday evening.  We made phone calls back to Canada and family.

Saturday 9th
Over night we expected a low to come thru, but it was delayed until 2:45 PM, with a 10 degree drop in temperature, 30 knot winds in gusts and rain.
But before that Joe helped Wingspread change 2 fuel filters, clean the main filter, bled the engine.  They worked for 2 1/2 hours, ran the motor and it stopped again after 20-30 minutes.  The storm was coming and Joe got back to Modaki smelling of diesel and sweat, he had a cockpit shower, checked the radar and the temperature dropped and the wind and rain was upon us.
We tried to collect rain water, but the wind was too strong it flapped our canvas all over the place.  We only collected about 7 gallons.
Our wind generator is working hard and the batteries are getting topped up.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

December …. part three

some beach finds

Christmas decorations

a beach find

a lobster hang out

red sky at night, a sailors delight … Wingspread at anchor

heading out for another walk

following Joe thru a path to the ocean beach 

finally after 20 minutes we made it

a fishermans float

crazy ski this night .. lol

happy hour on Wingspread

some of my beach finds … even a glass fishing float

the local paper advising shelters to go to incase of a hurricane 

December --- part two

rigging the lines for the main sail

its up and with the reef lines in also

Clarity moored beside us

now that's one big grocery list .. even though we did not get many fresh veggies

a walk to Dat Beach

and we turned around quickly and headed back to the boat

I brought all new spices this year … after a few years of extreme heat they loose
the goodness

Joe replacing the galley leaking tap

after the thunderstorm and 2 inches of freshwater … Joe had a dinghy bath

a hitch hiker

Munjack Cay to pick up our orchids

Leslie gave us some star fruit that was ripe

one of her many chickens 

Leslie the keeper of my two boat orchids .. tending to her own orchids

a bee hive hole .. protected by an old fender

Joe cracking a coconut for us

the beach with the Rays and Sharks

one evil looking eye

Nov. 20 - Dec 4, 2017 launch day .. New Plymouth

it looks like it is time to leave Ontario

we got to fly to Nassau on a Disney plane

it was hard to provision this year, the shelves are bare

the boat is due to come in tomorrow .. too late for us

our ferry ride  to Green Turtle Cay with our supplies and groceries

a full load of tourist today

up and down and up and down the ladder to store our luggage etc.

lunch in the shade of the boat

getting dinghy all pumped up

our tarp on the dinghy was missing when we returned .. it shredded into a million pieces

unwrapping the lines from the mast … our old t-shirts completely faded from black to grey

a ripe papaya from the Asian Abaco Market .. grown in their back yard

installing the anoide

a perfect boat for the shallow waters of the Abacoes .. twin keel

moving to the launching well

there she goes

touch down

walking to town, New Plymouth with Charlie and Chris

we attended the Festival of Lights

and enjoyed a great take a way meal for $10

November 20 - December 4, 2017

Well today is the day we leave Owen Sound.  The city shut our water off at exactly 1 PM.
We disconnected the battery in my car and left it in the lane way.
Kim Ferenczy, SV Clarity picked us up at 3:50 after her day at school and drove us to our hotel, near Toronto Airport.  We did stop for a quick bite to eat in Orangeville.  Kims parents live very close by, she was heading their after for the evening. We sure appreciated Kim taking this time for us.
Our flight leaves at 9:15 and we arrived by shuttle at 7AM, in lots of time.  We got thru customs and security with no problem, my carry on bag was checked because of tuna and salmon tins. I did manage to keep them all.

West Jet flight goes straight to Nassau and there is a 5 hour lay over.
We managed to buy our Bahama Sim card and cell package at the airport for my I-Pad. Joe uses Rogers and he has roam like home
package.  The flight to Marsh Harbour is only 35 minutes and we
arrive in the dark.  Our taxi lady friend Elizabeth was
happy to see us again.  Because we arrive after dark there is no ferry running, so we have to take a motel room.  There is not many
places to stay in Marsh Harbour, just for one night, the price of the room jumped from $89 - $149 US, prices, per night.

Elizabeth (taxi) picked us up after she delivered her school kids to school at about 8:45 the next day.  Then took us to the liquor/beer store, Abaco Asian store, Hardware and Maxwells groceries.  We did all this in 1 1/4 hours.  Now a 35 minute ride to the ferry dock, north
of Treasure Cay $100.  Elizabeth radioed the ferry driver to see if he would wait for us, and he did.  I think he was shocked at all of the groceries and supplies we had.

We arrived at Abaco Yacht Services (AYS) at 11am, the temperature was 90 F, hot hot hot, with no wind in the yard. Which means
the Noseeums are out in full force, they are so small that they can get thru the screen.  I ended up with about 100 bites in one night.

A quick check in at the office to get our keys, and up and down, up and down the ladder we went.  The boat was in good shape, no mold, no critters aboard.  The first job was to make room in the V-Berth and sheets on the bed. Then solar panels got installed, Joe checked the batteries and the starter was not holding a charge.  So we had to buy a 
new battery $250 (only two years old).  The 4 golf cart house batteries are moderate and Joe installed our new shore power charger and equalized these batteries.  And they still are not performing very well.

We did not need to paint the bottom, so that saved us $600.

Friday, November 24 we launched and stayed the night on the dock. We needed low tide to install the blades on our wind generator.

The next morning we left the dock and motored to Donnys Mooring Ball.  What we didn't realize was that our transmission cable
broke and we were stuck in forward.  Joe grabbed the ball, but I could not get the boat into neutral, so the ball scrapped its self all the way down the STB side of Modaki.
We radioed Donny for help and realized that our outdoor VHF speaker was not working, and still is not working.  We cannot find the problem.  After about 3 times around the mooring field we attempted the ball again.  This time we shut off the engine on the approach to the ball and Joe caught it the first try. We were afraid to shut off the motor, because some boats won't start again in gear, and we have never tried this.

We spent about 5 days getting the boat ready for the season, sails on and goods stored.  One day we had 2 inches of rain, so we collected enough water for our tanks. In the Bahamas you have to by your water.  Joe used the fresh water in the dinghy to clean the smudge mark from the mooring ball, that scrapped down the side of the boat, and then he had a fresh water bath, in the dinghy.

Friday December 1, we left Black Sound at high tide, 7am, and headed for Munjack.  To get in and out of Black Sound and White Sound you have to go on high tide.
We picked up my boat orchids, that have been hanging in a tree for the last 7 months.  One of them came with a colony of tiny tiny ants, that decided to come out of the pot and made a winding path in the ceiling of the boat.  That freaked me out.

We met up with
Wingspread, Charlie and Chris, from Victoria Harbour. They spent the last 4 nights at Munjack, but was unable to get off the boat for 3 days due to high winds.  We dinghyed to the north part of Munjack to see the sharks and rays.  Only 3 rays today, I guess the tour boats have not yet arrived to feed them.
We had Happy Hour on Modaki, which turned into a supper.

Saturday, Dec 2, we set sail further north to Powell Cay.  Wingspread followed an hour later, and we are the only boats at anchor.
No one lives on Powell Cay and it has 5 separate beaches, some on the ocean side and some on the Sea of Abaco.

The next day was boat chores, our bilge pump was coming on too much and the stuffing box is leaking way too fast. Joe removed everything from our parking garage (Port aft berth) into the salon and cockpit, everything except the locking nut moved, we have lubericated it and it still will not budge.  This will have to wait until 
we are closer to civilization (just incase it breaks off).
We take a break and dinghy to shore, find the trail that leads to the ocean, walk about 20 minutes, up and down hills, thru a wet area, around Poison Wood trees and over grown palm bushes. Finally we arrive and of course the beach is all to our selves.  

There is so much on the beach including flip flops, plastic jugs, tooth paste, gas cans, old clocks, fishing floats, hard hats, lines and nets, washed ashore during storms.  I don't know how this happened but we found a measuring cup, that I needed.
Also a fender in excellent shape for Wingspread, a glass fishing float and sea beans.
You could never clean up all of the debris … I read an article once 
that some people cleaned an area of beach 30 ft long, from low tide to high tide mark and within a few days it was littered again.  Wind, waves, storms filled this clean area up.

Sundowners on Wingspread, Chris makes the best water chestnuts wrapped in bacon appetizers.  We brought veggie spring rolls, with my bean sprouts that I grow on Modaki.

Wingspread is still having fuel/engine problems and had to be towed in to Donnys dock. 
We are on a mooring ball, Donnys .  There is so much happening in New Plymouth this Christmas and New Year Day, that we decided
to stay on the north side of the Whale for a month.

Tomorrow we go by ferry to get a rented car and head into Marsh Harbour for supplies and groceries.