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May 25, 2016

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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THE MOTHER OF ALL WEATHER WINDOWS AND A WEEK EARLY

So much for the weatherman. He said the bad weather would last another week. One of the first weather programs I ever used bases its forecasts on the US computer model. There is also a European version. I fine US model is pretty good, especially in the first 4 days. Our weatherman had things being bad all week. I saw the systems moving north and allowing a weather window. Who knew how big it was.

Wednesday was still squally. But we were ready. The weather guy said there may be a break on Thursday. He also said that the systems may not go north. We woke to partly cloudy skies with squalls to the north and moving northeast. We were off.

The first step is to the northwest channel. Yes one goes northwest to pass through it. Then you turn west for 15 miles and then west southwest for about 50 miles across the Bahamian Banks. We had planned to stop after the first 15 miles and anchor for the night. The weather guy said not to stop and just go. Good call. We got to South Riding Rock where the Bahamas end and the Florida Straights begin. That is where the Gulf Stream does its thing. It was midnight when we passed into the Straights. For those of you familiar with that part of Florida, we came into the Keys at Anglefish Cut. Then we headed south to Rodriquez Island. We got there around 4 PM Friday, had cocktails, dinner and crashed. Saturday it was up bright and early and motor down to Marathon for more rest, some shopping and laundry. We also borrowed a phone and checked in to the US.

I mentioned motoring. This weather window lasted from Thursday through today with little or no wind and flat seas. The answer to the Mates prayers. We have a couple more days of open ocean sailing before we can get into the ICW if need be. I think the Mate thinks there is a need.

Let see what died on this part of the trip. The fresh water pump that was on its last legs and gave it up. I had a spare. The next is the pop off valve for the hot water heater decided to leak, Not through its discharge hole, but through its valve testing handle. I do not have a spare Pop off valve. I do have a plug that fit. It happened while crossing the Gulf Stream. Emptied the water tank. No water for showers, cooking, cleaning or drinking. After driving for two days, most of those items can be done without. We cranked up the leaky water maker and it produced enough water for coffee, showers and a glass of water. We got to Marathon around 7 pm. Took showers, had a glass of water and had 5 gallons when we went into the marina to buy water. Life was almost good. While the Mate did laundry, I made it to a liquor store to replenish the wine celler, the liquor cabinet and beer locker. Life was really getting better. Wine is not a problem in the islands. In fact, it is cheaper and lots of great wines. Liquor is a hit and miss situation. The local beer usually sucks.

Today is Monday and time to be on the move. Marathon is like a floating trailer park. Not one of our favorite places. Our weatherman says the end of good weather is upon us. Today we moved up to Little Shark River. Tomorrow we want to make Marco Island before the weather closes in. As for the name of the river, I can not say anything about the sharks. The river is to muddy to see anything. But, its claim to fame are the bugs. About a half mile out the giant horse flies come to great you. They are huge. One could drag you over the side. The closer you get to land, the types and numbers of bugs grows. Set the anchor, shut down the engine and instruments, open the hatch, jump below and lock yourself in and turn on the air conditioner.

We will spend a couple days in Marco Island doing pome shopping, catching up on Wifi stuff. Then moving on to Tampa with a good half dozen stops on the way.

 

FALLING APART May 16, 2016

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW, South Florida.
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No not me…, well maybe me to. No, it is the boat. Do not know if I mentioned, we developed a leak in the water maker’s Clark Pump. I believe it is an “o” ring that blew. The Clark Pump is the high pressure pump that forces the water through a membrane that cleans the water. The pump develops over 1000 PSI. The pump is to put out about 8 gallons an hour under perfect conditions. That is in a laboratory. In reality on a great day it may do 7. 6+ is more the norm. It is now doing about 3+ with the rest going into the bilge. That is expensive bilge water. That is making us conserve water. Something we have not been known for. We do not even know how to conserve. We here what some of our friends do and we just can’t imagine. Needless to say, this is a critical problem. Buying anything in the Bahamas is ridiculously expensive. Labor is also very expensive. An “O” ring I probably have. It is the 2 special tools that I need to get to the “O” ring. Now is there a company that handles this type water maker, do they have the parts, do they have the tools or the expertise. It is suppose to have a lifetime warrantee. Sure would not want to jeopardies that deal.

Therefore with the other little pump problems, we are headed home. I am not happy at all, but the mate is well past ready. I to am ready. There are lots of projects that have to be done and the mate says she would be ready to go back to the Bahamas after Christmas. Hope so.

We are now in West Bay in New Providence, staged for the trip to Florida. As usual we are waiting a weather window. We would like to do it non-stop. That would take 3 perfect days. I am ready. Right know we seem to have a group of lows coming off of Cape Hatters that is enhancing the trade winds. It looks like this could last at least a week. That is a bit long, but I can work on the project list.

Tomorrow I need to work on one of my electrical gremlins. I hope it is a grounding problem on the main engine. If so that will be easy, just one of those boat problems you can not get to from here. That’s normal.

When we get to Florida, I want to slow down and see some of S Florida. The mate, not so much. She wants to see us tied up and plugged into the Air Conditioning. She has plans to visit her sisters and the grandkid. That sounds good. I have lots to do on the boat to get her ready to sail again. So we both have plans. It will be good to see the relatives again. After getting the boat mostly back together I must complete the loop and sail to Pensacola. I would like to do that as soon as possible.

IT NEVER CAME May 10, 2016

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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The wait has been for new credit cards. They never came and therefore have been canceled. We need to be moving on. So, tomorrow we leave for Farmers Cay Cut. That will be about 40 miles and the wind should be light for the mates liking and the direction should be good for sailing. I hope so. We have not sailed, just sailed in so long, I probably do not know how to really sail anymore. We are going to get underway between 7 and 8 in the morning. We also might cut in about 8 miles short at another cut. It is easier to get in and has an anchorage close to the entrance. We want the sun to be high enough to have good visibility of the bottom. If the wind is light and the sailing slow, that could be problematic.

A week ago there was a regatta here in George Town. It is called the Family Regatta. It is three classes of Bahamian work boats from many of the island in the central Bahamas. The smallest are about 18 feet long. The middle class are about 22 feet and the largest are around 26 feet. There are 3 days of races, with a race for each class. Pictures can be seen on our Facebook page.

We watched one of the mid class races from a hotel while eating lunch. Very nice. The most fun was chasing the large boats around the course in the dinghy. It is crazy with the spectator fleet being made up from large power cruisers to small dinghies. To keep up with the sailboats we have to run about three quarter throttle. Very choppy, very wet. A lot of fun.

These boats are ballasted by how much the captain thinks is best each race. Bags of sand. Then he adds movable ballast. That is made up of about a dozen men who hike out on planks that hang about 8 feet out side the boat. The heavier the wind, the heavier the men, or women. They do trade paint. We saw one start in which about 4 boats got jammed up together. They finally got themselves separated and on there way. Boats coming unto a mark from different directions is also interesting. The captain’s are carrying their home island’s pride and do not give way very easily. There rules are not as tight as you would see in the America’s Cup races. There is a group of men that act as a committee deciding on major infractions. Most disagreements are argued out at a bars after the race. I believe the only person on the boat that is mandatory is a bowman. These boats have huge mainsails that drag is the water. The boom is about one and a half time the length of the boat. In tight maneuvering, these long booms can get tangled in a competitors boat. Sometimes they break the boom. We saw one incident in which 2 crewmen were knocked off one boat and one off another. The individual knocked off the one boat was the bowman. They continued on, not picking up their crewman, that usually gets you disqualified, but not here. They were disqualified for not having a bowman. Lots of fun.

With any luck we will be further north by next week.

OH MY, STILL HERE May 3, 2016

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing the ICW.
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Well here, but waiting for mail. Our Credit Card Co. decided to change from VISA to Master Card. So for the past week and a half, the card have been with the postal service…, someplace.

In the mean time, the weather has been perfect for moving north. Now the weather window maybe closing for the last half of the week and into the weekend. At least that is what out weather guru says. The other two services do not see it that way. Well until we get the cards, it is a mute subject. If the weather turns bad and gets better the first of next week, the cards will be canceled and we will go with plan “B”. We will be moving on. May is clicking away and here we sit. We found a place to go in Florida for the summer and we have a work list to do on the boat that will take a year. Remember, those lists never get done. They only grow.

We have about 4 places we want to visit charted out. There are another 5 that we have not plotted out yet. That is about 3 weeks of cruising. Then we have to beat feet to FL and start our way to Tampa. That will also take a couple weeks. That would put us into July. Getting into hurricane season. Need to be tied someplace by August.

Today I cleaned the prop and did some cleaning of the bottom. Did enough to know I am beyond doing the whole bottom. Tomorrow there is suppose to be a diver coming in the afternoon to do the job.

I have a couple big projects I would like to finish before we get serious about heading to the States. I have to rebuild the forward head and put the old pump back on the water maker. Then I can tear the new pump apart and find out why it does not pump like it should. I may have screwed it up when I set it up and put it together, like misalignment.

CHAT AND CHILL April 25, 2016

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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Well she got home and back to school. Not wanting to go to school the first day, but back to Chat and Chill. She found out about cruising kids and wanders why she could not be one. They could move on the boat with Grandma and Grandpa. I just do not think that would work. Love my kids, but I did my time with them. Now it is their turn. They seem to be doing pretty good without our being in their daily lives. The grandkid want to insure we are in George Town next year. She also had her mother try to explain why they do not have ropes hanging from the trees above the picnic benches in their park. It is hard to explain the wonders of attorneys and their desire for money to an 8 Y.O.

My son and his wife came for an extended weekend in the middle of the grandkid’s stay. They got in on Thursday afternoon. Friday we took a tour of the southern end of the island. Learned about the islands history including the salt industry and the drug industry. You remember the Columbian connection to our east coast. All these islands have little airports. They also have a lot of fast boats. The tour stopped at a good little restaurant for lunch. Other then that, as tours go this one was a little above boring.

Saturday we had a leisurely breakfast and walk over to the Atlantic side of the island we are anchored by. While here, the grandkid must have collected 5 pounds of sea shells. She found some shells I have never seen before.

My son went Bone Fishing, Saturday morning. The high spot of his trip. He caught 4 of various size. He was fly fishing. He has done some fly fishing before, but never for Bone Fish. I understand that you stand on the front of a big john boat and cast in front of them. Have to get close enough to get there interest, but not to close or you spook them.

Saturday afternoon we were going over to Chat and Chill. This was before the grandkid had seen the place. Good thing. If you recall, My depth meter went out a few week back. Well my son brought a new one to replace the old one. I figured it would take the two of us a half hour to do the job. You unscrew the old one from the bottom of the boat and screw in the new one. What can be so hard.

The old one would not unscrew. Not even a little bit. I did a good job when I put it in 19 years ago. My son would take a breath and dive under the boat and pry the flange loose. I and my son-in-law, on the inside would chisel and pry out pieces from the top. It was about 2 ½ inches long. It was not meant to be broken out. My daughter and daughter-in-law were our communication link between my son on the outside and my son-in-law and I in the bottom of the boat.

Finally it starts to break loose. Oh, I failed to mention that not only is it 2-1/2 inches long, it is 2 inches in diameter and 3 feet below the water line. Do you have any idea how much water can come through a 2 inch hole in the bottom of a boat. Yes, we are in the water. A lot of water. The first thing out of my son-in-law’s mouth is “we are sinking!!” About now the flooding alarm goes off. It is a car horn. It is very loud. I went and disconnected the horn and my son-in-law is stuffing rags in the hole trying to slow our demise.

The grandkid thinks she is going to drowned. Grandma gets to stop the screaming and crying that was about as loud as the flooding alarm. Her father then got angry at her for screaming. He should not have done that. Grandma, wife and sister-in-law got all over him for saying we were sinking in the first place and scaring the kid. He was pretty quiet for the rest of the project.

The water was coming in faster then the bilge pump could take it out so I set up a second bilge pump. That stopped the sinking, but there still was a lot of water coming in.

After cleaning the old calk out of the hole, the new transponder when in and did not leak. The wires were plugged in and it worked. Job done. Only 3 hours. It was now time to go back to the resort, clean up and head for dinner. Grandpa turned out to be the Grinch that stole Saturday.

I was happy with a new depth sounder, the son was happy with Bone Fishing and coming up close and personal with a 3-foot barracuda that had taken up residency under the boat. Son and barracuda got along fine. Both were inquisitive and after staring each other down, they went back to what they do. The ladies were happy to not be sitting in the park with the sun beating down on them. The grandkid did not know what she had missed, plus got the excitement of being on a sinking boat…, for a few minutes.

The son went home Sunday and the next few days we traveled George Town, ate in more restaurants, and got to Chat and Chill’s. This is a beach bar with picnic tables with ropes hanging over a couple of them. Also a tightrope, a big rope swing, volley ball courts, and a beach. The beach is also populated by sting rays. And a bunch of people.

The grandkid met a girl her age that is a cruising kid. Something the grandkid had never thought of existing. A real different lifestyle that has swinging ropes in it. She should see what you can do swinging from ropes tied to the mast. We also got the grandkid driving the dinghy.

NOW ITS OVER AND SHE IS GONE April 18, 2016

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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Yep, and we are melancholy. When she came she was in the middle of a cold. Little did we know. Our daughter was also on the mend, maybe better then the granddaughter. The son –in-law was over a light case. He says this is the elementary school curse. As soon as you get symptoms of anything, you lift up your shirt and check for spots. You can hack, sneeze, sniff and still show up for work. Have a red spot and you better not leave your home. The end results. They were all back to almost 100% by the end of the first week. Now, they are back home and well, we, on the other hand are alive in Paradise with the Rock Mountain Cold. The germs did not get the playbook. One does not get sick in Paradise. This is the first sniffle since leaving 2 years ago. We even missed Chickengungha Fever. Thank goodness. That spelling is probably not right. But I know the symptoms.

As week 2 progressed the granddaughter was on the mend and a lot more fun to be around. Did not go sailing. Most of the time it was very windy. I did get her driving the dinghy. Also got her over to the beach bar, ”Chat and Chill”. It is on a beach with volley ball courts, a playground for the kids that have more used rope then a fleet of cruisers. They are tied up in the trees and the kids swing from picnic tables or jump out of the trees, hanging on for dear life.

My granddaughter is into skiing and rock climbing. During the winter they practice rock climbing at the high school wall. Not only is it vertical but also horizontal. That means you hang from the ceiling by your finger tips. She is waiting for spring thaw so she can get out on the real cliffs. I remember when she was in pre-school and repelling down cliffs. I thought then, “what could this lead too”.

At the playground, the older boys, 10ish are climbing a large tree, walking out on a limb while holding on the a higher limb. They catch the rope and jump off the limb. It is 10-12 feet in the air. Shoot, this is baby stuff for a rock climber. She goes up the tree with the best of the boys. They get to the walk the limb part and things slow. The difference in height between a 10 year old boy and a 8 year old girl is about 30%. The boys are balancing by holding on to this limb over there head. The granddaughter does get standing on the limb and catches the rope. She is hanging on to the trunk of the tree. That does not allow her to get out where one can have a clear swing. The upper limb is a good foot over her head. She chickens out, gives the rope to one of the boys and climbs down the tree. You think that’s the end , huh? Hell no. She goes back to swinging on the ropes from picnic tables and kicking off the trees. All the while she is studying that tree. The boys have another tree they climb and then cross over to the limb they jump from. That would put her 2 feet below anything to hold on to. Surprisingly, she did not try it. She was wearing a swim suit and the limb was gnarly, so she did not try scooting out on the limb. Back to swinging from the picnic tables.

I turn around and she is gone. She was playing with a cruising girl and they had built sand castles by the beach between swings on the ropes. The cruiser girl is on the beach, but no grandkid. Ah, grandpa knows. A little higher up the main trunk she is perched, rope in hand. The wheels in her head are in high gear trying to figure out how to get in position on the rope and get around the trunk of the tree while in free fall from her jump. The boys are up there saying, “na, that is not going to work.” She reluctantly give the rope to one of the boys and climbs down the tree. The wheels are still going and you know she is not done. Ah, but time at the beach has about ran out. She spend the last few minutes going off the picnic table and looking at that tree and limb. She was not defeated, only delayed.

Grandpa could have show here how to get out there without tearing up here legs, but grandpa is suppose to have wisdom at times. She will figure it out. The wheels are still spinning. And grandpa, well he had a grandkid driving the dinghy back to the boat and no scraped up, battered up grandkid.

The boys. They were impressed by her climbing the tree as fast as they could and getting out on the limb to the limits of her hand holds. There sisters do not do things like that. At least not that this grandpa has seen. They did not realize they had met a super fast downhill skier/ Rock Mountain rock climber…, in the making.

More stuff happened and I will add to it next week. It is Monday and the wind is blowing again. We are discussing where to go from here. Hope to get to Long island later this week. That is still under discussion.

WEEK TWO April 11, 2016

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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About 2 days into week one and the grandkid came down with a large cold. She got 2 days in the cold water and that did her in. About 3 days later the Capt. came down with his cold. Today is Monday and I spend most of it getting better. The Grandkid is pretty good and tomorrow it is back to shell hunting on the Atlantic side of the island.

One of the goals of the week is to spend some time at Chat and Chill. It is a beach bar with great hamburgers. There are beaches on 2 sides of the bar, picnic benches on 1/3 and trash on what’s left. Beside the picnic benches are 2 volley ball courts. There are also various swings and tight ropes for the kids that have no fear.

On Sunday during the season (Thanksgiving to Easter) there is a beach church that is held at the picnic tables. The kids clime up into the trees. There pews. Last Sunday, a girl dropped her song book which went sailing down and right over the man giving the sermon head. The girl about 12 turned beat red for the rest of the service.

There is also a conk shack a little further down the beach. He makes fresh conk salad. He will give you the inners of the conk and you can wade into the water and feed stingrays out of your hand. That is really not a smart thing to do, but I have never heard of someone being stung while feeding them. They will gather around you weather you have food or not. When they are not being fed, they glide off and land on the bottom and flop sand over there bodies. Now you can not see them. If you step on one, you get speared with their tail. Venomous tail. Oh yea, the favorite food of hammerhead sharks is stingrays. Yep, they are lurking around also. Ah, living in nature.

One day we hiked over the island to the Atlantic side. Looked for sea shells. We have taken a couple loads back to the resort. Still at least one more load to go. Tomorrow while at Chat and Chills we will go across the small bay to another trail to the Atlantic side. This area is a little more rugged and has a lot more shells. Great.

Thursday my son and his wife came for a few days. It was wonderful. He muled parts I needed for the outboard and the boat. The new prop for the outboard replaced the new one I got in Puerto Rico. That one had the same numbers on it but just did not have the torque. This one is the right one and moves us along like it should.

Saturday my son went Bone fishing in the morning. He caught 4. The high point of his trip.

We had the who family on the boat for lunch. I convinced my son to help install the transducer for my new depth sounder. 15 minute job. ½ hour max. Three hours later we have the transponder installed. Yes we did that with the boat in the water and opened up a 2 inch hole in the bottom of the boat. Cleaned out the old calk and installed the new one. Probably took on 200 gallons of water while doing this. My son did the diving, the two wives were communicators between the diver and my son-in-law and I in the bottom of the boat removing the old transducer . Beating it out would be a more accurate description.

This ordeal meant we did not make it to Chat and Chill. This made Dad the Grinch of the day. But I have a working depth sounder. Something one really needs when cruising the Bahamas.

Dad buying dinner was the least we could do.

Son and daughter-in-law were leaving Sunday afternoon. So we went and had a big Sunday Brunch at a local restaurant. It was very good.

Today the cold really got hold. I was feeling about 60%. The mate went to play with the granddaughter and make home made bread. I finished wiring the depth sounder and slept away over ½ the day. Feel like I might get over this cold fast and enjoy the rest of the kids vacation. Tomorrow is Chat and Chill, and finding shell on the Atlantic side, or Grandpa is fish bait.

SHE IS HERE WAHOO April 4, 2016

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing.
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Well some trips from Colorado can be a trip from hell. Frying from there to the islands get you an overnight at either Miami or Dallas. They got Dallas. Going through security even at 5:30 in the morning can mean standing in line. Not a hole lot of people traveling that early, but they just pull more inspectors off the line so it still takes an hour to get through. Then the plane is delayed. To the point that they will miss the flight to the Bahamas. Then you get a new plane. They roll it out from the hanger and put it in service. Oh, no radio in it. Just send a parade of techs to install and check out the radios. Finally off to Miami. They used to travel a lot. Along the travel they got to know about people who work and know the system. Before they leave Dallas they have arrangements made to get on the flight to the Bahamas. They do get to Miami and everyone scrambles off the plane and starts running to there next flight. Well, they get there and are greeted and shuttled off to there flight to the Bahamas.

They actually get in a few minutes early from the original schedule. Cool. They are tired and not happy with the being shuttled around for 9 hours. But, it all worked out for the best.

Today we ate breakfast on the boat and then off to the beach. That lasted till dinner time. Cool. A good day. The grandkid was very happy to spend today in the water.

Tomorrow a cold front is to pass through and bring strong winds and seas. That may cause us to take the water Taxies. That would be if it is to rough for us in the dinghy. Time will tell.

THE GRANDKID IS APPON US March 28, 2016

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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Counting the days till Sunday. Then they get here in the afternoon. Sunday and Monday is supposed to be good weather days. Then we are to have a string of cold fronts like one has during the winter. One of the weather services even talks about tropical lows. My main man does not…, so far. That would really be a bummer if the weather turns that bad. It is hard and very wet getting across the bay. Depending on the wind direction, we may move over to town. Then all we have to do is get to the resort. We will figure it out.

In the mean time this past few days I have put the last coat of varnish on the hull/deck cap rail. Today I started putting on Bristol. I have 2.5 coats on and tomorrow will finish the Bristol I have in stock. With some luck I will have completed 3 full coats. That will last me till the fall when I can put on another coat or 2. I will also put a coat on the other cap rails.

The mate wants to be at a pier during the summer and have electricity and A/C. That will be different. If we re at a pier I can wood out the rub rail and refinish them. They are small and go pretty easy. I use a different coating on them and it is cheap and easy to apply. I put on 3 coats of the undercoat and 3 coats of the top gloss. Looks good for about 6 months.

I scrubbed the water line of the growth last week. There are areas around the stern and the rudder I can not get. I have an idea to attach my scrapper to a boat hook and try that. Probably loose another scrapper.

Beside my making the outside shine, the mate is doing a super cleaning job on the inside. You know how it is when your kids come. Got to show them up. Like Mom has not lost here touch. Now we are both neat freaks, so the boat does not need all that much cleaning. Just getting those corners that may not get a good job done during normal cleaning.

One of the problem with the Bahamas is that it is made up of a lot of little islands. That makes finding a marine store difficult, Other than Nassau, you are left with small stores attached to a marina. They do not carry all the brand products I use for cleaning and polishing. Remember the problem I had with getting Bristol. That will have to wait till we get back to Florida. There are other brand products that we have found do a good job while minimizing the elbow grease. I like them.

The other problem with the Bahamas is costs. Everything is really, really expensive. Groceries, paper products, marine supplies. Everything. They also have added a VAT tax this past year. It replaces their income tax. It is easer to collect. Just add it to the receipt and hit the tourists. Yes the people also pay the VAT when they buy stuff. I just do not like paying taxes, let alone someone else’s.

Six days and counting. That means there could be a week or two delays in the next spirited writing of this blog.

GEORGETOWN, ANOTHER WINDY SESSION March 21, 2016

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing.
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Let’s see. The first week here it blew gusting 30 kts. Last week it settled down to light and variable and pretty warm, except the water. It is about 75 degrees. You get your feet in the water up to your knees, landing the dinghy on the beach. The few steps going ashore and your feet are numb. I am afraid to get my whole body in it. I need to. Our waterline is getting scummy. That means the boat bottom is getting strange creatures growing on it. The scum on the water line is growing black patches. This is animal stuff. It is wormy and some have baby shrimp in it you can also find barnacles in it. All very small and living in this black patch that can be the size o a dime or bigger then your hand. You use a 4 inch sheetrock mud blade and gently scrape the bottom. The stuff falls apart. I wish it would fall apart when the boat is going through the water. The scrapper also works on the barnacles. Now the wormy things. They go looking for a new home. I am a very hairy person. They think they went to heaven. I where a long sleeve spandex type tee shirt. It keeps those critters at bay and keep the sun from cooking me .

If you recall, I said it was time to work on the boat. Back in late October and early November I wooded out the boat and finished with several coats of varnish. I then started coating all that with Bristol. A two part acrylic varnish. It is miserable stuff to work with. I ended up with all the Bristol there was in the Windwards and Leewards. For real.   Therefore I never finished any of the wood all the way. I got 4 coats of Bristol on the cockpit cap rail, 3 coats on the taft rail and none on the hull/deck cap rail. I was told to wait till I got to St Martin. They will have some for me. They did. The regional manager had them with my name on them. Now that is service.

I know have 8 coats on both the cockpit cap rail and the taft rail. I need to put a coat or two more varnish on the hull/deck cap rail before I apply the Bristol. Oh, and I do not have enough Bristol to put 8 coats on the rail. That’s OK. My knees,, hips and back will not last through 10 coats. It can wait till we get back to Florida.

Right know I am in a holding pattern this week. They get weather fronts like in the States. They come every 6-7 days. A little rain, maybe a thunderstorm and then 5 days of wind. Back to gusting 30 kts. There is one positive point. The windmill makes more electricity then we can use. We use the Vacuum cleaner, power tools, play the stereo all day and I am still looking for a place to tie into the local grid. They need it. You can be in a store and the power goes out for maybe 10 minutes of so. Hey, shop some more. The stores are all small and have lots of windows. No lights, no problem mon, no AC, you dream of course. Just no computer with the bar code reader and credit card reader. Now the marine stores, the most expensive places on the island, have backup power. No problem mon, just step this way and you can check out when your ready.

During the wind, I guess I might have to work on my electrical gremlins. I might get really motivated and attack them. Maybe.

The wind is howling away outside. The bay looks like the inside of a wash machine. It makes the inside of the boat bounce around. Walking from point a to b is funny to watch, scary for you to do. It is suppose to lay down on Thursday. The weather is on Island time also…, that means mayby Friday.

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