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IT NEVER CAME May 10, 2016

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.

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.



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