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November 2010

Week One:

We sat all week on a mooring ball in Vero Beach keeping an eye on the weather. The first half of the week we decided not to move due to hurricane Tomas and then when that passed by we had a dramatic cold front that has brought high winds from the north- Not want we want for a crossing. Chris Parker and NOAA both forecast strong winds from the north for several more days.

We met another couple, Vince and Linda aboard "Fortnight", they plan to cross to the Abaco's too, and we've agreed to go together when the weather permits. Vince had a birthday this week and we had dinner aboard Tally Ho, Linda provided the birthday cake.

Life is full of challenges!! Some we choose and others just happen. Hannah chose to enter the Marine Corps Marathon and came 39th out of about 8000 women. She was doing great (we think about 10th place) until she hit the last 5K where she had to walk most of the way. However, now we hear she is off to California next month to do another marathon.

Our challenge, not by choice - The generator is now giving us problems and whilst we have fitted a new water pump and checked all the passages we cannot find why it continues to overheat........ Vanessa knows more than she ever wanted to about water pumps, heat exchangers, grumpy husbands, helpful friends and screw ups (whoops...screw drivers, I mean).


Marine Corps Marathon. Bib 39 and placed 39th for women. Way to go Hannah!

Vanessa, Birthday boy Vince and Linda

Halloween at Vero.

Vero's new "come to you" potty pumpout! Hooray!!


Week Two:

There's good news and bad news! Let's start with the good:

1. The generator is now working. After disconnecting every hose and cleaning every orifice the  main problem was eventually found. It necessitated the use of a diver to help clear the raw water intake of the grass that was clogged in the "L" bend of the seacock! Once we found the culprit and turned the water back on of course we had a leak, but that was quickly fixed and we're now good to go.  {There is a moral to this story - Always listen to your wife! (Andrew, you know what I mean) and always start at the beginning and work your way through}

2. We have made new friends and enjoyed visiting with many old ones, Oasis, Sea Smoke, Tarheel, Tomlin Too to name a few. The mooring field is filling up fast.

Now onto the bad news:

1. We appear to be velcro'd to Vero. It's a great place, but enough is enough, and we've been here for over two weeks waiting for a weather window to cross the Gulf Stream.

2. The laudromat is busy, the bus is full and the dinghy is very, very dirty! We thought Baltimore was bad, but Vero's water is just as dirty. Our prop is growing all sorts of weird vegetation...so the diver tells us! We can't see anything.

We've been doing general repairs, sewing, knitting, reading and we're ready for a change of scenery, but the weather predictions are not too good for the crossing. 10 - 15ft seas with 3-5ft waves on top. We may go house hunting at Vero.

Peter goes down to clear the intake for the generator.

A snapshot of the weather.


Week Three:

Hmmm....looks like we may (stress on MAY) have a window of opportunity to cross the Stream this week. We have been avidly listening to the weather guru "Chris Parker". We can now see him and his cat too, as long as we have an internet connection. So much better than our not so reliable SSB receiver.

On Saturday, after two and half weeks we finally let loose of the mooring and went down to Peck Lake to anchor. A short dinghy ride and we crossed the dunes to see the rage going on in the ocean, and what a sight it was! On the beach we met some locals, Martha and Mel, who said they'd never seen the water so high on the dunes before. They were a lovely couple and we wished we'd gotten to know them more, but time is of the essence, and we needed to move on to our next anchorage in North Palm Beach. It's a great little spot for a night or two, and it's convenient for the entrance to Lake Worth's Peanut Island anchorage and departure point for the Abacos. All looked good for a Wednesday crossing, so on Tuesday afternoon Fortnight and Tally Ho filled up with fuel and positioned ourselves for an early start. It was quite breezy all day and we were desperately hoping that we still had an opening. Several boats joined us  and we all discussed our plans. Our flotilla of four, Fortnight, Tomlin Too, Our Time and us, decided to leave at 5:30 am. What a beautiful day we had. Click here to see video.

We got onto the banks around 3pm and that's where we went our separate ways. Fortnight stayed with us and we continued through to Great Sail where we anchored at 10:45pm. It was a long 100 mile day and we were all ready for bed. We did have the luxury of an almost full moon and very calm seas to make the trek easier. Up and on our way again by 6am for another 10 hour trip to Green Turtle Cay to check in and wait out the forecasted nasty weather for the next few days.

Martha & Mel. Peck Lake.

Nasty stuff!

Lovely canals at North Palm anchorage.

Sunrise across the Gulf Stream.

Couldn't get calmer than this!

Fortnight, our buddy boat.

Not exactly sailing weather!


Week Four:

We decided to stay at the Leeward Yacht Club marina in Black Sound, and what a good decision that was. We did have some strong wind but it wasn't as bad as forecast and our position in the harbour (tied at all four corners) was well in the lee. We could walk or dinghy easily into town and the beaches. Fortnight docked in White Sound so we met them in town for lunch and also had a days adventure via dinghy, to Manjack Cay. We had a great hike from the sound over to the pristine beach, where Linda and Vanessa went treasure hunting. On our return we met Bill and Leslie, the only inhabitants of the island (along with a few chickens). Fascinating couple!

After a few good days at Green Turtle {where we met up with Time Out (George and Jane), and Star Gazer (Gary  and Ingrid)}, we headed North to Powell Cay for more shelling. The winds had picked up and a squall came in just as Vanessa and Linda headed out in the dinghy. The girls were soaked and the boys were having such a tough time staying aboard on anchor watch with libation in hand! It appears a good time was had by all, however.

We said goodbye to Fortnight that afternoon and positioned ourselves to get around the Whale early the next day. It was a super passage, the best we've experienced, and we got to our next stop, Treasure Cay by noon. We had a wonderful evening visiting our good friends Patty & Emery, with their house guests, Mike & Karen, and neighbors, Bruce and Robbie. The following day we picked them up and went for a sail to Baker's Bay for lunch.

Next stop....Hope town!

Karen, Bruce, Patty, Emery, V, Mike, Robbie.

Leaving Great Sale Cay at sunrise.

Dolphin on the bow.

Entrance to Leeward YC.

Vince and Linda, at Manjack.


Bill & Leslie, Manjack residents.

Lunch at Baker's Bay

Sundown at Treasure Cay.