Thursday, April 22, 2010

Finally Made it to Eleuthera

Well we did it. We finally broke the chains that held us in the Abaco’s. Don’t get me wrong now, the Abaco’s are great but when we were trying to leave for so long only to be forced to stay and wait and wait, and wait for weather to do anything it was getting taxing. I have said this before and saying it again, the weather Gods have not been too forgiving this year for any place. The folks here have all noted that this is the weirdest weather they have seen.
On Saturday the 17th we pulled out again from Marsh Harbor along with FinniRish heading for Lynyard Cay to stage for the passage to Eleuthera. We left our friends Dawn & Harvey on s/v Sovereign Swan there waiting on batteries to come on a slow boat from the states. Hopefully they will catch up with us at a later date. When we arrived in Lynyard Cay there were so many boats there anchored waiting to go North & South, our plan was to leave the following morning but after listening to several reports we decided to wait a day. Of course the next day were kicking ourselves as it wasn’t as bad as predicted and we could have made it. Oh well what can you do…. So Dirk and I went beach combing and added several new nice pieces of sea glass and shells to my collection. Once it got to the point of what I call beach combers cramp, basically when you can’t walk bent over another step we decided to call it quits and do some conching. Dirk hopped in the water with a line hanging off the back of the dinghy and I drive pulling him slowly around as he can cover a lot more ground this way. It almost feels as if I’m trolling for something large using Dirk as bait. Within 30 minutes or so we had 5 good size conchs and decided that was plenty. Dirk is getting to the point where all he eats these days is conch. He loves making conch salad, fritters, and trying new ways and things to batter it in and eat it. Guess the more of that he eats the less I have to cook as he cleans and cooks the conch himself.

Bowl of Conch without shell waiting to be cleaned, not too bad for an hours work

Monday was spent reading, sleeping and eating as we had horrible rain and wind all day. This was yet another cold front that was passing us.

This is what most of our day looked like from the cockpit

After watching and listening to the weather all evening we discussed it and made the decision that the following day would be a good day to give it a shot. The worst that would happen would we would get out the cut and have waves too big and turn to come back and wait another day. The alarm went off nice and early at 6am as I pulled myself out of bed to put the much needed pot of coffee on. We turned on the VHF and heard the other boats chattering about leaving also so we knew we wouldn’t be alone. We listened to Chris Parker on the single side band and felt this was a good day so at 6:45 we were firing up ole Max our trusty Westerbeke and pulling anchor heading south. The sunrise that greeted the morning for us

We made it out the pass between Lynyard Cay and Little Harbor with no problem, there were some good size swells but the time in between was good so we felt it would be a good ride for us. Not so much for poor Butters which we are getting very good at predicting the days he hurls. He must hate us by now….The trip was 63 miles and only took us 10.5 hours, wow; try doing that in your car down the highway. LOL The winds were light and variable as predicted. One minute they would be 40 degrees off our port and then 3 seconds later right from the rear so trying to adjust sails kept Dirk busy and frustrated. But what else is there to do to pass time but fish, eat, and lounge around. Now try doing that in your car going down the highway……speaking of fishing, Dirk has been waiting for this crossing to do some fishing in hopes of catching a Mahi or Tuna. As we were coming out of the pass the first thing he does is throw out his line and no sooner does it hit the water, he says fish on…As he reeled it in we saw it was a barracuda about 40 inches long with lots of sharp pointy teeth. Dangit…..Back in the water he goes and we didn’t get another strike until about 6 hours into the trip. Dirk was setting the hook when the fish leaped out of the water and leaped right off the hook, double dangit. As we pulled into Eleuthera we were complaining about no fish biting, well one line he brought in had the hook bent open so something had to have gotten that and the other line was pulled in and it had been bitten clean through, just wondering how long we towed that empty line through the water. One day….Were gonna get a big one, one day…..just not today. So we are on a mooring ball here in Spanish Wells and it is a very tight mooring field. Only 8 balls here at 15 bucks a day and it’s just a short hop to the city wall where you can tie up your dinghy and get into town.

Looking out towards the Atlantic

A typical street here in Spanish Wells

At low tide it looks impossible to leave or enter here as they left just enough room to swing without hitting bottom. But as usual, when we make a long crossing we like to spend the first day in a marina or a mooring so that we can get a good night’s sleep without worrying about the anchor in an unkown area. On Thursday we will probably head out of here and head somewhere else around here. Not quite sure yet, maybe anchor out around Royal Island, perhaps do some snorkeling and beach combing for a couple days before we start heading south. Tomorrow will also be the day that our buddy boat FinniRish will be departing as they are heading to the Exuma’s tomorrow. We have been together since we left Marathon in January and hope to run into them one day down the road. As for us, we will continue looking for adventures and hope that Mother Nature will give us several good weeks to enjoy the time we have left here in the Bahamas before beginning our journey back to the states. Will keep you all updated as internet will allow.

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