The Bahamas

Florida through the Abacos.

An Early Start

Sunup.Dawn.An early start to a long day of sailing across the Gulf Stream, over 50 Nautical Miles, before dark.The dingy is lashed down, all stores are full, everything loose below is secured.We are off.

 

 

A Rough Passage

Crossing the Gulf Stream was not easy.We had 8-foot seas and winds of 15 Ė 20 knots.Even though Florida is not yet out of sight, you can see the stress in Karenís face.Hawkins wasnít doing so good, either.Fortunately, the self-steering system (named George) held his own the entire 13-hour trip.

 

 

Bob Gets Wet

We completed the Gulf Stream crossing going over five knots under staysail and double-reefed main alone, but we started out with the jib up because the wind started light. When it picked up, we had to decrease sail.

 

Here Bob is getting his morning bath while dropping and securing that big sail prior to raising the smaller staysail.

 

 

 

Pink Sand

Yes, they really do have pink sand beaches.This one is at Cherokee town, just before we made our second open-water passage across New Providence Channel.

 

 

Typical House

Well, maybe a little better than most, but much like all of them:Quiet, simple, well-maintained.This one is in Cherokee Town, but it could be almost anywhere we went.

 

 

Rainy Passage

We got caught by frontal thunderstorms while traveling between Baker Bay and Marsh Harbor.Karen took the helm over from the George (the self-steering system) and guided us through some heavy rain.Hawkins was still not happy.

 

 

Moored At Dawn

Spanish Wells was a great town.Besides great sunrises, they had the best-maintained fishing fleet I have ever seen.We spent four days and enjoyed every minute of it.

 

 

Royal Island Ruins

We saw four ruins complexes while we were in the Bahamas.This one, located on Royal Island, had a great hall, a two-story residence hotel, two boat harbors, a boat house, a full four-bay boat repair building, and covered land storage for 15 large boats.I am told it also had an airstrip, but we couldnít find that as it was probably covered by growth.

 

 

 

 

 

The Great Hall

This shot of the fire place in the great hall of the ruins at Royal Island shows how old the ruins really were.Like all rooms in the facility, there was heating only via fire places.Notice that this one has two ovens, one on either side of the main hearth.This fireplace was built before metal stoves were available for baking.

 

 

Scraping Barnacles

Thanks to the EPA, American boats canít use good anti-fouling paint.So, as every boat-owningAmerican knows, you have to scrape the barnacles off your(boatís) bottom.Of course, itís a lot easier in clear warm water.(No, this picture was not staged in a swimming pool.)

 

 

Three Guys At The Helm

Under power going from Current Cut to Alabaster bay.The wind was in our teeth, so we had to motor or wait for a better wind.We should have waited, the wind turned fair the next day.Most of our passages are under sail.

 

 

Karen In A Tight Space

Our only major breakdown came when a clamp on the prop shaft coupling hose broke and water started leaking from under the hose end.We first found out about the problem when we awoke to sea water sloshing under the foot of the ladder.

 

The only solution was to pull the hose, dress the surface under it, and re-attach the hose with new clamps.Unfortunately,since the hose encloses the prop shaft just before it leaves the boat, it is in a very awkward location behind the engine.This shot of Karen working on the problem shows how little room we had to work in.

 

 

Ghosting Under Sail

Ghosting is sailing very slowly under a light breeze.This is a movie clip of SEABIRD moving at less than two knots in a light breeze just south of Marsh Harbor.Notice that the sea is so calm that you can see the bottom moving past.Click on the picture on the right to download the video clip.

 

 

 

A Lazy Watch

We are underway in this movie of the cockpit.George is running the boat so all Karen has to do is look out for other boats and practice her knots.Click on the picture to the right ti download the video clip.