01/29/2012 - 01/31/2012 83 °F
We topped off fuel on Saturday, using 10-gal. The fuel dock was a good hike from our boat so Carol and I schlepped the two jerry cans there and got them filled. The man who filled the cans got a little "incensed" when we started to carry them back; he wanted to do that for us for no good reason other than to be nice! I don't know if there is a genetic trait for being nice but if there is it's deeply rooted in the DNA code of the Bahamians.
We saved topping off the water for Sunday morning before getting underway. There are some mistakes that require a specific sequence of steps that seem too improbable to happen ... ever, but always do. To wit, as I was filling the tanks, and taking longer than I thought it should, Carol called out that the head was flooded and was within 1/2-in. of spilling over the threshold into the main cabin. I had (1) left the shower faucet on/open the evening before and, (2) also left the water switch in the ON position when I checked the tank levels. We were pouring water into the head faster that I was putting it into the tanks. Full tilt stupid and almost an identical repeat of what happened at Dinner Key Marina on our first trip south! There the water was free; this time I estimate that there was $4.00 to $6.00 sloshing around in there. Due to the spill I don't have an accurate gauge on our actual consumption from Nassau to Staniel Cay. However, it must be running at less than 2-gal. per day and is probably closer to 1-gal. per day. Whatever the number may be on that spectrum with 110-gal. on board we are in good shape.
I woke up very early Sunday morning trying to figure out how we were going to get off the dock that morning. Not only was the wind an issue, pushing us onto the dock, a large boat was moored about 5-ft. from our stern. It was pretty wide, at least 15-ft. I knew that there was going to be a period that morning when the wind died and that was the target time to leave. Well, the water issue put paid to that plan; then a rain squall blew through. So we split the difference. While we waited the boat behind us left but the wind had picked up. Carol thinks that It Takes a Village to get anything done; I believe in self reliance. I'm the captain; we did it my way, but not easily and not well and with Carol, not quietly. We finally pushed the boat far enough from the dock be able to use the motor to get positive movement and everything went well after that.
The trip was less than 10 nm and did not take very long. We anchored, no problems; David was swimming in the area and checked our anchor set, said that it was good; I went out later to look for myself to see what "good" looks like so that I can evaluate in the future. Of the 5/6 boats closest to us, we know or have met the folks on five of them. It's a small cruising world.
This morning we watched several boats get underway for Farmers Cay, including Debbie's boat, S/V Illusions. She, and one other boat, raised her mainsail prior to raising her anchor and sailed out of the anchorage. It looked pretty cool and we will, probably, try it tomorrow when we leave.
After I finished my WSJ and tea, I went below to find that Carol was tearing apart the front cabin, her closet/pantry/whatever, without any bidding from me. She had decided, quite on her own, that she wants to be able to use the shower in the head as a shower rather than as a storage locker, the impetus coming at Staniel Cay where she wanted a shower to wash her hair and, in her words, almost cried when told that they did not have guest showers at the marina. Back (1) to washing her hair in the sink and (2) cleaning, actually rearranging, the head. I like the idea, water usage not withstanding. It has always been rather like walking into a cave with stalactites and stalagmites surrounding me so less stuff in there will be nice.
Having left the dock at Staniel Cay, if not successfully, without any apparent damage to us or the dock, this morning I woke up worrying about wind and weather. While I lay in the cabin and listened to the wind whipping through the shrouds and rigging I guessed 20 knots. When I finally got up and turned on the wind instrument it was 19 knots, not too bad, and not enough wind to present a problem. I look at two weather forecasts that extend to two weeks, a functionally useless time frame since weather forecasts out past 48 hours tend to have a lot of room for change. Both of these forecasts have been predicting a period of heavy winds, 30~35 knots about 10/11 days in the future. As he forecasts update the high winds always stay out there at the 10/11 day window. This got me to thinking that, while they have been wrong about the timing, at some point that situation will happen. So, we now have a nine step plan, in two parts, that we can follow if we are at anchor and the winds get troublesome. Not much original, and a lot of advice from Mike S. on what he has done when the crunch came. It's reassuring to have this plan to follow rather than having to deal with the situation in an ad hoc manner under duress.
We thought that we had finished all of the hard cover books, many left at marinas along the way; this would amount to several thousand pages, one book having gone to 900 pages. Carol found several more that will go to the head of the reading list. We have started saving the books rather than leaving them so the we will have some "currency" to join the library in George Town when we arrive in the next week or so. We thought that we had all three of the Stieg Larsson books; but Carol, having finished the first two, is unable to find the third. But, she still has another wrapped "brick" of books to check. We are two months into the trip and the the supply looks about sufficient to the remaining duration, but it could be a close call. I am sure that we will be swapping out books which mean that running out should be a remote, but disastrous, possibility.
We had a short walkabout on the island. This is the first island on which we have been without any obvious commercial enterprise, usually a marina with attendant businesses. It appears that the only jobs here are small owned businesses, e.g. restaurants and stores, or the government enterprises, e.g. BaTelCo, Water and Sewer, Bahama Electric. It is a pleasant place, even more low key than others we have visited. This looked like a place that sees a lot of action on a Saturday night.
These flowers took root in the crevices of the rocks, beauty finding a way.
We have heard and read about a peculiar type of Bahamian racing sailboat called: C class boats. We finally got to see some here. These boats are called catboats, or some variation of that name, with the mast almost all the way forward and they look awesome; they have a sail to waterline/weight ratio that cannot compute ... very tall masts and booms longer than the boats themselves. We saw one in a yard and it was not surprising that they have very full, deep keels for boats their size. We may get to see some race at Farmers Cay.
Ziveli, at anchor
Coming back to the boat at noon we thought to get underway for the short trip to Farmers Cay. But the weather turned fairly ugly so that plan is in abeyance until the morning. This a good anchorage with good holding and decent protection from the east winds.