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Back to Great Guana Cay

sunny 83 °F

After the party was over we got back to thinking about more practical matters, like what to do now. We decided to head back to Black Point Community on Great Guana Cay. I wanted to see the Super Bowl and Lorraine's was having a party of sorts and has a flat screen TV. Carol wanted that shower and needed to do some laundry, all easily possible here. So, at about 0830 we had the boat ready to get underway and started recovering the anchor. It was a problem; the links kept jamming and Carol had to work with the windlass to keep it pulling the chain in when the links jammed. At the time, it didn't seem like much of a problem.

A couple of boats got out before us and when we hit the way point we headed north on a beam to a broad reach with 15~20 knots of winds helping us along. The foresail took a while to go out, the line having bunched up in the furler, a fairly simple fix as it turned out. While I was diddling this line the other boats were merrily pulling away from us. When we finally got the big dog out and trimmed we flew, rarely going less than seven knots, occasionally going over eight knots, and passing boats along the way. It didn't take very long to cover the nine miles and to head into the anchorage.

The first time we put the hook out I did not like the way we were positioned with the other boats. So back up comes the anchor except this time it well and truly jammed. I had to disassemble part of it to free the links, which I did, and put it back together. Carol got the anchor almost onto the the bow roller and it jammed again. Big trouble this time ... I sheared the head off one of the two bolts and had to prise things apart ... not good. Having done that I again freed the jam and we got the anchor out and well set. When things settled down I went back to the bow to look things over and saw a broken windlass piece in the chain locker. No telling whether it broke and then the chain jammed or the chain jamming caused it to break. Doesn't much matter anyway, the problem is what it is. With the cover off I saw where the broken piece had been, got out the allen wrenches and proceeded to shear the head off another bolt, seguing from not good to actually bad. I did get the first broken bolt out; the second one looks like a problem. Joe V's advise on frozen bolts was good if I had thought to use it which, of course, I didn't. A lousy end to a pretty good day. The windlass is functional, I just don't know how well and for how long or what problems might occur with the cover removed and that piece missing.

I called Lewmar, the manufacturer of the windlass, immediately. Duh! It was Saturday and I hate having things like this pending but there was no choice. Carol did laundry on Sunday and but never did get around to that hot shower. Sunday evening arrived and at 4:30 pm we got to Lorraine's Cafe thinking that we would be early for the Superbowl Party. Wrong again. There was almost no room to be had, Carol and I being about the last of 60 people to show up. Lorraine put out a pretty good spead of food, had lots of cold Kalik beer and we had a good time. There was one man there with a ship's hat from the US Navy, not an unusual sight and I paid it no particular attention. At halftime, when he was moving around, I saw the ship's designation, MSO-471, meaning Mine Sweeper Ocean, the last of which, I thought, was decommissioned about 40 years ago. I served on MSO-520. We talked a bit; he was in Charleston, SC from 63-65; I was there from 67-69. He confirmed that all the mine sweepers are long gone, the USS Skill, his boat, having been chopped up in the early 70's. The USS Alacrity, my ship, was given to the USCGS in the early 70's and probably now is also into pieces.

60 people there and only one other person was rooting for the Giants. I had to love Tom Coughlin, the Giants' coach. He was on the sidelines before a huge game singing along with America the Beautiful and The Star Sangled Banner. He seemed to know the words. That was rewarded with a win, and a good thing too. We almost left early but, fortunately, stayed for 59 minutes and 2 seconds.

Posted by sailziveli 15:03 Archived in Bahamas Tagged boating bahamas

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