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Published: October 1st 2017
Geo: 26.6706, -77.2739
It had been a mostly still night – some rolliness at times but we felt very secure. I woke to seemingly random bells – the first set went off at 6am: a short set. This was followed by a much more complex chime at 6:30am … then very brief chimes at 7:07am. We wondered if they were the school bells – the first to say it's time to get up; the second to say it's time to head for school; and the last to say, "Be in your seat, or else."
After breakfast, as the wind began to rise, we departed for No Name Cay – where we planned to anchor for about an hour, so that Paul and the girls could dinghy up to Pelican Cay for a snorkel. With the wind up, we came back quickly on our anchor – it clearly held, but the anchorage does not have a lot of protection when the wind is from the south (which it was), so we decided to watch the anchor carefully while Paul and the girls went snorkeling. We watched them pile into the dinghy and take off, bouncing across the waves. Pas and I were still
debating if we should let out more chain when Paul and the girls reappeared. They said that it was very choppy at the Cay, and that they could not find the dinghy mooring balls … and, worse, they were almost out of fuel. They realized this when they took a large wave over the bow, filling the floor of the dinghy with water … and the fuel tank began to float! So we gave up, and decided that, given the freshening of the wind, it was time to head back through Whale Cay and Loggerhead passages.
The passage was “mish-mashy,” as Skipper says, but not too bad. We could see the breakers on the rocks that reach out from No Name into the passage … which I'm never sure is comforting or really disconcerting. It's nice to know where those rocks are, but I hate the reminder of what lurks just beneath the surface of the water. As we came through the passage, I was at the helm and noticed that the bilge pump light was on (and it stayed on the rest of the day). Pas checked the bilges … they had water in them but the pumps seemed
to be working. We decided we'd keep an eye on it, and, once through the passage, contact Moorings.
Once through Loggerhead passage, we headed for Treasure Cay and anchored in the turning basin. Paul and I immediately took the dinghy towards the fuel dock … but, almost as immediately, we ran out of fuel. Thank goodness it hadn't happened to Paul and the girls while they were on their way home from Pelican Cay … pushing into the surf and against the current and wind would have made paddling back almost impossible … and we could not have sailed the big cat to any location where we could have picked them up. But, in the basin, the water was calm, as was the wind, so Paul and I had no trouble paddling to the dock. We filled the fuel tank and enjoyed using the motor back to the sailboat.
We paused briefly at Wild Cat to pick up the rest of the crew, then headed into the marina to pay our anchoring fees. From there, we walked across the road to the beach named one of the most beautiful in the world by National Geographic. The girls had a “photo shoot” on
the beach then opted to go to the beach shack for sodas. Mum had difficulty walking on the sand, so she and Pas returned to the marina, to wait by the pool. Once we left the resort, we had the beach to ourselves. The sand was soft, as we love about sand in the Abacos, and formed hills and valleys as the waves washed up on shore, so that walking was a very uneven exercise. It was very overcast, but the sand was still so white that we kept wearing our sunglasses.
On our return, I took photos of the area that used to be the swimming pool but is now filled with dirt and functions as a garden. Oddly, the builders did not pull out the handrails for the ladders or the supports for the diving board when they filled in the pool. Back at the marina, we showered on shore (worth the $10 anchoring fee so that we can all shower without drawing down our tanks) then returned to Wild Cat.
While we were playing cards during cocktail hour, the winds shifted 180 degrees, and rose, and soon were followed by a very hard rain. We ate inside the
salon, for the first time, as the rain was pushed horizontally by the wind into the cockpit. The wind kept shifting: one moment, we were facing the houses on the shore … and the next moment, we were facing the rear of the turning basin. We were near two other anchored boats … but one of those was near a boat which was moored. But our hook was holding, and we had put out the minimum chain required, so we felt secure.
After dinner, since the bilge pump light had still not gone off, Paul and Pas hunted down the source of the problem. It turns out, the paddle switch, which floats up when the bilge fills with water, then settles down, turning off the pump, as the water drains out, was stuck in the up position. A flick of the wrist makes the paddle subside … but, as it sits under our bed platform, it was a bit of a pain to reach. Hopefully, this problem is solved for the rest of the journey.
Tot: 1.705s; Tpl: 0.027s; cc: 10; qc: 27; dbt: 0.0148s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb