Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mar. 8-14, 2011 (Week 23, Day 155-161)

Tues. Mar. 8, 2011 (Week 23, Day 155) Destination: Lynyard Cay to Marsh Harbour Departure: 0815 hrs. Arrival: 1230 hrs. Mileage: 22.8 SM/19.83 NM Weather: warm, partly sunny, partly cloudy, spattering of rain late afternoon Winds: ENE 10K increasing to 15-17K, 1-2 ft. waves, whitecaps, no swells of course
A good copy of CP at 0630 hrs. & we heard all transmissions from ‘Twomorrows’ from Marsh Harbour yesterday pm & at 0730 hrs. today, but our responses were not heard. Brownish, salty water was found in the same 2 compartments as previously this morning, but the transom shower was also found on; was there a connection? We up anchored as the Abaco Cruisers Net started at 0815 hrs. on VHF 68. The winds increased when we left the anchorage to 15-17K, whitecaps & rollers crashing as the Atlantic met the shallows of the Sea of Abaco. We motor sailed with only the jenny, jibbing her, rolling her in & out as we followed the necessary serpentine course of deeper water avoiding the shallows on a rising tide. I suddenly realized how comfortable & relaxed we seemed to be in these familiar waters despite the strength of the winds compared to 2 years ago. I suspect a lot has to do with the many miles & weather conditions we have encountered. We successfully hailed Lynn when passing Royal Marsh Harbour Yacht Club; Larry was at his scuba certification course. Once in Marsh Harbour we dropped the anchor but were hailed by another boater who diplomatically mentioned we were in a ‘do not anchor channel’, thus we reanchored further to starboard or closer to the southern side of the harbour closer to Mangoes Marina; 8 ft. water & 100 ft. chain. Lunch, sponging up a wee bit of salty water again from 1 compartment & motor on dinghy when Graeme discovered he no longer had his boat keys; he had laid them down but now unable to find them. Where did they go? Overboard? We dinghied to Mangoes to where Lynn & Larry were located & spent several hours catching up on each other’s news over the last week. I walked to the beauty salon at Memorial Plaza re a badly needed haircut; forget it, $30.00! Where’s the barber in town! I was able to hook up to the internet; new Mastercards seem to be at home in Ottawa. But I also received some very upsetting news about a friend from home. It was late by the time we returned to the boat; nothing defrosted. Supper= grilled cheese & an attempt to make French fries. Howling winds, howling wind generator, sliver of moon visible tonight, stars & few clouds.
Wed. Mar. 9, 2011 (Week 23, Day 156) Destination: Marsh Harbour Weather: coolish, although air temp= 74F & water temp= 75F; sunny & cloudy periods Winds: ESE, E to SE 12-15K but calmer by sunset
The day began as usual at 0630 hrs. with CP, then 0800 hrs. Royal Marsh Harbour Yacht Club (RMHYC) Net on VHF 78 on Mon. Wed. & Fri., then Abaco Cruisers Net at 0815 hrs. while consuming breakfast. While Graeme emptied the water jerry cans into the boat tank, I washed the main cabin walls, ceiling & shelves & the washbasin & toilet area of the head with soap & water. Boat showers X 2. We loaded my bike & ourselves into the dinghy & off to see Lynn as Larry was doing his final dive (#3 & 4) today. We introduced ourselves to Rey at Mangoes Marina office informing them that we would be looking in on the Morrows boat for the week that they will be away in Las Vegas at their son’s wedding. Graeme walked about & did his thing; I biked 1st looking for a haircut other than the salon at Memorial Plaza. Two were pointed out to me: (1) Catherine’s on Don McKay Blvd. by the traffic lights which was the first one I tried & took; $10.00 but she shaved my back almost like a man’s brushcut! Yicks! (2) in green strip mall near the post office. I visited the jewelry store & placed a deposit on a present for myself. I continued pedaling down to a comparable like store to Costco called ‘Save Lots’ & browsed--> coke= $12.50/ case (best price going ). I retraced back a bit & turned NE & discovered the newly built & newly opened Maxwells Grocery Store; Shop Rite was closed but they were one in the same owner anyway--> very big, modern, bright, clean, so mainland. The Laundromat was in the same location; washers either small ($2.00), medium ($6.00) & large ($9.00) & dryers= $0.25/2 min. whereas Mangoes = $3.50/ load washer or dryer & dryer dried apparently for 1 hr. Graeme used my bike to purchase a case of Sands Lite ($36.75/case at Bristol) then I returned to the jewelers with the balance payment for my gift. At 1730 hrs. we attended Ladies’ Happy Hour at Mangoes--> ½ priced appetizers & certain drinks; Graeme had French onion soup, Lynn & I had conch chowder soup with 2 baskets of fresh bread provided & we all shared 2 plates of conch fritters--> good! On returning to the Morrows boat I quickly checked my emails & our new Mastercards were mailed out to Larry’s brothers address in Ohio. We should have the cards by Mar. 21 or 25. We gazed at the night sky filled with stars, near ¼ moon, mast lights for the increasing number of boats anchored in the harbour & the blazing red sky from a fire in the west end of town as we headed for home. No further needed for supper. An evening of journal entry & reading. No dolphins sited now for a couple of days; they would not want to be in the cloudy, ? water of this harbour.
Thurs. Mar. 10, 2011 (Week 23, Day 157) Destination: Marsh Harbour Weather: mostly sunny, high temp of about 70F (in the sun I must add), cloud cover rolled in at about 1800 hrs. Winds: ESE 8-10K & slowly clocking all day long
Our usual morning routine with CP & the Net; winds are to clock eventually to the NNW with a high pressure after the cold front with winds of 20-25K from sunset & overnight & possible squalls of 30-40K after midnight; great! This is the weather we kept hearing about on SSB all winter long for the Abacos; & they say the weather in the Abaco is only 5 degrees cooler than the southern Bahamas?--> crap! It has been quite cool especially in the shade & in the evenings & it’s March! I prepared to do laundry at Mangoes & internet, & hopefully more meandering with my bike. Larry bought my tokens for the laundry at the office, then checked out a car rental for tomorrow. Mangoes laundry facilities= 2 washers & 2 dryers at $3.50 each, supposedly. One dryer, interesting enough, was vacated before the cycle was finished by a Mangoes employee; I did 3 washing loads & used that same dryer for 1-1/2 of my washed loads--> dryer still did not stop; I purchased a dryer cycle which did my remaining 1-1/2 washed loads & it too did not finish a cycle (each well over 1 hour). I wonder if any tokens were required in these dryers? 4 paid loads X $3.50= $14.00. I met Jeanne & Bob (Walkabout) under the gazebo at Mangoes doing some internet while waiting for the laundry. I worked away at replies to many emails until all internet access was lost for > 1 hr. It was too frustrating so I quit without all replies done & not being able to post my last week of my blog, but I did learn how to reset a password when connected up to the net--> right click onto Properties! Graeme did a few ? errands; learnt some info from OB (Moorings) re an ongoing problem with cracking elbows on Yanmar engines, learnt his camera & drill chargers were O.K. but the batteries were not from a local electronics place that checked them out--> Lynn & Larry will try to purchase a new battery (specific) for Graeme’s Olympus camera. Larry wrote & passed his scuba certification this pm with flying colours; Keith from Dive Abaco was an excellent instructor. The fires from last evening were in a pine forest; pine needles on the ground were so thick that the fires were still smoldering & with the clocking winds, waves of ash & smoke were headed in our direction. Back to the boat before the weather deteriorated as predicted starting at sunset with one stop to say ‘hello’ to Gorma, a boat from Winnipeg we met 2 years ago in Vero Beach; they know ‘SaYes’. A line of clouds rolled in before sunset; conch blowers but no visible sunset. The winds definitely clocked through to the S, W & NW by dark, with periods of calm, spits of rain accompanied by wind, more calm & clear skies thus stars, & more wind as the clocking continued to the E & SE. Again no meat was defrosted; supper= hot dogs & Japanese cabbage salad. By bedtime a ¼ moon had risen & we were still clocking round in a circle. Which directions will be facing in the morning?
Fri. Mar. 11, 2011 (Week 23, Day 158) Destination: Marsh Harbour Weather: cool, high only 68F; mostly sunny with some clouds Winds: after sunset yesterday NNW winds continued to clock N-->E-->S-->W--> & back to NW by dawn & fairly calm at 15-20K; no squalls of 30-40K overnight as predicted; although not on the boat since early this am, it seemed that the winds remained NW 10-15K
Happy Birthday Lynn! CP was late transmitting this am--> improving weather today & for the coming several days. A boat shower for me after breakfast. Graeme let out more chain (total now= 150 ft.) & we closed the boat up as we were spending the day with a car rental touring. No $65.00/day car rental so $75.00--> a Buick Century. At first we did a few errands in town -->Maxwells--> limited groceries for the time being, dog sitter for Murphy Brown when the Morrows leave for their son’s wedding on Mon., Bristol--> beers & Lynn’s wine, bank, couple of shops looking for Graeme’s camera battery, & Save Lots. Then we drove all the way to Sandy Point, the most southern settlement of Great Abaco Island, passing through several areas of smoke & fires in the Abaco National Park--> was this on purpose to get rid of underbush or an accident? We headed north toward Little Harbour stopping at Serenity Point--> a gated community in the works with roads, lights, surveyed lots, landscaping but no houses actually built, yet workers on the premises. Onto Pete’s Pub for lunch--> hogfish (delicious). I walked the Atlantic beach for some sea glass (poor shells & garbage) & a very quick look at the Gallery. We passed through more serious fires especially at Murphytown on the way to Treasure Cay. It was nearly 1700 hrs., the beach bar was closing & the marina bar, ‘Tipsy Seagull’ was beginning to open (expensive--> beer= $6.00); it was very quiet, very few people about. The wind was blowing directly onto this most beautiful, crescent shaped beach with powder soft white sand & the tide was rising; not good for shelling today. Back to Marsh Harbour at dusk. Supper = appetizer food at Snappas as we were not very hungry after a late lunch. Lynn was not feeling 100%; in need of rest. We dinghied back to the boat under mostly clear skies, few clouds, stars, ¼ moon, but quite chilly & the fires from Murphytown were very evident.
Sat. Mar. 12, 2011 (Week 23, Day 159) Destination: Marsh Harbour Weather: cool in the shade, temp maybe 70F; partially sunny & cloudy Winds: NNW at dawn 10-12K shifting to NE 8-10K
Happy Birthday Donna! Sunrise certainly has been earlier these last couple of weeks, soon after 0630 hrs., & now we’re switching to DST tonight (1 hr. ahead). Our usual morning listening programs, CP & Cruisers Net. Suddenly ran out of propane making breakfast --> 1-1/2 mons duration; switched tanks. We invited the Morrows over for dinner tonight as they leave on Mon. X 1 week. I owe them so much! They were my refuge, my saviour in so many ways! I prepped supper & even baked a dessert. Graeme washed down the cockpit & transom. I have been mottling skin for > week; exfoliated skin was everywhere; shook the carpets again. Once the the dishes were all washed up Graeme dropped me off at the Morrows boat while he went to the electronic store above the Jib Room Restaurant at Marsh Harbour Marina (north side of the harbour) located & introduced himself to Tracey Ross’ (Fleet Captain at Nepean Sailing Club) parents. Larry with much patience problem solved some computer issues; (1) not having mail going to Rogers + my gmail account,; (2) activate Windows Mail & creating a shortcut on my desktop, so I can download all new emails to Windows Mail when online & read later when offline. Graeme did water brigade with the jerry cans from ‘Twomorrows’ slip at Mangoes Marina. I took my bike & dropped in a few shops east of Mangoes & through the residential area by the Jib Room. Lynn & Larry got their projects done as well. Appetizers in our enclosed cockpit while the sun was setting behind clouds & the smoke still from the forest fires in Murphytown. Supper= curried peanut chicken. Just as the Morrows left, the music from somewhere along the south shore started up; loud & easily heard over the harbour water & continued till very late, although we were fast asleep. Half moon visible through the light cloud cover in the night sky.
Sun. Mar. 13, 2011 (Week 23, Day 160) Destination: Marsh Harbour Weather: coolish, about mid 60’sF, sunny with few clouds in am but increasing clouds mid pm Winds: E 5-8K
With DST there was less light at our usual time of waking. Boat shower for me & dressed for church; 0820 hrs. Graeme dinghied me to Mangoes & the school bus arrived there early to pick those of us waiting to go to St. Francis de Sales 0900 hrs. Mass; same driver, same route from Mangoes to RMNYC, turn around, along Queen Elizabeth Dr. to Don McKay to the Haitian community, then to St. Francis de Sales by 0845 hrs. Mass was quite reserved compared to other times, maybe because it was the 1st Sunday of Lent? & dedicated totally for Bruce! You are daily in my thoughts & prayers! Once dropped off after Mass back at Mangoes, found Lynn & Larry doing laundry, but the power went off x 30 min. or so; apparently this has been an ongoing problem that the Nassau news said was being addressed. Murphy Brown (Morrows’ dog) accidentally scraped Lynn’s leg with her claws during the night; now Lynn has a similar skin abrasion as her arm which is nicely healing these days; probably new abrasion will also require debriding. Back to boat for lunch then an afternoon of cleaning boat stainless steel starting at the stern & wearing my bathing suit; I was having feelings of withdrawal but had to work briskly to keep warm; Graeme piddled at things. There was a mass exodus by many boats from Moorings/SunSail operation at Conch Marina. At 1630 hrs. to the Morrows; I helped Larry take Murphy to Annie Pinder, the dog sitter for 10 days--> Larry quite reluctant, but I offered to check in on her. Larry downloaded my more recent photos on his stick. We offered to check their boat frequently & received last minute instructions, so we will be in the Marsh Harbour for several more days. We departed near 1900 hrs. wishing them a good trip & a great wedding. The sun had not set yet; smoke from the fires was still very apparent from Murphytown. We started the process of defrosting the freezer for the 1st time. Supper= pork Thai Pod. A calm night, ½ moon & stars.
Mon. Mar. 14, 2011 (Week 23, Day 161) Destination: Marsh Harbour Weather: warm sun but cool in shade & cool breeze; partly sunny & partly cloudy Winds: E 8-10K
Somewhat dark on rising this morning. The usual morning routine. The freezer defrosting procedure faired well; sheets of ice easily removed by morning, everything emptied, refrig/freezer units washed down & food returned to their respective places all by 0930 hrs.; a good job! The taxi picked the Morrows up at 0900 hrs.; flight was a 1000 hrs. Graeme took our empty propane tank to the hardware store before 0900 hrs. + bank + ?, then dinghied me to shore about 1100 hrs. I returned the cooler bag to the Morrows’ boat & retrieved the Mangoes Marina BR/shower key wrapped around a sleeve of oreo cookies left for our use; a good chuckle! No electricity or internet failure for a change so I was able to work on many email replies, cleaned up my mail boxes & studied my newly established Windows Mail program. My 1st new email of the day was from Lynn; their plane in Marsh Harbour ran into engine problems! What a way to start the day of long travel. I also charged my cell phone & camera battery. Graeme took some books to Buck-a Book & brought the cracked engine elbow to OB at Moorings to weld; will return it tomorrow. Back to the boat for a quick lunch at 1330 hrs. then returned to shore & a leisurely bike ride X 1-1/2 hrs. Propane tank refilled ($15.00) & picked up. I read in the cockpit till 1900 hrs. & the sun still had not set. I showed Graeme how to read his mail offline in Windows Mail. Some boats today had moved out of harbour & new ones arrived. Sunset did happen below the line of clouds & land mass. White & dark smoke was still visible all day from the fires at Murphytown. Supper= leftover curried peanut chicken for me & nil for Graeme as he said his stomach was feeling ill, yet he consumed chips & peanuts earlier. The night sky consisted of stars + light clouds + slightly greater than ½ moon. The harbour was calm & little wind.

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