Thursday, April 11, 2013

catching up

We were sheltered from any big winds in Black sound.  Our stay there involved a trip to the bank on Thursday.  The bank is only open on Monday and Thursday from 10 til two.  However, it had been closed the previous Monday for the Easter holiday.  Needless to say, there was a very long line.   It was a good time to chat with other cruisers.

We had to stay til our turn because we were down to $10 cash.  Barbara was able to get some Bahamian and some US currency on her debit card.  That meant we could go to lunch at the Wrecking Tree Bakery, Restaurant and Bar.  Barbara had a conch burger and I had conch in a bag, and grouper with salad. 

On our way back to the electric dinghy, we passed a fellow on a dock beating the heck out of fresh conch.  It is pretty amazing what they have to go through to make it edible.

Cribbage lessons are progressing nicely.

Next day we walked to Pineaples for lunch.  Their Plymouth punch was delicious, and the conch was tasty.  Afterwards, we took a long shortcut walk to the local liquor store with the last of the Bahamian money.  We bought some Bahamian rums.

Our plan was to leave  for Manjack and Crab Cays the next morning, and then stop at a couple more islands before heading back across the gulf stream.  Off we went to Manjack where we anchored and took the stealth dinghy to shore.  We took along rum and glasses because the plan was to get a couple coconuts and make drinks.

Two coconuts were husked and opened, their juice emptied into a glass.  These were mature coconuts with the coconut meat and clear milk.  All 4 or 5 tablespoons of it.  We added a little Mango rum to it and sat down to share it, for 15 seconds, until the no-see-ums showed up.  Back to the boat for our cocktails. On the way back to the boat we were greeted by 4 people in a dingy, making the rounds, to introduce themselves. They were new arrivals to the Bahama’s and making the most of it. After rafting dingys with them for a period, we were home again, only to have another dingy motor up and ask us to join them for game night. “Ok, right after dinner.”  Just as I was clearing the table, dingy # 3 arrived. This was someone we had conversed with several times and a friend of friends. Time passes and by the time he left, we were too late for games. Perhaps we will have an opportunity on the “ditch.” Beautiful water and cruising buddies- that’s what it’s all about.

Weather is always a topic of discussion.  Weather reports were indicating a couple supposedly good days for crossing the gulf stream on Monday, Tuesday and possibly Wednesday.  Then weather was to change for the worse and nobody could say when the next crossing window would occur.  We have noticed that, once we make the decision to head back soon, we want to go now. We decided it was time to go. 

Sunday was a nice sail all the way to Great Sale Cay, one of the primary last stops before crossing.  From there, it would take about 10 hours to cross the Little Bahamas Bank, and another 10 or so to cross the gulf stream to Fort Pierce.  We would rotate 2 hours on watch, two hours off.

There are no stopping spots along the way, so we decided to leave after lunch on Monday, sail to the White Sand Ridge crossing point, arriving around around 2am, and thence across.  We were able to sail most of the way to WSR, but had to slow down for a rain squall and higher than expected wind, arriving about 1:30 am.

Then the crossing.  Monday night and Tuesday were to be a soft touch crossing.  Barbara describes her 12 hours of the 24 as 12 hours spent on a low speed mechanical bull.  It is a full body workout!!! By the way, when you finally get across to the inlet entrance, do not be tempted to try to enter against an outgoing tide running against strong southeasterly wind, regardless of how full of bull (riding) you may be. That time was maybe the worst of the 12 hours!

We made it in to Fort Pierce and immediately found a place to drop anchor.  After a bite of lunch, Barbara settled in for a nap.  I called Homeland Security and checked us back into the U. S. A. and then joined her.  After a few phone calls and dinner we settled in for a good night’s rest.

Next day, we topped up on fuel and met Kirk and his dad for lunch.  FYI, we averaged about 0.66 gallons per hour of motoring for fuel burned.  Then we went back to anchor and relax and have a day off which included a grade C (at best) movie. 

Today is Thursday April 11th.  We had a lovely morning. We actually sailed on the ICW! The Environmental Learning Center dock was too shallow, so we were not able to increase our knowledge or visit Pelican Island Wild Life Refuge.  We are in Melbourne, Fl, 50 miles farther up the ICW.  We are looking for places to see and explore along our return trip.  We must leave Green Cove Springs no later than 4/22.

Appended please find posted a plethora of photos, previously postponed due to poor wifi propagation.  Please persist and peruse.

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how do you get these darn smart phones to zoom in, take a picture, and send it out?

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