Kidds Cove, George Town, Exumas, Bahamas 23 January, 2017
We moved out of Red Shanks anchorage after only about 2 hours and moved to Kidds Cove on the edge of Goerge Town. We were concerned about being caught in Red Shanks if our fuel issues caused us to have no engine. The entrance to Red Shanks is narrow and shallow.
An additional 2 days was spent working on the fuel issue. The port fuel tank has developed a leak so we needed to isolate it and get as much of the fuel out of it as possible before it all leaked into the bilge. Isolating the tank was a time consuming project which included blocking its vent and removing its fill hose to create a fill hose for the starboard tank. Also, since the two tanks functioned as a combined system, we had to de-couple them.
On the cruisers net, there is a time for asking for help and we asked for the use of an electric fuel transfer pump. Two different cruisers brought pumps for us to use. One of the pumps worked out well for us and we were able to pump the fuel from the leaking tank into the non-leaking tank through its new jury rigged fill tube. We had about 8 gallons of fuel which I had squeeze-bulbed into a couple of the 3 fuel cans donated to us by another cruiser. This fuel was also added to the non-leaking tank. Then we were able to pump the fuel and bilge water out of the deep bilge into one of the fuel cans for later proper disposal.
Our fuel tankage has now dropped to about 25 gallons capacity. We’ll top it up and then fill two fuel cans with an additional 10 gallons to carry and add as needed.
All the tank problems consumed a little over 3 days and I’m guessing over 4000 squeezes of the fuel bulb before my arms were saved by the loaned electric pump.
Palm trees! At about 4:30 pm day before yesterday, I was done. I took a moment to look around and enjoy the palm trees, sunshine, pale green water over white sand, light breezes and high 70’s temperatures. I guess if you have to suffer, you couldn’t picture a nicer place. Of course, the dark Bahamian rum and guava juice cocktails helped!
Yesterday was spent in preparing the boat for the storm arriving this afternoon. It is about 1:30 pm and winds are blowing 20-25 knots, gusting 30. Barbara is down for an after lunch siesta. In two hours, squalls and thunder storms are supposed to hit with winds gusting to the 50 knot range. Boats have moved around the harbor area looking for some protection and good holding for their anchor. All have their fingers crossed hoping they do not drag anchor. Breaking loose could lead to hitting another boat or running aground or worse.
I glanced out the window just now and the leading edge of the clouds is starting to darken the sky. The storm cells, highest winds and rain should only last about 3 hours, but then the wind is supposed to shift dramatically and blow all night with gusts to 40ish knots. Few folks will sleep tonight and all the VHF radios will be tuned to channel 68 to listen for boats in distress in hopes they can be helped. Things are supposed to calm down by Tuesday night.
We’ve decided to not travel further south this trip. Services and supplies get fewer and farther between the farther south you go. Instead, we’ll begin working our way back up the Exumas stopping at places we’ve been hoping to see. The game plan is to cruise back towards the states and find a place for the boat to stay while we make repairs between trips. Surely there must be a good spot for “Submit” and us along the coast somewhere between Texas and South Carolina! In the past we have lived aboard “Submit” while making repairs and upgrades. This next batch will probably be more comfortably and efficiently done if we find a place to stay nearby.
We’ve thought at times about what it would have been like to just go charter a boat for a trip each year instead of having our own boat. No repairs. No maintenance. No storage. No worries!
Chartering would have been fun, but most locations popular for chartering are appealing to charter boat tourists. We wanted to get off the beaten path. And, charter trips usually last one to two weeks at the most. We wanted to spend longer times on the boat and, since acquiring Submit 8 years ago, have lived aboard her for over two years, several months at a time.
For now, it is still pretty outside. The pale sea foam green water has white caps, the palm trees are all leaning one way, and I’ve decided not to have a delicious rum drink right now just in case I need my wits about me later.