Thursday, February 28, 2019

Emerald Bay, New Filters

Old filter/ New filter
In the morning I replace the whole boat water filter and the galley faucet filter. Then I get two of our rail diesel cans filled and one Gas Can.

We all head over to Palapa Grill again for lunch and Mark brings dominoes. We spend the rest of the afternoon around the pool playing Mexican Train.

Playing Mexican Train

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Emerald Bay, Sewing

A good news/bad news issue with this marina is free laundry, which means the machines are very busy, but at least the laundry room is air conditioned. Linda heads to the laundry and I make french toast again with the coconut bread. Then after breakfast I work on my next project, remove and clean the dodger and sew in new zippers and resew a number of seams. When I finish Mark brings over a piece of his canvas that needs a replacement zipper. I fortunately have a number of spares, white not black, but still functional.

We have a visitor

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Emerald Bay, Fixed leak

First thing chore of the morning is to take apart the anchor windlass to clean and lube the parts. It has been slipping lately. Then I move on to the next chore. I empty out the rear lockers again. I can see where water had pooled, but not any obvious hose leaks. I take a short length of clear tubing that fits tightly in the stern scrupper drain fitting and stick a large funnel in the other end. I pour water in the tube and it quickly dissappears with no exterior leaks. 
I fill the tube again and quickly look below and see water streaming out both port and starboard hoses connected via the Tee fitting that connect to the stern drain fitting. Both port and starboard hoses are damaged where they clamp to the Tee. Must of been like that for a long time. Again I shorten the hoses and reclamp. I don’t have much extra length on these hoses. Again I fill the clear tubing with water and this time the water stays there. I leave it for a couple hours and the level stays the same. Could I have finally found my last leak? We will see when we had to Georgetown in a couple days.

We head to the Palapa Grill at Grand Isles Villas next door. We have a very nice lunch with a view of the Bay. 

Lunch at Palapa Grill

When we get back I change the engine oil and transmission fluids.
In the evening we go to the cruiser lounge/offices to play cards in the air conditioning.
Mark's card shuffler


Monday, February 25, 2019

Emerald Bay, still leaking

We leave around 9:00 am for Emerald Bay Marina on Great Exuma Island.
Leaving Rudder Cut Cay

We motor-sail and arrive around 2:00. This marina is about $1.00/foot if you don’t need power and is fairly protected. It is another example of overly optimistic Bahama development. The marina has floating cement docks which are very nice, but have been lacking maintenance. The Sandals Resort nearby had bought the marina, but have not done anything with it. The staff is excellent, but maintenance is not. But at $1.00/foot we can’t really complain. We are disappointed to find that their famous Happier Hour on Mondays, is no longer.

I check our bilge, expecting it to be dry and SOB ! It is full of water WTF ! This is driving me nuts. I do find that the water is still coming from the stern of the boat. Oh well, its back on my project list to work on while we are here hiding out from a couple days of high winds.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Rudder Cut Cay

Oven Rock, Farmers Cay in the distance

Manana and Sea Vu Play leave at 8:30 for an intermediate stop at just north of Farmers Cay, to hike to Oven Rock Cave. Linda and I went there on our first trip to the Bahamas, Mark and Karen have not been there before. We anchor just north of Oven Rock around 10 am and head ashore in Mark & Karens dinghy to hike to the Cave. There is a large pool of water and divers do bring tanks to dive in the cave.

Cave entrance

We are back on our way south by noontime. We are trying to pass over some shallow areas close to high tide. Not a problem for our 4’-8” draft, but Sea Vu Play at 5’-8’ has Mark a little nervous.Linda and I have done this route before with lower water and am not too concerned. Sea Vu Play follows up closely at the shallowest areas, as I read out the lowest depths. We never see less that 7 feet, as we pass Musha Cay, owned by David Copperfield. As we pass close to his island we pass the stern of a small ferry off loading some trailers of supplies. Copperfield lives here about 10 weeks a year and rents out the island the rest of the time. $20,000 a week. He also bought Rudder Cut Cay to the south for its runway. Rudder Cut Cay is a much larger island, but has never been developed much beyond the runway.

Musha Cay

Musha Cay delivery
As we approach Rudder Cut Cay, I am quite surprised to see more than 15 boats anchored there. Last time we pretty much had it to ourselves. Fortunately most of the boats are anchored north of our favorite anchorage in front of a sea cave. After we confirm our anchor is set, we dinghy over to the next little cove to see the Mermaid and the Piano, a stainless steel structure that Copperfield commissioned and placed in about 15 feet of water. 
We visit a pond with a man made cut to open water on the island. Very protected anchorage, except the holding is poor, so not a good place to be in a blow. Most cruisers know this, but we find a large Moorings Catamaran in there.

Rudder Cut Cay Cave

That evening while reading her iPad Linda finds this little Gecko climbing up her leg. It disappears under our storage basket. We will probably find him dried and flattened at some point.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Black Point, Leak

Last day at Black Point. I replace the water we have been using and take in garbage. We head into Scorpio’s for lunch. Spend the afternoon there playing Mexican Train and having lunch and get back to the boat around 4:30. 

Mexican Train, waiting for lunch
I am still finding water in the engine bilge from our motor-sail the other day coming south from Staniel. I find there has been some leaks from the raw water hose exiting the heat exchanger. The end of the hose appears to be damaged. I dig out my power tool box and take the abrasive cut off tool and remove the damaged inch or so of hose. Fortunately there is enough extra hose, so shortening it a little is not a problem. Now I am real sure I have found the last leak.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Black Point

I make French toast for breakfast with the coconut bread we purchased from Loraine's mother. Loraine runs a very popular cruiser restaurant here at Black Point and her mothers home is right next door. Her mothers bread is very popular with the cruisers. On this island, the women seem to be the entrepreneurs.

After lunch we play cards on Sea Vu Play and then go for a long walk to a series of beaches on the ocean side of Black Point. We get back to the boat around sunset.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Black Point, Generator

The mail boat came in yesterday, but there is not a lot of new stuff at the small grocery store. We pick up tomatos, onions, bananas, butter and eggs. Back on the boat Linda works on our food inventory list and locations. I tackle another project I have been putting off, finding out why our Honda generator is not working. I discover that the carburetor had gummed up stopping fuel flow. Most likely I had not run the carburetor dry before shutting the generator down and the residual gas let deposits as it evaporated.  After I get the unit reassembled, no left over screws, it starts right up. Mark and Karen come over to our boat for Happy Hour. After they leave we have hot showers, thanks to our now working generator.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Black Point, Laundry

Our Boat Card from 5 years ago on the Wall

I drop Linda off at the Laundry, while I take our water jugs to the free RO (Reverse Osmosis) water tap. It takes about 3 trips with 4 – 5 gallon folding jugs to refill our tanks. Linda finishes laundry about an hour before I finish refilling our tanks. In the afternoon I bake an Impossible Pie and Linda makes her Broccoli Salad for dinner on Bellaventure tonight. This is our last night with Robert and Karen. They head back to Staniel Cay area for a couple weeks as some of their kids fly into Staniel to visit. They will be leaving their boat in Florida in the Spring and then drive home to Nova Scotia. They will spend a couple seasons in the Bahamas and Florida before Bellaventure returns home.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Black Point

Manana, Sea Vu Pay and Bellaventure have a short sail south to Black Point. We drop anchor at 11:30am. Black Point is well know for Id’s Black Point Laundry, on the water with its own dinghy dock.

Rockside Laundary


Linda picks up machine tokens for tomorrow. The Store there opens at 9:00am, but the laundry is open 24 hours. Late afternoon we all go to Scorpio’s for their Happy Hour. We get back to the boat just after sunset.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Staniel, The Grotto

After breakfast Linda rides to Isles Grocery store with Mark & Karen, while I take a couple empty fuel jugs to the fuel dock. Later we dinghy to Thunderball Grotto, with Robert & Karen and Mark & Karen. A few seconds of the movie Thunderball was filmed in the Grotto. The Grotto is in the center of a small island that is open above and has water entrances from both sides of the island, which are exposed at low tide, otherwise you have to dive to get into the Grotto. This has gotten to be a very popular tourist spot. Day trip fast boats come up from Great Exuma with vacationing tourists and it can get rather crowded. Today it is crowded, so we don’t spend a lot of time there. We all head back to our boats and shower up and them head into the Staniel Cay Yacht Club for lunch

Robert, Karen, Linda, Nile, Karen, Mark

Sunday, February 17, 2019


We have another short motor-sail to Staniel Cay and arrive by 11:30AM. We dinghy into the Staniel Cay Yacht Club and go to one of the open stores. 
At the "Blue Store"

They do not have much, waiting for the weekly delivery boat. By afternoon we all move a couple miles over to Big Majors, home of Piggy Beach, a very popular anchorage which we have avoided in the past.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Cambridge, Coral Garden

In the morning I defrost the refrigerator. I also work on another problem I have been having for a couple months, is water accumulating under the engine bilge, which then runs into the main bilge. I have assumed it was from a leaking raw water cooling pump, but I have been noticing that water has been coming from the stern. So I empty out the two stern lockers and climb down in, to inspect the cockpit scupper drain stern fitting. 

Man in the hole

When we are motoring the stern of this boat drops lower in the water and the scupper stern drain fitting is right at the water line. Since the drain fitting is off center on the stern, to the starboard side it is in the water when we are motor-sailing and heeled to starboard. I noticed one of the hose clamps is loose. I had replaced the stern drain fitting after our last trip south and apparently did not re-tighten one of the hose clamps. Since we rarely motor-sail on Lake Champlain not much water would have entered the boat from there.

Mark (splash), Karen & Robert

After we clean everything up and have lunch we head out with everyone for another drift snorkel, then we head east to the “Coral Garden”. Once we arrive there I remember that we had snorkeled here on our first trip here 5 years ago. From there we head south to another island Compass Cay to find Racheal’s Bubble Bath. This is a tidal pool where the waves from the ocean side comes up over the rocks into the pool kind of like a Jacuzzi. We don’t quite make it there since we would have had to hike a little further and no one wants to put their shoes back on. We are tired and are in bed by 9:00PM

Friday, February 15, 2019

Cambridge, Bell Rock

In the morning we all hike over to the ocean side of Cambridge Cay to Bell Rock. 

Mark on top of Bell Rock

Top of Bell Rock 360 Panorama

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Cambridge Mooring field
Mega-yacht and Manana

I'm Linda, this is my sister, Karen, and this is my other sister, Karen.

You can rent this for $50,000 a week
Then back to the boat for an early lunch and we head a couple miles north to “The Aquarium” a coral wall around a small island. A very popular snorkeling spot, with a couple dinghy moorings and Sargent Majors that expect to be fed.

Where's my corn ?

Karen, Karen & Linda

We then head back south to return where we snorkeled yesterday. Then we head further south to Rocky Dundas, two caves where the entrances are underwater at high tide, but both caves have openings in the ceiling so they have plenty of light once inside. 

Rocky Dundas

Late afternoon we have Happy Hour on the large flat foredeck of Bellaventure.

Mark & Karen

Nile & Linda, Selfie

Thursday, February 14, 2019


We get up at 6 and I make an early trip into the Headquarters to down load email and get the latest weather forecast. 

Dinghy dock at Park Headquarters

We leave by 8:30 with Sea Vu Play and Bellaventure for Cambridge. There is no wind and we head out to the ocean side for a nice couple hours of motoring to Cambridge. We picked up a mooring at 10:30AM. The Cambridge host boat “Privateer” is a large trawler that we met last fall at Thunderbolt Marina near Savannah. They told us at the time they were going to be hosts at Cambridge for the month of February.

In the afternoon we all do a drift snorkel south of the mooring field in the channel between islands. There are some fabulous areas of coral and fish, but timing slack current makes it difficult. It is overcast, so I don’t bother to take many pictures. 

It starts raining and we head back to the boat. By the time we get off our wet suits we are rather chilled, so we have hot chocolate and amaretto our favorite winter drink back in Vermont. Since it is Valentines Day we have a steak for dinner.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Warderick Wells, Cracker Jack

Made Pop Overs for breakfast. Spent the morning at the beach using the kayaks and paddle boards they have available and sat in the lounge chairs that where recently donated.


Lounging around, Mark, Karen & Linda

Back on the boat for Lunch Linda notices “Cracker Jack” a Catalina 36, owners Dale and Carol Huenink, who we met in Florida three years ago. They are Great Lake sailors who came down the ICW three years ago and have been leaving their boat in Florida for the summer, returning each winter. We have stayed in touch over the years and I have recommended a number of cruising improvements for their boat to Dale.

In the afternoon I work on some of the hatches and ports that were leaking with the previous days pounding. They had some known issues that I had been procrastinating on fixing. Normally a little rain water I can ignore, but not a lot of injected saltwater, especially when it lands on my side of the V-berth.

Carol and Dale

Late afternoon Dale and Carol stop by with their afternoon libations and we have an impromptu Happy Hour and visit for a couple hours.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Warderick Wells, Boo Boo Hill

After Breakfast Linda and I hiked up to Boo Boo Hill and beyond. Boo Boo is where cruisers can leave their boat names carved in driftwood. I can’t find ours from 3 years ago, so I don’t bother to add more to the pile. Mark finds one of theirs from three years ago and adds a new one.


Boat names on Boo Boo Hill

After lunch before we all go snorkeling Mark comes by with his scuba tank to clean our folding Auto-Prop. I was complaining how much crud was on it. Mark later told me it was much cleaner than his has been in the past. I guess us fresh water sailors, have a different view of bottom growth. Parking the boat for a month at Great Harbor was probably the source of the crud. Constantly moving boats don’t get a lot of bottom growth.


Cleaning prop

Mark installing a new zinc

Our snorkeling trip was a bust, our timing was off and there was too much current. Later in the afternoon we all met at the Warderick Wells beach for Happy Hour.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Warderick Wells

Call Warderick Wells on the VHF Radio at 9:00 AM to make a reservation. The morning started off overcast with rain showers. With lots of wind we put out the head sail and motor sailed. The large waves on our nose was slowing us down as we climbed up the face of some of the short period waves, dropping our speed from 5-1/2 knots down to 2 knots, as waves plowed over the bow. Finally I decided it would be faster to take a longer route and sail further off the wind and stop plowing into the short steep waves. Our speed increase to 6-1/2 knots and stayed there. Even though we added miles to our trip we got to Waderick Wells sooner than we would of with our original course and with a more comfortable ride.

We picked up our mooring at 1:30 PM. After lunch we launched the dinghy and checked in at headquarters. We used the employees cell repeater to catch up on email and weather forecasts. We did not have Cell service at Shroud. Spent the rest of the day relaxing on the boat. Such a relief in a calm mooring field after our rough trip south.

Mooring field at Warderick Wells


Sunday, February 10, 2019

Shroud, South Creek

After Breakfast we do another dinghy adventure on a couple creeks across the south side of Shroud. I take Robert and Karen with me. Linda stays on Manana, her hand and shoulder is sore from previously bouncing around in the dinghy. We find a very nice remote beach on the south east side Shroud.

Blue is the northern creek across Shroud                     Red is the southern creek across Shroud
Creek ends behind the beach

View south on the beach

Creek on the left, ocean on the right

Shroud 360 Panorama

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That evening Robert and Karen has us all over on Bellaventure for dinner, to thank us for all the dinghy rides. I make an Impossible Pie for desert.