Jan. 10, 2014. My sister’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Jill!
The last blog I wrote we were still in the Abacos. Most of the problem has been poor internet connections. Now we are in the southern Exumas, at Farmers Cay, our turn-around point. This really isn’t the end of everywhere, but it is a very remote cay and settlement. I have a pretty good internet connection and a couple of days while waiting on weather. I’ll pick a few highlights along the way and hopefully I can post photos as well.
Little Harbor, Abaco to Spanish Wells. Dec. 30: We wanted to make this run in daylight. We’re too old for overnights. This time of year we only have 10 hours of daylight and the run to Spanish Wells on Russell Island just north of Eleuthera, takes just that long. We were in Hope Town, Abaco, a lovely stop, waiting for a 2 day window. One day run to Little Harbor, an anchorage just inside the most southern passage from the Sea of Abaco to the Atlantic ocean. We had a fair forecast for the first day, then a good one for our ocean passage to Spanish Wells the second day. We cannot get into Little Harbor except half-tide on a rising tide. This day the tides were with us to go in about 4:00 pm and out the next morning at day-break. We had read and heard lots of great things about Little Harbor, but for us it was underwhelming. Most likely because of our short stay on a mooring. We didn’t go to Pete’s Pub where everyone seems to gather based on the number of dinghies at the dinghy dock. We didn’t want to inflate our dinghy since we would have to deflate it for our next day ocean crossing.
The worst part of the stay was trying to pick up a mooring ball. It was not all my fault. The anchorage was choppy and we had wind to contend with. The first one I tried to hook I couldn’t find the line and hooked the eye at the top of the mooring with our already bent boat hook. Try as I did, even Ed left the helm to try, we couldn’t get it off and finally left the book hook attached. Seemed a proper sea burial for it. No photos here. Too busy.
The second one, the line came off and after a third try, I admitted this was not going to happen. By now I was standing on the deck shouting at a guy passing in a dingy who took pity on this grey-haired sailor and came by and handed me the line for the mooring ball. Piece of cake when you have help. I haven’t done this in years and won’t do it again. We are skilled at docking but not at picking up a mooring line.
The morning we left, we listened to the Cruiser’s Net. For those of you who don’t know, many areas (Abacos, Exumas, Nassau, etc.)report weather, sea conditions and social events on VHS radio at a given time each morning. Anyone can call in and make comments at the end of a broadcast. Well, this day made the news! The Abaco Net asks each morning for conditions of all the passages from the Sea of Abaco to the Atlantic. When they came to the Little Harbor passage, the reporter said. “One sailboat went out and it looked like they were pretty well powered out.” That would be us on Sable powered up and battling the waves in the inlet. We did the run to Spanish Wells in good time, wind on the nose and moderates seas.
Jan and Ed on Sable