It doesn’t get better than this.


March 15: We are now in Spanish Cay, in a well-protected marina in the Abacos. We crossed the Little Bahama Bank,  anchoring overnighting at Sale Cay (yes, that is spelled right). It is 90 miles from Grand Bahama Island to Spanish Cay, two long days either under sail or motor for a sailboat.

I admit, the first day was boring. Winds were on the nose, so no sailing. Seas were choppy so while not uncomfortable, it wasn’t great either. We were alone, didn’t even see another boat until we got to Sale Cay for the night. We both wondered if we really wanted to continue to do this. There was jot no sparkle. Now, we knew we had a good night ahead of us. This is a very protected anchorage-from North or East winds and before we left Old Bahama Bay Marina, I bought fresh lobster from the Bahamian diver, Platinum. (Yes, that really is his name!). He twisted off the tails, cleaned them and threw in an extra, so we had 4 lobster tails which we broiled on the boat.

So after dropping anchor-we were one of 12 boats in the anchorage, we ate lobster with drawn butter and lemon, rice and caesar salad. Oh, and wine of course. Red like always. We watched another beautiful sunset and called it a day.

Day 2 would be a shorter day and turned out to be the day sailors wait for. The wind direction changed slightly and we were able to put sails up and engine off by 10:00. Just look at this!

Now, I’d like to tell you it went this way all day. But, no. The wind changed, our course changed and the weather changed. We had two rain squalls and one just before we were to dock at the marina. Now that adds some tension since we had poor visibility. Our glasses were useless and we had taken them off. We had never been in this marina before and we had to find the passage through the breakwater. Even with foul-weather jackets, we were soaked. Fortunately it is not cold. This was a day that we felt like sailors and had a real sense of accomplishment when we were finally tied up.

I forgot to mention two other problems with this passage. Add the navigating. Ed had entered all the waypoints on the chart plotter before we left Old Bahama Bay but this passage was more intricate and one of us had to be at the helm all day-sun, wind or rain. This was not like the first day when we only had a shallow intricate passage through Indian Channel for a few miles then nothing but point in the right direction.

Then there was a second problem, the bilge pump came on-meaning we were taking on water somewhere. Since we had a leak with the acqualift muffler on the last trip and repaired it with JB  Weld, we suspected we had sprung another leak. No need to turn around, but something we would have to repair once we got in. We (make that Ed) is now convinced that when he showered, water had gotten into the bilge. At least the bilge pump is no longer on and we are still afloat.

We have to make a plan, but somehow it doesn’t seem very important right now. Ed’s smoking a Cuban cigar and the sun is shining. We will see what happens next. 

Jimmy Buffet’s line just seems appropriate, “It doesn’t get better than this.” And part of the feeling of contentment comes from the effort it took to get here.

From the Abacos,

Jan and Ed

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About ejhowle23

Authors and adventurers, participated in the World Race 2011, an automobile rally from New York to Paris, crossing three continents and 14,000 land miles. Following much the same route as the setting for our debut novel, The Long Road to Paris. This blog describes our own adventures and challenges. And now you can follow our Bahamas sailing adventure that provides the setting for our second novel, Night Watch. Our rally, the African Safari Challenge, crossed five countries in South Africa in May 2014 and in 2015 we participated in the second Trans-American rally this time from Nova Scotia to San Francisco. Spring of 2016 we travelled 28 days around Australia with friends from previous rallies and in the fall participated in our most exhausting rally through Argentina, Chili and Peru- the Rally of the Incas. We were awarded the Against All Odds award. We're still not sure if this was for us or our car. Stewball never broke down and we hardly did. We will soon take on Iceland as a self-drive tour and in the fall of 2017 we will participate in the Odyssey Italia and then back to Africa for a do-over (almost) of the Africa Safari Challenge.
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One Response to It doesn’t get better than this.

  1. TBC says:

    Yes, life could be a lot worse, but one needs those little challenges to keep you-know-who from getting bored. That way, he has earned his Cuban cigar (topside, we assume) at the end of the day with a nice glass of always-red wine!

    It’s been beautiful here. 78 in the shade, not humid, and clear skies. Life could be worse!

    Hugs,

    TBC and Arnie

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