The End of Everywhere

Jan. 10, 2014. My sister’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Jill!

013The 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.  017I 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. 007We 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. 001Most 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 020Spanish Wells in good time, wind on the nose and moderates seas.

Jan and Ed on Sable


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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2 Responses to The End of Everywhere

  1. TBC says:

    Jan and Ed,

    Shooting the mooring, as we used to call it (perhaps they have a different name for it now) always took practice. I think I told you two about the time that my parents did a very neat one under sail. Mum got it on the first try, and they furled the sails, swabbed the decks, then took out two martinis to the resounding applause of all the others in the harbor. It was a nice bit of seamanship. Of course, it you normally dock, even the most seasoned sailors will have trouble shooting the mooring!

    Happy sailing. I am enjoying your travels vacariously,


  2. It is really about what you are used to. Bill and I choose mooring whenever we can, because we feel like that is the easiest and safest, tie your ship on a ball. For us anchoring is always more adventure……is it still there when we come back….. 😉 And docking is our biggest challenge, because that actually means mastering the art of fine steering. Since we never dock, harbor guys seem to be able to smell that from shore. As soon as we approach the dock in probably the wrongest way possible, they start giving us handy instructions.
    When we picked up our charter boat in Road Town, Tortola end of November, the charter company drove our boat out of the harbor into the safe zone and then left ship. They do that for all sailors, to keep their fleet spotless. When you go back in at the end of your vacation, you call them on the radio, they hop on board and bring it in safely. I know, this way we will never learn! So I guess it’s all a matter of practice. Safe sailings! Love reading about your adventures! Very interesting.

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