April 2005

Farmer's Cay to Nassau
Then to
Barefoot Landing, NC

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1 April 2005
Farmer's Cay, Exumas

Fuel: Stbd- 18gal, Port- 34 gal.  I'll transfer 15 gal to stbd just to keep that the primary.  The transfer pump seems to move fuel at about 3.5 gph. [Later Note: I found out several months later that there was a blockage in the fuel line coming from the port tank. Once that was cleared the transfer rate was more like 20 gph. I found that out when I tried to move more fuel into the starboard tank than it would hold.]

A cold front is coming through so we'll wait here for it to pass.

          We had a nice late lunch with Brent at the FCYC. Then we went over to s/v Twilight Time to drink and talk with Ed and Sherry. Some of us drank way too much. We came home at 2100 hrs. Brent and I were walking and singing down the street and sort of carrying Jane between us since she couldn't walk.

3 April 2005

          Jane went over to visit Sherry and learn how to play cribbage. I stayed on board and just prattled about. Nothing much going on.

4 April 2005

          We're leaving at about noon.  That will give us a rising tide. Leaving here and heading onto the banks will put us over some thin water. Just west of Farmer's Cay the water is only 7 feet deep at low tide. Well, that's what's on the charts. The sandy bottom here shifts a lot. Overhead images show how the constant flow of water onto and off of the banks piles up the sand like snow drifts. Wind is NE at 10-15.  Should be a nice sail. 

          As we were getting ready to leave, two other boats dropped their moorings and motored out.  There was some chatter on the radio with the owner of the moorings (they were on Little Joe's) complaining that they had not paid.   They said they didn't know whom to pay so they just left. Little Joe said his friend was in Black Point and they could pay him there.  We talked with them later and their take on it was this:  As they moored, someone came out and said the mooring wasn't very good and that they should put down and anchor, too.   They figured that if they had to anchor, they were not going to pay for a mooring.  I don't know if I agree with that logic.  Once you pick up a mooring, you should pay for it.

4 April 2005
Arrived Isaac Beach at 1400 hrs. (N24-00.27 W076-20.57)
Trip: 7.5 nm / 1776 nm. Eng: 578 hrs.

        Nice little beach.  We've pulled to within 100 yards of the beach and lie in 7.2 feet of water at low tide. We walked the beaches, but there were no good shells.  We dinghied over to the narrowest part of the island and walked to the other side (the island is only about 200 yards wide there) but found not much there, either.  And not much of a beach; mostly just rock. At that narrow point there was no place to land the dink. The water was only a couple feet deep and the coral was very sharp. So I dropped a stern anchor and suspended the dink between it and the coral. I was worried about it the whole time we were walking around the other side of the island. I thought sure the stern anchor would let go and we'd come back to a shredded dinghy. But everything worked out ok.

        Jane decided to walk to the other side of the island without using a path. She wanted to go by herself (she said looking for shells with me is like taking me shopping: I'm not into it and all I want to do is be done with it). So I dinghied her to the beach, gave her the VHF and left her alone. She was gone all day. When she called on the radio to say she was heading back I dinghied to the beach to wait for her. But she never showed up. Here is where I learned of the importance of having more than a single handheld VHF radio. While sitting on the beach waiting for her I couldn't talk to her. I went back to Galena and called her on the main radio. She said she had somehow gotten turned around and ended up back on the ocean side. So she was going to try again. It was 1800 hrs and I was beginning to fear that she would not be back before dark.

          I went back to the beach and just motored back and forth looking for her to emerge from the brush. Well, she finally did but about a mile down the beach from where I had dropped her off.  Her legs and arms were all torn-up by the briars and thorn bushes. There was no path and at times she had to crawl through the thickets.  She had deep scratches all over her arms, legs, back. I felt so sorry for her. She was exhausted and hurting. All that and she didn't find any good shells. Throughout the night and into the next day we were pulling thorns out of her legs and back.

06 April 2005
Black Point anchorage. (N24-06.07 W076-24.10)
Trip: 12.4 nm / 1788.7 nm.  Eng: 579 hrs

          Before we left Isaac Beach we tried snorkeling and just playing around in the shallows. But the salt water irritated Jane's scratches too much.  So we left Isaac and headed for Black Point where brent was waiting for us.

          Winds were East at 15-20 kts.

          We sailed off the hook but used just the mainsail to do that.  As I was pulling up the hook, and Galena was continuing toward the beach, Jane couldn't get the bow to turn away from the beach. We had the main sheeted in tight and Galena acted like a weathervane pointing to windward. I quickly hoisted the staysail and that blew the bow around. We were in 5.5 feet of water by the time I got the staysail up and the bow swung West, away from the shore. In hindsight, I think if we would have un-sheeted the main she would have come around.

          We were racing along under a double-reefed main and a stay sail with the wind off our starboard quarter. during the short run the winds picked up to about 25 kts.

          We had too much sail on but we were moving along at 6.6 to 7.1 kts.  The weather helm was ferocious.  We put up with that for way too long.  Near the end of the trip here I finally decided to drop the main altogether.  Under staysail alone we were making 3.5 kts.  We hoisted the Yankee Jib and were back to 5.5 to 6.0 kts with perfect control and no weather helm.  That's what we should have done right from the start. maybe someday I'll learn how to sail this boat.  

          We got here and anchored right next to Cajynn II.  Brent came by to say hi.  We walked the town and found all the important things: Laundry, Grocery, etc.

Isaac Beach to Black Point

Isaac Beach to Black Point (12.4 nm)

          We'll stay till tomorrow then go to Staniel Cay (or between the Majors) for the cold front coming through on Saturday.

Jane sits at helm

Jane found a comfortable position at the helm.
While sitting in this little fold-up chair she could actually reach the tiller.
That's Cajynn II behind us.

07 April 2005
Between “The Majors.”
Staniel Cay (N24-11.57 W076-27.23)

          Anchored between The islands just North of Staniel Cay (about 1000 feet North) are named Big Major Spot and Little Major Spot and the water between the two (about 500 feet wide) is an anchorage.

Bill Cruising Bahama-style
Bill relaxes at the helm with just a drink and a smile.

Jane Cruising Bahama-style
Jane coming out to work on her tan

          We approached Staniel Cay at low tide.  We were following Cajynn II who says he draws 6.2 feet, but he's not really sure. We were reading 5.5 feet of water for about the last quarter of mile of the approach (We draw 5-feet, remember?).  Brent said he was dragging on the bottom and only able to make 1 knot at full throttle.  But we got through it and then hit the inlet tidal rip. The tide was flooding and the rip created between the Majors and Staniel Cay was fierce. We made only 2 kts through that short stretch of water before we broke out into the area between the Majors. 

Black Point to
Staniel Cay (12 nm)

Black Point to Staniel Cay (12 nm)

          That little body of normally calm water was a cauldron of current and waves.  But we figured the cold front would make the area just to the East of Big Major (where we saw all the other boats anchored) untenable. So we dropped two hooks, one up current and one down current.  When the tide changed the wind picked up to about 25 knots and we were pushed against the chain anchor rode.  That together with the wave action all night left some nasty scrapes on the hull.  I guess we may have to paint the hull when we get back. We're starting to look a little battle-scared.

          We went with Brent to the Staniel Cay Yacht Club for dinner (Conch burgers and fries) and called it a night.

          It was a rough and rainy night. A lot of waking up and checking the anchors. Not pleasant at all.

08 April 2005
(Still at Staniel Cay)

          All day it rained and the wind blew… hard! We should not have anchored in here.  (Didn't I say that list time we were here? I just don't learn.) Jane and I found a good way to catch rain water using the bimini.  But we started a little late and only gathered about 3 gallons.  Brent came over for dinner.  We played dominos while Jane whipped up some fantastic spaghetti and meat sauce.

          Then we played cards till 10 pm.  When Brent went to leave we found our dinghies had twisted around each other several times and the painters were tangled.  I went into ours to try to figure out the twists and found that I was chin-deep in rain water.  The water inside was as high as the water outside.  Brent and I finally got it all untangled and he headed home to Cajynn II. I pumped out the dinghy and called it a night. I later found that if I just leave the drain plug out on the dinghy that the little one-way flapper valve allowed all the rain water to escape while keeping the sea water inside. But, then we don't have a nice bathtub of fresh water in the morning, either.

          Later the rains came back with a vengeance. There was a fantastic lightening display to the north. Later still we learned that it had rained over 3 inches that night. We also later learned that our good friends, Mary and Larry aboard s/v Samara had been hit by lightning and lost all their electronics.

09 April 2005
(Still at Staniel Cay)

          Awoke to find blue skies and the wind out of the Northwest at 10 kts.  I guess the cold front had come through about 24 hrs before expected and all that rain and wind was it.  So today at low tide we'll dive the Thunderball Grotto.  Tomorrow we'll probably go outside (in the sound/ocean)  all the way to Wide Open Cut and then in to Hawksbill Cay.  We plan on stopping at Shroud Cay and then maybe Highborn before heading to Nassau. Jane was not having a good day, probably due to the rough night. And the fact that she's been on this little boat a little too long.

          Weather permitting we'll be in Nassau on or about the 13th of April.  Then about 3 days there (have to buy a bunch of booze and some food) and over to Chub Cay.  One or two days there and it's across the Banks to Gun/Cat Cay.  We should be there by the 20th of April.  Depending on weather, of course. Then an overnight passage to Lake Worth, Florida.  Then up the Coast to Beaufort, NC, then 8 more days and we're home.  It's all coming to a close in the next few weeks.  I am starting to think about what I'll be doing when I get back.  Not sure.

10 April 2005
Hawksbill Cay  (N24-27.94 W076-46.09)
Trip: 33.6 nm / 1837 nm.  Eng: 589.7

          We left Staniel Cay and entered the Exuma Sound at about 0815 hrs.  We came onto the Banks through Wide Open Cut and anchored off Hawksbill Cay at 1550 hrs.

Staniel to Hawksbill
Cay (34 nm)

Staniel to Hawksbill Cay (34 nm)

          The trip was not bad, but we had to motor sail most of it.  Just very little wind.  But the Sound was calm and it was a nice ride.

          Right at the start we passed Cajynn II. We were keeping up with him and I decided to exchange 130 Genoa for the Yankee Jib. Once I did that Jane was able to pass Cajynn and pull away from him. When it comes to finding the best angle when sailing under light conditions Jane is great. She has a real feel for the wind.  

From the Masthead
Jane went up the mast to replace the anchor light while Brent and Bill stayed below.

          We met some motorboat people on the beach here.  They had left Nassau that morning after a late lunch.  We were looking at another two days to Nassau!  Power boaters!

11 April 2005
Highborne Cay (N24-42.84 W076-49.72)

          Motrorsailed all the way.  Again, there was very light air.   The wind was NE and then N at less than 5 knots.  We tried to sail but could only manage about 1 knot. So on came the engine.

          Dinner was on Cajynn II with Brent.  Followed by cards and dominoes and, of course, rum.

12 April 2005

          We went conchin' today. Jane stayed in the dinghy and did the quality control for the conchs Brent and I pulled up. They were all in about 18-20 feet of water. I've found that after about an hour of repeatedly diving to that depth I become completely exhausted. Most the of conch were too small and Jane made us put them back.  But we found enough medium ones for Jane to make a bunch of conch fritters.  Tomorrow we head to Nassau.

Bill
in the Galley
A rare shot of Bill in the Galley

13 April 2005
Nassau Yacht Haven, Nassau.
Trip: 38.5 nm / 1895 nm.  Eng. 594.3 hrs.

Brent on Cayjynn II
Brent and a visiting friend, Matt, on Cajynn II leaving Nassau Yacht Haven

          We had great wind.  We averaged 5.75 knots for 5.5 hours.

          We ran with Yankee jib, staysail, and a double-reefed main. The wind was on the port quarter at about 15 knots; seas were 4 feet.  That put the apparent wind right on the beam.  Harvey steered fairly well, even with the heavy broaching motion when surfing down the waves.

          On the way down the length of the harbor, we saw s/v Samara anchored right where we had been back at the end of January.  We didn't expect to see them again. The last we had heard they were heading back up the East Coast.

          When we finally got to talk with them, they said they had been hit by lightning the previous Friday (while we were between the Majors watching all that lightning to the North).  The strike had taken out every electric and electronic component on their boat.  From radar to alternators everything was fried.  They said they were in the main cabin when it hit.  Mary said the sound was incredible!  And they saw electrical arcs running all through the cabin. 

          They both came through it physically unharmed; just a little jittery. And Samara was still afloat. Nearby friends loaned them enough handheld electronics (VHF, GPS, etc) to make it to Nassau.  They were making repairs and waiting for parts.

          Brent on Cajynn II had a friend coming for a visit (Matt) and we all went out for a walk around town and dinner and beer.

          We figured we would be here for about 3 or 4 days before we head West.

Mary & Larry. s/v Samara
Mary & Larry, s/v Samara

Jane,Mary, Larry at the bat cave
Jane, Mary (background), and Larry at the “Bat Cave” on Nassau.

16 April 2005
Still at Nassau Yacht Haven.

          Today we went on the Bacardi Rum factory tour. We met some new friends there like Rob and Linda (s/v Watermelon).  I drank a lot of free rum and had a great time.  This tour is highly recommended if you find yourself in Nassau with some spare time.

18 April 2005
Still at Nassau Yacht Haven.

Funny how a short stay can turn into a much longer stay.  But the weather was not cooperating, and there were a lot of things to do.  We had to buy a bunch of rum for one thing.

          Fuel was Stbd: 27 gal, Port: 19 gal.  With 15 gal on deck in jerry cans.

Jane driving dink Nassau

Jane driving the dinghy at Nassau.

19 April 2005
Anchored on the Banks. (N25-29.06 W078-15.30)

          This is the second time we've done this.  And it was just as rough this time as last.  All the other boats just went on through.  The best idea seems to have been to go from Nassau to Chub, then leave chub at 0330 and do a run through the banks and across the Gulf Stream in a long day-and-a-half run.

          But we were with Cajynn II and this was the last time we would see him.  And since he was single-handing he really needed to stop. So we stopped with him.

          Again he had a hard time keeping up with us.  So when we got close to 1800 hrs and close to where we were going to anchor for the night, we slowed to about 4 knots.  That's when we finally caught a fish.  Not just any little old fish, but a 10-pound Mutton Snapper!  It was great!  Brent saw it and said “I'm coming over for dinner.”  But since we had both stowed our dinghies on deck for the crossing, he decided to just swim over with some extra cloths in a dry-bag.   Which he did.

Mutton Snapper

Mutton Snapper

          Jane prepared a fantastic dinner for us.  We all had more than we should have eaten.  And we still gave about a third of the fish to Brent to take back and put in his freezer. 

          Tearful farewells all around.  Brent went home and we tried to sleep. 

          At 0730, we waved goodbye to our cruising buddy of 3 months and started off to Lake Worth, Florida alone.  Brent was headed for Gun Cay while we were headed for Great Isaac Light (just north of the Hens and Chickens).  A few hours later he was out of sight.

          The winds were NE at 15-20 most of the morning.  We started with a double-reefed main and yankee jib and were making 6.5 knots.

          Later the winds slackened and we shook out the reefs and raised the staysail and were still making about 6 knots with seas running about 6-feet.

          By 1700 we again had a reef in the main because of the heavy gusts we were getting.  The wind was starting to slacken again and we were running at about 5-knots.  We were at Great Isaac light at 1800 hrs.  Then into the Gulf Stream.

Great Isaac Light  
Passing Great Isaac Light
(It looked a lot closer in real life)

          At 2200 hrs we fired up the engine.  The wind had really died.  It was east at less than 10-knots. But we were running almost due west.  So we had almost no apparent wind.  At 2000 rpm we could make 5.5 knots.

          The wind was very light after dark.  And it veered to the Northeast.  But it was so light that there was no affect on the waters of the Stream.  We had enough of an angle now to sail so the engine was secured.

          Jane was at the helm most of the night.  I actually got some sleep.  Jane was getting groggy from being up so long and from working so hard at the tiller.  She had to fight to stay on course and keep the sails full. By 0400 when I came on watch, I decided to strike the main, and fire up the engine.  Our ETA at Lake Worth had slipped to about 1100 hrs from the original estimates of 0630 hrs.  So I just wanted to get there.

21 April 2005
Arrived at Lake Worth, Florida, at 0740 hrs this morning.

          We anchored at the north end of the lake with the intent of sleeping most of the day.

          Then we hit the US Homeland Security bureaucracy.  Customs was no problem.  We just called them on the phone (the cells phones are working again!) and answered a couple of questions. That was because we had purchased the $25/yr 'use fee' sticker before we left. Giving them that number, showing that we had paid our fees was all they were really interested in. They then said to call immigrations.  Immigrations was not available until 0900. 

          When I called them, they said we had to appear in person at their office.  Where was that?  4-miles back down the lake, right at the inlet.  We had passed right in front of their place at 0800 that morning.  Could we put it off till tomorrow? No, that would be more than 24 hrs after we had cleared customs and that was not allowed. 

          So I decided we could inflate the dinghy, go to shore, get a taxi to their office, do their thing, and come back.  Fine, until I tried to inflate the dinghy. See, back in Nassau our dinghy-eating wind vane had taken another bite out of the dink.  And since there was only enough glue for one repair in the repair kit, I had bought something called “Flex-something.”  It was a two-part epoxy compound that said it was just the thing to repair PVC and inflatables.   But when I inflated the dink, the patch immediately started to leak.  That really bummed me out.  It was hot, we were both tired and cranky, and we had to do something we didn't want to do (go to immigrations).

          I called the Riviera Marina, right next door to the immigrations office and asked for a slip.  They said they would call me back. I figured we'd just motor down there and stay in the marina for at least a night.  But they didn't call back right away and I couldn't wait.  We had to be at immigrations by 1500.

So we put duct tape over the patch, re-inflated it and made a dash to shore.  We took along the inflation pump for the dash back to Galena.

At the local grocery store we got a taxi and took the $15 ride to the Port of Palm Beach. After a little looking, we found the immigration office.  We had to wait around for a while and then they gave us our passports back and we were done.

The marina called while we were there said a slip was available. We took it.  We needed a shower and some serious rest. We were both getting very frustrated.

On the way out of the building we bumped into Rob and Linda (s/v Watermelon).  We had met them at the Bacardi rum factory tour on Nassau.  They were on their way to immigrations.  They said to meet them back at the bar at the marina just down the road.  We did.  We had a couple of beers and lunch.  They were going to head up the coast the next day, we were going to do some repairs and wait for the coming cold front (due in 2 days).  Then head up the coast.

          We walked to a couple of marine stores on the main drag, then caught a bus toward the place where the dink was beached.  But of course the bus didn't go right there and we ended up walking the final mile or so.  By this time we were hot and very tired.  But we still had to get back to the boat, raise the dinghy, motor to the marina and dock the boat.

          Ahh, “dock the boat.”  Three simple words…  We have been very lucky getting into and out of slips since we've had Galena. I've been able to slip into and out of every marina we visit without much difficulty. But for the first time I failed to properly read the current.  As we turned toward the slip Galena's full keep caught more current than I had steerage. The current was very strong and running diagonally across the slip. But I had only read the “from the stern” part of it and missed the "across the beam" component.  I got stuck crosswise half way into the slip with the bowsprit actually touching the little powerboat on my starboard side!  This was the first time I've ever touched another boat! (Except for that time on my first trip, during the first few moments we ever moved her, when I had backed the boat only 5 feet and bonked the boat behind us.) No damage, but a touch is a touch and it was very embarrassing. We had people running to help from all over the dock. Yeah, I was not happy.

          Finally we were done with everything for the day.  It was about 5 pm and we really needed some rest.  But we also wanted a beer and some food would be nice, too.  So a couple of beers at the marina Tiki-bar and then a long night of rest.

22 April 2005
Riviera Marina, West Palm Beach

          Installed new blocks and lines on Harvey (the wind steering vane), did some shopping, took showers, drank more beer.

23 April 2005
(still at Riviera Marina)

          Sent Jane up the mast to replace the anchor light.  Put the deck fuel into the main tanks.  The deck fuel was from Nassau.  It was very dirty and had a lot of water in it.  I put it in through my filter, but then I ran the transfer pump for a few hours to scrub it through the Racor filter.  Later, I'll replace that filer as well.

          I refilled the deck jugs with fuel.  I have enough on board now to motor-sail to Beaufort, NC.

The plan now is to wait till this front passes, which should be late Sunday or early Monday, then make up to 3 hops on the outside of about 200 miles each.  Here to St Augustine, then to Charleston, then to Beaufort.  If things are good, we may skip some or both of the intermediates.  If things go to hell, we have those plus a few other inlets we can run to.

We phoned Brent (It's nice to be back in the States where phones work).  He had a more interesting Stream crossing.  He was just ahead of a squall with waterspouts.

24 April 2005
(still at Riviera Marina)

          Changed the oil and filter.  Changed the port fuel filter (there were signs of bio-contamination on the filter). I wired the new stern light to the wind generator pole.  The old stern light was on the back of the boom gallows.  That was fine until I added a bunch of stuff behind that.  That stern light was now occulted by a bunch of stuff and wasn't really visible through the whole 122-degrees across the stern.  So I put a new light on the pole and now there's nothing aft of it to obstruct the light.  I moved the old stern light to the front of the boom gallows and will use it as a cockpit light.  I rewired it to an unused panel switch.

          Jane spent the day scrubbing the head and lockers.

          We still plan on leaving tomorrow.

25 April 2005 (0800 hrs)

          Preparing to depart Lake Worth inlet and to head north towards Beaufort, NC.  The weather reports look good all the way.  We'll stay within about 20 miles of shore all the way rather than take the straight-line course.  This will give us the option of heading in to the ICW any time if things get bad on the ocean. We were still stinging from the trip south where, just north of Jacksonville, FL we hit a really bad storm (to date still the worse storm we've been in). I would later regret this decision to stay close to shore. Two reasons: First, we were fighting the small counter current that flows south along the coast here. And, second, when we got near Beaufort, NC we would be heading almost due east and that would be right into the prevailing winds two days from now. That would cause us to abort and come in at Charleston rather than going all the way to Beaufort.

          Also, there's some northerly winds predicted, so not being in the Gulf Stream might be a good idea.

Lake Worth, FL to
Charleston, SC (390 nm)

Lake Worth, FL to Charleston, SC (390 nm)

          1140 hrs

          Wind was about NNE as 15 kts.  On the way out of Lake Worth inlet, we were making over 5 kts.  But then we turned north and the wind died down a lot.  By 1130 we were motor-sailing on a course of 320-degrees.

          1330 hrs

          We caught a 24 inch Mahi-Mahi (Dorado).  This was one big strong fish.  We landed it, skinned it, and cooked it.  We could only eat about 25% of it, but it was just fabulous. Jane did a wonderful job preparing it.

          We were making about 5.5 kts and motor-sailing just inside of the Gulf Stream when we caught it.

26 April 2005
0300  (N28-08.0 W080-11.0)

          Secured the engine (623 hrs).

          Jib and main only.  Wind S at 10-15.  

          0430

          The stern light burned out.  I thought it used the same bulb as the other stern light, but it doesn't and I don't have a spare bulb.

          1030 hrs

          The wind is dieing, then coming back.  Just light and variable

          1100 hrs

          We had some severe weatherhelm. So I put a reef in the main.  But that didn't help much.  The seas are building.  We're surfing down waves at over 8-kts now.  A little too exciting.

          1130 hrs.

          Dowsed the main. Running with the Yankee jib only now. Still making 5.5 kts with seas around 4 feet and winds S 15-20 kts.

          1700 hrs

          The radio is saying there's a storm coming.  It figures: we're near Jacksonville, FL and that's where we hit a storm on the way down.

          The local conditions feel like bad weather is coming.  We dropped the Yankee-jib and put up only the staysail.  The forecast winds of 35 kts has us a bit concerned.  Jane and I are securing everything on deck. 

          2020 hrs

          Winds just started to pick up.  Now at 25 from the South and the seas are up to 6-feet.

          2040 hrs.

          Winds over 30 now.  Seas over 8 feet.  Lightning in the clouds around us.  I think we sailed into a thunderstorm.

          2400 hrs

          Winds have died down now. Only about 20 kts.  But for about 3 hrs we had winds over 40 kts and seas over 10 feet.

          Jane took the helm at 2330 and I'm going to get some sleep.

27 April 2005

          0400 hrs

          I see lightning in the clouds ahead.  I don't want to do that storm thing again. We're still running with just the staysail up. So I move the main halyard from the mainsail to the storm sail and rig the storm sail's sheet through a snatch block on a rear cleat and then to the main winch. Everything is setup to hoist the storm sail. If things go to hell, I'll turn to windward and raise that storm sail and just heave to.

          0630 hrs

          Well, that storm moved East faster than I was moving North so it passed across our bow.

          The winds are light and the seas are 4-6 feet.

          1030 hrs.

          All the sails are up with 1 reef in the main.  We're making 5-kts at 010 degrees into 10-15 kts of wind from the Northwest with seas about 3 feet.

          2000 hrs.

          The wind started to blow from the West at 15-20 kts.

          Just before that, I said to Jane, “We have too much sail up.  I don't like having all this up at night.”  So we dropped the Yankee-jib.  Then the wind started to build so we dropped the Main.  And we sailed on with just the staysail out.

          0600 hrs

          The wind was 20-25 kts from first the NW, then the North, then NE; just about on the nose. 

We've decided that this is enough of this.  The swells and wind are right on the nose.  We're able to make only 3 or 4 knots when tacking around our course. So we'll pull in to Charleston, SC. Then we'll follow the ICW the rest of the way.

27 April 2005, 1900 hrs
At anchor just north of Charleston, SC on the ICW at mile marker 452. 
Trip: 60nm /2510 nm  Eng: 675 hrs.

This is a place we stayed at on 22 Nov 04.  We are squeezed in here with 4 other boats.  There were some other northbound boats we saw on the ICW but they continued North.  It's a quiet little anchorage but the current is strong and it's reversing since we're so close to the ocean. Everyone only has one anchor out and it will be interesting to see where we all end up when the tide changes. If we all the the same about of rode out, we'll be ok.

29 April 2005
Wacca Wachi Marina
ICW mile marker 382
Trip: 60/2569   Eng: 675 hrs

          We motor-sailed up the ICW to this marina about 70 miles north of Charleston, SC.

          Added 35 gal of fuel

          We found this really nice marina that was in just the right place.  It's in the middle of no where which means you stay on the boat, but they were so nice to us that we really felt welcome here. We had called them on the phone and made a reservation. Not needed for the space as it turned out but rather for them to be there when we arrived. The current coming down that river slowed us to about 4 kts and our expected arrival time kept slipping. We called them back to say we were really almost there. They said, "Not to worry. We'll be here when you arrive." We got in at about 1830, and hour and a half after they normally close. But they stayed open for us to get fuel, and buy some snacks and a new hat for me.

 

30 April 2005
Barefoot Landing, North Myrtle Beach, SC.
Trip: 27 nm/ 2596 nm  Eng: 681 hrs

          We stopped here just to let Jane buy some cigarettes.  As I've described on the way down (see 19 Nov 04) This is a long bulkhead that will handle about 20 boats.  After that, you're expected to raft-up. As we approached, it looked like we would have to raft up.  One boat had fenders on the outside (which is cruiser-talk for ‘you're welcome to raft up to me'). As I started my final approach, I noticed that the boat we were heading for was another Westsail 32. Then I noticed that there might just be enough room behind him to fit against the bulkhead. And so that's where we went. The other Westsail 32 was named “Full Circle” and her owner was Captain Tony.  Now it turns out that Tony use to work at Mears Point Marina and that he is best buddies with Bob the (now ex-) dockmaster there. Tony currently lives in Beaufort, NC.  We spent the evening swapping stories and drinking rum.  We also welcomed aboard Derrick and Brenda.  They had chartered in the BVI's a few times and really want to buy a boat and go cruising.  They had lots of questions since we were “living the dream.” We shared a lot of stories with them.  And Brenda was cute so that made it all the more fun for Tony and I. We would later see Tony again at the start of our 2005 trip when we passed through Beaufort, NC. When we saw him in 2005, Full Circle was for sale and he was moving on to other things.

          Full Circle's interior is similar to ours but has a lot of differences that I really like. We took pictures and will implement a few of the ideas this summer.

Full Circle   Tony at Barefoot

s/v Full Circle and her captain Tony at Barefoot Landing.

We also met “Elwood” of the official Blues Brothers impersonators.  He was working his day-job and stopped by when he saw that Galena was home-ported in Lorain, OH.  He's from around that area, too.

Elwood

          After chatting with us a while, he left only to came back with autographed pictures. He and a friend had been doing the Blues Brothers thing for a couple of years when his agent had him go to a James Brown concert, in costume.  At the end of the concert James Brown goes into his Blues Brothers routine and brings both of them on stage.  The three of them do a few songs and then James Brown says something like, “Now these boys have been pretending to be the Blues Brothers for quite a while, and they're pretty good at it. So we'd like to give you boys something to make your act a bit more official.”

          Then Dan Akroyd, himself, comes on stage and presents them with a plaque stating that they are the only official, sanctioned Blues Brothers impersonators. Cool, huh?

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