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2008– 2009
Galena's Fourth Winter in the Bahamas

Galena at dawn

The Plan

Originally I was to buddy-boat with my buddy, Capt Ron, to the Bahamas for the winter. Capt Ron on s/v Lastdance and I would each single-hand our vessels on this grand adventure. Ron wanted to leave earlier than I so I would catch up with him down the Bay. Most of the trip would be just the two of us sailing down the Antlantic Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) to the Florida Keys and then across the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas.

This would be my fourth cruise down to the islands. Capt Ron used to live in Florida and had run the ICW before. But he had never crossed over to the Bahamas. For both of us this would be the first time we had single-handed our boats on such a long cruise.

The overall plan was for us to sail down the Chesapeake Bay to Norfolk. Then we’d motor down the ICW to Key West. We would make as many off-shore jumps as possible (especially out and around Georgia!). These are sailboats after all, and one really can’t sail very much in the ICW. Then we would head over to Nassau and down the Exuma Island chain to George Town on Grand Exuma island. We would return in the spring via the same route.

The Reality

Capt Ron did in fact leave a few days ahead of me. And I did catch up to him in Norfolk. Then when we stopped in Beaufort, NC, Ron was visiting his son (stationed at Camp Laguene) and decided to winter there at Beaufort, NC, to reconnect with his grand children.

I continued down the Coast and parked Galena in Marathon while I experienced New Years Eve in Key West, FL.

The return run north would see me taking several long off-shore legs of three or four days each. I would go to the Ragged Islands for a brief stay after George Town and then direct to Lake Worth, FL. From there I'd head directly to Beaufort where I reconnected with Capt Ron. We sailed together to Baltimore for the Memorial Day Raftup with old friends from Mears Point Marina. The voyage would take about seven months.

Log Entries These logs were originall posted on my blog at http://sv-galena.livejournal.com. There my friends made comments throughout the winter. This time I'm including those comments since I think they add to the story quite a bit.

#1 - To Solomon's Island, MD (29- 30 Oct 08)

#2 - To Dismal Swamp Visitor Center, NC (31 Oct - 03 Nov 08)

#3 - To Beaufort, NC (04 - 11 Nov -08)

#4 - Replacing Chainplate in Beaufort, NC (12 Nov 09)

#5 - To Charleston, SC (18 - 29 Nov 08)

#6 - To Lake Worth, FL (30 Nov - 16 Dec 08)

#7 - To Marathon, FL (16 - 23 Dec 08)

#8 - New Years in Key West, FL (24 Dec 08 - 05 Jan 09)

#9 - To Staniel Cay, Exumas, Bahama Islands (05 - 27 Jan 09)

#10 - To George Town, Grand Exuma Island, Bahamas (28 Jan - 05 Feb 09)

#11 - In George Town, Grand Exuma Island, Bahamas (06 - 25 Feb 09)

#12 - In George Town, Grand Exuma Island, Bahamas (26 Feb - 15 Mar 09)

#13 - In George Town, Grand Exuma Island, Bahamas (16 Mar - 01 Apr 09)

#14 - To Lake Worth, FL (02 Apr - 03 May 09)

#15 - To Baltimore, MD (03 - 21 May 09)

 

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