Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Sunday, May 19, 2013
The rate of litaracy amoung the manatee population must be extremely low. Posted signs state that boats are allowed a speed of 30 mph inside the channel and only about 5 mph outside the channel in the "manatee zone". Yet, time and time again we found manatee right in the channels. Maybe they need reading glasses?
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
We are in Titusville, Florida home to many manatee. The locals tell us that there used to be a fresh water spring in the area that dried up. The manatee need fresh water to live. We were washing the boat and the manatee came flocking to drink the fresh water run off. Got some great pictures of the " so ugly they are cute" manatee. It seems that they get as much fresh water as they need from the boating community.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Green Turtle Cay is the last major outpost in the Abacos heading north. It takes us 3 days to go around the north end of the Abacos and across the Gulf Stream to Florida. First stop was Foxtown, a small village with decent protection from most winds. Of course, the winds blew from the worst direction possible, but it was mild and acceptable. The second day we had the choice of going NE or SE around Great Sale Cay. Going north was longer but meant we could sail longer, so that's what we did, saving our limited fuel for the long Gulf Stream crossing. 10 other boats chose the SE route and motored all the way into wind and seas and only beat us to Mangrove Cay by one hour.
Mangrove is about 50 miles from anything in the Abacos so we were well away from city lights. We had a beautiful calm night, perfect for watching a lightening show 150 miles away just on the horizon. When we looked up, we could easily see the Milky Way among the "billions and billions" of stars. Chris saw at least a half dozen very bright shooting stars.
In order to make Fort Pierce Florida before dark, we needed to leave Mangrove Cay at midnight. So a dozen boats all upped anchor and headed west. The first pack took a more northwesterly route, I chose a due west route so that when I reached the Gulf Stream I would run northwest in the north flowing stream instead of crossing directly west and perpendicular to the 3 knot current. Once we were in the stream our speed went from 6 knots to over 8 knots. More fuel saving, and we reached Fort Pierce about the same time as the first group.
We phoned in to US Customs and amazingly, our pre-registration before leaving actually paid off. No need to go see 'the man', they cleared in us over the phone. So we headed to a good anchorage, dropped the hook around 6PM and zonked out. The plan was to get going the next day but we layed around to recuperate from the long, tiring & tedious crossing day.
So we've had 2 good, uneventful, relatively painless crossings!! I hope there isn't some Karma that will balance us out by giving us the crossing from hell someday in the future! With all the access to internet & short wave radio, we can get pretty good weather reporting.
So we're back in the USA and headed north...
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
~E. B. White
Writer, Stuart Little, Charlotte's Web, etc; contributor to New Yorker and Harpers
Monday, May 6, 2013
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Here are some pictures from the Island Roots Heritage Festival. Royal Bahamian Defense Force Marching Band, Junkanoo and Maypole Plaiting. not pictured here is good food, good music and good friends. This was a wonderful way to finish our time here in the Abacos. USA here we come!
We are at Green Turtle Cay for the Island Roots Heritage Festival. Two days of bands, contests, parades, Bahamian cooking, and arts and crafts of the Bahamas. The weather has brought wind and rain with enough clear skies to still enjoy the events. Early Friday evening as we awaited the next musical act, we spotted a water spout forming and heading right for Black Sound where our boat was moored. We watched as it grew and hit land and turned into a tornado with swirling debris. We headed to the local church to take cover. When it was over we headed to the boat. No damage! The deck was covered in small bits of debris but the tornado never reached the sound. Three homes were damaged on shore about 1/4 mile from us and a tree fell on a car. We are told that tornados are VERY rare here.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Most of the islands here have protected anchorages away from the Atlantic. You can dinghy ashore and hike to the ocean beach. We have hiked many miles and seen some incredible beaches. Below are just a few of the incredible pictures.
By the time we get back to the dinghy the tide has gone out! Yikes, below with the low tide our choice was to wait a couple hours or draaaag the heavy dinghy to the water.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Monday, April 29, 2013
My new camera works under water. I tested it in shallow water for it's first trial. We had panned on snorkeling the reef out in the Atlantic but just did not find a day that was calm enough.....something for us to look forward to for next year. Love the white and clear fishies...look closely in the last two pictures. Really...there are fish in the last two pics.
Sunday, April 28, 2013
This small island is uninhibited by humans but it does have a small population of wild pigs. We saw four of them, one male and three female. The locals leave buckets to collect rain water so that they have fresh water to drink, one of the pigs biggest concerns. Food for the pigs is not as big a problem as they are fed by tourists and locals. Do you think someone is training the big male to sit? The picture below shows another cruiser feeding the male....he looks like a cute little pet in the picture. In reality he is a little scary. BIG teeth and he is very pushy and makes some scary sounding grunts. The females all look skinny compared to him. We fed them apples and lettuce scraps. They liked the apples and would eat right out of my hand.