Mar 2 – 9, 2017
We caught a weather window and sailed down to Biscayne Bay, south of Miami, to wait for a weather crossing to the Bahamas. Oh boy, Bonine knocks Angie out. Yep, she missed just about the entire trip, and woke up just in time to experience the washing machine effect of confused seas at the tip of Key Biscayne. The weather was nasty looking over Miami as we were anchoring. So glad we were not out in the ocean anymore. We found a nice spot to ride out storms.
We, of course, had a few more boat projects to work on, and got to watch a guy reel in a Black Tip Reef shark. The shark was swimming in circles, pulling this guy and his chartered boat, around our boat, for a couple of hours. Glad the poor shark ended up being released. We were tired just watching it.
Angie became domestic and started generating passage making food (pre-made, easy to grab and eat), defrosted the fridg, and polishing the inside of the boat metal, so it does not corrode anymore. She also became lethargic, and started reading books on a Kindle. This is new for her. She usually abhors technology, but may come around regarding the Kindle and the 4,000 books Mark loaded on it .
We tested the watermaker, since we are finally in some clear water, and we are getting LOW on agua. The pump’s 1st stage check valve was found to be seized, causing an airlock. Mark took it apart, cleaned it up, and got it unstuck. Then, while replaced a bilge pump (2nd go around with this item), he found 10 feet of corroded wiring buried behind the starboard stairway that needed to be replaced. That guy can fix just about anything. It is good that he still enjoys working on the boat. He is a keeper!
Mark spends all of his spare time figuring, calculating, and graphing mileage, speeds, and fuel efficiency. Oh, and downloading weather forecasts and sailing route models, 5 times a day, minimum.
We took a day off, paid our $8 fee to tie up to a dinghy wall at No Name Harbor, Key Biscayne, ditched our 20 pounds of trash (a couple of boxes of boat papers got sorted and tossed), and walked into town to see what the Winn Dixie had to offer for fresh produce and lunch.
The timing of crossing the Gulf Stream into Cat Cay, Bimini, to clear customs, then cross the bank to either Chub, Andros or New Providence, and finally onto the Exumas, was not looking good. We were getting 1-2 days of good weather before we would be hunkered down for another week or so, but we wanted/needed 4 days to be able to stop overnight. We were thinking about heading North with the Gulf Stream around to Great Harbor and wait out the upcoming storm there. Then, get down to White/Hoffman/Devil Cay in the Berries and wait a week there. Then, get to New Providence, wait a week, and then Exumas. We were antsy to not spend another month waiting on weather. Or….. we could straight shoot it for the Exumas, in flat water, for 36 hours. This would be a first for us. We needed to offload some serious weight with all of the stuff we were carrying for our friends, who were waiting on the water heater, pumps, parts, other stuff, 2 huge bundles of TP, etc. (They found out we were heading to the Bahamas and surfed Amazon like it was their job.) It certainly was like Christmas for us, when all of the packages were rolling in! Everything had to be unboxed, and bagged in zip locks, to avoid cockroaches on the boat. La Coocarahchas lay their eggs in the glue in the cardboard. After a while, you can have an infestation on the boat. No Bueno! Angie does not deal well with bugs on the boat.
Part of trying to keep our things on the boat and not be easy to steal, also involves being able to more easily identify our items, when they do get stolen.
We have purchased the controversial official day markers for day anchoring and motor sailing. It seems that if you have a boating incident, and if you are not at fault, you can still be denied your insurance claim, if the proper markers are not displayed in your rigging. In practicality, the day anchor ball is relatively easy to display, as long as the winds have not whipped your flag line into a twisted knot. You need to wait for it to unwind to be able to raise or lower the displays. (Yes, they are swiveled, but they still get twisted.) Half of the time, we just leave it up while moving, because it cannot be taken down. Further, the motor-sailing day display (the cone shaped one), is a pain. We alter between sailing, motor-sailing, and motoring so much, it is a PITA to keep taking it down and hoisting it, given the twisting that line likes to do. I do not foresee us using it much.