Onward’s Cruise Journal 2017

Updated: 11 March 2017

March 2017

1 Mar 17; Wednesday; Black Point

  • Peggy made hair cutting appointments for both of us so we spent the morning getting gussied up. This being the Bahamas, we counted today as a major accomplishment. Peggy went back to knitting the baby blanket and I worked on boat stuff.

2 Mar 17; Thursday; Black Point
  • Ariel had departed Big Majors while we were waiting for the new cooling fan to arrive via Watermakers. Today They returned from their sojourn in George Town. We enticed them to come spend the coming period of high NE winds with us at Back Point where we would at least be able to get ashore without being soaked during a rough tender ride.

3 Mar 17; Friday; Black Point
  • After breakfast, I installed the three new blades for the AirX wind generator and put the pylon back in position. When I flipped the Off - On switch to the On position the turbine did not spin up. Then I tried other switch position and nothing changed. NOW WHAT???
  • Ariel gave us a call from the Sound as they approached Dothan Cut. They had intended to put in to Big Majors Spot and I was pleased to cajole them into spending the blow here because it offered the possibility of going ashore even with winds > 15 kts like it is forecast to be for the next 4 days.
  • THEN the forward head macerator pump refused to turn on again.
  • THEN the stern head would not empty when its macerator pump was run.
  • AAAAGGGGGHHHHH! The GODS are after me; toying with me; laughing as they do…
  • It took me a while to calm down so I could think.
  • First I made a tool out of a short section of 1" hose: I cut a 6" piece then split half the length into four sections; I then put it on a piece of aluminum as a handle. Then I could spin the macerator impeller. I had remembered that the macerator / evacuation pump bearing was bad when I last reassembled the head. The replacement part Jabsco sent out at no cost could not get to me before we departed Stuart. So it seems that letting the pump sit for more than 10 - 15 min caused the bearing to seize up just enough for the controller to shut off power to the motor — and thus the bowl doesn't get emptied. By spinning the macerator blade manually with my MacGyver tool to break the friction, the motor is able to run normally. A fix of sorts.
  • Next there was nothing for it but to use a plunger on the over-full stern toilet bowl. I taped a plastic sheet over the bowl to reduce leakage and splashing. I punched a hole in the center to allow me to use the plunger. After quite a bit of plunging, the clog was broken through. A very dirty job. BAAAAH! But a working head. YEAAAH!

4 Mar 17; Saturday; Black Point
  • During the night the winds were ~ 15 kts. About 0400 a pre-frontal squall came through and gave us a good wash down. Skies cleared a bit until ~0600 when the front with its squalls came through with the forecast 30 - 35 kts from the NE. Seas where we are anchored occasionally get short periods of 1.5' chop.
  • The trawler anchored near us, Erben Renewal woke up to find that the painter to their dinghy chafed through. The dinghy is most likely sailing toward Andros. I still feel uneasy when I have 3 lines attached to Venture: the painter and the 2 hold-to lines. Last night I remembered to rig Venture to stream behind Onward instead of its usual place athwart ship. I hook up the stern hold-to line to a 30' 5/16" safety line so it still has 3 lines attached.

5 Mar 17; Sunday; Black Point
  • The winds were in the 25 to 35 kt range all night. There seemed to be longer periods below the speed that causes the Air X to switch from generation to regulation mode. When I checked the battery monitor on arising, it showed that the Air X had not only kept up with the normal overnight power usage (~100 AH) but had put another 30 AH in the battery bank. Nice!
  • While I worked on boat stuff for most of the day, Peggy assiduously worked on her income tax returns. This reminded me that I need to get started with mine.
  • I baked a batch of pepper biscotti — the last batch seemed to just fly out of the canister. Then I used the batch of bread dough to first make a nice Onward English muffin for breakfast then, once the biscotti were done, a batch of pepperoni rolls and another of small dinner / snack rolls. Somehow the baking makes me peaceful and reduced the stress of all the boat problems and howling winds.

6 Mar 17; Monday; Black Point
  • It was a fairly quiet night with periods of winds dropping below 25 kts; however there were still periods of 30+ kts which I could tell by hearing the high-frequency whine of the Air X. Forecast is another 24 hrs of 25 kt winds before they start to slowly ramp down.
  • I went back to my timer task-list rotation to keep myself focused and get more done. After 4 hrs work I had managed to find the chargers for the FRS radios that I had "organized" into the ether.
  • I had to run the genset for hot water to wash dishes. It hurt to do it because the battery banks were all topped up and many electrons were going to waste.

7 Mar 17; Tuesday; Black Point
  • With the winds still blowing at 25 kts, I spent the morning catching up on my writing duties for the Catalina Mainsheet. One item was a note of caution based on my infamous interaction with the FL DOT and the USCG after the damage done by a careless bridge contractor at the Melbourne Causeway Bridge. The other was based on my experience in finding a way to run a new RG213U coax cable from the bilge up to the masthead.
  • We agreed to meet the Ariels for lunch at DeShamon's. When we arrived, they had already ordered a large pizza and invited us to share it. I got to chat with Diann and Simon about the restaurant, again complementing them on the new dining room and bar. Diann told us we would find a larger roofed deck dining area next year. We also met Kim and Mac from Piece and Quiet, retired from the Canadian Navy and cruising out of Nova Scotia.
  • A post-prandial walk was in order and we took Miles & Laureen to the blowhole which they had never seen. When we got there we got to witness a fantastic show with water gushing ~20' into the air. The best blowhole show I'd ever seen in the Bahamas. I took time to capture video of the show. Later, when I went to offload them I found that I had not successfully caught them for some reason. BAAAH.
  • Once back aboard Peggy and I went back to our reading, each having started books that were hard to put down.

8 Mar 17; Wednesday; Black Point to Staniel Cay
  • The winds died down during the night — the first night without 25 kt winds sins last Friday. So we decided to move to Big Major's Spot with Ariel. We were underway by 0930 following Ariel and doing > 6 kts with the genoa alone. About halfway to Harvey Cay, a sailboat ahead radioed that they though they had seen a blue PFD floating in the water. Not long after Peggy and I saw the PFD and I decided to pick it up to be sure there wasn't evidence it came from a boat in distress As we were in the process of sailing by another boat to starboard and the PFD was between us, I decided to do a 360 to port, backwinding the genoa to let it carry us down on the PFD. This worked but before Peggy could snag it, it went under the hull. As I went to go around again, Peggy saw that the backwind pressure had caused a tear at the spreaders at the forward vertical seam of the sunbrella along the leach. By the time we got the sail furled, the 1' tear had grown to a 15+' tear.
  • I was really bummed out. This is the original genoa, now > 13 years old and I had been babying it until I could replace it this coming summer. In my efforts to be a good guy, I lost the bubble about not stressing the sail by backwinding it due to the sun-weakened sailcloth along the entire leach.
  • I gave John Miller a call because he has lots of experience with Mack Sails who do a lot of sail work for the C470 fleet. After talking to him, I called Travis at Mack Sails and began the process of having a new sail built and shipped to me at George Town just before Laura and Kurlen arrive in April.
  • We found a snuggly anchor spot close in just N of pig beach where we could see folks with the newly installed pigs. Once anchored and the new sail on order I was psychologically done for the day. To make things worse I discovered that I'd lost the videos of the blowhole from yesterday. So, Peggy and I lost ourselves in the books we were reading. We took a break for dinner and finished up the fantastic pasta from new one-pot recipe Peggy had tried while we watched episode 2 of The Thorn Birds.

9 Mar 17; Thursday; Big Major's Spot / Staniel Cay
  • It was a very quiet night and I woke up to the promise of a sunny day with partial cloud cover so I was surprised at the arrival of a sudden rain shower.
  • I decided this was the place and time to work on replacing the water pump as the weather was going to be relatively good with E winds for the next week and we were in a good anchorage. So, I got out the new water pump. I consulted the Yanmar service manual, and the job looked straightforward until I began to count the number of hose, pipe, and sensor connections that would have to be disconnected and reconnected: 7, 2, 2. Suddenly this looked like a prescription for a continuing series of problems once the job was started and I inevitably discovered I needed to replace additional parts. Also, it would be prudent to replace the thermostat, all the surrounding hoses, and sensors at the same time
  • We have used the engine lightly since we got to the Exumas and there has been very little coolant leakage. So I made the decision to leave it alone while in the Bahamas delaying replacement until back at a marina in the US with parts close at hand. In case of complete failure which I think unlikely, I will have to install the new pump. I will continue to monitor it closely.
  • I also noticed the fan belt has become a bit loose. It is possible that this has reduced the load on the pump bearings for the pulley enough to reduce the leak. We will see once it the belt is retightened.
  • I decided to tackle something that has been bugging me for a while: the bluetooth input to the Bose audio system has not been working. This makes it difficult for Peggy to hear the audio when we watch videos. So today I took the time to troubleshoot it and found that the 30-pin connector (older iPod / iPhone connector) or perhaps the Bose electronics were the problem, not the CoolStream Duo bluetooth receiver. I then decided to try to use the Sony AM/FM stern receiver / CD / amplifier unit and speaker system — something we haven't used since installing the Bose. I eventually worked out how and found the audio cable that would allow me to plug the sound jack on the Mac or iDevice into the Sony and use its amplifier to listen to audio. Then, in a real breakthrough, I discovered that the CoolStream Duo bluetooth receiver has a stereo audio out jack. I then set it up using an old iPod charging cube and cable to power the CoolStream Duo and then an audio cable into the Sony. Now we can again play any audio source through bluetooth to the CoolStream Duo - Sony - salon speaker system. Nice!
  • At this point I decided I'd worked enough for one day and went back to reading the end of the Elizabeth George novel. We were invited over to Ariel for dinner where we met Chris from MY Private Idaho, another Outer Reef. I've seen this yacht for several years and always wondered about the name which Chris informed me was from a song about one living in one's closed world — like a private Idaho potato. Laureen cooked an amazing veal & mushroom dinner with polenta. Delish!

10 Mar 17; Friday; Big Major's Spot / Staniel Cay
  • A partly cloudy morning with short rain squalls gave way to a sunny day with almost no wind. I decided now was the time to drop the genoa to see if a temporary fix could be made to allow some use until the new genoa arrived in April. As Peggy and I began to drop the sail, Miles was coming by in the tender and kindly hopped aboard to haul down the sail so I didn't have to put my shoulders at risk.
  • Once the sail was on deck, Peggy and I were able to arrange and fold it so we work on the tear which ran for ~5' above the spreader strengthening patch I had installed on the last repair and for ~ 15' below. The patches had done their job and it was the weakened fabric above and below that had failed. That done, I set up the sewing machine on deck. As we began it was clear that doing it the right way: new material bridging the tear, was not going to be possible to do because of the length of the tear and the need to move a lot of heavy sail through the standard neck of the sewing machine while working on the foredeck. Ashore, on a big, flat surface, and with me having full arm strength, perhaps. So we decided to do a quick fix: overlap the material, same side together, along the tear and sew a seam. Then fold over the overlap and sew it down. Not pretty, not a long term fix, but usable. Of course it took 2 broken needles and much cursing. to get it done. Along the way we found it was necessary to use a long stitch as very short stitches just acted as perforations along which the very weekend material tore. It is rather amazing to see how much difference there was between the sun-aging of the material along the leach compared to the material just a yard away. It clearly showed that I've been fortunate to have gotten over 13 years of service out of this sail!
  • We were able to reinstall the genoa easily. We wore our duplex intercom headsets which enabled me to tell Peggy when to stop the electric winch so I could straighten out the luff to get into the foil. We'll see how it will work and if this effort was worth it.
  • I was beat from wrestling the sail through the machine even with Peggy's great assistance so I declared nap time for an hour. After a nap, lunch, a beer, and a reading break I went on a search for misplaced circuit breakers needed for rewiring the wind generator / solar panel installation as I decided that additional easy to turn on and off circuit breakers in the output lines for each system were needed. I found them after making the boat a mess again.
  • We showered then went off to dinner with Miles and Laureen at the yacht club. As we pulled up to the pier, there was a 4' spotted ray near the bow. I don't recall ever seeing one so close and clearly. Unfortunately I couldn't get a photo. Dinner was quite good and I enjoyed the rack of lamb that has become a bit of a habit for me here. Miles and I reminisced about what dinner hours here were like when we first visited in 2008. Not quite as sophisticated.

11 Mar 17; Saturday; Big Major's Spot / Staniel Cay
  • The morning was still and amazingly clear promising another fantastic day here. Peggy knitted and read. I worked on organizing boat stuff.

12 Mar 17; Sunday; Big Major's Spot / Staniel Cay
  • Happy Birthday Peggy!
  • An absolutely gorgeous day: sunny, clear, dry, cool breeze. Peggy spent most of the day in the "Lanai" AKA Onward's cockpit and sometimes the "Porch" AKA Onward's stern swim platform. She discovered how she could download an audio book from her library and is now able to knit and listen to a book.
  • I spent a this time organizing my electronics stuff. Now that I have sewn a number of MacGyver bags and replaced the failing plastic bins of my MacGyver stores with them, I have room in the port settee back to store additional stuff that has been bugging me up in the forward storage locker AKA shower. It is a process of find, sort, organize, do triage, document and stow.
  • I invited the Ariels over for dinner to celebrate Peggy's Birthday. I decided to make Margarita Pizzas. So I got the dough made and set it to rise at mid morning. About 1400 Peggy and I headed in to Staniel Cay so I could buy some fresh tomatoes for the pizza. Isles General Store was closed as it was a Sunday and I began to think about trying to trade some pizza with Burkie for tomatoes. Burke's Store opens at 1500 on Sunday so we used the time to head over to Staniel Cay Yacht Club to replenish the Mount Gay rum stores that some gremlin has been draining. With fresh vegetables in hand from Burke's we headed back to Onward where I got busy making the Pizza. Just before we had left, Peggy wanted to play in the galley and experiment with a new low sugar pudding desert.
  • I've finally broken the code and can now produce consistent thin-crust pizzas. The Ariels arrived at 1900 and we enjoyed an extended cocktail hour reflecting their need to start the trek back to the US by departing for Cape Eleuthera Marina in the morning. I started the pizzas baking and when they were near done, I brought in my professional baker / pizza consultant, Miles, to comment on the readiness of the crust. If the lack of many leftover pieces of the two sheet pizzas was any measure the pizza was great: crisp, hot, flavorful, thin. Peggy's desert was a hit and we followed it up with our final game of Farkle with the Ariels in the Bahamas this year. I Farkled for the first 4 turns and lagged the leader by >4000 points. However luck changed and I ended up winning the game. Great Fun.

13 Mar 17; Monday; Big Major's Spot / Staniel Cay
  • Ariel departs; goodies from Watermakers; UW light
  • We watched on AIS as Ariel departed for George Town through Big Rock Cut.
  • Our shipment arrived on Watermakers Air and I now had the fan to fix the inverter / charger and the replacement macerator/evacuation pump for the forward LiteFlush head. I also had ordered a 12 V Lithium Ion power supply to run the new SonarPhone portable depth sounder. This unit is actually one of the new Li-Ion battery powered auto jump starters. It holds over 1000 mA hrs of power in a 0.75 x 6 x 10 unit. Nice

14 Mar 17; Tuesday; Big Major's Spot / Staniel Cay
  • Today was another front passage but we were nestled up close to Pig Beach and the W component winds were mild.
  • I took the opportunity to take care of the major projects. The first was the forward head. Since I have had to do this many times before, I was quickly able to disassemble it to get to the pump. The enlargements I cut around the flush water hose feed throughs the last time eliminated the need to completely remove the head from its mounting spot.
  • I decided to wire in a SPDT toggle switch on the lower forward side of the unit so I can run either the flush pump or the macerator/evacuator pump at will, bypassing the foot switch and controller. It went well with minimal cursing and worked just fine when I was done.
  • Next it was on to the inverter charger. The most difficult part was working out how the plastic pins that were used to mount the old fan in its bracket worked. I was able to pop them apart using a fine-bladed screw driver and then the damaged fan came out easily. The new one was quickly slipped in place and I connected it up as the original fan had been before I MacGyvered a work around to allow it to run full time. It turns out there is a thermal switch that closes a connection to ground when the unit heats up. With the new fan in place, the inverter / charger went back to operation as normal without any shut downs due to overheating. Nice

15 Mar 17; Wednesday; Big Major's Spot / Staniel Cay
  • The day was cloudy and I didn't feel bad about working on boat tasks. I finished cleaning up after the head repair, Then I took the new 12V power supply and removed the battery terminal alligator clips and connected it to the power cable for the SonarPhone.
  • After lunch, Peggy and I took Venture on a long ride to check out the depth sounder. It worked great!. after installing the transducer on its strut on Venture's stern and turning on the power, it was just a matter of opening the app on my iPhone and connecting to the wifi signal broadcast by the SonarPhone. And there appeared color sonar depth data on the iPhone. Neat.
  • We traveled N along the shore of Big Major's and then through the cut separating it from Fowl Cay and then NE to Little Majors', Along this path, there was sufficient depth that I could take Onward around by this route, However the current in the cut would make it dangerous to transit other than at slack.

16 Mar 17; Thursday; Big Major's Spot / Staniel Cay
  • Today was another mostly cloudy day. I spent the day, of course, organizing boat stuff.

17 Mar 17; Friday; Big Major's Spot / Staniel Cay
  • In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I flew Peggy's big St. Patty's flag on the foredeck.
  • During last summer, the faucet of our new Seagull filtered water faucet was damaged to that the detents that prevent the handle from being turned too far were broken. As a result, on a couple of occasions since we have been in the Bahamas, the movement of something on the side of the sink has banged into the handle causing unwanted water flow and we lost a lot of potable water. Today I decided that I had had enough and finally looked at the problem close enough that I could figure out a solution. The detents were small cylindrical studs made of a hard rubber or plastic sticking up. I drilled a shallow hole of similar diameter and cut a short piece of aluminum welding wire to insert. A fix!!!
  • I also decided to work on the power controller box for the solar panels and AirX wind generator. I managed to take the cover off very carefully as both units were putting out power. I reviewed the wiring and made a new schematic. I then determined that the heavy +12V wire from the AirX to its on/off switch was so stiff, it was preventing the switch from working properly and could force an unwanted off mode if the switch twisted.
  • I set about trying to figure out how to install two new panel circuit breakers, one for each device, fix the switch so it could function properly until I could replace it, and install the shunt and digital volt / amp meter I had bought for better monitoring of the Air X power output.
  • AirX
  • St Patricks Day
  • Potroast
  • Work on power box

18 Mar 17; Saturday; Big Major's Spot / Staniel Cay to Little Farmers Cay
  • Tys for lunch
  • Tour of town

19 Mar 17; Sunday; Little Farmers Cay to Elizabeth Harbor George Town, Great Exuma
  • Departure through LFC Cut
  • Arrival at 1330
  • St. Francis for Trivia

20 Mar 17; Monday; Elizabeth Harbor George Town
  • Off to town
  • Spiraserpula
  • Oasis III

21 Mar 17; Tuesday; Elizabeth Harbor George Town
  • Off to AID for CB
  • Sonarphone in box

22 Mar 17; Wednesday; Elizabeth Harbor George Town
  • A quiet night and a quiet sunny morning - a prelude of the front to come.
  • AirX power box rebuild

23 Mar 17; Thursday; Elizabeth Harbor George Town
  • Wind ramped up
  • AirX power box rebuild

24 Mar 17; Friday; Elizabeth Harbor George Town
  • Windy
  • AirX ammeteter installation

25 Mar 17; Saturday; Elizabeth Harbor George Town
  • Windy
  • AirX ammeter installation

26 Mar 17; Sunday; Elizabeth Harbor George Town
  • Rewired shunt
  • Hike & lunch on beach
  • Trivia
  • LED light re rig

27 Mar 17; Monday; Elizabeth Harbor George Town
  • P&P; shopping trip; biscotti; Downton

28 Mar 17; Tuesday; Elizabeth Harbor George Town to Thompson Bay Long Island
  • During the morning Cruisers Net, a number of boats announced they were heading to Thompson Bay. I had been reluctant to head out without being in the company of another boat due to the damaged genoa and problematic yanmar coolant circulation pump. So i made an instant decision to depart. We were underway at 0915 and I noticed that Acadia was also on the move just ahead of us. The seas from the strong E winds of the last several days had settled overnight so there were 4 - 6' rollers with long periods that made the transit of the cut peaceful. With the winds NE at ~ 10 kts we were able to have a nice motorsail all the way under sunny skies. We arrived at Thompson Bay about 1400. As we were anchoring a number of boats that had weathered the northeasters here headed out.
  • We anchored near Acadia and made plans to get together after they had explored the island by car. I noticed another Catalina has come in after us so I gave them a call. It was a C-42, Outbound, that we had seen several time before so we invited Deb and Steve over for cocktails. And a very nice time was had by ALL!

  • 29 Mar 17; Wednesday; Thompson Bay Long Island
  • Yesterday, just before we departed, I had turned on the oven to allow the biscotti time to crisp up at low temperature. Later, Peggy had reported the oven was cool and she had shut the gas solenoid. I thought that I had not successfully gotten it lit. Ah well. For the rest of the day we did not use the stove. So tis morning I was puzzled when I could not light it to boil water for Peggy's tea. Then it dawned on me: the tank had run out while it was supposed to be crisping the biscotti! So I went out and changed propane tanks to make breakfast.
  • I was pleased to learn that Penny, an expat resident, is still running the Cruisers Net at 0815. There we learned that we had lucked out and today was the day to take propane tanks in to Long Island Petroleum to be filled.
  • I installed the SonarPhone aboard Venture and we headed in to shore with the Outbounds to get the propane tank filled and to check out the area since our last visit in 2015. It was sad to see that the swimming pool and entire deck and pier of the Long Island Breeze was destroyed by Joachim. The good news was that Long Island Petroleum has rebuilt the fuel pier. It is now a bulkhead and has cement steps at both ends. After landing to bring in the tank to be filled, I moved Venture to the sandy beach in front of Regatta Park and we went ashore to walk around the area. The only places left now are the Ministry of Tourism office and Long Island Petroleum. We stopped in to say hello to the MoT staff and then bid farewell to this part of the island.
  • On departure I ran a depth sounder travers of the area to check the depth at the bulkhead and on the approach. This information is now reported in the BCG.
  • At ;just about High Tide, I found there was 7.5' or greater of water available from the governent pier all the way to where Onward was anchored.
  • We next decided to check out Tiny's Hurricane Hole, a new resort with beach bar and restaurant on the Indian Hole Point peninsula. The new owners took over what had been "Parrots of the Caribbean" and upgraded it to a beautiful facility with two guest bungalows. They have built jetty at the E and W ends of the beach to make landing a dinghy easier and they have dredge an area parallel to the E jetty for deeper access to the beach. On approach, I decide to use the new technique I have been developing to use the small Fortress anchor to hold Venture's bow into the waves and the small mushroom to hold the stern close to the shore. Unfortunately I started the process too late and too ill prepared. If only I had someone capture it for a YouTube video I could buy Onward a new sister-ship. A total cock-up doesn't quite capture the poor deployment of the bow anchor, the grabbing of the line by the outboard prop, the struggle to get the line free, the drifting of Venture toward the rocks of the W jetty, the stalling of the engine, the unintended shift into reverse on restart, the throwing of the dumb captain almost out of the boat, the difficulty of same dumb captain to be able to sit up from the position in the stern he had fallen into, the struggle of same dumb captain to decide which he wanted to do more: laugh or curse. Needless to say I provide great entertainment to Peggy, Deb and Steve who watched, cringed, and laughed from the beach. Many entries in the "What not to do next time log".
  • The trauma of the arrival was washed away by cold beers and a delicious meal of jerked pork shoulder. We had a delightful time and this place is a wonderful new addition to Thompson Bay.
  • We returned to Onward in late afternoon for a nice nap and a quiet evening aboard.

  • 30 Mar 17; Thursday; Thompson Bay Long Island
  • This morning on the Cruisers Net, a local catamaran, Calypso, asked for any used sails that cruisers might want to donate to help the people on Crooked Island get their boats back in operation. They are still recovering from the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Joachim in 2015. Peggy had just finished explain to me that NO YOU CAN"T keep the old genoa aboard after the replacement arrives next Wednesday. So I immediately called Mark to tell him I had a sail for him. It turns out he has been an avid user of the BCG and volunteered to come over to provide me updates.
  • Mark came over after lunch. He holds dual citizenship in the US and Bahamas as his mother was a Bahamian. He is living aboard his catamaran, Calypso, while he patiently waits for his purchase of a home in the are to come to fruition. This engendered his explanation to me of the arcane laws and regulations of Bahamian property ownership. This is a subject whose apparent absurdities and arcania have fascinated and frustrated me. After listening to him, I had a new understanding of why it is so difficult for Bahamians to build wealth through their homeownership. It explains the abundance of abandoned and almost-complete but derelict buildings throughout the islands. Sad.
  • We had a great session as he shared his wealth of knowledge about the local area. Now my job is to translate it to the BCG website.
  • We decided to go to Sou' Side for happy hour tonight and went ashore about 1530 to look around and do some shopping at Hillside grocery. Mark had told me that the Hillside and Hardings food stores had actually been consolidated through a marriage. It is really well stocked.
  • At Sou' Side we found the beer icy cold. We had an order of grouper fingers — Amazing. We followed it up with an order of cracked lobster — OK but not great. We met folks from a few other boats and just as we came in Penny who runs the Cruisers Net from her home came in.
  • With all the boat tasks: repairs and stuff triage & organization, I have managed to ignore working on my 2016 Income Taxes. So today I got started by updating TurboTax and assembling all the requisite forms and reports together.

  • 31 Mar 17; Friday; Thompson Bay Long Island
  • I spent the morning working on income taxes while Penny assiduously worked to finish the baby blanked for the coming Rocchio baby in San Diego.
  • In midmorning, someone came by in a dinghy to ask about the depths in the area. It was Ricardo, the son of one of the two Italian men who had sailed their sloop, Ultimate, from Italy to the Caribbean and Bahamas and were now about to start their trip home. Their draft was 7' which made possible that might just touch bottom at low tide — but not a big issue in the soft sand under settled conditions.
  • Peggy and I ran in to LIP to pick up our propane tank. On the way back, we headed over to Tiny's again to be joined by Tim and Dianne from Acadia and Michele and Amanda from Lady A. A delightful lunch under the beachside tiki hut was followed by a game of bocce where the Onwards prevailed.
  • We stopped by Ultimate to invite the crew over for a visit. Ricardo, Roberto Codoni, and Edoardo Tarchini later came by to talk about the route from Thompson Bay to George Town then up the Exumas and over to Nassau from whence they will sail to Bermuda on their way back to Italy. They have a blog: Ultimate Slow Sail & Food
  • As they were using a Raymarine chartplotter and Navionics charts, I gave them a copy of all my Bahamas waypoints. We had a grand time talking about their trip. Ricardo's English is excellent and he served as the translator for those things our hands couldn't quite get across. I talked about my like of Andrea Camilleri's "Montalbano" mystery novels and the TV series I had discovered. Later in the evening, Ricardo came over with a gift of a paperback of Andrea Camilleri's 100th novel; written in his native Sicilian dialect. Neat!