Friday, January 25, 2013

Bimini and beyond Part 3

The next morning’s weather was predicting another front moving in  which meant we needed to find shelter from the North winds.  The Exumas Land and Sea Park looked like a good place to hide out.  We would have protection from the north and they had mooring balls.  We were a little worried that other people might have the same idea but there was plenty of room when we got there. 
Blue Moose is behind the red boat
Instead of bouncing around on the boat for the afternoon we took the dinghies to shore.  We motored as far as we could up a small creek then anchored on a beach and climbed a hill where we had a magnificent view of our boats on the other side of the island.  While we were gone the wind and waves had built quite a bit making for a wet ride back to the boat. 

If ever there was a “do not try this at home moment” it was trying to get back in the boat.  Kathy & Dan got to their boat first and we watched as a wave catapulted Dan right out of the dinghy into the water.  They have a swim platform on their boat where we only have a swim ladder. 
As the boat went up the dinghy went down and I’m talking at least 3 feet either way.  At the risk of puncturing the dinghy with the swim ladder or crushing a finger we opted to climb in from the side.  This is no small feat for someone with short legs.  Our freeboard (the distance from deck to water) is over 4 feet so it’s all in the timing.  Wait for a wave, stand on the seat and heave yourself up.  No blood, all’s good.

We didn’t get a lot of sleep that night with the sideways waves rolling us.  Poor Cricket was not very comfortable either.  Being pleasantly plump (shhhh…we don’t tell her she’s fat), her skin stays put but her, ummm…bulk tends to slide around.  She finally found a secure spot on her back wedged between a cushion and the wall.  She has been a real trooper with all this sailing stuff.  We have found the best place for her while we travel in in the head (bathroom).  I fluff up 2 towels on the floor with her litter box and a bowl of water.  I don’t think the engine noise is as loud in there so she doesn’t get wound up and she hasn’t been seasick since we tried this. 

The next morning the group voted for a calmer spot.  Back north we went but this time we actually got the jib out for a while.  We were making over 7 knots which for us is great.  Unfortunately once we changed direction we had to start the engine and slog through the waves but the closer we got to Highborne Cay the calmer it got.  We anchored off the shore with about 6 other boats.

If you look at our jib (front sail), it has a blue fabric sacrificial edge.  This is to protect it from the elements when it is furled.  I guess the sun had taken it’s toll on the stitching because mid sail it started to come loose.  With strong winds expected we decided to take the sail down and fix it right away.  When there is no wind this isn’t a problem at all but once the sail unfurls, if there is wind it catches it and flaps wildly.  Brian told me to hang onto the lines and I know my feet left the deck at one point.  I was sure I was going parasailing at the end of the sail. 

The sail doesn’t look that big until you have to roll it up and maneuver it into the cockpit.  In an hour and a half we had the repair done with me sewing and Brian holding the sail steady.  All this on a domestic Janome sewing machine.  It grumbled a couple of times but did just fine. 

1 comment:

  1. If Hans can't get on board from the dock without falling, I would hate to see him do what you did.
    You've gotta love that Janome, I'm going to sew a set of those fortune cookie booties today (after making a couple of them I finally have it figured out).


About Us

Brian, Sally and Cricket the cat sailing on our 41 foot Morgan Classic sailboat. In October 2011 we sold our house, quit our jobs and set out for Florida in search of a sailboat. We found her in Madeira Beach Florida. A 1987 41 foot Morgan Classic. Our plan is to sail for a couple of years. First to the Bahamas, after that...who knows.