Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Been awhile.  Been busy.  Sorry

Well the weather here has been nice.  Heard in some places back there it has not been so fun.  Sorry to hear that, especially since it sounded like everything was Spring-like.  Guess groundhog might have been right after all.  Even though it may sound warm here it still is chilly often times.  To combat the cool we are still taking advantage of our full enclosure.


Beaches haven’t been fully explored here by us yet, too cool, but we did run across a fella who was getting into the mood.




In our walking about the neighborhood trying to get in our daily FitBit steps we came across this bit of word play.




Another Royal Marsh Harbor Yacht Club event that we attended last week was there annual Margarita Madness which they hold at the Abaco Beach Club where we are staying in their marina.  Lots of camaraderie, fun, and libations on the beach.

Parked in the marina down the way from us is a Catalina in which Linda and Grieg Mitchell would be interested.  Nicely set-up for cruising.


We recently visited Elbow Cay by ferry boat to partake of their annual Hope Town Heritage Day celebration with awards for students and festivities, food and art for us visitors.  Try the Chicken Suosse when you go.  It's delicious.  Lime and green pepper chicken soup.

The other day a spectacular rain storm came through during which we were able to fill up our water tank with forty-five gallons of water in forty-five minutes.  It was a gully washer.  Afterwards there was a beautiful rainbow.


The other day we went on a road trip around Great Abaco Island and covered almost 200 miles.  Along the way we had lunch at Little Harbor’s Pete’s Pub.  While there saw a statue that has a striking resemblance to my significant other.  Also for Cindy and Alan we found a new sign that Alan can share with one of his former constituents that was concerned about a close-by deer crossing sign she didn't like for fear that they would then be crossing at her yard.


And, again another dazzling dinner by Gerry featuring lobster.



Looking forward to seeing Clarine, Gerry's sister today for a quick trip south from the snowy north.

Again, Happy St. Patrick's Day,


Gerry & Larry,
Team Galileo

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Galileo Feb 25, 2017 Update

Hello all,

Sorry that it has been a couple weeks or so that we since posted our progress.

Since our last report prior to departing from Ft. Pierce, Florida we were successful in crossing over from Lake Worth, Florida to West End on Grand Bahama Island on February 13, 2017 then the next day on to Great Sale Cay, then the following day to Green Turtle.  It was a great sail all the way from Great Sale to Green Turtle in company with two (2) other sailboats. And for part of the way for us, a pod of dolphins that numbered at least eight or more on each side of our boat.  As soon as I figure out how to capture a frame from the 5 minute video I will upload that in the future.

In the mean time here is a photo of our GPS status as we sailed from Great Sale Cay to Green Turtle in the company of Aria (an Island Packet 350) and Brown Eyed Girl (a Moody 38).  The winds were steady out of the southeast at 15 to 25 knot the whole day.  At the end near 3:30 they picked up to 30 knots (a little dicey dousing sails) before going into White Sound at Green Turtle to dock.


As indicated in the top left-hand corner above our speed was 7.1 knots.  A little unusual for our heavy cruising sailboat which is an Island Packet 37.  Also shown is our track on the right with Aria in the center and then Brown Eyed Girl to Aria's left.  All of us were very closely spaced for most of the day.  It was a fun ride or as they say a "salty sail" with great winds.  It was a seven (7) hour sail with no tacking.

We stayed at the Green Turtle Marina that night and the next waiting for the wind to settle down before progressing.  As we arrived on a Wednesday we took advantage of the Green Turtle restaurant's steak nigh.  Yummy!  On Friday February 16th we departed Green Turtle and were successful in crossing out into the ocean to get around Whale Cay and back into the Sea of Abaco on our way to Marsh Harbor.   This was our fastest transit over the last three (3) years from Lake Worth, Florida to Marsh Harbor due to the great weather we experienced along the way.  At Marsh Harbor we stayed anchored over the weekend of February 18th and 19th then progressed around to a slip at the Boat Harbor Marina at the Abaco Beach Resort.  We did this to be positioned to attend the Royal Marsh Harbor Yacht Club 2017 Commodore's Ball held onsite instead of paddling ashore in our dinghy with our Mardi Gras.

This RMHYC function was well attended with over a hundred present.  Lots of feathered masks and beads.  You didn't have to do anything to get the beads.  There were past out at the door by the greeters.


As usual Gerry has been expert in maintaining our diet as she alway is.  Because the weather has been nice and cool she experimented with making bread.  She used a modified recipe of Hayden Cochran bread from Island Spirit and it has been great.  She added whole wheat flour to Hayden's recipe.  Here is the result.



That's it for now.  We are off to the pool here to relax and catch some more rays


Gerry and Larry
Team Galileo

Friday, February 10, 2017

Getting Ready For Our 2017 Crossing to the Abacos

Hi,

Well it has been a whirlwind week from departing from Maryland in the winter, through spending some relaxing time in Charleston where Gerry continues to impress the medical community with her outstanding progress to date, to getting here in Ft. Pierce, FL where we have been enhancing the boat and provisioning her to get ready to make our crossing to the Abacos.

Before doing so we spent some high quality time with Shana and Josh and Sabin and his new sister Marina.


It is amazing how attentive she is to everyone and just at 3 1/2 months old.  She is a cutie.

We augmented our power capability this year with the addition of a flexible solar panel.  So in addition to our 135 watt Kyocera panel and Air X Wind Generator we now have an additional 100 watts of dc power to keep us electrified while off the grid.  In addition we added a dc to dc Power Converter to up our 12.6 volts to 13.8 volts for our Single Side Band HF radio for better transmit capability hopefully.  (We continue to be hf radio challenged to get it to perform.  Hopefully, this will lead to an improvement.


It is amazing how much stuff it takes to get ready to leave.  Here is this year's load.





While here in Ft. Pierce got a new car for Gerry to run around in.  That's here leaving Publix.
Not!!

So looks like we will be departing Ft. Pierce tomorrow sometime for Lake Worth, FL with an crossing attempt on Monday, February 13, 2017.

A few days after we get across we will give you all another installment of our 2017 Abacos adventure.

Till then

Team Galileo
Gerry & Larry

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Safely Home

We departed Green Turtle Cay this past Tuesday, April 19, 2016 for Great Sal Cay to position ourselves for a Gulf Stream crossing later in the week, either Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday.  As Wednesday didn’t look favorable we decided to wait until Thursday to depart around 3:00 pm for an evening crossing of the Gulf Stream to get a favorable incoming tide into the Ft. Pierce, Florida Inlet.  We also wanted to have the advantage of a full moon for better nighttime visibility.  After listening to the Thursday morning weather report we decided to change our plan for a nighttime crossing of the Gulf Stream to a daytime crossing so delayed our start time from 3:00 pm to 12:47 am Friday morning.  Got a few hours rest prior to departing, woke up at midnight, got ready and pulled up anchor, set our mainsail and took off across the Little Bahama Bank in the dark heading toward the Gulf Stream.  We crossed over into the Atlantic at about 09:40 about 13 minutes later than our plan.  Captain Larry inadvertently slowed down thinking we did not have to be at this waypoint until 09:47 am.  He was properly chastised. Later in the day when the winds really kicked in we were able to make up this time easily.

We got to the eastern edge of the Gulf Stream around noontime and began to pick up a boost in speed for the next four (4) hours as we crossed the Gulf Stream, sometimes as high as 8.5 knots ground speed or more especially closer to Florida.  Around 14 miles east of Ft. Pierce Inlet the Gulf Stream speed thrill stopped but then the winds really started picking up and our speed did not drop off too drastically.

As we approached Ft. Pierce Inlet you could see a threatening thunderstorm that was then drenching the south end of Hutchinson Island so we doused our mainsail and continued to motor into the inlet.  The storm did not hit us as it went out to sea behind us but the winds got brisk for a while there, once up to 30 knots.  

As the incoming tidal current flow was at its peak going into the inlet as we had planned our arrival to coincide with it was a sweet quick ride up into Ft. Pierce Harbor, after which we turned south and headed over to our boat slip here in Harbour Isle Marina arriving at 7:45 pm.

As novice ocean sailors it was a challenging nineteen (19) hour trip but an excellent learning experience.

Here is our last Bahama sunset.


We hope you enjoyed keeping up with our 2016 trip to the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas with this blog site. It was a pleasure communicating with you all in this fashion.

Stayed tuned for further adventures.


Gerry & Larry
Team Galileo

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Picking Up the Bread Crumbs - You Can't Come Back Unless You Leave

Well everyone our 2016 Abaco's adventure is about to end, sadly.  It certainly was nice.  Weather for the most part has been excellent.  There was the 'great squall' that came through while we were in Marsh Harbor but we were able to weather the storm so to speak.

Since our last input we spent two (2) weeks on a mooring ball in Hope Town on Elbow Cay here in the Abacos.  To extend our horizons we rented a golf cart for a day and traveled south to Tahiti Beach.  It is located on the south end of Elbow Cay.  When the tide goes out a very large area of exposed sand occurs for families and everyone to enjoy.  Someone reported over the Cruiser's Net seeing a large shark there during the week that measured 5 feet from its dorsal fin to its tail fin.  Interesting, but we didn't see anything like this while we were there.  They say you shouldn't swim in these waters before 7 am or after 5 pm to avoid them.  While there, we used Larry's beard trimmer to trim both our haircuts.  So we are leaving part of us here.  A saying here is "sand in your shoes, will bring you back to the Abacos."  Here's looking forward to 2017.

While here frequented Captain Jack's for bingo twice with our friends Barb and Doug from Melinda Kay.  Dined at the Harbor View Room of the Hope Town Lodge.  Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall would have gone there in their time I sure.  Reminds one of a scene from Casa Blanca.

Enjoyed the  pool and deck lounge area at the Hope Town Inn and Marina as well soaking up more sun.

As the weather looks like it is shaping up for a good set of conditions to cross back over the Gulf Stream back to Florida later this week, we departed Hope Town last Friday in order to be able to transit the area called the Whale Cut that we told you all about on our way out here.  Presently we are anchored in White Sound here in Green Turtle Cay.  We will move west Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and expect to be in Ft. Pierce shortly after dawn on Friday, April 22, 2016.

Until then, enjoy the enclosed photos,


Gerry & Larry
Team Galileo














Monday, April 4, 2016

Abaco Update

Yes, we haven’t provided an update for a while.   We apologize.

Those of you who have been checking our blog maps though may have noticed that we have moved about since our last report.

But, a word about Marsh Harbor.  It is a much larger town as opposed to the others we have visited.  While not as diverse as cities in the U.S. they do provide access to a variety of services and goods such as a large grocery store (smaller version of a Harris Teeter or Giant), banking, hardware marine stores, etc.  No Walmart or Sam’s Clubs however.  So you can imagine we did take advantage of these to replenish certain items like fresh meat, eggs, veggies, milk, cash, etc.  It’s not all sand over here.

We again met fellow boaters here and there while getting in our requisite 10,000 steps while walking about motivated by our Fit Bit watches that record our various physical activities daily.  Thanks Josh for suggesting these to us.

While in Marsh Harbor Gerry experimented making bread with rapid yeast; something she hadn’t used before.  Worked great and quickly, and we have been enjoying it daily.

Another Marsh Harbor experience was living through the storm of 2016, our first squall.  About 8:30 at night last Tuesday for about 2 hours the wind whipped up to 35 knots and once blew at 50 knots for a few minutes. The whole boat shook and shook for a while, felt like you were on the end of a whip.  It was raining sideways so hard you could not see anywhere.  You did not want to go outside.  We kept looking at each other asking when it was going to end.  Fortunately everyone in our area of the anchorage did not drag their anchors so we all stayed in our relative positions.  A few weren’t so lucky and a couple of boats came in contact with each other.  One had to cut their anchor chain to remove themselves from the pickup.

The next day on the Cruisers Radio Ne there were numerous reports of lost items.  A lot were recovered later in the days, found floating in the harbor or blown ashore.
We finally departed Marsh Harbor last Thursday under motor and travelled down to Little Harbor, Abaco.  It’s a small harbor somewhat the size of Cambridge, MD, our home port.

While there we visited Pete Johnston’s Gallery.  A local sculpturer whose works are displayed in a wonderful southwestern style building which is quite a contrast from the local island architecture.  He is an accomplished sculpturer in his own right having trained under his father, Randolph Wardell Johnston who had done some famous works displayed internationally.  Quite an accomplishment using a remote foundry virtually in the middle of nowhere and completely off the grid.  Everyone in the area is powered by solar energy.  You should see the size of the batteries used.  It was impressive.
Pete Johnston also has Pete’s Pub there in Little Harbor, a wonderful stop for libations and fabulously delicious food which we absolutely enjoyed.  The best fish we have had in a long time, ranking right up there with Charleston’s finest restaurants.  Was too good to pass up.  We had lunch and dinner there on Friday.

On Friday afternoon, Radeen and Hayden Cochran of Island Spirit arrived in Little Harbor after having crossed over from Royal Island, Eluthera and together we had dinner catching up with each other’s experiences since we met here in the Abacos last year.  They are pretty prolific bloggers and maintain a very informative blog at http://www.islandspirit35.blogspot.com.

On Saturday morning as the weather report looked favorable to sail back north to Hopetown both the Cochrans and we took advantage of that weather window.  It was a nice downwind sail for the most part up here to Hopetown, at least for a couple of hours.  We motored the last hour up through White Sound since it is shallow at the entrance and it was low tide.  Although the chart has it marked as 4.5 feet in one spot, the lowest we all saw was 5.2 feet.

Upon arriving at Hopetown we both were able to locate mooring balls in the harbor to secure our boats.  Our friends Barbara and Doug Lienhard were able to help us secure the mooring ball next to them.  Later in the day we enjoyed each other’s company at the Hopetown Inn and Marina swimming pool and later had dinner together at Captain Jack’s, a local Hopetown favorite.  Wish us luck there when we go play bingo with them on Monday night.  Grandma would have enjoyed that.  Real (large) cash prizes are offered.

Last night Gerry fixed an even better fish dinner than Petes, pan searing a fresh wahu fish that we bought at the fish cleaning station here at the Hope Town Inn and Marina.

Well that’s the latest.  We plan on staying here at least a week or so before we start heading back.
Here are some more photos:


Enjoy,

Gerry & Larry
Galileo









Thursday, March 24, 2016

Hello All from Marsh Harbor

We extended our stay at Orchid Bay Marina on Great Guana Cay to nine (9) days; partly because we wanted to enjoy the amenities of the marina, enjoy their Sunsetters restaurant, and be able to attend the Barefoot Man concert over the weekend.  Another reason was the wind really picked up from the wrong direction over the last couple of days there and it would have been extremely tricky to get out of our slip without rubbing our dingy that hangs off the back of the boat into the pilings in our slip.  And lastly since we weren’t able to fix our Wind Generator the last time we reported in, so we made another stab at that effort which unfortunately again did not fix its problem.  Time for a replacement.

Met a couple from Nova Scotia, Marianne and Paul Cochrane who have a boat just like ours, same year, and for 10 years just like us.  They have made a lot of nice improvements, Gerry and Marianne shared their boat ideas and Paul and I shared our various boat improvements.  We joined each other on their boat Knot-Ha-Gan for hors d’oeuvres and cocktails one evening and later on our boat another evening.  Nice conversations.  We saw one another at the Barefoot Man Concert at Nippers and chatted there as well.   They like us also keep their boat in Ft. Pierce, Florida when they return to Canada.  They do spend more time in the Bahamas than we do, but they like ourselves like the convenience of not going all the way north back to home port.

We also saw old acquaintances from the boat Melinda Kay, Barbara and Doug Lienhard who we met in 2015 going down the ICW in South Carolina and Florida.  They recused Linda and Grieg Mitchell from dragging their anchor one terribly windy night out on the ICW.  Caught up on our experiences since then.

Kai Nau whose great uncle has “Now or Never” in a slip across from us here in the marina joined us with Paul and Marianne to solicit ideas for a novel entrepreneurial interest has would like to pursue.  Bright young man to be remembered.  His great uncle and great aunt circumvented the globe over in the 80’s and 90’s.

Below are some photos of our continuing journey.

Gerry & Larry
s/v Galileo