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

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:


Gerry & Larry