Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Upon Arrival at Orchid Bay

Hello Again

Our apologies for not providing an update in a while.  Had a couple of instances of life in paradise getting disrupted.  One had to do with the computer we are using to operate this blog and the other had to do with our Wind Generator which assists our Solar Panel in keeping our batteries recharged when the engine isn’t running.  Aside from these two inconveniences we have been enjoying ourselves here in the Abacos.

We stayed in Black Sound at Green Turtle Cay from Day 6 through Day 14 of our journey.  The constraint that kept us at Green Turtle so long was the wind conditions out in the ocean which caused high sea states in the vicinity of the next islands south called No-Name-Cay and Whale Cay.  To get past Whale Cay, because the water behind it is too shallow for our boat, you have to go out into the ocean in front of Whale Cay, go about 2 miles down the length of the island out in the open ocean, and then cut back into the Sea of Abaco.  For those of you familiar with the Ocean City, MD inlet when the tide runs in and out of there, you know it gets pretty rough.  Multiply that a couple of times when it is windy and add to it the big rolling seas that come across from Portugal and this inlet can become treacherous, so one pays religious attention to the conditions in the Whale Cut before attempting a passage through it.

While at Green Turtle we enjoyed the local food, had some great conversations with fellow boaters, did some souvenir shopping, and just generally relaxed.  It’s a very small world when a boater from a couple of boats over knocks on your hull and asks if you are from Cambridge, MD.  Turns out he lives about three blocks away from us there and we pass by his home on our daily walks.  Tom Fisher and his wife Kayla were aboard Canberra owned by Rich Morrical and Nancy Wohlsen of Oxford, MD.  The girls will fly back to the states and Tom and Rich will bring Canberra back to the East coast over the next couple of weeks. Our house sitter in Cambridge Amy Meekins knows Tom Fisher; their children went to school together.   Also met Dan and Martha Bliss who keep their boat in Swan Creek right around the corner from Rock Hall, MD.  Our next door boat neighborshere, Patrick and Di Walton of Resolute IV from Canada, were very informative about the Abacos and their sea going adventures in this area as well their exploits into the Caribbean.  When they return home to Canada every year they keep their boat on the hard here in Green Turtle at Abaco Yacht Services, a full service boat yard for any size boat.

Noticed a boat on a mooring ball near us that reminded of us Bruce Franz’s Dickerson 41 but this looked more like a larger Gulfstar.  Name was Jet Lag owned by a retired FedEx pilot for 30+ years.  Looked nice.  He keeps it here year round. A picture is included  below.

You may have noticed we talk about weather somewhat in our conversation with you.  How does one keep up with weather here in the Abacos?  Well that starts by arising early like 6:00 am to listen to Chris Parker, everybody’s weather guru, on 4045.0 MHz on our Single-Side-Band HF radio, and then later in the early am various cruiser radio networks on the VHF radio.  And then there is the internet from Barometer Bob to NOAA to Weather Underground and on and on and on.  So, there is a lot of information available to make very informed weather related decisions.

Without our Wind Generator operating we had to run the engine for battery recharging a couple of times.  The tests that the Air-X Wind Generator manual suggests indicate that the brushes inside the unit may have become clogged with material that sluffs off these brushes as the unit runs.  We will have to lower the Wind Generator mounting pole, remove it, and open it up and look inside.  We did this two years ago and removed some stuff then had it rebuilt.  Should have lasted longer.  Oh well.  We will see what its dilemma is when we open it up.  More on that at later.

Another aspect of using a mooring ball instead of a dock for your boat besides no wall plug is not a water hose.  We have a ninety (90) gallon water tank.  Making sure the gage works properly stays uppermost in this regard.  It’s not hard to remove the gage to check it.  In this process learned that one (1) inch of water depth in the tank equals approximately 10 gallons of water, so as a fallback position could always use a ruler.  We slupped a few gallons from land when we used the dinghy to go ashore just to make sure we were okay.  Gotta shower.

Finally this past Sunday March 13th on Day 14 at about 10:30 am with a favorable tide and light winds we were able to depart Green Turtle and make the transit over to Great Guana Cay.

We arrived at Orchid Bay Marina (of Marty and Mariam Bagshaw fame) and took a slip for a week.  

Time to have plenty of electricity and water while we sort out computer and Wind Generator issues as well as attend the famous Barefoot Man Concert later in the week at Nippers.

Upon arrival noticed a Grand Banks 42 (like Larry and Nan Moser’s) that had made the Great Loop.  (The journey up the East coast, through the Great Lakes, down the Mississippi, around the Gulf, then back to the East Coast.)  Now that’s some serious travelling.

We have been using Rolando Sosa’s secret spice that is saffron based that produces a nice flavor and color to couscous and rice.  Yummy.

Monday we attached the computer issue with the Geek Squad from Best Buy.  Don’t know how we’d survive without them on our Windows 10 laptop.  Took about three (3) hours to resolve, but as always they were successful.  Don’t know what occurred to create the issue but it really hung up our e-mailing and Google Chrome usage with this particular computer.

Yesterday we summoned up our courage to lower the pole that supports the Wind Generator, remove it and open it up to see what awaited us inside.  Lo and behold it wasn’t material that had sluffed off from Brush wear, but grease!  Where that came from is a mystery, since the bearing that was replaced during last year’s rebuild is supposed to be sealed.  Repair shop doesn’t know either.  Oh well, took the slip rings and brushes out and cleaned them all up and put it all back together (not a large feat, but not a small one either).  Replaced it on pole and wired it back into system.  Haven’t started it up yet but confident it will work.  Pictures below.

Today relaxation and beach.  Thursday St. Patrick’s Day festivities.  Friday Barefoot Man at Nippers.  Saturday Spare Rib night at Sunsetter’s here at Orchid Bay Marina.  Somebody’s got to do it.

 Gerry & Larry
s/v Galileo