Feb 1-14, 2008 - Cruising Log for S/V Freedom - a Gemini 105 - Jim and Deb Faughn

Previous Log - The most recent past log

All Logs - This takes you to the list of all of our logs

Note: If you didn't read last months update, it was huge and hopefully entertaining. You might want to go back and pick up where we left Nassau to get to where we are now, Little Farmers Cay.

Feb 1 - This morning, I took off in the dinghy for a couple mile run up to see a cave that Gary and Shirlene told me about. I found the trail, if you could call it that, and off I went. Deb was back on the boat still asleep but she knew where I was going.  This is part of the trail that wonders beneath the trees and between the vegetation. Now it isn't like they have signs saying CAVE this way. So, when I got to the spot I thought might be good, I went up the hill, and up the hill and then I was on top. No cave. Oops. I wondered along the top of the hill and then back down but still no cave. I knew it had to be here but I guess it was hidden for today.

I found the "trail" again and one of the sign posts along the way. Oops, I wonder if this one says cave?

I got a few pictures of the coast and it was actually beautiful looking into the Exuma sound.


 As I was walking across the rocks I encountered an old boat that must have been brought ashore in high water. Based on the condition of the hull, it was several years ago. You can see some of the framing to the left and below.

I found the cove I had also been told about and it was fun to explore. Lots of stuff has washed ashore here, if you need a new life jacket, you could pick one up here. Of course there were lots of floats and trash along the shore too but that just doesn't make a great picture in paradise.


 I didn't find that cave. Darn. I was going to try again tomorrow after talking to some locals. I gave Deb a call on our portable radio and she answered. After talking to her, she also got a call from Scandia. She asked them about the cave and Bev called a friend and within 10 minutes I knew where it was. The marker was the termite mound - picture tomorrow - and it is 50 feet to the right of that termite mound. Isn't that great, I was within 50 feet and the "sign" was a termite mound. Now everyone should have figured that out, the termites ate the sign and left it in a mound. Makes sense to me! As I was walking back to the dinghy, yes it was still there, I saw this HUGE birds nest. I hid for awhile but he birds didn't come back. Maybe tomorrow.

When I got back, some of the boats were getting their booms attached and Fugitive was ready to take off as the first boat on the race course.

We decided to walk around the island a bit and see if we could find Bill and Christy. We walked to the other side of the island and ran into them at the dinghy beach. After that, we walked with a number of cruisers to the Little Farmers Cay Yacht Club and watched a number of the boats out getting ready for the race.


 After a bit of Conch Stew, Deb and I took off in the dinghy out to the race course for a few pictures. We were getting fairly close to the boats who now were racing.

I thought it was pretty interesting the way they use the boards to hike out and get the boat flatter to reduce drag. I learned throughout the day there are several things you can do to your advantage. FIrst, get the sail right and that isn't just trim, some of them used a plywood piece at the top to increase the area of the sail at the top and catch more wind because it effectively raised the height of the mast and area of the sail.

The second thing was weight. On heavy wind days, you need to put more people on-board. Of course as the wind dies, you don't need that much weight. I tried to get on a boat in the afternoon because I knew some of the sailors at this point. However, they were taking people off rather than putting them on. Maybe tomorrow!


 I think the helmsman does the most work if you ignore the fact that the guy holding the line was always pulling. The guys out on the boards had the "easy" job.

We were on the beach after chasing down the sailing fleet. There was a party going on and it was high time we were part of it. We met up with some more cruisers we knew and then we got to meet the Chief of Police for the Exuma Islands. Deb is ready to be cuffed here. I think she liked the uniform plus this guy is a BIG guy!

I'm sure the Chief thought he was just there to make an appearance at the Festival as most political people do. However, when someone witnesses a "crime," he must act. Now here is the story and we saw it. A charter flight had come in and after he had dropped off his passengers, he taxied away. Oops, do you see that taxi light that is broken to the lower right? Yes, this pilot just happened to get his right prop a little too close to the light. Yes, he hit the light with his prop!


Now I don't know about you but I would know if I hit a taxi light with my prop. However, he taxied on to the end of the runway as if he was going to take off. I think someone called him on the radio to let him know there were about 300 witnesses. He taxied back and cut his right engine.

Of course being me, I walked out to the plane to take a look. After looking at the prop, I thought, he won't leave will he? At about that time the Chief of Police started walking out and he wanted me to stop the pilot. I guess he had to do something. Ultimately, they talked but after that, the pilot started the right engine and got ready to take off. Now you have to look at the picture to the right very carefully. You should not be able to see the screw and washer completely behind that prop. The reason you can is there are pieces missing. Yes, they are missing. I wouldn't have flown it because it has to be out of balance but I guess I just am too conservative. Hopefully he won't be another dive site along the Exumas chain.

The race began again and when it got to our end, I took Mr. T out with me for the finish. Mr. T was one of the guy's I helped out yesterday. We had fun.

What i haven't told you is that this race starts with everyone anchored. When the race starts, they pull their anchors and raise the sails. Speed helps here.

We caught several of the guys we helped out yesterday in some pretty good races.

In the end, everyone put everything back in shape for the next race and headed back to the bar for a Kalik (local beer.) The next race was a 3 pm and we were heading back to our boat for some rest before the evening was to begin. Rest up for the fun!


 So, what is the "white guy" doing with his head in an electrical panel? Well, one of the proprietors of a booth was having some problems getting their electrical hooked up. Now I'm just a sucker for helping people so, let's just dig into this and get it done. I helped him run the wiring from the booth over to the electrical box. He let everyone know we would turn the power off for a minute and when he gave me the sign, I turned off the unit. Of course, I had the ground wires already attached but we couldn't get the screws on the load side of the panel to turn. Darn that salt water. We moved to another side panel and I found a screw that would turn. So, I extended the "hot" wire and we had it done in about 90 seconds and power was back up for everyone. Can you believe that the other proprietors would allow that? Everyone is great here.

Now when the power went off for the town later that night, I did think about the good old electrical codes and how many I had seen that weren't adhered to. HUNDREDS, another story.

Lower left is Mr. T or Mr. Turner or if you really get to know him, Rico. Rico is a great guy and he is one of the people that I was helping yesterday putting the boats together.

Below right is the little bar that has the best prices in the Exumas.


 Deb just had to take the camera back into the bathroom after she saw this sign. She thought you would all get a kick out of the sign.

 Feb 2 - I mentioned that yesterday I saw this huge bird nest. This morning on the way back up to find that cave, I got this picture of the bird on top of the next. I have to say this is one big nest.


Off I went again on the quest for the cave but now with a little more information.

My friend Gary had showed me on the map were it was but I had simply missed the "turn" as I noted previously. I decided to take a picture of the map so you might be able to get there if and when you come this way.

The cave is on Great Guana Cay which is just north of Little Farmers Cay. For me it was about a one mile dinghy ride from where you see the anchor symbol and J&D on the map. One note of caution for soft dinghy's. The beach at low tide is rock so you will want to land your dinghy here at high tide to protect the dinghy. I just went regardless.

After you land your dinghy above Oven Rock but before the next point then just head left down the beach. It isn't hard to find the path because you can follow some footprints if it hasn't rained recently. However, after you get off the beach just pay attention and you will be able to walk all the way to the other side of the island. I went back down the same path and knew right where the termite mound was. For those who haven't seen a termite mound, you have to pick it out of the overgrowth on the left but I got a better picture of it so you would be able to recognize it.

Next, you have to back up about 20 feet and turn right up the "trail." You can see there is somewhat of a path over up the side of the hill.


 You will pass a little palm tree on the way up the hill and then get up to a somewhat flat section. To your left you will see the bay I took a picture of yesterday but from another vantage point. To the right you will see these trees in the left picture but you can tell there is a slope back into the hillside. Go through the trees and you will start to see the entrance of the cave which you can make out behind the other trees you see in the lower left picture. Once past those trees, you can make out the cave.

At first it seems to be somewhat small but that is because there isn't any light getting down in the cave. I was happy Garry had told me to be sure I took a good flashlight!

As I descended down in the cave, I dropped off my backpack and only took my camera and flashlight. It was pretty cool right from the beginning because you could see where the stalactites and stalagmites had met to form a column. (I'm sure there is a proper name for it but I don't remember.)

I tried to get a panoramic view for you with my camera but it's a bit hard to get the line right when you are mostly in the dark. You'll figure it out. I thought it was interesting because it was a wide cave and at the entrance, it was fairly steep. I climbed down the rocks and I was thinking I hope a rock doesn't slip.

When I got down to the bottom, it was cool just looking at the formations. Also, at the bottom was a pond of water that surrounded the center rocks.

In addition, I was truly amazed that there was no graffiti. Than goodness and thank you Bahamians and cruisers! I took my pictures and only left a few footprints too.

There was a dark spot in the water towards the back and I wondered how much deeper the water was back there. It made me think I should have brought a wetsuit and my snorkel equipment to get a better look. At the same time, if I was doing that, it would probably have been a good idea to have someone along.

I noticed the flash on the camera was washing out the colors in the picture so I used my flashlight to get a few pictures that were more in line with the way I was seeing the cave and the formations.

Overall, my morning started off in a beautiful way. I looked back at the entrance of the cave in the darkness and remembered what my Aunt Sandy always writes on her postcards, "Having a great time, wish you were here!"
We talked to Lou and Jane and before we knew it, we were having lunch up the hill sitting on the steps of the "old' church. I couldn't help myself and I had to take a picture of the inside of the church through the window. there were six pews inside the "old" church and a nice area up front for the pulpit and choir loft. Now, they have a new church with many more pews so I'm thinking they've expanded their congregation.

As we were walking outside, Lou pointed out the bell tower. I have to tell you that I completely missed this. I'm thinking a bell tower would be on top of the church and the way I thought this looked was either an old well or perhaps a bird nest.

Once Lou pointed it out to me, I just had to take the picture of the bell in the "tower." I think it stood about 8 feet off of the ground. Regardless of the height, it was a bell tower and I am sure it has called many a parishioner to the church on Sunday.

Since today was Saturday, the reverence wasn't quite the same. At Little Farmers Cay they have a 5-F festival on the first Friday of February. Now there are a number of cruisers that help out every year and try to organize events to, in my opinion, embarrassed the participants of the events each year. Deb decided to enroll me in the "Best Buns" competition. Thanks Deb!

However, I'm not one to stand aside when there is a job to do. So, I tried my best to win that competition. Besides, there was a bottle of Rum as a prize. Of course I haven't drank much rum but here is to trying.

The competition was "interesting" but in the end, the guy in the yellow shorts - me, only made it to the semi-finals. Ultimately, the guy who won dropped his drawers (against the rules) and he won the competition. I guess that just shows you. The guy with the covered buns doesn't get a chill but doesn't win the Rum.

As you know, this is a G rated site. That means that when they decided to have a wet Tee shirt contest, I decided the pictures just had to be something other than frontal shots.

The ladies you see to the left are the ones who entered the contest. I have to point out here that you should note the number of people who are in front of the "ladies." VERY FEW. But wait.

As soon as the hose went on, the guys were up front taking pictures. Of course you can tell that I'm off behind the women and taking pictures of the guys taking pictures. That is actually the only picture you can show on a G rated site anyway.

The rest of the night, Deb and I hung out with some of the other cruisers we've met, along with Mr. T whom you saw on the last update. Hopefully, we will meet up with some of the Bahamian sailors we've met when we get to Georgetown.

Before we left, I met back up with Arries who was the guy I helped out with the electrical work. I had met his older brother Don earlier and he wanted me to go to work with him. I don't think I want to go back to work like that. If I go back to work, it will be to lead a group of people who will be engaged, energized, and of course with people who can express their needs so I can get what they need so they can be successful. Regardless, it was fun being wanted. Like I said, these are great people. Before we headed back in the dinghy, Arries fixed us up a big plate of ribs, chicken and rice just to express his appreciation. The food was great and I appreciated the appreciation.


 Feb 3 - We left Little Farmers Cay and headed back north to Black Point Settlement. Why turn around? We didn't stop on the way down and we've learned they have the best laundry facility in the Exumas. In addition, all we hear about is the coconut bread at Lorraines.

We hauled out anchor at 9 am and as soon as the anchor was up, I pulled up the mainsail. We motored across the shallow reef and shut down the engine. Next we popped the jib out and before you knew it we were sailing wing on wing making around 6 knots. After we made the turn to Black Point Settlement, we were on a starboard broad reach and were sailing at speeds that ranged from 6 knots to 7.3 knots. The boat is performing pretty well since we are loosing weight as we eat, drink, and use up fuel.

We arrived at Black Point Settlement in a little under 2 hours and had our anchor set. After watching the GPS for awhile and then headed in for a little walk. We went down to the park at the end of the island and I had my only semi bad experience on the islands. We had an intoxicated guy begging for money. It reminded me of being in the Central West End back in St. Louis. Oh well, I'm pretty good at saying no since I don't have an income anymore. Ignoring that experience, this is one of the cleanest islands we've been on! Trash cans are everywhere and they have a trailer you can use to put your trash in and all they ask is a small donation to help take care of the island. In addition, they give you free water. Not bad since we just paid $8 for 20 gallons back on Little Farmers. I'll pick up another 10 here before we leave.

 Feb 4 - While we were sailing up yesterday, we made reservations at Lorraine's Cafe for the superbowl party she was having. After checking things out, we decided we would continue with those reservations because it seemed like they would have the best food. We all gathered at 4:30 for the appetizers and were treated to Conch Fritters and Chicken Wings. Yum. This was followed with a buffet dinner that was also delicious. We watched the first half of the superbowl here and then decided to head across the street for the second half.

When we arrived at Scorpios, it was obvious this was a different crowd. Half were locals and half were cruisers. These are the nicest people even when they disagree. When one team was doing well those fans were yelling and the others were quit. Then it would reverse. Of course by now you know about the upset you you can just imagine the noise at the end of the game. I'll bet it was the same in every place that had a superbowl party.

We headed back to the boat after staying up later than we have for next to forever.


 On Monday we went to the First Monday following the Super bowl Cruiser Laundry Wash. Since so many people were in the anchorage, before long the place was full and people were backed up 5-7 deep waiting for a washer. We met lots more people and of course everyone was nice. (You would be too if you were doing your laundry in paradise.) I made Deb get up early so she was out of bed in time to make it in at 8:25 am. Early for Deb! We were lucky and got some of the first washers. Hooray.

Once the wash was in, I walked down the street and sat outside at Scorpios to get email and update the website. I was able to upload it from one of the picnic tables. While the computer was doing it's work, I sat out side and watched some children, in uniforms, walking to school. Next, I was entertained as they sang songs at the school to start the day. The school is in the picture lower left .I really enjoyed it.

As I was sitting there, Kevin walked up. Kevin, it ends up, is the police officer for the island and he is also a minister. We talked about a cross he was holding that also had a naval theme to it. He had it because he found it in one of the boats that was in an accident this weekend. The cross belonged to one of the people who was injured and he found it in the other boat that was hit. The cross on the chain must have come off the owners neck in the crash. Kevin thought the cross saved his life.

As we were leaving I got a picture of the owner of the Rockside Inn and Laundromat. She was a very nice proprietor and I have to tell you that she keeps the cleanest laundry facility I've ever been in. It is clear there is pride in this town with regards to cleanliness.

In addition, I also think they understand that much of their economy depends on the money that will come in from cruisers. As a result, everyone is helpful and again, extremely nice. If you are considering stopping, please do as long as there isn't a west in the wind direction. Besides, you can get some free r/o water and throw your trash away here. (They do ask for a small donation to help them with the disposal.)

 Feb 6 - We stayed in Black Point Settlement on Monday night and were provided with an absolutely beautiful sunset. We had a great view of it from the back of our boat since there was nothing in our way to the west. I didn't see a green flash but it was beautiful.

We had decided to go ahead and leave on Tuesday morning and motor back down to Little Farmers Cay. It was as predicted and we were motoring into 15 knot winds with a rough sea. Since we were on the "inside," on the bank, the waves weren't that big. However, they were still pounding on the bottom. We were in no hurry so there was no reason to hit it hard. I throttled back and we were making a little over 4 knots into the wind. It was comfortable and we were loosing about .8 knots because of the headwind and wave slap. Oh well, who cares! We aren't in a hurry and we were heading back to the wonderful little island of Little Farmers Cay.

We were rewarded by seeing some of the locals we had met during the festival. They even knew our names. I guess it does help when you help out.


 This morning, Wednesday, the winds were still strong but I had talked Deb into going up to the cave with me. She hadn't seen it and she decided to go up to see it with me as long as we went slowly. However, as we were getting ready to go, Mike and Liz came around the corner re-anchoring. They had come down yesterday afternoon late. After they had re-anchored, we went over and they wanted to go with us. They have a slow dinghy so they pulled their anchor and took their "big" boat up there and anchored again. We took our dinghy.

When they came ashore, we took off walking (slowly) on the path. Since this was my third trip, it was an easy navigation. Everyone got there and we got through the entrance again. I won't bore you with the same pictures again but I did take a new one. This is the one of Deb taking a drink of the water that drops from the top of the cave. It had a bit of a mineral taste to it but then again, it just came out of the ground didn't it.

Next we all went to that little cove on the "ocean" or as it says on the charts, the sound side. We found lots of junk that had washed ashore and then, someone noticed this sea turtle. At first, we couldn't figure out why it was there. I thought it might be laying eggs but it is a small turtle and they typically do that at night. So why was it there?

Upon close inspection, it had some cracks in the back and you can see some of the shell on the left side somewhat missing. We thought it might be from a prop but then again, under closer inspection, they were pointed in shape. I thought it might be from a shark attack. Next the question was, what do we do with it if anything?

We walked for awhile and then came back by the turtle. Ultimately, we voted and the vote was to put it back in the water. The turtle took off in the water so it was alive and kicking. I'm sure it was scared. What our dilemma happed to be was what if this is a natural process for a sea turtle to heal from an attack? If so, what would happen if we put it in the water? We finally decided that the turtle would beach itself again after we left. We all hoped we made the right decision.

 Tomorrow we are off to Cave Cay to snorkel and wait for the wind to slow down and hopefully shift. We should be in Georgetown as early as Friday or as late as Sunday. There won't be internet access along the way and it is doubtful we will have it again until Monday or later if the weather comes in that has been predicted. We will just have to see. Thanks again to everyone who is reading the site. 

 Feb 7 - We left this morning at 8 am. Mike and Liz pulled their anchor and we pulled ours. Then off we were for the big 1 hour trip to Cave Cay. When we arrived, we found some other boats that were pulling their anchors and leaving for Georgetown. One of them were our friends Veranda. We didn't elect to continue because the wind was 15 knots on the nose and in our Gemini, we don't do 15 knots on the nose. Instead, we anchored and set up plans for lunch and then snorkeling. We found a great beach and Deb did great getting back into the snorkel experience. I went on with my pole spear in hand looking for the perfect shot. Liz saw a lobster and I shot it. I was wondering why it didn't move but I was pretty happy. Then I pulled up the pole and found out that something or someone had already killed it and taken the meat from the tail. The entire shell was intact until I shot it. How about that, an empty shot. Oh, well.

Next we had organized a happy hour on the beach with a bunch of people we had met. Life is sometimes just too much fun. By the way, they came down to run us off the beach but we all stood in the water until they left. I guess the strategy worked.


 We hung out for about an hour and a half until sunset. Now we had heard from a number of people they had seen the green flash the past couple of nights. I was a bit dubious because who has really seen the flash? Ok, my Aunt Sandy said she has a number of times but here I am with a bunch of people who I really didn't know until a month ago and they are telling me they've seen it 2 times in the last 3 nights. I'm starting to think I will be in the club tonight. Guess what? Yes, it happened. almost everyone saw the green flash tonight and that is why you don't see it in a picture, I was looking! It happened just before the final portion of the sun went below the horizon.

Too Cool.

The picture to the left are the hands of everyone who saw the green flash. I was taking the picture but I saw it too.

We leave tomorrow morning for Georgetown. Hopefully the winds will stay down and we will have a great trip.

 Feb 8 - We are arriving in Georgetown, Exumas, Bahamas. I don't know if everyone realizes the significant's of this trip. Previously, I built an airplane and flew it to Oshkosh 4 times. This is somewhat like the Mecca of the airplane builders of the world. Now we are arriving in Georgetown and from everything I have read along with everyone I've talked to, this is also the "place to be" if you are a cruiser in the winter.

We left this morning through a cut with 3 knots of current running through it and then we were off to the southeast. According to the forecast, there were supposed to be winds at 10 knots to from the southeast. That meant we would be motoring into the wind all day. Fortunately, we had a squall that built and guess what? We had winds from that squall from the west. Yes Garry, we are lucky. So, we were able to motorsail down to Georgetown at about 6 or so knots. For all of the Gemini readers, we also used that snatch block again and picked up between .3 and .5 knots very close hauled. Pretty cool if I do say.

We got rained on a couple of times but nothing serious. Finally, the squall ended and we motored into the wind and made Georgetown. Of course we had the waypoint's and used them in our GPS. The marker below is the only one we saw as we went through the 5 gps waypoint's we had to make so we didn't hit coral heads. By the way, boats are anchored everywhere.


To the left is monument mountain. I'm sure we will climb it in the next few days. Of course, pictures to follow.

The picture to the lower left is one of hole number one and some of the boats that are anchored there. Boats are EVERYWHERE here in Georgetown. In addition, there are many more buildings than we saw when we were here to "shake hands" on the purchase of our boat Christmas of 2000/2001.

We haven't been to the town yet but we will head in tomorrow. We heard on the radio that there was a "cruiser band" playing tonight so we just had to go and support them.

Evidently we weren't alone. People were everywhere. We were able to get some seats but no table. When I was off taking pictures, someone stole my seat but I was not to be diverted, I went in and stole another seat!

The instrumental part of the "band" was very good but they should have had a friend as I have in Mike as a singer! So what did I do? I went to the owner and in shameless self-promotion, I told the owner "I would be happy to play for you next week." Now there are two answers he could give me. Yes or No. The answer was ........ Yes. So tomorrow I will find out if I am playing at the St. Francis Resort and Marina on Tuesday or Wednesday or ????

Who cares but it is a great reason to get the guitar out and get the fingers ready to play again. Mike, are you flying down?????

We looked out from St. Francis and saw "hole #1." This is the same hole that we shook hands with our friends Pat and Paul and bought their boat. It is a long story but to shorten it, I had bragged on the Gemini for years. They decided that they wanted to go cruising again so when they found this Gemini, they bought it. I remember the night he called me. Paul told me he bought a Gemini 105 and I said, "how did you like the way it sailed." He said, "we didn't go out, you said it sailed great." Now can you see the end of a friendship coming? To make a long story short, they loved the way it "lived" and they liked the way it sailed. So, the friendship didn't end. Instead, the same night I told him I would buy it when he was done cruising. Do you see the picture to the right? That is where we shook hands and I bought hull number 536 December of 2000. By the way, we love our boat if you haven't figured that out yet and he delivered it May of 2001.

We will be looking for a wi-fi site tomorrow along with some places to buy some fresh veggies. Like Sandy says, we are having a GREAT time and we wish you were here.

 Feb 9 - Earlier this morning I went to town to pick up some water and also dump off the trash. We have gotten our trash down to one bag every 4 or so days. It is amazing what you can do if you de-trash before you store things on the boat.

After I go back, I cleaned the back of the boat and it needed it badly. The trick is to use salt water in the wash phase and then rinse with a few gallons of fresh water. Since we are in a FREE water zone, I chose to rinse with the two gallons so we don't track the salt in. Boy did we need that cleaning on the back deck!

When Deb got up, we went to town again and this time the first thing on the agenda was to get wi-fi. The picture to the right is the cemetery we walked past to get to the little yellow home - small rasta guys house who wants to open a pet shop and will blow away in the next big wind - who has Harbor Wi-fi. You pay him 15 bucks and you get a code that works for a week. The good thing is with our good wi-fi we can pick it up a mile away at the anchorage. The first thing we did was Skype Aunt Sandy to make sure she wasn't at the Kirkwood meeting where 5 people were murdered. She wasn't. We were happy.


Next, we walked the town so we could reacquaint ourselves with Georgetown. Deb just had to buy something at the straw market and I still can't figure out why she needs so many ear rings. I swear she still has some with price tags attached.

Of course I was in the marina stores and pricing new outboard engines. We need those, right! You can still buy 2 stroke engines here and I was trying to see if they were the right price for us to pick one up. However, a 5 HP was about 1200 bucks and that is not in my price range when I can get a 6 HP 4 stroke at about the same price in the states. I was hoping for a deal and I really want a 2 stroke. So goes life and besides, ours is still running well. We are the pride of the fleet when we go zinging past everyone in our Port-a-Boat with the 5 HP engine and we are dry while they are wet and going slower with somewhat bigger engines.

We picked up some veggies at the Exuma Markets and then back to the boat. I then practiced on my guitar because I'm playing for a cast of ? in 3 or 4 days.

Next we headed for the beach for happy hour. It is great to have about a hundred people show up just to enjoy the sunset and some great food.

Speaking of food, this is just a few of the dishes that were brought to shore for the happy hour. There was another set of dishes just around the corner. I, again, lucked out with this shot. The guys hand getting ready to dip out of that white bowl is dipping from the dish I made tonight. I dreamed this up in Marathon and so far it is going over well. It is a can of turkey chili, Velveeta cheese, sauteed onions, garlic, and pepper (they put enough salt in the chili.) Use some crackers to sop it up and it really is pretty good. By the end of the night, it was empty.

The crowd kept growing and we saw people we haven't seen since Vero Beach. All in all, we are in a small community that moves about. Reminds me in a way of Waterworld. We all have that secret handshake and a look. That look, by the way, is that uniform of a cruiser - shorts, tee shirt, and sandals or bare feet. Pretty good uniform if I say so myself.

When I was off on the beach taking pictures, I met the greatest group of guys. THREE generations of cruisers. Yes, the picture to the lower right is Grandpa, Son, and grandchildren. I think they are all Captain's.

They were great guys and I hope they enjoy life as much as we are.

As we were enjoying happy hour and talking to all of our friends in our small town of cruisers, we saw the tall ship coming in that you see to the left. Of course I just had to run down the beach just so I could get a picture of the tall ship with our Gemini in the foreground.

In the Bahamas, there isn't allot of water! So I'll bet they have a hard time finding great places to anchor when they get to a harbor.

The sun began to set and that typically means the party is about to end. Tonight however, some built a fire on the beach and are still going into the night.

Just as we were about to leave, I saw these great rays of light coming up. As you can see, it is really cool. the rays were amazing and I kept saying that over and over until about everyone was looking at them. By the way, the moon is that white spot up in the sky.

In the end, it was a wonderful evening and we had a great time. Everything comes to an end or should I say another adventure begins. We returned to the boat and are getting ready for our last night of calm before the winds come in.

Tomorrow we will hang out, pick up some water and then move the boat even closer to shore. We will anchor in about 4 foot of water as close to the shore as possible in preparation for the 30 knot winds that are supposed to get here by Monday morning at 7 am. These will come from the Northeast and we are in the perfect place to be protected from them. Of course there will be gusts higher but we really don't care now. We have great ground tackle and are very happy with the decisions we've made with regard to our new anchor.

As the week goes on, we will document Georgetown and of course Volleyball Beach. By the way, I will be playing on either Tuesday or Wednesday but still don't know. Stay tuned, I've been practicing and already getting good reports from the boats nearby.

 Feb 11 - Yesterday was a great and bad day. We began the day with me running off in the dinghy for a snorkel trip. Several other boats went along and we went out to a cut which was supposed to be a good dive. Some found helmet conchs and I was off trying to find fish. I took a couple of shots but didn't end up with anything other than a good workout. I had swam through the pass and found getting back in was a problem because of the current. Little did I know that this current would figure in on someone else!

When I got back to our boat, I was getting ready to take Deb for a walk on the beach when we heard a call on the radio. Someone was asking if there was a rescue diver in Georgetown because there was a diver who had gone into the blue hole an hour ago and hadn't come out. I quickly thought about going to help but also quickly eliminated it. I haven't dove in 5 or so years and I'm not a rescue diver. This is a very important distinction because I know about this dive. It is a hole straight down that is around a hundred feet deep then it goes under the island for 1,500 feet out to the ocean. Remember that current I was talking about! I knew that even if they had equipment, I would probably die in the process because of inexperience in this area so I hoped someone else was around.


 Fortunately, within minutes a dive instructor responded and others came through with rope to tie on to him. Calls were made with regards to a decompression chamber and even though there was one on another island, there evidently isn't an operator. By this time the diver had been down over an hour and a half and I already knew he wouldn't survive. Deb and I took that walk but all we talked about was the risks in life and are they worth it? What would we do if we lost the other? Did the diver have a family? What would they do if they were on a boat? All the questions and no real answers other than we have to be as careful as we can be and we have to enjoy each other while we are together. I hope that is what we are doing!

I took another picture of Volleyball beach from the top of the hill that we had climbed up. We haven't really been over there yet but will once this front passes.

Later in the day, I took the dinghy over to pick up water before the wind event. To get to the dinghy dock, you pass under the bridge you see in the picture.


 It is actually pretty cool and there is a current coming out of the "pond." I think there is a spring in there and that is where the current is coming from. In addition, there are rules too. The people coming into the dockage area are given the right away and the people exiting are supposed to wait. There really isn't room for two people to get through on their dinghy's at the same time.

Also, I got out and took a couple of pictures of the schooner named Mystic. This is the ship we saw coming in a couple of nights ago and supposedly it is private with the owners own crew. It must be nice to have a huge boat with help on board.


Everybody has "hunkered down" for the wind event. The wind picked up this morning and we've had 20-25 knots all day. Unfortunately for me, my aluminum carabineer broke and that dropped my kellet anchor on the sea floor. For those who don't know what a kellet anchor is, mine is a 15 pound anchor that I hang on my chain to keep the pull to my main anchor lower. The effect is to keep the pull lower which has a similar effect of letting out more chain or rode. Everytime we have a windy day, I always use the kellet. Today, I found it not there so that meant I was off for a swim. I put on the mask and fins and jumped in to retrieve the anchor. I quickly found it and brought it back to the steps and then using a shackle put it back on the chain again. We are back to our happy anchor mode.

As you can see from some of the pictures, there is sometimes bad weather in paradise. We will probably be confined to the boat for a couple of days while this moves through. So far, I've been practicing my guitar and having a great time playing songs I haven't played in a long time. It is like revisiting old friends. Deb and I played some cards and I squeaked out a win even though she put up a great comeback. Finally, Deb cleaned some brass and I'm updating this website so you know we are still alive. Nothing great but that is sometimes the way it is cruising, regular days, imagine that.

Looks like the front will keep people on the boats so who knows when I'll play at St Francis. Time will tell.

 8 pm - So here we sit in about 30 knot winds. Now for those non-sailors a the knot to MPH conversion is multiply the knots by 1.15 to get to mph. So if we are sitting in 30 knots of wind then we are in 30 + 3 + 1.5 - 34.5 mph winds. By the way, we haven't moved an inch since setting the anchor - I know, I said I wouldn't mention it anymore but I can't help myself, it works great. Now 30 knots of wind aren't so bad because we just went over to Ripple Effect and had a great evening! The ride back wasn't bad but it was dark so Deb wasn't too happy. Regardless, we had a great time and tomorrow we will get some more wind. Don't you just love it!
Feb 13 - It's still blowing. We got off the boat for awhile yesterday but the ride back was rough and water was spraying everywhere. It is times like this I'm happy we have a Port-a-Boat because we were fairly dry and anyone in an inflatable was wet.  We had Bill and Christy over for happy hour and then watched a movie. We are getting off the boat for a walk today since the winds are supposed to drop as the day goes on.   

 Feb 14 - Happy Valentines Day - Don't forget guys! I thought you might like to see what it was like during some of the last few days. Besides being windy, it was also raining like crazy. The boat you see to the right of us is about 50 yards away and the one behind it is another 50 yards away. It rained off and on all day on this day which was great. After one of the rains, I got out and did my thing by cleaning up the outside of the boat and then it rained several more times rinsing it all off. I don't have a rain catcher but I do think I'll bring a blowup swimming pool next time so that I can fill the tanks if I want.

The biggest thing that we have to catch water is the dinghy and I had to bail it out a couple of times. Everything was floating and I ended up one time getting out the 5 gallon bucket just to reduce the bailing time.

Of course there is a rainbow at the end of each storm and this one was beautiful.


Yesterday, we were went ashore for a walk. One of the nice things about Georgetown is that previous cruisers have created trails through the area so you can get to the ocean side beaches and views. We took off up one of the trails to get to the top of the hill so we could see the overview of the anchorage.

When we arrived at the top we were looking down a bluff that was somewhere between 75 and 100 feet high. The shore below is not one I would want to blow up against in a storm! In all of the books they always tell you to watch out for the lee shore in a storm. I think this is the one they were warning me about.

As we looked to the northeast, we could see holes 1, 2 and 3 that are full of boats. The buildings you see belong to a couple of resorts. One of them is St Francis and it is named after the St Francis Catamaran of which they are the US dealers. We saw the cat when we first arrived but right now it is at the Miami boat show.

 I had an email yesterday asking about the anchorages and if they are all crowded. There are lots of boats here but there is still quite a bit of space, especially if you have a Gemini. As you can see, I'm the one anchored closest to the beach. The reason is that I can. Of course the other reason is that when the wind blows from the northeast at high speeds, our boat is pointed the other direction and we are as steady as a rock without any wave action.

You can see in the pictures below that there are plenty of places for anchorages up closer to the shore. By the way, at low tide, I'm in 5 feet of water so I could have still been closer if I wanted to. When the wind shifted to the south, I could have moved to the other side and hid behind some land over there. That move is known as the Georgetown shuffle. However, the southwest and west winds were only supposed to blow for half a day so we just stayed put. As it ended up, that wasn't a bad decision and the wind died out last night and we had a great nights sleep.


 We went down a different trail and ended up on the beach on the ocean side and there is quite a bit more wave action over here. We had a great walk and then headed back to the boat for lunch. I threw together a great quesadeia from a can of chicken and a few other good ingredients.

Next we were off to volleyball beach. Yes, they do play volleyball there. We were heading in for the book exchange that was announced on the radio this morning. As it ended up, lots of other cruisers had books to exchange too.

Today, I'm off to a sail trim seminar then back to get Deb so I can take her to lunch in Georgetown for Valentines Day then we will be beach walking again followed with a Valentines dance tonight at Chat and Chills on Volleyball beach. I guess we will be having a fairly full day. With all of the organization, it is no wonder people get "stuck" here. There is something to do everyday and in case you are wondering, I'm playing at the St Francis on Saturday for Happy Hour. They are even having drink specials while I play.

 Previous Log - The most recent past log
 All Logs - This takes you to the list of all of our logs

Web Page by Jim Faughn

Jim and Deb's Adventures