A Travellerspoint blog

One Beautiful Anchorage After Another

Mike: 11 June
We slept like logs. The anchorage at Atwood harbour on Acklins Island was as calm as if we had been tied up at a slip. Somewhere around 9am, we finally mustered and got underway. Destination: Landrail Point on Crooked Island, an island anchorage of about 34nm distance to the west. Winds were light at less than 10kts and dead astern. The seas were relatively calm the entire trip. Today's highlight was the stingray that we disturbed as we dropped the hook in 13 ft of water over sand. So far, no other boats have passed us on our travels. We pretty much own the water.

Sitting at anchor enjoying a bottle of Shiraz, we watch the moon rise and illuminate our surroundings. Someone wondered about what might be happening back home. Frankly, nobody cared.

Tomorrow, we continue on our journey to Clarence Town on Long Island. It's only about 30nm distant so this should be an easy sail.

Posted by Ali-Mike 18:30 Comments (0)

First Night In The Bahamas

10 Jun

Mike: We left the Turtle Cove Marina just after noon yesterday. Because of the planned passage to Atwood Harbour on Acklins Island was only 115nm, by leaving at noon, we expected to arrive shortly before noon the following day, in excellent light for navigating in through the reef here. Of course, the tide was just about at it's lowest and wouldn't be rising again until after 4pm. We could have left earlier, but we needed to settle up with the marina and do some last provisioning. So once again, we bottomed on the way out of the channel from the marina. For those contemplating visiting this marina, there's no laundry, showers or restroom. In fact, there's nothing. Just sand. And you'll be paying premium pricing. They only provide 240V so if you need an adapter, it'll cost you for two days since they rent them from 12am to 12am. There's a minimum charge for water and electricity, even if you don't use or want them. Lastly, they don't like sail boats. We found this out as we casting off the dock lines. The manager was on the dock and let us know in
no uncertain terms that 'rag fliers' were nothing but trouble. I guess we don't buy enough fuel, water or electricity while sitting in one of their slips.

Anyway, the sail throughout the night was smooth and we averaged 5kts while passing south of Mayaguana, north of Plana Cays and into Atwood Harbour on Acklins Island. There was one other cat in this bay ringed by beach and favoured by clear blue waters. After getting the hook set into the sand in 6' of water, the call of the warm water beckoned, so a snorkelfest was launched. The bay wasn't teaming with marine life but we did see colourfull Caribbean fish (don't ask me what kind), sea cucumbers, conchs and even a manta ray. Life is good!

Part of my afternoon was spent fabricating a new gasket for the outboard. In order to get it down from Toronto, I had to separate the power head from the shaft. What I should have done was pack a new gasket, but you who know me will understand. I'd tried to reuse the old one but it blew out on the first hard run. Lots of noise and exhaust. So I'd picked up some gasket material at an auto shop in the BVI and it was only today that I actually found the time to fabricate and install it. When I try it out on the dingy, I'll let everyone know whether I'm a mechanic or not.

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Tomorrow, we expect to head over to Landrail Point on Crooked Island, a distance of less than 30nm.

Bill: We are finally in the Bahamas. I have never seen such unspoiled beauty. Can you image sailing in heaven. Sailing in ocean waters the colour of indigo, gentle breezes and then to come into a beautiful bay and not a soul in site. No hotels on the beach, no roads; just absolutely nothing except crystal clear waters the colour of turquoise. Later this afternoon I saw a stingray swim by just off the bow of the boat. I could spend forever here. We celebrated with a bottle of champagne tonight. So far, as of today, we have travelled about 650nm which is approximately 2/3 of the trip and the boat has not beat anyone up yet. Gee Dave, no stubbed toes.

Posted by Ali-Mike 18:45 Comments (1)

Off To The Bahamas

Atwood Harbour On Acklins Island Is Next - 09 Jun

Mike: We're just about to depart from the Turtle Cove Marina. We're waiting for the tide to rise since we bottomed in the sand in the channel coming in yesterday. We'll be skipping Mayaguana and Plana Cay and shoot straight for Acklins. This'll be an overnight sail of about 115nm. We'll be south of Mayaguana, cut up between it and Plana and then head for the northern part of Acklins. So far, the weather's been just about perfect for all our passages. Anyway, by going to Acklins direct, we'll have two extra days to play elsewhere in the Bahamas - Clarencetown or maybe Georgetown.

Some of you noticed that the dates appear to be wrong. We've now found that when we post from the boat via satellite while underway, the posting appears up to a day or more later on the blog. So, we'll start putting dates at the top as well as part of the posting. Next time we get high speed access, we'll be posting more pics.

The boat's been reprovisioned now and we're ready... come on tide!

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Posted by Ali-Mike 07:50 Comments (1)

Arriving In The Turks & Caicos

On Land Again - 08 June

Mike: We're here! I'd post some pictures, but the internet connection just isn't allowing it.

Last night was the first time that the winds pretty much died altogether, so we ended up motoring the final 60nm throughout the night. Amazingly calm out on the Atlantic. We arrived this morning at about 8:30am at Caicos' Sellars Cut entrance through the reef that's all along the north shore of Providenciales which locally known as Provo. Being unfamiliar with the entrance, we took the guide book's suggestion and called for an escort to guide us in to the Turtle Cove Marina complex. We touched bottom in the actual entrance to the marina even though the guide book and escort indicated that there would be 7' MLW. After clearing customs, we fuelled and watered the boat, scrubbed the salt off and tucked her into a piling slip. Bill and Brian headed off for sight seeing while Alison and I lounged by the resort pool, sipping on cold ones and working on gettin' our land legs back. After all, we'd been to sea and out of sight of land now since Sunday.

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If I'm not mistaking, the Turks & Caicos were at one time being considered as an addition to Canada. Wonder whatever happened to that? Too bad it didn't happen, 'cause the construction here is going strong. Prices for property is unbelievable. The island is very picturesque and Alison and I can see coming back for a holiday.

Tomorrow we'll be heading off again and maybe doing a jump all the way to an anchorage (Atwood Harbour) on the northern end of Acklins Island in the Bahamas. This would be an overnight passage.

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Posted by Ali-Mike 13:03 Comments (1)

Now Passing North of the Dominican Republic

06 June

Mike: It's Tuesday. We've now been at sea for over two full days. The boat's systems and crew are working well together. We've broken up the night into three watches of three hours each: 9pm-12am, 12am-3am and 3am-6am. The rest of the day is covered by whoever is topside and wants to.

There's nothing out here: no ships or other boats passing us by today. We feel truly alone. Only the automated voice from the San Juan weather office reminds us that we are not alone. Although we have an HF receiver set aboard, we haven't turned it on. Really no need since we're having a great time in stable weather. And just when you think it can't get any better... DOLPHINS! Must have been about 20 of 'em. Frolicking in the bow wave. I'd read somewhere that this was supposed to be a sign of good luck or a safe passage. We don't know, but they added to the whole trip.

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For those interested: We did 142.5nm in the past 24 hour period which means that we averaged about 6kts. Our current position is now over 100nm off the northern coast of the Dominican Republic on a course of 305M bound for Provo in the Caicos. Our actual position is N20°45.76, W068°40.3. Current conditions are seas <4' and winds about 10kts. We want to make landfall at 9am on Thursday, so have reduced speed to around 5kts so that we'll make the landfall after first light in the morning.

Posted by Ali-Mike 05:04 Comments (1)

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