Tuesday, June 13, 2017 Marsh Harbor to Man o War, Abacos, Bahamas
Today was exciting. After refueling and filling the water tanks it was time to practice docking – just Doug and Deb. Doug was at the helm station; Deb handled the docking lines. To say I was apprehensive is an understatement. It felt a bit like landing an airplane (ok, I exaggerate). Again, we relied on using our headsets to communicate. While Doug maneuvered close to the dock using engines and bow thrusters I stood at the ready to toss the spring line over a dock pole, then scamper to the rear deck and winch it tight. Whew!! We did 5 or 6 dockings and I’m pleased to say, even with a few ‘oops’, that the dock and boat both remained in their original condition as well as the relationship.
Lesson learned: how to tie a clove knot. Only dozens of more knots to go – no easy feat for the mechanically challenged.
Doug and I headed into town to Maxwell’s, a relatively large supermarket, to get groceries. We walked about 2 miles to the store but decided to taxi back with the groceries, which turned out to be the highlight of that errand. Our taxi driver was a woman in her 40’s with a blond wig, fingernails painted pink and filed to a fine point (think weapon), large sunglasses and an even larger personality. She knew everyone in town it seemed and stopped to talk to each of them. Not surprisingly she said she had been encouraged to run for mayor. When we stopped at a pharmacy to get butterfly bandages, she took advantage of the stop to get a Bud Light, one of her two favorite items, the other being Snickers. Unfortunately, we didn’t get her name but she sure made us laugh and smile.
In the afternoon, we motored the short distance from Marsh Harbor to Man ‘o War, our original destination the previous day. It readily became apparent that we had made the right decision to head to Marsh Harbor for fuel and water. We arrived at Man ‘o War at low tide and we couldn’t even get into the harbor it was so shallow (Minnehaha requires a minimum depth of 5 feet). Doug and I took the dingy into town and we ended up grounding the dingy outboard engine.
We visited Albury’s Sail Shop, where descendants of the original settlers, sew bags, clothing, etc. out of sail cloth, etc. One of the ladies said she was a 5th or 6th generation. We walked thru the tiny village. It was known at one time for its boat building and there are still a lot of small boat builders at work. It was so hot and humid, we retreated to the boat.
We have decided to spend one more day in the Bahamas and then head back to the U.S. for some much needed ‘fixes’. Our water maker is still not working and we have several other issues that need to be addressed. Rowland must leave us on June 20th for another assignment and we decided we would rather sail back across the Gulf stream with him. We are unsure of our destination at this point- we originally thought of Charleston but Savannah and couple other locations are options. Depends on where we can find a marina that has space to dock our catamaran ( 27’ wide across/ 55 ‘ long) and we can get the work completed. Tomorrow we are going to sail north to Allan’s Key and leave from there.
Lessons I have learned so far during the trip:
- Handling and coiling sail lines is hard work / good exercise on the upper arms hopefully leading to less flab and more buff.
- There is absolutely no reason to have a hair dryer on the boat. Even if I could stand the heat of the dryer, it would be a totally futile effort.
- Longer hair must be pulled back into a pony tail or clip or it will be impossible to keep it out of your face just as you are executing a crucial tack.
- They don’t make clothes pins like they used to. You need to put at least 5 onto a washcloth just to be sure it won’t blow away. Fortunately, I do have vast quantities of pins with me or we would be out of towels.
- Air conditioning is the single best invention EVER!! I challenge anyone who disagrees with this statement to come Florida in the summer heat and humidity.
- Slathered on sunscreen is essential. I fear I will end up looking like the neighbor woman in the movie, What About Mary, who had skin like tanned leather.
- No amount of make-up or grooming will overcome the effects of a day of sailing in hot, humid weather or windy squalls so might as well give it up. Actually, quite freeing and not bad, if I avoid a mirror.
- Autopilot RULES – it really sucks (can I say that in a blog) when it goes out and someone must be at the wheel continuously… like in the olden days.