2011.01.22 Marsh Harbour

Conch Inn Marina, Marsh Harbour.  22nd January 2011.

We last wrote about ten days ago and since then we have endured a couple more fronts going through with heavy winds and rain , in fact we are presently in the midst of our third or fourth and are bouncing around despite being tied to a dock.   So what has happened in the interim ?  Well not a lot really.
Think I'll add one more off shore line.

There were a great group of ladies at Leeward Y C who enjoyed their morning water aerobics in the pool.  They were in the water at nine a m and worked hard for the best part of an hour.

Val & Lynn...could not get them to both stop talking at the same time!!!
 We walked some more and shopped as necessary, getting to know many of the locals as we stopped and chatted everywhere.  Leeward Y C happy hours also proved to be very popular with the cruisers and there was often as many as thirty people all sorting out the affairs of the world over a couple of rum cocktails.
Reg, Val, Jan and Tom

Some fine day a bunch of us decided we were going to walk to White Sound for lunch...Renee was very happy to see us indeed!!!
Marie Francoise , JP (Nido) Steve and Karen (Sea Echo)
Lynn & Walter (Iolar)

 Our month at Leeward Y C was up on Sunday 16th but we decided to stay an additional two days to allow yet another front to pass us by, with heavy wind and torrential rain.  On Tuesday the 18th the weather calmed down and was beautiful so we had a last shop and a farewell cocktail hour and supper with all the friends that we had made in Black Sound  and prepared the boat for departure the following day.
Pretty and old house on main street in New Plymouth GTC

High tide was around 07.30 and we left Leeward Y C (aka Velcro South) on the tide and had an uneventful ride around the infamous Whale Cay passage en route to Marsh Harbour.  We arrived there, being chased by very heavy and threatening black clouds, which were unexpected.  Our intention was to anchor in the harbour after taking fuel, the first that we had needed since North Palm Beach, however as we were berthing the heavens opened and we both got soaked, Catherine much more than I, so we eventually decided to stay warm and comfortable tied up a dock.  Chicken I know !!  We took a little more than 28 gallons of diesel for USD 131 ($5.00 a gallon), about half a tank full, which is probably the most that we have ever paid for fuel.  The weather died down sufficiently for us to berth with little problem, after which we had a warm shower and relaxed with supper at a local eating spot “Snappa’s” with Val and Reg of “Aquabella” who had also left Black sound just ahead of us and are anchored in the harbour.

On Thursday the cockpit was upside down as we had Clifford Burrows (the refrigeration engineer for Moorings Charter fleet) come to try and get our electrical refrigeration up and running once again.  He found a couple of things which he thought were wrong, fixed them and then purged, vacuumed and refilled the system with fresh Freon.  We switched on and the plate started to heat again, the same problem that has plagued us for the past three years.  Poor man, he really did try to get us up and running, spending most of the day aboard, but it was to no avail.  He was all set to come back the following day to try again, but we decided that enough was enough and have accepted that we will not have any electrical refrigeration for the rest of this voyage.  We do not seem to have lost too much food so far and we are managing to keep the freezer at a reasonable temperature by running the engine drive on a twice daily basis for about forty minutes or so.and are consuming and/or cooking a lot of more perishable items from our freezer…spaghetti Bolognese anyone?

The next problem that we have had is that our brand new mascerator pump, fitted last April in St Augustine and unused so far, did not do what it was supposed to do and we were unable to empty the holding tank as we wished to do.  Normally in the USA and Canada this would not be a problem since most marinas have a pump out station and in fact it is illegal to pump out under way.  Here in the Bahamas however there are no pump out stations thus this was a big problem. Since we had been at marinas most of the time it was not a problem as we used the on land facilities but certainly did not feel comfortable going further afield without this “issue” being sorted out!
 We spent two or three hours taking the pump apart but could not get it to suck, so off to the local marine store to buy a new pump, this time exactly the same one as we had replaced in St Augustine.  Another handyman from the Moorings fleet spent his lunch hour replacing the pump – we switched on and “Voila” we had suction and were able to empty the tank.  Thank heavens for small miracles !!!

A catamaran had sunk, not sure when, just off the Conch Inn Marina...so we had an entertaining couple of hours watching a salvage (?) operation as the Carib first tried to hook and lift, then drag the cat away...when all else failed they rammed it and tried to completely sink it, unfortunately it was too shallow, so disappear it would not, they finally dragged it a hundred yards away and left it in the way of the Moorings fleet...there should be lots more entertainment coming up as charterers plow into it as it is almost submerged! 

Friday (20th) evening, with great sighs of relief,  we were able to put everything away and  Catherine spent an hour or so cleaning and scrubbing our cockpit so that our new room is once again livable in.  In fact I am sitting here typing this very comfortably, as the wind howls around us and we bob up and down in the swell coming up the harbour.  What a success the new canvas has been and in particular our full enclosure – how did we ever manage without it???
While the admirals run around provisioning the Captains chat!!!

Saturday, 21st,   has been a relaxing day,(at last!!!) a shower in the morning followed by a walk to the grocery store with Val and Reg. The new Maxwell’s is quite amazing…just like an American super market1…we were supposed to have lunch with Val and Reg but Aquabella was bouncing around so much they felt more comfortable staying with her) Lunch back aboard and relaxing this afternoon reading or using the computer for e mails etc (first time relaxing with a good books in days).  Val’s brother arrived from the UK  this evening and has certainly had a rude awakening to the cruising life as I suspect that he had a rough trip out to “Aquabella” on the dink  this evening with the wind at a fairly steady thirty plus knots.  (and that’s after a 20+ hour trip,welcome to the Abacos Chris!).

Our plans, such as they are, is to leave here on Monday morning for Hope Town, the tide is at a reasonable hour and I like to try to enter H T harbour fairly close to high water, although it is probably not necessary.

That’s it for this report.  I shall leave it to the editor to correct what I have written, make additions, corrections and of course load up another bunch of her great snaps of our life aboard.

Potee Limousine (Soli style with ingredients found on board!!!)
Bahamian coconut bread French toast with Canadian maple syrup...a .marriage made in heaven.
Not sure when or why I became a bird lover....but there we are!

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