February 9, 2016
We are in a boat slip at Emerald Bay. We fired up the generator and ran it for an hour so I could change the oil. I drained the oil and then went looking for my spare oil filter to no avail. Without having any other options, I just refilled the generator with Delvac 1 and left the old filter on.
We then fired up the engine and ran it for a half an hour to warm it up. I drained the oil from it and made a mess in the main saloon dripping oil all over the place. After cleaning up the saloon, I removed the oil filter and replaced it with a new one. You would think that Yanmar could design a filter housing that would not leak oil all over the engine when you change the oil. I put Shell Rotella back into the engine. I tried to put Delvac 1 Synthetic in this old motor but it leaked everywhere. I put Shell Rotella conventional oil back into the motor and that slowed the leakage considerably.
In the afternoon I went for a walk to find palm fronds to replace the ones I gave away in Great Harbor. Karen did the laundry which is free here at Emerald Bay. We spent the rest of our time up at the clubhouse on the internet. We have become so addicted to the internet. Every time we find a location with the internet we have to get on line to catch up with family and friends. These opportunities are far and few between.
It was a good day to do the internet. We share our access with the Sandals Resort. When the weather is nice everyone is out enjoying the day and not using the internet. This leaves us with a lot of available bandwidth. When the weather is not good, everyone stays in their room doing the internet which ties up all the available bandwidth and we get little to nothing at the Marina.
February 10, 2016
We had a rough night. We got jerked around all night from the incoming swell in the marina. There is also a derelict boat next to us with no fenders so it creaks all night as it grinds away at the dock we are tied to.
I have to change the fuel filters this morning. I do not like this job and have been putting it off for months. It is a dirty, smelly job and if you don't do it right you have to bleed the entire system to get the engines running. Well I changed out the Racor Filter by the fuel tank and it was all black. It definitely needed changing. I tried to get the fuel from the tank to fill the filter housing but had no luck. I had to pour it in from a jar that I filled from one of the jugs on deck. Two more chances to spill diesel. I was lucky and had minimal spillage.
I changed the fuel filter on the generator but did not refill the filter housing. The generator is self-priming. All I have to do is run the fuel pump for 30 seconds before starting and that clears our all the air and fills the system with fuel. Then you just run the motor on the generator.
I pulled off the fuel filter on the engine and filled the new one with fuel before screwing the new one back on the motor. I had minimal spillage which was caught on the rag I used for handling the filters. I primed and ran the generator with no problems. The generator primed the system, so I tried the motor and it fired up with no problem as well. Yea! Time for the victory dance.
I got some spray cleaner and cleaned up every spot of diesel I thought I might have spilled in changing out the filters. Diesel can really stink up a boat. You go into a lot of old boats that smell like diesel as soon as you get in them. That is not how I want my boat to smell.
George asked me for some help with his brother's boat. He said he needed someone small to get into a tight space where the autopilot was situated. I told him I was six feet tall and 186 pounds, that is not small. He said he meant in girth.
I climbed down into his storage locker and found an eighteen by twelve foot hole he wanted me to get through. I got down on the floor and raised my one arm and head through the hole and followed with my torso and the other arm and pushed myself through the opening. The ram for the autopilot was above me and the reservoir was near empty. We filled the reservoir and then bled the system of air. Once this was done, I cleaned up all the oil on the housing to find where the leaking was coming from. The leak was right as George described it, where the housing for the ram meets the turnbuckle. I gave the ram a few turns and closed the gap in the ram threads to seal the leak. Time to get out that hole and do the victory dance, again. Someone once said that Cruising is fixing your boat in new and exotic places. Some days that is truer than others. Hopefully we keep the repairs to a minimum.
I cleaned up and we went out to lunch with Celestial Melody to the Exuma Bar and Grill. The food and company were great. I think the waitress was on her first day. She was so polite and kept a close eye on us at all time but had to be shown how to do everything. They also served Guinness Foreign Extra Stout which is my favorite. One of the bonuses of being in the Bahamas is that the Guinness that is available here is often treated as a domestic beer. It has a strong flavor and 7.5% alcohol content.
February 11, 2016
We got up early and untied ourselves from the Emerald Bay Marina dock at first light. The winds and seas were supposed to build over the day and we wanted to get out of the marina before that happened and trapped us in the marina. The winds were predicted to be out of the northeast and when that happens the rollers come charging down the entrance to the marina making it a really hairy entrance.
We were lucky. The winds were only blowing about seven knots and the entrance to the marina was still quite flat. We headed out a bit to deeper water and set our sails for Conch Inlet. We were in no hurry so we just plugged along. The winds began to build as predicted and soon they were blowing 17 knots. We still were not making great headway. We must have a bit of a counter current slowing our progress.
We arrived at the Conch Channel a couple of hours later. We rolled in the sails and started the motor to enter the channel. As we entered the channel we passed the reef that Raven hit two years ago. They cut in a bit too early and caught the reef. It was night so they say they did not see the rollers? Raven was a total loss.
We took the deeper channel which zig zags through the harbor but does keep you out of shallow water. The charts show several channels so it can be confusing for the deeper draft boats on which way you want to travel through the harbor. We arrived at Monument at about 10:30 and looked for a spot to drop the anchor.
We motored around the anchorage and dropped the hook in a spot we thought was good. Once we were set, we were not comfortable about where we ended up and pulled anchor and looked for another spot. We found a spot just outside of the channel and set our anchor again. Again we did not like the set so we pulled anchor and tried again. We felt a little better with this third set.
I sat there for a while trying to determine what the problem was and finally figured that everyone had a significant amount of chain out. The guy next to me had about 300 feet of chain out in 12 feet of water! A one to five scope should be adequate which calculates to about 60 feet of chain. The chain these folks were putting out was just ridiculous. These boats are taking up enough room for four other boats. I could not believe it. Later Celestial Melody explained to me that everyone was still a bit nervous about the winds there. A month ago they had 100 knot winds in the harbor. OK, but anything beyond a one and ten scope is excessive. I always use a one in five and believe that is all you need.
We dropped the dinghy and went into town. We wanted to go to BTC the phone company and see about our phone. We wanted to set it up as a hot spot but have been unable to do so. We waited our turn in the office and waited to be called. The gentleman who helped us explained that they could only guarantee the hot spot would work on a cell phone that they sold us. Any other phone may not work. We moved the cell chip to Karen's I-pad but it would not work as a hot spot either. We were out of luck. We would just have to make do with the phone we had without using it as a hot spot.
We walked the town and I got a bagel at the coffee shop while Karen did some shopping next door. The town appears to be no worse for the weather. The only thing that is missing is the Straw Market Building. It is gone. The ladies have folding tables that they set up in the park to sell their wares. The docks at Peace and Plenty also have not been repaired. Most of the boards are gone from the dock.
We had a very lumpy ride back to the boat. The waves in the channel were pretty significant and we were soaked by the time we got back to the boat. We dried out and changed our clothes.
We went over to Stocking Island and walked the beach in the afternoon. The hurricane did about 20 years of erosion in one storm. The shoreline is significantly different. There used to be a cove we would climb down to to do shelling. Now that spot is wide open and the big rocks around it are now beach. Nude beach only has a bit of sand on it. The interior of the island appears unscathed.