March 9, 2016
Yesterday evening we watched this small catamaran (Mojo) come into the Rock Sound, Eluethera harbor and park right in the middle of the channel by the government dock. No one had anchored by the government dock because we know that is how the supplies come into the islands.
At 2:00 in the morning the supply boat shows up, puts all his lights on this guy and blasts his horn. So now the entire anchorage is up on deck trying to figure out what all the commotion is all about. The guy on Mojo never shows up on deck and ignores the supply boat. The supply boat has to work it's way around Mojo and then make it's way to the dock. For the next two days everyone in town is asking about the idiot that parked in the channel by the government dock. They we all awakened by the horn from the ship as well. Another ugly American. We told this story to some of our friends and apparently he had shown his ass in Georgetown as well….
We got up and packed our laundry into our Ikea bags before heading ashore to the laundromat. We were carrying about 40 pounds of laundry including our bedding. One of the big challenges to cruising is finding a convenient laundromat. We had to walk about a half mile to this one from the dinghy dock. I left Karen at the laundromat with the hand held radio to call me if she needed me and went back to do some maintenance on the boat.
I checked the oil in the generator and the boat engine and topped them both off. I cleaned up some mold in several places in the boat. The cold weather has not been kind to us and keeps the boat damp inside which is great for growing mold.
I then cleaned the seawater filters on the generator and the two air conditioning units. The filters were full of seaweed and muck. I had to rig up a suction devise to empty the muck out of the bottom of the filters using a Super Soaker and a plastic hose. I would suck out the muck water with the Super Soaker and empty it into a bucked. It cleaned up real well. I bled the air out of the lines and then ran everything to make sure they still worked. I then cleaned the bilge pump filter and the shower pump filter. The shower filter was full of hair as usual.
The Nissan motor quit on me again so I switched out motors and put the Yamaha on the dinghy to get us around. The Yamaha is such a nice quiet and powerful engine. The down side of using it is it weighs twice as much as the Nissan so it is difficult to handle and burns about twice as much gas. Thank goodness that I have one reliable motor for the dinghy.
Karen gives me a shout around noon and I head in to pick her up. We collect our laundry and head over to Sammies' for lunch. We have lunch and work the internet well into the afternoon. We then head back to the boat to chill for the rest of the day.
March 10, 2016
I work on the blog for a while but my heart is just not into it. After breakfast we head up to Wild Orchids to dock our dinghy there and walk to the grocery store one more time for provisions. We return to the boat and put our provisions away and then head to town to explore the caves we had heard about. We walk back to the Ocean Hole and then walk the streets around it looking for the caves.
We give up on our search when one of the locals stop and asks us if we want a ride to the beach. We tell her no but we were looking for the caves as we are headed to a variety store. She gives us directions and then heads off before stopping about a block down the road and starts backing up towards us as we had turned around to go find the caves instead of the store. She needs a bigger road because she is weaving all about trying to get back to us. She finally gets to us and gives us a ride to the caves.
She introduces herself as Rose. Rose has a small resort on the other side of the island where she fixes meals for the local boaters, so we know of her. She goes down one of the roads we had tried but turns towards the ocean where we quit and drives about a mile to the Queens Highway. We then head south for a quarter mile and stop in front of a church. To our right is the Boiling Pond. She starts us on the right path and then wishes us a good day. She then drives off to do whatever she was doing before she met us.
We then walk about the Boiling Hole and take the path up the hill. The Boiling Hole is another sink hole full of seawater that is connected to the ocean. The hole does rise and fall with the tide hence the boiling of the hole.
We find the ladder into the caves about 1,000 yards above the hole. The area is a huge network of caves that are partially open to the surface above them. You rarely need a flashlight to explore them. We spend over an hour working through all the passages and rooms. Many of the rooms have long roots coming down from above looking for soil and water from the cave's floor. Walking these caves is like being in an Indiana Jones movie where he is exploring the cave for some ancient treasure. We find the ladder and climb back up to the surface. We head back down the trail to the Queens Highway and walk over a mile back into town. We then head down to Hall's Grocery Store to pick up some frozen meat that we need before leaving tomorrow. We head back to the boat to chill for the rest of the day. There are now only five boats in the harbor, down from a total of 17.
March 11, 2016
We get up and take it easy. There is no rush because we only have 26 miles to go to get to our next destination which is Governor's Harbor. The winds are blowing out of the east at about 20 knots but are supposed to fall off to the middle teens shortly. We pull anchor at 9:00 and head out the harbor with the winds at our back. We are sailing downwind so the apparent wind is about 15 knots and it is a pleasant sail. We jibe around the point and the waters remains flat and it remains an easy sail. We make our final turn and now we have the wind on our beam. So much for the pleasant sail.
We are now about seven miles from the island and the winds are blowing around 20. We are taking water over the bow and we are heeling about 20 degrees. We are making good time but getting soaking wet. It is a hard sail. We do this for about an hour and then decide to bite the bullet and point as close to the wind as possible so we can get close to shore and get some protection from the wind while sailing. The shore is only about five miles away on our current course.
We try to hold this course for an hour but the wind is slowly moving to the north pushing us further and further from the protective shore. The apparent wind is now blowing 23 knots and we are continually taking green water over the bow.
The apparent winds drop below 20 knots and we have had enough of this bashing into the wind. We fall off to a course that will take us directly to Governor's Harbor. The winds are now blowing about 17 knots and the seas have eased up a bit so the sail is not as harsh as it was an hour ago. We are on a course due North, which was the same course we were on an hour ago. We did not make much progress towards shore.
The closer we get to our destination the easier the seas are because we are getting closer to the protection of the shoreline. It is again a pleasant sail for the last few miles to Governor's Harbor. We reach the opening to the harbor, start our motor and bring in the sails. We have just covered 26 miles in 3.5 hours. That is really moving fast for a sailboat.
We enter the harbor looking for a good spot to drop the hook. The guidebooks tell us the holding here is really poor. We drop and set the hook in about 14 feet of water. The boat behind us immediately hails us on the radio to warn us of the bad holding here. He is worried that we will drag anchor and ride down over on top of him.
After lunch we take our lookie bucket (a bucket with a clear bottom so you can see into the water) and check out our anchor. The guy behind us certainly had something valid to worry about. Our anchor is only buried in about three inches of sand. We go back to the boat and start the engines so we can back down on the anchor again.
We back down on it really hard and go check the anchor. It looks even worse this time. Now we pull anchor and try to find a better spot to set the anchor with the same results. Apparently there is maybe two to three inches of sand over hard coral here. We anchor here and be comfortable with the set.
We move over to the southwest corner of the bay and hope the sand on the bottom here is much deeper. We get as close to the shore as we feel comfortable with and then drop the hook again. We pull down on it hard and then go check it again with the lookie bucket. Success! The anchor is completely buried in the sand as it should be. After knowing what happened to Mañana when they dragged their anchor we are taking no chances with ours.
We head ashore and walk the town. There are plenty of stores to shop: food, hardware, liquor, clothing, and scuba. The people here are still not very friendly. They speak only when spoken to. This may still be a bit of the black and white thing, being we are white and everyone we are speaking to are black. In this area, the rich whites are on the windward side of the island and the poorer blacks are on the leeward side of the island where we are now.