Sunday, April 16, 2023

Highs and Lows and Highs

Oh My Goodness Faithful Reader, I’ve got so much to report!

After leaving Long Island with the newly Les-refurbished heat exchanger I was on a high, until I learned that it was still overheating and losing coolant. Never mind that Pam was coming to finish the trip. We were going to be stuck in GeorgeTown for months and miss the upcoming coronation of what’s-his-name. Oh no!

So in preparation for major engine surgery, I took out Les’ carefully repaired heat exchanger so I could order in a new one and WHAT IS THAT? a broken hose clamp in the most obscure part of this troublesome YanPart. So I finished putting it all back together a hour before Pam arrived and the next day we set out to finish Blue Pearl’s epic voyage from Antigua back to Florida. With Les’ amazingly rebuild heat exchanger.

Back together - going to last?

Fish cleaning - guts to the sharks!

The first day was uneventful. The engine purred and did not overheat. There was no wind so we fought with the sails but essentially motored all the way up to Black Point. Found a nice place to anchor and had an early night listening to fun music and yelling from the beach bars.

We left in the morning knowing that a nasty front was receding - but wouldn’t you know it, we preceded the receding. And got drenched and tossed about. And Otto (the Auto pilot) refused to work in those conditions. Any who could blame him? So we completed our second 40 nm leg hand steering to Pigeon Cay near Shroud Cay. 

Got up the next day after a rolly night, for another cold, messy, rainy day to West Bay in New Providence (where Nassau lives.) For the fourth day in a row we set out bright and early, this time for Great Stirrup Cay 50 nm away. If you’ve been on a Norwegian fun cruise in the Bahamas you will know it as “Fantasy Island” or “Cassius Cay” or any one of the wonderful promotional names for places like “Goat” and “Stirrup.”

I wonder if we could borrow that?

Enjoying the Bahamas

Our last day was a doozy. Great Harbour (on Great Stirrup) to the Saint Lucie inlet near Stuart, Florida - a 150 nm overnight run. The 70ish miles up to Grand Bahama is unremarkable but when it gets dark and you meet up with many cruise ships, tankers, freighters it becomes challenging. And doing it at night without an autopilot is really difficult. I got caught a couple of times going so far off course that I just did a 360.
Passing north of Stirrup - or Coco Bay

All those red arrows are cruise ships, freighters and tankers near us

Got to the inlet and then proceeded 5 miles against a tide to get to the dam bridge that is closing tomorrow for a month. So today was our last best chance of getting here and just as we approached it opened to let the last group of boaters in and out of the bay. So we circled once and proceed through. And Pam said, “Don’t let the bridge hit you on the ass on your way out!"


Will we fit?

Through the troublesom railway bridge

But here we are in Stuart, Florida - where it seems everybody has a boat that make ours look like a dinghy. Where does all this wealth come from?

Pam has been a trooper. Getting blasted by rain on a boat with a number of issues where sleep is a rare commodity she comes up with goofy jokes or ‘remember-whens’ to lighten the mood. What a girl!

So I’m going to ask her soon what kind of bigger boat she wants to buy and where she wants to sail next!!!

View from Sunset Bay Marina sailors lounge

Via con Perro


  1. Donnalroger@gmail.comApril 18, 2023 at 8:04 AM

    Wow! Not an adventure I’d want to repeat; very glad to see you made it to Florida. Luckily you won’t miss the coronation of what’s-his-name!

  2. Wow, what a journey; so glad you made it to Florida! And under the bridge! Luckily you won’t miss the coronation! - Donna xo

  3. What a wonderful couple of "salty dawgs" So glad you made it past the bridge... must have been a big relief. Enjoy the rest of the adventure.


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