Tuesday, February 11, 2014

We pulled over to the fuel dock after waiting for a power boat to finish fueling around 10 am. We had paid our marina and lunch bill around $140 and were ready to head out.  The power boat took around 1000 gallons of fuel. Now our bill for 40 gallons of fuel was $272.00 can you imagine the bill for 1,000 gallons. I would need an ambulance! Oh well, it’s only money, gulp.
We left Chub Cay headed to the North West Channel marker. I was really interested in seeing this as if you recall we went through it at midnight with all the chart books warning that you should not go through it at night unless very experienced. I had envisioned a small passageway lined with rocks and cliffs a lot like the Little Farmers
my minds eye of Northwest channel marker and add a pole in the middle

This was the reality. Silly me, The darkness makes scary, scarier 
 What I saw was open water that was shallow ( but nothing compared to what we had been navigating through in the Exumas)  with a rocky bottom and numerous patches of grass.  We saw 4 boats besides us going through the passage and each one to a slightly different route and no one had any problem. Take that North West Passage! The monster when exposed to the light disappeared!
  Onward into light winds on our nose and flat seas we motored to begin our overnight trip to West End on Grand Bahama Island. The day was beautiful and we enjoyed the sun, light winds and smooth seas. AND THEN : The winds shifted and climbed but not to bad. The seas became a little lumpy and their direction confused. Freddie had tried to take a nap,so that he would take the first watch but got up early and I went inside to fix some supper before dark . I heard something strange and the motors slow down. I stick my head out the door and ask Freddie if everything was alright. His answer was NO! The boom has just came loose from the  mast! Oh Great! We start to work and access the situation. It is just about 5 pm and sunset is is less than one hour. We furl in the jib and climb up and begin to work. Let me tell you that that thing is HEAVY. We finally figured out how we could secure the boom for the night but now we are for sure a motor boat until we get this taken care of. Of course the wind and waves decided to make certain that we had a lumpy night. Poor Freddie couldn't sleep ( I think it was from all the adrenaline rush) so he elected to stay at the helm until 4 am. I would sleep and then wake up and check on him every hour. Bless his heart because not 30 minutes after he turned the helm over to me I have a cruise ship looking like it is on a collision course with me so I wake him to ask for his advice. The ship passed to our stern  but was close enough for us to see it very clearly . Even Freddie, who was none to happy about me getting him up, did say that it passed closer than any other ship had while he was on watch. He went back to bed and I handled things from there. As soon as the sun came up I began looking for the closest port to land. Since the seas had been so lumpy and there was a great deal of counter current ( current running in the opposite direction the we are going) we only averaged around 2.8 knts. That is really slow and barely enough to keep the auto pilot working ( which did a wonderful job without any problems). We headed to Freeport looking for a safe harbor and a marine store to get a replacement bolt set up for the boom connection. Of course it also needed to be at a price we could afford. I picked Sunrise Marina which was very reasonable and has floating docks, a Marine service center right next to it. Unfortunately the channel going into the marina is VERY shallow and they only let people in at high tide. OK high tide is at 4pm and we need to wait 45 minutes after that.. We arrived at 9 am and have been hanging out waiting to get in. They better have really great hot showers cause we are both beat. We will see.

We did finally figure out a secure way to tie off the dingy on the davits.
We had been having to bring it up and secure it on it's side blocking
the entire back end of the boat.

This is the boom disconnected from the mast. That hole on the
square thing is where the bolt went through and it was attached
around where you see the big loop of sail.

Back in place with a bolt that is to short through the top and
lashed for the bottom and around the mast. We also lashed the
back of the sail so that it would not move in case the winds got

Hanging around the entrance to Sunrise Marina in Freeport on Grand
Bahama Island.

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