Kristen here – Today is Saturday 6/13/09. It is 5:25 in the morning. It is still dark, and I have been on watch since about 3AM or so. We started out from Old Bahama Bay yesterday afternoon around 2:30. It was still perfectly calm and the ocean was still glassy. I heard many people at the marina talking about how flat the gulf stream was. I was excited to hear that and was looking forward to a smooth ride.
Well, right now we have following seas of about 3-5 feet just off our aft quarter (rear corner of the boat). This is making the boat rock from side to side like mad! It is quite uncomfortable and just about impossible to sleep in. I was in the forward berth earlier and no matter what position I tried, I was still sliding all over the place. So much for a flat gulf stream!
The good news is that we are traveling at an amazing 9.6 knots! The gulf stream adds about 3.5 knots to whatever speed your boat is moving at.
OK, enough complaining about the seas. Let me catch you up on what happened on Thursday. During our passage from Nassau we lost our our generator, running lights and Shiver. Shiver had engine problems, and stopped at a marina just south of our planned fuel stop. Chris was on the satellite phone, SSB (long distance radio communication), and VHF radio much of early Thursday morning trying to help Shiver find engine parts. We pulled into our planned stop, Old Bahama Bay to get fuel, fix our problems and move on.
As usual, it’s just never that easy. The generator problem turned out to be a blocke3d water intake line. This has happened to us before and is easily fixed. We simply open the water intake filter, duct tape the high pressure dinghy foot pump to it, and then blow out the obstruction. It worked like a charm, and water flow returned. The generator started right back up with no problems.
Next was the running lights. There are two of them. One is a red/green light at the bow and the second is a white light at the stern. These lights are absolutely necessary if you travel at night. Now I’m not an electrician so I’ll explain this the best I can. When we turned on the circuit breaker it would just flip back off, indicating a short somewhere. Or so Chris told me. He traced every wire and went nuts with the volt meter. We wouldn’t find the short and decided to call a professional. But we didn’t have much faith after our previous luck with calling an *expert*.
Oh!! I almost forgot! Amidst everything breaking on Thursday, we did manage to catch two Mahi Mahi! The first one was big, and the second one was absolutely enormous! He gave quite a fight on the way in, swimming back and forth and jumping right out of the water. In fact the reason I knew he was on the line was because I saw him jump behind the boat. I filleted them both and put them straight into the freezer. I think they were just saying their goodbye from the Bahamas. Unfortunately while catching the Mahi, also two barracuda which were released, I lost a pair of pliers and our only bucket overboard.
So on Friday Solomon showed up to our boat. He was simply the best. He knew his stuff and worked hard. He traced lines as well, and after an hour or so found our short. It was in a wire running through the metal station that supports our lifelines. The wire goes through the station and then out to the bow light. We tried running a new wire, but the old one was stuck and it crumbled. As a temporary fix we ran the new line through our anchor locker and along the deck. I will have to try to run a new wire when we hit a port. Something new to add to the project list!
Solomon was quite a funny guy. Every time he went to work on a wire I would say *bzzzzt*, making a shock sound. He said, “Why you be wishin’ that on me?” Then when I kept doing that, he said, “I think she wants to see me shocked”. I explained that I had been shocked with both AC and DC, and had every right to tease an electrician. He thought it was all hilarious, and we worked very well together. When we were done working, and waiting for Chris to make some copies we chatted for a while. I told him where we had been, and how beautiful the Bahamas were. He said that he felt bad that he had never seen many of the islands and wished he could visit them. It’s funny, no matter where you live most people never take the time to see their own area!
After Solomon left, so did we. That brings me back around to where I started this blog entry. Now it is 10:10AM and even more has happened. We listened to Chris Parker, who said there would be storms off of Northern Florida tonight and tomorrow. With 20-40 knot winds forecasted, I suggested we find a port to duck into. Chris was reluctant to give up heading to Charleston, but after listening to Chris Parker at 8:00 the wind speed was now forecasted to maybe hit 50 knots. That’s sealed the deal and we started heading West to a port. Then on the way in we radioed Shiver who told us that Chris Parker's final forecast indicated only a single line of squalls without the same power of the storms over land. But, Shiver is coming from the Bahamas and We’re off the coast of Florida, so we’re still choosing to err on the side of caution and head into the nearest inlet. The squalls are supposed to be gone by tomorrow, so we can head back out then.