leeonsea

small world sailing

Diner

N24.23.70 W76.38.12

Just had a lovely diner with Brian and Diane, a florida couple here on vacation.

The Coral garden was wicked.

L.

June 30, 2007 at 05:53 Comments (0)

Exuma Land and Sea Park

Welcome to Warderick Wells, home of the Bahamas Exuma Land and Sea
Park.
(Taken atop BooBoo Hill looking south)
 
What a wonderful place this is, as part of the Bahamas National Trust this
park covers over 176sq miles and was set up in 1958. Warderick Wells Cay
sits in the middle and houses the Parks HQ. There is no airstrip and no
ferry boats or power boat trippers from Nassau, no regular tourists of any
kind, it’s here solely to be for itself and the only way to get here is in your own boat,
how cool.I arrived last night after a frustrating sail here from Normans Cay. The
wind was not in a place that was useful to us and was steadily building
backing and generally getting in the way. A fantastic rain storm saw me
collect 2 gallons of water, I could have collected more but didn’t have any
additional containers. My hunter gather instincts in full effect and I saved
myself $3 to boot.

The Park runs a No Take Zone, meaning no fishing of any kind, nothing taken
onto or off the islands. I saw one notice with the motto ‘Take only photos,
leave only footprints’ which I quite liked.

There is a statement in the chart book which says ‘if you see plastic or any
other debris, pick it up and take it to the Park HQ for disposal’
Unfortunately when walking on the Atlantic side of the island today I would
have needed a large skip to pick all the plastic off the beach, so much
flotsam. It really drives home what a terrible mess we are making of this
earth when even a site protected from human habitation of any kind for
nearly the last 50years shows so many signs of human intervention.

Anyhoo, they have trails marked through the vegetation, beaches and cliffs.
I don’t mean nice leveled walks, I mean pioneering trails, the odd branch
cut off, a tree removed but generally just a mark every hundred yards or so
by a pile of rocks or spray painted on a palm. Other than that, completely
wild. Each trail connects a beach or other point of interest, I saw may
small lizards, birds and a small brown rodent I must find out the name of
tomorrow. The Atlantic side was wild and windy today, with spray blasting
off the volcanic cliff faces, but cross over the island to the west side and
your back in Paradise with wonderful white sand beaches and clear clear
water.

(BooBoo Hill Trail sign across ‘Banshee Creek)

(Across the Creek and Up the Hill, none of the other trails were this well marked)
On one of the trails I came across ‘Davis Plantation Ruins’ little more than
3 single room dry stone building ruins, some walls still sporting plaster,
dating from 1780’s with two dry stone wall traversing the island east to
west, one of which is still very much in tact and forms part of the trail.
Incredible to think that a group of settlers tried to make their fortunes on
a rock in the middle of no where.
(Murpheys Hideaway, one of many weathered holes in the rock, though this one had a ladder – Cool)Heading back to the boat I came across a Crab, big, in a rock pool eating
his dinner so I had to stop and play with him for a while, I don’t think he
was too impressed as he buggered off. Also these little shell crabs that
just tuck themselves up inside their shells when they hear you coming,
generally on the side of a hill so when they do they just roll away, very
funny.


(Many Larry Lizards on the Island)
Tomorrow I’m going snorkeling in the Coral garden here and I found atop Boo
Hill a huge amount of little home made plaques of boats that have passed
through so I want to find a little drift wood and make one for ‘Half Price’.
(Just one shot of three, there must be hundreds of these planted on top of BooBoo Hill)
(The sign says – Termite Mound, Do Not Disturb – Unfortunatly the termites have eaten it! LoL)
(One of the less well marked trails – still not the worst)They have Internet here !!! via Satellite I think and as this wind is going
to continue to blow for a day or two yet, I’ll post this blog and some pics
tomorrow. It’s cost $15 a night to moor here though and in the interests of
keeping it all lovely no anchoring is allowed, blowing the budget!

Ah well, Staniel Cay in the next few days, swimming pigs, Thunderball
grotto, Laundry! (bliss) and if I make it by Sat (which I wont) Rock and Roll band at the
Yacht club! This is livin ;o)

L x.

June 30, 2007 at 05:01 Comments (0)

Exumas Day ??

N24.36.15 W76.49.24
What Day is it? I’m sure I don’t know, time passes by.

At Normans, only a few miles south of Allen’s, very nice beach. As I was setting up for the night I heard an announcement on the VHF for a Rock and Roll band at Staniel Cay YC this Fri, Sat. So I have a reason to be somewhere for the first time in a week. We’ll see what the wind is doing tomorrow and try and get further south, I can come back to all the bits I miss. There’s a Nature reserve I’m just on the edge of so am going to try and get there tomorrow I think, things to see and do there with a park office and bit and pieces. About 20miles, but I’m not motoring any more, it’s horrible and noisey, if the winds not blowin, I ain’t going.

L.

June 26, 2007 at 02:15 Comments (0)

Exumas Day 3

Transpires Speedo Man is called Nick and he’s a plumber from Bournemouth!
Well, he left the UK 15yrs ago and has been working in the middle east since
as a contracts manager. He has a 26ft steel hulled boat called ‘Joy’ which
was built in Russia and sailed to the US 20yrs ago, interesting history.

Nicks sailed her throughout the Bahamas and central America for a few years
now. What a small world.

Last night was so hot, eventually I discovered that the Saloon bunk cushion
fits neatly across the cockpit affording me an open air bunk! With the
canvas up it’s just like camping.

Anyway, I’m still in Allen’s Cay I wanted to leave honest I did but it was
dam hot today with little breeze so I just sat and read (Mark Lynas ‘Six
Degrees’ buy it, read it and change your life!) Went for a swim and a
Snorkel. As I write I have just finished a delishious Steak and eggs with
red peppers and tomatoes all cooked on the BBQ, yes, with a little cunning
and some tin foil you too can cook eggs on the BBQ. Dinner was almost a
disaster when my value pack of mixed herbs went over the side ;o) an early
evening swim was in order anyway.

Tomorrow, tomorrow I will head for Normans Cay, winds supposed to blow
Tuesday so want to be on the east side of the Cay to miss the worst of it.

All’s Well

L.

June 25, 2007 at 03:02 Comments (0)

Exumas Day 2

Allen’s Cay

Had a nervous night, a thunderstorm was blowing through off shore and I was
apprehensive about my new anchor, it held well so I’ll sleep well tonight.

Spent the day pottering, I had a couple of chores to do on the boat this
morning, then I inflated the dingy and headed out on an Iguana hunt. I
thought it might be tricky to find them but as soon as I got off the dingy
there they where. I took photos, will post later.

Came back for a spot of lunch and a snooze then went snorkeling, didn’t see
much, a starfish and a couple of other little blue and yellow fish.

Day trippers from Nassau have been in and out all day today on big
powerboats, they stay for 20mins and head off again, seems boring to me.

The water is a light green here, you can see so clearly through it, it’s
beautiful to swim in. I haven’t missed the Aircon, when I get hot, I jump
in, nice.

Another day in Paradise.

Am heading out tomorrow for Normans Cay where promises of a wreaked plane on
the sand banks await, will let you know.

L.

June 23, 2007 at 23:25 Comments (0)

Exumas Day 1

N24.44.97 W76.50.29

Allen’s Cay.

Uneventful sail from Nassau, I left around 11 after stocking up with
60gallons of Diesel and 20gallons of Gas.

No wind No wind No wind, and I hate motoring. There was quite a spectacular
lighting storm heading for Nassau though. Hot Hot as it climbed into the
high 90’s 34C lovely when you get used to it.

Pulled into Allen’s Cay about 7pm. It’s a group of volcanic islands with
fair protection from the elements in any but a southerly wind. Well the
winds blowing now, guess what direction from ;o)

Anyhoo, the first thing I did was dive on the anchor to see if it set right,
I bought a super Fortress in the US and it set first time and seems to be
holding, I’ll sleep well tonight.

Dinner was a Rum and Coke to start, Pork Tenderloin (on offer) on the BBQ
and Spanish rice with Rum and Coke and afters was a Rum and Coke. Quite
delicious. I’ve been donated some real Cuban Cigars, might try one tomorrow.

Dave told me he new people who cruised the Caribbean on around $4000 a year,
I couldn’t believe that till today. Shortly after I arrived a little
Alluminium sloop pulled up, no more than 25ft, British flagged of course
with who I like to think of as Speedo Man at the helm. Just after dusk he
got his sleeping bag arranged on the Foredeck of the boat and went to bed!
I’ll have to introduce myself tomorrow if he’s still around.

Iguanas tomorrow, I’m not leaving till I get a Picture of one and will post
when I get a proper Internet connection.

BTW, I’m loving it! THIS is the Bahamas!

;L x.

June 23, 2007 at 23:20 Comments (0)

All Change Please

Erm, slight change of plan.

I didn’t take the Dufour to the US for Craig, instead I agreed to do the Fit out on it myself and he’ll pay me accordingly.

So what I’m saying is, I’m not coming home this year, well not in the boat anyway. Tomorrow I’m off to the Exumas as previously threatened. Allens Cay tomorrow to look for Iguanas and the Thunderball Grotto later in the week. Still want to see the swimming pigs!

I’ll take plenty of pics to post when I get back and will probably post while I’m away. I’m nervous about spending time here with no money but I’m sure I can last out till at least Christmas, which will be a nice Holiday.

Watch this space ;o)

L.

June 21, 2007 at 18:14 Comments (0)

Still No Wind

Still no wind! The rain came down again last night and lightning took out
the power on the dock so no wind, humid as hell and no Aircon.

Met up with an Australian and his Japanese girl friend, they arrived in a UK
flagged Dufour 38, nice boat. He’d bought it in the BVI’s and sailed it up
to Nassau, he wants it in the US for fitting out to take it across to the
Med. He works as a Pilot for the UN and has in the last 3 months stamps in
his passport for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Darfour. So he’s not keen to go
into the US without a Visa plus he has to be back at work by the end of the
week.

So to pass the time I’ve agreed to deliver it for him to Lauderdale. It’ll
occupy me for a few days and hopefully by the time I return the wind will be
back and in the south east and I can get gone.

Last night we went over to Atlantis for the Casino, crazy place, people sat
behind one armed bandits punching $5 to $100 bets every 10seconds and not
looking like their enjoying it, I don’t get it. I saw a few middle aged men
clearly on Cocaine with impossibly young women on their arms winning and
loosing $7000 bets on the Craps and Roulette tables, amazing!

I personally I didn’t loose a thing, but then I didn’t bet a dime so that
all works out. So I’m off to sweat a bit more now, it’s just gone 6pm and
it’s getting cool enough to move again, I haven’t got off the sofa since
lunch. Bye for now.

Lee.

June 18, 2007 at 00:30 Comments (0)

Sails Are Here

25.04.51N 77.19.00W

It took two days to fly the new sails from Hong Kong, half way round the world to Nassau. It took 4 days to get the sails from the airport, 10 miles to my boat. God Damb Bahamian useless lazy good for nothing B%^&*”ds.

Anyhoo, they’re here now and they’re great.

So tomorrow I get to go up the mast again and secure the antenna to my SSB and to fix a small problem with the Furling gear for the head sail before I hang the new one.

Other news includes the little generator I got for power and some other boring stuff involving me climbing over the engine again and getting very sweaty. But all is well and working out, we’re definatly getting there.

I hope to be off the latter part of this week, I’m going to head out to one of the islands for a mini sail with the new sails and also to check out the battery situation etc. I’ll spend a day at anchor and have a swim and a Holiday from all this work I’ve been doing. Then I’ll head off at 60deg for the Azores.

There is one slight fly in the ointment, theres little or no wind and there hasn’t been for some days now. In fact there’s been consistently less than 10knts since I got back from the US. Need wind to sail.

So today as a result with the Aircon running flat out I managed to keep the temp inside the boat down to a manageable 30C. I’ve no idea how hot it was outside but I did have to walk across town to pick up some parts and I had to shower this evening, even I couldn’t stand the smell of myself.

A weather change is in order. At least I’m (almost) finally ready to go. And I’m looking forward to sitting on the anchor for a day or two and sleeping before a 20 day crossing without a proper nights sleep. Less apprehensive now though, just want to get going.

L.

June 12, 2007 at 04:33 Comments (0)

Nearly There

N25.04.51 W77.19.00

Back in Nassau, got back at 1800local time on Monday night. Spent the last couple of days installing the bit’s I bought. New VHF installed and the SSB long range radio. Today I’m going to fit the Liferaft to the deck and build my new anchor.

The big news is the Sails are almost here, they left Menphis last night so shouldn’t be far away now. This is great news as its the last bit of the jigsaw before I can leave.

So I’m going to head up the supermarket tomorrow and sort out a menu for the journey back. I wanted to run the Fridge but I’d need to charge the batteries fully every day and that would use more fuel than I could carry. Another lesson learnt from the USA trip.

So, the time is nearly upon me and I find I’m getting increasingly apprehensive, not in the boat but in my own ability and not as a sailor but as someone who’s about to spend 30days alone on a small boat with no one to talk to except Herb on the shortwave once a day.

I hope the weather fair.

Lee.

June 7, 2007 at 15:08 Comments (0)

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