Feb 28, 2019

Sunset at Sea
Sunset at Sea


Vero Beach, aka Velcro Beach, lived up to its reputation again. Our original plan was to be there for four days, which morphed into a week when we heard high winds were coming in. So we had seven days to visit with friends and finish our provisioning. As it turned out we were there for 17 days.


The first few days were busy with barbeques, provisioning, and finishing the little chores that need doing before crossing to the Bahamas. Not only did the weather turn cold and windy over the weekend, it rained. And rained. And rained. It rained almost every day for a week and a half. We were starting to get moldy, and I’m not talking about the boat! I was very glad to be on a mooring ball, safe in the gusty winds.


Custom Private Yachts
beautiful custom built private yacht


We were antsy to get moving and the Abacos were calling our name, but then we heard from Rick, the fellow who had gone on ahead of us and he advised it was lousy weather in the Bahamas and he wanted to come back to the States. So we hunkered down and got out our board games….board games for the bored!

The extended stay allowed for us to relax and spend more time with the crews from Escapade, Resolve and Last Mango, our companion boats from last winter. We did daytime bus excursions, potluck dinners, went on shopping trips and we helped each other with projects. One project saw Pat at the top of Escapade’s mast, changing out the VHF antenna. It’s a 65’ mast, but electric winches were a real help getting him to the top. I did get a picture of Pat way up there, but he just looks like a smudge in a picture of the sky. The new antenna worked great and Jon was again a happy camper, or should I say boater.

Art Deco Condos
art deco condos in Lake Worth Palm Beach



Eventually a three-day weather window was forecasted and on February 1st about 25 boats left Vero Beach and headed south to Lake Worth where we stage to cross the Gulf Stream. It is a two-day trip down to Lake Worth from Vero Beach and it rained both days. The halyards and sheet lines that run across the coach roof into the cockpit were green with mold. It took some scrubbing to get them and the coach roof clean again. At 2 am on Sunday morning, as we looked across the anchorage, we could see steaming lights and running lights pop on. The sailors were ready to go…..the powerboaters had another 3 hours sleep ahead of them!


Crossing the Bahamian Banks
crossing the Bahamian Banks in flat calm


Our flotilla was about 15 boats, and we had newbies on Wind Swept IV close on our stern. This was our ninth crossing of the Gulf Stream and it was another good one. We motor-sailed until we reached the banks at 11:30 am and by then the wind had died completely. We dropped anchor in the dark at 7 pm on the western side of Great Sale Cay, happy to turn off the engine. The next morning at 6:30 we gathered the three boats in our flotilla that were willing to get underway that early and set sail for Green Turtle Cay where we could check in with Customs. By three in the afternoon, we raised the Bahamian flag and a glass of scotch to toast another winter in the Bahamas. At noon the next day we picked up our reserved mooring ball in Man-O-War and declared ourselves “home” for the next three months.

Customized Golf Cart
customized golf cart on Man-O-War Cay

 


It didn’t take us long to drop the dinghy into the water and take a ride into the settlement. We wandered around, meeting and greeting people we had met last year. Our friend David, the owner of the schooner William H. Albury that Pat worked on last year, met up with us and took us over to where they were working on the masts for the boat. David had some fellows from the Toronto Brigantine Inc. and they were doing a great job getting the masts ready to step. They are young men and are learning the rapidly fading art of restoring an old wooden boat. As of this writing, only one of the lads is still here and he is quite happy working with the chisels, glue and wood.

David With Mast
David with one of the masts for the William H



The museum/coffee shop is open again this winter and most mornings we take the dinghy down to the end of our anchorage, pull it up on the beach and walk the mile or so into the settlement. We visit with other boaters and the locals, anyone who will stop and chat for a while. As we walk around the area, we are a familiar sight to the residents who stop to welcome us back to their island paradise. Normally we would leave our mooring and head out to Marsh Harbour to shop or get our phone topped up. This year we have stayed on the island, shopped at their local grocery store and I can top up my phone online.


We did however meet up with six other boats that we know to attend the Song Writers In Paradise concert. Every year in mid-February, about 20 songwriters gather on Elbow Cay for a week and in the evenings they visit the various resorts on the island and do a jam session. These writers are big names in the country music scene though some of them, like Mark Bryan from Hootie and the Blowfish, have written music for Jimmy Buffett, Jewel and Lady Antebellum. We went ashore to the FireFly resort and found some lawn chairs and spent a couple hours listening to them play. It is quite an evening as this is not something that usually happens here. Once back at the boat, we realized we could hear them just as well from there!


We have been working steadily, doing chores that should have been done long ago. The bowsprit repair is now completed, the louvers on the front cabin door are fixed, the non-skid on the decks has been repainted and various other small items are done. Our only problem is that the impeller in our dinghy engine is toast and there are no spares in the Abacos. I ordered a couple of kits in Fort Pierce and since we have company from home arriving tomorrow from there, they are bringing the kits with them. We have been rowing around a lot and our neighbor here is lending us his dinghy to take with us when we go into Marsh Harbour in the morning. All this means we will be on the move for the next ten days, showing them around our winter home. Should be a great week, there is a lot to see.


Until next time…………….

Lynn - Longtime CY staffer Lynn Lortie and her husband Pat left Midland the summer of 2016 to make their way into the Great Loop and head out on a three year sailing odyssey. Follow their progress right here in CYOB.

Related Articles

Destinations

  • Prev
NW Explorations, a Bellingham, Washington-based yacht charter, brokerage, and marine services ...
If you haven’t cruised the Rideau Canal before, you have missed a special treat and even if you ...
At the 2019 Vancouver International Boat Show I had the pleasure of meeting up with Allyson and ...
Following the harsh impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, The British Virgin Islands is making an ...
For the adventurous boater Bunsby Marine Provincial Park is a special place, situated due south of ...
There is good anchoring in Cowichan Bay and nearby, and salt water enough to make any boater happy. ...
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...
Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...
Vancouver-based Big Blue Yacht Charters Worldwide owner Emma Murdoch explains that luxury crewed ...


Rideau Canal Cruise

By Andy Adams, Greg Nicoll and John Armstrong with Robin Ball

If you haven’t cruised the Rideau Canal before, you have missed a special treat and even if you have, a vacation aboard a Le Boat Horizon 1350 can give you a whole new view of this magnificent waterway.

One of the greatest engineering feats of the 19th century, the Rideau Canal is the oldest continuously-operated canal system in North America. Traveling this sheltered waterway aboard Le Boat, we were able to relax and take in the spectacular nature, picturesque towns and historic locks of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Read more about the Le Boat Rideau Canal Cruise...

 

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
ILCA is seeking new builders to complement its existing network of manufacturers, the International ...
Nelson Gilbert (1854-1921) began building canoes in Brockville in the 1890s, a time when the sport ...
I have heard a lot of talk lately about trends in yacht clubs where senior membership is getting ...
To get you in the mood for cruising the Boat Show then launching in spring, here’s a boat that ...
Quite simply, the styles of boats have changed. Where in past years a buyer might have been looking ...
At the boat shows, the Ranger Tugs’ classic tugboat lines always grab the crowds, with the wives ...
Sometimes a great idea requires an encore, and French yacht builder Jeanneau got that with the ...
Tactical Custom Boats announces the sale to a North American client of a custom Tactical 77’ – Fast ...
Bruce Elliott is an inventor. And when he sold the technology he developed to build utility poles ...
One often asks of a winning achievement or a fabulous design, could it have possibly been done ...

Swift Trawler 47By Andy Adams

You might look at the pictures of the new Beneteau Swift Trawler 47 and think that this is not a “performance boat”, but I think it certainly is, and here is why; it can top out at 30 mph to get you from A to B quickly or to beat the weather in, so it’s pretty fast, but it can also loaf along doing 1,250 rpm making 9.3 mph and at that pace, it travels 2.4 miles on a gallon of fuel. That’s great performance in my books!

With a light displacement of almost 28,000 lbs, this is a big boat. In fact, it looks and feels more like a small ship than a big boat.

Read more about the Swift Trawler 47......

 

Beneteau Oceanis 46.1By Andy Adams and John Armstrong

Beneteau Oceanis 46.1When Beneteau introduced their new Oceanis 46.1, they were inspired by the fact that their previous Oceanis 45 was one of Beneteau’s best sellers and the new 46.1 had to be a clearly superior boat. The Oceanis range is about space and comfort for cruising while still delivering strong performance.

The yachting world has now recognized the Oceanis 46.1 as being just such a worthy successor. On January 19th, 2019, the Oceanis 46.1 won the highly regarded title of European Yacht of the Year in the “Family Cruiser” category.

Read More about the Oceanis 46.1......

DIY & How to

  • Prev
This time of year, great deals abound. That boat with the ‘for sale’ sign looks quite attractive. ...
For less than US$2,500, Jim Leshaw, a lawyer who lives and works in Key Biscayne, Florida, ...
Each spring, I tend to notice canvas. I wish it was because it’s been immaculately maintained and ...
I’ve had two emails over the past few weeks with a count-down to launch (47 days per the last ...
Last time we looked at making proper electrical connections – the tools, supplies and methods ...
Winter is a great time to look at some of the hidden spaces on your boat – to take stock of what is ...
When a boat is in the water, the bilge will often collect water that enters the boat from weather, ...
Recently I suggested doing an off-season (winter) project with a potential client, and my ...
A recent conversation with a fellow contractor got me thinking: With all of the information out ...
As the cold approaches, shrink-wrapping is a hot topic, and I’ve heard more than a few debates at ...

Dear Doris

Clarity Nicoll

I grew up in a sailing family. My mother comes from a long line of sailors, my dad works in the marine industry and my brother and I have travelled up and down the eastern coast racing with and against each other. Yet, somehow, I had fallen in love with a No,ON-sailor (please note, the use of capital letters).

I had tried to introduce Dustin to sailing with some success, however, with the fast-paced nature of racing, and experienced sailors always ready to lend a hand when someone yelled “pull the cunningham!!!!”

Read more about Clarity Nicoll...

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
Yikes! No boat refrigeration? You’ve Got to be Kidding me!! But then again, true campers don’t use ...
The Walker Bay Venture 14 claims to be the world’s first luxury Explorer Sport Tender. It is ...
Mercury Marine is pleased to announce the launch of the new MerCruiser V8 6.2L 370hp Jet Ready ...
My history with the Cayenne goes back many years, as I was at the launch of the original vehicle ...
Last month, Mercury Marine has announced the launch of the 400hp Verado outboard engine, the ...
Featuring advanced, intuitive 3D controls, Zipwake Dynamic Trim Control Systems deliver a more ...
Gina de Vere approached me at the Canadian Yachting booth at this year’s Vancouver International ...
A revolutionary “assisted docking” system that provides a glimpse into the future of boating ...
After developing the Figaro Beneteau 3, the first production foiling sailing yacht, Groupe Beneteau ...
You most likely operate your vessel with batteries that are rechargeable. Rechargeable batteries ...