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

DIY & How to

  • Prev
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve told my children to wash their hands. I remind them ...
The new editions of PORTS Cruising Guides, from the publishers of Canadian Yachting will be ...
As the seasons change and we move from warm summer into cooler fall, many fanatic boaters ...
On the Friday before a weekend with a gorgeous forecast, I heard on the news that a boat had ...
A reader suggested we take a look at anchors. Anchoring seems simple enough. A weighted hook with a ...
If you’ve spent any time in a boat yard during spring commissioning season, you won’t find it out ...
As a busy marine mechanic, I tend to have the same or similar conversations often, and they’re ...
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 ...

CompassBy Katherine Stone

Not a hard re-installation - just line up the holes and replace the screws.

I remember vividly my first experience using a chart plotter and navigation system. Deciding that we should try the cruising lifestyle, we purchased an older boat and set out from Hindson’s Marina in Penetanguishene at dawn to sail across Nottawasaga Bay to Thornbury, Ontario for the Canada Day long weekend. It was a beautiful start to the day when we left and motored out of Penetanguishene Bay and rounded the corner, heading toward Christian Island, right into pitch black clouds. 

Read more about Your Compass........................

 

  

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
With a philosophy of quality and 'doing things right Ranger Tugs launches the all new R-25 at the ...
The new Beneteau Swift Trawler 41 renews the spirit of the practical seaworthy cruiser. The ...
The Canadian Yachting test crew last week had the opportunity to run the Bavaria S36 HT at St ...
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 ...

J99By Katherine Stone

All set to pull out the Code 0 before dousing the jib.

It was a very cold and wet beginning to the summer and we never thought it would arrive in Southern Ontario. Doing a 100 miler race on Lake Ontario (billed as the COOLEST race on the lake) with my 8 layers of thermal clothing, woolen ski toque and ski mittens, along with a neck warmer kept me on the edge all night, just out of frostbite reach. I shouldn’t have complained, as we also had wind!

July and August arrived, and it has certainly warmed up, in fact, its too warm, AND we don’t have wind. We are now counting 5 Wednesday nights in a row without wind to race. 

Read more about the J99 Offshore Shorthand Speeder.....................

 

Wellcraft 242 FishermanBy Andy Adams

Boat buyers are gravitating to the latest centre console boats for a wide range of reasons but for the Wellcraft 242 Fisherman, you can sum it up by saying it’s about features, style and value.

This great-looking boat is just as capable on a family picnic cruise as it is doing serious blue water fishing. A wide range of options let the buyer tailor the boat for their specific interests, but it’s all there to choose from. Our test boat was well-equipped for that comfortable cruise with easy access via the swim platform and through the transom gate into the cockpit.

Read More about the Wellcraft 242 Fisherman..................

Destinations

  • Prev
Boom & Batten Restaurant is suspended over the water adjacent to the Songhees Walkway and ...
Provincial Boat Havens are those special places to drop anchor in British Columbia’s West Coast and ...
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 ...

KingstonBy Amy Hogue

Cruise into the city of Kingston, Ontario, and it will quickly become clear that this city and surrounding waterways have something special. Built around the northern shore of Lake Ontario, Kingston is the place to go if you love to explore new waterways, fantastic views, and exceptional boating opportunities.

Sitting at the intersection of three world-class Canadian bodies of water, Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rideau Canal (Cataraqui River from Kingston to Newboro), the water’s influence is deeply woven into Kingston’s culture and history. 

Read more about Kingston......................

 

Marine Products

  • Prev
The new edition of PORTS Cruising Guides: Georgian Bay, Lake Huron & the North Channel from the ...
Canadian Yachting’s Chartering Handbook, full of information and advice for heading off to a ...
Navigating the process of yacht care and maintenance just got a whole lot easier, following the ...
I will be honest, I am generally not a big fan of Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV). My wife and I own ...
The FX model is Yamaha's top-of-the-line three seater WaveRunner and a totally new model for 2019. ...
In the April 2015 edition of CY magazine, I published an article on anchors and anchoring – Staying ...
The Seabin device part of the Oak Bay Marine Group trial, has had promising results so far while ...
When I took the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV down to Wednesday night racing, the people that came over ...
Protecting your boat from scratches and dents isn’t always easy. That’s why the Big Bumper Company ...
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA - Forespar has just introduced a new smaller size version of their ...