Monday, November 19, 2007

Catamaran Harmony in Marsh Harbour

Here we are. I will be home for T day then back here on the 4th of Dec. Florrie will join me about the 18th +/- so there won't be any additions until then. Hope every one gets too much turkey and has a nice nap.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Nippers Bar

The pool at Nippers.

I am not ignoring anyone. Last time I sent out the scouts who were very successful. Rum at $8, SINCE SEEN AT 20, PER LITER. We left West End and were confronted with all marks out and 6 foot debths until we found the channel and took off to cross the banks. There is something weird about being out of sight of land and in only 12 feet of water. Beautiful colors and clear bottom. Overnight at Great Seal. This was reported to be the most popular anchorage in the Abacos. We were the only boat there. Are we in the right place? Next morning again on the nose at 15 to Spanish Cay. Again, almost no one there but the dockhand, who is also the chef, opened the kitchen for us and made us a fabulous meal of lobster soup, with a lobster tail in it, and Grouper. Expensive but excellent. Other than that Spanish Cay isn't worth it and if you anchor, you aren't even allowed on the island. Next to Green Turtle Cay which is a big step up. Protected harbour but blowing and we were worried bout "the rage" which is large set of waves, I mean really large where cruise ships avoid it. Yesterday morning it was calm so we scooted out to check ut Whale Cay, where the rage hits, and got across without trouble. Now we are in Great Guana Cay which is what the brochures show. Green seas good beaches and Nippers, a great bar on the ocean side and a short walk from the harbour. Then a cold front came through at 2 AM this morning and it is now 20-25 so it is a bar day. They have WIFI which is why I am able to get on the net and a free phone back to the states. But it is hard to see the screen even with a towel over my head to block the sunlight from the screen to check spellings. By the way, cell phones do NOT work here despite having been assured by Verizon and Sprint that they would. The beach at Nippers

Saturday, November 10, 2007

catamaran Harmony in Bahamas

We did it. We left at 6:30 this morning and had a great sail. One of the nicest I have ever had. Beautiful blue water. Predicted wind speed was 5 to 10; real 10-15 from the north. Seas were 2 to 4 with a few 6s. Sailed most of the way and then it went light so we motor sailed the last 1/3. Arrived about 3:30 and are now at a dock, all signed in with customs and immigration. Next major problem is finding the rum. Send out the scouts.

catamaran Harmony in Bahamas

Thursday, November 8, 2007

catamaran Harmony north palm beach.

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north west corner of the North Palm Beach Anchorage. You may need to zoom in to see where we are. It is a short dinghy ride to a dinghy tie up one block from a Publix. Great place to provision. 26 50.4N 80 03.4N

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Crew is HAPPY to be aboard! by D R Gray

Life aboard Harmony is just a wonderful fix for my sailing addiction! She is so comfortable, able, well equipped and a pleasure to be aboard with Capt. Lew and our chef Al Schwartz, an old friend.

Our trip has been one of increasingly warmer days, mild evenings, comfortable anchorages and fun marinas. For me the sailing off shore is a particularly exhilarating experience I can hardly describe! Being one with the sea. Adjusting our wonderful craft to use the the wind with Mother Nature's permission is living so basically - wind, sea and the sailor!

The anticapation of sailing across the gulf stream is so exciting. It is facing the challenge of nature and relying on our skill and Harmony to take care of us. Sounds like sailing across the ocean but each venture is thrilling. I am so absolutely happy! Life is wonderful and I am so grateful for this time aboard harmony with such good company!

between a and b.

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Catamaran Harmony 27 09.2N 80 11.7 W

(son Jimmy and Riley from last summer)

Manatee Pocket is a place the charts make look unapproachable. But Skipper Bob says it is good as did Dave and Kathy on Puff, so we went. A fairly well protected harbor with an anchorage and lots of marinas just off the Port Lucie River. Tucked in and anchor holding.

Catamaran Harmony leaving Cape Canaveral

Due to some predicted heavy winds for tonight, we went inside through a bridge, lock, canal and another bridge to the Indian River. The canal was spectacular with manatees, dolphin, birds galore and we went very slowly. Motored all day on the starboard engine and pulled into a small restaurant marina for dinner and sleep. Up and off by 7:30 and now motoring down the ICW again. There really is no way to get to the ocean for a long way ahead.
9:19 at Vero Beach and the crew wants to stop for the night. 27 40.07N 80 22.89W on the ICW

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Catamaran Harmony Cape Canaveral

(queen sized sleeping loft)

7AM and we are sitting at a dock in Cape Canaveral. You sail down the coast and see the launching pads for miles and miles. Then you go out around a restricted area which gets extended up to 100 miles for a launch. Last night a monster cruise ship was leaving just as a small sailboat called the marina from the entrance to the harbor. The coast guard ordered them to go back outside the harbor several miles and wait until they were given permission to enter after the cruise ship had been escorted out. I bet the people on that sailboat are BIG fans of home security now.
I got taken out for a birthday dinner of oysters, gumbo and a hot brownie with ice cream. YMMMMM. Then a full night's sleep at the dock. Life is good. The only thing missing is family. I did get some lovely e-cards and emails and voicemail wishes.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Catamaran Harmony outside

Nov 4, on watch from 12 to 3. I am at the computer just before 2 working out our average speed when I notice that the time has jumped from 1:59 to 1:00. So much for daylight savings time but I have now 2 more hours watch? DR comes up at 2 thinking it is 3...or is she being nice.
Here is a question for you. What do you do when the boat is going over 10 knots steadily, not surfing. My answer is reef. That is what we did for the first time yesterday. We had left Charleston about 1 and got out into the ocean. Predicted weather was 10-15 subsiding later today. By 3 it was 20-25 on the beam and not comfortable. Predicted was now subsiding after midnight. They were right about that, it was after midnight...about 5 hours after. Seas are 1 to 2 foot. Sun is out and we are motor sailing at 7 knots. AAAAH!
We had to go farther from the shore than I had planned. There are quite a few of buoys marked on the chart as Y N PRIV. Last night we sailed near where one of these was supposed to be and did not see any lights so we have been keeping clear. For those tracking, we are now at 31 11.507N 80 50 738W Shipping traffic has been very light. On my watch I saw one freighter going into Savannah but nothing else.
3:30 and we are 9 miles off Jacksonville and I got phone service but not internet. 30 26.800N 81 14.063W. Now 7 miles out and connected. WOW

Friday, November 2, 2007

Riding out the storm

(click on the cat)

Yesterday we went through a different kind of storm. Some old guy came over to the boat about 11 AM ranting and raving and ended up taking off my bow lines. We filed a report with the dock master and they said they would take care of it. About 2 PM we were on the boat talking to a guy, George, who works at the marina when the same old guy shows up again ranting. He tried to untie us and George stopped him. I radioed the marina and they sent someone down who "handled" it. Apparently the old guy is quite rich as he rents a place at the resort hotel by the year. A bit of a pickle for them as we are not the first boat that has been hassled. The boat has been retied so someone would have to climb to the far side of the boat to reach the lines which go through the middle of the cleat on the dock.
We are still in Charleston Harbor Marina waiting for Noel to get past. Today should be the worst of it, now blowing about 30 in the harbor, and then it should diminish. Winds predicted 10 to 15 by Saturday afternoon with seas 3 to 4 feet. We may just end up motoring a lot through Tuesday.