Wednesday, November 22, 2006

George Town to Toronto, May 06

These men are getting ready for a race. Note how far over the stern the boom hands, and how small the boats are by comparison. They don't turn very smartly unless the fellow on the main sheet and the man steering are communicating well.

The end of our cruising this year has been filled with news of our friends’ problems with their boats. We met a couple in George Town who had all the toys and bells and whistles, but couldn’t afford them, and would not stop trying to repair them, so they ran out of money and patience and went home. Friends on a boat Twice in a Blue Moon are sailing back with no motor, after missing a much anticipated part of their trip due to engine problems, despite their very high level of competence at repair. Another family we know had to replace their engines, which so bankrupted them that they are selling the boat. Other friends lost a forestay, a rather vital string to keep the mast up, but managed to jury rig and get home, although they now face some rather extensive repairs. Sad notes to end the season on, and another reason why our diesel is probably not going to be joining us again in the future.We made very fast time up from George Town, we had favorable weather every day to Bimini. Crossing the banks, the weather started to drop as forecast, and we motored until 11pm, dropped the hook, did the dishes, and by the time we were done, it was good and windy. Anchor up and off we go. My birthday was spent steering across the banks to Bimini. Wind was too strong to anchor, but not strong enough to make us really fly. Anchored off the E side of Bimini around 4pm. The wind was blowing right up the harbour mouth and it was not a go to our eyes. It was fine around the back though and would have been easy to leave in the dark. We sailed direct up to West Palm from there, doing 8 knots at times with the Stream behind us, we were disappointed to get down to 6 and a half. So that was all around rather amazing. We then continued quickly up the coast, stopping at Peck Lake and in Manatee Pocket. We got held up for a day off Indiantown marina due to forecasted thunderstorms, tornados, waterspouts, hail and 50 kn winds. Didn’t happen, and we set off the next day for the invasion of the love bug.
This Florida cutie comes out in May to mate, and the larger female leads the smaller male around attached at the bum facing opposite directions, landing everywere. They remain attached for quite a while and fly and walk all over the place. Quite a feat. The wind died in the middle of Lake Okeechobee and we were the only land around. They descended with a vengance. N baled out first, icked out by the numbers. D woke up and discovered the situation and went below next, followed shortly by yours truely who saw no reason for BOTH X and I to be out in this ickyness. X claimed he didn’t mind but really there were hundreds in the cockpit alone. Bleah. The heat was also intense, so when X needed me on deck to drop the jib, I just dashed up in my undies. BIG MISTAKE. I went to drop the jib, but the halyard was invisible under the bugs. X did that while I went back to steer, squealing about all the bugs on me and laughing at myself at the same time. Finally went below. Eventually we got to Clewiston and the spoil islands near it, and the bugs started to leave. D and I spent a vigorous half hour sloshing bucket loads of water over the decks ridding us of the majority of bugs. This was good, because the wildlife on Okeechobee is well worth seeing. We say tons of alligators. No one wanted to swim, and birds galore, coots and guillemots, and pelicans, and nesting osprey. It was spectacular. There was even a tiny alligator in the lock with us on the way out of the lake. He was little and probably did well in there. No competition, and the fish have no where to hide. We motored a few miles further and dropped the hook for the night.We motored to Glades boat yard the next day, the engine staggering during the last quarter mile because we hadn’t transfered enough gas to it that morning. Gave her a drink and all was well. We got pulled right away and the dismal task of putting her to bed began. All went well in the yard, we pulled the exhaust off the diesel and threw it out. The prop and shaft will not be wet next year and we probably won’t have the diesel either. However, we were disturbed when they went to put her into the storage yard. Part of why we like Glades, is that instead of the boats being placed on stands, which are independent posts, there are a pair of I-beams with welded mounts. Much stronger. When they went to move her we discovered that they were going to put her on these stands, and indeed she had been on them last year. Not only that, but they were planning on putting her in the swamp at the back that had been filled only a month ago. We are not happy. She is currently on stands, but not on fill, and our background thought of getting a trailer is becoming firmer. This is supposed to be a bad hurricane season. Plans continue to change elsewhere. X did not have the job at Quantum that I had thought he might, so he is looking for work, and feeling fairly confident about it. Also, and I have written this before, there has been movement on X’s Spanish citizenship. He received a birth certificate with an annotation that he is requesting his citizenship, along with forms for a passport and to appear on electoral rolls. So this looks good, although as my Dad said, he will probably need some form that we don’t have and will require an application in triplicate to Madrid. There is also the question of whether the job offer is still available. So once again, our plans are up in the air. I start work the middle of June, and we are currently staying with my parents until our usual place in a friends basement is open, and the kids are making good use of the pool at their grandparents. No ‘gators here.My apologies for my poor communications this year. I’ll try to write more often

1 comment:

Joanne PL said...

That is great! Sounds fantastic and nice to hear/read about it.
Whole blog thing excellent - only way to keep up with you.