Wednesday, May 30, 2012

On the water

Well, Sam and Howard were right. They do bring bad weather. We had storms. We had big rolling waves. We had people not feeling so hot. And still it rained. And when it wasn't raining, the ocean was churning. Again, we were stuck in the wash cycle of a really big washer! And, of course, the fuel pump on the port side began to act up again. Menu planning went out the window. It was catch as catch can for food, and the people not feeling well did not even want to hear the word, "food." And still it rained.

Leaving Marsh Harbor

I was busily trying to get that last minute posting before we left the fuel dock in Marsh Harbor when the Internet went down. Oh well... The message on leaving was that everything looked good and worked well. Since water was only $5 per day instead of by the gallon, Mike actually got to clean the decks and outside portholes. We were looking fine. It was sunny and breezy. Looked to be a great afternoon on the water. And then the clouds rolled in. And, it started to rain. Did we mention that Sam and Howard started out by saying that they always bring bad weather? Well, it rained. We went back into the washing machine wash cycle. And we were now beginning the two day passage to Florida. Not a good sign.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Ice Cream!

Tonight was a great night. Mike and Carol found a carry out place that had really great food. They brought back baked chicken, pork chops, broccoli salad, cole slaw rice with peas, and a really interesting carrot dish. When Mike finally figures out how to make, we'll post it. But, even better, Terry made it to the grocery in time to bring back ice cream. He is my hero! It was a great treat to end the day. Add to that we had the opportunity to shower at the marina, and it was just a great day. We' now talking about leaving by six tomorrow to try to get near

What happened to Sunday?

Well, I was not doing so well yesterday. I don't know why the patch wasn't working so well, but I spent the trip in bed. At least I was not terribly Ill, just tired and headachy. So I slept the day away. Supposedly, it was a glorious day for sailing. With the spinnaker up, we were able to make the 70 mile trip and arrive at Marsh Harbor before dark. We are docked at Mangoes Marina - the marina where LUX would live in the winter if we decide to send it to the Abacos. Carol reported that we went from Spanish Well, Eleuthra. It is a commercial fishing town. Getting in and out was tricky because the channel is shallow and narrow. The channel out north to the ocean was interesting and nerve wracking. It was filled with coral heads. We left at 7 AM with Mike and Carol on the bow "reading" the water to spot coral heads. Sam and Terry used a combination of computer and brain power to get us safely out. The day started out calm, but the waves and wind increased. The spinnaker was set. We actually reached a speed of 11.3 knots- our best speed to date. At dinner, our first toast was to the spinnaker. Terry was right. It was worth the extra luggage cost to bring the spinnaker. So, we had dinner at Mangoes Reataurant. The drinks were a little strong, but very tasty. The food was great. And we were all very tired - including the person who had slept all day! Carol and Sam did laundry while the rest of the crew relaxed. Gee was up at six so she could be the first person in the laundry. There are only two washers and two dryers, so it pays to get a jump start on the rest of the marina. Also, we are hoping to leave just after lunch today. Terry is busy checking the weather. Mike has started working on the fuel pump once again. It started acting up again at the end of the day yesterday. He plans to try to get one here in Marsh Harbor, but it is a bank holiday today. We do not know what will be open. That, by the way, was our reason for leaving Spanish Wells. Everything was closed on Sunday, and they planned to stay closed for Whit Monday!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Squiddy Is Dead and Gone

I forgot to share the loss of Squiddy today. Squiddy was the green sparkly squid lure given to us by my brother, Anthony. He was right when he said it would attract fish. It did. Squiddy was our hero because he caught Charley the Tuna. Since we were motoring, Terry deployed Squiddy to bring us another fish. In less than a half hour, Squiddy caught something and snapped off. Terry thinks Squiddy was attacked by a rock. We were in just about 25 feet of water, so it is possible that Squiddy just ran into something that wouldn't let go. Alas poor Squiddy. He will be missed.

Up and At'Em

Saturday Morning, May 26 Today, Gee and Carol were rudely awakened at 6:30 AM by the sound of power. In Gee's case, the sound of power was right under her head. Everyone says she should be happy because BOTH engines are purring away. So, it appears that we will be getting an early start. Today's plan is to go to Spanish Wells. It is a sixty mile trip, so an early start was on the agenda. Sam, Howard, and Mike all woke up really early and full of energy. And the rest of us had to get up, too. We motored all day. After days of rain and wind, we had a sun shiny day with no wind. In many ways, it was a boring day. And, as Terry and Mike are quick to point out, boring is very good. No engine problems. No any kind of problems. In fact, Mike read a novel for most of the day. Terry took the time to 'repair' little things that have been annoying him. At 5:28, we arrived in Spanish Wells. It is an interesting place. They have no ice anywhere. They also have no restaurants. And,everything is closed tomorrow (Sunday). And, Monday is a holiday. So everything will be closed. Definitely not your basic marina town. Oh, did I mention that the marina office is closed? By the way, you can't do laundry here without a token. Which you have to get from the marina office. Which is closed. Definitely a different sort of marina experience for us.

Friday evening, May 25

Well, dinner was a success. Gee tried out the stovetop recipe for lasagna. It appears to have been a hit. The entire pot disappeared in no time at all. Everyone was quiet while eating. Afterward the fun began. Sam said he would wash the dishes. Howard said that HE would do the dishes. But, it was too late for both of them. Carol was already at the sink. And she was not ceding the position. We anticipated a real smack down. But no. Sam and Howard backed off and left the field to Carol. Oh, the big news is that our very own Mcgyvers have fixed both engines. It appears to have required one new open end wrench that we did not bring in the two hundred pounds of luggage. Lucky for us, they were able to find the wrench in the hardware store in town. Oops. Terry and Mike are contesting the luggage weight. They claim it had to be 700 pounds- and most of it was just for LUX. At one point, Mike counted 23 bags. It appears that it was so much that even the porters kept backing away from us. The absolute best news of the evening is that it is not raining. The watering this cove is calm. And it is not too hot or too cold. Also, there was an incredible sunset. All reds and golds and purples and oranges. Eventually, we will reach a port with strong wifi, and then we will post some pictures. This will be the point where Linda is really sorry that she could not stay. This sunset was an incredible photo op.  We just can't stop staring.

Friday Afternoon

Lunch today found us eating our Charlie the tuna. We whipped up a lovely tuna salad, and we served it on wraps. We have certainly enjoyed that fresh tuna. We are down to two steaksin the freezer. We are hoping to be able to grill them - if it ever stops raining.  It is now 3 PM. We ended up not having to use the dingy because there was enough water at the government dock to tie up. So tie up we did, and we walked a 1/2 mile to the grocery store--- in the rain. It was a good grocery store, though. There was quite the variety. And, they gave us a ride back to LUX. Alice ,one of the cashiers, took us back to the dock. Along the way, Carol asked about souvenir tee shirts. Alice said the best souvenirs were to be had right next to where we were shopping! And, she offered to take us back again AND return us to the boat once more. So Carol and Gee dropped off the groceries and went back to the store. Actually, there were not any tee shirts to be had. Instead, we went for souvenir pineapple upside down cake and banana bread. By the time we had chosen our homemade goodies, Alice was hard at work back in the grocery store. So, she asked her friend, Ella, to take us back to LUX. Off we went with Ella. Ella informed us that the rain was all part of a tropical depression that was supposed to last through the weekend. And, by the way, it also brought a tornado to Marsh Harbor- our next stop! It is now officially a good thing that we are not ahead of schedule! But, I must point out that the discussion about Howard and Sam continues. They boarded the boat, and the first thing they said is that they always attract bad weather. Obviously, their record is holding. The only question for the rest of us is whether or not we should toss them back off the boat - not caring if we are at a dock or at sea! Luckily, they have proven themselves to be excellent crew members. They step up to do any task that needs to be done. And, they are always cheerful and great conversationalists. I guess we will keep them regardless of their affinity forbad weather. Well, we have left the dock, and we are anchored out in the harbor. Although it is still raining, the wind is not terrible. It has the potential for a lovely night - cool and comfortable. Tonight is the perfect night for stovetop lasagna. We will see how that turns out.

Friday morning, May 25

Friday morning, May 25 Here we are in Rock Sound, and it is an unsettled morning. We can hear thunder in the distance, so we are soon going to have a thunderstorm. Mike was glad to see that Georgiana was up- not that he was glad to see her, but he can now go and work on the port engine. Terry is trying to get the weather update via radio, but it sounds more like the noise made by aliens on the Twilight Zone. Breakfast was the usual buffet. Cruisers could choose from bagels, oatmeal, granola, fruit, and yogurt- just your regular choices like the Holiday Inn. Peggy was great at getting everything set out and then cleaning up. Once again, Gee plans but leaves the execution to others. And, now it is raining again. This would not be good because both Terry and Michael are still out in the engine lockers trying to make repairs. Oops. Mike has run out of repair options, so he is sitting looking downcast while he tries to come up with another solution. It is also a problem because both Mike and Terry want to go into town for parts. Rock Sound does not have a marina, so they are going to have to dingy in. This, of course, is not a trivial task since the dingy is tied down on the foredeck. Now, Terry has gone after Overboard Kippy. Our man overboard practice piece is turning into a tool for engine repair. Terry is going to cut off Kippy's jaw so he can turn milk carton Kippy into a bowl of sorts. Alas poor Kippy. We will miss him. And then it really started to rain...and thunder...and lightning. Now, the crew is reduced to indoor activities. Mike, Terry and Peggy are reading. Sam is napping. Howard is wandering around this small confined space. We hope to be able to dingy into town this afternoon - should it ever stop raining.

So, it is Thursday night, May 24. We are anchored in Rock Sound on the southern tip of Eleuthera. It took us a while to get there. And, while we were traveling, things started going wrong again. The port engine prefers a work day of five minutes. The starboard engine is willing to work all day - as long as it is not required to charge the battery. We had a lovely dinner salad using some of our fresh tuna from yesterday with cheese and crackers on the side. Our drink of the day was a pina colada smoothie- not blended though because we are conserving power. Now, Terry is back down in the starboard engine compartment. Mike has gotten another new oil fuel filter, and he is preparing to go down into the port engine compartment. And, it is getting dark. But, there is good news. It has stopped raining. Sam is off making hot water so that we can have tea and coffee. However, if Mike cannot fix the port engine, I think he is going to go straight for the rum. The best photo of the night will be the one of Carol at the outdoor table with the headlamp on. She has been given the task of finding specific screws for Terry. Yes, Terry did bring three cans of miscellaneous hardware with him. Again, you can truly see why we had no room for clothing. All available space in the suitcases was filled with tools and stuff for LUX. Too bad we didn't think to pack two new engines. As of this moment, Mike has eliminated the fuel filter as the problem for the port engine. Now, he is thinking about taking the fuel pump apart. Did I mention that it is now really dark? And Terry continues to try to convince us that this is all just one big adventure. As he works on the starboard engine, he dangles his feet in the water and says, "Here, sharky, sharky, sharky." Peggy has pointed out that it is not the best plan to call for the shark when your feet could be viewed as bait. Oh well, I guess this will be the new definition of fun.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thursday at breakfast

We are finishing up our scrumptious breakfast (a direct quote from the menu). Now the discussion is circling around what we will do today. It is still raining. The weather is unsettled, but we need to move on to keep to schedule. Howard has announced that the breakfast was big enough to hold everyone until dinner. I am hoping that is true, because I really hate trying to fix lunch while riding it out in the washing machine. UPDATE: The table discussion has devolved into whether or not Mike has truly done an in-depth study of bimbos. Yes, that would be the cookies. Terry feels that we cannot call this study the unified string theory because no string bikinis are involved. Other news: We met Sue this morning. One of our boat neighbors, Sue stopped by for a chat. She, too, is lamenting the bad weather. And, it is still raining. Our next stop is Rock Sound. Big update:It is not raining at this moment.

Thursday, May 24

And, it is still raining. We are here at Staniel Cay Marina. Last night, Mike cooked the tuna that we caught with the Cuban yoyo. He poached it in a lovely mango ginger sauce. He served it with couscous and broccoli. To drink, we had rum and mango juice. And, for dessert, we had cookies - some of them were even bimbos! Yes, thanks to Linda and Tom, we have bimbos on board this vessel! Yesterday, we actually went for a walk around the cay. Staniel Cay is not quite the tourist spot yet. We are still dealing with island life - everything seems to close by noon. Of course, we did not move until after lunch because it was still raining. By the way, even the general store was closed. One of the islanders had to go get 'Sister' to open up the store. And once we got inside, there really wasn't much to buy because the mailboat had not come in yet. The other interesting thing about Staniel Cay is that they offer the opportunity to swim with sharks. Yes, there are sharks hanging around the marina. In fact, they really like hanging around the BIG yacht behind us. That yacht even has LED lights in the water. In case you are worried, we did not stick our hands in the water like the people on the big yacht. And we did not hold food in the water either. At this moment, we are in the restaurant here at the marina. Howard is over admiring all the burgers hanging over the pool table. We only have one Annapolis burgee with us so we will not be leaving a souvenir here. Most of us slept through the storm that Mike and Peggy think happened. Carol and Howard verified the story, though. They had to close hatches!

And now we reach the point where Tom and Linda are happy they did not stay. We left Sandals resort marina with gray skies that quickly turned to squalls. The winds were 10 to 15 during the day. And they rose to 20 as we looked for a place to spend the night. Some of us decided that the best thing to do would be to sleep through the passage. So some of us retreated to our cabins. And, of course, once some of us were sleeping we finally caught a fish! The call went out for all hands on deck to see the fish. It was a tuna. Terry and Mike think it was a 6 pounder. Peggy thinks it was an 8 pounder. Gee thinks it was ginormous and probably weighed 20 pounds! We actually got him on board, Terry gave him a drink of rum, and he got wrapped in a towel as we continued to search for a place to spend the night. Staniel Cay was not an option because they had no slips left. We ended up anchoring in Black Point Harbour on Great Guana Cay. Mike made tacos for dinner while Terry cleaned the tuna. He got five really nice tuna steaks out of it. This was a great anchorage. Although the wind continues to blow and the rain continues to fall, Lux is comfortable. Right now, Mike is busy making French toast. The rest of us are either watching him cook or watching Terry write in his little orange notebook. The only one being different is Carol. She is busy watching the water and the wind meter. She just reported a wind speed of 23. That is the highest she has seen - although it does feel as though it is slowly picking up. So, the French toast was great. Mike used freshly ground nutmeg, and it really kicked it up a notch. It does seem that Mike has gone stir crazy. Terry thinks he has gone delusional because he is standing around trying to quote from the great books and famous movies - as Mike tries to claim that being able to do so is critical. Unfortunately for him, no one else in this crew believes him. And it just keeps raining. And Lux is starting to leak. Terry said, "We have water coming aboard, and it is from the top." Peggy just found another leak. Terry and Sam are devolving into discussions about the speed of light. And it just keeps raining. Oh, did we talk about Carol and the killer Mosquitos? No. It seems that Carol suffered the most from our last stop where there were so many Mosquitos. She has bug bites all over. We have her on a steady diet of Benadryl. She has gone through a tube of cortisone cream, and she is still miserable. It is lucky for the rest of us that she continues to be bait. And still it continues to rain.

Monday, May 21, 2012

George Town

Well, it is official. We missed Tom and Linda on the passage from Turks and Caicos. Mike, Carol, Terry, and Peggy had to cover the night passage so they did not get much sleep. By the time we got to George Town, everyone was very tired. Sam and Howard met us on the dock. They took one look at the five of us and decided that maybe they would take a walk so that we could take a nap! The passage itself, although long, had a few moments. We did get more dolphin shows. We saw lots of flying fish. And, we were passed by one of the Volvo racers. The boat from Finland was in first place and headed up to New York. At present, we are in George Town on Great Exuma. It's a nice place. The grocery store is small, but had a nice selection. No fish, though. So, we will just check out the next stop for fish. Or, maybe Terry will catch AND keep one the next time he fishes! This afternoon, we plan to move on to the Sandals resort. They have a pool! Sam and Howard are on board and settling in nicely. They are excited to be with us, and we are happy that they made it with no problems.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Bahamas bound

Well, Tom and Linda are off to the airport. We went to the shopping area. It was amazing to look at the prices. As you might guess, we really didn't buy souvenirs. We did have a good time looking. Speaking of looking, we made lunch when we got back to LUX. While we were getting out the stuff for lunch, we found a wonderful surprise! Tom and Linda had left the Snickers bars!!! Peggy said that she takes back everything nasty she said about Tom! It seems he does share with others- even when we do not get them to the Bahamas, and they had to change their flight so that they could leave from the Turks and Caicos. We miss them already.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thursday, May 17

Well, Terry was very optimistic about us blogging as we went along. It appears that those of us who fell victim to mal de mer also find that blogging is not as important as sleeping or staring at the horizon. The patches were a necessity. Only Mike and Tom managed to have no symptoms. But, we did sail on. We had beautiful weather and pretty good winds. We saw flying fish. And, yesterday and today, we had a wonderful dolphin show all around the boat. The best news is that everyone is starting to feel better. The bad news is that Tom and Linda now have to try to redo their flight home so that they leave from the Turks and Caicos instead of George Town in the Bahamas. The good news is that Lux is running great! Everything is operating. We just wish we could have left earlier.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Departure time: 3pm (approximately)

It is now 2:45 and we've finished everything we're going to do before we depart. Several of us showered, so that we can clean up and cool off before departing. We'll have time on this segment to write some more interesting blogs with some pictures, which we will post in the Turks & Caicos.

Sunday morning

Yes, we are still in the marina. But, we are making preparations to leave. Most of the repairs are done. Mike is working on the bilge pump. Carol is cleaning celery and carrots. Linda is busy repackaging pretzels into snack size bags. Peggy is boiling eggs. Terry and Tom are working on dingy and motor. Hopefully, we will be taking off this afternoon.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Adventures in Traveling

So, we were so excited to finally be on our way. We actually met Linda and Tom right at the door to the airport. So convenient since it meant they could take one of the bags! And, all of the bags came in under weight - some just barely, by the way. Our flight left BWI right on time. We arrived in Miami right on time. And we even boarded right on time. Too bad that the plane developed a flaw as we were approaching the takeoff runway. Back to the terminal for a three hour repair wait. That meant we arrived in Nanny Cay much later than expected. But, it made no difference. Lux was not ready to leave. So, Thursday found us sleeping on the fifty foot Beneteau. Ten foot longer than Lux, but not quite as comfortable.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Today's adventure involved everyone trying to figure out just how much all the luggage weighs. When you fill your luggage with drills, plastic welders, bosun's chair, and other great stuff, it does tend to add on the weight! Hopefully, the scale is a good scale. After all, we don't want to be the people at the airport unpacking and repacking luggage!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

The suitcases are mostly packed, but the menus are not set. And, we still find ourselves with a little more shopping to do! Today, for example, we picked up plastic tubing and aspirin. Good thing we keep checking the lists!

Getting Ready to Depart

Well we are all about 95% packed for our "trip of a life time".  It is hard to believe that we have been planning this trip since March 21, 2012.  That was the day after we came back from sailing her in the BVI.  You would not believe that amount of "stuff" you can pack into a suitcase, minus clothes of course. 
Will post blogs when we get to a port with internet connection.  So some times you may get a number of post at one time from different days. 
Hope all of you enjoy reading them.

More to come.