Dear Friends and Family,
Thank you so very much for your thoughts and prayers as we made our Maiden Voyage, leaving the coastal waters of Florida and traveling to Marsh Harbour, Abaco, Bahamas. So let me catch you up on the past month...
First of all...
December 30th was an awesome day of training with Captain Ray. With his guidance I successfully pulled the boat from our dock AND docked her safely back into the slip! Hooray! In addition, this was the first day I had dolphins swimming in the wake of my bow. It was a truly thrilling experience.
We spent the following two weeks with last minute preparations for traveling to the Bahamas. We had people aboard almost every day from 7a-7p, all trying to finish last minute upgrades. I spent hours driving to different places to purchase random boat parts. I also spent way too much time at the grocery store stocking the boat with more than just Peanut Butter and Jelly! I'm not quite sure WHY I did that, as Scott won't cook anything except microwave popcorn! HaHa! Well at least I will have staples in the pantry for my return to TR in February.
Our First Voyage...
On Monday, January 13, 2014, Scott, Ray (our training captain and friend) and I left our B25 slip at Sunset Bay Marina at 0630. Once leaving the dock in darkness with little current and a light breeze we had to wait for the train bridge to open before heading out to open waters. Scott had figured all of our way-points and I had double-checked and scribed them. We were on our way. There was a lovely sunrise as we headed out of the river and into the ocean. Captain Ray was very helpful in navigating the shallow passages. "Thanks Ray!" By mid-morning the seas were rising with irregular swells. I was feeling great until...going below the flybridge. That was all it took when sudden and horrific seasickness attacked me. I had taken meds and precautions, so maybe I would've felt even worse...YUK! Ray was also feeling the negative effects of the seas and only Scott was able to perform engine checks for the first 10 hrs! He even had to change fuel filters without any help from me...Thanks Sweetie! I am very proud! (I'm talking about Scott!) By my first evening shift, 1800-2100, I was feeling fine and really excited to take my turn at the helm. I did my first engine check, A-OK, and vigilantly watched all of my gauges, radar and positioning at the helm, as well as keeping a sharp eye on the horizon. I witnessed my first sunset and moonrise at sea. Spectacular! By 2100 I was ready to sleep to be ready for my 0300-0600 shift. I awoke ready to go, did my 0300 engine check, still A-OK, and reported to the helm. All was good until 0400 when a very large storm appeared on radar right in front of our course. The seas were getting rougher, and it is true that a Nordhavn can handle more than her crew! I awakened Scott and we were contemplating our course of action when the winds blew the storm away from our course and all was good again! We arrived before daylight at Whale's Cay, the narrow passage of concern, so we simply retraced our course awaiting sunrise. Our friends Ron and Ingred were curious why we retraced our steps. HaHa! Thanks for noticing! We made it into our slip at Mangoes Marina with literally INCHES of water under our keel. Rey, Mangoes Marina Harbour Master, told us he was sure we would run aground!!! Thank goodness for L'Oreal haircoloring, as I'm sure this put extra gray hairs on my head! Scott left the boat to clear Customs and Immigration while Ray and I cleaned the boat. She was indeed in need of a thorough cleaning. Scott returned, boat was clean and the Bahamas courtesy flag was flying high. What a fabulous Maiden Voyage! I am very blessed and grateful to have experienced such a wonderful adventure. Here's to the first of many more...
Happy New Year!!!!
Once again I am in trouble with Paula for not posting.
So, here it goes.
Finally left "B Dock" Sunset Bay Marina Stuart, Florida. The Floridians thought I was never going to leave. It was time to take the first baby step towards our adventure. However, we will miss our new friends at "B Dock".
We chose a route to Marsh Harbor not traveled by most. Go figure?!? Smart people take the route from Stuart through the center (Kinda) of the Bahamas by Memory Rock, Mangoes, etc. Key word is smart. Our route took us north and along the east side of the Abacos and into Marsh Harbor from the east. And yes we passed through part of the Bermuda Triangle. We saw multicolored bright lights, 2 UFO's, and Elvis. OK, maybe not. Anyway, we made good time at 22 hours 45 minutes and had to wait for daylight to go into the harbor. Local Marsh authorities were very impressed by our route and speed for a slow trawler. Left handed compliment? Maybe….
The purpose of this route was to give us our first overnight trip and chance to experience some blue water cruising on our new boat. At one point we were in 2700 plus feet of water (Deep to me). Most of the trip was fairly mild but we did go through some rough seas on the northeast side. Sorry Paula. I had the midnight to 3am shift. We had bad weather before and after my shift. But, on my shift the clouds opened up with a full moon and stars galore. Absolutely gorgeous.
So now I have been here 13 days, less a 2.5 day trip to Seattle to get training with Bob Senter on diesel engines/generators. It was an excellent day and I learned a great deal.
Weather here? Simply amazing. Every sensational sunset is accompanied by boaters blowing Conch Shells. A tradition here for decades. Pretty cool. As explained to me, an excellent excuse for boaters to socialize in the evening with cocktails. With the exception of the Conch Shells, kinda like B Dock in Stuart!
VIDEO: Conch Shells at Sunset
So what have I been doing with the rest of my time? Working diligently on my new hobby. The quest to find the best Tiki Bar in the world. In the past few days I have been to Treasure Cay, Guana Cay, Elbow Cay, and Marsh Harbor on my quest. Sounds easy but not so much. During my journey I have managed to launch my dingy without the drain plug being in, crunched a side rail with the davit, two hats went over board, and lost one flip flop during refueling. A tough job but I will remain steadfast on my quest.
Scott and Paula