Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Friday, January 18, 2008
Annie or Andy from Sea Dee took this early morning light picture of John Henry on the way to Spanish Cay, Bahamas.
Wink bringing in the shark with multiple mouth piercing (ya know, hooks).
Wink cast netting for bait from one of the docks at Spanish Marina. Annie is in the foreground.
Wednesday & Thursday, January 16-17, 2008
John Henry and Sea Dee left the dock at 7:00 am right on time. It was a pleasant ride and Wilma prepared for “Silent Running” as we approached The Whale. With local knowledge and high confidence, we entered The Whale at 10:00 am and emerged about 30-40 minutes later. There were 4-5 foot seas in The Whale and “Silent Running” was achieved. Another couple of hours and The Whale will be closed due to weather. The water here is amazingly clear and the color is magnificent. We chatted with several boaters on the way here whose names are Emerald Bay and Sapphire. The boat names can only give you a clue as to how wonderful the water is.Sea Dee is crossing "The Whale". This is an area southeast of Green Turtle where the seas organize furiously when the winds are from the right direction. More shipwrecks happen here than in all of the Bahamas. The Whale closed in the afternoon due to weather. We were truly blessed to have such a smooth crossing.
We arrived at Marsh Harbour about 12:30 today at high tide with winds about 10-15. Wink did an excellent job of stern docking. All of our friend and their friends turned out to be dock hands and all lines were secured. Thanks to all the good hands.
Marsh Harbour on the way in. We're docked about (*) straight up on picture.
The group waited for us so we could all go to lunch for Burgers. It was a 6 minute walk to the Burger place. Wink was especially happy to have some beef.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
We were up at 6:30 and a weighed anchor at 7:00 am. We had a small computer problem (batteries needed changing in our keyboard) so Sea Dee took the lead.
About mid morning, a sailing catamaran name Calypso joined us on our travels to Spanish Cay. They will eventually end up in Marsh Harbour as well – so we’re sure to see them again.
At Spanish Cay, it’s the light season and so there is only one other boat there when the three of us arrive. We all get cleared by customs, then meet up at the Marina office/store for registrations and visiting. Richard, the dock master, tell us there is great fishing right in the marina for snapper. Since its low season, help ourselves. He also mentioned that there were several sharks and one 16’ bull shark, named Bruce.
Andy chummed the water and the fish came a swimming. Wilma caught enough snapper to cook and serve four for dinner. Annie is the official “Paparazzi.” Wink fished and caught shark after shark, having great fun, fun, and more fun. The sharks ranged from 5-8’ in length. One shark had at least 4 hooks around his mouth. Wink tried to play dentist and remove a few, but after getting a good look at the shark’s teeth decided that one more hook would just increase the sharks awesome looks.
After dinner and fishing, we adjourned to the Marina lounge to socialize and enjoy our land legs. Wink was challenged by Richard to a game of shuffle board, once accepted it was clear that Richard was the PRO! With only three people living on the island permanently, Richard has lots of time to practice.
It was a late night of exceptional fun and entertainment. On Tuesday, it was an early morning for Wilma and Annie. Wink and Andy needed a bit of extra sleep time. Wilma and Annie continued fishing for snapper throughout the morning. Sara, the sea dog, was happy to know that we had reached land and would let her run free on the beach.
We were having such great fun, that we decided to stay another night at Spanish Cay. We toured the island from tip to tip on a marina golf cart. At the southern tip, we found a deserted beach and it was loaded with conch.
With a six conch limit in hand we headed back to the boat to retrieve our fishing gear because there seemed to be lots of bonefish available.
Wink spoke to Richard regarding Conch extraction and preparation. Richard, not only is the dock master, but the chief cook as well. Richard helped with the conch, turned it into a great Conch Salad (Sevetchie) which we had for h’orderves. Richard had also made a Chicken Curry for lunch and offered us a plate. It was great.
Wink, Wilma and Sara had a great afternoon at the beach with Annie. Annie still playing Papparazzi documented the bonefishing outing.
Returning to the boats, Wink and Annie cleaned our conch while Wilma cleaned up all the rods, reels and fishing area (cockpit) from the day before. Wilma prepared the galley for food preparation while Sea Dee’s crew completed their laundry and household chores.
Andy’s bow thruster is not working for some reason, Wink takes a look, but to no avail. Bruce, the 16’ bull shark, circles our boat a few times. He’s very impressive. We had a late dinner of Conch Salad (Sevetchie), Baked Snapper, Garlic Sauteed Snapper and Fried Snapper, along with Grits and Hush Puppies. It was an early night as both boats planned a 7:00 am departure.
We raised anchor at 4:30 am. Wink and Wilma put on their headset radios and Wilma, utilizing her night vision, went out on the bow giving directions to Wink. Sea Dee followed John Henry out of the Inlet and over to the Bahamas. The seas were fine with 1-2 ft chop until about 10:00 am and then the waves organized and we took them on the beam at about 3’. Wilma fished a couple of time, but no fish were interested.
Arriving just south of Memory Rock about 11:15 am and thoroughly enjoying how the water changed from dark blue to teal; we spotted nearly a dozen sailboats ahead of us. Several sport fishing boats were also enjoying the day. Both crews were tired about 2:00 pm and we decided not to continue to Great Sail Anchorage, but to stay East of Mangrove Cay (pronounced KEY) where anchoring in 6-7 feet of water was not a problem about 3:15 pm.
John Henry towed this 15 foot skiff across to the Bahamas. This is great picture of how blue the water color is and how well it towed.
Wink, Wilma and Sara the Sea Dog went to the fly bridge to enjoy the sunset.
This view is to the right of the picture above. The inlet curves in around behind the trees on the right.
Immediately after anchoring in the south staging area of Lake Worth Inlet, Wink and Wilma set about doing their daily boat chores, plus Wilma prepped the boat for “Silent Running”. Wilma calls it “Silent Running” because just in case the weather is bad, she wants the boat to be quiet instead of stuff crashing around. Everything has a place and usually nothing is in the right place until “Silent Running” is initiated.
We had a small dinner, changed our cell phone greeting to let people know that we are out of the country for the next 3-4 months. We had a great view of Lake Worth Inlet and looking around I remind myself that “There’s always a Bigger Boat out there!”
Saturday, January 12, 2008
First a comment from our friends, Judy & Gene regarding a comment about Alonzo’s Sea mentioned in yesterday’s blog note.
Yes that was Alonzo's Sea--now named Seven
Tenths---owned by our good friends Deb and Henry Dennig. We just brought her across Okeechobee on New year's Eve and She will be in Baltimore eventually---poor Henry and Deb are still of the "working
world".We sure enjoyed the pilot berth on our journey across!
Safe Travels across-looks like a good window, many are leaving from Marathon
WE decided to sleep late this morning. We got up at 6:15 instead of 6:00 am. The sunrise is near 10 miles north of Vero Beach Municipal Marina. It had been a calm night with pleasant weather conditions. Wilma decided that perhaps bathing suit weather required a bathing suit. (NO PICTURE INCLUDED). There are however, plenty of Bow Ornaments out today, and not all of them were gals. With it being Saturday, we have hundreds of boats out and about us at all times. Wink calls it Boating Hell!
Sea Dee at the Jupiter Inlet. There are boats everywhere.......
Upon entering the Jupiter, FL area, we noticed that real estate is just a little more expensive than we’re use too. I think that if all the people I know should get together, we still might not have enough money to buy some of these places. But, we would all be able to have our own room. The picture below is a small home for sale. The others are extremely large.
We’re about two hours out from our anchorage in south Lake Worth. We plan to get up early tomorrow and head across the Gulf Stream. We’ll be out of contact for 3-4 days until we get settled in with an internet connection.
Don't go ape. These guys are just sitting out in front of a big house in Jupiter, FL.
Keep your fingers crossed and keep us in your prayers. We’ll talk to you from the other side. Be Safe.
Friday, January 11, 2008
Today is 80th birthday of Wink’s mom Anna. Happy Birthday Mom…
As our blog ended yesterday, Wink and Wilma were heading south hoping to get as far as Mosquito Lagoon for the evening. About 5:30 pm, the local dolphins were having a hay day in the ICW. We had dolphins under our bow several times and also some shimmering along on the port side of John Henry as well. Looking closely, here are three under the bow.
Today we awoke at 6:00 am and had the anchor up by 6:45 and were on our way. There was a beautiful sunrise and great view of the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center. Too bad there wasn’t a space launch, it would have been spectacular. Sunset on Indian River Photo. We cruised down the Haulover Canal & thru the bridge which is one of Wink’s favorite places. He loves the quietness and the family feeling of all the families fishing there. A serene setting in the Haulover Canal south of New Smyrna Beach, FL.
We also saw a blue hulled GH47 docked at a marina north in the Indian River. We all think the name of the boat was Alonzo Seas. Too far away for a good picture.
Sarasota is doing well. She has completely adjusted to the boat life. Wilma and Sara made a couple of laps around the boat deck today for just a little exercise. Sara does have a full day, you know, with the napping and then the taking care of her babies. She has Hippo, Piglet, Zebra, Girraffe, Heart and Alligator. They require lots of grooming and attention.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Woke up at 6:00 am and prepared to get underway with everything started and ready to go. And then the lights went out. We totally lost our complete 12 volt system. With flashlight in hand, Wink grabbed the infrared thermometer looking for hot spots. Next he ripped all the covers off the battery cases looking for bad connections. While he was doing this, Wilma grabbed the infrared thermometer and started scanning the 12 volt primary feed lines. Wilma noticed a 15 degree temp difference in one connection and we focused on this point, which was a loose crimped connector on the largest of the cables. The connector had come completely away from the cable. Wink cleaned the connector with his dremmel tool and filed all the metal parts in order to make good electrical contact. Now, the problem was how do we re-crimp this connector onto this huge cable? The solution was to use a large pair of bolt cutters (which we had on board) to leverage the crimping.
We had been having sporadic electrical problems for over a week, but just couldn’t isolate the issue. We think the problem is solved, but we will need to get new electrical cable and connector at some point and replace it.
We had planned to be underway by 6:45 am to ensure that we met our cruising goal for today. However, with the morning emergency, we were delayed 45 minutes. We were underway by 7:30 am. Wink and I both agree that we are glad this happened when it did. It would be terrible to loose power when going through a bridge or being near another boater.
Here's a photo of Sea Dee under the Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine, FL. The rest of the day was extremely good on the water. About 4:00 pm we came to the George Munson Bridge which is New Symrna Beach area. It wasn't suppose to open until 5:00 pm but the workman finished early and the boats were lined up like cord wood.Sea Dee with sailboats in the background coming through George Munson Bridge in New Smyrna Beach, FL. Tomorrow, I may ask Annie to take a photo of John Henry and email to me for the upcoming blog or maybe Andy will post a picture of us on his blog which you can view from a link.
With all the minimum wake and slow boats we're still scampering to meet our goal for an anchorage tonight. We may be traveling a little ways in the dark. I'm hoping to write a small paragraph of two everyday. So stay tuned for THE BIG BAHAMA ADVENTURE!
We're towing a skiff to the Bahamas this year. This picture was taken going through Jacksonville, FL. You might be able to see "Sea Dee" behind us to the left. He's the little white dot on your screen. Supposedly, you can double click to enlarge the photo.
Dee Williams, Joan Peterson, Bettie van Esseltyne, Christina Comrie and Me (Wilma Thornton) hanging around outside John Henry on the dock.
Wilma went around saying goodbye to all and took some RPYC pictures from the top of Cloud X. Bettie hosted a ladies night out and a chic flick on Moon Bean. We watched “Notebook” starring James Garner. Here are a few good pics of Reynolds Park.....