Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The Bank

Now this is Banking

We woke up before the dawn. Light easterly winds escorted us out of Bimini channel at a low tide. Shallow crystal clear water had our nerves working a little hard, but we made it out without hitting the shoal, we think. There might have been one little bump on the way out. That's how close things get in these waters. We tagged along at the end of a flotilla that decided to leave the same morning. That is one interesting thing we noticed. Many people use Chris Parkers weather service, and as result all the sailboats seem to move around at the same time. We haven't gotten to accustomed to our SSB yet, and haven't made a habit of early radio listening. I use passageweather.com and try to learn about the weather patterns for each area. We come up with the same results, which is good. We ask everyone lots of questions, and that helps too. So, we left with a flotilla of about 6 boats ahead of us.

One boat rode the stream north to Grand Bahama, and the Abacos. The rest took a northern tack across the bank to the Northern Berry Islands. We were the lone boat to take the eastern route to the southern Berrys and on to Nassau. Most people take a route a bit further south, but as the wind was from the east and we could ride the gulf quickly north a bit, this route put us on a better tack to use some sail. The main issue with cruising the Bahamas, is you need to head up into the prevailing easterly winds. This means a lot of motoring, or motor sailing. Today we motor sailed, but luckily we managed to get the sails to do most of the work. We averaged about 5.5 knots, not to shabby.

We lost a fishing Lure, unnoticed, probably to a shark, but I did see a tuna swimming beside the boat. No sushi however. I'm really not much or a fisherman, but one's got to try.

We also got the water maker running. The water isn't salty, but it does have a bit of a taste to it.

If anyone knows a reason why my fuel system leaks dirty diesel into our bilge pan let me know. We managed a couple gallons, which is more than before. I have a feeling the system is running at a higher pressure because of clogged fuel filters, therefore a mix of sludge and fuel leaks out before a filter. I will investigate. I put tank cleaner in, so the filters definitely need a change, again.

The Great Bahama Bank is amazing. 60 knotical miles wide, and 20 to 30 feet deep the entire way. And crystal clear water. As suggested we are at anchor in what feels like the middle of the ocean, in 28 ft of waters. We could see the anchor perfectly on the bottom, and watch it set, too cool. We are sleeping in the cockpit tonight, on freighter watch. We are a few miles off the main drag, and are no where near any navigational lights. Which we think is good, because off the main thoroughfare and not to be mistaken for anything else is a good thing. Plus were gonna light her up like a christmas tree.

What a place to write a blog entry. So quiet and peaceful.


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