Posted on January 3, 2017
As I type, we are anchored in Highbourne Cay, waiting in the company of friends for a cold front to blast through over the weekend. The boat looks like it’s floating in air, the water is so clear; you can see every blade of sea grass underneath us. We’ve been up since about 6:30, watching the bait fish swarm around our boat, grouping together and pulling apart as they try to evade the needlefish who dash between them, trying for breakfast. Michu has plans to meet up with the Mafalda and the Cygnus families this morning to hunt some lobster; we had some the other day for dinner, tails split and grilled in the shell, still twitching as they touched the heat. The kids are getting the school work out of the way early so they can snorkel with the other kids in the eighty-degree water. This is why we came.
Not that it was easy getting here. We seem to have a talent for being just a day behind the optimal weather, and our crossing from Vero Beach will henceforth be referred to as A Series of Unfortunate Events. I want to emphasize for the grandparents reading this blog, everyone aboard was safe and the kids slept well, but it was not the comfortable cakewalk we’d hoped for. The impeller for our engine cooling system blew out a couple of hours outside of Fort Pierce, and repairing it down below in the bouncy conditions made Michu very, very seasick. Having one parent down really makes things hard—there’s just less bandwidth for the boat and the kids. Our own expectations were working against us, as well; we started out making such good time, flying along on a close reach, that when we were delayed with our plan to turn south (the wind took its time moving west, and the Gulf Stream held us in her grip longer than we anticipated), we didn’t manage to whip across as quickly as we’d hoped.
Since we’d left from so far north, we still had some big passages to get south to our sought-after Exumas. We had a lovely few days in the Berry Islands, hiding from the big easterly swell and learning about picking lobster off the rocks, followed by a quick hop to Nassau. We’d planned to spend a couple of days in the big city of the Bahamas, hooking into wifi, doing laundry, and stocking up on a few final supplies; but the weather pointed to a nasty impending blow from the east, and we figured we could either bail out early or be stuck for days. We bailed.
So now we’re officially in the Exumas. Our water tanks were not topped off before we left, and we have only about a half a tank of diesel. We’ll be paying cold, hard cash for internet access beyond phone data, to get the bills paid and update everyone back home. We never managed to find a spare prop for the outboard, or expanding foam to attack that leak that keeps getting stuff wet in the v-berth. The laundry pile is not small, and the boat and our bodies are pretty salty. We have zero complaints.