The weather forecast looks good for the next several days so the consensus is to make tracks through the Abacos and head for the Exumas where we will be less affected by the fronts moving through. We still plan to spend time cruising the Abacos on the return trip in the Spring.
We left Old Bahama Bay early Sunday morning for a long day of motoring to Great Sale Cay. The trickiest part was the she shallow passage through the Indian rocks. Moondance led the parade to make sure that the water was deep enough for the larger boats. The leanest water we saw was 7 1/2 feet. After that, it was a long uneventful trip to the anchorage. We took turns napping and I worked on crosswords and Sudoku. Our engine was acting up–we saw white steam coming from the exhaust all day but it never overheated–very troublesome.
Great Sale is an uninhabited island with rocky shoreline which meant no shore trip for Bailey. The little rascal held it all the next day until we took him to the beach at Manjack. I think the days we spent at the marina ‘untrained’ him.
We left early again this morning for the trip to Manjack Cay. This is one place that we already visited on a fabulous charter vacation with friends, Rick and Eva. It was another motoring day although we did unfurl the jib for a little while just to remember how it’s done;-) I made Poptarts for breakfast — the breakfast of champions! We find them easy to heat up. When we were travelling the ICW in the early morning cold, they made great hand-warmers! Later we found out that the other boats had ‘real’ breakfasts. Guess we’ll have to start doing that (when the Poptarts run out!!)
While doing my usual cleaning routine (shaking out the throw rugs) I lifted a floor board to check the bilge. I do this routinely to make sure all is well down there. I noticed a steady stream of water coming from the engine compartment that shouldn’t be there. Skip investigated and found a leaky hose–the only one that the diesel mechanics hadn’t replaced!! We kept an eye on it all day and made it safely to the anchorage. When we arrived at Manjack, we were amazed at the clear water. I could see the anchor at the bottom! We used our ‘look’ bucket to check on the anchor setting. Skip made the bucket by cutting out the bottom and replacing it with clear plastic. The other alternative to making sure your anchor is set is to dive down on it. That’s not going to happen (until Rick joins us for a visit!)
Joe helped us contact our friend Ed from Merlin who had gone home for the holidays to see if he could get us a replacement hose and bring it with him to the Bahamas. After having some Mojitos while the engine cooled, Joe and Skip conferred on the best temporary solution. We ended up putting on an extra hose clamp and wrapping the sh$@ out of it with duct tape. The temporary fix appeared to work when we started the engine. We’ll see how it does tomorrow. Maybe the exhaust problems will be behind us for a while…