We surpassed our record for staying in one spot—tomorrow (Sunday) will be 2 weeks in Long Island! It’s a wonderful place to hang out while waiting for boat parts. Last Monday we went ashore near the anchorage and walked up the path marked by seashells and bouys hanging in the trees to Club Thompson Bay to use their wifi. It’s a lot closer than the Long Island Breeze where we were before. The Club is a bit scroungy but the people are real friendly, the drinks are cheap and the wifi reception is great! We invited Mike and Angie over for dinner on Moondance along with a rousing game of Farkle.
I’ve been taking Bailey ashore by myself in the dinghy for a beach run when the weather is calm. I found one section of the beach that has a sandy bottom so it’s easy to beach the dinghy. I don’t have a problem starting the outboard motor. It seems like the majority of women don’t operate the outboard of dinghy by themselves. Luckily, our outboard is very reliable and easy to use (thanks Smiths!!)
On Tuesday, the wind piped up AGAIN so we stayed safely on board all day. The motion isn’t terrible but after a while, the constant noise is very annoying. A boat neighbor on Windswept Dreams called us on the radio asking if I had an extra baking pan. Ann came over to borrow my bread pan and invited us for dessert. Since they were right next to us, we said ‘sure!’ They had 2 other couples over and we talked about our experiences. Ann and Ed had just returned from the Jumento Cays and told us all about it. We would still like to go there when we are able to leave Long Island. Dessert was yummy caramel buns! Ann showed us the sea beans she found in the Jumento Cays. I’ve been looking for a sea bean ever since Mike showed me one and I’m determined to find my own!
Wednesday was still windy—will it ever let up? Everyone says that this year is unusually windy and cold for the Bahamas. I’m getting kind of used to 20 knot winds in an anchorage—not an experience I ever thought I could tolerate after sailing in the Chesapeake all those years! I spent most of the day polishing the gel coat in the cockpit while Skip cleaned out the leaky oil mess in our engine. I got tired of reading and doing crosswords so my next option is to clean! We had a lovely dinner on Lady of Lorien and watched a movie with footage of Bob Dylan’s tour of in England in 1965—a real statement on that time period.
Thursday was STILL WINDY and I was getting antsy. Mike came over after lunch to help Skip try and remove the engine parts needed to get to the leaky oil seal. While they messed around with the engine, Angie and I went ashore for a walk. We saw some cruisers heading out for a walk the previous day and I called on the radio to ask where they went. That’s how I found out where the trail to the beach was – walk along the road until you reach the telephone pole numbered ‘108’ and the path will be marked by some bouys hanging in a tree. Sure enough, a well-worn path took us to the Atlantic beach. Angie and I rooted around in the seaweed and plastic trash looking for sea beans and I found two! I was so excited to finally find a nice ‘heart’ bean and a ‘hamburger’ bean. Whew! Now the pressure is off! Upon returning to the boat, both Skip and Mike were discouraged because they weren’t able to make much progress on the engine. It was mostly a problem of not having the right tools. We started talking about going into the marina we visited the previous week but neither of us was keen on that idea.
We got word from FedEx late in the day that our parts had arrived—yea! Skip arranged to rent a car on Friday to pick them up. We had drinks and dinner on Lady of Lorien again as they had invited Valerie and Graham from Bonnie Lass over. Graham had hurt his back and was laid up all week. They are also from the UK (but have lived in the US for over 20 years) and I enjoyed hearing them compare notes with Mike and Angie. We watched a movie of a performance in the 80’s by a Scottish comedian named Billy Connelly. Mike didn’t think his humor would translate well for us Americans but we were laughing as hard as everyone.
We got an early start on Friday to pick up our rental car and head south towards the FedEx office. On the way, we did several errands—picked up a phone card and stopped at an ATM. Mike did the driving since he’s used to driving on the left (or ‘the wrong side of the road’ as we call it!) Skip also asked the owner of Fox Auto if he knew anyone who worked on boat engines. He was very helpful and directed us to his cousin who works at a nearby auto shop. After talking to the cousin, Skip arranged with him to come to the boat on Saturday to help him replace the oil seal. He sounded familiar with the process and didn’t think it would be a problem—let’s hope so!
We had a lovely afternoon driving around Long Island. We had lunch at The Forest again and also re-visited Dean’s Blue Hole. This time, the hole wasn’t covered with seaweed and we could really see the steep drop-off into the deep blue hole. Several free divers were on the diving platform and we watched them get ready for their dive and plunge into the water. The hole is over 600ft deep and many divers go at least half that distance—definitely not something I would like to do!
Today (Saturday) Skip awoke early to listen to weather and clean out the oil mess under the engine before the mechanic arrives. I didn’t sleep well last night worrying about whether or not things would go well (as if that would help!) Skip went ashore and picked up Scott, the mechanic. He arrived with tools and quickly and expertly remove the offending parts and installed the new oil seal. The best part was that he only wanted $40 (we gave him double that amout!) After he left, Skip replaced the pulleys and we fired her up. No leaking!!!!! I’m so relieved to have the boat back in good working order.
Angie and I came ashore this afternoon loaded with laundry, trash and the laptop! I splurged and took a shower at the Long Island Breeze. I haven’t had a ‘real’ shower since Old Bahama Bay – almost 2 months ago!
Most of the boats in the anchorage left this morning and right now there are only 6 left. Another cold front is expected to pass early Monday morning with strong squalls and, worst of all, wind out of the west. We’re not protected here from the west but Mike and Angie gave us advice for riding it out. We hope that the strong stuff from the bad direction won’t last too long.