Bells Island Deja Vu

A front usually brings rain, wind and a temperature drop

A front usually brings rain, wind and a temperature drop

Wednesday found us anchored behind Bells Island (some charts say Bells Cay) awaiting the arrival of a cold front that would bring up to 25kt winds out of the SW to West. With some exceptions, most of the Bahama islands and cays offer no west protection during the clocking winds that often occur when a cold front passes over or comes very close to your location. Last year just after Valentine’s Day we hid here from a front, and now here we are again.

We had plenty to keep us busy all day Thursday: defrosting the fridge was tops on the list, backed up the laptop to the hard drive (way overdue), cracked open our coconuts and baked coconut bread (near perfect loaves this time), baked chocolate macaroons and got frequently distracted by the T-storms that passed by- rain, lightning, thunder- quite the show every time.

Two cuties- Russ tries to imitate the cute coconut face

Two cuties- Russ tries to imitate the cute coconut face

I prepped photos for the blog but that’s about all the blog work I could do.  Entries are way behind because lately I either haven’t had good enough cell service to tether, no WiFi or just been having too much fun to spend time in front of the laptop.

Getting a blog post ready to publish requires more steps than your favorite lighthouse.

  • download photos from camera, crop and fix as needed, label and add tags
  • select the ones for the blog and make them “smaller” for easier uploading
  • open Firefox and WordPress and upload the chosen pics to the media library
  • close Firefox,open IE and WordPress and copy and paste the text from Word
  • select photos from media library and hope they go where you want them
  • proofread, edit the publish date to be close to the event date, add tags
  • click Publish and then review the suggested corrections, etc
  • OK now click Publish again and this time the post is done and published

All these steps rarely occur during one session and if the internet connection isn’t lost once or twice during the process I feel luckier than a lobster in the Land and Sea Park.

Friday we sailed 15nm south to Staniel Cay where we’d spend a couple of days and meet up with s/v Makai.

Little Halls Pond Cay is owned by Johnny Depp

Little Halls Pond Cay is owned by Johnny Depp

We left Bells Island by rounding it counter-clockwise and looking right, a bit north of Bells, we could see the privately owned Little Halls Pond Cay. We’d thought we’d watch a Pirates movie, but alas, our other family pirate member has the DVD.

Presto- One week becomes two!

A certain magic occurs when a boat has been stationary  more than a few days so….no surprise, this extension. Not only do we continue to wait on Yanmar to.. can I say this? Shit or get off the pot, we have time to kill before needing to return to Miami Beach by Dec 19. Tiny progress has been made and finally on Thursday, one week after we got here, the southern distributor gave the go-ahead to enter the work ticket in the system. If Yanmar gives the OK for the seals to be replaced (it’s a bad thing to have both drives with the same problem) Marathon Boat Yard will fit us in next week; hopefully Tuesday or Wed.

Boot Key Harbor is an easy, pleasant place to be. Everything, except a good nightlife is here, much of it within a mile’s walk north or south on AIA. Bicycles are the preferred mode of transportation for the cruisers here; 5 bike racks are filled at all times, and that doesn’t count the bikes kept aboard. Bus service is available; for $4 one away you can ride from Marathon at mile marker 51 all the way to mile 0 at Key West. There you will find the night life and superb people watching you can’t get in Marathon. Plans for a Key West jaunt on Friday got squashed by too great a chance of rain.  The boat parade is Saturday evening, Sunday has showers so Monday could be our day in Key West. See why you need so much time to accomplish everything? 🙂

Key West and boats aground remind us of our friends Chris & Tracy on s/v Sanuk.  Key West was their favorite place and going aground was simply another opportunity to kick back and toss down a few shots! We miss having instigators of fun times nearby.

Speaking of fun times, I finally gave in and did laundry. The machines at Marathon Boat Yard are only $1 on the honor system, so I’d planned to spend some quality time with them. Forget it, plus with my luck we’d get there and the machines would be out of order.  The City Marina has 6 washers and 6 dryers at $2 per load. You have to get a money card at the office; no lugging quarters here. The washers take forever, the longest time I’ve encountered at any marina. Oh, I can hear the groaning now. Yeah, you all should have such problems. I’m smilin’.  The washers do a fine imitation of certain hi-rise bridges- oh speaking of bridges- I have to confess that I love, love Jeff Bridges’ song, “Fallin’ and Flyin’”, from the almost as good movie, Crazy Heart. Anyway, when the washer display shows 35 mins, don’t believe it. I forgot that and had time to kill waiting around. Met a newbie cruising couple who are also new to sailing. See, we aren’t the only crazies out here.

This sight warmed up my sleepy camera

Thursday looked like new pilot training day as two military planes (correct me if I am wrong) spent five hours flying in huge ovals over Marathon. Marathon airport is a few miles north of the harbor. We caught a better look when we walked into town and the planes seemed to fly in low as if they were going to land, but then they lifted again and made another circle around. Taking those lessons one step at a time, kinda like me with dinghy practice. I am now able to start the outboard, a major accomplishment, although I need to pull 3 or 4 times when the outboard is cold. Heck, that’s the easy part. Forward, reverse, left, right, the wind, the waves- ugh. I came up with “right away” which tells me that if I want to go right, I have to move the handle away from me. Maybe when I’m 80 this will be second nature.