Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sailing to More Bahamas

Posted by Alexander

Dad's note:

For the astute reader's out there, you will have noticed that we have not posted much on our blog for the past week.  That is because we have been in the Berry Islands, with no internet access.  That doesn't mean we haven't been writing though!  For the next few days, I will post a couple of times per day to get you caught up.  To start with, here is Alexander's account of our overnight passage from Bimini over to Great Harbor Cay on the Berries:

Today, I should say tonight, we are leaving on an awesome overnight passage. We left Bimini at exactly six o’ clock and are on our way to the Berry Islands. It’s the first night we’re trying shifts and I’m very excited. Dad and I will stay up to about twelve o’clock and then Dad will stay out a little longer. Mom and Christopher will take over from around three and onward.

Christopher on look out as we leave Bimini at sunset
Everyone is staying up a little late due to the excitement and we’ve had some new experiences already. At the beginning of our passage some dolphins came and played up alongside the Monashee. Katie was ecstatic to see her favorite animal in the wild. She is usually a little timid when it comes to fish but dolphins are a huge exception. There was a whole pod of them and they rolled around and poked out their dorsal fins. There were three adolescent  dolphins that kept popping up in unison. They kind of reminded me of me and my siblings.

Once the dolphins were gone mom and dad brought out the safety harnesses so we wouldn’t fall off the front of the boat. I was hopping around on the front and ended up jumping just before the boat came down on a wave. I felt like I had jumped four feet in the air (or to stay Canadian, about one point three meters), We made a game out of this and stayed out on the front jumping at the apexes of waves and falling much further than we jumped. It was tons of fun and I think we’ll do it again soon.

The kids jumping to absorb the waves with their harnesses on as we head out into the night.

After that little game, we retired to the brownies we had baked the day previously and finished them off. Man I love life on the boat. That’s about up to date. I can’t wait to get where we’re going but a good sleep first will be appreciated.

These yummy brownies made an ugly reappearance later & maybe weren't such a great idea after all!
Some people might have a little trouble with that, sadly. The kids are pretty much ready to throw up and I don’t think the brownies helped. Mom gave them some Gravol so hopefully they will feel better. She gave me some Gravol too but that might not be such a good thing because it’s supposed to make you drowsy and I need to stay up with Dad.

Post passage me talking now:    Well, the Gravol was a bit of a problem. Turns out mom gave me a full adult dose. I slept in until lunchtime and couldn’t get out of bed for another half an hour because it felt like my body had gone to sleep as well. When I finally got out of bed I had a lunch of a handful of Honey Nut Cheerios. Dad told me I was lucky I fell asleep because the majority of the passage was endless bouncy waves and pitch black night. Katie and Christopher had a good sleep too. The next day was spent sleeping and reading. The next day I actually took note of our surroundings. We are in a little bay. But there is supposed to be a wreck nearby that we can snorkel to. So look for my blog on that.

Dad’s note:  The passage overall was not what I would call fun.  The kids had a great time with the waves while it was still light out, but as soon as it got dark, it was hard to predict the motion of the boat without visual cues, so the little ones especially had a bad hour or so.  Once they were asleep, with the help of the Gravol as Alexander mentioned, they all slept well through the night, so the original idea of Alexander and Christopher getting up to help us with shifts didn’t work out exactly as planned.  Sara and I spelled each other off every 4 hours or so, instead.  That was just as well, though, since we spent the whole 15 hours pounding directly into the waves, which were not huge, but were big enough, and at an angle to make the ride pretty uncomfortable.  The wind and the waves were more on our nose than we had expected from the weather forecast.  We did sail for awhile when the wind backed off to about 45 degrees, so that was nice, but mostly, our engines powered us through.

Fortunately, there was not much other excitement.  We crossed the Grand Bahama Bank, and spent several hours sailing in waters less than 10 feet deep, which was kind of strange. But since it was dark, we couldn’t see the bottom, and the only indication was our depth finder.  We passed a couple of other ships out in the night as well, and had to veer off course at one point to get around a freighter that had anchored smack dab in the middle of the recommended passage course, which we were on.  He was lit up like a Christmas tree, though, so we saw him about 2 hours before we got to him, and he was easy to avoid.
The best possible picture of a freighter in the night from the deck of a bouncing sailboat.
We were sure glad to drop the anchor the next morning in the flat water at Bullocks Harbour, though.  The rest of the day was pretty quiet, and I was in bed by 6:30, with the rest of the family not far behind me.
Another welcome sunrise and calmer water as we approach Bullock's Harbor

No comments:

Post a Comment